Meet the Editors


Karen Hildebrand, Editor in Chief

Karen Hildebrand is vice president-editorial for all publications and websites of DanceMedia ( Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Pointe and Dance Retailer News). She joined Dance Magazine in 2001 as education editor and has led the Dance Teacher team since 2009. She hails from Colorado where she was active in the Denver/Boulder dance communities. Contact her at: khildebrand@dancemedia.com



Joe Sullivan, Managing Editor

Joe Sullivan started out in the dance world as a fact checker with Dance Magazine. In the years since, he's worked as a copy editor for all of DanceMedia's publications, seen many amazing performances and helped edit two dance books: Shoot Me While I'm Happy, a tap dance memoir by Jane Goldberg, and American Ballet Theatre's The Healthy Dancer: ABT Guidelines for Dancer Health. He edits Dance Teacher's Lead News section and can be reached at: jsullivan@dancemedia.com



Rachel Rizzuto, Associate Editor

Rachel Rizzuto graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Mississippi with a BFA in Dance and a BA in English. New York is a far cry from her upbringing in Chalmette, Louisiana, but she is currently a very happy dancer with Mari Meade Dance Collective and takes class at Mark Morris Dance Center. Rachel covers the studio business beat and edits the monthly technique feature and Theory & Practice department. Contact her at: rrizzuto@dancemedia.com


Betsy Farber, Associate Editor

Betsy Farber graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center with a BA in Communications/Journalism. After college, she performed in regional theaters in New York, Ohio and New Hampshire, and was the swing in the national tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. As a writer, she's freelanced for the Huffington Post, the L.A. Times and DAME magazine. She edits DT Notes and dance-teacher.com. Contact her at: bfarber@dancemedia.com



Haley Hilton, Assistant Editor

Haley Hilton graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in News Media. She is from Salt Lake City, Utah, where she trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. She taught at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio for four years and has danced professionally with Odyssey Dance Theater. She covers What My Teacher Taught Me, Chatroom, Face to Face and Teachers' Tools, and Technology, List and Recommended for DT Notes. She also edits Ask the Experts and Ask Deb. Contact her at: hhilton@dancemedia.com



Emily Giacalone, Art Director

Emily Giacalone earned a BFA in Communication Design (majoring in Illustration) from Pratt Institute. She got her start in magazine design with George Magazine and has worked on a variety of publications including Vogue, Four Seasons, Show People, Pilates Style, Pointe and Dance Retailer News. Contact her at: egiacalone@dancemedia.com

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Studio Owners
Thinkstock

Summertime is notoriously slow for dance studio owners, but bills don't take a holiday. Learn from three studio owners who figured out how to keep the buzz and cash flowing without breaking a sweat. Their secret formula? Creative summer programming too good for parents to pass up—coupled with quick and easy camps as bonus business builders. Not only do these owners keep their revenue rolling in summer, they use the season to boost enrollment come fall.

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So you've achieved your dream of owning a studio. Congratulations! Once that initial excitement wears off, we're betting that you'll discover just how overwhelming the day-to-day operation of such an endeavor really is. When you choose to run your own business, you're bound to encounter challenges, but with a unique business model at the center of it all, studio management certainly comes with its own hurdles, creating a perpetual learning curve that keeps both new studio owners and veterans on their toes.

Although a certain amount of this difficulty is to be expected for any studio, there's no longer any reason for you to suffer needlessly through each step of the way. All you have to do is reach out for a tool you can use to take your studio to the next level, namely studio management software.

Tools like our very own acclaimed Studio Director software can make a world of difference in virtually every aspect of your business. Let's run through some key ways in which this tool can revolutionize your studio.

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Jay Sullivan Photography, courtesy Julie Granger

Dancers crossing over into the fitness realm may be increasingly popular, but it was never part of French-born Julie Granger's plan. Though Granger grew up a serious ballet student, taking yoga classes on the side eventually led to a whole new career. Creating her own rules along the way, Granger shares how combining the skills she learned in ballet with certifications in yoga, barre and personal training allowed her to become her own boss (and a rising fitness influencer).

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A popular and highly sought-after dancer and choreographer, Geo Hubela has worked with stars and productions all over the world from French pop star "Lorie" to the MTV show BeComing. Geo isn't just a choreography sensation. He has also danced on film, onstage, and on TV. He was worked with everyone from *NSYNC to JLo. On top of his incredible professional career, Geo owns a dance studio called Icon Dance Complex.

Owning and running a successful dance studio is not an easy task. Showstopper got together with Geo for his advice on going from a professional dancer to studio owner.

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Dance Teachers Trending
Via Mia Michaels' Instagram

Beloved three-time Emmy Award–winning choreographer Mia Michaels returned to teach at Broadway Dance Center for the first time in a decade and brought the house down with her emotive and inspirational choreography. Set to the Harry Styles hit "Sign of the Times," her combination challenged dancers to fight their inner demons and recognize the legends that they truly are.

For the first two verses of music, Michaels asked the dancers to spell the words "I am," along with their own descriptor of choice (i.e. enough, resilient, whole), with their bodies, reminding them of their worth and potential for improvement. From there the choreography dove into swirling movement that pushed dancers off balance and out of their comfort zones. Shifting between fluid release and violent shakes she created a physical depiction of a common human experience—overcoming hardship.

Just as the group round of class was beginning, Michaels requested that the dancers be open and pour their whole selves into the choreography, citing her own history of doing so. "I've been completely open with you all. I've told my life's story through bodies around the world. That's why I'm Mama Mia."

When class finished, Michaels sat down with students for a Q&A; and book signing to promote her new book, A Unicorn in a World of Donkeys: A Guide to Life for All the Exceptional, Excellent Misfits Out There.

Check out some key takeaways from her discussion!

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Dance Teacher Tips
Photo by Kyle Froman

The back is an essential focus of Cynthia Harvey's ballet classes, especially as a part of port de bras. Here, she offers "plain," en face port de bras, followed by the same position with épaulement, to show the difference the back (and head and neck) can add to any position. Aspirational imagery helps students find their best épaulement: "Feel as if you have a tiara on," says Harvey. "Don't look like a student—look like a ballerina."

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Just for fun

The World Cup captivates soccer fans this time of year. But if football (as most outside of the U.S. refer to it) isn't your jam, this hybrid of disco dancing, ballet and soccer just might be more intriguing.

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Dance Teacher Tips
Students at Steps Consevatory in NYC.

Dancers who dare to sing increase their marketability, according to voice teacher Jan Horvath.

It's one thing to master a triple pirouette, she says. It's another to be a well-rounded performer who can tackle any challenge without being discouraged.

Horvath teaches voice at Steps Conservatory, a two-year professional dance program in New York City. Once a week, she leads two groups of 10 students in a 90-minute vocal course.

"It's like a ballet barre," she explains. "We focus on one little thing of the day and perfect it and move on."

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