Dance Kicks Butt on Kickstarter

You may recall an earlier post about 2011 Capezio ACE winner Al Blackstone's show, "Happy We'll Be," as it premiered in NYC a few weeks ago. You may have also noticed the show had a successful Kickstarter page that well exceeded its $12,000 goal. As it turns out, this is not a freak incident.


Data shows that dance is the most successful Kickstarter category, beating out theater, music, art, film, music and more and earning $2.36 million so far in donated funds. Generally speaking, fewer than 50 percent of Kickstarter projects meet their goals to receive funding, but the odds are much more favorable for dancers, with a 70 percent success rate.


Theories abound as to why dance is raking in the dough on Kickstarter, but one thing's for certain: it's a great resource for your students. Encourage them to take advantage of this user-friendly fundraising platform. Read more about Kickstarter here.

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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