Making good on his campaign promise to bring light to America’s lack of arts education, Barack Obama and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) released a report on May 6, Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools. The study confirms what dance teachers already know: When arts are integrated into the classroom, test scores are higher and attendance numbers and graduation rates improve. What’s more, students from low-income backgrounds who have regular involvement in the arts are more likely to attend and do well in college, sustain careers and volunteer and vote more consistently than those who do not participate in the arts.
“Well-designed arts programs are fundamental to excellence––they’re not icing on the cake,” says Mary Schmidt Campbell, vice chair of the President’s committee and dean of New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
The report summary recommends five steps to further integrate arts programming into public schools. “Arts and education––it’s a powerful team,” says Campbell. “The possibilities are extraordinary.”
To read the report, see www.pcah.gov.
After having spent a lifetime looking at ourselves in the mirror, constantly appraising, who of us wouldn't want to take a dance class in the dark? Two Australian dance students, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, had the same thought in 2009 when they founded No Lights No Lycra, a global dance community that offers dancers and nondancers alike the chance to get their groove on in a dark space, where there's no light, no Lycra, no technique, no teacher and no steps to learn. It's just a place to lose yourself in the music and find your own dance mojo. The event became so popular that it spread past its Melbourne beginnings, first throughout Australia and now, globally.
Four incredible educators: Joanne Chapman, Claudio Muñoz, Pamela VanGilder and Kathleen Isaac foster their students' love of dance, whether instilling artistry, offering rigorous training or giving special needs students an outlet through movement.
When Jennie Somogyi retired from New York City Ballet, she found herself in high demand as a teacher. Parents called, texted and persisted. "I don't even know how some of them got my contact information," she says with a laugh. But Somogyi, who departed from NYCB in 2015 after a 22-year career, hadn't made any definitive plans for the next stage of her life. "I just like to see how things move me," she says. She discovered, though, that she enjoyed the process of giving private lessons and seeing the rapid progress students could make. Over time, she realized that teaching was something she wanted rather than needed.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.