Books/DVDs: A Beautiful Mind

Beautiful Body, Beautiful Mind: The Power of Positive Imagery
by Eric Franklin
Elysian Editions

In a nutshell: Mobilizing the power of thought for a healthy lifestyle.
In this guidebook, Eric Franklin illustrates more than 80 exercises for maintaining a healthy physical-emotional connection—the key to longevity, without artificial creams, pastes, surgeries or pills. He infuses positive imagery and mental techniques (i.e., self talk and goal setting) into the book’s eight chapters, targeting major parts of the body, including the joints and cartilage, bones, muscles, brain and nervous system. Franklin’s overall lesson: Whether you achieve your fitness goals is determined by habits in the quality of your thoughts and daily life. —Erin K. Dean

Shanti Generation for Youth Peacemakers
by Abby Wills

WSR Creative

In a nutshell: An introductory yoga program for 10- to 15-year-olds.
Led by the soothing instruction of yoga teacher Abby Wills, seven teen students demonstrate exercises that encourage physical, mental and social development. During the 90-minute session, viewers will learn 18 yoga poses for focus, energy and calmness, along with other sequences that focus on flexibility, balance, meditation, breathing and stress management. Viewers can navigate through the five sections as they choose, while relaxing to music by 311 bassist Aaron Wills. A special features section includes interviews with the teenage yogis, who share the benefits of yoga for young people. —Jenny Thompson

Pilates and Calisthenics for Children
by Larkin Barnett, BA, MA

Lorenz Educational Press

In a nutshell: A kid-friendly manual for teaching Pilates and calisthenics.
Written by Larkin Barnett, an exercise science professor at Florida Atlantic University and former dancer, this easy-to-follow text teaches movement to children through creative visualization that accesses all five senses. Though concise, this book is packed with instructional tips and cartoon-like visuals to help students grasp mind-body connection. The first three chapters detail the “ABCs” of Pilates—alignment, breathing and core control basics. The remaining three sections cover “Calisthenics Exercises,” “Pilates Mat Exercises” and “Wall Stretches,” with each exercise illustrating how to engage the imagination of children. A certificate of completion template for students is also included. —JT

Practical Pilates: Using Imagery
by Larkin Barnett, BA, MA
The Lorenz Corporation

In a nutshell: Using visual imagery to help condition the body.
Larkin Barnett fused her dance and movement-therapy expertise into a practical fitness program to help remedy America’s increasing struggle with health issues—especially obesity. This resource offers more than 70 simple movements (modeled by Miami City Ballet dancers) that use visual imagery to control flexibility, strength and body maintenance. She includes moves that can be done while on the go, watching television, sitting on an airplane or waiting in line. And with a focus on the key ingredients for success in dance—alignment, breathing and centering—these exercises can also be carried into classroom teaching technique. —JT

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.

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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.

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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.

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