Editor's Note

While planning this issue, it struck me with new clarity the way teachers are constantly pulled in two directions: You take class and you give class. So will you enroll for a workshop this summer or will you teach one? The 2011 Dance Teacher Summer Study issue offers plenty of options, whether you seek a program for yourself or for your students.

 

In “Finding the Right Fit," Hannah Maria Hayes shows how several instructors take a proactive role in their students’ summer study plans. And contributing editor Kate Lydon, who is on the faculty of American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensives, has compiled a survival guide for teachers. It’s full of tips for planning your classes, managing a diverse group of students and staying healthy when you’re stretched (stressed?) to the max.

 

I hope your new year is off to a great start. It certainly holds a lot of promise for Valentina Kozlova, the glamorous former Bolshoi and New York City Ballet star featured on the cover. She’s launching a new international ballet competition this May. We had the privilege of watching a private coaching session the afternoon we visited her sun-drenched studio. And we got to play with her dog!

 

At Dance Teacher, we’re constantly looking for fresh perspectives. For 2011, I’m pleased to introduce new columnists for “Ask the Experts”: Veteran studio owner Kathy Blake and her daughter and business partner Suzanne Gerety will discuss the business concerns that keep you up at night. Send your questions to associate editor Courtney Allen, callen@dancemedia.com.

 

All the best for a great new year,

 

Karen Hildebrand, Editor in Chief

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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