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The Engaged Core: A Dance Podcast
65 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Episode Seventeen: Setting Teachers up for Success in the Classroom and Instilling the Love of Dance in Pre-Schoolers w/ “Miss Vikki” Weinberger
In this week’s episode, Award winning dancer and choreographer, Vikki Weinberger, discusses her love of teaching and gives tips on pre-school dance education, an area in which she continues to excel. Are your pre-school classes making you want to pull your hair out? This episode is for you! Vikki Weinberger has had a lifelong passion for rhythm and dance. Originally from Livingston NJ, Vikki grew up dancing competitively at her local home studio, while training professionally at New Jersey School of Ballet, and also in NYC at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. In 1999, Vikki was awarded a scholarship to Broadway Dance Center, where she trained daily with countless masters in dance. Since that time, Vikki has taught in and around San Diego and Washington DC, where she spent 15 years as an esteemed dance instructor and choreographer. Her work has been presented at The White House, the Kennedy Center, Disney World, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Nigel Lithgow’s National Dance Day, the DC Tap Festival, & FOX 5. For over a decade she was Artistic Director of the award winning pre-professional youth tap company Soles of Steel, faculty member at Joy of Motion Dance Center, and conservatory faculty and choreographer at CityDance School & Conservatory. Vikki finds joy inspiring others through dance, and currently teaches Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Ballet to all ages and levels. For more information on this week’s guest, check her out at on Instagram Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
39 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Episode Sixteen: Balancing Artistic Passion with Academic Expectations w/ Briana Cheng
In this week’s episode, recent college graduate and scholar Briana Cheng, discusses the importance dance played in her scholastic journey. This is a great episode for dancers struggling with pursuing artistic passion in the face of academic expectations. Briana Cheng’s dance journey started at Triangle Dance studio where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. After many years at Triangle, Briana moved to China where she studied dance at the Shanghai American School before moving to Maryland where she attended Bullis School and participated in the Bullis Dance program. Briana made an indelible mark on the program at Bullis and only after a year served as a Teacher’s Assistant before earning awards multiple awards for Excellence in Dance. For more information on this week’s guest, check her out at on Instagram Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
44 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Episode Fifteen: Choosing the Love of Dance over the Fear of Failure w/ Rachel Matson
In this week’s episode, recent EDC Alumni, Rachel Matson discusses how her unwavering love for dance helped her overcome her fear of failure. Rachel Matson started her dance journey many years ago at Ballet Petite, before seeing a Hip Hop dance class and deciding to leave the ballet slippers in the dust. Rachel has studied Hip Hop and Commercial dance at Joy of Motion in HYPE’s Company prep and Groove Elements teams, and is currently finishing up her 4th and final year of High School dance in EDC’s Senior Company. In addition to her love of dance, Rachel has coached Field Hockey with the Chicken League and is an assistant teacher for Devinio Dance and Elements Urban Arts Collective. This Fall, Rachel will be entering her freshman year at Indiana University. For more information on this week’s guest, check her out at on Instagram Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
51 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Episode Fourteen: Creating Brave Spaces and Mentally Supporting Our Dancers w/ Dr. Damon Silas
A very important conversation about creating healthy, brave spaces for dancers and teachers because we all need support! Dr. Damon Silas has been a psychologist for over 15 years, working with a wide range of populations and issues including but not limited to juvenile delinquents and at-risk youth; children and adolescents on the autistic spectrum; and the Active Duty military population. Anxiety and trauma (including PTSD) are his specialty areas, as well as grief and loss. In addition to his professional work, Damon is a lifelong dancer & artist and has taught in DC and now North Carolina area, as well as performed nationally and internationally with Culture Shock DC, AfterShock DC, Contradiction Dance, and Aysha Upchurch’s Life, Rhythm, Move Project. For more information about Dr. Silas, check him out at https://damonsilaspsychology.com/ Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
27 minutes | May 25, 2021
Episode Thirteen: Why All Athletes Should Take A Dance Class w/ Steven Attah
Athlete, Steven Attah, discusses what made him decide to join a dance class and how what he learned made him a better athlete. Steven Attah’s exposure to the dance world consisted of studying in the Bullis Dance Ensemble during his high school years. An avid athlete, Steven benefited from the coordination and balance dance brought him during his varsity football and track & field seasons. Steven continued his athletic endeavors during his time at Dean College and Stevenson University where he studied business and psychology and soon developed a clothing line named after his brother, Prince Lawrence. Currently, Steve is working as a Learning Hub Specialist at his alma mater Bullis School while studying to become a mortgage broker. “Don't let people's opinions become your reality!” -Steven Attah, Athlete/DancerFor more information about Steven, check her out on Instagram. Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
37 minutes | May 18, 2021
Bonus Episode: Demystifying Dance Education and How I went from MTV’s The Grind to Dance Educator
In this special episode, The Engaged Core Founder and Host shares more about her story and answers questions from listeners. This is a must-listen for dance teachers everywhere! Have a question or a topic you'd like covered in a future episode or is there a guest you want to hear on The Engaged Core? Leave us a message now on SpeakPipe! Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
50 minutes | May 11, 2021
Episode Twelve: Establishing Boundaries and Navigating Expectations in the Dance Space w/ Dani Seltzer
Dancer and College Student, Dani Seltzer, discusses how a diagnosis with POTS during her high school years threatened to interrupted her love of Hip Hop dance. This is a lively but important discussion for dancers and teachers seeking to establish healthy boundaries while navigating external expectations. Dani Seltzer started her dance journey at the Washington School of Ballet before discovering her love of Hip Hop dance at Joy of Motion Dance Center. During her time at Joy of Motion, she was a member of Groove Elements and eventually HYPE: The Company where she held captain and student choreographer roles. Dani is currently finishing her senior year at University of Maryland, where she is studying Psychology and Criminology with a minor in Spanish and is pursuing work in Law Enforcement. “You can do anything you want if you love it enough” -Dani Seltzer, Dancer/College studentFor more information about Dani, check her out on Instagram. Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
57 minutes | May 4, 2021
Episode Eleven: Pushing Back on Dance Traditions and Embracing Inclusivity, Pt. 2 w/ Nicole S. Robinson
In this Season Two Premiere, Teacher and Dance Education Advocate, Nicole S. Robinson discusses some ways in which we, as educators, can make our classrooms more inclusive, equitable, and accessible. This is Part 2 of our discussion with Nicole. To hear Part 1, checkout Episode Six. Nicole S. Robinson is a dancer, teacher, choreographer and dance education advocate from Riverside, CA. Nicole received her undergrad degree in Kinesiology from California State University, San Bernardino, as well as a Master’s in Dance Education from California State University, Long Beach. Nicole is a strong advocate for providing dance education opportunities to underserved populations and is credited with establishing both the A. B. Miller Dance Program and Conservatory of Dance. She is the dance specialist for the Fontana Unified School district and is the lead teacher for the FUSD Dance Collaborative. In 2015, Nicole was named California League of Teachers' Teacher of the Year for Region 10 and was named the 2017 Carlston Family Foundation Teacher of the Year. For more information on Nicole and her dance program at AB Miller High School, check out AB Miller Dance. Interested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
56 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Episode Ten: "I Can't...I Have Dance!" w/ Asha Rosaline
In the Season One Finale, dancer and college student, Asha Rosaline Yates, discusses how the sacrifices she made in her dance training provided a foundation for her dance career and beyond. Asha Yates started her dance journey at Joy of Motion Dance Center where she studied Hip Hop dance for many years. In addition to being in the youth performing companies, Groove Elements and Hype The company while at Joy of Motion, she was also Captain of Elements Dance Company in its inaugural Season. Asha is currently in her third year as a dance major at Temple University and is also a member of Creative Reaction and Temple’s Dare 2 Dance Company. “My Love for Hip Hop Was Undeniable.” -Asha Yates, College Student/DancerConnect with Asha on Instagram. The Engaged Core : Season Two starts on Tuesday, April 27th. Subscribe Now to get bonus content and to be notified as soon as the first episode drops!Have a suggestion for a show? Or a question to ask Host, Alana Hill, leave us a message at https://www.speakpipe.com/theengagedcore
30 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Episode Nine: Dancing From Your Heart w/ Gianna Moore
Gianna Moore, dancer and former competitive gymnast, discusses how dance gave her a place to express her emotions when words were too hard. Gianna spent the bulk of her primary school years training at Hill’s Gymnastics where she reached USAG’s Level 9. Upon retiring from Gymnastics, Gianna attended a summer dance program with Elite Dance Studio, before joining the Bullis Dance Ensemble in her freshman year of high school. Gianna flourished in the Bullis Dance program as a dance and choreographer up until she graduated in 2018. Gianna is currently a junior, studying Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. “I think the best part about dance is you can be yourself without having to say anything.” -Gianna Moore, College Student/DancerConnect with Gianna on Instagram.
34 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Episode Eight: Finding Confidence as a New Dancer w/ Jack Chellman
In this episode, Marshall Scholar, writer and unlikely student of dance, Jack Chellman, recounts his time as a new dancer in an established dance program. Find out how he pushed pass his fears and captured moments that still stick with him today. Jack Chellman’s foray into the dance world consisted of studying in the Bullis Dance Ensemble in his high school years. Finding a groove in dance had an impression on Jack and he continued his studies by taking dance coursework at UVA, in addition to his rigorous study. Jack’s list of accomplishments include earning degrees in Political and Social Thought and English at UVA, Media, Power and Public affairs at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a Master’s of Philosophy, Political thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge. Jack Chellman is also a Marshall Scholar and has been a contributing writer for the University of Cambridge, Huffington Post, Cavalier Daily, and is currently Strategic Communications Manager at the Climate Crisis Foundation. “When you’re performing or even in the studio…at your best moments, you just feel like you’re not really there, like you are sort of beyond yourself.” -Jack Chellman, Writer, Scholar, Dancer
31 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Episode Seven: Shaping Identity Through Dance w/ Kelila Weiner
Kelila shares how the many lessons learn inside her dance class helped to shape her identity and leadership style as a choreographer and co-director of Spirit of the Creative (Tufts Hip Hop Dance Team). Kelila Weiner started her dance journey at Joy of Motion Dance Center. During her high school years, she was a member of HYPE: The Company and served as Co-Captain for the Bomb Squad at School Without Walls. Kelila's passion and commitment for dance landed her a captain role in Hype: The Company in her senior year of High school and she has continued her leadership and creativity while dancing with the Spirit of the Creative and Turbo Dance Companies at Tufts University, where she is senior double majoring in Psychology and Anthropology. “Dancing is both an individual and communal activity in a way that I feel nothing else is” -Kelila Weiner, college student/dancer/choreographerConnect with Kelila on Instagram. And, Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see her in action!
49 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Episode Six: Pushing Back on Dance Traditions and Embracing Inclusivity, Pt. 1 w/ Nicole S. Robinson
In this two-part episode, Alana sits down with her dance mentor, Nicole S. Robinson, to discuss ways in which our traditions are limiting dancer growth and sustaining a culture of exclusion. Nicole S. Robinson is a dancer, teacher, choreographer and dance education advocate from Riverside, CA. Nicole received her undergrad degree in Kinesiology from California State University, San Bernardino, as well as a Master’s in Dance Education from California State University, Long Beach. Nicole is a strong advocate for providing dance education opportunities to underserved populations and is credited with establishing both the A. B. Miller Dance Program and Conservatory of Dance. She is the dance specialist for the Fontana Unified School district and is the lead teacher for the FUSD Dance Collaborative. In 2015, Nicole was named California League of Teachers' Teacher of the Year for Region 10 and was named the 2017 Carlston Family Foundation Teacher of the Year. “If You’re Going to Define A Kid’s Talent at 17 years Old, I’m Going to Say, You’re Part of the Problem!” -Nicole S. Robinson, Dance Education AdvocateInterested in being a part of our NEW Facebook Group for Teachers? Check us out online at The Engaged Core Facebook Group
36 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Episode Five: Passion, Joy, and Representation in the Dance World with Naya Alexis
Naya Alexis shares how her experiences navigating the world as a young BIPOC ballerina encouraged her to start a YouTube Channel dedicated to providing resources and representation for the everyday black dancer. Naya Hutchinson has danced since the age of 3, focusing mostly in ballet in her earlier years with Washington Ballet and Lilla Seber before joining the Bullis dance Ensemble and the Conservatory program at City dance. While in middle/high school, Naya spent her summers studying at Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and ABT and received the Outstanding Dance Scholar award at Bullis School. Naya is currently a senior at Ailey Fordham Double Majoring in Dance and African American Studies. She recently received the Denise Jefferson Memorial Scholarship through Ailey Fordham. “It’s Always Good to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable” -Naya Hutchinson, College StudentConnect with Naya on YouTube or Instagram. And, Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see her in action!
42 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Episode Four: Community, Connectedness, and Why Dancers Are Better Than Actors w/ Mitchell Aduyan
Warning: This episode may result in uncontrollable laughter. In this hilarious episode, Mitchell spends 35 minutes roasting Alana in the most loving way possible and the other 7 minutes dishing about the community and connectedness he felt in dance companies. Triple Threat, Mitchell Costello, has been dancing and performing throughout the world most of his life. Mitchell was a member of Australia Dance Companies Project Beats Studio, before moving to the DMV where he danced in Joy of Motion’s HYPE program and Elements Dance Company. During high school, Mitchell was also a member of the BCC Chamber Singers and shared his dance and theatrical talents in various high school musicals. Mitchell is currently a Junior at University of Melbourne, where he focuses in Media & Politics in addition to performing and choreographing in Flare Dance Ensemble. “The biggest thing I learned is…don’t let yourself down” -Mitchell Aduyan, College StudentSubscribe to our YouTube Channel to see him in action!
48 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Episode Three: Creating A Dance Legacy w/ Kiara Hill
In this heartfelt episode, Host, Alana Hill, and her dancing daughter, Kiara, discuss what drew Kiara to dancing, what pushed her to the point of almost giving up, and how her mom’s influence shows up in her own teaching. Kiara Hill has been dancing for over 20 years training at many studios and programs in the DMV such as Joy of Motion Dance Center, CityDance Conservatory, Future Shock and Culture Shock DC, plus was a student in the Performing arts programs at both Hyattsville Middle School and Albert Einstein High School. Most recently, Kiara trained with Laura Edwards in her LED Company, and is currently Directing the Elements Dance Company’s Senior Company. “Dancing was my thing growing up, it was like, I don't care what happens.I can have a bad day. I can not get in such and such piece. But I know I'm supposed to be doing this.” -Kiara Hill, Dance Teacher
38 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Episode Two: Finding Your Voice in Dance w/ Katelyn Foreman
Episode Two: Finding Your Voice in Dance w/ Katelyn Foreman Katelyn Foreman is a versatile dance artist who has made her way through the competition, conservatory and academic dance worlds studying at C-Unit Dance studio, CityDance Conservatory as well as the Dance Program at both Bullis School and Duke University. Katelyn has had the opportunity to work with Koresh Dance Company and Gallim Dance, as well as participate in the CityDance Dreamscape Gala with companies including Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys Of Dance, Bruce Woods, Washington Ballet, and Ballet X. Katelyn is currently a sophomore at Duke University, and is a member of the Dancing Devils Dance Team and Sabro Sura. During this episode, Katelyn discusses how what she learned in and outside of the dance classroom was instrumental in her finding her own voice as a dance artist. “I fell in love with Basheva and Koresh, Dance company and especially Galeem, that's more Gaga-based. That's like, based on a feeling. When I saw those pieces, I could see within those dancers what they were feeling when they were doing it and every movement had an intention. And that's when I started realizing that I want to create pieces that do that for me and come inside out. “ Katelyn, college studentCheck out Katelyn on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katfore Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see her in action!
27 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Episode One: Dancing Through Fear w/ Janae Holster
Episode One: Dancing through Fear w/ Janae Holster Janae Holster started her dance journey in the DMV dancing with numerous studios and schools, including where we met Joy of Motion dance Center. While in DC, Janae danced with many youth dance companies including HYPE: The Company, Future Shock, CMI, and The Movement Studios before moving to the west coast at age 14 to pursue dancing more seriously. Since her move Janae has been killing it in the competition/convention circuit and is currently a senior at California School of the Arts. Also, as you’ll hear later in the episode, Janae reveals a major accomplishment that she just recently added to her already impressive resume. Janae shares a wealth of knowledge about dancing through fear and getting to a space where you understand the most important opinion really is your own. "It's dance, we dance because it's joy. It's expression. It's not about tricks. If you can do tricks. Wonderful. And if you can't, you're still valid. You can still share" -Janae Holster, 17Check out Janae on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/janaeholster/Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see her in action!
2 minutes | Jan 17, 2021
Welcome to The Engaged Core! Host and veteran Dance Teacher Alana Hill introduces the podcast and lets you know what you can expect from the show! Spoiler Alert: It's going to be a hoot!The Engaged Core explores the symbiotic relationship between dance teachers and students. Through interviews with past students, dance parents, and peer teachers, The Engaged Core puts into perspective how vital teacher/student relationships are in the dancer’s success. New episodes will drop every Tuesday. For additional content, visit our YouTube Page to see videos of our guests in action. Are you a teacher looking to inspire your students? Join The Engaged Core Teachers Group on Facebook.
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