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Recent Articles

Ask Rhee Gold | The Importance of the Recital

Advice for dance teachers | The Importance of the Recital Dear Rhee, At the end of last season, I had parents who were upset because they thought the recital experience was too much trouble. One parent actually sent me an email to say her child would not be returning unless I decided to drop the…

FYI | Indianapolis School Goes Pro

New York City Ballet founder George Balanchine famously said, “But first, a school.” Those words have served as inspiration and advice for Victoria Lyras, who founded the Indianapolis School of Ballet in 2006 and this year is taking the final steps toward founding Indianapolis Ballet, a professional ballet company. Lyras, a former Pennsylvania Ballet dancer…

Editor Speak | Weird Science

A headline in the April 20, 2017, edition of USA Today caught my eye: “People trust science. So why don’t they believe it?” The writer was grappling with the notion that while many people claim to have full faith in science, when they’re confronted with data that contradicts what they believe—regarding global warming or vaccinations,…

Wearing It Well | By Design With Lauren Weissman

by Karen White How do you design a dance costume? First, you listen. “When I started attending trade shows,” says Lauren Weissman, “all the teachers were saying, ‘My parents are driving me crazy because the kids are complaining about all these sequins under the arms.’ ” Apparently, company designers had been outlining costume armholes with…

Dance History Quiz | Gene Kelly’s Tap Sounds

Fun facts for teachers and students

Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Building Community in Class

by Samara Atkins Tip 1 Dance educators understand the importance of harmony in the classroom. Remarkable ideas come alive when everyone feels inspired to create together. When you are teaching, you are the host of a classroom for a block of time. Accomplishing your goals will hinge on the class’ collective energy and vibe. You…

Class Act | How to create effective—and adaptable—lesson plans

by Casey C. Davenport The process of teaching a single dance step, a combination of steps, or conceptual ideas in class can be overwhelming when you consider the many factors involved: what speed and style to teach the step in, a step’s technical execution standards, the most important aspects of the step to impart to…

Media Hub | Women in Dance: Trisha Brown

Women in Dance: Trisha Brown written and curated by Maura Keefe Keefe, a scholar in residence at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, traces Brown’s career and influence on postmodern dance in this multimedia online essay. Photos, interviews, and videos of performances cover some of the award-winning choreographer’s best-known works, including Set and Reset, If You Couldn’t…

Ask Rhee Gold: Changing Your Faculty’s Perspective on Competition

Advice for dance teachers | Changing Your Faculty’s Perspective on Competition Dear Rhee, Although I enjoy the competition experience and I know that my students learn and grow through the process, some of my faculty members believe that preparing students for competition is the most important aspect of teaching. How would you suggest that I…

Studio Style | West Valley Dance Academy

West Valley Dance Academy by Heather Turbeville What’s the best way to approach a build-out for your brand-new dance studio? If you’re Lisa Tran—a dancer who has a civil engineering degree and a husband who works as an electrical engineer—you do most of it yourself. “I think [having engineering degrees] definitely influenced our decision to…

FYI | Opportunities Expand With Jacob’s Pillow Five-Year Plan

Jacob’s Pillow recently announced a five-year plan that will transform the famed summertime dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts, into a year-round center for dance creation. That’s good news for the established professional companies and emerging artists who have long benefitted from the exposure and support the festival provides. But the strategic plan, dubbed Vision ’22,…

Editor Speak | That’s the Work

One of my favorite dance-teacher phrases is “That’s the work.” I’ve heard many teachers say it, always with a look of deep satisfaction. I can tell they love that “Aha!” moment when teacher and student together figure out what an exercise or step is really all about. When you finally feel those inner thigh muscles…

Dance History Quiz | Whipped Cream Costumes

Fun facts for teachers and students

Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Themes and Variations

To keep your students engaged in ballet class, try varying how you present the material. I use theme months and theme days with my intermediate and advanced levels to focus and add fun to class lessons.   Theme months No-Barre November: Have students do their regular ballet barre in center. Ask them to notice how…

Tips for Ballet Teachers | “Music Is the Boss” and Ballet Knees

by David Arce Tip 1 Young dancers often don’t follow the music’s tempo during an exercise. This is usually either because they can’t perform the steps at that tempo, or because they are speeding ahead of the music. In either scenario, it’s helpful to say or sing the steps on the music. I also have…

Media Hub | Martha & Niki

Media Hub | Onscreen, on the page, and online Martha & Niki directed by Tora Mkandawire Mårtens In 2010 African-born dancers Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos became the first women to win France’s Juste Debout, the biggest international street dance competition. This documentary follows the hip-hop world champions as they take part in competitions where they…

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