General

A Fresh Start

Studio owners find happiness the second time around by Ryan P. Casey As soon as Denise Johnson closed the door of Cedartown [GA] Academy of Performing Arts in 2000, she knew that leaving her beloved dance school—and surrendering her career as a dance teacher—was a mistake. “I regretted it from the very day it happened,”…

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Nonprofit Alternative

One studio owner enjoys the funds and freedom of a fiscal sponsorship by Michelle Jones Wurtz As a movement artist and studio owner, I’ve always sought to instill in my students a strong appreciation of technique as well as clarity, passion, and a general love for dance as an art form. That is my studio’s…

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Support Our Vets

Veteran teachers have much to offer a studio. Here’s some sage advice for keeping them engaged and active. by Jill Randall What a gift to have staff members who bring 20, 30, or more years of teaching experience to your program. Their understanding of technique, child development, lesson planning, and choreographing on students is deep…

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Curating Cunningham

Cunningham Technique teachers ensure a lasting legacy by Joseph Carman At New York City Center’s fifth floor studio in midtown Manhattan, former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member Jennifer Goggans leads 25 students through the rhythms and intricacies of technique that she learned firsthand from Cunningham himself. A pianist sets the tempo, punctuating it with occasional…

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Who Was Gail Grant?

We know her indispensable ballet dictionary—but do we know her? by Karen White After Cassandra Macino closed her long-running studio, she decided—as many owners do—to accept a teaching job at another studio. On her first day, she noticed copies of Gail Grant’s Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet on a table around which several…

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Steps Toward Creation

Budding choreographers learn basics in choreography class by Joseph Carman Jessica Totaro had taught for three years at Dance for Joy studio in Brielle, New Jersey, when she decided she wanted to pass on the choreographic skills that she had honed while earning her BFA at Rutgers University. Totaro approached studio owner Kimberly Houli about…

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Spring Cleaning

Suggestions for making your dances sparkle and shine Cleaning dances. It’s a dirty job, but we all have to do it! Whether students will be performing in a recital, spring showcase, or competition, you don’t want them going anywhere near a stage until you’ve wiped away all the sloppy steps, crooked lines, and cringe-worthy counts.…

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Room to Move

Improv study can boost students’ creativity, resourcefulness by Bonner Odell For dance students, the phrase “let’s improv” can evoke a range of emotions: anxiety, excitement, insecurity, curiosity, or all of the above. Educators are responding to the ever-growing influence of improv as a training tool by incorporating it into contemporary, hip-hop, and jazz lessons—or even…

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Great Beginnings

Ease students into class with an opening ritual When you step through the studio door, do you shake off the day and refocus on the lesson to come? It’s not always an easy transition, but educators understand its importance, and most work out their own method for making it happen. But what about students—who, just…

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Summertime Teacher Training

Your 2018 guide to workshops and intensives across the U.S. Programs are listed in alphabetical order by sponsoring or producing organization.   Horton Teacher Workshop Sponsoring or producing organization: The Ailey Extension Dates: Session I, introductory/beginner, July 9–13; Session II, intermediate/advanced, July 16–20 Location: Joan Weill Center for Dance, New York City Fees/cost: Session I…

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Coming on Strong

Smart conditioning can help keep kids injury-free by Jennifer Kaplan Do you think your dancers are getting everything they need in their technique classes to prepare their bodies and minds for dance? Think again, says dance educator and physical therapist Alexis Sams. Through her private practice, ANS Fitness and Physical Therapy, she provides physical therapy,…

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You’re Out!

How to keep your studio running smoothly when you take time off by Jennifer Rienert Opening a dance studio, being your own boss, and creating your own work schedule is a dream come true for so many dance educators. But being the boss can also mean that the business relies on you to an exorbitant…

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Dancing at Disney

What to know before you go by Debbie Werbrouck Your kids are happy with the performing opportunities you provide: an annual recital, maybe a spring show or competition season, appearances at community events. But what if your students could perform in the Happiest Place on Earth? The Disney Performing Arts Program provides in-park educational workshops,…

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A Place in the Sun

Use summer camps to boost studio revenue and enrollment by MaryBeth Kemp Ah, summer! For many people, it’s the season of taking it easy. That’s certainly not the case at dance studios that fill their summer schedules with dynamic and creative camp programs. Traditionally, studios mimicked the public school year: open September to June, closed…

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Geography of Ballet

A historical overview of ballet’s beginnings by Joseph Carman Who can take credit for ballet? Many people believe ballet to be a French invention, but the history of this art form is actually much more interesting and complicated than that. Ballet’s hub shifted from one century to the next, and European schools profoundly influenced one…

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Pep in Their Steps

Latin Ballet of Virginia boosts student confidence with Be Proud of Yourself program by Lea Marshall When Ana Ines King moved from Colombia to Richmond, Virginia, in 1994, her daughter was just 11 years old. The transition was hard for them both—neither spoke English when they arrived—but King’s daughter found it particularly difficult. The only…

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The Price of Rights

Learn to navigate music licensing by Chris Koseluk Can you imagine dance classes without music? The tunes that fill the studio as your students’ feet hit the floor are necessary tools of the trade. But studio owners and teachers should know there is a cost. You are legally obligated to obtain permission for the songs…

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Ballet Beyond Borders

Montana dance festival has global reach by Bonner Odell The snow-capped mountains surrounding Missoula, Montana, might seem like a surprising backdrop to a dance festival featuring some of the world’s most elite dancers and teachers. But Missoula is the birthplace of the Vienna International Ballet Experience USA (VIBE USA), which last year alone drew more…

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In a World

World of Dance unites global community through events and media by Ryan P. Casey Most dancers will tell you that they can’t scroll through social media sites without seeing videos of stylishly dressed dance troupes showing off their best moves to today’s hit music. Currently, more than 5,000 of these videos are from World of…

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Learning Language, Step by Step

Dance Another World teaches English through dance by Lea Marshall Maybe learning English is easier when you’re dancing instead of sitting in a classroom. Dawn Mann made this surprising discovery in 2008, when she was teaching English as a second language (ESL) at Dong Thap University in Cao Lanh, Vietnam. “My background’s in classical ballet,…

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Falling Back in Love With Your Studio

What to do when the going gets rough by Julie Erika Lawton All dance studio owners experience heart-wrenching lows in their careers: the stress of owning a small business, long work weeks, and challenging moments with students and parents are just some of the contributing factors. Occasionally, bad times and tough luck can lead studio…

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Curtain Up | Scout the competition scene with our comprehensive guide

From winter competitions to summer national galas to fall intensives, there are exciting learning and growing opportunities for dancers of any age. In our annual listing, you’ll find the right fit from among nearly 125 competitions and conventions, ranging from old favorites to intriguing new options.

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Dance With Destiny

Milk Carton on a String changes its students’—and its founder’s—lives Introduction by Alaina Leary Photos and captions by Caroline Poppell Shortly after a massive earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010, Caroline Poppell—who was pursuing a dance career in New York City at the time—took a mission trip to the country, an experience that rocked her world.…

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Dancing for Darby

  Parents’ loss becomes dance world’s gain by Maureen Janson Valerie Jones travels the country attending dance recitals; in the spring of 2017 alone, the Huntsville, Alabama, resident saw 10 different recitals in 6 different states. But in each dark auditorium, she waits for one dance in particular: the one performed by students with special…

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A Community Takes Care of Its Own

Dance world comes together for an awards show like no other by Tamsin Nutter Dateline: Hollywood. The red carpet buzzed as women in floor-length gowns and men in sharp suits posed for photographers before filtering into the historic Avalon Theater. It was a typical La-La Land scene, but this event—the 2017 Industry Dance Awards &…

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