Editor's Note

It was an all-star cast at Steps on Broadway the day we photographed Chloé Arnold for the cover. Tap dancers from all over New York City (and from the pages of this magazine!) answered a call for the impromptu class, including Chloé’s sister and DC Tap Festival business partner, Maud; Dan Mitra, the young tapper who received a Presidential Scholar Award and appeared in our May 2009 Tap City Youth Ensemble coverage; and Shelby Kaufman and Jill Kenney, who appeared in the May 2010 Technique feature. Best of all, Arnold showed up to teach in glamorous, silver high-heeled boots. “People don’t understand how much harder it is to get the strong sound from high heels,” commented Jill Kenney, who was dripping with sweat from teaching an earlier class.


Learn more about how Arnold has and is distinguishing herself as dancer, mentor, teacher and producer in “Five Teachers, Five Venues”. Her story kicks off a look at the careers of five educators who have forged unique paths, all under the umbrella title of “dance teacher.”


Have you considered broadening your studio’s offerings with classes for adults? In “Night School,” Mary Ellen Hunt writes about the rewards of teaching ballet to adult beginners. She shares business and teaching advice from the directors of San Francisco Academy of Ballet, the Joffrey School of New York and Tapestry Dance in Austin. And to keep your adult students safe, our experts share ways to modify traditional dance stretches for less flexible adults in "Mindful Moderation."


Dance Teacher’s K–12 editor, Katie Rolnick, was impressed when she learned about a group of high school teachers in Phoenix started by Arizona State University faculty member, Becky Dyer. The group meets regularly to design lesson plans to help dance teachers better address teens’ social and emotional needs. In “Dance Your Troubles Away," Janet Weeks reports on the successful experiences at two of the schools.


Want to come to New York and be honored at the Dance Teacher Summit in July? Nominate yourself or an esteemed colleague for the 2011 Dance Teacher Awards. We’re looking for educators who’ve demonstrated dedication, leadership and overall excellence in one of three categories: studios & conservatories, K–12 and higher ed. Click here for details, and send your nomination before March 1.

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Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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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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