Studio Owners

Ask the Experts: How Can I Afford Guest Artists?

Q: In the summer, I love to hold a weeklong open-dance intensive with guest teachers. But for the past few years, I've found it harder and harder to afford guest teachers and still keep the price reasonable for my dancers. What do you suggest?


A: I think many studios have this problem. We all want great workshop teachers, but high hourly rates, airfare and hotel fees can make it impossible for summer intensives to be affordable. Twelve years ago at a convention, I expressed the same concerns to two other studio owners. One has a studio about 45 minutes from mine, and the other's studio is only 20 minutes away. We decided to run a summer intensive together. We call it "The Ultimate Dance Intensive": It all takes place at one studio, and it's open to dancers from any studio. We invite a mix of local teachers and bigger-name faculty.

The environment is very supportive, and we've actually managed to make money (which didn't happen before we joined together). This past summer, we tried a new idea to increase enrollment. Our parents committee wound up having some funds leftover by the year's end, so we offered every student a $50 credit toward their intensive fee. (If you didn't attend the intensive, you didn't get the "scholarship" credit.) We ended up increasing our enrollment by 20 percent.

Joanne Chapman is the owner of the award-winning Joanne Chapman School of Dance in Brampton, Ontario.

Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

Keep reading... Show less
News
The author with Maurice Hines. Photo by Anthony R. Phillips, courtesy Hopkins

In March, prior to sheltering in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, my husband and I traveled from New York City to Miami to screen our award-winning documentary, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, at the Miami Film Festival.

Our star, Tony Award–nominated dancer and choreographer Maurice Hines joined us in Miami for the festival—stepping and repeating on the opening night red carpet, sharing anecdotes from his illustrious seven-decade career with local tap students, and holding court at a cocktail mixer with lively female fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.