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.

Teacher Voices
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In 2001, young Chanel, a determined, ambitious, fiery, headstrong teenager, was about to begin her sophomore year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the highly acclaimed "Fame" school. I was a great student, a promising young dancer and well-liked by my teachers and my peers. On paper, everything seemed in order. In reality, this picture-perfect image was fractured. There was a crack that I've attempted to hide, cover up and bury for nearly 20 years.

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Health & Body
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Though the #MeToo movement has spurred many dancers to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the dance world has yet to have a full reckoning on the subject. Few institutions have made true cultural changes, and many alleged predators continue to work in the industry.

As Chanel DaSilva's story shows, young dancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse because of the power differential between teacher and student. We spoke with eight experts in dance, education and psychology about steps that dance schools could take to protect their students from sexual abuse.

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Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

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Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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