I really really loved this class. I am also taking Liza's Dance in NYC class this semester...she is a very straightforward lecturer and always willing to listen to people's opinions and answer questions. The discussions of dance in American musicals in terms of their meaning and significance really interested me, and Liza's background and experience in the musical theater world makes her an expert (although she doesn't name-drop or casually brag like some other dance professors do). It's a fair amount of reading, but on really interesting subjects and half of it is interviews, which are far faster to read. We watch a lot of film in class, which is really helpful and entertaining; you also have to go a Broadway show and review it as part of the class (which I lovedâ€”go to a Broadway show as homework? sign me up!). Attendance is big but it's because she wants you to discuss and be involved. I love Liza and I wish she taught more classes here! Definitely take it if you are interested in learning more about musical theater dance and its meaning. It really is a fascinating topic and it was a really fun class.
If you need motivation to get out into the city or a way to choose between the plethora of options, this class will serve you well. In the first couple of classes the names of dance greats rolled off Gennaroâ€™s tongue like a list of her extended family members (which it can feel like in the dance world) leaving me bewildered, but as we focused on specific styles key figures reappeared and thus became clearer. However important for identification, names are of secondary importance (youâ€™ll never be tested on them) after learning to judge dance through its significance, technique, and aesthetic appealâ€”which, Gennaro emphasizes, varies greatly from person to person. Gennaro is extremely knowledgeable in her field yet approachable and open to student input. Her good nature and flexibility make her easy to work with and fun to listen to. Videos of subject matter ensure that class is a good balance of discussion and visual examples, while guest speakersâ€”from her numerous contacts in the dance fieldâ€”provide nuanced perspectives on all aspects of dance. While many students of dance take this course, the non-dancer can equally appreciate it and in fact benefit the class by offering on outsiderâ€™s view.
Ms. Gennaro is very informed about what she is teaching. She is in tune with the dance world, and is a very talented choreographer. However, she is a harsh grader, that does not seem to have any consistant standards to which she always grades. Her grading is based on what she likes, and if your opinion disagrees with hers, you will not do well in her class. The other section of dance in NYC writes shorter papers, and the class is easier. If you wish to take a fun, easy dance class, do not take Ms. Gennaro's section.