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Thank you, Dr. King, for taking us by the hand and leading us to the mountain.
The "New" 16E and 16D 

 

In creating the new studios on the 17th floor, we learned a few tricks! Over the next several months, we'll be retrofitting some of your favorite studios on the 16th floor and the original 17th floor with these improvements!
Jeannie's Spot
Critique and Commentary from our 14-year old Heir Apparent

 

Over Christmas break, I saw four movies. Anchorman 2, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. Here are my thoughts about them:

Anchorman 2
I thought that the first Anchorman movie was hilarious and I did not think that the second one would be better, but I was wrong. I thought that the second movie was a lot better than the first one. The part I liked most was the fight scene and how they brought all these celebrities together including Amy Poehler and Tina Fey who are hosting the Golden Globes, and made a fight scene that was much better than the first one. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
I saw this movie the day it came out on Christmas and the theater was packed. Some people even had to sit on the floor! Ben Stiller was great in this movie and he did a great job directing it. I was very excited to see Kristen Wiig in the movie, and even in Anchorman 2. The story was amazing and I would love to read the book to compare it to this wonderful movie. 

The Wolf of Wall Street 
Absolutely amazing. I waited a very long time for this movie to be released, and it was worth it. I wanted to read the book first, but I was not able to finish it on time especially because it is a five hundred page book and I am not a fast reader. Jonah Hill had a great part in this movie and I do not think he could have been any better. I highly recommend this movie for people to see Leonardo DiCaprio at his best, so if he does not get an Oscar for this, there is something seriously wrong with America. I have been a big fan of Leo for a while now, and since he is taking a break from acting, I really think he deserves an award. 

American Hustle
Those critics were right when they said that there was a great ensemble cast. I loved how the director, David O. Russell, brought back Christian Bale and Amy Adams from The Fighter, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence to make this movie. All of them were amazing and all of them deserves awards for their hard work, especially David O. Russell. I would love to see this cast do another amazing film together.

Jean-Michelle Ripley-Grier is the daughter of our Founders, Butch Grier and Patricia Ripley.
January 2014

Happy New Year, everybody! Here's hoping your resolution includes spending more time with us here at Ripley-Grier, taking classes, hitting auditions, and eating cookies! What do you mean that's not part of your resolution??!! You've obviously never had one of our cookies....

We're ringing in the new year by re-opening two newly renovated spaces, 16D and 16E, two of the original 7 studios here at RG520. A spanky new floor and curtains in 16E, and both studios got new sound-attenuated ceilings and fresh paint. You're welcome! More improvements are coming to the 17th floor this spring, so if you find yourself wondering "how could this place get any better??!!", you're about to find out.

 

me and boys John Norman

Ripley Grier Studios
New York's Premier Rehearsal
and Audition Facility

SPOTLIGHT:

StarQuest International

 


StarQuest is a North Carolina based dance competition production team that holds events all over the country for young performers. Operations director John Norman sat down with StarQuest founder Steve Wappel to talk about his company's many years of success, and why he keeps returning to New York to hire talent, and to Ripley-Grier specifically.

 
Starquest tours 48 cities between late February and Memorial Day weekend, spending 3 days in each, and judging between 600 and 700 dance routines. Dance studios bring their best students, traveling up to three hours to compete. With this kind of schedule, they need a seamless team of professionals, from sound engineers to MCs, and because of the seasonal nature of the business, often have to replace up to 50% of their staff each year. Steve is a former stage manager, who founded the company with his wife Kathy to give dance studios of all sizes an opportunity to compete at a regional and national level. An outgoing and articulate man, he gives the impression of being the one guy you would want with you in the foxhole when navigating the competitive, emotional world of young dancers in competition. "It's a different animal than calling a show", he admits "in competition....kids can throw up on stage."  
Steve returns year after year to New York to take advantage of the talent pool of performance techs and actor/hosts that he needs to fill out his team. He's been returning to RG for over a decade, because "when someone comes in, I don't want them to have a bad audition because of something that happened before they came in the room. It's hard enough just getting there. The reason I come to Ripley-Grier is not about money or reputation, it's about value. The warm, family-oriented elements in a professional environment, I think the combination is fabulous." 

Learn more about job opportunities and competitions by Starquest at www.starquestdance.com 

SPOTLIGHT:

Dance Star Academy

 

In earlier centuries, nearly everyone danced and sang to some extent. With the advent of modern technology, bringing true masters of these forms to the masses in movie theaters and livingrooms, it seems that we have all gotten a bit shy, thinking you either "can" or "can't" dance from birth. Alexei and Lola Shadurski want to change that. Dance Star Academy is devoted to sharing the romance, joy, fashion, and fitness of ballroom dance with their students, who range in age from 20 to over 80. They offer private and couples lesson as well as group lessons and wedding dance instruction. Their goal is to foster a sense of community and fun, and they say once they have worked with you "dancing is as easy as walking". More info at DanceStarAcademy.com