We couldn't ask for a better cover subject for the health and wellness issue than the founder of Dance New Amsterdam, Lynn Simonson. Whenever I mention hername, I hear some variation of this statement: "I learned to take care of myself in Lynn Simonson's class." It so happens that Simonson was in town during December to conduct her annual New York teacher training workshop, where a new generation of dancers is learning to teach her unique style of jazz dance. In "How I Teach" (page 32), she demonstrates an essential foundation for any technique: proper alignment. The woman is an inspiration. Now in her 60s, the lithe Simonson still has the moves and she literally glows with positive energy and enthusiasm. If this is the result of years of Simonson Technique, then I say: Sign me up! Watch her in action on www.dance-teacher.com. Health is a topic no dancer can afford to take lightly and we address it in Dance Teacher each and every month. In this issue, we've approached the subject from a variety of angles, including a college dance wellness curriculum (page 72), a profile on the eccentric creator of Pilates (page 62), and teachers who bring body-mind wisdom (page 38) into the studio. We also address the perennial question of body image (page 54) and the role teachers play in helping young women cope with unrealistic expectations. And there's much more . . . we offer something in each issue for educators in every setting. Let us know what you find helpful and what you'd like to see more of in the magazine—including questions for Ask the Experts. You can write a Letter to the Editor (e-mail is perfect), or send us a tweet @Dance_Teacher. Have you submitted your nomination for the annual Dance Teacher Awards? This month we will select four educators to honor at the August Dance Teacher Summit in categories of studiosand conservatories, K-12 and higher education. See page 12 for details. Post a video to Dancemedia.com! Congratulations to Maple Conservatory of Dance in Irvine, California, for its winning entry in the Dance Teacher Video of the Month contest. For more about how you can share your expertise, publicize your school and performances and get your work recognized in the pages of Dance Teacher magazine, please see Chat Room, page 10. Here's to your health, Karen Hildebrand Editor in Chief

The Museum Workout. Photo by Paula Lobo, courtesy of the Met

As you tally up the reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on a few of the world premieres that broke new ground this year. Some changed our perspective on dance, and others were just plain fierce, but they all got our attention and inspired our work as dance teachers.

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With Thanksgiving approaching, we're all ruminating on the things we are most thankful for in the world. Of course, as dance teachers, our students are always at the top of our list. They make us laugh, they make us cry and sometimes they make us want to pull our hair out, but at the end of the day, they are the reason for everything we do in the studio each day. To get you thinking about how much you love your dancers, here are five videos of kids dancing that are sure to make your heart happy! We want to see the dancers you're thankful for this season, too, so share your favorite videos on social media, tag us and include #gratitudedance in the caption. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

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Dancer Health
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No matter how hard I work to change it, I'm often told that I have a shallow plié. Is there any hope for improving the depth of my plié through special stretches to make it juicier? I'm doing a lot of exercises, but I don't seem to getting any results. Looking forward to reading your advice. Thanks!

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Videos

When New York City–based dancer Dan Lai began choreographing Figure 8, he had a specific vision in mind. Inspired by a song by FKA Twigs, he wanted the movement to represent the music's "dark and twisted vibe." "My thought process was to make shapes and phrases that were abstract and unique that complimented the intricate beats of the music," he says.

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Dance Buzz
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Science has proven again, again that dancing is just, well, good for you. And not even in moderation. Like drinking water or laughing, there's no such thing as too much dancing. So, let's rejoice for this new dance perk to add to the list.

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Dancer Health
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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Erdmann (left) on set for Hairspray Live. Courtesy of Erdmann

When Wicked ensemble member Kelli Erdman was training at Westlake Dance Center in Seattle, her teacher Kirsten Cooper taught her that focused transitions would be pivotal to her success as a dancer. Now as a professional, Erdmann applies this advice to her daily performances, asserting that she will never let the details of her dancing get blurry.

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