Dance Teacher Enlists Student Bridesmaids

74 students completed the 80-member bridal party at a U.K. dance teacher's wedding. Nice formation, dancers!

Nobody loves their students the way dance teachers do. They’re known to go out of their way to make each child feel appreciated and included in the studio family. In fact, at the Dance Teacher Summit, ambassador Phyllis Balagna shared a cautionary tale about attending students’ graduation parties. The moral: If you can’t make it to all of them, don’t go to any. (Balagna switched to sending cards to seniors and politely declining all invitations.)

One teacher in the U.K. has taken this spirit of inclusion to a new level. When she planned her wedding, Boogie Shoes Dance Academy instructor Katie Dalby invited her students—all of them—to round out her bridal party. “It just couldn’t have been fair to choose two or three of them, so the only solution was to invite 74 of them,” she told the Daily Mail. “I didn’t want to exclude anyone.” It’s a feeling many educators can relate to, but few would follow through on. The results are adorable, though, and the reception must have been quite the dance party.

Photo by Nina Carmen

Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.

"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

The term "body shaming" might bring up memories of that instructor from your own training who made critical remarks about—or even poked and prodded—dancers' bodies.

Thankfully, we're (mostly) past the days when authority figures felt free to openly mock a dancer's appearance. But body shaming remains a toxic presence in the studio, says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, psychologist for Atlanta Ballet: "It's just more hidden and more subtle." Here's how to make sure your teaching isn't part of the problem.

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Courtesy Russell

Gregg Russell, an Emmy-nominated choreographer known for his passionate and energetic teaching, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 22, at the age of 48.

While perhaps most revered as a master tap instructor and performer, Russell also frequently taught hip-hop and musical theater classes, showcasing a versatility that secured him a successful career onstage and in film and television, both nationally and abroad.

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