Departments

FYI | Teacher Training Focuses on Ballet Technique

What’s up in the dance community After nearly 20 years of running the Virginia-based Ashburn Academy of Dance, Anne Marie Kimmell and Katie Beliveau determined that ballet is a hard sell for today’s kids. So based on ballet teacher training they received at the University of Utah, the pair created and trademarked The Ballet Method,…

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Media Hub | Dance With Miss Kim

Dance With Miss Kim This instructional DVD by Kim Black, a teacher at Burlington [NC] Dance Center, 2018 Discount Dance Supply Teacher of the Year, and frequent Dance Studio Life contributor, takes children on an imaginary journey through movement and dance. Young dancers can pretend along with Miss Kim and become part of her stories…

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FYI | Pillow Unearths Dance Treasures

What’s up in the dance community Jacob’s Pillow has always been a source of dance wisdom and inspiration, and this summer is no exception, thanks to an archival exhibit of sumptuous costumes, art, and images at Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, timed to coincide with the Pillow’s annual dance festival in Becket. Dance…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Choreography Assistants

Ideas & advice from teachers Between dances for recital and competition, dance teachers often choreograph 20 or more pieces in a year—a number that can be overwhelming. It’s often a challenge to find the inspiration you need to create unique pieces. After a while, you feel that all your dances look the same. When I’m…

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Media Hub | Tallulah’s Nutcracker

Tallulah’s Nutcracker by Marilyn Singer; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger It’s Christmastime, and Tallulah finally gets what she’s been wishing for—a part in a real ballet, a professional production of The Nutcracker. She’s only a mouse, but she works as hard as if she were the Sugar Plum Fairy. On the night of the show, everything…

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Media Hub | Aerial Dance: A Guide to Dance With Rope and Harness

Aerial Dance: A Guide to Dance With Rope and Harness by Jenefer Davies This introductory book for the beginning aerialist covers rigging, equipment, and advice on optimal conditioning. A step-by-step guide to technique includes anatomical references, space and time considerations, and elements of force when working with and against gravity. A companion website hosts example…

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Media Hub | Synchronous Objects

Synchronous Objects This site (synchronousobjects.osu.edu) examines choreographer William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced using a plethora of data and tools. Visitors can view the dance from different angles, elect whether or not to see visual indications of dancers’ cues and responses, choose the accompanying music and commentary, and much more. An essay by Forsythe provides…

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Media Hub | Tap Into Improv: A Guide to Tap Dance Improvisation

Tap Into Improv: A Guide to Tap Dance Improvisation by Barbara Duffy This guide for tappers provides tools, ideas, and concepts to help dancers of any level become more expressive in their tap improvisation. Duffy has compiled these materials from her 27 years of teaching improv classes in New York City and abroad. Also includes…

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Media Hub | The Dumb Girl of Portici

The Dumb Girl of Portici directed by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley This 1916 silent film starring Anna Pavlova was recently restored and released on DVD with a new score by composer John Sweeney. Pavlova portrays Fenella, a poor, mute girl living in mid-17th-century Naples during the Spanish occupation, who is seduced and abandoned by…

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Mail

Words from our readers I just finished reading the March/April issue of Dance Studio Life and felt compelled to write to thank you for the article on Gail Grant (“Who was Gail Grant?”). At my studio, we often refer to Grant’s Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet as our bible, just as the teachers…

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FYI | Classical Repertoire Subject of RAD Teacher Program

What’s up in the dance community Students ages 12 and older can learn choreography from some of the world’s most popular classical ballets—Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty—through Discovering Repertoire, a new program from London’s Royal Academy of Dance. “The program provides the framework for teachers to teach famous repertoire to students of a variety of…

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Did You Know? | Who is Garth Fagan?

“Part of my joy, and my love in life, is moving to a positive place.” —Garth Fagan, in a TEDx Jamaica talk by Heather Wisner Garth Fagan’s blend of ballet and modern technique with African and Caribbean dance styles has won him millions of fans all over the world. Besides running his 48-year-old company, Garth…

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Studio Style | BPM Dance Complex

Makeovers, renovations, and dream spaces by Heather Turbeville Sometimes all the stars align. “Everything fell into place,” Blake Piatczyc says of launching his dance school, BPM Dance Complex. “That’s how I know that this thing was meant to be.” But Piatczyc, a professional dancer, began the journey toward studio ownership in an inauspicious way: he…

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In My Humble Opinion | Make Time for Mentoring

by Emily Bufferd I once saw a T-shirt that read, “Work until your idols become your rivals.” Something felt funny about that statement. When I was growing up, I looked up to my dance idols and it never occurred to me to see them as my competition. I wanted to be just like them. If…

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FYI | College Aids Student With Studio Dream

What’s up in the dance community Starting your own business is daunting at any age, especially when you’re a relative newcomer to the workforce. So Lauren Crawford, a Northern Kentucky University dance major and entrepreneurship minor who had dreamed of opening a dance studio since age 12, was thrilled to learn about her school’s INKUREKA…

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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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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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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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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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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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