Magic is in the air as the weather is warm and school is out. For dancers and dance teachers planning their July summer schedule, and seeking a new wind of artistic inspiration, look no further than the impressive, one-of-a-kind DancerPalooza and Dance Teacher Summit in SoCal!
Across one week, DancerPalooza, Dance Teacher Summit and The American Tap Festival will all be presented under one roof — that of the spectacular Long Beach Convention Center, only 30 minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport. Setting this year’s DancerPalooza apart is its presenting sponsor, Só Dança.
Helena Hines, chief of operations of Só Dança USA, says the premier dance manufacturing company believes its new partnership with Break the Floor Productions, which is the organizer of these events and one of the world’s preeminent dance entertainment companies, is the perfect marriage.
“Só Dança will be heavily involved with everything under the umbrella of Break the Floor Productions moving forward — NUVO, Jump, 24Seven and the Dance Awards, in addition to DancerPalooza and Dance Teacher Summit!” Hines reveals. “It’s a great partnership, and it’s been a long time coming. Both of our businesses have a passion for dance in different capacities and a responsibility to showcase dance in the finest way.”
DancerPalooza, which now markets itself as the largest dance festival in the United States, will once again be lining up the industry’s top professional choreographers, master teachers and professional dancers for its July 22-28 event. Hundreds of young dance students will assemble to take part in age- and style-specific intensives and crash courses, and to experience premier dance shows and a massive free dance resource expo.
“It’s really difficult to contain all the excitement!” Hines exclaims. “Dancers should be sure to follow DancerPalooza and Só Dança USA on social media! There are some amazing surprises in store!”
The all-star faculty includes Chaz Buzan, Talia Favia, Teddy Forance, Lex Ishimoto and Martha Nichols (co-directors of the contemporary intensive FIVE); Mark Meismer (director of the new Larger Than Life intensive); Nika Kljun (one of L.A.’s hottest jazz funk choreographers and director of Viva La Nika); Randi Kemper and Hefa Tuita (co-directors of hip-hop intensive NOIZEY); Travis Wall (contemporary choreographer and director of his own Travis Wall Experience intensive); and Alison Stroming, Courtney and Garrett Anderson, Martin Harvey, Julie Friedrich, Wilson Mendieta, Franco de Vita and Maria Kowroski (all teaching as part of the ballet track, ARIA).
“The faculty that DancerPalooza is bringing in to lead these intensives and crash courses are unmatched,” Hines says. “If you are a dancer or a dance enthusiast, or at all involved in the dance world, DancerPalooza and Dance Teacher Summit are the best because they bring in the best. The level of teaching is like nothing else you’ll see out there.”
Specifically, there’s a lot of anticipation building up for Aria, which is celebrating its five-year anniversary. Director Francisco Gella says, “I’m excited to keep growing this program and expanding its reach, evolving its curriculum and trying some new teaching concepts to allow ballet dancers and non-classical dancers to appreciate the classical idiom at a deeper level.”
When asked what makes Aria so unique, Gella says, “Aria takes place in a commercial setting and yet it keeps the tradition, bringing a distinctive conservatory feel into the DancerPalooza setting. It welcomes dancers who specialize in other disciplines without judgment or expectation and gives them a newfound appreciation, allowing them to gain a new love for the discipline and details associated with the classical idiom.”
Those students who are signing up for Aria should “expect to be pushed, expect to be challenged, expect to be inspired, expect to be sore, expect to make new friends, expect a love for ballet that you thought you’d never have, expect to be respected, expect complete commitment from the faculty, expect to change and expect to have the time of your life,” according to Gella.
Hines says Só Dança has special Aria-focused promotions planned, so stay tuned for this along with all the other reveals!
Overall, Nikole Vallins, producer of Break the Floor Productions, expresses such gratitude and excitement toward Só Dança’s new partnership with the organization, and its sponsorship of DancerPalooza.
“As we head into the sixth year of DancerPalooza, we are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Só Dança,” Vallins says. “Both Só Dança and DancerPalooza are dedicated to delivering something special and unique to versatile dancers of all ages and levels. For years, Só Dança has been affecting change in the dance world, and we are honored to give them a platform to continue to do so.”
Hines, reflecting on Só Dança’s collaborations with Break the Floor, joyfully says, “I just wish that everyone could be a part of the meetings between our team and their team. We just have so much fun! And we come up with the best ideas! I can’t wait to share with everybody all of the things we have planned, between the appearances, the giveaways, the photo-ops, the other surprises. We’re just really aiming to wow everybody who attends.”
For more information on these events, visit www.DancerPalooza.com, www.DanceTeacherSummit.com and www.AmericanTap.com. To view Só Dança’s collections, head to www.SoDanca.com.
By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.