About the Director    Arts Faculty    Daily Life    Student Testimonials   

Neal Beasley

(B.F.A. NYU/Tisch '03, Trisha Brown Dance Company '03-'07, Ballet Preljocaj (Aix en Provence, France) '07-'09, currently dancing with John Jasperse Company)

“In all my years of dance training, Deborah Brockus is quite possibly the most memorable teacher I ever had.  No one matches the level of investment and nurturing that she tirelessly offered my classmates and me throughout my four years with her at Idyllwild Arts Academy.  Her passion is contagious, and she has honed an ability to motivate and inspire through decades of experience, giving her teaching an integrity and clarity that is obvious even to the onlooker.  Her teaching is a perfect balance between maternal nurturing and ferocious encouragement to go beyond one's comfort zone.  She seamlessly combines technical knowledge from a dizzyingly vast array of disciplines and styles, making for not only skilled dancers, but informed, intelligent, well-rounded artists that can confidently enter any professional setting prepared to take on any challenge. I have an endless bank of warm, hilarious, and deeply moving memories of my time studying with Deborah.  She has been integral to my development as a person and an artist.  I would not be where I am today were it not for her.  She is a rare breed of human who is truly called to educate, and any parent or teacher can rest assured that their child will blossom under her direction.”

Student Testimonials

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Ashlynn Thomas

(Ailey School, New York)

“When I discovered Brockus Conservatory would be established in the 2010-2011 school year, I was filled with happiness.  I was privileged to study with Deborah Brockus for two years at Idyllwild Arts Academy, and I can remember her sharing her ideas of the future Brockus Conservatory. My only wish now is “ gosh... I wish I could attend”. I am thrilled to see such a wonderful conservatory arise, and it is assuring to know that the future students of the conservatory will receive the wonderful education they deserve.  Training with Deborah was one of my life’s greatest blessings.  I have also studied with numerous teachers on the faculty at the Brockus Conservatory, and received superior instruction form every one of them.  My thought... a dancer can get great training in many places. These teachers, however, taught me about life and how to live as a dancer both inside and out of the studio.  Deborah opened my eyes to the endless possibilities my dancing has to offer.  She exposes her students to all that is available and helps each individual define his/her goals.  With her guidance I move to NYC to study at the Alvin Ailey School and I am now a member of the NYC based Opus Dance Theater. I also work with Broadway’s leading shoe maker, LeDuca and I am currently becoming a Pilates instructor.  I have randomly met dancers who have studied with Deborah all over the United States and every dancer/teacher has the same positive remarks.  If there is any advice I can give to a prospective student it would be that this is one of the best decisions you can make.  You will receive some of the greatest instruction there is and gain memories and knowledge to last and build a life upon.”

Kenny Borchard

(University of Arizona and Summer Scholarship to Broadway Dance Center, New York)

“I trained with Deborah Brockus for 2 years at Idyllwild Arts Academy.  With her as chairperson of dance I got 2 years of the best training of my life that allowed me to now attend University of Arizona, which accepts 30 students out of 500 that audition.  With her extreme knowledge of the body and how it works she was able to give clear imagery that allowed us to grasp the use of the body part and why it moved that way.  She also was very proactive in allowing her students to see as many performances, that allowed us to hone our skills by determining what we liked and didn't like about the different aspects of the performance.  It also allowed us to look at choreographing for the bigger picture, not only thinking about the steps, but also the lighting, staging, music and mood we want to convey in our artistic expression.    She really pushed me to grow, and although I didn't like or understand her reasoning sometimes, I now look back and realize that it helped me grow into a well trained, likable dancer that people want to work with.”  

Lindsay Wolfe

(Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle)

“Because I was a late starter in dance I had a lot of catching up to do.  In the summer os 2006 I met Deborah Brockus at a summer intensive.  After working with her that summer I knew that she would quickly help me grow into the dancer  I wanted to be.  So, I began  studying with her first at California Conservatory and the Idyllwild Arts Academy.  Both places where she ran the dance departments.  Over the years I have seen her amazing ability to create a nurturing program with a  variety of teachers who harmoniously work together to give dancers a well rounded foundation.  She is highly respected in the dance community, giving her great connections to some of the top teachers. Her faculty are happy to work with her, making it more enjoyable to be a student.  Deborah’s focus is to create the best dancers through anatomically correct training in order to extend our dance careers as long as possible.  Being in a boarding school environment made it evident that Deborah is not only concerned about making great dancers, but also mature and healthy humans.  She believes we should be well rounded and proficient not only in dance but in life.  She is always willing to help and give advice, or just listen whenever there is a problem.  Having her as almost a second mom while away from home in your teenage years was very comforting.”

Niki Powell

(Southern Methodist University, Dallas)

“I trained with Deborah Brockus for two years at Idyllwild Arts Academy and also traveled to Czech Republic with her for a two-week summer intensive.  Deborah not only teaches the importance of technique in dance, but also focuses on performance and energy.  She has the knowledge of the body as a whole and thus provides training that naturally prevents injury and allows the body to last a long time. Her training allowed me to get accepted into Boston Conservatory, Southern Methodist University, Cornish, SUNY Purchase, New World School of the Arts, and wait listed at the Fordham/Ailey BFA program.  With her positive attitude and high energy an active learner can gain a lot from Deborah’s training.  She will give back to you what you give in her class.  Deborah enjoys teaching and you can see that in her class but dancers must be ready to learn because she has a lot of information to give.  Not only does Deborah give a great class, she is also a great guiding figure to lead you into the dance world and teach you the many opportunities that are out there.  She has guided me into taking part in many summer programs and other dance festivals and performances.  She has a lot of knowledge in every aspect of dance and is a great leader, teacher, and motherly figure.  I would recommend for anyone to take from her because she devotes her life to dance and has an honest care for all of her students.“

Caitlin Gott

(University of California, Santa Barbara)

“I had an amazing time working with Deborah Brockus.  Even now that I am in college I can still hear all the advice that she have given me over the years.  I studied with Mrs. Brockus at the Idyllwild Arts Academy.  I studied with her for Jazz for three years, I feel this is where I became the dancer I am today.  I had been a Jazz dancer my whole life, but Mrs. Brockus brought out a side of my dancing that I had never seen before.  She also gave me great advice about the professional world, which was applicable because she is still a part of it. I am currently a Junior at University of California Santa Barbara.  I am a dance major, and because of Mrs. Brockus's classes I developed an interest in physical therapy.  So I am currently trying to get my minor in Exercise and Sports Sciences. “

Leah Biessen

(University of Colorado, Boulder)

“I first met Deborah Brockus at a 2 week summer dance intensive at Idyllwild Arts Academy. In less than a week she turned my life around. She offered me a chance to follow my dream, to attend Idyllwild Arts during the school year and have a chance at getting into a great dance college. I spent my senior year under Deborah Brockus and never regret taking the chance.  Not only does she teach proper technique, which I have come to see  is extremely hard to find in a high school setting , but she teaches proper nutrition and ways to protect you body so you can dance until late 80’s if you so desire. Beyond those things she teaches you to love yourself.  Now my dreams have changed and so has my major.  I am a sophomore attending the University of Colorado at Boulder working on a degree in biochemistry, I still dance as often as possible. Thank you Deborah, you really did change my life.”

Brockus
            Conservatory

Morning-Star Mosley

(Will Rogers Follies touring with Larry Gatlin, performed with Pat Boone, 10 years as a Radio City Rockette)

“I am a former student of Deborah Brockus. I would like to say when I think of her it is with many fond memories and a lot of gratitude.  She gave me a passion for modern dance.  I came from mostly a ballet background and found this type of dance very odd and hard to even enjoy.  The modern dance I am speaking of, from then, would now be considered Contemporary Dance.  Not only did she succeed in teaching a ballerina this new art form but, as a matter of fact, it became my favorite!  She had a natural way to pull the best out of me and encourage me to do more.  Deborah was not only a teacher to me, she was a mentor.  She took me under her wing and drove me to Hollywood with her to take class and be a part of her company, The Brockus Project.  We performed several choreographed pieces by her that I still often and fondly think of.  I learned so much more than choreography from her.  She taught me many things about the life of a dancer, even how to handle Los Angeles traffic. I was able to handle myself among professionals in rehearsals and in many, many auditions to come.  Modern Dance/Contemporary is still very much my favorite form of dance but my career has taken me on many different turns.  I found myself traveling the world in many different types of dance shows “

Sho Ikushima

(NYU/Tisch alum, DanceWEB Scholarship recipient, State Theater of Kassel in Germany)

“Deborah Brockus is surely knowledgeable but, more importantly, very enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge.  She also has a keen eye for finding talent as a teacher and choreographer.  I had no prior dance education when I first met her at a summer program where she was teaching.  I still have a vivid memory of when she gave me a solo in the performance - I was surprised, happy and nervous all at once.  Now I dance for State Theater of Kassel in Germany, am choreographing my own work in New York, Japan and Mexico and am the co-founder of the artist collective, “Staining Tissues”.  I have also been accepted to Asahi Art Square Partnership for 2010 and worked with such choreographers as Christine De Smidt, Eszter Salamon, Yossi Berg, Oded Graf, Zvi Gotheiner, Gerald Casel and Pavel Zustiak. I miss Deborah’s “scream” and her clarity and confidence in teaching.  I have taken classes in Japan, the US and in Europe but I still have not met a teacher who has as strong of a belief in oneself as she does.  She taught me how to pursue my dream both inside and out of class.  I am very thankful for what she has taught me and am glad she is continuing to spread her great work.”

Elliot Mercer

(BA summa cum laude (LEAP)/St. Mary’s College of California, MA candidate NYU, 2010 resident choreographer at the land art festival Escrita na Paisagem in Evora, Portugal)

“Deborah Brockus is one of the most dedicated and motivating dance teachers I have ever worked with. She is greatly committed to the artistic development of her students, constantly pushing each to grow not only as stage performers, but as knowledgeable professionals who are equipped with the skills needed to seriously pursue a career in the arts. Deborah combines her commitment to training strong performers with a personalized focus on the health and well-being of her students, repeatedly offering advice on nutrition, injury prevention, personal motivation, and career choices for dancers and actors. As a student I consistently felt that Deborah held a high level of respect for those working with her. To this day I still see Deborah as a strong role model and an important influence in my career in dance.”

Neal Beasley

(B.F.A. NYU/Tisch '03, Trisha Brown Dance Company '03-'07, Ballet Preljocaj (Aix en Provence, France) '07-'09, currently dancing with John Jasperse Company)

Ashlynn Thomas

(Ailey School, New York)

Kenny Borchard

(University of Arizona and Summer Scholarship to Broadway Dance Center, New York)

Lindsay Wolfe

(Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle)

Niki Powell

(Southern Methodist University, Dallas)

Caitlin Gott

(University of California, Santa Barbara)

Leah Biessen

(University of Colorado, Boulder)

Sho Ikushima

(NYU/Tisch alum, DanceWEB Scholarship recipient, State Theater of Kassel in Germany)

Elliot Mercer

(BA summa cum laude (LEAP)/St. Mary’s College of California, MA candidate NYU, 2010 resident choreographer at the land art festival Escrita na Paisagem in Evora, Portugal)

Morning-Star Mosley

(Will Rogers Follies touring with Larry Gatlin, performed with Pat Boone, 10 years as a Radio City Rockette)

Charlotte Smith

(SUNY Purchase, NY)

“Deborah Brockus’ program is the reason I rose to the competitive level needed to be able attend one of the most prestigious dance conservatories. Now that I am here I always take her (and her wonderful faculty's) wisdom with me every day as a person and to class, every night when I come home sore and hurting from class, and when I'm onstage for performance. Deborah put together a wonderful complete group of professors who helped me grow into a successful, talented, and caring artist and person. Every day in high school with her assembled team I felt physically and mentally safe and challenged. However, my relationship with her was the major influence in my maturing as a woman and preparing for my future. She had such great wisdom and thoughts which she was always more than willing to share with me. Deborah cared for each and every one of her students and made sure she did her best to make every one of us succeed. She enforced my self-worth, artistry, individuality, and responsibility. When I went off on my own I had a huge advantage over my new classmates; I know how to take care of my body and myself. I know a whole world of art and dance. I am academically successful and interested in learning. I can approach dance from an intellectual point of view. I am confident in who I am and the artist I am. I believe I can succeed in the grueling dance profession, because I have the tools I need. So thank you Debby for taking me under your wing and caring so much. I never would be here without you.”

Charlotte Smith

(SUNY Purchase, NY)