Learn how to teach or dance Jazz with Sheila Barker.

11 Aug

Yeah, we don’t want to admit it…summer is almost over… but our new releases are still super HOT!

Today we are here to introduce you to JAZZ FOR KIDS” WITH SHEILA BARKER! A series of two dance instructional DVDs specifically created for kids and beginners who want to learn the basics of Jazz dance. Teachers can also find these DVDs an extremely useful resource to provide their younger or fledgling students with top-of-the-line choreography and technique.

While at the Dance Teacher Summit a couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to interview Sheila Barker who was teaching at the event. Check out what she had to say!

Tezoro Productions: What makes your “JAZZ FOR KIDS” DVDs unique?

Sheila: In this series of DVDs I made sure to express myself my own way through my energy and my style and to transmit that energy through my steps. Even if some of those steps are similar, it’s the way I put them together, stylize them, execute them and finally ask students to bring them back that is unique.

Tezoro Productions: How are the DVDs structured?

Sheila: I structured my DVDs in a way that kids and anyone that has never danced before can learn while having fun. They start with a nice, basic warm-up, then they continue with isolations – that are fundamental in Jazz dance – and they end with 4 distinct combinations (about eight 8’s each). The entire set of movements is energetic and based on athletic as well as simple steps that any kid and non-dancer can naturally do.

Tezoro Productions: What piece of advice can you give to dance instructors who teach kids?

Sheila: When teaching to kids it is very important not to downgrade how we teach. Children can learn almost anything if you break the information down. Try to give them more visual content with the movement and the technique and keep the class fun. If they feel involved they’ll learn more easily as well as more quickly.


Sheila Barker has been an educator, choreographer and performer for the past 12 years in such places as Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Europe and across the USA. She received a BFA in dance and has extensive training in Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Tap, African/Dunham and Musical Theatre. Her performance background ranges from Broadway and Off-Broadway to industrials, music videos and soap operas. Sheila has choreographed many industrials, music videos and stage shows for recording artists. She is currently a member of the  faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Marymount Manhattan College.

Is there anything you’d like to ask Sheila? Post a comment with your questions below this article!

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