NYC Ballet Legend Offers Children the Opportunity to Dance
New York City Ballet legend, Jacques d'Amboise, talks with Steve Adubato about his decades of professional dancing and how he founded the National Dance Institute to provide children the opportunity to participate in dance and the arts.
"Wow! That was... I know. ...Jacques d'Amboise, the founder of the National Dance Institute, and that was Jacques d'Amboise... A thousand years ago! A thousand years ago! "Dam-bwas"? Or "Dam-bwah?" "Dam-bwas". "Dam-bwas". Yeah. I apologize. If it has an "e" you pronounce the "s". "Dam-bwas". Cause it has an "e" at the end. Thank you for correcting me. And that was from the Ed Sullivan Show? Yeah. 1968 you think? I think. Earlier maybe. I'm not sure. Who was the talented young lady you were dancing with? Her name was Karel Shimoff. Wow. And she was one of the best dancers ever. And she married another great dancer, Tommy Rall. And she just didn't want to dance... she stopped early. "I want to go become fat! Eat Italian food!" [laughter] "Get married. Have a lot of children. Bar Mitzvah the boys." I love it. And that's what happened. Is that right? Yeah. She got married... Not you? ...to Tommy Rall, and had three children, and had 'em all Bar Mitzvahed. And got fat. Well Jacques, I have you here. [laughter] So I want to find out your story. You didn't do that? First of all, what is your secret to staying so fit and conditioned? How do you do this? Actually, I'm not fit. I'm lazy. [laughter] I don't exercise. I have artificial knees from dancing so much. Yeah. And... but I keep busy all the time. But I'm lazy. I should be in the gym. How about you? Well I do my thing. I try to take care of myself. Do you? Every morning? Everyday. Yeah. Yeah well I don't dance. But here's the deal. The National Dance Institute. Tell us what it is, and why it's important? Could you consider yourself...? First... okay. What does everybody need? Food, shelter, and water. That... every organism needs it. But we're more than organisms. We are emotional creatures. And we invented something called the arts to express our emotions. Music, and dancing, poetry, and painting, and everything. And so it should be part of every child's life. To have the arts, so when you say... I hate the word "education"... "When did you finish your education?" Right. Get rid of it. It sounds like, "Oh, I have a doctorate. Oh, I went... I finished high school." As if you stop. Use the word "learning". "When did you finish your learning?" Never. There you go. So get rid of the word "education". Get rid of the word "kids". They're children. "Oh, come on! They're kids. Don't worry about 'em." Would you ever say, "Oh, come on! They're children." Don't worry about 'em."? That's right. The reverse. So get rid of "kids". Get rid of... and say, "children"..."