We are incredibly proud of our Tap Teacher, Miss Laura, who attended one of America’s most prestigious training centers, Jacob’s Pillow. Through her immersive experience, she refined her technique, artistic development and brought back tools to transform her teaching.
Jacob’s Pillow has been described as pivotal, immersive, creative, and inquisitive. In fact, their mission statement is “to support dance creation, presentation, education, and preservation; and to engage and deepen public appreciation and support for dance.” When we learned that one of our instructors, Miss Laura, was spending her summer at Jacob’s Pillow Professional Advancement Programs, we wanted all the details. This is a little bit about her experience and a day in the life at Jacob’s Pillow.
“This summer I was honoured to be accepted into the School of Jacob’s Pillow 2021 Tap Dance Performance Ensemble. Only 11 dancers from around the world were accepted into this program where we lived on campus, immersed in dance all day, every day for two weeks.
Jacob’s Pillow is America’s longest-running dance festival located in the heart of the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts. In the daytime, I was in the studio studying with the directors Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia and Derick Grant, three of the most influential important tap dance artists of this generation; they taught technique classes, set choreography on us and facilitated improv classes all while mentoring each and every student along the way. Jason Samuels Smith and LaTasha Barnes were also a part of the faculty, and we took classes from them as well. After the 4 classes and dinner time, we attended career discussions with alumni of the school, and attended festival performances. I got to see Dallas Black Ballet Theatre and LaTasha Barnes’ Jazz Continuum, both absolutely amazing! When we had “free time” we were jamming or practicing … a lot!!! We also got to spend time in the archives, a library filled to the brim with dance history to do personal research. We also performed each week to the school’s supporters, company directors and a worldwide streamed audience!
This experience was once in a lifetime, and it has helped me improve and grow as an artist so much already. I will take the lessons I learned there with me for a very long time.”
The power of dance and the positive impact it has on our students and teachers creates a ripple effect in the community. The artistic growth Miss Laura experienced undoubtedly will motivate, uplift, and inspire the next generation of dancers. To learn more about Jacob’s Pillow, ask Miss Laura about her experience. The organization also hosts numerous virtual experiences and events that can be enjoyed online. A huge congratulations goes out to Miss Laura for her hard work and for following her dreams. We are very proud to have her on our team.