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A Year in Review: ​DT’s​ 2018 Cover Story Roundup

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.

Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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