Annual Urban Nutcracker Opens Next Week

A 2011 Dance Teacher Award–winner, Tony Williams has been staging the Urban Nutcracker in his hometown of Boston for 12 years. The popular production features everything from classical ballet to flamenco to swing dancing. The cast includes over 100 kids from local dance schools, plus big names like Boston Tap Company founder Sean Fielder, former ABT soloist Carlos Molina, performers from Broadway’s “La Cage aux Folles” and musicians from the Berklee College of Music. 


Williams has made some updates this year with pieces of new choreography to Duke Ellington’s jazzy interpretation of the Tchaikovsky score. (Word is, the new candy cane dance will feature rhythmic gymnastics!) Williams’ new youth company, Boston Urban Ballet, will also make its debut as part of Urban Nutcracker.



Urban Nutcracker

Dec 8–23 at John Hancock Hall, Boston





Photo: the Urban Nutcracker’s 2012 cast made an appearance at the Roslindale Day Parade, courtesy of Facebook


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.

Keep reading... Show less
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.