The school year may be winding down, but dance studios everywhere are abuzz with activity in May: rehearsals for year-end recitals, competition teams preparing for nationals and tap dancers celebrating the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. In this issue, Dance Teacher salutes National Tap Dance Day with a lineup of inspiring tap stories, from the gorgeous Roxane Butterfly sharing her Jimmy Slyde influence, to the annual Flo-Bert Awards, to a pair of enterprising sisters who started an after-school tap program in Minnesota.
Regardless of whether your students grow up to favor tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop or modern, it all starts with creative movement. To help nurture your youngest students, Donna Aravena of Seven Star School in Brewster, New York, offers tips on how to effectively grow a preschool program; writer and NYU-ABT Pedagogy program grad Hannah Maria Hayes talks to experts about how to use props to help with coordination; and Eileen Juric’s new DVD, The Children’s Hour of Power, demonstrates the pre-ballet program developed by Dorothy Lister during her tenure at the Joffrey Ballet School.
As if May weren’t busy enough, it’s also the time to make your continuing education plans for the summer. “Lifetime Learners,” a supplement to this issue, is a great source of programs designed specifically for teachers. In particular, we invite you to join us for the Dance Teacher Summit, July 29–31. Among our diverse faculty this year are tappers Greg Russell, Mike Minery and Anthony Morigerato; plus Annie and Beverly Spell return with the latest in creative movement curriculum ideas, and Katy Spreadbury reprises her popular “Ballet for Babies.” And that’s only a small sampling. If you’re looking to master a new technique or instruction style, build your studio business, peruse the latest products and services to support your career and compare notes with your peers from around the country, we’ve got it all. We hope to see you in New York City. For more information and registration, go to www.danceteachersummit.com.