Ask the Experts: Faculty Bios

Q: How can I keep my faculty members’ bios from becoming outdated so quickly? Do you have any writing tips for bios?

A:Your bio should tell your story, but it is not your resumé. With that in mind, know your audience and be clear on what is most important for them to learn about you and your teachers. One of the best ways to keep bios current is to review and revise them at least once a year, before your new season starts, to reflect any changes. Since updating your social networks and website is easy, we recommend you create multiple versions: a social-media bio of 140 characters or less; a short bio of 100 words or less; and a long version of up to a few paragraphs.

Write in the third-person and be direct. Start with your name and your primary role or position at the studio. Highlight the area of expertise for your teachers, whether it’s preschool, ballet or pre-professional classes. State accomplishments early, making the first sentence the most memorable. From there, list education, training, performance experience and career highlights. You can also list special skills, interests or hobbies. A teacher’s bio should reflect her professional background, personality and the special contribution she makes to your studio. It is a living piece of information that will stay fresh when you balance the relevant details with anecdotes showing what makes your studio unique.

Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of


Photo by B Hansen Photography, courtesy of Suzanne Blake Gerety

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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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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."

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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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