By Issue -quick review

February 2017 | College Close-Ups | Sweet Briar College

In Sweet Briar’s dance program, students explore creative expression while gaining practical experience. For more than 40 years, the program has drawn on traditional and modern dance techniques and newer styles such as aerial, with an emphasis on and intensive training in choreography.

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February 2017 | 2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Playing with Tempo Changes

by Samara Atkins

Tip 1: When you’re building up choreographic phrases, repetition is key to students’ understanding of the sequencing. Repeating a section several times, breaking down the more difficult moves as you go, helps students remember what you’re teaching.
Tip 2: Playing with tempo changes is also helpful once you’ve taught the entire phrase.

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February 2017 | Learning in Reel Time

by Karen White

Dance intensives are called that for a reason—generally, a lot of learning is crammed into a limited time. The dancers are expected to rise to the occasion—fast—in an unfamiliar atmosphere where everything from experiencing new movement to finding the bathroom can prove challenging.

Dancers who spend one, two, or three weeks of their summer with the bicoastal School of Creative and Performing Arts (SOCAPA) tackle all that—plus they perform in one or more professional-quality dance videos.

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February 2017 | Tapping Into Fitness

by Ryan P. Casey

What if the trick to getting more people to tap dance was getting them to attend a fitness class?

That’s the premise behind Sole Power, a tap workout program Riverdance alumnus Aaron Tolson conceived in 2013 that fuses basic tap dance with cardio and strengthening exercises.

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February 2017 | A New Look at Nia

by Bonner Odell

A fusion of dance, martial arts, and healing arts, Nia is a cardio fitness technique performed barefoot to music from around the world. Through a mix of simple choreography and guided improvisation, Nia instructors emphasize sensation and internal experience over outward aesthetics in an effort to cultivate awareness of one’s body, mind, emotions, and life as a whole.

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February 2017 | EditorSpeak

“Safe and Sound” by Heather Turbeville: In December, I started physical therapy for my hip. It wasn’t my first time in PT; it wasn’t even the first time I went for my hip. But it was the first time I told my physical therapist, “It bothers me in dance class—but I’m not going to stop dancing.”

“Remembering Debbie Reynolds” by Thom Watson: When Debbie Reynolds appeared in her first leading film role as Kathy Selden in the 1952 musical classic Singin’ in the Rain—at age 19—she had been studying dance only a few months.

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February 2017 | On My Mind

by Rhee Gold

Creating choreography is an opportunity to be an artist, to make a statement, or to entertain. An audience, except perhaps for dance teachers or judges, isn’t generally impressed with spectacular feats; the average audience member doesn’t even know the difficulty of a given move. However, an audience always responds positively to performances that elicit an emotional response or provoke thought.

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February 2017 | Rhythm Works Wonders

by Karen White

Guided by occupational therapists, early childhood development specialists, and pediatric physical therapists, Gomez created a system for teaching hip-hop that could be understood by students with learning differences and special needs and that could help these students reach some of the physical, social, and cognitive goals set by their medical teams.

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February 2017 | GirlPower!

by Bonner Odell

There is one group that is especially close to Susanne Liebich’s heart and to whom she owes the idea to start Dancing Wellness: adolescent girls. She created her first wellness program, which she named GirlPower!, just for them.

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February 2017 | Page Turners

Books of note (new and not)
1. Falling Over Sideways
2. Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers
3. The Art of Movement
4. Kitchen Dance

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February 2017 | Moving Images

Videos of note (new and not)
1. Dancer
2. Lincoln Center at the Movies Presents Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations
3. Dance for PD: At Home, vol. 1
4. Gotta Dance

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February 2017 | 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | B-Plus and Gut Check

by David Arce

Tip 1: Remind students to take their time moving into B-plus, making sure to plié generously and present a fully turned-out heel before straightening the standing leg.

Tip 2: The circular port de bras, toward and away from the barre, is important for all students to practice, as it develops strength, flexibility, and musicality.

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February 2017 | FYI

What’s up in the dance community
-NDEO President Thom Cobb Remembered
-Ballet Companies’ Seasonal Spirit Saves Nutcracker
-Liz Lerman Recognized With ADF Educator Award
-American Tap Company Triumphs Over Travel Woes

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February 2017 | Summer & Wellness

Summer—what better time to think about wellness, the perfect addition to any dance curriculum? Discover GirlPower! workshops that promote well-being in tweens/teens, a revamped Nia practice, and the tap-and-fitness mix of Sole Power. For a cool summer intensive idea, check out the film-and-dance combo at School of Creative and Performing Arts. Then help yourself to our annual list of summertime teacher trainings!

Plus, a program that teaches hip-hop to students with physical and cognitive challenges, and our annual list of summertime teacher training opportunities.

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January 2017 | Collective Wisdom

Classroom Connection: Resistance Band Exercises
Consider integrating stretch/resistance band exercises into pointe and pre-pointe classes to strengthen dancers’ feet and ankles.

Reality Check: Communication Challenge
Q. I’m looking for ideas that will help multiple front desk staffers handle office communication more effectively. Example: Suzy’s mom calls about registration. One staffer calls back and leaves a message—which is noted in the message book—but no one follows up or calls the mom again. Does anyone have a solution? —Neala Dunn

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January 2017 | Rules = Respect

by Debra Danese

All dance teachers know that they’re in the classroom to teach technique—but only some of them know that teaching their students proper dance etiquette is also part of their job.

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January 2017 | Going Global

by Bonner Odell

The World Dance program at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts is only a month and a half old, but clearly this class has hit its groove.

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January 2017 | College Close-Ups | University of North Carolina–Greensboro

The school offers two undergraduate and three graduate degree options; all students have the option to pursue K–12 licensure. There are many opportunities to perform in a variety of concerts, both through the School of Dance and in musicals and other UNCG productions. Both undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to showcase their choreography.

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January 2017 | EditorSpeak

“Studios as Safe Spaces” by Tamsin Nutter: No teacher can fix the world for her kids. Still, we adults owe it to children to be our best selves for them, and with them. We owe them love and safety. We owe them our protection.

“Inherent Value” by Karen White: How many of your studio’s alumni studied dance in college or went on to professional dance careers?

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January 2017 | On My Mind

by Rhee Gold

A new year is upon us, the time when we traditionally make resolutions about things we want to change about ourselves—lose a few pounds, read more, budget better, and so on. It’s a great opportunity for studio owners and dance teachers to resolve to change their professional lives for the better too. Here are my suggestions for you to adopt and share.

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January 2017 | Teaching Traditions

by Constance Hale

Native Hawaiians often express their way of learning in a neat trio of verbs: ho‘onana, ho‘olohe, ho‘opili (“watch,” “listen,” “imitate”). Whatever the craft, the idea is the same: find a master, open your eyes and ears, and if you don’t get it quite right, trust your teacher to correct you.

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January 2017 | 2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Making Tap Dances

Read 2 great tips for tap teachers from the legendary Thelma Goldberg, teacher and director of The Dance Inn in Lexington, Massachusetts, since 1983, who is the author of Thelma’s Tap Notes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teaching Tap: Children’s Edition.

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January 2017 | FYI

What’s up in the dance community
– New Orleans Youth Dance for Social Change
– Chicago Program Supports Dancemakers
– An Inspired Arrangement
– State of Dance in NYC Worrisome

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January 2017 | Page Turners

Books of note (new and not)
1.Eight Female Classical Ballet Variations
2.Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin
3.José! Born to Dance
4.Swing Time

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January 2017 | Igniting the Soul

by Joseph Carman

When flamenco artist Carlota Santana demonstrates her snaking arms, articulate fingers, fiery footwork, stalking strides, and laser-like gaze for observers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, she evokes the ancient echoes of Gypsies in Andalusia. The pride and passion of her flamenco moves ignite the soul. Santana has produced numerous flamenco symposiums at Duke University, but they represent only a fraction of her efforts to share the technique and cultural aspects of this art form through performance and instruction.

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January 2017 | 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Height and Control in Grand Jeté

by David Arce

Tip 1
The grand jeté is one of ballet’s most rewarding steps, for both the audience and the dancer. The ability to propel oneself from one foot into the air, reach a perfect split, then land on the other foot, all while showing grace and ease in the upper body, is a hallmark of excellent ballet technique.

Tip 2
Don’t overlook the grand jeté’s landing; in terms of student safety, it is the step’s most important aspect. Properly turned out placement of the standing leg is a must, as any turning in puts extra stress on the knee’s tendons.

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January 2017 | A World of Dance

Every January we wander the vast and varied world of dance, in which each culture puts its own spin on the art form. Travel along with us this month as we take a backstage tour of college bhangra competitions, uncover the spirit and wisdom of flamenco, visit a high school’s world dance classes, and explore the intersection of traditional and contemporary hula.

Plus, we take a look at studio vending machines and options for leasing vs buying, teaching classroom etiquette beginning with the youngest students, and more.

Let’s go!

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December 2016 | EditorSpeak

“Artistry: Mystery vs Transparency” by Cheryl A. Ossola: Frederick Wiseman’s 1995 film Ballet is a unique perspective on the lives of artists, and in remembering it, I thought about the conversations teachers might have with students—conversations about artistry, how we perceive it, and what enhances or impairs those perceptions.

“Never Stop Dancing” by Tamsin Nutter: The hours I spend sitting at a desk make me feel creaky; a recent “big birthday” turned my thoughts to using my life stages wisely and well. Perhaps that’s why Keep Dancing, a lovely 2010 film portrait of then-90-year-old dance icons Marge Champion and Donald Saddler, has been on my mind.

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December 2016 | On My Mind

Let’s imagine that one town has two very good schools, and let’s say that they are roughly equal in size and that each offers a quality dance education. What could make one school stand out above the other?

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December 2016 | Ballet Scene | Crossing Boundaries

by Heather Wisner

When My-Linh Le watches turfers at work, she sees the grace, fluidity, and balance of ballet—no small feat, considering that turfers often perform their style of street dance aboard San Francisco Bay Area BART trains, busking for donations in cramped and unsteady spaces. “Turfers tend to get [up] on their toes,” she says, “and they like to do spins.”

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December 2016 | FYI

What’s up in the dance community
❱ Jacob’s Pillow Four-Season Studio
❱ Gift Leads to Doctoral Program in Dance Education
❱ It’s Good to Be the Ballerina Boss
❱ Hip-Hop Arrives at NYPL

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