Finding a Last-Minute Substitute

Holidays, illness, emergencies--there's a seemingly endless list of reasons you might need a substitute for your classes at a moment's notice. This is where comes in. Created by dance teachers for dance teachers in the tri-state area (New York City Dance Alliance's Joe Lanteri is the director), this website acts as a matchmaking service between studio owners in need of a sub and well-qualified teachers who can fill in with as little as a few hours' notice.

To access this free substitute-finding service, a studio owner creates an account with, providing contact information and the studio's hourly pay rate for subs. Then, when a fill-in teacher is needed, the studio owner completes the teacher request form on the website, detailing what type of teacher is needed and when. The team responds as quickly as possible, matching up the studio with a vouched-for teacher from the service's database whose price per hour aligns with the studio's substitute pay rate. A few hours' notice for a substitute is recommended--allowing for travel time--but has been able to place a job within an hour on occasion. Studios in New York City (all five boroughs), New Jersey and Connecticut can use, and there are plans to branch out to other areas.

Though finding substitute teachers (short- or long-term) is the main service of, you can also use the site to find guest artists for bigger studio productions (like The Nutcracker), competition choreographers or professionals for master classes and workshops.

Interested in joining the substitute instructor list? You can apply at and by submitting your résumé and headshot. If is interested, someone will contact you and ask for a video of you teaching.

Courtesy Meg Brooker

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Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

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All photos by Ryan Heffington

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Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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