Balanchine Comes Alive in the Classroom

This past January at DEL, students had the extraordinary experience of learning about Balanchine and dance education from experts Tina Curran and Heather Watts with Damian Woetzel and Deborah Wingert.  The workshop brought Balanchine himself back to life – you could feel him in the room – and the students learned how to pass on the living legacy of Mr. Balanchine in their own classrooms.

This workshop was life-changing for so many. Yvette Caraballo, a NYC PS dance teacher, whose background is primarily hip hop, said: “Taking this course was one of the most wonderful and rewarding experiences I have ever had. […] I am now looking at ballet as a real possibility for the students I teach as well as myself. They too, like me have little to no background experience in the art form, but if there is one major thing I discovered about him through one of his principle dancers, Heather Watts, is that he would want us to try and work fearlessly.”

Lanette Ålvarez, another student from the weekend who is currently enrolled in the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College said: “The workshop helped me to understand Balanchine’s work through his life, the historical period, the places he had been, world events, and more. […] I have experienced the beauty of his work as an audience member at Lincoln Center, and now I know through this workshop experience, what it feels like to embody and express that emotive masterful first act. I learned the entrance of Serenade! A dream come true and an honor to say the least, which I can share proudly with my students.”

Watch DEL’s highlight video of the workshop – it captures the essence of the weekend and makes you want to jump up and dance.