Technology: Discover New Music

Whether you’re looking to choreograph new dances, make a stretch playlist or spice up your personal library, these top-notch music streaming websites will help you uncover new songs.

Also for Apple, Android, Kindle Fire and BlackBerry

Songza is a free site that finds music to complement a specific mood. Set the day of week and time of day you’re listening, and the site will give you multiple categories. For instance, entering “Tuesday morning” brings up options from “taking a sunny stroll” to “working.” Another five subcategories will then help you determine genre. Are you wandering dreamily, or is it more of a hip-hop stride? Once you decide, Songza offers three playlists to choose from: A dreamy wander leads to rural sounds, cinematic soundtracks or beachy tunes. As you listen, a thumbs up or thumbs down button helps you customize likes and dislikes, and similar artists are suggested.

Also for Apple and Android

Spotify has always allowed users to browse its large online library, but this summer the site released a new feature. Click “discover” on the left side of the page or app, and it will offer artists, songs or playlists based on your recent listens. It also keeps up with new releases by your favorite artists. Spotify’s expansive library is free on your computer when connected to the internet, but if you want to add it to a mobile device, you’ll have to pay $9.99 a month.

Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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Dancer Diary
Claire McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

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