While our performance company members train regularly each week in their technique classes, they continue to grow as technicians and artists through a variety of experiences. In these past two months, many of our young dancers have auditioned for touring musical companies, learned repertoire with guest choreographers, or performed in professional shows such as the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker. One experience we love bringing to our dancers has been our master class program.
Over the past season, we have enjoyed welcoming a talented line up of master clinicians to the studio to share their teachings and insights through master classes. Master classes have served as important parts of our dancers’ formal dance training since our studio’s beginnings. Our youth companies attend regional and national level conventions annually, and many of our students enroll in professional company intensives each summer. Yet this year, we have pushed to take the lessons of renowned dance professionals beyond the public dance world, and bring it all back home, within the studio walls.
Master instructors provide a supplementary experience for dancers that deviates from their normal routine of classes. Guest teachers have shared their personally crafted styles and choreography, challenging dancers to tap into their versatility and artistry. We’ve brought boot-camp coaches in to teach stretch and strengthening courses and professional company members to share their experiences in the dance world with our dancers. Our master class programming has created an additional outlet to shape our dancers’ technique further.
As a DMA alum, I recall my time in the studio as a comforting, formative time to create and share. Many dancers consider the studio a space of trust; a place where they can take risks and challenge themselves in a supportive atmosphere. Our instructors witness incredible student growth each day in our studios. Bringing outside dance professionals into our community challenges our dancers on a whole new level, all the while in the comfort of our own dance home.