August. The month offers a short break between summer study and competition Nationals and the start of a new school year. However, if you want to squeeze in one more summer event, may we suggest the Jazz Dance World Congress, held this year for the first time in Pittsburgh (see the print or iPad edition for the full story).

 

I loved hearing the story about how Velocity Dance Center got its start in Seattle. We caught up with co-founder KT Niehoff when she visited New York in May and spent a fun afternoon at Red Bean studios, mesmerized by her fluid movement style as she posed for photographer Matthew Murphy. Velocity has grown and thrived, and Niehoff has moved on to a new space and various dance theater projects (“Reluctant Visionary”).

 

In this Back-to-School issue, you’ll find a variety of ideas to inspire you for the fall season. We’ve expanded the monthly “Ask the Experts” to include competition advice from studio owner Joanne Chapman of Ontario, Canada, and some thoughts on how to use technology with Barry Blumenfeld, longtime K–12 educator in New York City. Of course, you will continue to hear every month from veterans Kathy Blake and Suzanne Blake Gerety about best practices for conducting your studio business.

 

Dance Teacher’s publisher, DanceMedia, has a new look: announcing www.dancemedia.com, bringing you the wide world of dance. You’ll find the latest dance videos, contests and news from Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Pointe, Dance Teacher and Dance Retailer News—including all the how-to videos from Dance Teacher’s monthly “Technique” feature. Plus, did you know that you can list your performances, workshops, lectures and other events on the DanceMedia Performance Calendar? Check it out.

 

Speaking of contests, I hope you’ll encourage your students to enter Dance Spirit’s Cover Model Search. Each month’s winner becomes a candidate for the October 2013 cover of Dance Spirit. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.

For the past 17 years, the Martha Hill Fund has been honoring the commitment to dance education and international performance embodied by its namesake. Previous award winners have included Carla Maxwell, former artistic director of Limón Dance Company, former Ailey II dancer Frederick Earl Mosley and Mark DeGarmo of Mark DeGarmo Dance.

This year's awards gala takes place tonight at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. Check out who's being honored.

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Dancer Health

The Feldenkrais Method is a somatic technique created by Moshe Feldenkrais in the 1950s. The method has two parts: hands-on sessions with a Feldenkrais teacher (Functional Integration) or group classes comprised of verbal cues (Awareness Through Movement).

Mary Armentrout, a dance teacher, choreographer and Feldenkrais practitioner, shares three ways that this somatic practice can bolster your students' training.

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Your Studio

Oversexualizing young kids has been a hot topic among dance teachers in recent years. It's arguably the most controversial topic teachers and studio owners are faced with. Deciding which choreography, music or costumes are appropriate—or not—isn't always black and white and can be easily overlooked. Is showing the midriff too much for minis? Is this choreography too provocative? Is this popular song too suggestive for a competition piece? The questions can seem endless with no clear objective answers. Until now.

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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, Washington, her teacher Kirsten Cooper taught her that focussed transitions would be pivotal to her success as a dancer. Now as a professional, she applies this advice to her daily performances, asserting that she will never let the details of her dancing get blurry.

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Teachers & Role Models
Khobdeh dancing Taylor's Speaking In Tongues. Photo courtesy of PTDC

For Parisa Khobdeh, music does more than set the tone for a piece—it's enabled her to connect with movement. And once she joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2003, Taylor's body of work deepened this connection. "His choreography showed me the music, the architecture and the space," she says. "I now see the music."

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Dance Buzz

We haven't been able to stop watching Lil' Mushroom since she popped and locked her way into Ellen's heart last week. We know you've got a long night of teaching ahead, and this is the dance inspiration you need to get you through. Check it out and tell us what you think about her killer moves over on our Facebook page! (She starts blowing minds at about 2:16.)

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