Circles of Influence

Mid-way through the 3rd week of graduate school at NYU. Do I have my degree yet? (I put a picture up on facebook and my Mom told me I looked tired. Moms always know!)

That is not a complaint. I honestly spent the morning dissecting ballet class, and one memorable moment of skipping around the ABT studio with my beautiful classmates, the amazing Meghan Love, and yes, Sascha Radetsky while comparing the physical difference between 6/8 and 2/4 meter. I wish I had a video.

We had an assignment last week to delve into our own dance histories, teachers, and how they might connect to various institutions, schools of thought, dance pioneers, etc. And then we made huge posters/ art projects of them. Naturally, mine included caricatures of a few of my greatest teachers and influences.


Linking my teachers to their teachers and so on, I tried to find faculty bios for those still teaching. This was also helpful in seeing their headshots to capture their likeness in my doodles. I was unsuccessful in tracking down a bio or picture of possibly my greatest influence as a dancer, and certainly one as a teacher. I’m talking about the beautiful, knowledgable, uplifting teacher, still better dancer than all of us Rosanna Ruffo.

(You can see her in this video of a Butler ballet final, with the only person who might love her more than I do….former Butler pianist, Mr. Bill, who we all know had a giant crush on her)

When put into google, I couldn’t find any pictures of her from her dancing days. Here are some samples of what did come up:

Well, she IS wise...

Well, she IS wise…

Pretty sure Ms. Ruffo has 2 distinct eyebrows....

Pretty sure Ms. Ruffo has 2 distinct eyebrows….

Maybe 'Oggi' is her alter-ego?

Maybe ‘Oggi’ is her alter-ego?

Did she star in this? Wash she Goliath or the Vampire?

Did she star in this? Wash she Goliath or the Vampire?

Flying Saint, definitely Ms. Ruffo

Flying Saint, definitely Ms. Ruffo

Isn’t it amazing how we can somehow be linked to greatness and or weirdness? I love imagining how the circles will continue with my own students- I wonder where these guys are- once I’ve mastered skipping of course.

Enjoy my ‘Circles of Influence’ and teacher doodles. Please note that I managed to link myself to Alessandra Ferri. I’m obviously a direct descendent.


4 thoughts on “Circles of Influence

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