A Letter to Dance Teachers Everywhere: Please Take Care of Yourselves This Dance Year


Dear Dance Teachers,

We adore you. You help make dancers' dreams come true. You give them the tools to become phenomenal performers and capable human beings. You. Are. Wonderful.

It's because of our undying love and devotion that we feel the need to write to you today. As we approach another exciting year of dance classes, we want to remind you to take care of yourselves.


1. It's OK to say no to extra rehearsals that encroach on time set aside for your family, religion, physical health, mental health or self-care obligations.

2. It's OK to stand up to parents who don't respect you.

3. It's OK to take a sick day when you need it.

4. It's OK to see a therapist.

5. It's OK to say no to props (they're fab, but also, they might be your emotional demise, so be careful!).

6. It's OK to delegate.

7. It's OK to be honest and vulnerable with your students.

8. It's OK (and we can't emphasize this enough) to eat some chocolate when you need it.

In the end, you need to put the oxygen mask on yourselves before you can help anyone else. Prioritize yourself so you can be the very best teacher possibe this season.

We love you and are rooting for you!

All the best,

Your adoring fans

Higher Ed
Charles Anderson (center) in his (Re)current Unrest. Photo by Kegan Marling, courtesy of UT Austin

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Until now, that is. Within the last three years, two master's programs have cropped up, each the first of its kind: Ohio University's MA in community dance (new this fall), and the University of Texas at Austin's dance and social justice MFA, which emerged from its existing MFA program in 2018. These two programs join the University of San Francisco's undergraduate performing arts and social justice major, with a concentration in dance, which has been around since 2000.

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When schools and studios launched their virtual dance programs at the beginning of the pandemic, many operated under the assumption that all their students would be able to take class online. But in reality, lack of access to technology and Wi-Fi is a major issue for many low-income students across the country, in many cases cutting them off from the classes and resources their peers can enjoy from home.

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