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.
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.
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.
You will want to put on your dancing shoes when you see the mix of jazz, tap, ballet, modern, contemporary and hip hop dance being performed on the Schimmel Theater stage on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30.
“Choreographer to the Stars” Rhonda Miller and Pace Performing Arts present the 2nd annual “DANCE OUT LOUD!”
Click here to preview a rehearsal!
WHEN: Friday, April 29th and Saturday, April 30th with a 2pm matinee and 8pm show both days.
WHERE: Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, located in Lower Manhattan at One Pace Plaza (just east of City Hall), New York, NY 10038. Use the Spruce Street entrance between Gold Street and Park Row.
TICKETS: Tickets are $8 for students/seniors and $12 for adults and can be purchased at the door or ahead of time by emailing email@example.com for reservations.