While planning this issue, it struck me with new clarity the way teachers are constantly pulled in two directions: You take class and you give class. So will you enroll for a workshop this summer or will you teach one? The 2011 Dance Teacher Summer Study issue offers plenty of options, whether you seek a program for yourself or for your students.
In “Finding the Right Fit," Hannah Maria Hayes shows how several instructors take a proactive role in their students’ summer study plans. And contributing editor Kate Lydon, who is on the faculty of American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensives, has compiled a survival guide for teachers. It’s full of tips for planning your classes, managing a diverse group of students and staying healthy when you’re stretched (stressed?) to the max.
I hope your new year is off to a great start. It certainly holds a lot of promise for Valentina Kozlova, the glamorous former Bolshoi and New York City Ballet star featured on the cover. She’s launching a new international ballet competition this May. We had the privilege of watching a private coaching session the afternoon we visited her sun-drenched studio. And we got to play with her dog!
At Dance Teacher, we’re constantly looking for fresh perspectives. For 2011, I’m pleased to introduce new columnists for “Ask the Experts”: Veteran studio owner Kathy Blake and her daughter and business partner Suzanne Gerety will discuss the business concerns that keep you up at night. Send your questions to associate editor Courtney Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best for a great new year,
Karen Hildebrand, Editor in Chief
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.