Rachel Straus - Dance Writer

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Juilliard Dance

Published: September 1, 2008
Category: trend

Your Body: Overwork Syndrome

By Rachel Straus

It’s an understatement that dancers are hard workers. The profession demands drive, discipline, and perfectionism. But along with these qualities comes a tendency to burn out. Though it’s a term that gets thrown around a lot, burnout is a real syndrome with physical and psychological symptoms. Not only can it cause biological []

Published: August 1, 2008
Category: technique

Improving your plie

By Rachel Straus

Like a recipe for quality of life, Risa Steinberg’s description of a good plie combines a philosophical approach, a touch of physics, and common sense: “It never ends. Once you know it’s going to help you do something better, you’ll love it.” She believes that the most constructive plies are passionate and []

Published: April 5, 2008
Category: profile

The many dimensions of Wendy Oliver: dancer, educator, choreographer, scholar

By Rachel Straus

One doesn’t always think of the earthy, egalitarian, and nonsexist tenets of contact improvisation as leading to the hallowed halls of academia. But these indeed are the philosophical underpinnings for Wendy Oliver’s paper on body image that she will deliver to educators this month at the AAHPERD national convention, where she will []

Published: April 1, 2008
Category: technique

Mentoring student teachers: role models who bridge the gap between concept and practice

By Rachel Straus

Not long ago only a couple of hundred dance studios, college dance departments, and public school dance classes existed in this country. Today there are thousands. Attendant to the boom in dance popularity, it seems that anyone with chutzpah can call themselves a dance teacher. Too often novices teach without proper training []

Published: February 20, 2008
Category: technique

Teacher's Wisdom: Eric Franklin

By Rachel Straus

“If you want to change your body, first you have to change your mind.”

Eric Franklin helps dancers to improve their technique by applying scientific principles, anatomical understanding, and the power of the imagination. The Swiss-born movement educator teaches workshops around the world, both at Pilates studios and at major dance []

Published: January 1, 2008
Category: technique

Improving pirouettes: Five teachers' tips

by Rachel Straus

“A lot of careers are made from people’s ability to turn,” says WILHELM BURMANN, who teaches professional level ballet at Steps on Broadway. He advises the following for improving en dehors pirouettes.

* When you turn to the right, your left hand and fingers–which are in an elongated second position–should energetically move []

Published: November 1, 2007
Category: profile

Teacher's Wisdom: Zvi Gotheiner

By Rachel Straus

Zvi Gotheiner began studying dance in his native Israel and came to New York in 1978. He has performed with the Batsheva Dance Company, the Joyce Trisler Danscompany, and Feld Ballets/NY. In 1989 he founded ZviDance, which has performed his choreography at The Joyce, Jacob’s Pillow, and the American Dance Festival. Presently []

Published: September 1, 2007
Category: profile

Margaret Tracey: School Administrator

By Rachel Straus

Margaret Tracey’s rise from New York City Ballet corps dancer to principal came in five swift years. In the ensuing 11, the Colorado-born redhead performed some 30 Balanchine ballets, earning a reputation as a technical artist of inspired effortlessness. In 2002, at age 34, she retired from the stage to devote []

Published: September 1, 2007
Category: profile

Erin Baiano: Dance Photographer

By Rachel Straus

Erin Baiano discovered her new career the day her boss double-booked himself. Veteran dance photographer, Paul Kolnik had agreed to shoot New York City Ballet in Manhattan and to take pictures of Hairspray in Seattle on the same day. Before rushing to the airport, he gave his 25-year-old administrative assistant an []

Published: August 1, 2007
Category: technique

Teacher's Wisdom: Luigi

By Rachel Straus

Luigi: “Even when you strike a pose, the movement goes on through the fingertips.”

Eugene Louis Facciuto’s first career as a lead dancer in Hollywood was destroyed at age 21 by a near-fatal car accident. His doctors predicted that the former child star wouldn’t emerge from his coma, let alone rise []