Dancers Among Us, Now in Bookstores

You’ve probably seen Jordan Matter’s photos circulating on Facebook and Pinterest. The New York–based photographer has made a name for himself with eye-catching images of dancers doing typically ordinary things in amazing, dancerly ways, like playing Frisbee, snapping photos or mopping the floor.


Now you can own Dancers Among Us in the form of a lovely coffee table book! Perhaps a gift for your parent volunteers? Or maybe just a reward to yourself for making in through another "Nutcracker" season. And when your guests flip through it and point, awestruck, to an image of someone penché-ing on a floating boogie board, you can yawn and say, "Ah yes, just another day in the life."


Part of the lure of Matter's work is the "How did they do that?!" factor. This behind-the-scenes video shows Matter and his gutsy dancers at work, taking risks with the law and their lives to capture the perfect shot!




Photo by Jordan Matter




Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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