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July 2018 | Holiday Shows + Choreography

Holiday Shows + Choreography July 2018 | Volume 23 | Issue 5 | Buy a copy After the chaotic rehearsals and costume complications, bad weather cancellations and panicked moments, sour moods (your studio parents), and sore feet (your own), the curtain rises on your holiday show. Oh, joy! Contrary children turn into angels—literally—and past struggles…

Recent Articles

Competition Zone | B – I – N – G – O

by Joan F. Smith During the past four years, Rita Ogden Zeshonski of Ovations Dance Studio had one very specific task on her to-do list: create a dance competition bingo game. Since she first stumbled on the concept on Pinterest, Ogden Zeshonski has kept a running list of possible category ideas on her phone’s Notes…

FYI | Dancing in the Lumberyard

What’s up in the dance community American Dance Institute has a new name, a new location, and a new mission—to transform a rustic area in southeastern New York into a performing arts destination. The nonprofit, now called Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts, has moved from Rockville, Maryland, to Catskill, New York. The 1.78-acre campus, chosen for…

EditorSpeak | Learning to Love Dance

The college professor had a question: “Why don’t dance studios do more concert dance?” In one sense, the answer is easy: “Because we’re not a concert dance company or a college dance department.” Those exist in their own spheres where they are valued for what they are. (I doubt many modern-based concert companies constantly face…

Dance History Quiz | A mainstay of three music shows

Fun facts for teachers and students

Tips for Modern & Contemporary Teachers | Stretch, Strengthen, and Share Weight

by Amber Perkins Today’s modern and contemporary choreography for students includes more and more partnering, so it’s important to designate class time to teaching its foundations. Try these exercises I developed to teach safe weight sharing and to strengthen the core. Blind back-to-back lengthen and balance. Begin with two dancers sitting back to back on…

A Camp With Character

Girls, boys—and dads—ease into ballet through Nutcracker camps by Michelle Wurtz Whether it’s The Nutcracker or your own version of a holiday showcase, a full seasonal production in a theater requires long-term student commitment, parental support, and funds. What if you don’t have some or all of these resources, but still want to involve students…

Media Hub | Tap Heat

Tap Heat directed by Dean Hargrove An award-winning short film, Tap Heat uses dance as dialogue. A young man raised on urban funk has a hard time communicating with peers who do a different style of tap dancing. When his style is rejected, even considered illegal, the Tap Squad is called to straighten him out.…

Ask Rhee Gold | Asking for a raise

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I teach more than 20 hours a week. I love the kids, and my own children, who also dance, are with me at the studio. My dance life feels right. After our recital, I received a call from a studio owner whose business is located about 15 minutes away…

FYI | Teacher Training Focuses on Ballet Technique

What’s up in the dance community After nearly 20 years of running the Virginia-based Ashburn Academy of Dance, Anne Marie Kimmell and Katie Beliveau determined that ballet is a hard sell for today’s kids. So based on ballet teacher training they received at the University of Utah, the pair created and trademarked The Ballet Method,…

EditorSpeak | Are My Kids Safe at Your Studio?

When I sign up my beloved children for classes of any kind, I expect qualified instructors and a reasonable regard for safety. I don’t think that makes me an entitled helicopter parent. It’s my job to see that my kids make it to adulthood. (And I will fight tigers with my bare hands to make…

Wearing It Well | Clients Are Sold on Seasonal Show Rental Program

by Heather Turbeville What’s better than a holiday show with Sugar Plum fairies, penguins, and peppermint patties? A holiday show that doesn’t require students to buy all of those costumes. All 200 students at Dance With Miss Lindsay in Palm Springs, California, rent costumes that range from T-shirts and leggings to platter tutus with sequined…

Tips for Tap Teachers | Pre-Tap for Preschoolers

by Thelma Goldberg Many studio owners offer tap dance to preschoolers. But as someone who has spent a lifetime studying the art of tap, I’d like to suggest an alternative: offer your students ages 3 to 5 a curriculum of pre-tap—in ballet shoes. With planning and good marketing, your preschool program will flourish and students…

Creative Casting

Schools attract publicity and create community by filling Nutcracker non-dancing roles with local celebrities by Jeanne Palmer-Fornarola More than 125 years after it premiered, versions of The Nutcracker are performed throughout the holiday season in regional theaters and high school auditoriums, professional venues like Lincoln Center and bare-bones in-studio settings. With so many Nuts to…

Media Hub | Dance With Miss Kim

Dance With Miss Kim This instructional DVD by Kim Black, a teacher at Burlington [NC] Dance Center, 2018 Discount Dance Supply Teacher of the Year, and frequent Dance Studio Life contributor, takes children on an imaginary journey through movement and dance. Young dancers can pretend along with Miss Kim and become part of her stories…

Ask Rhee Gold | Keeping your recital short and sweet

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I just finished my 27th recital and should be thrilled, but I know my clients were upset. The show was almost four hours long. It’s time for a change, but I need some advice about how others do it. As it is now, my show consists of all the…

On My Mind | The end of an era

Words from the publisher This July marks 14 years since we launched Dance Studio Life magazine. Skeptics told me that a print magazine for dance teachers wouldn’t fly, but my gut told me to go for it. Dance education is one of the greatest professions in the world, and I knew that with a magazine…