Dance Spirit Magazine: “Pace’s New Commercial Dance Major”

Spearheaded by International Choreographer Rhonda Miller, Pace’s new Commercial Dance program offers specialized training for dance careers in stage, television and commercials in a wide range of styles and forms including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop … and more!

Calling all comp kids! This fall, Pace University in NYC is launching a new commercial dance program designed to train dancers who want to work professionally on both coasts.  In the September/Higher Ed issue of Dance Spirit Magazine, Rhonda Miller, Pace’s director of dance, says her experience as a teacher on the convention circuit helped her to see the need for this program. “Most college dance programs are ballet- or modern-based,” she says. “While those are of the utmost importance, I still find that many of the studio-trained students I meet are frustrated because they can’t continue focusing on the styles they grew up studying.”

Courtney Taylor, a senior acting major at Pace, plans to add a second major in commercial dance this fall. 
She feels that the new program will help her to become a more well-rounded performer. “Rhonda’s philosophy has to do with the fact that she wants dancers to be able to work and get paid for their art,” Courtney says. “I think that’s something many other college programs just brush over.”

Dancers in the program will take all of the academic classes required to earn a liberal arts degree, along with a variety of technique classes, including ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop, tap and theater dance. Students will also attend regular seminars designed to help them develop the practical skills they need to survive in the industry—everything from working on-camera to editing music and creating resumés.

BroadwayWorld: “Pace University Announces COMMERCIAL DANCE Program; Applications Accepted Now”

One of the most sought-after choreographers and dance lecturers from coast to coast, Rhonda Miller (pictured), has been tapped to spearhead Pace University’s new Commercial Dance program, the first of its kind in the country.

Pace’s new Commercial Dance program – featured prominently in a two-page article on BroadwayWorld.com  – will provide specialized training for dance careers in stage, television, and commercials in a wide range of styles and forms including ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop, to name a few. 

For further information on How to Apply and Audition, visit www.pace.edu/performingarts or call 212-346-1352.

NEWS RELEASE: “Pace Announces Nation’s New University-Based COMMERCIAL DANCE Program; Applications Being Accepted for Fall 2011”

“In talking with young dancers around the U.S., I became aware that the one thing that was missing from university dance programs was training in commercially-viable dance styles that would bridge the gap between classical training and the real world of commercial dance,” said International Choreographer Rhonda Miller. “I became excited at the possibility of creating such a program right here in one of the entertainment capitals of the world, New York City. How exciting for all dancers who attend Pace! I truly look forward to the continual growth in excitement for dance at Pace University.”

Pace Media Relations Contact: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pace University Offers COMMERCIAL DANCE Program, Spearheaded by World-Renowned Choreographer Rhonda Miller

NEW YORK, NY, June 21, 2011 — One of the most sought-after choreographers and dance lecturers from coast to coast, Rhonda Miller, has been tapped to spearhead Pace University’s new Commercial Dance program.

The program provides specialized training for dance careers in stage, television, and commercials in a wide range of styles and forms including ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop, to name a few. The program will also include two required dance history courses. It was developed in response to both student and industry demand and will be offered starting Fall 2011. 

“As far as we know it is the only state-approved, university-based commercial dance training program in the country, which means that we are training students for all media, not just the stage,” said Grant Kretchik, Director of the university’s BFA Acting program. 

“It really complements our programs in musical theater, acting, technical theater and directing,” said Nira Herrmann, Dean of Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, which houses the Performing Arts Department at Pace. “Additionally it represents our continued growth and innovation in developing arts programs in Downtown New York.” 

Professor Miller has been teaching dance classes at Pace University for three years as a lecturer and created the successful showcase, “Dance Out Loud!” which just wrapped its second year. 

“I love working with her. She is unarguably a great addition to this department and program. What is amazing about her is that she is tough; she demands a lot from her students – and they respond to her. She really inspires them not just to have great technical form but also to believe in themselves as dancers. She just wants to constantly raise the bar and they respond. … The dance program is hot right now,” said Kretchik. 

Miller became a full-time dance lecturer at Pace University in 2008. 

“In talking with young dancers around the U.S., I became aware that the one thing that was missing from university dance programs was training in commercially-viable dance styles that would bridge the gap between classical training and the real world of commercial dance,” said Miller. “I became excited at the possibility of creating such a program right here in one of the entertainment capitals of the world, New York City. How exciting for all dancers who attend Pace! I truly look forward to the continual growth in excitement for dance at Pace University.” 

For information on how to Apply and Audition for Pace’s new Commercial Dance program, visit www.pace.edu/performingarts  or call 212-346-1352.

About Rhonda Miller

Rhonda Miller was a founder and co-owner of L.A.’s premiere dance studio, The Edge, and was the leader of its convention business, L.A. DanceForce, for many years. She has been one of the most sought-after choreographer/dance instructors in the U.S. dance convention industry, teaching for New York City Dance Alliance, Tremaine, Dance Masters of America, Dance Makers and individual studios around the U.S. and Canada. 

Miller holds a BFA from the University of Utah and an MPA from Oklahoma City University. She has been a guest lecture/master teacher and choreographer for Dean College, Cornish College, Bellevue College and Oklahoma City University. Her professional choreography credits cover all aspects of dance on Broadway, Television and Film.  After relocating to New York, Rhonda’s work caught the eye of Broadway director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who included her on his team for the renowned Broadway Bares. Stage credits are Nothing Like A Dame at the Marquis Theater in New York City, ABC Daytime Salutes at Town Hall; All Shook Up, CHICAGO, City of Angels, RENT, A Christmas Carol and The Wild Party. Off Broadway credits include Have a Nice Life, Austentatious, Gemini, The Musical and Common Grounds for which she won a NYMF Outstanding Choreography Award. Television credits include General Hospital, The Boys for HBO; It’s Garry Shandling’s Show for HBO. Rhonda’s work has also been seen in commercials and industrials for such Fortune 500 companies as Chrysler, Toys R Us, Warner Brothers, Exxon-Mobil Apple Computers. Recently she was stage director for NICKELODEON UPFRONTS, and worked with CATHERINE ZETA JONES on the AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE Awards. She is also in development for a new Broadway Dance Project, Eve’s Turn. 

About Performing Arts at Pace University

Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences offers Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Acting and Musical Theater and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts with specialized focuses in Acting, Commercial Dance, Directing or Design/Technical Theater.  For more information, visit www.pace.edu/dyson/performingarts 

At the graduate level, Dyson College is also home to The Actors Studio Drama School offering the only MFA theater program officially sanctioned by The Actors Studio. The entire faculty is chosen and approved – and the curriculum is designed and supervised – jointly by the leadership of The Actors Studio through its Curriculum Advisory Committee, including the Presidents of The Actors Studio, Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino and Dyson College. All students — actors, directors, playwrights – train side-by-side as actors.  All students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series, “Inside the Actors Studio,” hosted by James Lipton.  For further information about the program, go to www.pace.edu/actorsstudiomfa 

About Pace University

For 105 years, Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

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