Patience Clements is the company pianist for Charleston Ballet Theatre and has been accompanying dance classes for over 30 years. In this post, Dance Advantage reviews 2 of her 4-disc series, New Piano Music for Ballet Class. If you’re looking for original melodies with lots of variety for your classes, try New Piano Music for the Dedicated Dancer (with Susan Jaffe) and for the Young Dancer.
The studio I work at has three studios – one large and two small — as well as a small theatre space that seats about 100 people. The two smaller studios and the theatre space have an upright acoustic piano, and the larger studio has a baby grand piano. I actually prefer to play on the upright acoustic pianos as I find their tone more appealing – not to mention the fact that I can get more emotion out of these pianos!
The very first ballet class I played for was a big surprise, because I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me by either the teacher or the dancers. I walked into the studio and the first person I saw was the teacher (who seemed to me to be very old), holding a lit cigarette in one hand and a cane in the other!