August 2007

The Classic

At 93, Frederic Franklin is still dancing, staging ballets and providing inspiration for generations of dancers.

Learning Long-Distance

Everything you need to know about distance-learning programs

Building Memory

Help your students increase their dance memory with these exercises.

Pre-Class Planning

Tips for getting ready for the new semester

Backward Thinking

When it comes to creating a unit plan, you might want to start at the end.

Planning for Growth

Advice on increasing tuition rates without losing clientele

Fashion

Dancewear for teachers

Chuck Davis

The African dance pioneer marks his 70th birthday this year and the 30th anniversary of his DanceAfrica Festival.

Mindful Learning

Eric Franklin shares a variety of ways to use imagery in the studio.

A Winning Combination

Balancing competition and recreational dancers

Antony Tudor

A pillar of 20th-century ballet

Performance Planner: Going to the Chapel

Use a wedding tradition to guide your next recital

2007 Music Guide

The latest class and performance music releases from more than 25 companies

The Art of Breathing

Techniques for using breath to improve concentration, endurance, coordination and expressiveness

Waivers 101

A guide to protecting your studio with liability waivers

Technique
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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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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