Departments

In My Humble Opinion | Sacred Spaces

  Sacred Spaces by Casey C. Davenport Before performing, I always had to be alone in my space. As a teacher, it’s the same—I need my 15 minutes by myself. The quiet before the storm, I guess. Before the school opens, I sip a cup of warm black coffee in the still studio. With just…

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Tips for Preschool Teachers | Exploring Personal Space & Group Shapes

by Susan Bennett Modern dance allows preschoolers the freedom to explore and enjoy movement, personal space, and group shapes without the rigidity of technical steps or formations. The rewards of this freedom are coordination and confidence. Explore levels. Say, “Without touching anyone, make your body as tall or high as you can.” Many students will…

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FYI | Jazzing Up Online Resources

What’s up in the dance community Trial and error helped Atlanta Dance Central founder Charlotte Foster Williamson develop Physio Jazz, a dance and fitness program that emphasizes functional movement for students with Down syndrome, autism, and sensory processing disorders. And now she’s sharing her knowledge with other dance educators on a new website, physiojazz.com. Information…

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FYI | Ballet in a Box Takes Dance on the Road

What’s up in the dance community All kids should experience dance, Redondo Ballet founder Francesca Stern believes, so she and company co-artistic director Donna Perkins created Ballet in a Box: boxes containing all the elements—leotards, tights, costumes, shoes, music, story, and accessories—to stage a Redondo Ballet dance. Boxes are gifted to underserved children, whether dance…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Prop Playtime

Ideas and advice from teachers Props add excitement and spark imagination—and can serve as a much-needed energy release—in classes of children ages 2 and a half to 5. Ribbons. At the beginning of class, dancers visit my ribbon wall to select a prop, which they wave as they move about to familiar music. Beginning class…

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FYI | Italy Embraces American Dancer

What’s up in the dance community Lauren Celentano is big in Italy. The 19-year-old dancer, a sophomore at Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University, has become a household name abroad as the first American to compete in the Italian TV talent show for singers and dancers, Amici. Last summer Sacred Heart dance program director Kari Williams took…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Roll Out

Ideas and advice from teachers Many teachers work throughout the year with the end goal of a performance in mind, be it a holiday revue, a spring ballet, a recital, competition routines—or, in many cases, all of the above. During a particularly hard time, I was dealing with “all of the above.” I was not…

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Competition Zone | Putting a Price on Winning

by Joan F. Smith Most competition dancers spend grueling hours in the studio learning choreography and perfecting routines with the hopes of both dancing and scoring well. But at Clarion [PA] Center for the Arts, directed by BreAnna Charis Liberto, competition dancers have a loftier goal: raising money for charity. “The arts are supposed to…

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Media Hub | Julie’s Greenroom

Julie’s Greenroom created by Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton, and Judy Rothman Rofé Adorable puppets learn about acting, singing, dancing, playing instruments, and more as they stage their own musical under the watchful eye of mentor Julie Andrews in this original kids’ series from the Jim Henson Company. Guest stars include Alec Baldwin, Josh Groban,…

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FYI | Master Teacher Program Relaunches

What’s up in the dance community Looking for a leg up in the dance studio business? Consider becoming a Registered Dance Educator. The National Dance Educators Organization recently relaunched its RDE accreditation program, which vets and promotes master dance teachers. RDE accreditation is open to all dance educators teaching in private studios, as well as…

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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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