Can you believe it’s already August? Though summer doesn’t necessarily bring downtime for teachers—you took your competition team to Nationals, you took yourself to teacher training or a festival and most likely you continued to teach daily dance class—I do hope you found some relaxation as well as rejuvenation.
Debbie Allen spent her summer directing a musical theater production in L.A. The gorgeous photos by Rose Eichenbaum for our cover and feature story capture Allen’s contagious energy on the set of Twist—An American Musical. Entertainment seems to run through the woman’s veins! So running a dance studio where she can mentor aspiring entertainers only makes sense. But did you know she has also directed television episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy”?
“When you walk onto the set and Patrick Dempsey starts doing jetés and singing ‘Fame,’ you know you’re doing something right,” Allen told writer Victoria Looseleaf. Catch up on more of the dancing-directing-writing-producing whirlwind of the 10 years since Allen first graced the cover of Dance Teacher (April, 2001) in “Dynamic Debbie Allen.”
Allen isn’t the only one whose hand stirs many pots. It seems like every week there is a new dance style (Zumba, anyone?) now that reality TV has boosted dance into the entertainment mainstream. How do you keep up with it all? Helping to keep you informed and connected is what we at Dance Teacher live for. In this Back to School issue, alone, we cover an alphabet soup of at least 10 different categories of dance: aerial, ballet, belly dance, hip hop, Limón technique, musical theater, Tanztheater and world dance.
If, for example, you’ve ever wondered how to distinguish between breaking and boogaloo, turn to the Dance Teacher's Guide to Hip Hop, where the directors of the Hip-Hop Conservatory in New York explain the moves and the influences, and name the people behind it all.
And what is dance without music? Turn to the new Music and Media Guide (page 98) to refresh your library of music for dance class and instructional DVDs. Are you in a rut? Try one of Amira Mor’s Middle Eastern music suggestions to literally shake things up.
Do you “like” us on Facebook? I invite you to join our Facebook discussion board and share your expertise as well as your questions.