by Jill Keating You know how when little kids get talking they always enter the “more than I need to know” zone? When I was pregnant and teaching 3- and 4-year-olds, there were always plenty of questions from them. I tried to answer in a delicate and appropriate way. One little girl said, “My mom can’t have babies anymore—she got her cords connected.” I said, “OK! Let’s do some pliés,” and moved on.Jill KeatingPointe Chautauqua DanceMayville, NY
by Natalie Harber I was teaching a musical-theater camp over the summer and one day I took two of the younger students to the bathroom. Both girls are 4 years old, and they left their stall doors open in order to engage me in conversation. One of the girls decided that she needed to educate me about the differences between boys and girls, so she told me all about how her daddy and brother have “wieners” and how they have to go to the bathroom standing up, but that girls have to sit down. She then told me how her…
I have been a dance teacher for more than 40 years and have run a dance studio for 35 years. But when I was a little girl, growing up first in the Harlem projects, then in the Bronx, I could never have imagined such a life for myself.
In my years as a teacher and studio owner, I have produced more than 27 year-end recitals and at least 16 full-length story ballets. If I have learned anything about the production part of the dance business, it is that it requires two important attributes: the ability to compromise and the ability to enjoy the humor in the things that can—and always will—go wrong.