Hello Balanced Ballerinas!
How are you? I hope if restrictions are lifting in your part of the world and you’re able to attend classes that you are doing so. Not only to support your dance teacher and their small business but for your sanity, your health, your wellbeing and your immune system.
Now I’m really excited to bring you today’s guest because he’s one of those rare master teachers who can actually relate to dancers that begin their training as a young adult. I always have so much respect for those that find dance a little later in life and had to persevere and persist amongst other dancers who had been training their whole life.
I can’t relate to my clients who start ballet later in life as I began ballet classes from the age of three. I honestly don’t know what it’s like to not know what a plié is! Sometimes I find it hard to relate to an adult ballerina who begins their journey at the age of 25, 35 or 85 years old and sometimes I need to be reminded what it must feel like in order to teach with empathy and sensitivity.
Today’s guest has this in spades. I had the absolute honour of speaking with William Waldinger (who prefers to be called Bill) who teaches both Ballet and the Luigi Jazz Technique at the Joffrey Ballet School in the Ballet Trainee Program, the Adult Program and the Jazz and Contemporary Program.
Bill is also on faculty at the New York Film Academy and has served as the Director of Jazz at the Manhattan Ballet School and the Director of Ballet at the Contemporary company Cora Dance.
As a performer, Bill has appeared in musical theatre, commercials, music videos and television. Highlights include many regional and off broadway productions. His flare for Musical Theatre makes him an excellent practitioner when it comes to developing and laying down the fundamentals of classical ballet for his clients who may have a beautiful voice and stunning acting skills but are turned away at auditions because of their lack of dance technique.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a parent or student call me in a similar situation and I have to explain that there are no shortcuts when gaining a ballet education. In fact, Bill has written an amazing blog post all about this and I highly recommend checking it out on his blog (wait, how good is this title!) – classicalballetandallthatjazz.com
I also recommend checking Bill out on Facebook or Instagram. As a ballet teacher I find his musings and way with words so eloquent, inspiring and relatable. Usually when I’m thinking something (like magic!) he tends to post about it the next day or following week, summarising my thoughts exactly.
From my apartment on the Gold Coast in Australia, I spoke to Bill in his New York City apartment about his rather unconventional start in the dance world to his incredible journey into the world of teaching. We touch on his transition to online teaching during this time, but mostly we focus on his story, his passion for keeping it real and his thoughts around teaching both Ballet and traditional Jazz technique.
Now, sometimes you might need a pen and paper to jot down notes from a podcast episode, but this is more the kind that goes well with a cup of tea. So sit back and enjoy Bill’s fascinating story and passion for teaching.
Grit & Grace,