How Broadway Dance Center’s Online Options Can Broaden Your Dance Horizons

July 1, 2020

2020 may not be the year you make it to NYC to study with your dance idols face to face, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your summer dance dreams. Broadway Dance Center, a top training destination for professionals and students since 1984, is currently offering more than 75 online open classes every week, and on July 13th, the studio will launch its first-ever online summer program. Whether you’re looking for drop-in classes to supplement what you’re getting at your home studio or you want a structured summer course that will take your training to the next level, BDC is here for you.

Open Classes from the Pros

“BDC is the biggest commercial dance studio in NYC, and it has the most skilled teachers in that demographic,” says hip-hop instructor AntBoogie, who’s been with the studio for 20 years. Whether you’re a beginner, an aspiring pro, or a working dancer trying to stay at the top of your game, there’s a class on the online schedule that’s right for you. Take your pick from jazz, theater, contemporary, tap, ballet, street styles, and more.

Expect to be pushed hard. “I teach online just like I teach in the studio. I’m not changing a thing,” says longtime jazz faculty member Sheila Barker. “I’m going to help you grow and make sure you’re dancing from the heart, because that’s what BDC is about.”

BDC Training Program student Brianna Rivera (Jayna Photography, courtesy BDC)

Aside from polishing your technique and artistry, you can use online classes to connect with industry movers and shakers. “Many of BDC’s teachers work in the field as performers and choreographers,” says Ellenore Scott, who’s been teaching contemporary jazz at the studio since 2011 and most recently choreographed the off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors, now planned for 2021. “It’s so beneficial for students to network with those people. And for young professionals—they could get you your next job!”

While BDC is an NYC institution, the shift to virtual classes has allowed the studio to stretch beyond the Big Apple. Summer guest teachers so far have included Kathryn Burns, Emmy-winning choreographer of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (teaching from L.A.); Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, choreographer of SIX the Musical (teaching from London); Jenny Laroche, associate choreographer for SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical (teaching from Florida); and Brian and Scott Nicholson, creative directors, choreographers, and performers for Ariana Grande (also based in L.A.). The Nicholsons recently taught a tour choreography class as well as a street jazz master class, and another tour choreo session is in the works. “We focus on performance,” Brian Nicholson says. “We give prompts so people can imagine the audience and dance as if they’re on an arena stage. People need to be refining their stage skills even during this quarantine time.”

BDC Training Program student Maya Walker (Jayna Photography, courtesy BDC)

A New Kind of Intensive

Applications are due July 8th for BDC’s four-week online summer program (for ages 18–35) and two-week junior programs (for ages 10–18). In the adult program, you’ll choose a track—contemporary, theater or street dance—and work with a faculty mentor and staff advisor to craft a schedule of seven weekly classes from the livestream offerings. “We’ll give you tips on navigating our teachers and classes in a way that makes sense for what you’re hoping to gain,” says Emily Collin, BDC’s director of educational programs. You’ll also have a weekly master class or seminar that’s only open to summer program enrollees. Planned seminar topics include navigating the NYC dance industry and doing self-taped auditions.

The junior program runs similarly, but with a more curated class schedule. You’ll choose a focus and take 10 classes a week: four within your concentration, two outside of it, two ballet, one master class, and one seminar. For all ages, the idea is that the intensive can be personalized to your training needs and your schedule. For instance, if you have a summer job with set hours or you live in a different time zone (or country!), your advisor can take those considerations into account to ensure you still get a well-rounded summer program experience.

You’ll check in with your faculty mentor one-on-one to go over specific goals and receive direct feedback. Small group mentoring sessions, meanwhile, “will offer a chance to meet other people in the program, share goals and struggles, and build community,” Collin says. “Taking class online, it’s easy to feel alone. We want you to feel connected.”

BDC Training Program student Sai Nodboon (Jayna Photography, courtesy BDC)

Why BDC?

“This is a great time to dive deep into learning,” Nicholson says. “There are fewer distractions. You have time to think and explore.” A trusted school like BDC, with its diverse teaching roster of former and current professionals who are also committed educators, can give you the guidance you need. “Everyone at BDC really cares about the art,” Nicholson says. “It’s more than training the body.”

Thanks to BDC’s wide selection of drop-in classes and the flexibility of the online intensive, this summer you don’t have to be in NYC to dance like you’re there. “If you’ve never been able to study with us face to face, now’s the moment,” Barker says. “BDC is here, doing what we do best. We’ll give you a great class.”