Health & Body

Ask the Experts: How Do I Correct A Student's Posture Without Driving Them Crazy?

Getty Images

It's challenging to make a true postural change—it will take time. The goal is to have your dancer decrease muscle tension and gain spinal strength so it won't take extra effort to stand up straight. I would suggest she explore some fun new types of activity, in addition to dancing, to do this.

Practicing acrobatic skills such as handstands and cartwheels increases both core strength and upper-body strength, which are needed for proper posture. Rebounding on a trampoline can help dancers stand up straight: You can't jump well if you're slouched over. This might go over better than simply doing exercises.


When poor posture becomes a habit, it feels normal. That's why it's essential to bring your dancers' awareness to the muscular tension tied to their posture. For example, using a pinkie ball against the wall, dancers can self-massage tightness between the shoulder blades. Many teachers encourage regular ball work before and/or after class by keeping a basket of balls in the studio. I have seen adults, too, dramatically shift their somatic awareness and improve their posture after receiving some form of bodywork like massage. Muscle tension and poor posture habits go hand in hand.

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.