Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dance Teacher Summit 09 Gala NYC

I'd like to start out by giving my thanks to Suzanne Gerety of She very graciously invited me to the Dance Teacher Summit Gala. I was so honored when I received her invite. Her and her mom Kathy Blake and their website DSO have been a huge inspiration to me. I am so thankful for our friendship and the wonderful work these women do for the dance community and dance studio owners. Keep inspiring ladies, you are awesome!!

The Gala was held at the Hudson Theatre in NYC on July 29th. I arrived right at 8pm(darn NYC traffic) and was greeted by Suzanne in the lobby. We have been chatting online through twitter and the DSO site for about a year now, so it was such a great thing to finally meet in person. Before entering the theatre Suzanne pointed out Travis Wall!(I no longer felt guilty for missing the SYTYCD episode that night, hehe) I absolutely love Travis, I am a huge fan and was proud of myself that I held back my inner 13 year old giddy screaming girl. As I calmly walked pass him and entered the theatre Suzanne introduced me to Marc Kirschner of, a twitter friend of hers whom I am now following as well. Before the show started I also got to meet a fellow tweep of mine, Chad Michael of who I follow on both my twitter accounts. It really is a great thing to meet people in real life who you interact with on a daily basis online.

The show started a little late but it gave us time to chat more so I didn't mind one bit. The opening was wonderful, a piece by The Duke Ellington Orchestra, "Rockin N' Rhythm." Then a wonderful performance choreographed bye Kate Jablonski, the Capezio A.C.E award first runner-up. Mike Minery and Gregg Russell then did their rendition of "Moses Supposes." It was really neat to see the original up on big screen above them as they taped on stage.

I was really moved listening to the winner of the 2009 Dance Teacher Magazine Award (K-12 Education), Ann Shea from Tennessee Arts Commission and Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga. In her speech she talked about how important it is to provide dance to children ages K-12. It made me feel great that I'm a part of that in the dance community. My students may not go on to be prima ballerinas or professional dancers, but I'm making a difference in their lives by introducing dance and the love of movement to them. I got very emotional at this point but it just confirmed that I'm meant to do what I'm doing, I'm blessed to have found my calling in life.

"Shameless" a piece from the Broadway show Movin' Out was next. It was hot, hot, hot to say the least!! Performers Laurie Kanyok and Keith Roberts beautifully performed Twyla Tharps choreography.

A very interesting piece performed by Billy Siegenfeld and Kelly Malone Dudley followed. It was titled "Why Gershwin?" and kept you on the edge of your seat.

The Capezio A.C.E Award second runner-up Jaci Royal introduced her piece "One Worth Leaving" then Gregg Russell showed us some more of his awesome tapping skills. Awards were presented for teachers of higher education and private studios such as John Griffin of Ohio State University and Bonnie Scheutz of Boni's Dance and Performing Arts Studio.

Two beautiful performers, Ashley Bouder and Amar Ramasar, from New York City Ballet made a special guest performance then Lawrence Rhodes accepted the 2009 Dance Teacher Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finally, last but not least, Denise Wall introduced Travis, the Capezio A.C.E award Winner!! I don't know if its because I am already a fan of Travis, or his amazing work, or a combination of the both, but my jaw dropped and I had the chills during the entire piece. "Its Gonna Be a Long Walk" was one to remember for sure!!

After the Gala we took some pictures and even got to see Mandy Moore.

The night was truly amazing! Suzanne even gave me my own DSO t-shirt and chap stick as a memento, she is way too nice to me!!

For more information on the dance teacher summit please visit their website at

Also if you are a studio owner or teacher and are not already a member of Suzanne and Kathy's site please go visit and take a look for yourself at how valuable a membership would be.
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Here is just a small example of how they motivate and inspire their members...

Thank for reading!
Peace, Love and Dance to all!!
~Miss Leslea

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should be proud to teach dance and I too feel lucky to have been able to make opportunities for others to explore the art of dance. Thank you for your comment. I am glad it resonated for you. Ann