Dance Teachers! Got a Project in Mind, But Need Some Funding? Read On...

The Center for Arts in Education has announced its 2013 Fellows for the National Artist Teacher Fellowship grant. Dance teachers make quite the respectable appearance—four were chosen: Christopher Alloways-Ramsey of Boston Arts Academy in Massachusetts; Nicole Mathis-Berman of Art Theatre Entertainment School in California; Sonia Plumb of Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Connecticut; and Gina Bolles Sorensen of Coronado School of the Arts in California.

The deadline for 2014 fellowship applications, as we’ve blogged about once before, is swiftly approaching—they’re due this coming Monday, November 18. The 2013 dance fellows submitted projects for their applications as varied as attending the Bates Dance Festival in Maine to collaborating with a mentor on a piece about aging of performance artists. So let your imagination run wild as to how you'd like to use your award! Each award is $5,500 and can be used toward tuition, room and board, travel, mentor fees, purchase of materials—even childcare! Bonus: A separate grant of $1,500 is awarded to the fellow’s school for use in post-fellowship activities. See bostonartsacademy.org/center/natf to apply.

Photo by Dave Oleary, courtesy of Gina Bolles Sorensen

 

Teachers Trending
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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Music
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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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Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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