Tales from 406 – Part 2

November 15, 2014

Hello again friends and welcome back. I am happy to report that I survived the summer, our busiest time of year due to an increase of visitors taking drop in classes, groups visiting, as well as two Summer Study NYC sessions.

I was so looking forward to Fall, which tends to be a little bit quieter. . .and bam. . . September threw us a curve ball this year. Instead of a “break” from summer madness, we had one solid week of five groups taking multiple private classes every day (4 of the groups were Australian who had the week off due to a school break). As the 10 studios are booked with classes all day long, when groups want to take privates we schedule them early in the morning. . . and I mean early. . . like 8:00am. Having to open the studio at 7:00am is not foreign to Suzy, Director of Group Programs, however, she was on vacation this week and it was up to me to host these groups every morning. Needless to say, I was prepared with lots of caffeine and my running shoes. This was the Australians first visit to NYC and to Steps on Broadway so they came off the elevator wide eyed ready to dance while I gulped down the caffeine hoping for the rush to take effect. They took jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and contemporary with so many of our teachers including Kathleen Smith, Mindy Upin, Lisa Hopkins, Joyce King, Andrew Black, Marijke Eliasberg, Matt Lopez, Mary Carpenter. . .the list goes on and on. The groups did great and had fun! They were even interviewed by the Australian online magazine, Dance Informa. A big thanks to all the faculty that participated. It was great to have Suzy come back after that week and hand over the keys to the castle.

On another front, Fall also brought a new class of students enrolled in the two-year Steps Conservatory Program. They jumped right in after orientation taking technique classes, as well as performance enhancement workshops such as vocal training with Sally Morgan, and repertory classes with Dana Moore learning a Fosse combination, and with the Steps Repertory Ensemble Artistic Director, Bradley Shelver. They have been working really hard and impressed us this past Sunday at the Ensemble on Ensemble performance. They performed with the Ensemble in a piece choreographed by Bradley. I work with the students taking attendance, answering questions they have on a daily basis, and the night of the performance. . .helping with box office and catering for the reception. Many hats.

Something that I think has been really cool recently is the Broadway Repertory Master Class Series, allowing students to learn actual choreography from the masters behind Pippin, On the Town (Wed, 11/26), and Motown (1/5-1/9). It is great that students have the chance to learn from the actual choreographers and get a taste of life as a working Broadway performer. It is also fun helping to market programs that you are really into. My job is to make sure the marketing materials get out the door and are posted around town, edit copy, brainstorm, and also research video and articles for facebook and twitter that support programming. More hats.

So hosting groups, catering events, running box office, helping with marketing, taking attendance – those are just a few of the responsibilities that have come up so far during this summer and fall. I so appreciate the wonderful assistants that have been assigned to help me. Working for the Director of Group Programs, Director of Marketing, Administrator of Student Programs, and the Ensemble Director. . .a girl must, let’s just say, stay cool.

And now. . . it is November and Steps is gearing up for the holidays. But wait, we have 93 dancers coming tomorrow from Florida who are taking private classes and eating breakfast! So I am rolling up my sleeves while we shop and bag 97 bananas, yogurts, and granola bars tomorrow, oh and getting the holiday card list disseminated, wrangling teachers to participate in this year’s World Aids Week, taking attendance and yes – getting up at 5am Saturday morning to be back at Steps at 6:00am to welcome our Florida dancers with a big smile. Where is the caffeine drip?

There is never a dull moment at Steps. And that is my life in 406.

-Caitlin Gillette
Marketing & Programs Coordinator

Tales from 406 – Part 2