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December 2017 | The Soul of Dancing

The Soul of Dancing December 2017 | Volume 22 | Issue 10 | Buy a copy What does it take to give of yourself? Time. Thought. Toil. Temperance. Why do it? Because the adage is true—those who give get back far more in return. In this season of giving, we extend a silent cheer to…

Recent Articles

FYI | Work Out With Millepied’s Dancers

What’s up in the dance community Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied has jumped into the online dance-inspired fitness fray with LA Dance Workout, a series of online video workouts and tutorials that he created in conjunction with his L.A. Dance Project dancers and the advertising agency BETC L.A. Millepied’s approach leans heavily on the experience…

Editor Speak | Improvisation and Inspiration

The modern dance classes I took as a child started with every dancer taking a turn in the circle, improvising to whatever word the teacher called out—red, bumblebee, wooden. I loved it. In high school, I improvised a 30-second or so solo at winter guard competitions, flag and all. But now, the word “improvisation” and…

Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Ankle-Rolling Rescue

  Ideas and advice from teachers When several of my 8- to 11-year-old jazz dancers complained that their ankles often rolled over during class, I consulted a local physical therapist, Joshua Kernen, DPT, CSCS. Kernen explained that weak ankles are common in kids in this age range who are growing quickly. He suggested three exercises…

Tips for Ballet Teachers | Using Landmarks and Boosting Morale

by David Arce Tip 1 The younger the students, the harder it is for them to interpret verbal corrections—especially directional corrections. How many times have you told students to move right, only to find them moving left? Most kids learn this skill by 2 or 3 years old, but that doesn’t mean they can do…

Media Hub | Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora

Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora by Joanna Dee Das A dancer, choreographer, and dance anthropologist, Katherine Dunham was one of the most important dance artists of the 20th century. She was also an intellectual and activist committed to using dance to fight for racial justice. Dunham saw dance as a tool of liberation,…

Dancing for Darby

  Parents’ loss becomes dance world’s gain by Maureen Janson Valerie Jones travels the country attending dance recitals; in the spring of 2017 alone, the Huntsville, Alabama, resident saw 10 different recitals in 6 different states. But in each dark auditorium, she waits for one dance in particular: the one performed by students with special…

Ask Rhee Gold | The pros and cons of renting holiday costumes

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, I have been presenting a holiday performance for many years. The expense of purchasing costumes has deterred some students from dancing in the show. To encourage more participation, I am considering renting holiday costumes to my students. I’ve never done this before and I am wondering if you have…

FYI | Making a (Dance) Musical

What’s up in the dance community Is there enough dance on Broadway? No, says the Springboard Project, an initiative of the Jerome Robbins Foundation that will provide full funding for rehearsal space, casting consultants, dramaturgical advisors, and stipends to writers, directors, and choreographers looking to create dance-driven musicals. According to a Broadway World article, this…

Competition Zone | Winning With Dan Barris

by Karen White Another competition day is about to begin when Dan Barris, Dancers Inc.’s charmingly effusive director, strides to center stage and holds up a coffee cup. “Let’s toast to a beautiful day!” he says, while a host of matching coffee cups rise from the auditorium to greet him. Then comes the kicker: “You…

Dollars, Cents & Due Diligence | Should My Studio Have a Retirement Plan?

by Michelle Cote If you own a dance studio, starting a business retirement plan can decrease your business income taxes and help you and your employees save for retirement. Your business can deduct both the portion of employee salaries that go into the plan and the matching funds it contributes; employees (including you) defer paying…

Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Teaching Musicality

Ideas and advice from teachers As dance teachers, we can elevate our students’ performance quality by developing their musicality. Incorporating a few simple exercises into class can help your intermediate/advanced dancers become more aware of the relationship between their movements and the music. Start with a definition. Mine is: “Musicality is a dancer’s ability to…

Teacher Tune-Up | Creating a Life You Love

by Sandi Duncan Do you ever stop to wonder if there’s more to life than this? You’ve worked hard, created a wonderful career, and have a great family and network of friends. Yet you still have a nagging feeling that something is missing. Poet and author Maya Angelou wrote, “My mission in life is not…

A Community Takes Care of Its Own

Dance world comes together for an awards show like no other by Tamsin Nutter Dateline: Hollywood. The red carpet buzzed as women in floor-length gowns and men in sharp suits posed for photographers before filtering into the historic Avalon Theater. It was a typical La-La Land scene, but this event—the 2017 Industry Dance Awards &…

Media Hub | Alive and Kicking

Alive and Kicking directed by Susan Glatzer Former senior vice president of Paramount Pictures and first-time director Glatzer takes an inside look at swing dancing culture and the characters who make it special. From the emergence of the lindy hop to its modern-day status as an international phenomenon, the film follows the growth of swing…

Ask Rhee Gold | Build trust and mutual respect with employee evaluations

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, I am not the best when it comes to talking to employees about things like parent complaints and issues. Confrontation gives me anxiety, and even in my personal life I avoid some issues, which obviously makes situations worse. This is something I have been working on. I’m teaching less…

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