Features

Fit for a Coffee Cup

DSL quotes offered wisdom, humor, and heart by Alaina Leary If there’s anything this magazine proves, it’s that no one understands a dance teacher like a fellow dance teacher. Yet among the technical teaching tips, answers to common classroom questions, studio business info, and product suggestions, one aspect of this magazine stands out—the unstinting wisdom…

Read More

From the Heart

Tales of largesse and kindness were DSL mainstays by Heather Turbeville Above a childlike drawing of a dancer onstage are the words “The stage is like a second home for me.” The author of this statement is Amy, a student in Dance Another World, which teaches English through dance to nonnative speakers. Her grasp of…

Read More

A Fond Farewell

Publisher Rhee Gold looks back at Dance Studio Life’s history—and turns his attention to what’s next by Ryan P. Casey Rhee Gold chuckles as he begins telling me a story. “This is the best one,” he says. He said the same thing before launching into a different anecdote 15 minutes ago, but I’m all ears.…

Read More

Variations on a Theme

Recital themes open up creative possibilities—and can be super fun for everyone by Karen White To theme or not to theme? Many studio educators ponder that question when recital planning time rolls around. Some believe recital themes are limiting and shy away, while others might feel their previous attempts at themes fell flat and weren’t…

Read More

Choreography Conundrum

Do songs move you? Or are you captured by costumes? compiled by Debra Danese When it’s time to choreograph, we all look for the idea that will spark our creativity. Inspiration doesn’t always come quickly—or easily. Here at Dance Studio Life we noticed that when it comes to recital choreography, some teachers start with a…

Read More

Safe Spaces

Smart ways to handle backstage access during recitals by Heather Wisner With so much happening onstage during recitals, it could be easy to miss what’s happening backstage. But for the sake of security—not to mention organization—it’s vital to have a plan in place to control backstage access. Dance Studio Life spoke with studio owners across…

Read More

Happy Holidays

Studio traditions give students and parents events to remember by Kim Black Dyeing Easter eggs, delivering Christmas or Hanukkah gifts to shut-ins, taking a walk to work off that Thanksgiving meal—over the years, activities like these become cherished family traditions. Why not create some fun holiday and special observation-day traditions for your dance studio family?…

Read More

Road Trip—With Kids

Group travel is an adventure. Plan ahead and leave the headaches at home. by Chris Koseluk Organizers at Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios, based in North Andover, Massachusetts, faced the mother of all travel nightmares in 2016 when a Lufthansa pilot strike grounded 197 dancers, parents, and coaches set to leave for the IDO World Tap…

Read More

The Boys of Temecula

Cross-training, pro mentors, and motivation are a winning mix for Temecula Dance Company’s male dancers by Joseph Carman “Don’t make it look like step aerobics,” hip-hop choreographer and teacher Erik Saradpon shouts over “Uptown Funk.” “The dip is on 7. Zap the arms vertically from the armpit.” The male students—38 in this particular rehearsal—ace the…

Read More

Pay to Play

From meals to airfare, expenses can add up for staffers traveling with your team. Here’s how to manage and mitigate those costs. by Christina Raymond Traveling to multiple competitions a year can be pricey—not just for parents, but for faculty members and studio owners who accompany the team. Here, three veteran studio owners share cost-effective…

Read More

Who Owns Your Choreography?

It might be you—or it might not. Protect your rights by learning the in and outs of intellectual property law. by Jennifer Kaplan Do you know where your choreography is? Who owns it? Who has the right to change it or perform it? Who will receive residuals if, in some heavenly stroke of luck, a…

Read More

The Kids Are All Right

Teaching other people’s children takes you away from your own. How to make that work for you, and them. by Thelma Goldberg It’s 4:30 p.m. Do you know where your kids are? If we’re talking about your dance school kids—i.e., your students—they’re probably standing in front of you, waiting to begin a warm-up. But what…

Read More

If I Only Knew . . .

Studio owners look back at how it all began, and the lessons they’ve learned by Michelle Jones Wurtz Many dance instructors dream of owning a business and being the boss. Yet in dance studios, just as in other businesses, the transition from employee to entrepreneur/administrator can be tricky. There are difficulties for sure, but unexpected…

Read More

Acro-tastic

Take advantage of today’s tumbling craze by adding acro dance to your schedule by Debra Danese The popularity of acro is skyrocketing with studio-aged kids. More and more often, dance choreography features acro moves, and the blend of the two disciplines benefits students by expanding their movement vocabularies. With that in mind, perhaps you are…

Read More

Growing Pains

Healthy student enrollment is vital to financial success. Here’s how to make it happen. by Andrea Ekmark Whether your ideal student enrollment is 250 or 2,500, healthy class sizes and a vibrant student population are keys to your studio’s financial success. Yet as you move toward your enrollment goal, there may come a time when…

Read More

Invitation to Talk

Whether you hold staff meetings or one-on-one coffee chats, make sure you’re making time to listen to your employees’ suggestions by Tamsin Nutter Tomorrow is photo day. Teacher A has worked on organizing and planning this event for weeks. In passing, Teacher B throws out a last-minute suggestion. Steam comes out of Teacher A’s ears—and…

Read More

Making the Message Heard

Studios have many ways to communicate with clients—but is anyone listening? by Jill Randall Teachers and studio owners alike do figurative leaps, turns, and jumps to make sure that families have all the information they need about performances, rehearsals, costume fittings, open classes/parent observations, field trips, weather-related cancellations, and registration for the next season. But…

Read More

2018 Dance Studio Life Generous Heart Awards

Join us in saluting dance humanitarians making a real difference Generosity permeates the dance education industry. You don’t have to look far to see a studio owner absorbing tuition costs for a needy student, a teacher missing a family gathering to attend an important rehearsal, or studio families stepping up to help another family in…

Read More

Delicate Dance

A teacher’s recital choreography isn’t working. Now what? by Heather Wisner The pacing is sluggish. The transitions are clunky. The students are struggling with steps that are above their skill level. And the teacher who choreographed this recital piece is looking at you expectantly for your feedback. What do you do? Dance Studio Life spoke…

Read More

Movement With a Message

In creating her socially aware choreography, Jessica Starr starts with her students’ stories by Joseph Carman In Los Angeles, opportunities and achievement came quickly for Jessica Starr. About a year after graduating from the University of Arizona in 2003, she moved to the entertainment hot spot. Her commercial resume soon filled up with choreography jobs…

Read More

Holiday Hype

Fun promotions catch customers’ attention during the hectic holiday season by Chris Koseluk Looking for a way to attract attention to your studio this holiday season? Here are two fun studio promotions that play off seasonal conventions. Where’s Nutty? José Mateo Ballet Theatre promoted its 2017 holiday performances of The Nutcracker by going into hiding—hiding…

Read More

A Camp With Character

Girls, boys—and dads—ease into ballet through Nutcracker camps by Michelle Wurtz Whether it’s The Nutcracker or your own version of a holiday showcase, a full seasonal production in a theater requires long-term student commitment, parental support, and funds. What if you don’t have some or all of these resources, but still want to involve students…

Read More

Creative Casting

Schools attract publicity and create community by filling Nutcracker non-dancing roles with local celebrities by Jeanne Palmer-Fornarola More than 125 years after it premiered, versions of The Nutcracker are performed throughout the holiday season in regional theaters and high school auditoriums, professional venues like Lincoln Center and bare-bones in-studio settings. With so many Nuts to…

Read More

A Nutcracker to Call Your Own

When it comes to creative inspiration, there’s no place like home by Casey C. Davenport Ballet has its fair share of repertory that transports us to a land far, far away in a time many years before our own. A sparkling example is The Nutcracker, which debuted at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia,…

Read More

Handing Over the Keys

Maybe the best buyer for your studio is right under your nose by Chris Koseluk Owning and operating a dance studio was your career goal. It took years of work, struggle, and sacrifice, but you did it—and you’re proud of it. But nothing lasts forever, and the day may come when you realize it’s time…

Read More