News Column

Former Rockette offering dance workshops

July 9, 2014

By John Peters, The Mount Airy News, N.C.

July 09--Former Radio City Rockette Alana Niehoff will offer precision dance workshops at the Surry Arts Council in a series of workshops this month.

The weekend of July 12 and 13, she will offer two separate workshops. The first is on Saturday, July 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is for ages 8-12 at a cost of $40. On Sunday from 2-6 p.m. she will conduct the same workshop for youth age 13 and older at a cost of $50.

Rockettes to Broadway lets participants experience what it is like to audition and dance for New York City's leading precision dance company. They will learn pre-show injury prevention and precision jazz, tap and kick line combos.

The following weekend, July 19-20, she will offer the Rockettes to Broadway Two-Day Intensive workshop for ages 12 and older. This will allow participates to "spend a weekend stepping into the shoes of a Radio City Rockette," the Surry Arts Council said.

Participants will train in three techniques -- ballet, jazz, and tap -- and learn how to do eye-high kicks and dance in precision formations. The weekend also includes a "Making It in the Business" seminar and an informal showcase for family and friends. This two-day course will be 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on July 19 and 2 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on July 20, at a cost of $100.

As a child, Niehoff trained and tested in the Royal Academy of Dance, Cechetti and Vaganova ballet techniques. In 1998, she was one of four students taken to represent America at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition in Switzerland. At 15, Niehoff was invited to join the Alabama Ballet where she performed soloist and principals roles with the company.

Following her time in Alabama, Niehoff was selected to join the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in New York City. While there, she had opportunities to perform with the main company during their Metropolitan Opera Season.

Following her time with the American Ballet Theatre, Niehoff performed as a Radio City Rockette for eleven years. As a Rockette, she appeared on various national television shows and was featured in Dance Spirit magazine.

Additionally, Niehoff's versatility has led her to an array of performing opportunities alongside stars such as Liza Minnelli, Richard Simmons, Tim Gunn, Jane Lynch, and the cast of Ugly Betty. This fall Niehoff will begin her next professional endeavor as a primary teacher for the preparatory program of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. This is the early development ballet program designed to create dancers for the UNCSA School of Dance.

For additional information, or to register, contact the Surry Arts Council at (336) 786-7998 or


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Source: Mount Airy News (NC)

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