Jake W Hastey's Teaching
"When I was recommended to Jake Hastey it was through a dance contact who I trusted greatly. When I did take my first class with Jake, I was fresh out of getting into Cirque Du Soleil and right off my last year of studio dancing. To say I was fairly confident in my dancing abilities is an understatement; I was extremely confident. But, to my surprise, Jake Hastey calmed down my egotistical self and humbled me. Through the year and a half I worked with Jake, he coached me in so many elements and aspects of my technical abilities, that I felt as though I had gained a new understanding of my body and physical presence.
"Even more so, Jake had elevated my understanding of choreographic process, and pedagogical study where I was opened up to new and inventive ways of creation and distribution of dance. I would not have the confidence in my abilities as a dancer to audition for the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and become accepted into their program if I had not worked with Jake.
"His teaching style pinpoints the dancer's lowest common denominator and fixes it. He is able to see the areas of issue within the dancer's body and take the necessary steps to fix it, throughout the class. Sometimes the methods he uses to repair the movement are unorthodox. However, they all work. I remember Jake made me dance 2 weeks of barre leaning on a 45 degree angle down to help me discover where my true weight should be. I still do this before every class to make sure I am up on my pelvis and my plum line is correct. Jake is not only good at teaching, but good at demonstrating what he wants you do to and he uses his abilities as an extremely useful tool in the class environment."
"I started coaching with Jake while I was training and performing and had just come back from an injury. I was not confident in my ballet technique and was struggling with the same problems I had been struggling with since I was 14. With Jake I learned new ways to study my technique and learn how I could re-train to avoid future injury. In that time I learned a lot of new approaches to technique, strength and most importantly learned a non-judgmental approach to my work. Jake has a logical, honest and positive approach – the best medicine for old ballet school habits, both mental and physical. I learned to look at ballet with a new energy, curiosity and wisdom that Jake had formed and tested out over many years of study. I found a new weight-placement and a new routine and clear-headed approach that helped me get back on pointe, back on stage and later, to Europe. Backed with the confidence and technique I learned while working with Jake, I felt I had the mental and physical strength to audition."
"Jake also taught me how to teach and gave me the opportunity to teach later that year as well. I then saw what I had learned about weight placement and technique transfer over to my students. I shadowed Jake on his classes with many different types of students and saw his energy, confidence in his method of teaching and technique at work in the classroom. He is an inspiring teacher for dancers from beginner adults to professionals and for children and teens. Jake loves dance and ballet done smart. Anything done smart is more fun and thanks to Jake I realized once more how that was possible. I was able to bounce back from an injury and realize my dream of dancing on a stage in Europe."
"Jake is an incredible teacher. He made it possible for me to understand movement and my body as both an Actor and as a person. He made it so much easier to dance because movement became about freedom and letting go of thought instead of about muscling through everything. He was also the first teacher who made a solid bridge for me between acting and dancing so I understood how to bring one into to the other. He works to find a way to communicate movement to you so that you understand it. I learned more about movement and my body in my first three weeks with Jake than I did in all of my previous years of movement and dance.
"If you're looking for a teacher to help you develop as an actor, mover, or dancer, Jake is the person to go to."