Young students often jump from creative movement - the perfect introduction to any modern technique - straight into ballet, bypassing modern until high school or even college. Yet teaching modern to children shapes future well-rounded, adventure-seeking dancers - students who are not afraid to really run, slide on the floor or create movement.
Students from The Ailey School appear on an episode of Sesame Street.
Jacqulyn Buglisi has a flair for drama. To encourage the students in her intermediate and advanced Graham classes at The Ailey School to open their sternums in a high release, she tells them to stretch "like a flower came out of your heart."
When Brenda Didier moved her studio, Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, to its new location in Vernon Hills, Illinois, she made sure the new setting could accommodate all the necessary elements: barres, mirrors, dance floors - and space for accompanists to play for the school's classes.
Step at a Time: Matilda Mackey from Ohio City, Ohio, practices jumps and poses on the main plaza at Lincoln Center as temperatures were in the high 80s on Tuesday.
It takes many years of study to acquire a professional level of dance technique, so aspiring dancers must begin training at a very young age. Even those who start performing professionally as youngsters must continue training through their adolescent years.
When you're a young dancer, talent is no guarantee for success: You need to mix it with passion and a lot of hard work.
Eager to nuture the next generation of dancers, the city's leading ballet companies are pulling out all the stops to attract boys.