TEACHING EVERDAY THIS WEEK IN PHILLY
As I mentioned earlier, a month ago I opened a new school here in Philadelphia. It is very much an interesting project to me.
The space was only offered to us around May 15th and the lease was signed for us to start June 1. Considering this is very late in the season and rather than compete with existing Mega-Schools, we decided to just open the doors and teach Ballet, as well as other classes. We were flooded with phone calls from students who unfortunately had already put down rather large sums for other area summer courses. We knew this would be an issue going into the space. But decided to just jump in headfirst.
We had asked originally if we could assume the space starting in September, giving us enough time to start a proper curriculum. However, former tenant (the Rebecca Davis Dance Company) feared potential efforts of it’s Board President, who had seemingly gone over to the dark side.
I should explain. Rebecca Davis is a pioneering woman who created a dance company about 5 years ago and established the studio space that we took over. She has dedicated her life and talents to creating dance works that have historic or literary significance. Oh, She is only 28 years old by the way.
So, Rebecca is now at The Carter Center (Former President, Jimmy Carter) getting her 2ndMaster degree in International Study and will return to Philadelphia to teach at our Summer Course while working an international project with teenage girls from Bosnia. She will continue her Company and pursue works in Rwanda, Bosnia, and globally.
Before this transfer of space, Rebecca asked me to take over her company so that she could pursue these very noble projects. Rebecca wanted to move on from having a dance company to a higher calling of working world wide and using dance as a tool to help make the world conscious and therefore help solve some of it’s problems.
Unfortunately, that was not to be. The President of her Board got inappropriately involved with some of the dancers in the company and collectively they proceeded to destroy everything Rebecca had worked for. The dancers were afraid that I would not hire them moving forward, and the board president was upset that Rebecca wanted to move on from having a dance company to doing something more. So, they moved forward with a smear campaign on the both of us. The Board as a whole ignored them, but the chaos did it’s damage.
And so, I would like to thank all these untalented and destructive people for reminding me of Mr. Balanchine’s quote, ‘Don’t need, don’t want “.
I have been in this art form and business all my life and individuals like this are the equivalent of people who have HIV and practice unsafe sex.
We should out them all, The Art form is too precious to be destroyed by selfish characters.
Meanwhile, it was wonderful to teach the eight professional and collegiate dancers who took class with me today.
The famous dancer and director, Bruce Marks and I had a wonderful discussion about this while hanging out in Jackson during the competition: his thought was “There are many who get involved with dance for all the wrong reasons. But then again, Karma is a bitch and time will always shield us from the dilatants.”
Off on a rather short trip next week, so more to come.
T B M