The Music Man

2006 Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award winner LaVaughn Robinson believes the feet are the greatest musical instruments of all.

The 2006 Dance Teacher Award Recipients

Congratulations to Jon Cristofori and Kathleen Sinclair, Cookie Joe, Suzanne Salapa and Mary Ann Laverty

In Good Hands

Learn how to protect against claims of molestation and sexual misconduct, while creating a safe environment in which students feel comfortable and parents reassured.

Four Favorites

Teachers share their favorite lesson plans for elementary, junior high and high school students

An Ap-Parent Opportunity

Ways to get parents involved in your dance program

The 2007 Convention Guide

Convention directors and teachers share their top ten tips for getting the most of the experience, PLUS 95 dance events to help you choose the one that's right for you.

David Howard

The renowned ballet instructor shares lessons learned over a lifetime of teaching.

Tackling the Taboo

Tips for addressing sensitive issues with students entering puberty

When Students Get Personal

Advice on being sensitive—yet professional—when students confide their personal problems

José Limón

A former José Limón Dance Company member offers personal and historical accounts of the life and work of this modern dance legend.

Performance Planner: Once Upon a Time

Give your school year a fairy-tale ending with these recital ideas.

Ask the Experts

Answers to your questions on workers' compensation and setting a "hair policy" for your studio


Hip hop costumes to add an urban edge to your next performance

A Better Back

9 tips for relieving tension in your back while improving your posture, strength and flexibility

Finding a Good Fit

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Learn which organizational structure might be right for your studio.

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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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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