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


The Conversation
Dance Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy of Hightower

The beloved "So You Think You Can Dance" alum and former Emmy-nominated "Dancing with the Stars" pro Chelsie Hightower discovered her passion for ballroom at a young age. She showed a natural ability for the Latin style, but she mastered the necessary versatility by studying jazz, ballet and other forms of dance. "Every style of dance builds on each other," she says, "and the more music you're exposed to, the more your rhythm and coordination is built."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Burklyn Ballet, Courtesy Harlequin

Whether you're putting on a pair of pointe shoes, buckling your ballroom stilettos or lacing up your favorite high tops, the floor you're on can make or break your dancing. But with issues like sticking or slipping and a variety of frictions suitable to different dance steps and styles, it can be confusing to know which floor will work best for you.

No matter what your needs are, Harlequin Floors has your back, or rather, your feet. With 11 different marley vinyl floors available in a range of colors, Harlequin has options for every setting and dance style. We rounded up six of their most popular and versatile floors:

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Getty Images

Q: I'm trying to think of ways to maximize studio space and revenue during the summer. What has worked for you?

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by Insure Fitness
AdobeStock, Courtesy Insure Fitness Group

As a teacher at a studio, you've more than likely developed long-lasting relationships with some of your students and parents. The idea that you could be sued by one of them might seem impossible to imagine, but Insure Fitness Group's Gianna Michalsen warns against relaxing into that mindset. "People say, 'Why do I need insurance? I've been working with these people for 10 years—we're friends,'" she says. "But no one ever takes into account how bad an injury can be. Despite how good your relationship is, people will sue you because of the toll an injury takes on their life."

You'll benefit most from an insurance policy that caters to the specifics of teaching dance at one or several studios. Here's what to look for:

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Getty Images

In 2019, dance parents are more eager than ever to observe their child's progress, and stay up-to-date with the ins and outs of what's happening in the classroom. That means yearly recitals aren't always enough to keep them satisfied—especially if you have rules against visitors observing class from week to week. The solution? Visitor observation weeks. Trust us, the guardians and loved ones of your students will love you for it!

We caught up with Suzanne Blake Gerety, vice president of Kathy Blake Dance Studios and regular contributor to Dance Teacher's "Ask The Experts" column, to hear her tips on how to have a successful visitor observation week.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Success with Just for Kix
Bill Johnson, Courtesy Just for Kix

Running a dance studio is a feat in itself. But adding a competition team into the mix brings a whole new set of challenges. Not only are you focusing on giving your dancers the best training possible, but you're navigating the fast-paced competition and convention circuit. Winning is one goal, but you also want to create an environment that's fun, educational and inspiring for young artists. We asked Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner with over 40 years of experience, for her advice on building a healthy dance team culture:

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Adequate dorsiflexion mobility is needed to find a supple demi-plié needed to bound into the air and land safely. Getty Images

Dancers are trained to think often about the range of motion, stability and power of their extended lines: the point of the foot, the reach of the penché, the explosion of the sauté in the air. But finding that same mix of flexibility and strength in the flexed foot is just as integral to technique and injury prevention. Without adequate dorsiflexion mobility, it is nearly impossible to find the kind of supple demi-plié needed to bound into the air and land safely.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by World Class Vacations
David Galindo Photography

New York City is a dream destination for many dancers. However aspiring Broadway stars don't have to wait until they're pros to experience all the city has to offer. With Dance the World Broadway, students can get a taste of the Big Apple—plus hone their dance skills and make lasting memories.

Here's why Dance the World Broadway is the best way for students to experience NYC:

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
Irina Kolpakova in the studio with Katherine Williams. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe

Being coached by a treasure like former Kirov prima Irina Kolpakova is an experience most dancers only dream of. But company members at American Ballet Theatre have been the lucky beneficiaries of her wisdom since 1990. Thanks to Instagram, where pros like Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside share snippets of their sessions with Kolpakova, any ballet lover can be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the famed ballet mistress.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by The Fleet, courtesy of Lion's Jaw Festival

Growing up in New Jersey, Lisa Race trained with a memorable dance teacher: Fred Kelly, the younger brother of famous tapper Gene. "Fred would introduce our recitals," she says. "He would always cartwheel down the stairs." It wasn't until years later, when Race was pursuing her master's degree and chose to write a research paper on Kelly, that she realized there was a clear connection between her own movement style—improvisational and floor-based—and his. "In this television clip I watched, Fred jumps up to the piano, then jumps off it—he's going up and down and around," she says. "I thought, 'Oh, wow, all this time, I've thought of my dancing as my own, but that's where it started!' Moving upside-down and into the floor. There's a thread there. I rerouted it in different ways, but there's a connection."

Now, as a professor at Connecticut College, she concentrates on how to introduce her students to that love and freedom of upside-down work—and how to best prepare them for life after graduation, no matter what dance path they take.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Getty Images

It's summertime, which means we're all starting to feel HOT! HOT! HOT!

While a warm room is certainly better than a cold room when it comes to dancing, you don't want your students to get heat stroke at your studio. To help you survive this sweaty time of year, here are tips and tricks that will keep your classrooms comfortable for an excellent class.

Enjoy!

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox