Lydia Tetzlaff

Lydia Tetzlaff Ms. Tetzlaff has a rare and extensive professional background, full of the diversity of performing classical ballet, contemporary ballet and modern dance. After growing up in South Florida and training with Victoria Leigh of American Ballet Theater, she completed her dance training on a full scholarship two year training program with the Houston Ballet, performing with the company in their classical productions. Upon completion of the program, Lydia went on to dance as a soloist with the Fort Wayne Ballet, and settling down with the Alabama Ballet under the direction of first, Dame Sonia Arova, and later, Wes Chapman of American Ballet Theater. While in Birmingham, Lydia performed principal roles in many classics such as Swan Lake, Raymonda, Balanchine's Divertimento #15, the Nutcracker, and Dracula, and created roles in Beauty and the Beast, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, and numerous contemporary and modern works.

Lydia moved to the realm of modern dance while in Birmingham, dancing with Southern Danceworks under the direction of Teri Weksler of Mark Morris Dance Group. Here she created many roles, and enjoyed a more collaborative process in the creation of these works. 

In 2000, Lydia moved to New York City, where she started dancing with John Passafiume Dancers. Her immediate connection with the work and process has kept her there ever since. Since moving to NYC, Lydia also performed with acclaimed choreographer Eliot Feld's Ballet Tech, Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY, and spent three years with Battery Dance Company with whom she performed locally and internationally in over fifteen countries. 

Lydia's teaching has been molded and shaped by her vast experience in teaching ballet, contemporary dance, and modern dance across the NYC area as well as internationally. She has taught locally and across the globe, with three different trips spending concentrated time throughout the Middle East.   She received the honor of a Culture Connect grant from the US State Department, which included teaching company classes for Caracalla, the national company of Lebanon, as well as in private studios and SOS Orphan Villages in Jordan.

From her experience with students of all ages and levels, and time spent performing with and teaching professional dancers from diverse disciplines, Lydia has an expansive approach to her teaching. She recognizes the importance of versatility in today's aspiring dancer, and that this versatility comes from exposure to many different cultures and approaches. Lydia employs this in her own performing career, and works to impart it to all of her students. Also, she believes in a rigorous, yet fun approach to learning, one that inspires her students to work as hard as they can while supporting a positive self-image. She is happy to be on the faculty of Summer Dance Lab.