by Karen White
Questions about what jazz dance is, where it lives, who does it and why drove discussions at the conference, Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice, held July 21 to August 3 in Newport, Rhode Island, hosted by the dance program at Salve Regina University. Hailed by attendees as a rare opportunity for educators, historians, choreographers, and master teachers to come together in celebration of jazz dance, the conference addressed not only the jazz lexicon but issues of race, relatability, and respect that impact how the art form is taught and viewed.Read More
“Starting With Why”: I’ve just returned from three jam-packed days at the inaugural International Dance Entrepreneurs Association (I.D.E.A.) conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, where I, alongside several hundred dance studio owners and administrators, listened to speakers representing a range of school types, sizes, longevity, and business approaches. I learned a great deal from these mainstage sessions.
“Farewell to My Arabesque”: Recently I realized something: my arabesque has gone the way of the dodo. Extensions to the front and side? I’ve still got ’em, sort of. To the back? Eighteen inches off the floor—maybe.Read More
Anyone can have a good idea, but it takes determination, guts, and know-how to turn that raw idea into reality. From Rhee Gold’s many good ideas in the past 20-plus years have sprung a successful dance competition, a series of practical and motivational seminars for dance educators, a dance education–focused magazine, and more.Read More
As dance teachers know, conferences and conventions are excellent opportunities to get fresh ideas, network with colleagues, and rejuvenate their love for teaching. However, since many are annual events, teachers can end up with limited options if the dates conflict with other obligations. Cost is also a factor; registration fees, travel, accommodations, and meals can add up to $1,000 or more. In such situations, there are other options for those who wish to engage in professional development: participate in or provide opportunities within their own communities.Read More
As we prepare to head into 2016, I am thrilled to launch a concept that has been dancing around in my mind for more than five years: an international business conference and association for dance school owners. This dream will become a reality with the first I.D.E.A. (International Dance Educators Association) conference, held July 30 through August 1, 2016, at The Phoenician, a luxurious resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. With many respected dance teacher organizations offering high-quality dance conventions, master classes, teacher training, and competition or performance opportunities, I.D.E.A. will take a different tack, focusing on the development and implementation of high business and ethical standards.Read More
“Recipe for a Better World”: On page 146 of this issue, you’ll find a story about the DanceLife Teacher Conference in which we tell you about many of the goings-on at this big event—but there’s one thing we didn’t touch on because it bears separate mention. It’s the joy and abandon, the sweat and exhilaration of the hundreds of dance teachers who threw themselves into all kinds of technique classes.
“Powerful Girls”: It’s 2015, and our culture still conditions young girls to grow up believing men should be strong and women should be pretty. Misty Copeland’s sinewy leaps, Katniss Everdeen’s archery feats, Title IX, Michelle Obama’s arms, and critical best-sellers like The Princess Problem and Reviving Ophelia haven’t yet washed away mainstream expectations that femininity requires physical weakness.
If you teach girls to dance, you know that isn’t true. But do the girls?Read More
This year’s DanceLife Teacher Conference began with producer Rhee Gold making a request of the 800 dance teachers and studio owners in attendance: “Make this week about you,” he said. “Take the time to rejuvenate.” He recalled his mother telling him, when he was a child, to go outside and get lost—in a good way, of course. It was time for the attendees to “get lost” themselves; for these few days at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona, he said, let others handle the school, the house, the kids.
They did, if the smiles, laughter, and conversation witnessed at every turn were any indication. And they did it together. Everywhere, collegiality trumped competition. At breakfast and lunch, teachers welcomed strangers to their tables and swapped stories and ideas.Read More
I’m writing this two days after the 2015 DanceLife Teacher Conference, our biggest and best yet. Each time we produce this event I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into it—and each time, as it concludes, I forget about the work because I’m overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, spirit, and generosity of the hundreds of dance teachers and studio owners who spend those four or five days with us, immersed in dance.Read More
Heading into 2015, I’m consumed with the logistics and planning for the next DanceLife Teacher Conference, coming up in late July/early August. To judge by this year’s roster of faculty and speakers, the theme for the 2015 DLTC should be “over the top.” In the two years between these events I run into many impressive people whose knowledge and skills would be perfect for the conference, and this time I went a little overboard. While creating the conference’s schedule (a daunting month-long project), I realized that accommodating a faculty of 38 and more than 125 classes, seminars, and special events meant expanding to four ballrooms. “Over the top” we go!Read More
At the 2013 DanceLife Teacher Conference, the Phoenician’s foyer was a midway of light, sound, and excitement. Racks of costumes, booths hung with backdrops, shoes and software and bling—more than 70 vendors pitched products old and new. There were roulette-type wheels doling out prizes, tap-dancing salesmen (literally!), oodles of free swag, and energy in the air.Read More
Last August at the DanceLife Teacher Conference, I noticed a recurring theme: school owners unhappy about not being able to run their businesses the way they’d like to. They perceive a disconnect between what they want and what’s possible, citing resistance to change from their employees or clients. Less fearful school owners encouraged the disempowered owners to have confidence and fortitude. No one likes change, they said; what’s needed is the conviction to say, “Yes, that’s how we’ve done it in the past, but now we do it this way.” End of discussion.Read More
Last month, we ran a story on a festival called Dance Planet. That’s where we thought we were last August—on an actual dance planet—when the DanceLife Teacher Conference took over a vast portion of the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Surrounded by 750 dance teachers and school owners, 70 dance-industry vendors, and 44 faculty and staff members, we were a world unto ourselves. From 7:30am, when the doors opened for breakfast, until 9 or 10pm, when the day’s last seminar ended, little else existed other than dance.Read More
Tickets? Check. Reservations? Check. You’ve been waiting for months to rejuvenate, get remotivated, and reconnect with colleagues at the annual summertime conference. The time has finally arrived. All systems are go. It’s “you” time.Read More
We are in conference mode here at the Rhee Gold Company and Dance Studio Life. What started as Project Motivate with 20 attendees in 1998 has morphed into the DanceLife Teacher Conference, which attracts more than 700 teachers, school owners, and studio managers from across the United States and Canada, and from as far away as Italy and Australia.Read More
The next DanceLife Teacher Conference is coming up this summer, held August 1 through 4, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. And now you can see the most updated schedules and faculty roster at the brand-new DanceLife Teacher Conference website. Visit dancelifeteacherconference.com, and come back for updates!Read More
Until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Russian methods of classical ballet training remained something of a mystery. Only those dancers who had defected from the Soviet Union, such as Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, or who had emigrated prior to the formation of the Soviet Union, could share their wisdom. Now Americans and Russians move freely across continents and cultures, learning old and new styles of teaching and choreography. Exemplifying that newfound freedom is the Vaganova International Method Conference/Demonstration.Read More
It happens once every two years, and it’s coming next summer – yes, it’s the DanceLife Teacher Conference! The 2013 event, held August 1 through 4, will feature four days of classes, business seminars, and motivation for dance teachers and school owners.Read More
The CORPS de Ballet International, Inc. originated in June 1998 after a professor of dance at Florida State University envisioned the benefits of a professional organization supporting the art of classical ballet in universities and schools nationally and internationally.Read More
In this video, Rhee Gold shares his humor and passion for the dance teaching profession. It is an excerpt from his keynote speech at the 2009 DanceLife Teacher Conference in Scottsdale, AZRead More
An energetic vibe filled the air at the DanceLife Teacher Conference last August, with 585 attendees (mostly dance teachers, with a smattering of spouses and office managers) from the United States, Canada, Italy, and Mexico enjoying the luxe accommodations of The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ.Read More