I look forward every year to working on the studio business issue. Although we discuss business every month, June is when we dive in head first. We’re pleased to bring you the story of how Joffrey Ballet School in New York has completely transformed its organization to better meet the demands of 21st-century dance training. After operating quietly in Greenwich Village since the 1950s, the school has raised its visibility and broadened its curriculum. In “The Fall and Rise of Joffrey Ballet School,” business editor Rachel Rizzuto tells how—and why—they did it.

There are few topics that rankle studio directors more than competition from a former staff member. How can you protect your business? Turns out that becoming a better manager can go a lot farther than using the typical noncompete or nondisclosure agreement. See “Why Noncompetes Rarely Work."

It’s Father’s Day. While you’re honoring the men in your life, don’t forget the men of your studio family. In “Beyond the Daddy Daughter Dance,” Nancy Wozny chats with three studio directors about the best ways to tap into this valuable source of volunteers. “Dads like having something to do other than waiting around for the kids,” says Amanda Plesa of In Motion Dance Project in Orlando.

And yet, we’re not strictly business this month. As in every issue of Dance Teacher, our pages are filled with advice and information for educators working in a variety of settings. For instance, check out Aaron Tolson’s elegant instruction, in “How I Teach Rhythm Tap." And if you find yourself with a class filled with dancers of different levels, you’ll want to take note of “One Class Fits All."

Attention studio owners: We consistently hear that one of the best things about our Dance Teacher Summit (August 1–3, New York City) is the exclusive studio owners’ forum that kicks off the conference. Don’t miss this chance to share your successes, your challenges and your questions with other dance studio owners. You must be an owner to attend, and the session is moderated by a team of industry veterans—the Ambassadors—whom you’ve met in our monthly interviews, “Seen and Heard at the Dance Teacher Summit.” Danceteachersummit.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.

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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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