2018 was an incredible year here at Dance Teacher, and we can't let it go without one final homage to the cover stories we absolutely loved! Check out these 12 standout features you'll want to read again and again (go ahead, nothing's stopping you!), and let us know over on our Facebook page what your favorite piece of the year was!


January—55 Years of Giordano Dance

Photo by Quinn Wharton

In January we got to learn about how Nan Giordano is keeping alive the legacy of her father Gus Giordano, one of the original architects of jazz dance. Go check it out!

February—5 Powerhouse Couples Who Teach

Photo by Jim Lafferty

In February we were inspired by some seriously talented teaching teams, who are actual couples in real life! Give it a read, and prepare to swoon!

Allison DeBona and Rex Tilton

Randi Kemper and Hefa Tuita

tWitch and Allison Holker

Simon Ball and Frances-Perez Ball

Kirven and Antonio Douthit-Boyd

March—Stephanie Saland: Reconnecting to Joy

Photo by Lindsay Thomas

In March we came to know the life and career path of Balanchine protégé Stephanie Saland. This is a must-read!

April—Martha Nichols: A Leap of Faith

Photo by Jim Lafferty

In April, the ever beautiful Martha Nichols graced our cover and shared with us the five times she went her own way. She's a force! Now go give her story a read!

May—What Is It About Utah?

Photo by Kim Raff

In May we heard from three studio owners who have a major influence on the booming studio market in Utah. That state is doing something right, and these ladies are here to tell you what that is!

June—Cynthia Harvey

Photo by Kyle Froman

June brought us some insight from Cynthia Harvey as she takes the helm at American Ballet Theatre's JKO School.

July—Julie Kent

Photo by Rachel Papo

In July, Julie Kent was DT's 2018 Award of Distinction honoree and took her place among other historic ballet leaders. Here she talks about her leadership role as artistic director of The Washington Ballet.

August—d. Sabela Grimes 

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

In August, d. Sabela Grimes made a compelling case for hip hop in higher education. He wants it to be accessible for all dancers!

September—Teamwork: Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken at Smith College

Photo by Christopher Duggan

In September, Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken shared three lessons on teamwork they derived from their experiences working together at Smith College, where they currently share a teaching position in the department of dance.

October—Brian Friedman on Insta-Fame and Staying Power

Photo by Lee Cherry

In October, Brian Friedman sat down with DT to give us some insight into his impressive staying power in the dance industry.

November—Edward Ellison's Impossible Dream

Photo by Jim Lafferty

In November, we learned about how Edward Ellison is molding ballet's future with his intentionally small yet successful school, Ellison Ballet.

December—The Multifaceted Francesca Harper

Photo by Kyle Froman

In December we learned about the influence of Francesca Harper, and the role of improvisation in contemporary ballet.

The Conversation
Dance News
Photo by Rachel Papo

When Monica Stephenson was a student at Houston Ballet Academy, she was cast as Lauren Anderson's swan double in Swan Lake. The role was just a few walks in Odile's tutu and a veil as the scene changed, but it was a thrill for the 18-year-old Stephenson. Anderson, one of the few principal ballerinas of color, was the inspiration for Stephenson to attend Houston Ballet Academy.

For the role, wardrobe gave Stephenson a few pairs of Anderson's special-order pointe shoes that were brown to match her skin tone. "That really helped me," Stephenson says. "I wound up wearing her specs my entire career. Sometimes people don't realize when they're impacting a young person."

Stephenson never forgot what it meant to have a role model like Anderson. She knew she'd want to inspire ballet students of color herself someday.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Getty Images

Competition is a dance teacher's battleground, and in order to be victorious, you need to have a few defenses in your bag at all times. You never know when something unexpected will happen, and your students will need their trusty dance teacher/hero to come in and fix everything. To help you be the most prepared you can be, we've compiled a list of essentials you should have on you at all times during competition. Keep them with you, and the weekend is yours for the taking!

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Courtesy Harlequin Floors

Just like your car, your studio needs periodic tune-ups to keep it humming along smoothly. If you take the time to address a few small fixes, your business will stand out. And you don't have to break the bank, either—you might be surprised how low-cost, DIY improvements can make a surprising difference.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Susannah Israel-Marchese with students at School of Ballet Hartford; photo by Frank Marchese, courtesy of SBH

At Michigan Ballet Academy, artistic director Irina Vassileni meets with a group of eager young students and their parents. She holds a shiny new pair of pointe shoes in one hand and an old, worn pair in the other. "I show them all the details, inside and out, and how working on pointe for hours will break down the shoe," says Vassileni. "I might even bring in different models and talk about how they're made. Parents need a lot of information to make them feel comfortable about their children going on pointe."

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Photo via @bettycrocker on Instagram

Here at Dance Teacher, we never miss out on a chance to help you be super EXTRA for the holidays. This month, we give you recipes to four different St. Patrick's Day treats you might consider handing out in class for your studio's celebration. Your dancers will love the festiveness, and you can use them as bribery for good behavior if you're feeling desperate (guilty 🙋♀️).

Check them out, and let us know what kinds of treats you like to make at your studio for St. Patrick's Day!

Oh, and you're welcome!

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Noe Leilani via @joandjax on Instagram

It's officially March, and you know what that means—green dance gear all around! Your students will come to class looking like jolly-green leprechauns, and you wouldn't have it any other way—it's way too much fun! To help you and your dancers find your best green getup, here are three green outfit ideas that will fulfill all your St. Patrick's Day needs. No pinching needed!

You're welcome!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Getty Images

Cleaning competition numbers is a process—and a difficult one at that. Making your dancers look cohesive without draining them of their passion and individuality can feel like an impossible task.

Here are some tips and tricks that may make it easier for you!

You're welcome.

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
Emily Giacalone, modeled by Nicole Kennedy of Marymount Manhattan College

We get it: Dance is exhausting, and sometimes all you want to do during a quick break is, well, nothing. Bill Evans, director of the Evans Somatic Dance Institute, recommends the following options, which are both relaxing and recuperative for the stresses dance puts on your body. From energizing restorative poses to deep breathing, here are five ways to make your downtime work for you.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Amber Johnson at Deland Middle School. Courtesy of DMS

For a young student in the process of developing bodily awareness, a hands-on adjustment by a teacher can mean the difference between safe and incorrect alignment. But in many K–12 schools today, a hands-on approach is frowned upon or sometimes even forbidden. With dance being a kinesthetic art, this limitation presents a predicament for K–12 dance teachers. Here, two teachers share their views on whether to use touch in class and, if so, how they go about it.

Keep reading... Show less
Unsplash

When it comes to running a thriving dance studio, Cindy Clough knows what she's talking about. As executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner for more than four decades, she's all too aware of the unique challenges the job presents, from teaching to scheduling to managing employees and clients.

Here, Clough shares her best advice for new studio owners, and the answers to some common questions that come up when you're getting started.

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
Like many dance traditions, it started at the Paris Opéra. (Edgar Degas' "The Dance Class")

The dance world is brimming with superstitions. One of the most common is never to say "good luck" before a show, since everyone knows uttering the phrase is, in fact, very bad luck. Actors say "break a leg" instead. But since that phrase isn't exactly dance-friendly, you and your dance friends probably tell each other "merde" before taking the stage.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "merde" is a French exclamation that loosely translates to, er, "poop." So how did dancers end up saying "merde" to each other instead of "good luck"?

To learn more, we spoke to Raymond Lukens, associate emeritus of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, and Kelli Rhodes-Stevens, professor of dance at Oklahoma City University. Read on—and the next time you exchange "merdes" with your castmates before a show, you'll know why.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
via YouTube

We knew we adored Ben Platt when we saw him sing his heart out through sobs in Dear Evan Hansen back in 2016, but now that he's put out a music video with some fantastic dancers as the titular characters, we are positively in love with him!

Check out the emotional new music video to, "Grow as We Go" with Rudy Abreu and Effie Tutko. The L.A. superstars are positively stunning in it! Let us know if you agree over on our Facebook page.

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox