At my corner newsstand last November, a glossy black-and-white cover of V magazine caught my eye: “The Who Cares About Age Issue” bore a striking image of Susan Sarandon perfectly made-up to look as fresh and dewy as, well, someone much younger. Fashion and beauty magazines regularly produce age issues, with advice decade by decade. This is Dance Teacher’s first.

 

But our approach is necessarily unique. Teachers don’t change their technique the way women change skin-care regimens. Or do they? A performance career is obviously impacted by physical capacity. Yet in teaching there are examples of those who work right up until the day they die. What exactly does age have to do with teaching dance?

 

We posed this question to two dozen teachers from a variety of locations and career stages in "Teaching at the Perfect (Every) Age." From Lupe Serrano, who at 80 is in demand as a teacher at American Ballet Theatre and the JKO School, to 12-year-old Amiya Alexander and her Mobile Dance Academy project in Detroit, the responses reflect an inner confidence and passion that defies the decades.

 

We’d like you to let us know your own perspective on the question of age. At what age did you hit your teaching stride? What do you wish you knew from the beginning? Write to me at khildebrand@dancemedia.com. We’ll print the best responses in “Chat Room.”

 

Longevity is just one of many topics addressed in this, the annual Dance Teacher focus on health and wellness:

 

*    Injury prevention and Pilates instructor Clarice Marshall shares her Top 10 tips for a healthy teaching career in “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Teacher”.

 

*    Gyrotonic guru Hilary Cartwright advocates for a just-in-time approach to stretching/conditioning in class. In “Technique,” she demonstrates exercises to help dancers develop a gorgeous and relaxed arabesque.

 

*    You may not have control over how a dancer eats, but you can influence her (and her parents) with basic nutrition education and by setting a good example. See “Teach Them Well.”

 

 

Karen Hildebrand

Editor in Chief

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