Posts Tagged ‘Diane Gudat’

September 2012 | From Ho-Hum to Knock ’Em Dead

At the end of a four-day competition, my fellow teachers and I were frustrated with our students’ performances and the competition results. These kids were the nicest in town, but quite honestly, they were rather boring onstage. They were beautiful dancers but not strong performers.

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August 2012 | Letting Loose

I work with young children almost every day and if you ask me, they’ve got it made. Sure, I might be a bit bitter with the passing of yet another birthday, but as I look into their little stress-free faces I cannot help but feel a pang of envy.

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July 2012 | Movies With a Twist

Apparently film studios don’t cater to the interests of dance teachers. The few exceptions stick in our memories—Black Swan held my attention not only because it featured the world of classical ballet but also because it showed how it can completely freak out some of us.

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May-June 2012 | The Power of Hero Worship

Giving older teens an opportunity to inspire and mentor younger students can help them look outward and teach them important lessons about giving back and being grateful for what they have.

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December 2011 | My List for Santa

I have been an extremely good dance teacher all year. I have been polite when possible to the parents, excused hundreds of absences, have already picked out a recital theme and even a few songs, got my staff lovely gifts, and planned the studio holiday party.

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October 2011 | Power of the Positive

Every class has one—the child who requires more attention than all the other students combined. You know the type—a young dancer who must continually be reminded of the rules and never seems to comply with them. Many of these children misbehave to gain attention, even if it is in a negative way. So how do we, as teachers, keep from tearing out our hair?

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September 2011 | Dance Teacher of the Future

I heard something the other day that scared me to death: a group of scientists studying human evolution said that due to the constant overuse of the thumb for tasks such as texting and gaming, they expect thumbs to become longer and more agile. The actual physical structure of the thumb will change!

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August 2011 | Bucket List

Not too long ago, I finally got around to watching the movie The Bucket List. Watching those two grumpy, confused old men decide what they had left to do before their days ended got me thinking about what I’d put on my own list. Here goes.

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May-June 2011 | Mail

I read the magazine from cover to cover; it keeps me in touch with the dancing school world. I especially enjoyed the article on my good friend Jeanne Meixell [“Schools With Staying Power: Doing It Mom’s Way,” November 2010], and Diane [Gudat] continues to write wonderful articles with a great flair for comedy.

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December 2010 | Playing Favorites

So You Think You Can Dance, along with other dance-related reality TV shows, has escorted a new excitement for dance into the American living room. We love to see dance in prime time, with male dancers accepted by a public that’s also getting an education on different styles of dance.

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November 2010 | Let Your Tap Creativity Flow

Tap dance is an infant in the scope of dance history. Unlike ballet, which has traveled to us through at least 200 generations of teachers, tap can claim only four or five generations of structured teachers in its history.

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September 2010 | Hold the Glitter

I have read wonderfully insightful articles about the struggles of children whose dance teacher is their parent, such as “My Life as a Studio Owner’s Daughter,” in the January 2009 issue of this magazine. All children who live in the shadow of a parent with a dance studio experience both struggles and advantages. But what of their non-dancing siblings? What kind of pressures and problems do they face when they don’t share that world?

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Sniggering Ghosts of Holidays Past

A few months ago a dance teacher sent me a survey asking how our studio produces its Christmastime show. She was considering adding a holiday show to her studio calendar and was looking for veterans’ advice. I should have said, “Don’t do it!” It is crazy enough trying to produce one major show a year—add that December show and all sanity goes out the window. Unfortunately, the pageantry and heartwarming music of the season usually lure us in, and before we know it we are up to our stocking caps in nutcrackers and elves.

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May-June 2010 | Defined by Dancewear

I no longer wear what most people would label as dancewear. These days, if my T-shirt in any way matches the stripes on my workout pants, I consider it a Rachel Zoe kind of day. The only possible way I would wear tights would be with a skirt of the same color and knee-high boots. As for a leotard, it would be cruel to subject not just my students but also Lycra itself to my over-30-something (ahem) body. So, frightened by an Oprah episode focusing on the dangers of hoarding, I decided to clear out the storage boxes labeled “Diane’s Dancewear.”

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Rhee’s Blog | The Sequin Eating Boy

In my years as a teacher and studio owner, I have produced more than 27 year-end recitals and at least 16 full-length story ballets. If I have learned anything about the production part of the dance business, it is that it requires two important attributes: the ability to compromise and the ability to enjoy the humor in the things that can—and always will—go wrong.

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January 2010 | Thinking Out Loud | Why We Teach

It was a Tuesday afternoon, and I was trying to muster enough strength to teach another full night at the studio. I had already put in almost three hours of dance-related work at home and was wondering, “Why do I continue to do this job?”

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October 2009 | Dance Studio Lingo

I often rely on dictionaries to assist me with definitions and spellings of dance terminology. However, my school’s staff uses some terms that do not appear in any dictionary. These words have been borrowed from our peers or have evolved through need or frustration. Although we don’t use most of them openly in the classroom or lobby, many are used frequently in the office and at staff meetings. I’ve listed them here in alphabetical order—get ready to add color to your vocabulary!

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Dances With Heart

As a judge, I have witnessed thousands of competition performances. Many have stood out as examples of how the right song, the perfect costume, a great story, and intelligent choreography can come together to enhance young dancers’ technical performance. Unfortunately, the pressure placed on teachers to excel and to produce impossibly huge amounts of choreography has undercut the quality of what we see weekend after weekend on the competition trail.

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Rediscovering Joy

I looked in the mirror the other day. I looked tired. I felt tired. I was never one to count wrinkles, but things just looked saggier than usual. It’s a feeling I seem to have often these days.

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Mail | November 2008

I just had to say thank you, thank you, thank you for including “Fantasy Comebacks” in your September issue. It put a big smile on my face at the end of a long week during an even longer registration season! It’s good to know I’m not the only one with less than perfect patience for my studio parents.

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