General

Best Job Ever

Teaching dance can be frustrating, exhausting, and low-paying. So why do we do it? by Chris Koseluk You know teaching dance probably won’t make you famous. You’re not in it for the money. And it’s probably safe to say you weren’t lured by the luxurious surroundings, the great hours, or the job security. But every…

Read More

July 2017 | One-Stop Shopping Draws Studio Crowd to UDMA Fall Shows

Annual trade show offers everything from software to shoes by Karen White United Dance Merchants of America, or UDMA, has been around so long that some dance studio people may have forgotten how helpful the organization and its trade show can be. On four weekends each fall, in four different cities, the UDMA Dance Resource…

Read More

July 2017 | Just a Couple of Coworkers

  by Tamsin Nutter Running a dance studio together would be a dream come true for some couples, a relationship disaster for others. Even partners who work well together face grueling hours, a relationship in the public eye, and a lack of family time. So how can couples draw boundaries between the professional and the…

Read More

July 2017 | Tough Nut

Tough Nut | Acting exercises help coax Nutcracker performers out of their shells by Karen White For studios of all sizes, putting on The Nutcracker is a major affair. The cast is large; the sets and costumes formidable. Performers can range from 7-year-old mice to senior student Snow Queens. They all have to know ballet,…

Read More

July 2017 | Holiday Helper

Holiday Helper | Hosting special events can spotlight your show during a busy season by Debra Danese The holiday season is a bustling time, filled with shopping, decorating, parties, and of course, holiday-themed productions such as The Nutcracker. With so many activities vying for people’s attention, how can you promote your show and maximize your…

Read More

July 2017 | Scaring Up a New Seasonal Show

Studios find success with Halloween fare by Tamsin Nutter Halloween is big seasonal business all over town. So why not at your studio? The costumes and makeup make it a natural fit for a dance studio. On the other hand, Halloween can be, well, scary—making it challenging for a business that serves children. Do you…

Read More

May-June 2017 | Making a Good Impression

We’ve all heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It may sound clichéd, but it’s true. A positive first impression sets the tone for your relationships with customers and plays a vital role in building your business. How your school looks and feels when potential clients first drive by or walk in can impact the entire customer experience.

Read More

May-June 2017 | High Fidelity

When it comes to keeping dance parents happy, offering a comfortable atmosphere, family-friendly events, and warm customer service can be as important as hiring good teachers or winning competition trophies. Parents want to see their children fulfilled, of course, but they’re also bound to appreciate efforts that acknowledge their own value to the studio and help simplify their busy lives.

Read More

May-June 2017 | Thriving on the Outskirts Part 2

Regardless of its location, a dance school’s reputation rides largely on the quality of its instructors. For schools in small or out-of-the-way places, finding teachers who are well trained in the dance styles on offer is hard enough. Finding staff with both training in dance education and solid teaching experience can seem next to impossible. But dance studio owners are by nature a creative and resourceful bunch. Networking, both in one’s community and at regional and national dance conferences and competitions, can yield surprising results. Many studio owners keep a running list of contacts they can turn to when they need to fill a position.

Read More

May-June 2017 | Thriving on the Outskirts Part 1

Ask most professional dancers where they got their start, and they’re likely to name a dance school you’ve never heard of. That’s because, like most of us in the field, they were introduced to the world of dance through their hometown studios. These small independently owned businesses are the backbone of the dance industry. They offer children their first vision of themselves as dancers, their first taste of across-the-floor euphoria, their first memory-making moments on the stage. They ignite the dance spark and nurture the flame through the most crucial years of a dancer’s development.

Read More

May-June 2017 | The Space Race

Perhaps the question “When do you know it’s time for a bigger studio?” isn’t difficult to answer when your studio space is a closet.

Read More

March-April 2017 | Tap Festivals

If you can’t hear a beat without tapping your feet, there are no better places to hone technique, learn about history, meet master teachers, and immerse yourself in rhythmic bliss this year than at these national and international tap festivals.

Read More

March-April 2017 | Costumes Count

by Tiffany R. Jansen (with additional reporting by Karen White)

Costumes are often the first thing audiences notice about a piece, even before movement begins. Quite often, “costumer” is one of the many hats that studio teachers must wear. We asked several teachers/directors how they approach costuming their contemporary dance competition students and performing companies.

Read More

March-April 2017 | A Step Ahead

by Karen White

The educational power of movement serves as the foundation of Locally Grown, a residency program through which Fusionworks Dance Company uses modern dance to take schoolchildren on an academic journey into subjects such as marine life, immigration, haiku, and earthquakes.

Read More

March-April 2017 | Exploring Contemporary Dance

by Heather Wisner

If you want to add contemporary dance to your studio’s schedule, your first task might be to ask yourself, “What exactly is contemporary dance?” It may sound like a silly question, but ask five different studio owners and teachers and you’ll get five different answers.

Read More

March-April 2017 | Cool & Contemporary

by Thom Watson

In wide-ranging conversations about contemporary dance, DSL asked celebrated choreographers Tyce Diorio, Teddy Forance, Mia Michaels, and Derrick Schrader how they define the genre, the pros and cons of making dance in an age when dance videos are ubiquitous online, where they find inspiration for their work, and how they approach choreographing and staging contemporary dance. We also asked for their advice for dance teachers in hometown studios.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More