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.

songza.com

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.

spotify.com

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.

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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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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