- a note by Tyler Brown
Touring internationally as a principal dancer for Alvin Ailey's second company, I learned that there's much more to dance than just correct execution of the choreography. As a dance teacher, I strive to keep the spark of spontaneous joy alive in young dancers, and see a rigorous study of technique simply as a key to a more profound and fulfilling dancing experience. Only this way can all the practice and training actually be fun, and only this way can a child's passion for dance occasionally blossom into a great career.
The performances we put together at the end of each semester are a core feature of my teaching method. The cooperation and dedication that it takes to put together a performance, and the courage and bravado that it takes to perform in front of an audience, are valuable skills which carry into all aspects of life.
In my interaction with my students, I bring a keen focus on proper nutrition and positive body image, on precise alignment and overall health, which I believe makes every one of my students better prepared for whatever life may throw at them, on and off the dance floor.
Dancing taught me not only how to move my body, but also how to think creatively and independently, how to think for myself and overcome challenges. These are skills, not a talent, and while impeccable technique and alignment are crucial for the few who will end up being professional dancers, it is my earnest hope that I will be able to pass on the confidence and self-esteem that a career in dance has given me, to all my students.
During the school year (Fall and Spring semesters), weekday TBDC classes are scheduled in the afternoon as after-school activities. On weekends and certain holidays, classes are scheduled throughout the day. In the first half of the week, we mostly have small group lessons in Ballet, Jazz, Modern and more, while towards the end of the week we focus on choreography and rehearse for our end-of-semester performance.
While learning in small groups and participating in larger rehearsals is fun and instructive, one-on-one classes are also crucial, so Tyler encourages her students to also take private lessons.
The TBDC hosts two end-of-semester performances each year, the Winter Showcase, and the Spring Jam. These performances are wonderful opportunities for the students to get a taste of what a career in dance might be like. They are great character building experiences. The Winter Showcase is coming up on Dec 7th! Click here for more information.
Summer Dance Camp
During the summer, we offer Summer Intensive Dance Camps, which involve an exciting full immersion into the world of dance, with daily lessons, arts & crafts, ballet terminology, master classes by guest teachers, and field trips to professional dance performances, and more. Click here to contact us and get info about camps offered this summer.
About Artistic Director Tyler Brown
Originally from Owings Mills, Maryland, TBDC Founder and Artistic Director Tyler Brown started dancing at age 9. Her formal training started at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore; under the direction of Carol Bartlett and Melissa Stafford. Here she was trained in classical ballet and fell in love with the art of dance. She then attended the Ailey School with a full scholarship and after one year, was recruited into Alvin Ailey's second company.
Prior to starting the TBDC, Tyler had an illustrious career as a performing dancer and spokesperson.
From 2012 through 2014, Tyler toured internationally as a principal dancer and poster girl for Ailey II. She received glowing reviews of her performances from the New York Times, and was featured in a spread of Essence Magazine's May 2013 issue. Ms. Brown was interviewed by Dance Spirit Magazine, and performed on Dancing With The Stars - Bulgaria. In 2014 she was featured on NBC New York representing Ailey II's 2014 New York Season and 40th Anniversary. She also appeared on MTVU, and performed for the 2014 Mercedes Benz car show. From 2014 through 2016, Tyler performed domestically and internationally with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, with noteworthy performances such as the 2015 Meet in Beijing Dance Festival. Ms. Brown was also a member of Kachal Dance, under the direction of Alia Kache with performances such as the 2016 Cistermúsica festival in Alcobaca, Portugal and the 2016 Fringe Festival in New York City. Other performance credits include workshops with the Merce Cunningham Trust in 2017. Tyler has also performed works by Kate Skarpetowska, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Jessica Lang, Robert Battle, Judith Jamison, and more.
"In a solo from Jessica Lang’s “Splendid Isolation II,” Tyler Brown commanded attention as an Ailey queen should, her outsized white skirt spilling in a vast circle around her. The first twist of her torso was worth the whole underdeveloped dance."
Brian Sabert, New York Times
"The most potent sense of individuality came from Ms. Skarpetowska, whose “Cuore Sott’olio” set adventurous, high-velocity partnering against the slow-motion progression of a lone dancer, the stately Tyler Brown"
Sibhan Burke, New York Times
Pre-ballet and jazz teaching assistant
Réka Echerer received conservatory training in ballet and modern dance at SUNY Purchase, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has performed with the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen Helm and Kizuna Dance. She has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Gabrielle Lamb, Aszure Barton and currently dances with Sue Bernhard Danceworks, Megan Williams Dance Projects and the Metropolitan Opera. She has taught dance private and group lessons for the last five years.
Pre-pointe and ballet teaching assistant
Seneca Lawrence, a native of New Hampshire, grew up dancing since the age of 4. She received conservatory training in ballet and modern at SUNY Purchase, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. Currently, she performs as a freelance dancer, and actress, appearing in music videos and tv shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Seneca also loves her job as a teaching artist, and firmly believes in the importance of spreading knowledge of dance and the performing arts to the younger generations of artists to come.