JKOHS students dance to impress

Back in 2009, I received the opportunity to teach a residency at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School on behalf of Buglisi Dance Theatre and their outreach affiliation with the NYC public schools.  I restaged excerpts of Jacqueline Buglisi’s Caravaggio Meets Hopper. Honestly, teaching these students was such a treat for me and I am eager to teach more residencies both on behalf of BDT or Parsons (in due time, hopefully!) and with my own choreography.  I was impressed with how well they executed the work when they applied themselves openly to the movement.  Congrats dancers!

The engaging challenge for me is to actively reach out and engage each and every student to have them put forth their best effort.  One of the most eye opening experiences was to see one young woman in particular have so many “can nots” and personal limitations imposed upon herself, when she truthfully had some of the most potential and mental swiftness of the bunch.  She wouldn’t dare push herself, but when myself and dance instructor for the program, Vivian Ullman (bless that woman and the tremendous work which she does!), milked it out of her she was nothing short of remarkable.  Gets me thinking so much about how our upbringing and background has such an impact on our perception of ourselves and the possibilities we have available to us.  I believe I can thank Malcolm Gladwell for this – reading Outliers now!  Perhaps a post about the patterns instilled in most “successful” (gosh whatever that means) dancers to come!  So without further ado and any more distracting side-bar remarks, here is intimate video footage of the dancers working, from the studio through to dress rehearsal.  Enjoy!

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