Departments

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Collective Wisdom | Reality Check: Scuff Mark Solutions

Ideas and advice from our readers Q: Does anyone have a solution to keep the wall area under the barre clean of scuff marks left behind by tap shoes? We are painting our studio, and I would rather not continually repaint that area. —Nancy K. Dennis A: Black paint. —Amy Hlavaty Belcher A: I’m also…

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October 2017 | Mail

Words from our readers I just wanted to take a moment and tell you what a great job you did with the article on the various Nutcracker productions [“Tough Nut,” July 2017] and what different studios emphasize for creating those magical acting moments. It was truly enjoyable reading and I loved seeing what other studios…

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FYI | The Swing Never Stops at Lindy Hop Championships

What’s up in the dance community When many ballet, tap, and jazz students turn 18, they stop dancing. But lindy hop students never stop. “Lindy hoppers start dancing as children and keep dancing until they die,” Paulette Brockington, American Lindy Hop Championships founder, told DSL. About 400 participants—from competitors ages 10 and older to spectators,…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Barre Boredom

Ideas and advice from our readers Are your ballet babes bored with barre? One typical Friday afternoon I watched as the 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old petit rats in my Ballet 1 class spent their precious barre time focusing on all the fundamentals that will serve their future dance goals—fidgeting, lip-synching the latest pop tune, and…

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Media Hub | Ballroom: A Novel

Ballroom: A Novel by Alice Simpson Though a husk of its former self, the Manhattan dance hall in Ballroom still draws a small crowd of loyal patrons every Sunday evening. What keeps them coming back? Simpson’s debut novel, told in interconnected stories, chronicles the lives of these men and women who find solace within the…

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Studio Style | Dreams Dance Academy

Dreams Dance Academy by Heather Turbeville Growing pains. They aren’t just muscle aches that wake up kids in the middle of the night. Jenny O’Brien’s Dreams Dance Academy experienced growing pains almost from the beginning. Located in St. Charles, Illinois, Dreams Dance Academy offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theater, contemporary, modern,…

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FYI | DTCB College Fair: A Study in Dance Higher Ed

What’s up in the dance community “Saying you want to be a dance major is just the first step,” Diane Jacobowitz, executive/artistic director of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit dance education program Dancewave, told DSL. “Other young dancers might be sitting on the fence, considering whether or not to major in dance. Knowledge better equips you to…

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Collective Wisdom | Reality Check: Program Ad Design

Ideas and advice from our readers Q: Asking studio owners about recital program ads: do you design them yourself? What program do you use? —Erika Hogan A: I do it myself using Microsoft Publisher. A few parents have been able to design their own ads, but most people purchasing ads don’t know how. It takes…

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