News

5 Dancer Vlogs You Should Be Watching

Professional dancers from all over the world are jumping on the vlog train, and we are so here for it. They make us laugh, they give us useful advice, and they show us what daily life is like as a working professional—what more could we want? Sit down, relax, be inspired and laugh 'til you cry watching these YouTube videos—you deserve it!

Here are five of our current favorites you all need to check out. Let us know what other dance vlogs you love by commenting on our Facebook page, or at the end of this post.


1. Haley Fitzgerald

It turns out Haley is not only a fantastic commercial dancer (currently working as a backup dancer for Jennifer Lopez), but a delightfully entertaining vlogger as well. She is witty, weird and shamelessly self-deprecating—everything you need to be to survive in this crazy industry. Check out her vlog every Wednesday, you won't regret it!


2. Claudia Dean

If you're looking for ballet tips, tricks and hacks, Claudia is definitely your girl! From ballet hairstyles to pointe shoe hacks, to the secret to higher extensions, the former Royal Ballet dancer shares her wisdom with the world, and we are SO thankful!


3. Michaela DePrince

We can always count on Michaela DePrince to inspire us with her dancing, and her vlog is no different! Check out this video in which she takes us behind the scenes at Dutch National Ballet and shares a bit of her journey getting back onstage after a recent injury.


4. Jenna Dewan Tatum

We about cried when we found out Jenna Dewan Tatum had a YouTube channel. She stole our hearts back in 2006 with her hit movie Step Up, and we've been OBSESSED with her ever since. Check out our favorite video she's posted so far! She shares her original Step Up audition, and it's absolutely adorable.


5. Harper Watters

He's hilarious, talented, and VERY handsome—everything you could ask for in a dance vlogger, really. Check out his latest videos and be prepared to laugh 'til you cry! He's just so awesome.

Teachers Trending
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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Music
Getty Images

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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