the journey to paid professional performing artist

I think I must be starting a record!  This year I’m planning on attending five different schools in order to get the training I need.

Harrisburg Ballet Theater

This school is near and dear to me.  It was created when the board of a long-time Harrisburg school decided to close.  The artistic directors of that school (HDC mentioned below) decided to start their own school.  I help them with their public relations.  I also substitute teach if they need it.  The classes they offer are wonderful.  But since they are just starting out, they are not every day and I feel like I need more than they are offering to improve my dancing.

Pennsylvania Regional Ballet

Over a year ago I started taking a morning professional class they started.  I can only take once a week, but I take it on a day that I otherwise don’t dance in the evening.  It’s taught by Adrienne Dellas-Thornton, who also teaches at HBT.  It’s one of the most challenging ballet classes I take all week.

I have started taking PRB’s adult/open ballet class once in a while the evenings.  I find that I can take what I’ve learned I need to work on during the week and try to really apply it during this class, since it’s not as advanced.  It’s also good for me take from different teachers and styles to keep my adaptability up.  And they also hold class for five weeks in the summer, when other normal classes aren’t going on.

New Movement Dance Center

I was taking classes once a week from Nadine Revene at the New Movement Center.  However, they have moved their class times, so I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to make it anymore during the year.  I really enjoyed the classes because her approach was very different from my teachers in Harrisburg.  I often find I need different teachers sometimes.  If they are good dancers, then they are all getting at the same thing.  But since they all present the ideas in different ways, some will stick better than others.  Now that I am older and know where I’m trying to go, these different perspective help me.  I will probably go back to Nadine in the summer when other regular classes are no longer in session.

E-Dance Center

I have just started taking tap here.  I recently learned about it from another dancer in Crazy for You.  They offer an advanced adult tap class, and that is hard to come by.  It is more the style I grew up with, maybe a little more modern.  It’s not show tap, but not hard-core rhythm either.  I’ve only taken one class, and plan on taking more when my schedule allows, but it seems just like solid tap technique.  Maybe I’ll try to sneak into one of their regular classes if it looks more advanced.

Tap Pups

This is another place I will go in the summer when other regular classes aren’t happening.  I think it is very unique because they have become very successful at only offering classes for adults.  Now, I think tap is the most fun dance style around, but the success of this place shows others think that too.  However, it is Broadway show style, which I already have a handle on.  I’ll take it in the summer when other classes aren’t running, just to keep in practice and again, get a different perspective.

These are schools that I have attended, but no longer do for one reason or another:

Harrisburg Dance Conservatory

This is the place I started dancing and teaching at when I first came to Harrisburg.  Unfortunately, after over 30 years, the board decided to close it.  It had a wonderful array of ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop and tap classes.  Hopefully we can recreate that at HBT.

One Broadway the Dance Center

I took jazz and tap classes here for one year.  However, it is a commercial studio, and in the second half of the year they are working on their end-of-year show.  Sometimes they have master classes that I will go to.  It was a good stop gap while I found other places, but now that I have others places I don’t attend regularly anymore.

And then there is Steps in NYC

This is what I consider the home for dance in NYC.  For over 30 years they have held open classes daily.  Beginner through adult and professional, if you’re a dancer and in NYC, you have to stop and take a class at Steps.  I wish I could get myself going and go into the city once a month to take class here.  But four hours each way is a long journey.  So I go whenever I can, and always have a great time!

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