Skip to main content

"Working with Point Park University students was such an honor. The dance studios are extremely spacious and the students were very eager to learn."

Addison Ector, professional dancer and teacher

Point Park University's Department of Dance regularly welcomes renowned guest artists for classes, workshops and presentations. This semester, professional dancer and teacher Addison Ector led master classes with B.F.A. dance majors in the George Rowland White Performance Center.

Ector — who previously worked with Professor Jae Man Joo at Complexions Contemporary Ballet — was in town to help Joo set his new work for Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.  

"Addison is an experienced, world-class dancer who taught our students a wonderful class," said Joo. "He has inspired so many dancers and shown them that anything is possible if they have a desire and love for dance."

Learn more about Ector and his master classes in the Q&A below.

Pictured is Addison Ector.

Tell us more about what brought you to Pittsburgh and your work with Professor Jae Man Joo at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.

I've known Jae Man Joo for 10 years. He was the associate artistic director for Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City when I joined the company as an apprentice. With my knowledge and experience performing his ballets, he asked me to become his choreographer assistant for his new work with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, which is what brought me to Pittsburgh. 

You recently led master classes at Point Park University. What were your key messages to our students?

  1. Breathe. In class we need to discover our breath when combinations get hard.
  2. Live your best life now. Don't hold your artistry back and then expect it to happen when you get a job.
  3. Challenge your base and be more extreme with your physicality. We don't choose to dance because it's easy. So why dance below our limits?

What was it like working with our students in our George Rowland White Performance Center?

Working with Point Park students in the George Rowland White Performance Center was such an honor. Coming to Pittsburgh, I was only thinking of my position as an assistant, but to have the spontaneous opportunity to work with students at Point Park was extremely fulfilling. The studios are extremely spacious and the students were very eager to learn.

In your short time on campus, how do our program and facilities prepare the next generation of dancers?

I believe that having incredible faculty, such as Jae Man Joo, will shift the focus of the next generation of dancers at Point Park specifically. Along with continued investment with guest choreographers, master teachers and providing modern-day works/ballets that students can experience before going into their career.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Remember, the profession we choose is most of the time difficult. Make sure you breathe and find those moments of joy that can keep you going through those tough times.

In Their Own Words: What Students and Faculty are Saying About Ector's Master Classes

  • "Opportunities like this class and other experiences as a dance major have helped add versatility to my dancing beyond the framework and boundaries of my concentration in ballet. This class was the perfect outlet for creative freedom and brainstorming what works and where I can push outside of my comfort zone." — Geneive Robinson, B.F.A. dance (ballet) '25 from Shenedhowa Central Schools in Clifton Park, N.Y.
  • "Opportunities like Ector's master class provide us a chance to experience a very relevant type of dance class. It is extremely inspiring to watch and learn from professional dancers and choreographers. Taking full advantage of the knowledge and insight they offer within these master classes helps to prepare us for our careers in dance." — Lauren Anderson, B.F.A. dance (ballet) '24, from Southern High School in Annapolis, Md.
  • "It is always amazing to work with such open and adaptable dancers. Their willingness to dive into the work of the numerous guest artists we are lucky to have on campus is easily observed, and surely what will drive their success after graduation." — Daniel Karasik, M.F.A., teaching artist. 

More About: dance, Conservatory of Performing Arts, ballet