4 Reasons You Should Enter the Capezio A.C.E. Competition

The June 1 deadline is fast approaching, but there’s still time to enter to win the 2015 Capezio Award for Choreographic Excellence. Simply upload a video of your best group choreography to the contest page at dancemedia.com, and representatives from Dance Teacher magazine and Capezio will select 15 finalists to compete during July’s Dance Teacher Summit. Here why you should definitely do it:

4. If you make it to the finals, you’ll get to spend three days with fellow dance-lovers at our Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, California! It’s our favorite event of the year, with tons of industry seminars and movement classes, not to mention the A.C.E. finals and presentations of the 2015 Dance Teacher Awards.

3. Your work will be seen by major players in the dance world. Past years’ judges at the A.C.E. finals have included Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Benoit-Swan Pouffer and Katy Spreadbury, to name a few.

2. When it comes to kick-starting your career, you’ll be in good company. Choreographers who have placed at past A.C.E. competitions include Travis Wall, Teddy Forance, Peter Chu, Al Blackstone, Billy Bell and Dana Foglia. More recently, Erica Sobol, Melinda Sullivan, Andre Kasten and Jacob Jonas have taken home cash prizes and are doing big things. If you don’t know their names, yet, you soon will!

1. For new choreographers, the biggest obstacle to showing work is funding. The top-three winners at the A.C.E. competitions will receive $15,000, $5,000 and $3,000 toward the production of their own evening-length shows in New York City. That’s hard to beat.

Visit dancemedia.com/events/dance-teacher-summit2015 to enter.

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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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Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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