Thursday, June 27, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
151 W. 26th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY
$20 for artists who have participated in the JCE Jazz Dance Project (must register in advance for discount)
JCE will sponsor a class on Betsy Haug’s distinctive jazz dance style taught by Gail Pearson. Betsy Haug was a performer, choreographer and master teacher whose influences included Jack Cole, Luigi, Matt Mattox, and Ron Lewis. Her style incorporated a great deal of syncopation, reflecting her love of Fred Astaire, Henry LeTang, and others in the great world of tap. This Advanced Beginner class will serve as an introduction to the style.
Gail Pearson is a Betsy Haug protege who has continued to teach Betsy’s style throughout her dance career as a performer, choreographer, and teacher. Gail will start with a jazz warm up, followed by steps and short combinations across the floor. Those will include signature Betsy choreography, such as back-back, the popcorn, breakdown, head rolls, and syncopated movements. These movements are designed to start with isolations—head, hips, shoulders, arms—then are built on and combined into dance steps. The style uses an opposition balance—head and hips, shoulders and legs. The body’s natural inclination of cause and effect reacts to its own balance and leverage.
Registration before June 27th is suggested, but students can register at the door if space is available. Students (or a parent if the student is under 18 years old) will be required to sign a release of liability. To register please contact Marian Hyun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dancers new to the style will be able to put their knowledge to work in subsequent classes offered by Gail from June 28th through July 1st, times and locations in Manhattan to be announced. For information on classes after June 27th, please contact Martha at email@example.com or 212- 541-6964.
Betsy Haug’s career as a dancer took her to Radio City Music Hall as a ballet soloist, a national tour of “West Side Story,” several television shows, and Broadway as Dance Captain in the original run of “Promises, Promises.” She choreographed shows for stars such as Joel Grey, Gloria Gaynor, and Liza Minnelli; revues in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and New York City; and a Broadway show, “Up in One,” with Peter Allen. For over 25 years, Betsy taught jazz dance, tap, modern dance (Horton Technique) at the Alvin Ailey School, the Betsy Haug Studio, New Dance Group, Steps on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center. She was a regularly featured instructor at dance festivals and conventions, and taught master classes internationally.
Gail Pearson was one of Betsy Haug’s first students and went on to work closely with Betsy as her first assistant choreographer and teacher of her style. Betsy considered Gail to be her successor. Trained in ballet, jazz, modern, and tap, Gail performed on Broadway, national tours, Radio City, industrials, stock and Las Vegas. In addition, she was Assistant Choreographer and/or Dance Captain on most of the shows she was in. Gail’s teaching credits include jazz dance at New Dance Group Studio and Ballet Hispanico in New York City. After a hiatus as a bodybuilder in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, she currently teaches dance in Los Angeles. In April of 2018, Gail came to New York to teach a series of exciting Betsy Haug jazz dance style master classes. Following the June 27th class, Gail will be teaching another series of master classes in New York from June 28th to July 1st.