It was an all-star cast at Steps on Broadway the day we photographed Chloé Arnold for the cover. Tap dancers from all over New York City (and from the pages of this magazine!) answered a call for the impromptu class, including Chloé’s sister and DC Tap Festival business partner, Maud; Dan Mitra, the young tapper who received a Presidential Scholar Award and appeared in our May 2009 Tap City Youth Ensemble coverage; and Shelby Kaufman and Jill Kenney, who appeared in the May 2010 Technique feature. Best of all, Arnold showed up to teach in glamorous, silver high-heeled boots. “People don’t understand how much harder it is to get the strong sound from high heels,” commented Jill Kenney, who was dripping with sweat from teaching an earlier class.

 

Learn more about how Arnold has and is distinguishing herself as dancer, mentor, teacher and producer in “Five Teachers, Five Venues”. Her story kicks off a look at the careers of five educators who have forged unique paths, all under the umbrella title of “dance teacher.”

 

Have you considered broadening your studio’s offerings with classes for adults? In “Night School,” Mary Ellen Hunt writes about the rewards of teaching ballet to adult beginners. She shares business and teaching advice from the directors of San Francisco Academy of Ballet, the Joffrey School of New York and Tapestry Dance in Austin. And to keep your adult students safe, our experts share ways to modify traditional dance stretches for less flexible adults in "Mindful Moderation."

 

Dance Teacher’s K–12 editor, Katie Rolnick, was impressed when she learned about a group of high school teachers in Phoenix started by Arizona State University faculty member, Becky Dyer. The group meets regularly to design lesson plans to help dance teachers better address teens’ social and emotional needs. In “Dance Your Troubles Away," Janet Weeks reports on the successful experiences at two of the schools.

 

Want to come to New York and be honored at the Dance Teacher Summit in July? Nominate yourself or an esteemed colleague for the 2011 Dance Teacher Awards. We’re looking for educators who’ve demonstrated dedication, leadership and overall excellence in one of three categories: studios & conservatories, K–12 and higher ed. Click here for details, and send your nomination before March 1.


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."

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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