Dizzy Feet’s Nigel Lythgoe and Jenna Elfman pop in for a visit at Hubbard Street

By on March 1, 2014

From left: Emmy-nominated actress and Dizzy Feet Foundation board member Jenna Elfman; Kalena Dickerson, Hubbard Street Associate Director of Development, Dizzy Feet Foundation executive director Danae Rees, and Nigel Lythgoe, creator and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance and co-president and a founding member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation. In mirror: Hubbard Street Dancers Andrew Murdock, left, and Garrett Patrick Anderson in Sarabande by Jiří Kylián. Far right: Hubbard Street Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton and Roslyn Anderson, Kylián repetiteur and former dancer and rehearsal director at Nederlands Dans Theater. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.
From left: Emmy-nominated actress and Dizzy Feet Foundation board member Jenna Elfman; Kalena Dickerson, Hubbard Street Associate Director of Development, Dizzy Feet Foundation executive director Danae Rees, and Nigel Lythgoe, creator and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance and co-president and a founding member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation. In mirror: Hubbard Street Dancers Andrew Murdock, left, and Garrett Patrick Anderson in Sarabande by Jiří Kylián. Far right: Hubbard Street Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton and Roslyn Anderson, Kylián repetiteur and former dancer and rehearsal director at Nederlands Dans Theater. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

After a SYTYCD audition stop in Chicago, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe stopped in for a visit to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s studios to observe a rehearsal of the company’s upcoming all Kyliàn program, and (perhaps more importantly) visit a few of the youth program classes supported, in part, by an operational grant from the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Accompanying Lythgoe on the tour were board member Jenna Elfman and Executive Director Danae Rees.

From left: Dizzy Feet Foundation executive director Danae Rees; Nigel Lythgoe, creator and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance and Co-President and a founding member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation; actress and Dizzy Feet board member Jenna Elfman; Kathryn Humphreys, Director of Hubbard Street's Youth, Education and Community Programs; and Kalena Dickerson, Hubbard Street Associate Director of Development. Hip Hop A student: Chase Wayland. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.
From left: Dizzy Feet Foundation executive director Danae Rees; Nigel Lythgoe, creator and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance and Co-President and a founding member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation; actress and Dizzy Feet board member Jenna Elfman; Kathryn Humphreys, Director of Hubbard Street’s Youth, Education and Community Programs; and Kalena Dickerson, Hubbard Street Associate Director of Development. Hip Hop A student: Chase Wayland. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Of particular note was a trip to Choreolab, a creative movement and choreographic workshop for 9-11 year olds. The group was struck by the imagination, innovation, and total confidence the eleven children in the class displayed. “It isn’t so much just doing an exercise. It’s putting yourself into the exercise,” said Lythgoe. The group commented on the childrens’ ability to let go of inhibitions, and Elfman redirected that they never had any to begin with. “Kids learn by example, so when you have adults setting the example of a safe space to be creative… the more creative and free you are, the better it is. That’s an amazing example to set for the next generation,” she said. Danae Rees added, “Imagine if every kid was doing this… the confidence they’d get… it’s a way of negotiating without talking.”

Dizzy Feet Foundation gives scholarships to young and promising dancers who can’t afford quality training. On the community side is a split mission with the objective to give as many people as possible access to dance. As benefactors of Dizzy Feet funding, the staff and faculty at Hubbard Street appear to be keeping their end of the bargain by splitting their energy between the elite contemporary dance company we all know and love, and innovative community programming that is enriching the lives of neighborhood youth.

 

 




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