Coming Soon: Doctors Who Actually Get Dancers
Ever gone to the doctor and feel like they just don't "get it"? Dancers don't exactly live regular lives, and they don't have regular needs. So regular physicians don't always have the know-how to answer your questions or advise you in a way that makes sense within a dancer's lifestyle.
There's good news: Next month, The Actor's Fund and Mount Sinai are opening a doctor's office specifically for performers. The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts will offer primary and specialty care right in The Actor's Fund's building in New York City's Times Square.
Watch Wendy Whelan and other performers explain the benefits here.
Because it's catering to performing artists, the center will have extended hours that accommodate dancers' abnormal schedules. It will also be flexible enough to handle the many health insurance changes that freelancers and Broadway performers often have to deal with. (This comes as especially welcome news since the current political climate has left so many dancers uncertain about what sort of coverage they'll have in the future.)
This is just the latest offering from The Actor's Fund. While visiting the building, you can also get personalized health insurance counseling to figure out your best options and how to enroll. You can go to a Dancers' Resource support group if you're struggling with an injury, get advice from Career Transition for Dancers, speak with a financial counselor, and take advantage of the many benefits The Actor's Fund offers dancers. Don't be fooled by its name—anyone in the performing arts qualifies.
Most people may know Derek Dunn for his impeccable turns and alluring onstage charisma. But the Boston Ballet principal dancer is just as charming offstage, whether he's playing with his 3-year-old miniature labradoodle or working in the studio. Dance Magazine recently spent the day with Dunn as he prepared for his debut as Albrecht in the company's upcoming run of Giselle.
You know compelling musicality when you see it. But how do you cultivate it? It's not as elusive as it might seem. Musicality, like any facet of dance, can be developed and honed over time—with dedicated, detailed practice. At its most fundamental, it's "respect for the music, that this is your partner," says Kate Linsley, academy principal of the School of Nashville Ballet.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Notable dancer and beloved teacher, Ross Parkes, 79, passed away on August 5, 2019 in New York City. He was a founding faculty member at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, where he taught from 1984 to 2006. Lin Hwai-min, artistic director of Cloud Gate Dance Theater, said: "He nurtured two generations of dancers in Taiwan, and his legacy will continue."
About his dancing, Tonia Shimin, professor emerita at UC Santa Barbara and producer of Mary Anthony: A Life in Modern Dance, said this: "He was an exquisite, eloquent dancer who inhabited his roles completely."