Today we lost one of the greatest ballet teachers in the world, Willy Burmann to
He taught everyday at Steps in NYC from 10:30AM. Steps is like a department store for dance and If you are a dancer and have been to NYC, you have been there at least once. To me he was always a mysterious character. His back was so straight and he had no extra meat for his age.(ok, maybe a little tummy meat!) but his legs were the same shape as when he had been an active dancer, and he still walked like a prince. I was never a regular student of his, but in one period, for 3 months back in 2004, I used to take his class every day. He had a routine: when he arrived at Steps, he would always look into David Howard's 10AM class next door and check out who was there. Then later, after each barre lesson, he would leave the studio and go to the dressing room for a bit. One day, I decided to take a later class which is at 11:30 with another beloved teacher: Nancy Bielski. I was warming up in the hallway and Willy saw me and deadpanned “late start today “ and then he gave me a charming smile. That’s him, I understood why he was so loved and trusted. It was always a bit scary to go back to take his class when you hadn’t been there for awhile. His teaching was so rigorous and special and he had a rare power and influenced so many dancers.
And above : I did a kitchen contemporary ballet barre class and put a Willy Burmann barre combination into it.