Five years in, Brooklyn Dance Festival is gaining momentum.

SynthesisDANCE

It started with a conversation at Starbucks five years ago: How do we create a platform to cultivate and curate concert dance in Brooklyn in a way that makes it easily accessible to the public?

Since then, Tamia Santana and Tracie Stanfield—executive director and artistic director of the Brooklyn Dance Festival, respectively—have watched their audience grow from friends and family to a dance-savvy audience, thanks in part to landing at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015. “This is much bigger than we had envisioned. Now it’s a movement,” Santana says.

More than 300 dancers from about 30 dance companies will participate during the weeklong festival, which has three specific segments focused on New York City dancemakers: professional companies, emerging artists and youth ensembles. Some of the Main Stage performers include SynthesisDANCE, 10 Hairy Legs, Frederick Earl Mosley and The Bang Group. “The Main Stage is a professional stage, and we work with a strong, diverse group of like-minded performers,” says Stanfield, noting that some artists participate every year, and some are invited, and that both the emerging artist and youth stages are curated through a submission process.

One unique aspect of the festival is a professional-level boot camp experience for dancers. They audition for the Brooklyn Dance Festival Company and learn an entire piece from a guest choreographer in two days. This year’s guest artist is contemporary modern dance choreographer Sidra Bell. Company dancers will perform the piece during the Main and Next Stage shows.

Last year’s guest artist was Kristin Sudeikis, who returns in 2016 with new work on the Main Stage. “When I was invited to be a part of the festival, it was an immediate yes,” she says. “The dance scene in Brooklyn is vibrant, and this festival feels like it is at the exact right time and the exact right place. There is a pulse about it, a freshness to it, that is exciting.”

Main Stage performances are March 26 at BAM Fisher; the Next Stage and Youth Stage performances are April 2 and April 3, at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts. Rounding out the festival is Brooklyn Dance Festival Day and a gala on April 4 at Brooklyn Borough Hall. DT

For more: brooklyndancefestival.org

Hannah Maria Hayes is a frequent contributor to Dance Teacher.

Photo by Jaqi Medlock, courtesy of Brooklyn Dance Festival

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Most dancers are taught from a young age that no matter what happens onstage, the show must go on! Costume rips? Don't stop dancing. Forget the choreography? Don't stop dancing. Fall down? Get back up, but for the love of all things holy, don't stop dancing!

Anna White, teacher and studio director at Melinda Leigh Performing Arts Center in Mobile, Alabama, breaks down how she conveys this message to her students.

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Q: I'm looking to hire new instructors. How can I create a competitive job listing?

A: We've found the best way to attract qualified applicants for teaching positions at our studio is to be as specific as possible with our expectations, while communicating what makes our studio a great place to work.

Here's an example of a job description we've used when seeking teachers:

Lead Dance Instructor: Tap/Jazz/Contemporary; Choreography for Dance Teams.

Kathy Blake Dance Studios is seeking new instructors to join our faculty. Our performing arts school, located in the Souhegan Valley of New Hampshire, has an emphasis on excellence and love for the art of dance, with a student base aged 2 to adult. We pride ourselves on paying our teachers well, offering a professionally managed front office and fostering a sense of teamwork and collaboration among our staff.

We have an immediate opening for a dance instructor whose specialty is teaching intermediate to advanced tap, jazz and/or contemporary, as well as choreographing for competitive dance teams. We are seeking a creative, forward-thinking teacher who brings out the best in dancers. Schedule of 5 to 10-plus classes a week, based on availability. Position begins in August (or sooner, based on teacher availability). The school year runs from September through June. Pay is competitive and commensurate with experience and credentials.

Interested instructors: Please e-mail or reply to this ad with a current resumé and phone number, as well as what you love about teaching and what matters most to you in working for a dance studio.

Can't teach on our regular schedule? Please let us know if you'd like to be considered for our guest-artist master-class events.

Kathy Blake (Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire) and Suzanne Blake Gerety co-founded DanceStudioOwner.com.

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These four holiday dance videos are the break you need from the madness of the season. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll be recharged enough to dive back into another night of Nutcracker performances. (Yikes—hang in there guys!) Check 'em out, and share your favorite funny holiday dance videos with us on our Facebook page.

XOXO

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