Teens at LINES: Faculty Features!

With Fall on the horizon, we’re excited to announce our 2020/2021 Teens Program faculty: Brett Conway, Daiane Lopes da Silva, Jordan Wanderer, Kara Davis, Katie Roy, and Victor Talledos. Starting September 12, they’ll be teaching three levels of online ballet and contemporary classes that challenge young artists to embrace their individuality while learning in a supportive environment. Click here to learn more about the program.

We recently interviewed each of these faculty members for insight into the most helpful correction they’ve received, advice for their teenage selves, and more. Their answers are shared here…

Jump to an interview:

BRETT CONWAY

Brett Conway | ©Quinn B. Wharton

In five words or less, describe your class style.
Musical, insightful, challenging, fun!

Do you have a teaching motto or mantra?
Not really, but I’m a firm believer you only get out, what you put in. 

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
I feel so fortunate to have had so many great teachers that have influenced me throughout my training and career. One of my earliest memories is of my very first ballet teacher who had the most beautiful and fluid port de bras which I always tried to replicate when I was first learning ballet. I love port de bras and working on the fluidity and coordination of the arms in class.

What’s the most helpful correction you’ve ever been given?
I took an Alexander class a while back and discovered how lengthening the back of my neck allowed my spine to feel longer and more aligned. So often you see dancers lift their chins up in an effort to “pull up” and feel longer. I found this idea of lengthening the back of my neck created a more length with less tension. 

What advice would you give your teenage self? 
Don’t let any insecurities get in the way and self-sabotage an opportunity or goal you truly want to pursue. No excuses, just go for it!

Return to top.


DAIANE LOPES DA SILVA

Daiane Lopes da Silva | ©Jon Bauer

In five words or less, describe your class style.
My classes are meditative and process-oriented, focused but also fun. 

Do you have a teaching motto or mantra?
Be generous, patient and consistent in your practice. Full heartedly. 

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
Dr. Alex Feng, my Tai chi master. He radiates light in the room and has a great sense of humor. With him, I learned how to be grounded, not only physically but also mentally. 

What’s the most helpful correction you’ve ever been given?
Practice to improve, not to prove. 

What advice would you give your teenage self? 
Learn from your peers. Be open minded. 

What song always gets you dancing?
Any song from the 80’s. It’s total magic! 

Return to top.


JORDAN WANDERER

Jordan Wanderer | ©Stephen Texeira

In five words or less, describe your class style.
Somatic, brainy, musical, detail-oriented 

Do you have a teaching motto or mantra?
It’s all in the transitions. 

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
Actually my high school band teacher who cultivated a strong sense of community and always taught with humility, gratitude, and curiosity.

What’s the most helpful correction you’ve ever been given?
Don’t rush. 

What advice would you give your teenage self? 
Stop worrying about what others think of you.  

What song always gets you dancing?
The Magnificent Seven by The Clash

Return to top.


KARA DAVIS

Kara Davis | ©Chris Hardy

In five words or less, describe your class style. 
Ballet-Cunningham-Limon-Forsythe-mash-up

Do you have a teaching motto or mantra?
Your sensation of your own weight is your most useful ally.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
William Martin Viscount. He pushed us to believe we could achieve the impossible.

What’s the most helpful correction you’ve ever been given? 
Janice Garrett: “Lean in to the moment where your exhaustion feels paralyzing with a ferocious curiosity.”

What advice would you give your teenage self? 
You are not fat, ever.

What song always gets you dancing?
Lizzo’s “Worship”

Return to top.


KATIE ROY

Katie Roy | ©Steve Disenhof

In five words or less, describe your class style.
Explorative / multidisciplinary / playful / collaborative.

Do you have a teaching motto or mantra?
Provide guidance and suggestions, not ‘answers’. When given the chance to think and experience and investigate for themselves, students often come away with an understanding that is stronger and deeper for having built it through their own process.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
There have been so many; I find it really difficult to name just one. I have felt the most growth for myself in classes where it is emphasized that making mistakes and falling over teach you where your own limits currently stand and give you the chance to begin to expand them. The teachers that have cultivated an environment in which it is not only ok but expected for you to make and use failure as an opportunity for growth have been exceedingly influential in the way that I approach dance, art, and life in general.

What’s the most helpful correction you’ve ever been given?
Find confidence while not knowing what you are doing. Jump in. You’ll figure something out eventually.

What advice would you give your teenage self? 
You are already enough.

What song always gets you dancing?
Raconte-Moi Une Histoire – M83

Return to top.


VICTOR TALLEDOS

Victor Talledos | ©Stephen Texeira

In five words or less, describe your class style.
Mentally, physically and artistically challenging.

Do you have a teaching motto or mantra?
We like to work hard and have fun.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
Enrico Labayen, for sure. A founding member of LINES Ballet, he took me under his wing when I moved to SF and has taught and pushed me in ways I never imagined, personally and artistically.

What’s the most helpful correction you’ve ever been given?
Allow yourself to not be perfect all the time. It’s ok to make mistakes. 

What advice would you give your teenage self? 
Don’t be afraid to try something new. If it’s uncomfortable and you can’t figure it out right away, then it’s probably good for you. 

What song always gets you dancing?
It’s constantly changing – right now, I’m into drums. I might be into classical music later, or electronic. I don’t really have favorite songs. I just dance, even if there is no music.

Return to top.

TEENS AT LINES:
Refine Your Technique. Empower Your Artistry.
Based in ballet and contemporary training, the Teens Program offers three levels of training for young artists ages 11-17. In light of shelter-in-place mandate in San Francisco, the Teens Program will take place online this Fall. Registration for the Fall semester is now open and classes begin September 12!

Click here for more information.

Photos: © Jon Bauer, Steve Disenhof, Chris Hardy, Stephen Texeira, Quinn B. Wharton


Your support keeps LINES Ballet thriving and is absolutely critical to our success.
To make a tax-deductible donation today, click here.