Editor's Note: Help Your Dancers Avoid the College Daze

Every fall, as the halls of academia fill with eager freshmen, a new batch of dancers will discover that dance in college bears little resemblance to what they knew at their home studios. It can be a disheartening experience. That’s why it helps to have a professor like Judy Rice as an advocate. With one perfectly pointed foot in the University of Michigan dance department and the other planted in the dance convention circuit, she understands exactly what competition dancers face in a university setting. In "Dance Ambassador," DT editor Kristin Schwab tells the story of how Rice turned personal disappointment into an unexpected career path.

As a studio director, you are in a unique position to prepare dancers for their next steps after high school graduation. In “A Collegiate Affair,” Virginia Commonwealth University interim dance department chair Lea Marshall recommends taking students to a college dance fair and shares tips on how to make the most of the experience.

The DT Higher Ed Guide is a quick reference for your college-bound dancers, and you’ll also want to stock your studio library with the annual Dance Magazine College Guide. Along with descriptions of the most prominent dance programs and a handy comparison chart to make sense of all the choices, the College Guide is full of advice from the dancer’s perspective. One of my favorite parts of the new edition is a list of the top-10 questions every college-bound dancer should be asking. Get your copy at dancemagazine.com/college.

And don’t send your dancers to college without some basic knowledge of the famous artists who’ve created dance history. Each month DT editor Rachel Rizzuto delivers a concise lesson plan to share as a handout or post on your studio bulletin board. This month she presents the father of theatrical jazz dance, Jack Cole—highlights of his career, the dancers he influenced and how to identify his movement vocabulary when seen today.

Whether or not you work with college-bound dancers, we are confident you’ll find something in this issue that speaks to you. Let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see in the magazine. You can connect with us on Facebook or write to me at khildebrand@dancemedia.com.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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.

Keep reading... Show less
Thinkstock

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!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock

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!

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Buzz
Thinkstock

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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored