Khobdeh dancing Taylor's Speaking In Tongues. Photo courtesy of PTDC

For Parisa Khobdeh, music does more than set the tone for a piece—it's enabled her to connect with movement. And once she joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2003, Taylor's body of work deepened this connection. "His choreography showed me the music, the architecture and the space," she says. "I now see the music."

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To make dancers stronger and less injury-prone, Burns Wilson suggest adding floor barre or conditioning classes. Photo courtesy of Burns Wilson

With a career spanning 30-plus years in the dance field, Anneliese Burns Wilson has cultivated a unique perspective on health and injury prevention for dancers. From teaching ballet to teaching anatomy, she then founded ABC for Dance, which publishes dance-teaching materials. Now through research for her next book, which will focus on training the female adolescent dancer, she's delving even deeper into topics many dance teachers have overlooked.

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Your Studio

Oversexualizing young kids has been a hot topic among dance teachers in recent years. It's arguably the most controversial topic teachers and studio owners are faced with. Deciding which choreography, music or costumes are appropriate—or not—isn't always black and white and can be easily overlooked. Is showing the midriff too much for minis? Is this choreography too provocative? Is this popular song too suggestive for a competition piece? The questions can seem endless with no clear objective answers. Until now.

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How-To

In 2012, Broadway choreographer Chet Walker re-created 26 moments of Jack Cole's work at Queens Theatre in Heat Wave: The Jack Cole Project. He invited friends and colleagues like Chita Rivera, Broadway dancer Marge Champion and Stephen Schwartz, composer of Pippin and Wicked. "How come I don't know about this guy?" Schwartz asked after the show. Chet reminded him what film star Julie Newmar once said, "Only the important people know who Jack Cole is."

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Dance Buzz
Copeland leading the class at Harlem Stage. Photo courtesy of Harlem Stage

With barres lining the charming Harlem Stage, a group of young students from Dance Theater of Harlem and Harlem School of the Arts emerged from the wings. Among them was the petite ballet superstar, American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland. Harlem Stage in association with Dance Theater of Harlem and the Harlem School of the Arts presented the class designed to give these aspiring dancers the chance to engage with a professional artist.

The students, filled with nervous excitement, took their places. "Relax, have fun and let's learn something," said Copeland.

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The Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company. Photo by Rachel Neville, courtesy of CCB

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Dance Buzz
The former start of the popular show, Abby Miller. Photo by Matthew Murphy

As another season of the popular show "Dance Moms" just wrapped, many are left wondering, "How is this still a show?" The switch from Abby Miller, now behind bars, (wonder if she's able to watch from her new home?) to ballroom's sweetheart Cheryl Burke, to the cat-fighting between moms and daughters, clawing their way through competition life, makes the "reality" show feel like an endless stream of sequined drama! OK, I get it! Sort of.

Despite all the theatrics, the show does raise some interesting questions for teachers and the dancers they train. Especially when it comes to appropriate costumes and choreography.

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