5 Self-Massage Tools to Have on Hand

Dancing all the time means you battle aches and pains all the time, too. And while you can't cart your favorite Brookstone massage chair with you everywhere, you can travel with any of these handy self-massage tools. Or just store them in your studio.

Foam roller Rollers come in different densities, so choose your hardness based on your pain tolerance. Use a roller for your iliotibial band (IT), along the outside of your thigh.



Wooden foot roller It's compact enough to keep next to you at the barre, to roll out those pesky foot cramps when they pop up.



Tennis ball Best for smaller sections of the body—like the hamstrings, glutes and feet—a tennis ball can soften knots or release your trigger points.




Thera cane It might look weird, but it's the the Thera cane's unusual shape that helps you access your hardest-to-reach spots. (Between the shoulder blades, anyone?)



Still Point Inducer Place it at the base of your skull and just relax into a gradual loosening of your neck and head. The best part? You use it while lying down.





Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

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Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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