Columns

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Taking Care of Business | Five Steps to Managing Marketing

by Teri Mangiaratti “Marketing” can be a loaded word—and it means different things to different people. I believe studio marketing should happen year round and take different forms: social media ad campaigns, flyers, postcards, direct email, referral programs, press releases, cross-marketing, community events, and student-retention special events. So let’s make a marketing plan. Last season,…

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Teacher Tune-Up | Create

by Sandi Duncan create (verb): to cause to come into existence; bring into being; make; originate; esp., to make or design (something requiring art, skill, invention, etc.)—Webster’s New World College Dictionary I had the pleasure of witnessing some phenomenal choreography at the American Dance Awards competition in Massachusetts this spring. The inspiring pieces ranged from high-energy…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Focus on the positive

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I am in my seventh season of studio ownership, but the past couple of years have not been easy. The business has grown so much that the studio has moved into larger spaces twice. My faculty is up to 21, with 6 office employees. All that is good, but…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Staying in the know

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, After 26 years of owning my studio, I have stepped back from being at the studio every day. I enjoy doing my daily office work in my home office where I am not distracted by all the goings-on when the studio is in full swing. Yet I’m starting to…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Creating new opportunities for students

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I’ve been in business for 17 years. Lately I have been losing students because they want more than a weekly class, but can’t or don’t want to make the commitment to our competitive team program. They feel they have gone as far as they can go. Is there something…

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On My Mind | Not What They Used To Be

Words from the publisher Almost every teacher who has been at it for a while says, “The kids today are not what they used to be.” They may be different, but I am beginning to understand why. Our kids live in a world where they arrive at school or the movie theater looking for the…

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Tips for Special-Needs Teachers | Cognitive Processing

by Tricia Gomez The cognitive domain is the last of the five developmental domains (cognitive, motor, self-help, social/emotional, and communication) we’ll discuss this season. Students who struggle with cognitive processing may have difficulty understanding and responding to information. Fortunately, there are classroom strategies that will help. Students may struggle with a movement because they don’t…

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EditorSpeak | A Trend That Must End

  No one’s happier than me when mass culture pays fleeting attention to dance. Dance in ads, movies, TV, and fashion means jobs for dancers. Right? Not always. Why hire an actual dancer when a model or celebrity can pretend to be a dancer, only hotter? Same difference, right? You know what I’m talking about.…

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Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs

by Samara Atkins To make sure my students are ready to receive what I’m teaching, I start every class with a three-song warm-up. The first song is medium to fast tempo, and I focus on moves that loosen the muscles and get the blood pumping. I may introduce a few difficult moves here, giving students…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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On My Mind | Making fulfillment a priority

Words from the publisher You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. One day while I was scrolling through Instagram, those words stopped me cold. It was the start of the year—the time when people face the future with fresh attitudes and resolutions. When I read the quote, I was scheduling a year of…

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Editor Speak | The Pain of Pointe

I’ve been carrying a chip on my shoulder for more than 30 years, and it has to do with dancing on pointe, or rather, stumbling around the dance studio in pointe shoes. When classes began the fall I was 10 years old, my ballet teacher made an announcement that came as a surprise: we were…

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