I've introduced myself to many dance teachers over my years as a student—usually still sweaty and elated from class.
But I never thought I'd be introducing myself to thousands of teachers, all at once. I'm the new editor in chief of Dance Teacher magazine, and I'm delighted to meet you.
For the past five years, I've been an editor at Dance Magazine, leading on training and career-related stories and writing about everything from social justice to music. I've chaired the Dance/NYC Junior Committee, a group of young dance professionals advocating for equity in our field, and presented my research at the Women in Dance Leadership conference. Dance teachers have shaped my path every step of the way—from the small studio I attended in coastal North Carolina to my years at Barnard College to taking class as an adult at Steps on Broadway and Mark Morris Dance Center.
I realize that as I step into this new role, many of you are stepping into new roles, too. Dance teachers are now Zoom experts and tech support for their students and parents. Studio owners are now their own brand strategists, figuring out overnight how to completely shift their business models. Those of you who were used to only teaching other people's kids may be finding that now you have to homeschool your own, too. And while teachers have always been mentors and support systems for their students, the current moment may be demanding even more of you as your students have their lives upended. As writer Kathleen McGuire puts it in an upcoming story on how teachers can help their students navigate grief: "Leading your students through a global pandemic was not on the dance pedagogy syllabus." (You can find this story in our September/October print issue, and online shortly.)
It can be scary to take on these new challenges. But know that everything you're doing is inspiring me, and all of us at Dance Teacher. We're inspired to create new spaces where our community can grow. We're inspired to reimagine what dance education can look like moving forward, as many of you already are. We're inspired to celebrate you and your accomplishments, big and small. We're inspired to keep educating the next generation about the storied history of our artform and the lineages that continue to shape our field. We're inspired to look to the future to see what we can do better.
Speaking of lineages, I want to recognize my predecessor, Karen Hildebrand, who has been at the helm of
Dance Teacher for the past 10 years. As I've started in this role, Karen has been a teacher to me. I'm grateful for her generosity, as I know many of you are, too. I know she will be missed deeply by this community, and I hope to continue her legacy of advocating for dance teachers and their needs.
I'm excited to get to work: In the next few months I'll be shaping our last print issues of the year, giving our social-media pages a revamp and introducing some exciting new virtual offerings. I'll also be bringing you up-to-the-minute small-business tips and stories with Dance Business Weekly, which I'll also be heading as editor in chief.
But what I'm most looking forward to? Getting to know all of you. Shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org—my inbox is always open, and I'd love to hear your ideas, your stories and your concerns.
Let's get to know each other.
With excitement and gratitude,