Dance Teacher in Taipei!

Hi everyone! I apologize for being out of touch. The holidays were crazy as always, and after a much-needed vacation with my family in Taiwan and Hong Kong, it took longer than usual to readjust and get down to business as usual, putting out the March issue of Dance Teacher.

Speaking of my vacation, though, I just wanted to let you all know that I was surprised, delighted and moved to find none other than our dear magazine—along with sister publications Dance Spirit, Pointe and Dance Magazine—at one of Taipei’s top booksellers, the chic, multilevel Eslite Bookstore. Although photos weren’t allowed inside (why?), I snuck a few when store employees weren’t looking. DT was carefully wrapped in plastic, and the cover price translated to about US $10.

Isn’t it lovely to know that the teaching, health and business tips in the pages of DT are reaching an interested audience on the other side of the globe? It certainly put a smile on my face. What do you think: Would you like to learn more about dance education outside of the U.S.—in Asia, Europe or South America, for example? Post to the message board!

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

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Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

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Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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