Across the Floor

April 27, 2009

Hats Off to BDC

One afternoon in the early 1980s, businessman and Broadway-lover Richard Ellner went to the Hines-Hatchett dance studio––co-owned by Frank Hatchett and Maurice Hines––to take a jazz class. Ellner was so impressed by the small midtown operation that in 1984 he assumed ownership of Hines-Hatchett, renaming it Broadway Dance Center. Together, Ellner, Hatchett, and Hines hoped to create a world-class training institution—a second home for NYC dancers.


Twenty-five years later, with a student base of more than 30,000 and a new state-of-the-art facility in Times Square, BDC has become just that. “We faced many challenges starting out,” says exec­utive director Diane King. “But through it all we’ve stayed focused on our mission: to provide great dance education.”


This month, the studio celebrates its milestone with a week of raffles, prizes, and discounts, including a day of classes priced at 1984 rates. The events culminate May 5 at Manhattan’s Grand Ballroom with a ceremony honoring Ellner, Hatchett, and all who have made BDC’s success possible. —Margaret Fuhrer

Remembering Doris Rudko

In February, members of the dance community gathered at the Chen Dance Center in NYC to honor their mentor, fellow artist, and friend Doris Rudko. A petite woman with a large spirit and vision, Rudko served on the faculty of NYC’s High School for the Performing Arts from 1949–1963 and of Juilliard from 1969–1992. She died last October.

Rudko was legendary for her composition classes, which grew out of her close working relationship with Louis Horst. During the memorial, a studio at the Chen Center was dedicated in her name. Former students––who include Robert Battle, H.T. Chen, and Susan Marshall­­––recalled her tremendous energy in the classroom, her imperative to “bite the space,” and “the twinkle in her eye.”  —Laura Glenn