Featured Article: Dancing In New York City

By: Diana de Rosa – Dancing has always been a passion of mine. As a little kid going to weddings I’d be on the sidelines tapping my feet because I was too shy but ultimately there was no stopping me. Out on the dance floor I would go boogying away. I started out doing a lot of freestyle dancing at clubs and even with a band. At one point they wanted me to try for a Guinness record but that never did happen. Nowadays I do partner dancing at studios, mostly Hustle, Latin and a little West Coast Swing. I really want to learn to Ballroom Dance. So, hopefully that will also happen. Dancing is the hobby that gives my life some meaning and keeps me sane. So, this first column is the beginning of the NY Dance Scene.

I welcome your news, dancing tips, updates, and anything else you care to share about dancing.  Feel free to send me your information just make it easy to quote, keep it tight, keep your links short, include your name, hometown and what you do both in and out of the dance world. If you’ve followed these directions then there’s a good chance your quote will be mentioned in this column. The easier you make it for me, the more likely you are to get recognized.
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If you feel you have an event worthy of me covering as a feature, let me know, and if I have the time I just might take you up on your offer. My life is pretty full with a fair amount of travel. So, as they say, timing is everything.

I’ve started out this column by placing a note at a site called HARO (Help A Reporter) and got some great responses.  What I loved most is that many of the things people wrote about I’d never even heard of. So, now it’s time to share what I’ve discovered.

I have to give credit to three people for this bit of dance information.  Deena Baikowitz was the one who started the forward and both Mari Meade Montoya of Mari Meade Dance Collective and Breanna Gribble, a dancer and the associate artistic director in a Brooklyn-based modern dance company called Mari Meade Dance Collective, made sure to send me information. And here is what they had to offer:

“Brooklyn’s favorite up-and-coming dance company, Mari Meade Dance Collective (MMDC), will be performing April 5th and 13th as part of Triskelion Arts’s 3rd Annual Comedy in Dance Festival. MMDC will be performing their gender-bending flirtation exploration, Spit & Skip, inside Triskelion’s Aldous Theater, alongside 27 other modern dance companies as part of the festival. This piece, which was created as part of The Field’s Emerging Artists residency, may be going back inside the company’s performance vault for quite some time, so don’t miss your chance to see it!”  And here is the link for more information: www.triskelionarts.org/comedy-in-dance-festival-2012.

Samuella Becker wrote me about Pace University which is presenting Dance Out Loud on April 20-21, conceived and directed by Rhonda Miller.  The Friday performance is at 8:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 and 8:00 PM.  This all takes place at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, NYC Campus. Check out their web site: www.pace.edu  (and look for the link to the Dyson current season).  And here’s info on the Schimmel Box office – http://www.pace.edu/schimmel/box-office.

Lisa Skriloff calls New York City home but also noted “I also go out dancing often in Las Vegas where we have a townhouse and New Orleans where we go every year.”  Lisa is the editor of Dance Travel News (www.dancetravelnews.com) and had this to say, “New York City has a lively dance scene whether you go with a partner or without one. Show up by yourself at any monthly dance of the New York Swing Dance Society and you’re sure to find a dance partner at once. I don’t leave New York for the entire month of July since that is when Lincoln Center puts on its nightly outdoor dancing event Midsummer Night Swing. During the year there is dinner and nightly dancing to live swing music at Swing 46 supper club. I follow the gig schedule of the George Gee and Joe Battaglia swing bands and wherever they play, that’s where we go.” Lisa writes about Swing, Foxtrot, Salsa, Two Step and more and not just in New York City. So, you might want to keep an eye on her web site for the latest news.

Here’s some information from another Lisa, also from New York City. Lisa Keeney of 5W Public Relations works with dance professional and performer John Druzba who is hosting swing dancing classes in NYC.  Lisa explained that “these classes are designed to motivate everyone from fitness buffs to those uninspired by treadmills and yoga classes. The classes are hosted by Dance Craze Anywayz at Frames Bowling Lounge (http://framesnyc.com/) once a month and the cost is $10 per person.”

Lisa went on to explain that the mission of the dance classes is to “support dance environments that break social dance boundaries and emphasize fun over technique. Through organizational consultation and alliances, live music, instruction and public interaction we hope to re-merge partnered dancing with popular culture. Newly resolute fitness seekers can enjoy burning calories while learning how to dance in a pressure-free and enjoyable environment.”

My last tid bit for this column is about Aurora Black who calls herself the “Prima Ballerina of Burlesque. Aurora explained, “I’m a professional burlesque ballerina. I do burlesque while performing classical ballet en pointe, and I have regular shows throughout the city. I’m a rather new phenomenon in the dance world.  My next performance is Sunday, March 25th at 7 pm.  I’m performing at the Triskelion Arts Center in Williamsburg as a part of the WAXworks Series.  It’s a dance festival, not a burlesque show, so I will be the only solo, probably the only one en pointe, and definitely the only burlesque number as far as I know.  After this Sunday, I go to New Orleans from April 11-17th, but my next definite performance is at the TRASH party at Webster Hall on Friday, April 20th.  That one will be late at night.”

Here’s a bit more information about Aurora Black. She is a classically trained ballerina trained at Lou Conte Dance Studio and Ruth Page in Chicago. A freelance dancer and model, she ventured into the world of burlesque after her group number en pointe to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” lovingly named “Ballet School Dropouts, which garnered over 20,000 hits on YouTube in a couple short months. Aurora was inspired to create solo burlesque routines that included classical ballet choreography and were danced entirely en pointe. She has performed at many venues in NYC including The Delancey, Parkside Lounge, Casa Mezcal, Bowery Poetry Club, many private events, and also makes appearances in New Orleans and Chicago. In the burlesque and the dance world alike, Aurora’s work is refined, yet edgy. Her aesthetic is darkly beautiful, yet always maintains a sense of inexplicable grace and innocence characteristic of a true ballerina. For more information be sure to visit her web site: www.aurora-black.comand watch the YouTube videos.

So, there you have it; my very first NY Dancing Scene column. Now help me spread the word on your social media pages. Twitter me at  http://twitter.com/dianaderosa “like” me on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/diana.​derosa and if you know people who have dancing news to share be sure to have them contact me. – Diana de Rosa

Continue reading Dancing In New York City article at http://www.examiner.com/acting-in-new-york/dancing-new-york-city

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