By Issue -quick review

Did You Know? | Robert Battle

Who is Robert Battle? “I remember early on . . . watching the preacher preach . . . and watching the rest of the congregation respond and be uplifted. I wanted to do something like that.” —Robert Battle on PBS’ NewsHour   As Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s artistic director, Robert Battle leads a company…

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Tips for Modern & Contemporary Teachers | The Benefits of Parallel

by Amber Perkins Tip 1 An important benefit of adding modern and contemporary classes to your curriculum, alongside ballet and other forms, is that working in parallel helps your dancers develop well-balanced alignment. The parallel position really helps align each dancer’s hips, knees, ankles, and feet. This, in turn, supports correct alignment and placement, whether…

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Media Hub | A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide

A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide by Rebecca Stenn and Fran Kirmser Written by dancer, choreographer, and professor Stenn and dancer, producer, and consultant Kirmser, this book delivers informative personal narratives from approximately 40 dancers of different generations and dance genres, including concert, Broadway, film, and television. The second half of the book offers…

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The Manly Arts

Focus turns to male dancers at National Dance Education Organization symposium by Ryan P. Casey The sprawling hills and lush greenery of Morgantown, West Virginia, served as the backdrop for “Men in Dance: Bridging the Gap,” the first symposium sponsored by the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) to focus on male participation in dance. Approximately…

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Ask Rhee Gold | How to handle adults who bully students

How to handle adults who bully students Hi Rhee! What would be the best way to handle two moms who are bullying each other’s daughters? Neither I nor my teachers have seen it personally, but other people I trust have spoken to me about it. I’ve addressed both moms individually, but apparently the bullying happened…

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FYI | Choreography Assistant App

What’s up in the dance community Stuck in a choreography slump? Surprisingly, there’s an app for that. Dance Maker, a free app from the Dance Education Laboratory at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, offers tips, prompts, and guidance to help dance teachers create choreography. Users can choose from hundreds of pre-selected themes such as…

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Editor Speak | A Step in the Right Direction

The weekend after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia—and the upheaval that followed—I found myself looking for artistic consolation. The 2013 documentary Dancing in Jaffa, which had been sitting in my Netflix queue, turned out to be a timely choice. The film follows former championship ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine (whose Dancing Classrooms program in New York…

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Tips for Tap Teachers | Learning to Listen

by Thelma Goldberg Listening is an important skill for both tap teachers and students. Of all dance forms, tap is unique in that its sound is its essence. It’s easy to get distracted by how it looks. Challenge yourself (Tip 1) and your students (Tip 2) with these simple ideas for strengthening listening skills. Tip…

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Bolshoi Ballet on the Big Screen

Using live performance cinema as a teaching tool by Joseph Carman Few experiences educate a dancer like seeing an inspiring program of live dance. When a budding ballerina witnesses a world-class ballerina dancing onstage, a dream crystallizes. Second to that, seeing one of the Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema productions, broadcast from Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre into…

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Media Hub | Ballerina Birdies

Ballerina Birdies written by Marina Yamamoto and illustrated by Jessica Orfe A fun book for toddlers to tweens (and the fourth in the Savant Color-Me-Please children’s book series), Ballerina Birdies is a lively presentation of young birds dancing ballet. Training begins as soon as they leave the nest. Parrot feels better when he dances, Little…

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Ask Rhee Gold | When kindness is perceived as favoritism

When kindness is perceived as favoritism Dear Rhee, Mandy, one of my students, comes from an abusive home situation. It’s not physical abuse, more like abandonment. Her parents are always fighting with one another and they often leave their young children to fend for themselves. Sometimes they forget to pick her up or they argue…

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Studio Style | LoMastro Performing Arts Academy

Makeovers, renovations and dream spaces by Heather Turbeville Stick with what works. That’s the philosophy that Loren LoMastro Specht, owner/director of LoMastro Performing Arts Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, has followed in all of her studio build-outs. Since 2007 LoMastro Performing Arts Academy has offered dance classes, including ballet, pointe, contemporary/modern, jazz, tap, and conditioning,…

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FYI | Applause Continues for NYCDA Foundation

What’s up in the dance community Dance legends and learners alike celebrated New York City Dance Alliance Foundation’s ongoing advocacy of arts education and training at the annual Bright Lights Shining Stars event held October 1 in New York City. Established in 2010 by jazz icon and educator Joe Lanteri, the NYCDA Foundation has provided…

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Editor Speak | Lucky Editor

One of my favorite parts of editing this magazine is reading the great advice. Our Dance Studio Life columnists are a smart bunch, and their ideas often stretch beyond the studio. As I work with them to refine their writing, I frequently find myself mulling over ways I can use their tips. I might not…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Hold Your Story

Ideas and advice from our readers Our youngest students often have many stories they are aching to share. Losing a tooth, eating pancakes for breakfast, falling off a scooter, or going up a shoe size—these stories represent the big adventures in their lives. Of course, most of these stories do not relate to dance. Their…

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Teacher Tune-Up | Don’t Fear Change

by Sandi Duncan “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” Had I understood the truth of this William Arthur Ward quote 20 years ago, my life could have been a little less bumpy. I started taking dance classes at age 2 and a half. It…

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Media Hub | Step

Step directed by Amanda Lipitz This documentary profiles three students and step dance team members at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. Set against the backdrop of inner city Baltimore, these young women try to balance schoolwork and the step team while struggling with poverty and community upheaval. Empowered by their teachers, teammates, counselors,…

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Hip-Hop Toolbox

21 basic moves to know & teach by Samara Atkins Every dance genre has a basic vocabulary of widely recognized steps or moves. Hip-hop is no different, although it doesn’t have codified curriculums. There are moves that most hip-hop dancers consider essential to their repertoire and which hip-hop teachers, therefore, should have in their teaching…

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Ask Rhee Gold | The importance of confidentiality agreements

The importance of confidentiality agreements Dear Rhee, I have loved almost every minute of the 33 years I’ve owned my studio. Last year I married a wonderful man whose job includes lots of travel, and I would like to join him as often as possible. He has always told me that I don’t have to…

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On My Mind: Moving Forward

Words from the publisher Life is a journey. We’ve all heard that idea many times, expressed in many ways. But to make the most of that journey, sometimes we need to pause at the crossroads along the way, to look back at the distance we’ve traveled and toward the paths leading into the future. First,…

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Competition Zone | Scheduling and Beyond

by Karen White Scheduling. “It’s definitely a puzzle,” says Ginny Faubell, founder and co-director of Beyond the Stars. How else to describe the challenge of fitting 500-plus dances from as many as 30 studios into a workable lineup that stretches over a 30-hour three-day weekend? Brain twister? Gordian knot? Stump the professor? Insanity? As BTS…

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FYI | There’s No Place Like (a New) Home

What’s up in the dance community It’s a scenario familiar to artists: move into a neglected urban area, make it hip and desirable, and then get shoved aside to make room for new residents attracted by all that hipness. Dance studio educators—with their modest revenues and need for sizable square footage—are particularly vulnerable. The downtown…

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