Departments

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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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FYI | Tackle Preschool Pressures With Studio to Go

What’s up in the dance community Imagine striding into your preschool classes with curriculum, music, activities, and props ready to go—without the need to spend countless hours in preparation. Educators Robyn Donaldson, Leah Matthews, and Lauren Nolan were imagining that dreamy scenario when they launched Studio to Go in Atlanta this fall. Studio to Go’s…

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Media Hub | Cursive II

Cursive II directed by Ross MacGibbon Lin Hwai-min, known for choreographing Moon Water and Bamboo Dream, used Chinese calligraphy as his inspiration for Cursive II. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, which is trained in meditation, qigong, and martial arts, performs the piece to music by John Cage, creating original movements as fierce as striking…

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FYI | Sequins and Sensitivity at Curtain Call

What’s up in the dance community Which costume catalog would be representative of most studios’ student populations: one with images of pouty models in sensual poses or one showing dancers of various body shapes and sizes, skin tones, and abilities, wearing age-appropriate costumes and just being kids? Leslie Scott, founder of Youth Protection Advocates in…

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Did You Know? | Robert Battle

Who is Robert Battle? “I remember early on . . . watching the preacher preach . . . and watching the rest of the congregation respond and be uplifted. I wanted to do something like that.” —Robert Battle on PBS’ NewsHour   As Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s artistic director, Robert Battle leads a company…

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Media Hub | A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide

A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide by Rebecca Stenn and Fran Kirmser Written by dancer, choreographer, and professor Stenn and dancer, producer, and consultant Kirmser, this book delivers informative personal narratives from approximately 40 dancers of different generations and dance genres, including concert, Broadway, film, and television. The second half of the book offers…

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FYI | Choreography Assistant App

What’s up in the dance community Stuck in a choreography slump? Surprisingly, there’s an app for that. Dance Maker, a free app from the Dance Education Laboratory at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, offers tips, prompts, and guidance to help dance teachers create choreography. Users can choose from hundreds of pre-selected themes such as…

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Media Hub | Ballerina Birdies

Ballerina Birdies written by Marina Yamamoto and illustrated by Jessica Orfe A fun book for toddlers to tweens (and the fourth in the Savant Color-Me-Please children’s book series), Ballerina Birdies is a lively presentation of young birds dancing ballet. Training begins as soon as they leave the nest. Parrot feels better when he dances, Little…

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Studio Style | LoMastro Performing Arts Academy

Makeovers, renovations and dream spaces by Heather Turbeville Stick with what works. That’s the philosophy that Loren LoMastro Specht, owner/director of LoMastro Performing Arts Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, has followed in all of her studio build-outs. Since 2007 LoMastro Performing Arts Academy has offered dance classes, including ballet, pointe, contemporary/modern, jazz, tap, and conditioning,…

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FYI | Applause Continues for NYCDA Foundation

What’s up in the dance community Dance legends and learners alike celebrated New York City Dance Alliance Foundation’s ongoing advocacy of arts education and training at the annual Bright Lights Shining Stars event held October 1 in New York City. Established in 2010 by jazz icon and educator Joe Lanteri, the NYCDA Foundation has provided…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Hold Your Story

Ideas and advice from our readers Our youngest students often have many stories they are aching to share. Losing a tooth, eating pancakes for breakfast, falling off a scooter, or going up a shoe size—these stories represent the big adventures in their lives. Of course, most of these stories do not relate to dance. Their…

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Media Hub | Step

Step directed by Amanda Lipitz This documentary profiles three students and step dance team members at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. Set against the backdrop of inner city Baltimore, these young women try to balance schoolwork and the step team while struggling with poverty and community upheaval. Empowered by their teachers, teammates, counselors,…

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Competition Zone | Scheduling and Beyond

by Karen White Scheduling. “It’s definitely a puzzle,” says Ginny Faubell, founder and co-director of Beyond the Stars. How else to describe the challenge of fitting 500-plus dances from as many as 30 studios into a workable lineup that stretches over a 30-hour three-day weekend? Brain twister? Gordian knot? Stump the professor? Insanity? As BTS…

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FYI | There’s No Place Like (a New) Home

What’s up in the dance community It’s a scenario familiar to artists: move into a neglected urban area, make it hip and desirable, and then get shoved aside to make room for new residents attracted by all that hipness. Dance studio educators—with their modest revenues and need for sizable square footage—are particularly vulnerable. The downtown…

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Collective Wisdom | Reality Check: Scuff Mark Solutions

Ideas and advice from our readers Q: Does anyone have a solution to keep the wall area under the barre clean of scuff marks left behind by tap shoes? We are painting our studio, and I would rather not continually repaint that area. —Nancy K. Dennis A: Black paint. —Amy Hlavaty Belcher A: I’m also…

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