NYCDA's Big Winners at Nationals!

NYCDA founder Joe Lanteri, center, with teen and senior division winners (courtesy of NYCDA)

Last night, New York City Dance Alliance wrapped up its Nationals competition by showcasing some pretty insane talent at its galas. DT wants to congratulate the individual winners in each division, but we also want to give a shout-out to the studios these dancers are from—because we know it's the dance teachers who taught ‘em everything they know! Major props to:

National Mini Outstanding Dancers

Madison Brown, from Lents Dance Company in Florida

Brady Farrar, from Stars Dance Studio in Florida

National Junior Outstanding Dancers

Jasmine Cruz, from Westlake School for the Performing Arts in California

Parker Garrison, from Stars Dance Studio in Florida (two winners from this school!)

National Teen Outstanding Dancers

Nina Bartell, from Sweatshop in Colorado

Harrison Knostman, from Studio West Dance Center in Colorado

National Senior Outstanding Dancers

Sarah Pippin, from CC & Co in North Carolina

Jake Tribus, from Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory in Florida

And let’s not forget about the Critics’ Choice competition, sponsored by our sister magazines, Dance Magazine and Dance Spirit. In the mini division, Westchester Dance Academy took home the honors; in the junior division, Performance Edge 2; in the teen division, Westlake School for the Performing Arts; and in the senior division, Tempe Dance Academy.

Congrats to all! Wish you'd been there? Pretend like you were by catching a glimpse of the teen outstanding dancers:

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

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Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

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Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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