Dancers work with pros

Middle school dance students learned from professional dancers throughout October. Tina Finkelman Berkett and Julie Schulman, members of the Los Angeles dance company Body Traffic, came to the middle school weekly to work with members of the Dance Production class, middle school dance teacher Carrie Green said. They taught two-hour classes to five students at a time.

Berkett danced with Green at Barnard College, where the dance program centers on technical efficiency, Green said.

“It is good to get critiques from different teachers because they see different things in your dancing, and I found what Tina and Julie told me really helped my dance technique,” dance student Hallie Brookman ’12 said.

Green contacted Berkett in the beginning of the year about doing the series. Berkett has been substituting at Harvard-Westlake and teaching dance master classes for years. She has also performed in a world tour with Mikhail Baryshnikov and has performed with ASzURe & Artists, a dance group in New York lead by choreographer Aszure Barton. Shulman has danced for companies in Canada, Italy and Switzerland, among others.

“I thought this experience was a great way to grow because of the individual attention,” Jill Wilson ’12 said.

The teachers also enjoyed the experience.

“The students are more than a pleasure to work with, because, like in the academic arena, when it comes to dance they are committed to learning and bettering themselves,” Berkett said.