BroadwayWorld.com: “Pace Performing Arts Presents DANCE OUT LOUD, 4/20-21”

Put on your dancing shoes this weekend and head to the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts to experience ballet, jazz, modern, theater dance, tap, contemporary, hip hop and aerial arts like you’ve never seen it before! BroadwayWorld reports that Pace is one of the only universities to offer aerial arts (dancing while suspended in air!).

BroadwayWorld.com highlights the third annual Dance Out Loud!

Pace Performing Arts presents “Dance Out Loud 2012,” conceived and directed by Rhonda Miller, director of Performing Arts’ Commercial Dance Program. The event stars more than 50 Performing Arts students, with a special appearance by Angelica Salem, Singing Artist/Pace Commercial Dance Student, who will perform her pop song, “We Rock the World.” Click here to watch a video. In addition, Pace faculty member Joshua Dean‘s “Dancing in Air,” a Pace First “Bad Boy” aerial number will be featured. Pace is one of the only universities to offer Aerial Arts.

WHEN: Friday, April 20th @ 8 pm, Saturday, April 21st @ 3 pm matinee and 8 pm.

WHERE: Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street (east of City Hall), New York, NY 10038. Directions: http://bit.ly/qxH0g3

TICKETS: $8 for students/seniors; $12 for adults at the door or reserve in advance by emailing theater@pace.edu.

Choreographers: Joshua Dean, Lauren Gaul, Jen Littlefield, Melissa Rae Mahon, Rhonda Miller, Alisa Paradowski, Stephanie Torbik; Costume Design: Brain Hemesath; Lighting Design: Graham Kindred; Stage Managers: Elizabeth Caplan & Melissa Leslie; Student Choreographers: Brandon Contreras, Madison Embrey, Steven Langton, Courtney Taylor, Brett Thiele, Ashley Williams.

PACE’s COMMERCIAL DANCE program is an exclusive blend of the highest quality of professional dance training and theater studies. Students prepare for an all-encompassing professional career on stage, television and commercials with training by current working professionals in Acting, Vocal Studies, Technical Theater and a variety of current, pertinent dance styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Theater Dance, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Aerial Arts.

Photo credit: Danicah Waldo

 

EVENT ADVISORY, PACE NYC CAMPUS, APRIL 20-21 – “Pace PERFORMING ARTS Presents Dance Out Loud 2012”

Pace Performing Arts presents Dance Out Loud 2012 with a Dancing in Air “Bad Boy” number (aerial arts) and Singing Artist/Pace Commercial Dance Student Angelica Salem performing her pop song “We Rock the World.” Friday, April 20th @ 8 pm, Saturday, April 21st @ 3 pm matinee and 8pm, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts.

Pace PERFORMING ARTS Presents … Dance Out Loud 2012

Conceived and Directed by RHONDA MILLER , Director of Performing Arts Commercial Dance Program

Starring Over 50 PERFORMING ARTS Students

Special Appearance

  • Angelica Salem, Singing Artist/Pace Commercial Dance Student who will perform her pop song, “We Rock the World”

Dancing in Air: A Pace FIRST

  • “Bad Boy” aerial number choreographed by Joshua Dean, Pace Faculty.  Pace is one of the only universities to offer Aerial Arts.

REHEARSAL VIDEO: Click here to preview a rehearsal!*  

WHEN: Friday, April 20th @ 8 pm, Saturday, April 21st @ 3 pm matinee and 8pm.

WHERE: Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street (east of City Hall), New York, NY 10038. Directions: http://bit.ly/qxH0g3

TICKETS: $8 for students/seniors; $12 for adults at the door or reserve in advance by emailing theater@pace.edu

MEDIA CONTACT: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu; 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172.

BEHIND THE SCENES TALENT: Choreographers: Joshua Dean, Lauren Gaul, Jen Littlefield, Melissa Rae Mahon, Rhonda Miller, Alisa Paradowski, Stephanie Torbik; Costume Design: Brian Hemesath; Lighting Design: Graham Kindred; Stage ManagersElizabeth Caplan & Melissa Leslie; Student Choreographers: Brandon Contreras, Madison Embrey, Steven Langton, Courtney Taylor, Brett Thiele, Ashley Williams.  

PACE’s COMMERCIAL DANCE program is an exclusive blend of the highest quality of professional dance training and theater studies. Students prepare for an all-encompassing professional career on stage, television and commercials with training by current working professionals in Acting, Vocal Studies, Technical Theater and a variety of current, pertinent dance styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Theater Dance, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Aerial Arts.

Still Photos Credit: Danicah Waldo.

* Video credit: Executive Editor Samantha Bassford and Rachel Wildner from PopTV.

The Hudson Independent: “Tarrytown Dancer Gets a Kick Being a Rockette”

Lauren Gaul, who teaches contemporary jazz as an adjunct faculty member at Pace University, feels blessed to be a Rockette at the renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

A year-round employee of Radio City Music Hall, Lauren Gaul performed in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Columbus Day Parade, the America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, the Amtrak Whistle Stop Tour, and others. As exciting for the dancers as it is for the audience, once their high-stepping season ends in January, she said to Janie Rosman for The Hudson Independent. “We are free to do other things.”

From The Hudson Independent story by Janie Rosman:

This past September, Gaul resumed teaching contemporary jazz at Pace University, specifically in its new degree program –a bachelor of arts in theater arts– with a specialized track in commercial dance.

Spearheaded by choreographer and dance lecturer Rhonda Miller, the program provides specialized training for dance careers in stage, television, and commercials in range and forms, including include ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop, among others.

“I wanted to have Lauren as an adjunct faculty member alongside me,” said Miller, who hired Gaul in 2007. “She has strong skills and brings a real working environment to the students.”

Gaul’s work as a dancer and choreographer was featured at venues including Broadway Dance Center Performance Outlet, the Bridge for Dance, Jazz Dance World Congress Choreography Event, and most recently at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow inside/out performance space. Additionally she helped choreograph industrials for Lady Footlocker, Sesame Street, Astra-Zeneca, and IZOD Kids, among others.

Which performers does she admire? “That’s a tough question,” she said initially, then a moment later, “Sylvie Guillem,” she said of the French ballet dancer formerly with the Paris Opera Ballet, now a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet of London, “and (the late actress and dancer) Gwen Verdon.”

And after the curtain closes on her last season with the Rockettes, whenever that time comes, Gaul will continue teaching dance. “We don’t say the word ‘retire,’” she said. “It’s my dream to help one or more of my students grace the pages of Playbill.”

Ergo her advice to young dancers, who, like the young girl growing up in Pennsylvania did, aspire to join the famous Radio City Music Hall troupe: “Work harder than anyone will ever push you in tap, jazz and ballet.”

Maybe one of her young protégés will join the renowned kick line some day.

BACKSTAGE: “A New College Program Trains Dancers to Work in Popular Entertainment”

According to Rhonda Miller, when she approached Pace with the idea of starting a commercial dance program, the administration was extremely excited because her concept dovetailed with the university’s mission to provide students with the kind of education that helps them to make a living.

Until recently, Oklahoma City University offered the only college dance program focusing on American vernacular dance forms, preparing students for work in the commercial dance industry—theme parks, cruise ships, Las Vegas shows, Broadway musicals, films, music videos, rock concert tours, and television. Now, OCU has company. In September, Pace University, in Lower Manhattan, kicked off a new degree program: a Bachelor of Arts in theater arts with a specialized track in commercial dance.
 
The program is the brainchild of the university’s director of dance, Rhonda Miller, founder and former co-owner of the Edge, one of Los Angeles’ leading commercial dance megastudios. Miller earned a BFA in ballet from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in musical theater from OCU, where she also served on the faculty.
 
“I was inspired years ago by Jo Rowan at Oklahoma City University, and now I want to bring a very current, up-to-the-minute, inclusive approach to the study of dance in college,” Miller explains in an article in BACKSTAGE. “In my 20 years of choreographing and teaching at dance conventions all over the country, I noticed that so many young dancers are exposed to the world of commercial dance growing up, and they aspire to dance behind pop stars, or perform on Broadway and in Vegas. Most universities, however, have only begun to even consider adding jazz and hip-hop and contemporary styles to their curriculum, much less the kinds of courses that would help students transition from their dance studio training into the commercial dance industry.”
 
According to Miller, when she approached Pace with the idea of starting a commercial dance program, the administration was extremely excited because her concept dovetailed with the university’s mission to provide students with the kind of education that helps them to make a living. “Originally, Pace was a business school,” Miller says. “And in our program, the students will be given a lot of commercial dance industry inside tips. They will be given information that is current, and they will know how to navigate themselves into the commercial industry when they graduate. They will be given exposure to and will be integrated into the professional dance scenes in both New York and Los Angeles through our faculty members, all of whom are working professionals.”
 
The program’s roster of regular faculty members represents the diversity of styles demanded of commercial dancers today and includes Radio City Music Hall Rockette Lauren Gaul; Broadway veteran Melissa Rae Mahon, who has danced in “The Producers” and “Cats” and is currently appearing in “Chicago” popular New York City Dance Alliance tap teacher Mike Schulster; aerialist Joshua Dean; hip-hop choreographer Alisa Paradowski; musical theater choreographer Jen Littlefield; and ballet textbook author Janice Barringer. In addition, though the university is in New York, Miller has wide-ranging connections in the professional dance community in L.A. and has arranged for many West Coast instructors to come and work as guest artists.
 
The program’s curriculum includes course work in acting, voice and movement, the technical aspects of theater (including lighting, sound, and acoustics), and the history of dance and American musical theater, in addition to classes in a variety of dance techniques and styles.
 
“The dance classes will include traditional training as well as exposure to all the fresh movements you see on television these days and behind all of the singing stars. Also, the business of dance will be very well covered,” Miller says. “What I say to dancers is, if you’re looking for career longevity, this is the program for you. It will give you the knowledge you need to transition through different phases of your career—from performance to choreography to, say, casting assistant or director. It provides a broad view of the industry that will give you a basis from which to build a long and sustained career in the commercial entertainment world.” In addition to a seminar course in which they will explore all aspects of the dance business, students will be encouraged to take advantage of Pace’s numerous business classes.
 
Miller sums up the program’s goal as “providing an understanding of the dance performing world as well as the business of entertainment.” The university’s performing arts department, under which this program falls, recently appointed a new chair. “His approach is industry-based—not just acting, not just singing, not just dancing,” says Miller with enthusiasm. “He wants our students to understand the whole industry, and that’s particularly important for dancers, whose performing careers are so short. That expanded knowledge base is what will give them career longevity.”
 
The program prepares dancers to work not just onstage but in all entertainment mediums, and while it is currently performance-oriented, in the future Miller plans to add training for commercial choreographers. In addition, the program’s students have permission to work professionally off-campus, pursue internships, and gain as much real-world experience as possible.
 
In selecting dancers for the program, which currently has 24 students, Miller is looking for performers who have had a minimum of five years of dance training in ballet or jazz. “They must be intermediate-level dancers, not beginners,” she says. “At the audition, they will be asked to do ballet, jazz, and possibly tap or hip-hop.” Dancers interested in applying to the program can find information about auditions (which will begin in January) at www.pace.edu.

Tarrytown’s Lauren Gaul is high-kicking her way to success as a Radio City Rockette | The Journal News | LoHud.com | LoHud.com

The Journal News ran a feature story on dance teacher Lauren Gaul fulfilling her dream of becoming a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. (Left: Lauren Gaul as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. / File/MSG).

The Journal News ran a feature story on dance teacher Lauren Gaul fulfilling her dream of becoming a Radio City Music Hall Rockette.

From The Journal News:

Like many young dancers, Lauren Gaul grew up dreaming of becoming a Rockette — even though she lived in Pennsylvania and had never seen the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City.

These days, she practically lives there.

With long hours of rehearsals and full days of dancing during the annual holiday run — which started Nov. 11 and goes through Jan. 2 — Gaul hardly has time for anything but the commute back and forth from her Tarrytown home.

Not that she’s complaining.

From the moment she tried out for the troupe in 2000, Gaul felt she was somehow meant to be a Rockette. The audition, she says, was quite rigorous. “I remember being nervous, but I was actually surprised at how well I felt that I did,” she says. “I really felt the material fit me, and it was something I could be successful at.”

The show, she says, continues to be a magical experience for performers and audiences, even after 79 years. This year, it will include live fireworks and 3D digital projections, plus all the old standards, including “The Living Nativity.”

While Gaul loves the hectic pace of the “Christmas Spectacular” — even with its seven costume changes each performance — she’s thankful for a wardrobe tweak that’s promising to make the popular “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” a little easier. “They used to have these dark soldier pants that were really stiff, and we practically had to get into them standing up,” she says.

The new pants are made of neoprene. “They’re going to be fabulous,” Gaul says.

Here are 10 things you may not know about Rockette Lauren Gaul.

1. She can communicate in sign language. Last summer, Gaul was a dance teacher and artist in residence at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, where she learned sign language after her classes. Gaul is also a professor in the dance program at Pace University in Manhattan.

2.Westchester is home to both Gaul and her parents — in different states, that is. “They live in West Chester, Pa., and I live in Westchester, N.Y.,” says Gaul. “Isn’t that funny?”

Read the full story here:

via Tarrytown’s Lauren Gaul is high-kicking her way to success as a Radio City Rockette | The Journal News | LoHud.com | LoHud.com.

DanceTeacher: “Keeping Pace with the Commercial World”

According to International Choreographer Rhonda Miller, who is spearheading Dyson’s new BA in Theater/Commercial Dance, “Being in New York City is a very important factor of our program — EVERY teacher on the faculty is currently working in the business.”

Starting this fall, Pace University is offering a program that caters exclusively to commercial dancers, providing specialized training for dance careers on the stage or silver screen, reports the September issue of DanceTeacher.  The BA in Theater/Commercial Dance program is the first of its kind in the nation, says Rhonda Miller, founder of L.A. dance studio The Edge, who is spearheading the audition-only program. “Pace is known for being a business school, so this blends right in with its philosophy,” she says.  Miller has been a full-time dance lecturer at Pace since 2008 and has been working with the university to create this degree for the past year. “The program teaches students how to make a living for themselves and how to develop themselves as a product,” she adds.

Classes include ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and dance history, focusing on keeping students both diverse and current. “Being in New York City is a very important factor of our program—every teacher on the faculty is currently working in the business,” says Miller, who will teach jazz, choreography, theater dance and tap. Other faculty include Mike Schulster (tap), Janice Barringer (ballet), Lauren Gaul (contemporary and jazz) and Joshua Dean (modern dance and ballet). 

Why should commercial dancers choose to pursue a college degree? “The key word is longevity,” says Miller. “The best way to sustain a career in dance for your whole life is to educate yourself.” 

Click here to learn more about performing arts at Pace.