Dance article

Legendary Ballet Dancer Arthur Mitchell Brings Archive to Columbia University

Arthur Mitchell, the founder of Dance Theater of Harlem and the first black principal of New York City Ballet, is bringing his dance archive to New York's esteemed Columbia University. The university will confer a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on the legendary dance pioneer and social activist Arthur Mitchell this month. The honorary degree, which will be awarded during Commencement exercises on May 18, 2016, recognizes the trailblazing role Arthur Mitchell has played in diversifying classical dance.

Mitchell joined New York City Ballet in 1955, and in 1957 danced the first interracial duet in American ballet with Diana Adams to George Balanchine's choreography. Mitchell would remain the only African-American company member during his 15 years dancing with New York City Ballet.

Agon, Pas de Deux, Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams. From the  Columbia University archive .

Agon, Pas de Deux, Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams. From the Columbia University archive.

Founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Mitchell was a pioneer in bringing dance classes to children of Harlem, so that they did not have to travel far in order to take these classes. At its inception in 1969, Dance Theatre of Harlem held classes in a garage on 152nd Street in Harlem. The company made its official debut in 1971 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, with three ballets choreographed by Mitchell. They also performed several works by Balanchine and Jerome Robbins during the company’s inaugural season.

Watch this video of Arthur Mitchell talking about the Arthur Mitchell Collection at Columbia!

Jacob's Pillow Dance Award Goes to Camille Brown

Jacob's Pillow Dance Award Goes to Camille Brown

Camille A. Brown, whose work we have featured before in the Lotus Blogs, is this year’s winner of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, an honor that comes with a cash prize and an engagement at the summer festival. The Award was created in 2007 to support the creativity of visionary artists. Past honorees include Merce Cunningham (2009), Bill T. Jones (2010), and Kyle Abraham (2012).

The Joy and Power of Dancing Continue to an Older Age

Recently I read an interesting article that talks about the power and joy that performing dance brings to older people. The author says, "...the goal of putting on a performance can draw out and enhance real benefits beyond the physical and social." What might be a really important benefit is a sense of accomplishment.

Credit: Parent Society

Credit: Parent Society

My boss at Rudance in Flushing used to be very adamant in his effort to reach out to his older customers every day, reminding them of the time of the class and more or less "forcing" them to come. I used to not understand. My boss explained, "well, if they don't come to class, they might be sitting on their couches all day long. What is good about that? Dancing makes them feel good." He would also put them on stage during the monthly parties. In a way, he has brought joy into the lives of these older people through dancing and performance.

As younger dancers, we use our performances to deliver joy to the audience in the same way. Bringing our own passion to each performance, we inspire the audience as to how great it feels to be swinging to the music there on stage. That's why at the end of a performance the audience is all "turned up." Therefore dancing is such a win-win: by enjoying dancing thoroughly, we spread the enjoyment around!

Lotus Creations @ Oxford Nursing Home

Lotus Creations @ Oxford Nursing Home

In the end, I want to remind us that the grandparents around us might not be dancing anymore - but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be!

The Registered Yoga Teacher Training and A List of Yoga Training Schools in New York City

Thumbnail image "high lunge pose" by Donna Walsh

Hopefully this blog will provide you with more information on the 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher training (RYT-200) and the RYT-200 training programs in New York City. To write this blog I researched about 80 yoga schools in Manhattan. Among these, about 30 provide the RYT-200 training program. Right now in Brooklyn there are more and more Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs). So if you live in Brooklyn, you might want to research on RYSs closer to you as well.

Today, yoga teacher training in the United States is mainly credentialed by the Yoga Alliance (read about its mission here). According to Yoga Alliance, a 200-hour standard yoga teacher training should cover at least these five areas: yoga techniques, teaching methodology, anatomy, yoga philosophy, and practicum of teaching. Although many people understand the yoga teacher training as a certification program, according to the website of Yoga Alliance, a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) simply means that the individual has completed his or her training at a registered yoga school and has met the minimum requirements for teaching experience. All RYTs are required to finish 75 hours of Continue Education every three years in order to maintain their RYT status.

Different yoga schools and studios have different emphasis in their 200-hour RYT programs. Some follow strictly the teachings of a particular yoga guru. Some aim at fostering a true community of yoga practitioners through the program. Some provide the training program to more or less "mass produce" yoga teachers that fulfill the minimum requirements to teach yoga. Some structure the training as a retreat to a popular travel destination or into the mountains. Although, perhaps each training program is a combination of a little bit of everything.

Here I have listed ten RYT-200 training programs that I think you should check out. For a complete list of RYT-200 training programs, dates in 2016 and cost click here.

1. Iyengar Yoga NYC

  • Iyengar Yoga Institute's teacher training follows the teachings and practices of the late B.K.S Iyengar and his children Greeta S. Iyengar and Prashant S. Iyengar. Iyengar Yoga Institute requires applicants to have studied the method for several years, have an at-home practice, and to be able to work at level III. The two-year Teacher Training Program at Iyengar Yoga NYC is approximately 150 course hours over three 9-week sessions (Fall, Winter and Spring) a year.
  • Price: $2700/year

2. Integral Yoga Institute

  • Integral Yoga Institute is one of the founding members of Yoga Alliance and has centers on six different continents. It offers a different range of teacher training programs. The RYT-200 training of Integral Yoga takes place Monday - Friday, from June 27 - July 27, 2016.
  • Price: $3550
  • Prerequisite: application, at least half a year of yoga practice, and familiarity of the Integral yoga system

3. New York Yoga

  • The RYT-200 training at New York Yoga takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays from June 5th - August 28th, 2016.
  • Price: Early bird: $2495; Regular: $2995. The price of the RYT-200 training at New York Yoga has reduced significantly since I last checked about a year ago.
  • Prerequisite: application

4. Three Sisters Yoga

  • Three Sisters Yoga makes a special effort to make the RYT training available to people with lesser means while maintaining an integrity on the teachings of yoga. It offers a good range of scholarship and work trade options. Its spring session takes place from March 17th to May 8th, 2016.
  • Price: ranging from $2250 - $2950

5. Sacred Sounds Yoga

  • Sacred Sounds Yoga talks about having more than 50 years of RYT training experience collectively. The RYT-200 training at Sacred Sounds takes place on weekends from March 12th - June 26th or in an intensive format from July 16th - August 13th.
  • Price: Early bird $2600; Regular: $2900

6. Yoga Vida

  • The intensive Yoga Vida RYT-200 training takes place from June 3rd - July 1st, 2016
  • Price: Early bird: $2500; Regular: $3000

7. Atmananda Yoga Studio

Picture source: "Ask Agni", Seattle Yoga News

Picture source: "Ask Agni", Seattle Yoga News

  • Atmananda Yoga Studio aims at providing a teacher training to give the students the confidence and mastery of the art of communication. Four intensive RYT-200 training takes place in May, June, September, and October.
  • Price: $3000

8. Om Factory

  • Om Factory offers different levels of aerial yoga training in addition to the vinyasa RYT-200 training. Its 2016 vinyasa RYT-200 training has already started on January 22nd, 2016.
  • Price: Early bird: $2750 - $2950; Regular: $3150 - $3350

    9. Yogamaya

    • Yogamaya is said to have designed its calendar to give the student the best learning experience. It also makes a commitment to help the student find his or her voice in teaching yoga. The winter RYT-200 at Yogamaya has already started on January 22nd. Its summer intensive takes place from July 11th to August 7th.
    • Price: Early bird: $2850 (summer); Regular: $3000 (summer) & $3300 (winter - spring)
    • Prerequisite: one year of vinyasa practice and five classes at Yogamaya

    10. Laughing Lotus Yoga Center

    • The summer intensive RYT-200 training at Laughing Lotus Yoga takes place from June 27th - July 22nd
    • Price: Early bird: $2900; Regular: $3400

    Wish you best of luck on finding a training program that's suitable for you. Do not be afraid to wait!

    An asana, or yoga pose, is a container for an experience...It is a form that we inhabit for a moment, a shape that we move into and out of, a place where we might choose to pause in the continuously flowing movement of life.
    — Leslie Kaminoff, "Yoga Anatomy"