An interview with Pamela Sue Fox
Owner of Studio North Academy of the Performing Arts in Wilmette, IL
|Just for fun quick facts on Pamela Sue Fox|
|Years of dance training?||32 and still training!|
|Years teaching dance?||16|
|Styles of dance studied?
||Tap, musical theater, jazz, ballet, flamenco, ballroom & swing. Attended the University of Kentucky to study Opera & Theater, and the Cincinnati Conservatory to study Musical Theater|
|Favorite dance genre?||Ballet|
|What styles do you teach now?||Ballet, jazz, musical theater and tap|
|What body part do you love to stretch?||Hamstrings|
|Pick one: Teach a smaller class or a larger class?||Larger|
|Pick one: Fast movement or slow movement?||Fast|
|Pick one: CDs or iPods?||I use them both equally. The great thing about CD’s is that you can slow them down and speed them up, which is essential in tap.|
|Dance/teaching bag essentials?||Music, a screwdriver for tap shoes, choreography and/or a syllabus and water.|
Allegro Dance Boutique: If a student walks away having learned just one thing from you, what would you want that one thing to be?
Pamela Sue Fox: The joy of movement.
ADB: What is the biggest “no-no” for a student to do in your class?
PSF: Interrupting, not being dressed appropriately and not listening.
ADB: What type of music “moves” you?
PSF: I think it depends on the genre. I mean for ballet, which is obviously my favorite, a waltz will always get me excited. But, having been a club dj in my youth, house and techno drives me a lot.
ADB: Name a performance you have attended that took your breath away.
PSF: The guy that played Basilio in [the Joffrey Ballet’s recent production of] Don Quixote. He was amazing. He was doing all of the lifts one- handed, all of them. It was crazy. And his leaps. He did this double cabriole and I swear he was was in the air for 20 seconds!
ADB: Do you have a favorite age group to teach?
PSF: I really like the 9-13 year old age group. They’re very enthusiastic, funny and fun-loving, and so far, in my experience, they’ve been very focused.
ADB: How do you challenge your students mentally? Physically?
PSF: I have a saying: “Work to your full potential.” We start almost every class with that and every class they have to have a goal and something they’re going to focus on. I try to give them choreography that’s just a step beyond where they are and have them work into it.
ADB: If you weren’t teaching dance, what other field could you see yourself involved in?
PSF: I still perform as a singer a lot, I would like to do more of that. At some point in my life I would like to do cruise ship work.
ADB: Fill in the blank, mad libs- style: When I dance I feel _______. PSF: Alive. ADB: Teaching is __________. PSF: Everything to me. ADB: A good class is when____________ . PSF: I’m hot and sweaty after plies. ADB: My love for ___________ is almost as strong as my love for the performing arts! PSF: Cooking.
ADB: What do you most look forward to at recital time?
PSF: The performance quality that’s elicited from the students. Even in class, no matter how hard you try, there’s nothing like the magic of theater.
ADB: What is the best thing about owning SNAP?
PSF: The atmosphere is so friendly and happy and joyful. [A student was recently overheard saying] “It feels like home.”