Friday, June 28, 2013

NYC Dance Week feat. Jazz & More! Meet Faculty Shelly Hutchinson

"These last couple of years, what's inspired me most as a choreographer and instructor, are classic comeback stories and the human spirit. These tales of tenacity and resilience consistently renew my creativity." - Shelly Hutchinson

Shelly and son, who's already learning to dance ;)

With her 18-month old son in her lap and students from Wednesday's Adult Beginner Jazz class exiting the room and showering her with compliments on a fun learning experience, Shelly Hutchinson is an energetic artist who clearly has also mastered the art of multitasking. Shelly teaches Jazz at Peridance, and is one of the all-encompassing dance studio's roster of talented faculty.

"I began choreographing when I was four years old!" she beamed, trying to put into words how important dance is to her. Shelly explained how she loves teaching beginner's classes and instilling students with the basics and fundamentals of movement. It was almost as if it was her way of bringing sunshine into the world, "I just love putting that out there!" Shelly said.

When considering which dance class is right for you, she advised, "You can never go wrong with a basic or slower-paced class. Though, at the same time, you shouldn't be afraid to push yourself to the next level."

Not only has Shelly pushed herself to new heights, she's working hard to mold, shape and mentor young dancers. Her workshops "Uncovered Choreographers" aims at helping 13-25 year-old dancers discover their unique artistic voices and choreographic styles. The program is also open to established professionals and offers to help them channel and reconnect to "sources of creativity," she adds.

As we wrapped up our brief conversation, Shelly insisted, "The best teacher is the best student." So whether barely beginning or very advanced, the classroom is productive place for all!

Interested in trying a new style? Peridance has several to choose from, see our NYC Dance Week promotions to get started.

We have two more free classes today, Friday June 28th!

Advanced Beginner Ballet with Jamie Salmon 5:30-7:00pm
Open Zumba Workshop with Sifa 6:30-8:00pm

Be sure to register to take advantage of the NYC Dance Week offer:

Interview by Judi Huck

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ballet: Good for the Mind, Good for the Body - Instructor Kathy Sullivan

"Rely on what you know already--music, yoga, Hip Hop… Ballet is just a different language of moving to music." -- Kathy Sullivan

Peridance Capezio Center has a world-renowned faculty of nearly 100 instructors. We sat down with ballet instructor Kathy Sullivan, leading one of our popular Adult Beginner classes, now on promotion with NYC Dance Week.

Photos by Judi Huck, PR + Design at Peridance Capezio Center
For students who come to my class after years of being away from dance or ballet, they usually find themselves pleasantly surprised as to how quickly it comes back to them!  Muscle memory is amazing! One student, for instance, had not taken ballet in quite a while, but once in the class, their reaction was "Omg, there it is!"

For others who are just beginning, I notice a lot of folks who have been curious about taking ballet or dance for some time. They just never had to the opportunity to take a class. This applies to guys, especially! I have a great deal of respect for absolute beginner students, for trying something new and stepping outside of their comfort zone. That takes a lot of guts!!

Regardless of whether a student is getting back in the swing of things or trying ballet for the first time, I always put myself in their shoes and am as patient and understanding as I can be. Honestly, I really like teaching the “foundation” level classes, where you truly have to *teach* and break down the technique. I find that aspect immensely rewarding.
Kathy helping a beginning ballet student with a "retire"
No one should feel awkward from any lack of experience. All of us have to start somewhere. You can't give birth to a perfect pirouette, it takes time to develop and requires practice and persistence. The adult students I work with are always hardworking and intelligent; they also learn very quickly.

We address beginner anxiety and shyness by keeping the class atmosphere fun and light-hearted. To help students feel comfortable with their body image, I say that the mirror is a visual tool to help see the ballet form and line, not for criticizing ourselves.

Ballet Attire for Newbies

In terms of what to wear, ballet slippers are ideal but socks are OK to start. In general, it's best to dress in comfortable exercise clothing (but no exposed midriffs) to allow the teacher to see your alignment and posture.

I find with adults dancers, it becomes more than a classroom experience. Like yoga, ballet has a calming, centering effect, and provides a very satisfying feeling after you finish class. It is a great way to start the day and carries over to your entire life!

NYC Dance Week students in "cambre de cote"
Kathy currently teaches: 

 Beginner Level

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:45-10:00am

In addition to teaching at Peridance and other studios, she is the creator of The Ballet Glider:

Have a question for Kathy? Tell us in the comments!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Things You Should Know: Peridance's 30-Year History

photo Karli Cadel


1983: Peridance Center, now Peridance Capezio Center, opens its doors on 18th Street, downtown New York.

1984: Peridance Ensemble is founded, now known as Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (PCDC).

1983‐1984: Peridance acquires the Carnegie Hall based International Dance School. Peridance establishes an International Student Program and a Scholarship Program.

1984: Peridance launches a Studio Theater Series, now known as Faculty and Student Showcases.

1985: Children’s Program’s first semester – then called the PeriChild Program, now The School at Peridance. PCDC receives its first New York Times review.

1986: PCDC debuts performances at The Joyce Theater in New York.

1985‐1995: PCDC tours to Korea, Alaska and Italy.

1991: Peridance Center relocates to a new home on 4th Avenue and 13th Street.

Early 1990’s: Peridance pioneers the offering of open Hip Hop and Street Dance classes.

1992: Peridance establishes a Summer Intensive program, featuring an international roster of master teachers and choreographers.

1993: First year-­end recital of the PeriChild Program at the Pace University theater.

2000: Peridance pioneers a full Bournonville Intensive with master teachers from the Royal Danish Ballet.

2004‐2005: The Limon School finds a home at Peridance Center.

2006‐2007: Peridance establishes a unique partnership with Capezio/Ballet Makers, and construction begins for a new home.

2009: Peridance begins hosting a full New York Style Salsa program, together with Baila Society.

2009: Djoniba Dance Centre finds a home at Peridance.

2010: Peridance Capezio Center celebrates the Grand Opening of its new location, a landmark building on 13th Street.

2011: The Salvatore Capezio Theater is established, and the Certificate Program is launched.

2012: Grand opening of the Salvatore Capezio Theater, and launch of APAP Showcases at Salvatore Capezio Theater. Blueprint Summer Intensive is launched.

Peridance Capezio Center's rich history and 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration live on in its Facebook fan page.

Don't miss out on your last chance to receive 30% off ALL Peridance Capezio Center Merchandise, in honor of the 30-year milestone. Visit the Cafe now through June 30, 2013, while supplies last!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Quick Q's with Faculty Member Breton Tyner-Bryan

What made you decide to pursue dance professionally?

Enough people told me not to :) -- Breton Tyner-Bryan

photo Steven Trumon Gray

I think my heart would jump out of my chest and run away, if I were not to dance. When I was 8 years old I got to perform for the first time in a huge opera house. I didn't want to leave the stage, I think I actually stayed beyond my cues. I knew then that I wanted to feel that way for the rest of my life....

To me dance is a science, a brilliant language where beauty and function meet. In a studio, on a stage, it's the one place where I can truly express all facets of myself. I don't think I would get out of bed in the morning for anything else.

Why New York?
I love the rush and hustle of NYC. At this point in my career I really wanted and needed to be around artist that value dance as much as I do. I feel that everyone in NYC is passionately pursuing their area of expertise. I love being around that energy.
photo Afshin Odabaee

What made you decide to teach the Peridance Certificate Program?
I enjoy teaching dancers of all ages and levels, but truly love working with dancers on the cusp of their professional careers. I feel I have a lot to offer because I am still performing, and not that far from what my students are experiencing.

Any advice for the graduating seniors?
No one can stop you from being amazing. Enjoy being truly who you are, there is much power there. BE YOURSELF.

Aside from dancing, what do you enjoy doing?
I'm a type A workaholic, but I have a lot of interests outside of dance. I like to paint and sew, I'm always learning new languages. I want to fly planes one day, I love to sail and be on the water. I'm a very visual person, and appreciate anything with design.

The above interview of Peridance Certificate Program instructor is by Tina Wang, graduate of the Certificate Program Ballet/Contemporary Track, Class of 2013.

Scholarship auditions for the Certificate Program are this weekend! Learn more below, and encourage a friend to apply!

Annual Certificate Program Scholarship Audition


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gearing Up for NYC Dance Week June 20-29, 2013

We're partnering with NYC Dance Week, organized to promote dance diversity and provide free dance and fitness lessons to the NYC community.

New Students Free with Registration

Tuesday, June 25th 
Beginner Ballet with Kathy Sullivan 8:45am 
Beginner Tap with Karin Rendelman 11:30am

Wednesday, June 26th
Beginner Jazz with Shelly Hutchinson 9:30am
Open Zumba with Leo Arpon 6pm

Friday, June 28th 
Advanced Beginner Ballet with Jamie Salmon 5:30pm
Open Zumba Workshop with Sifa 6:30pm

Sign up here to Take Free Classes:

Visit the Dance Week website for more information and the festival's performance/showcase opportunities for emerging dance entities. 

Lovely Peridance staff members in durable, zip front hoodies
Peridance is also pleased to offer the following great discounts, in honor of NYC Dance Week.
  • 1 FREE class with the purchase of a 10-Class Card *for new students only
  • 2 FREE class with the purchase of a 20-Class Card *for new students only
  • 10% off ALL Peridance Capezio Center Merchandise
We've got tanks in two colors, four types of t-shirts, hoodies (as pictured above--and small pink ones for the little ballerina in your life), pants and shorts. Act fast, discount available while supplies last!

Interested in a class, but not able to attend our free NYC Dance Week offerings? See our full list of Open Classes at Peridance.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our thanks to our 30th Anniversary Gala Partners!

A few words from our partners...

"It is an honor to partner with Peridance Capezio Center and be a part of of their 30th Anniversary Celebration. I have been a friend of Igal Perry since the studios  were on 18th Street,  where I taught Ballet, Jazz and African dance classes.  Throughout the years, we've mutually admired and respected each other. I congratulate Igal, wish Peridance a Happy 30th Anniversary, and thank everyone at the Center for their continued dedication and work in the world of dance." - Djoniba Dance Centre

"The Limón School and Company are proud to be a part of this 30th Anniversary celebration.  Throughout our 20-year partnership with Peridance Capezio Center, we have offered an in-depth program of classes and workshops in the Limón Technique to dancers who are drawn here from around the world.  We congratulate Peridance for 30 years of commitment to quality dance training, and look forward to the next 30 years!" - JOSÉ LIMÓN DANCE FOUNDATION

"We are proud to partner with the Peridance Capezio Center to unite the salsa community with the concert dance world. Together, we look forward to supporting diversity in dance and culture by passing on salsa's rich history and by ensuring its future on dance floors and stages everywhere." - Baila Society

Peridance Capezio Center would also like to thank our media partners at DancePlug for the 30th Anniversary Gala Contest. Our congrats to the Contest winners, who each won a pair of tickets to the Gala:
- Dana Marie
- Mikelle Rindflish

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night. Seats are almost gone, get your tickets now!

And don't miss your last chance to enter our Gala Giveaway, enter for a chance to win today!

What Peridance means to long-time friend Deborah Damast

"Peridance gives you wings." - Deborah Damast

Deborah Damast is a long-time friend of Peridance. We asked her to share her views on, "What does Peridance mean to you?" Below are her thoughts. 
Peridance Capezio Center is different from other studios I've worked with because of its unique sense of community. At its core, Peridance is a place of professionalism and integrity, where aspiring artists and professionals put their dreams into practice.

Peridance has given me immense opportunities to explore dancing, teaching and choreography. I first became involved when I was offered a scholarship. Soon after completing the program, I began teaching, with a small, first class of about 35 students. I've seen the young dancers I worked with blossom into strong, young adults. A student from one of my earliest classes, actually, went on to study dance and graduate at my alma mater, Purchase College!

Yet, even for students who don't become professional dancers, Peridance is a place to gain life skills like self-reliance, discipline, confidence and teamwork.

Since I've been involved with Peridance, it's been supportive of numerous viewpoints. Still, one vision -- that of the founder Igal Perry -- remains. This vision is inclusive of many voices, incorporates diversity and every style of dance/genre. It is a safe and encouraging environment for all people to strive for excellence, achieve their best and really develop as artists. As an instructor, I've also had the privilege of making life-long friends through Peridance...

To me, Peridance has always been an all-encompassing home and family for dancers, teachers and choreographers from various disciplines, and artists from around the world. Its undergone enormous growth throughout the years and its identity, which has been so well grounded, remains intact. Today, I'm proud Peridance is the same non-competitive, nurturing environment I entered as an young, emerging professional, 25 years ago.

DEBORAH DAMAST (MA, Dance Education-NYU:  BFA, Dance-SUNY Purchase, DEL certification) Deborah is the Artistic Advisor of the Dance Education Program at NYU Steinhardt and Master Teacher  of technique, pedagogy, production, and choreography courses. At NYU she is also Artistic Director of Dance Concerts, the Uganda study abroad program, and of Kaleidoscope Dancers. She has collaborated in many motion pictures and several internet projects. Deborah also teaches early childhood and middle school dance at LREI, and has been on the faculty of Peridance children’s and adult programs, 92nd St. Y, New York City Ballet, The Yard, and others, and has conducted outreach workshops with the Dance in Education Fund, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the 92nd Street, and NYU. Deborah's choreography has been shown in numerous venues in NYC including the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Riverside Church, Symphony Space, World Financial Center, Peridance, the Cunningham studio, 92nd Street Y, Judson Church, St. Marks Church, and internationally in Italy, Japan, Korea, and Uganda. She continues to show her choreography in NYC and abroad.  Deborah is proud to be affiliated with Peridance since 1988 and to have had the opportunity to study with, learn from, and dance with Igal Perry.

Your turn! Tell us in the comments, "What does Peridance mean to you?

You can still enter to win our Gala Giveaway on Twitter, or by visiting Peridance Capezio Center. Select tickets are still available to the 30th Anniversary Gala, join us!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Meet newest Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Member: Jason Collins

Meet latest company member, Jason Collins!

Originally from Defreestville, New York, Jason attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts and recently graduated from The Juilliard School where he earned his BFA.  He has also studied at Springboard Danse Montreal and Nederlands Dans Theater’s: Maximum Dance Course. Jason has been honored to perform works by Maurice Béjart, Nacho Duato, Eliot Feld, William Forsythe, José Limón, Ohad Naharin, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, and Pam Tanowitz.  In 2012, Jason had the pleasure of performing in New York City Center’s: Fall For Dance Festival with Pam Tanowitz and Lincoln Center Festival with Paris Opera Ballet. Jason is thrilled to be a part of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company.

Check out his interview below, in the fashion of fellow Company members.

Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Member: Jason Collins  

A list of your favorite things (as many as you can think of):
•    Dancing
•    Music
•    Choreographing
•    Movies
•    Sunday Mornings
•    Buffalo Chicken Pizza
•    Cooking
•    Traveling

What is your first memory of performing?
When I was in preschool I was a part of a presentation of the Mexican hat dance.  All I can remember is dancing to my heart's content in a circle around a sombrero on the floor.

What is your favorite snack?
-    ice cream

What song is most played on your iPod?
-    “Cosmic Love” by Florence + The Machine

Where do you go/what do you do in New York when you have a day off?
When I have a day off I love to go out and explore.  One of the main reasons I love New York is because there is always something new to experience. Whether it’s a new show, art exhibition, coffee shop, film, park, you name it; New York is a huge playground.

Do you have any quotes/ words that you live by?
“Consider everything an experiment.” – John Cage

What is your favorite thing about Peridance Contemporary Dance Company?
I truly enjoy the family-like dynamic of PCDC.  Being a new company member, I have been so generously welcomed by everyone and could not be more pleased to have joined a group of such talented artists.

What are you most excited for this summer with PCDC?
I am most excited for PCDC’s tour to Italy and Israel this July!  I have never been to either country and I’m so thrilled to be performing abroad.

Stay tuned on all things PCDC, like their latest performance at the HOWL Festival (pictured below), on their official PCDC fan page on Facebook.

photo Darial Sneed

Have a question of your own for Jason? Tell us in the comments!