The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 29, 1992, Page 9, Image 8

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Arts & Entertainment
Courtesy of Stephanie Chase
Stephanie Chase (right) kicks with fellow Rockette Prudy
Grey in costume for tneir Christmas performance this past
Michelle PaulmarvDN
A Rockette at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and a UNL dance instructor, Stephanie Chase bal
ances her dancing and caring for her 1 1/2-year-old daughter, Sydney (pictured), and son, Tate,
Rockette shares experience as a teacher
By Sarah Djiey
Staff Reporter
Stephanie Chase knew when she
danced as a young girl that the move
ment just felt right.
Chase, a dance instructor at the
University of Ncbraska-Lincoln, left
her hometown of Bellevue and danced
her way to the top in New York City
where she has performed as a Rock
ette for eight years.
Not only docs Chase perform at
Radio City Music Hall and leach dance,
she also has two children.
Since she was 6 years old, Chase
has lived in the dance studio. She
studied with Laura Estelle Entcnman
from Bellevue before going to Lorctto
Heights in Denver and getting her
bachelor’s degree in dance. Chase
then studied with Gus Giordano, a
world-renowned jazz instructor, for
several summers before opening her
own studio in Kearney in 1980.
In 1983, Chase left Kearney and
went to New York City to study jazz,
tap and ballet for a year. She soon fell
in love with the creative energy of the
city and stayed there for eight years.
“My dream was to be a Bob Fosse
dancer, so I auditioned.”
Chase said Fosse was one of the
mainstream jazz dancers, teachers and
“I saw I had something that the
choreographer liked and I made it to
the final cuts.”
Chase said she was one of 40 women
who made the cut from the original
500 women who tried out.
“Bob came up to me both audi
tions, thanked me personally and said
he liked me as a dancer.”
But Fosse said he couldn’t use
Chase in any of his groups. He said
that, among other things, she wasn’t
sexy enough for his production of
“Sweet Charity.”
she said, was not becoming a Bob
Fosse dancer.
But Chase didn’t give up. She said
her husband encouraged her to try out
for the Rockctics. Because she was a
little more relaxed at the Rockclte
audition after gaining experience at
past auditions, Chase landed a job.
“I didn’t think I was good enough
to make a show,” she said, “I was
completely wrong.
“It was a pleasant surprise.”
The Rockctics perform two major
shows at Radio City at Easter and
Christmas and several shorter shows
in between. Chase said during the
Christmas show, the line performed
five shows a day.
“Each show lasts 90 minutes long.
During the hour break in between
each show, we just crash. It’s really
The line meets two or three weeks
before each show and practices about
about six hours a day.
“Performing at Radio City is the
ultimate. Radio City’s stage is proba
bly the biggest and most beautiful
stage in the world.
“I’ve performed as a soloist and as
a group, but there’s nothing like being
a precision dancer with 35 other
The 35 other women who perform
as Rockctlcs arc known for their eye
high kicks, Chase said, but she thinks
of them as friends.
“The friendships I have made with
the gals in the line will be for life,”
she said. “The camaraderie between
us is a special thing.”
Radio City Music Hall scats 6,00()
people, and Chase said the hall was
almost always packed.
But she said the Rockctlcs were
trying to “stretch their horizons” by
adding singing and acting along with
the dancing.
While she loves performing, Chase
said she loves teaching even more.
She said she always wanted to teach.
“Teaching was what I loved to do
because I didn’t trust myself (as a
When Chase wasn’t performing at
Radio City, she taught dance in the
drama department at Julliard. At UNL,
Chase teaches one beginning jazz class
and one beginning lap class.
In September, Chase and her hus
band will open a dance and fitness
studio in the Haymarkcl. Her hus
band, Bob, who also is from Ne
braska, is now one of the lop fitness
instructors in New York City.
“Both Bob and I love Lincoln
because the university brings more
creativity. But we mostly missed the
people in Nebraska.
“We’re real excited that enough
people arc interested in what we have
to offer.”
Although she said her biggest
accomplishments were her children,
she said she was proud of her career
asaRockcttc. Her mom was a dancer,
and Chase said she knew she was
doing things her mother would have
loved to have done.
' Michelle Paulman/DN
Andrew Vogt, a junior music major and saxophone player, and Steve Doering, a graduate student
in trombone performance, play in Hornithology, a jazz septet.
Musicians say gigs
add j azz to education
By George K. Stephan
Staff Reporter
Sieve Docring and Andrew Vogl
complement each other nicely.
Doering, a more reserved person,
thinks things through before he speaks,
and Vogt, energetic, talks readily,
cracking jokes in a steady stream.
The two might not be found together
were they not both musicians.
While sitting in a practice room on
the third floor of Westbrook Music
Building, both Vogl, a junior major
ing in music education and a saxo
phone player, and Docring, a gradu
ate student seeking a degree in trom
bone performance, talked about their
own experiences with getting “gigs.”
They also spoke of the group Homi
thology, which they both will play in
this Thursday night at Julio’s Restau
rant and Bar, 132 S. 13th St.
Doering and Vogl arc the only
students in the seven-member jazz
group, which includes twosaxophonc
players, a trombone player, a trumpet
player, a pianist, a bass player and a
Both Docring and Vogt said they
focused on jazz performing and that
playing professionally was a big part
of their jazz education. Jazz can’t be
learned by reading about it, Docring
“You’ve got to go out and do it,”
he said.
Although the pair said playing as
members of the University of Ne
braska-Lincoln jazz band always
helped their jazz education, both said
that a professional jazz selling al
lowed them to learn things they
wouldn’t learn in a classroom.
"You learn more,” said Vogt.
“Instead of having Dave Sharp (school
of music instructor and director of the
jazz band) direct, I’d rather play with
him, as a saxophonist.”
Docring said playing with local
ftrofcssionals in big bands allowed
or more work “on some things that