Departments

FYI | This Summer, the Dance Party Is in Detroit

What’s up in the dance community The Motor City will be revved up August 10 to 12 as more than 50 local, national, and international dancers and companies converge on the Detroit Dance City Festival (DDCF). Artists hailing from Spain to South Korea will perform and teach workshops in modern, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop, followed…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: The Mirror and Me

Ideas & advice from teachers The mirror is one of a dance teacher’s most prized tools and a student’s best friend. Teachers use it while demonstrating to observe students’ technique and behavior, and students can keep an eye on what their bodies—and those of their classmates—are doing right or wrong. Unfortunately, the mirror is so…

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FYI | RDA Leadership Shifts

What’s up in the dance community Gretchen Vogelzang has stepped down as Regional Dance America executive director after more than 10 years of service. Vogelzang was elected president of RDA’s National Board of Directors in 2003 and assumed the executive director position in 2007. Her legacy includes expanding the National Choreography Intensive, developing RDA’s online…

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In My Humble Opinion | Scared of Babies? Don’t Be.

by Andrea Ekmark When I started teaching dance, I also worked another job during the day to supplement my income. After one dance season, a full-time position opened at that studio that involved 20 hours of teaching plus administrative work. I was interested, but there was one catch—I would have to teach “baby classes.” I…

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Competition Zone | B – I – N – G – O

by Joan F. Smith During the past four years, Rita Ogden Zeshonski of Ovations Dance Studio had one very specific task on her to-do list: create a dance competition bingo game. Since she first stumbled on the concept on Pinterest, Ogden Zeshonski has kept a running list of possible category ideas on her phone’s Notes…

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FYI | Dancing in the Lumberyard

What’s up in the dance community American Dance Institute has a new name, a new location, and a new mission—to transform a rustic area in southeastern New York into a performing arts destination. The nonprofit, now called Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts, has moved from Rockville, Maryland, to Catskill, New York. The 1.78-acre campus, chosen for…

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Media Hub | Tap Heat

Tap Heat directed by Dean Hargrove An award-winning short film, Tap Heat uses dance as dialogue. A young man raised on urban funk has a hard time communicating with peers who do a different style of tap dancing. When his style is rejected, even considered illegal, the Tap Squad is called to straighten him out.…

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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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