By Issue -quick review

FYI | Chicago Teacher Recognized by Global Award Program

    What’s up in the dance community Melinda Wilson is one in a million—or at least several thousand. Wilson was the only dance teacher to qualify for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize, becoming one of 50 finalists (out of 30,000 applicants) to vie for a million-dollar check from London’s Varkey Foundation. “I couldn’t believe…

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EditorSpeak | Cutting Through the Chatter

“OK, OK. I get it! I like that you guys like each other, but can you please stop talking?” I was teaching my last musical theater class of the night—or trying to. Every time I paused—to reset the music, answer an individual question, take a breath, or even to think—two dozen voices created a tsunami…

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Tips for Ballet Teachers | Flexing the Feet and Pointing Through the Shins

by David Arce A flexed-foot position isn’t used in ballet technique (unless you are of the school of thought that uses a flexed foot in frappés), yet I find it invaluable for students. Here’s one of the first exercises my students do in class: Start in first position, while facing the barre, before or after…

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Nonprofit Alternative

One studio owner enjoys the funds and freedom of a fiscal sponsorship by Michelle Jones Wurtz As a movement artist and studio owner, I’ve always sought to instill in my students a strong appreciation of technique as well as clarity, passion, and a general love for dance as an art form. That is my studio’s…

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Competition Zone | Getting Tough With Team Drama

by Joan F. Smith Mama drama might garner high ratings for reality television series, but nobody wants to experience it in real life. Louise Taitz, owner/artistic director of On Your Toes Academy of Dance in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, co-founder of Dance Teachers Forum, and competition judge, stops drama before it starts by setting (and upholding)…

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Dollars, Cents & Due Diligence | How Will the New Tax Law Affect You?

by Michelle Cote The new tax law was passed late in 2017 with much fanfare and discussion. Will it affect your 2018 taxes positively or negatively? The bottom line: overall, it will lower most people’s taxes, though in certain states, some higher-bracket taxpayers will see their tax burden increase. Read on for some of the…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Roll Call Response

Ideas & advice from teachers I used to appreciate that my students never talked in class, yet I was concerned that the lack of response meant they weren’t connecting with me. I knew I had to build a bond of trust with them. My answer was Roll Call Response. Instead of a standard roll call—“Mary?”…

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Teacher Tune-Up | “Why You Want to Leave Me?”

by Sandi Duncan It’s the time of year when we watch our graduating seniors eagerly preparing to move on from the life they’ve known within our studio walls. As their high school years come to a close, we see their excitement as college acceptance letters pour in and they attend proms and graduations. For students…

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Support Our Vets

Veteran teachers have much to offer a studio. Here’s some sage advice for keeping them engaged and active. by Jill Randall What a gift to have staff members who bring 20, 30, or more years of teaching experience to your program. Their understanding of technique, child development, lesson planning, and choreographing on students is deep…

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FYI | Dance for World Festival Celebrates 10th

What’s up in the dance community The power of dance to bring people together inspires the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dance for World Community Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer. Beginning June 4 with a week of dance films and panel discussions, the event culminates June 9 with Dance for World Community Day, a free…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Acting the Dance

Ideas & advice from teachers If your dancers don’t have acting backgrounds, it can be a challenge to help them emotionally connect to choreography. Dancers who can create fully developed characters, and who genuinely understand a piece’s emotional or narrative content, will shine onstage. Here are a few simple guidelines to help make that happen:…

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May-June 2018 | Business Bonanza

Business Bonanza May/June 2018 | Volume 23 | Issue 4 | Buy a copy A dance studio is an unusual type of business. Our customers—our students—are also our prized product. We take them in as raw material, eager and untrained. We get to work, and when we are done, we’ve created accomplished, happy dancers. And…

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Media Hub | Boston Ballerina: A Dancer, a Company, an Era

Boston Ballerina: A Dancer, a Company, an Era   by Laura Young and Janine Parker As a charter member of Boston Ballet and its predecessor, New England Civic Ballet, Laura Young has been affiliated with the company longer than any other dancer in its history. Both a memoir of her personal journey and a fascinating…

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Media Hub | Jacob’s Pillow 2017 Premieres

Jacob’s Pillow 2017 Premieres A collection of works that premiered during the 85th anniversary season at Jacob’s Pillow, including dances from Dance Heginbotham, Pilobolus, Joseph Wiggan and Josette Wiggan-Freund, Jessica Lang Dance, Doug Varone, Compañía Irene Rodríguez, and Reona Seo. Available at danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/.

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Ask Rhee Gold | Changing with the times

Advice for Dance Teachers Hello Rhee, I remember that you spoke years ago at Project Motivate about how teachers can assure that their male students look masculine by having them do the same arm positions as the girls, but with fists instead of feminine hands and such. When I judge, I often comment on this,…

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Media Hub | Step Up: High Water

Step Up: High Water This entry in the Step Up series centers on twins Tal and Janelle, who move from Ohio to Atlanta, home of High Water—the city’s most competitive performing arts school. As they attempt to navigate their new world—on and off the dance floor—they discover just how deep they’re willing to dive to…

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Curating Cunningham

Cunningham Technique teachers ensure a lasting legacy by Joseph Carman At New York City Center’s fifth floor studio in midtown Manhattan, former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member Jennifer Goggans leads 25 students through the rhythms and intricacies of technique that she learned firsthand from Cunningham himself. A pianist sets the tempo, punctuating it with occasional…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Thank-you card etiquette

Advice for Dance Teachers Hi Rhee, This year I started working at a new studio, and was overwhelmed with gifts at Christmas. I spent almost two hours writing thank-you notes, then started to panic about forgetting someone or overlooking a gift, and maybe causing offense. In one small class I received gifts from all students…

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Media Hub | Bobbi Jene

Bobbi Jene directed by Elvira Lind After a decade of stardom in Israel, American dancer Bobbi Jene leaves behind her prominent position at the world-famous Batsheva Dance Company, as well as the love of her life, and returns to the U.S. to create her own boundary-breaking art. Tracking the personal and professional challenges that await…

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Expect the Unexpected

  Thinking about emergency preparedness now can avoid headaches later by Chris Koseluk The recital was special, and a success. Nicole Drouin Amayo and her students at Karen’s Dance Studio had dedicated the May 21, 2011, performance to Amayo’s mother, who had founded the Joplin, Missouri, studio in 1971 and died just that January. Yet…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Setting policies for dance trips

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, Some of my studio parents have backed out of our upcoming performance trip to Disney, causing a lot of issues at the studio and stress for me. These same parents still want to attend this spring’s competitions. The Disney trip was our original plan—the competitions weren’t added until later.…

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