Departments

Media Hub | Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation

Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation by Sandra Cerny Minton The fourth edition of this book contains new and updated materials and tools to help students develop their choreographic skills, from coming up with an idea to staging a performance. Includes expanded movement explorations and a new web resource with 23 video clips to help…

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Did You Know? | Who is Raven Wilkinson?

by Heather Wisner “I said, ‘I don’t want to cause any trouble for the company, but if anyone asks what I am, I have to tell them.’ ” —Raven Wilkinson Before there was Misty Copeland, there was Raven Wilkinson, the first African American dancer to be hired by a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe…

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FYI | CCC’s Hip-Hop Minor a Major Deal

What’s up in the dance community Columbia College Chicago’s new interdisciplinary hip-hop studies minor, a 21-credit program launched in December 2017, features core classes on hip-history history and culture, plus practice-based learning. The minor is open to students in any major: dance students are encouraged to take technique classes and complete a dance internship, whether…

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February 2018 | Mail

Words from our readers I’m so thrilled you all did a feature article on Darby’s Dancers (“Dancing for Darby,” December 2017). There is a movement brewing to increase participation opportunities for students who previously would have been excluded. That is due in part to the awareness Dance Studio Life has created by including articles like…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Starting Choreography

Ideas and advice from teachers Many dance teachers enjoy choreographing recital pieces, yet others find it a daunting task. It’s sometimes difficult to know where to begin, or how to get around a creative roadblock. Here are a few simple choreographic ideas that will help you get over those hurdles and create a dance that…

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Media Hub | The Twelve Dancing Princesses

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Rachel Isadora Children’s book writer–illustrator and former professional dancer Isadora gives this classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale a brand-new setting—Africa. Night after night, the 12 princesses mysteriously wear out their shoes. But how? The king promises a great reward to any man who can solve the mystery.  

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Studio Style | Southwest Synergy Dance

Makeovers, renovations, and dream spaces by Heather Turbeville Southwest Synergy Dance is not just a dance studio. According to studio owner and artistic director Connie O’Reel, it’s also a comfortable, safe, and fun place to be. This focus on family friendliness guided the build-out of the studio’s new space a few years ago.   A…

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FYI | Misty Copeland Booked for Library Week

What’s up in the dance community A successful author and celebrated boundary breaker, Misty Copeland was a natural choice to serve as honorary chair of the American Library Association’s National Library Week, which runs April 8–14 with the theme “Libraries Transform: Libraries Lead.” ALA chose Copeland because her efforts “to lead youth to pursue their…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Trading Places

Ideas and advice from teachers There is nothing better than a faculty that works together like a well-oiled machine. Individual teachers can support each other within their own classrooms by creating lesson plans that support and echo each other’s work. Around mid-year, I’ll sometimes invite other classes to visit mine and share their recital or…

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Media Hub | The Prince

The Prince directed by Kyra Zagorsky In this short film, Olivia, a young tap dancer, and her uncle Amir, an actor, struggle with what it means to be Middle-Eastern American and artists in today’s racially divided world. After a man calls Amir, Olivia, and her brother terrorists during a ride on public transit, questions about…

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FYI | Ballet Arizona Taps New School Leader

What’s up in the dance community Anthony Jones is making the leap to a new school and warmer weather this winter. In December, Ballet Arizona announced that Jones, the former director of Oregon Ballet Theatre School, had been appointed school director of the School of Ballet Arizona, where he begins work February 12. He’ll oversee…

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Competition Zone | Good Humor Goes a Long Way

by Joan F. Smith It’s no secret that the technical caliber of competitive dance has skyrocketed over Jackie Del Prete’s three decades of work in the field. Dancers and teachers alike spend hours in the studio training and polishing routines, pushed by the level of talent they face on the competition stage. Pressured by the…

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FYI | Illinois Student Achieves Rare Cecchetti Status

What’s up in the dance community Hayden Gittner is an exceptional dancer—and now he has the paperwork to prove it. Last year, the 18-year-old Belleville, Illinois, ballet student became one of only two American men since 2007 to earn the Cecchetti Council of America’s Professional Advanced VII Certificate. For 10 years, Gittner has studied at…

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Did You Know? | Smitten With Astaire

History Connection He’s been called the epitome of classical ballet—precision in form and style, strength wrapped in a gossamer shell with the implicit elegance expected of royalty. David Hallberg, 35, an American Ballet Theatre principal since 2006 and the first dancer from anywhere other than Russia invited to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet, released a…

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Media Hub | The Tap Love Tour podcast

The Tap Love Tour podcast Tap artist Travis Knights takes you on an adventure through time, rhythm, and dance. Includes interviews with tappers Starinah Dixon, Roxane Butterfly, and Derick K. Grant; lindy hoppers Aleix Prats Ferrer and Anaïs Sékiné; and former ballet dancer and founder of the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet online platform Theresa…

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FYI | Puerto Rican Studio Is a Good Neighbor After Hurricane Hits

What’s up in the dance community A dance studio that has educated generations of underserved local kids gave its hurricane-distressed neighbors a new kind of leg up last fall. After Hurricane Maria decimated much of Puerto Rico, Centro Cultural de Bomba y Plena turned its focus from teaching dance and drumming classes to securing and…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: We’ve Got Spirit

Ideas and advice from teachers Freeze out those dreary mid-winter doldrums with a Spirit Week. Creating a week when students can dress up and express themselves is key to cultivating their artistic vision and performance quality. In my ballet classes, I occasionally offer a themed week called “uBu”—a play on “You Do You” or “You…

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Media Hub | The Paris Opera

The Paris Opera directed by Jean-Stephane Bron An all-access behind-the-scenes documentary, The Paris Opera showcases the individuals—from management to performers, costumers to the cleaning crew—who work to bring operas, music, and dance to audiences night after night. The film traces the 2015 strike, the departure of ballet director Benjamin Millepied, and the terrorist attack at…

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Studio Style | Boston Ballet School Newton Studio

Makeovers, renovations, and dream spaces by Heather Turbeville “It’s a dream come true,” says Tamara King, principal of Boston Ballet School’s new Newton, Massachusetts, studio, which opened in September. It’s not hard to see why she loves the space. At 26,550 square feet, it has seven studios, state-of-the-art HVAC and acoustic systems, high-end fixtures, and…

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FYI | Record-Breaking Tutu Raises Funds

What’s up in the dance community An auto body shop probably isn’t the first place you’d look for the world’s longest tutu. But this fall, The Auto & Tire Doctor in Truckee, California, broke a world record with its balletic creation. Inspired by shop employee and breast cancer survivor Cindy Lain, Auto Doctor staff produced…

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