The day we visited Bethany Marc-Aurele’s Hoboken studio for this issue’s cover shoot, New Jersey was just beginning to recover from severe flooding during Hurricane Sandy. Marc-Aurele and her students had been shut out of their fourth-floor studio for more than a week. Fortunately, there was no property damage, but the loss of a full week of revenue can have a big impact on a small business.

Marc-Aurele had been questioning the wisdom of her recent move from a modest basement location to a larger space at triple the rent, but the flooding put any second-guessing to rest.  “If we were still in that basement, we wouldn’t have a studio right now,” she says. “So maybe the move wasn’t such a bad decision after all.”

For our February focus on careers, we spoke with nine new(ish) studio owners who routinely face similar decisions: when to advertise and how much; whether to grow or stay small; when to delegate and what to do yourself; and always location, location, location. Studio entrepreneurship is not for the timid! The good news is that for the people you’ll meet in “A New Generation," taking a calculated risk has paid off. They talk about their challenges, innovations and inspirations, along with four studio veterans who offer the sage perspective of hindsight.

Of course, you don’t have to own a studio to understand the risks and rewards of a career in dance. Dance Teacher is filled every month with views from educators engaged in all aspects of the field. In this issue, for example, they share advice on such varied topics as bunion prevention, teaching floorwork, mastering the isolations of Fosse-style jazz, a tap dance anti-bullying program and how to structure a fulfilling sabbatical leave.

And speaking of rewards, we are now accepting nominations for the 2013 Dance Teacher Awards to be presented in New York City in August at the Dance Teacher Summit. Send us your role models and colleagues, the people you strive to emulate and the local heroes who deserve to be recognized nationally. We will select educators in three categories: Studios and Conservatories; K–12; Colleges and Universities. For more details, click here.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

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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Because the chassé is often neglected during the execution of this traveling step, Judy Rice asks her students to do a minimum of a six-inch chassé before transitioning into the pas de bourrée. She encourages dancers to pay close attention to their shoulders and hips in effacé, too. "Kids tend to open it up. They look like they're fencing," she says. "You don't want that." Both shoulders and hip bones should be facing the corner.

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