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ZOE RAPPAPORT
Founder of M4D & Lead Educator

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Zoe has been teaching since she was 16 years old when she first assisted master teacher & iconic dancer/choreographer Jimmy Locust. She has since taught all ages, backgrounds, levels & abilities in a variety of settings — from dance studios to after-school programs, summer camps to community centers, tech start-ups to prisons — on both coasts and internationally. She is currently on faculty at AMDA College of Performing Arts in Los Angeles & specializes in cultivating open spaces for participants to feel free to express themselves, deepen into their artistry & co-create community. Zoe has taught for Hammer Museum, UCLA, Pieter Performance Space, Genesis Studios, Everybody Dance, Destiny Arts Center, Grand Street Settlement, Riker's Island & more. Many of her students have been signed to agencies and have gone on to dance for Rihanna, Alicia Keys, L.A. Laker Girls, Savage Fenty,
"In The Heights" & much more.

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MY STORY

I am passionate about mentorship because I was lucky to have the opportunity to be mentored by world-renowned choreographers & artists at the age of 14. After being rejected by my local town's hip hop dance team, my mother said something to me that changed the trajectory of my life: 

"If you really want to learn something, you have to go to the masters."

That weekend, my mother brought me to world-renowned jazz choreographer Adrienne Hawkins' studio — Impulse Dance. Everyone at the studio was college-age up to 80 years old. I was 14 years old, the youngest and smallest dancer by far. Adrienne welcomed me — and every single other person who walked into her studio — with open arms and an open heart. I attended her jazz class every Saturday for the next few years. I took privates when I could. After a couple years, I not only made it onto the hip hop team, but I had made it into the top level in jazz, hip hop & ballet of a pre-professional company while in high school. From that point on, Adrienne became a mentor to me... and still is to this day.​

I was also blessed to have been mentored by iconic dancer/choreographer Jimmy Locust, whose credits range from Michael & Janet Jackson to Paula Abdul to being a principal dancer in Gus Giordano's company. I was also mentored by artists in other fields, including legendary makeup artist Linda Mason and internationally recognized sound-artist Christopher Janney. Having artistic influences across disciplines has been central to my journey as a Movement Artist. guide me at varying stages of my career has been pivotal to staying true through my growth and development.

 

I first began mentoring dancers in the Lower East Side of New York City right after graduating from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2010. Those students of mine have had commercial, concert & underground success as they have been signed, dance for artists like Rihanna, won street dance battles, became educators & program directors. Some of them continue to work with me. For years I thought about creating a mentorship program for dancers...and when the pandemic hit, the opportunity presented itself. While teaching dance virtually has its drawbacks, mentoring virtually works. Since the pandemic, I have taught M4D to a diverse range of dancers — from those just getting started on their journey to those that are more advanced. I have taught dancers from Argentina, Dominican Republic, UK, Uganda, India & the US. Past mentees have been signed to dance agencies, attended 4-year college dance programs, featured in tv/film, joined dance companies, become dance educators and much more.

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