Dance Moms got steamy this week with the introduction of a whole new theme: romance! When male student Brandon flies to Florida to rehearse with the girls, we learn that things used to be kinda hot with Brandon and Brooke—they “liked each other” when they were 9. But as Brooke quickly informs us, “I think Brandon likes me, but I’ve moved on. I’m not really the same person I was when I was 9-years-old.” Oh the wisdom that being 13 has brought her…

 

Everything else is pretty much the same old, same old: Maddie wins awards, the moms get wasted and Cathy is super annoying (and has hopefully moved on from Abby’s clan for good.) The best part of this show is when Nia takes home her very own trophy! This little one has been struggling since the beginning, and it's nice to see the underdog come out on top.

 

Now, the girls are going on tour across the country. And if the stress of being away from home in Florida is any indication, nobody is going to handle this trip well, especially Abby Lee Miller. Here are DT’s tips for saving your sanity while traveling with your students:

 

Recruit the parents. Appoint one mom as the head of each age group, and leave her in charge of communication. And be sure to hand out competition guidelines to parents at the beginning of the year. This will stop persistent moms from calling the competition company before an event for a schedule or other details—which might earn your studio a troublesome reputation.

 

Monitor costume packing. There’s nothing worse than realizing that one girl in a group number has forgotten her costume. To be sure this doesn’t happen, try hosting a packing party at your studio, and ask travelers to lay their costumes out on the floor while you crosscheck your master list of items. As an extra precaution, plan on arriving at your destination at least three days before an event and immediately do a costume check. This gives you enough time to call home and have someone overnight items accidentally left behind.

 

Bring a first-aid kit. Medical emergencies can occur anytime, any place. Don’t assume the event you’re attending is equipped with a first-aid kit—always bring your own. Include bandages, wraps, ointments, pain relievers and even air casts.

 

Maintain strict behavior rules. To prevent students from acting unruly while on the road, use the classroom to groom the behavior you expect. Stick by the rules you establish, and make it known that dancers who don’t adhere to them will not be invited to faraway competitions.

 

Utilize costume organizers. Once at your destination, keep things running smoothly backstage by investing in portable clothing racks, and hang costumes in order of performance. Also make sure students keep the accessories for each costume in separate plastic bags pinned to the corresponding ensemble.

 

Dress alike. Abby’s got this one in the bag—her girls and moms always wear matching colors. Keep track of dozens of students by matching outerwear or warm-ups bearing your school logo. The unity will also help with team bonding and is great marketing.

 

Make lists. You can never have too many lists when traveling with kids. Start with the cell phone numbers of everyone in your party, including students, teachers, parents and other chaperones. Then research all the emergency contact info you need for the city you’re going to. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure you know the locations of the nearest hospital and U.S. embassy. Once you arrive at the hotel, make another list with everybody’s room number.

 

Happy travels!

 

But wait, we forgot to mention our favorite, 6-year-old Mackenzie! Though she didn’t get to perform, she still won for this week’s cutest quote: “Abby doesn’t look like a model to me.”

 

(Tips based on “Stress-Free Globetrotting” by Sara Jarrett)

 

 

William Whitener held countless auditions when he directed The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, and he himself learned from legendary choreographers Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse about what it takes to make it on Broadway. Now he coaches ballet students on these skills when he guest teaches around the country. "Auditions require a certain amount of strategy," says Whitener. He holds mock auditions and discusses all aspects of the process—registration, class and even how to make a professional exit. "Practicing for this kind of performance works better than telling dancers what they should do," he says. "They need to actually do it."

Keep reading... Show less
How-To
Thinkstock

Pointe shoes can be tricky for new students. Share these helpful pointers before problems arise.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancers from Hart Academy of Dance in La Habra, CA at Spotlight Events. Photo by DancePix, courtesy of Spotlight Events

One can never be too prepared. When things break, rip and get left on the bus, that doesn't need to ruin the show. From first-aid to back-up music, here's a handy check-list of what not to forget.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Photo by Igor Burlak, courtesy of Tamara King

A raspy voice and sore muscles are not obligatory for teachers, but that's often what happens after hours of teaching. Being a dance teacher is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Unfortunately, whether it's because you're pressed for time or that you're focused solely on your students, self-care isn't always the top priority. You might think you don't have time to attend to your personal well-being, but what you really don't have time for is an injury. Here are seven strategies that will help keep you injury-free and at the top of your game.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
It takes strength and suppleness to reach new heights of flexibility. (Photo by Emily Giacalone; dancer: Dorothy Nunez)

There is a flexibility freak show going on in the dance world. Between out-of-this-world extensions on “So You Think You Can Dance" and a boundaries-pushing contemporary scene, it seems the bar for bendiness gets higher every year.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock

When I am lying down on my back with my feet together and knees apart and press down on my knees, my hips pop. It feels really good. However, now when my hips don't pop, they hurt, and my lower back starts to hurt as well. What do I do to get them to pop, and is it even healthy?

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Buzz

Bobbi Jene is another poignant film to add to this year's must-see list of dance documentaries.

After 10 years living in Israel and dancing with Ohad Naharin's Batsheva Dance, American dancer Bobbi Jene Smith decides to leave the company –and the life she's come to know–in search of finding her own path as a dancer and choreographer.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored