Editor's Note

Remember when you attended your first convention? And how exciting (and scary!) it was to take class from a famous teacher? Today, many of the dancers your students emulate from television and the concert stage also teach at dance conventions. What an opportunity it is, for instance, to take class from DT cover girl Brooke Lipton, who makes casting decisions for the hit TV show, “Glee.” In “Red Hot,” L.A.-based writer Victoria Looseleaf tells how Lipton made a career for herself in the tough professional environment of Hollywood, and she shares the positive influence Lipton has on young dancers as a teacher for The PULSE On Tour and Hollywood Connection.

 

Conventions can open doors for your dancers—all your dancers, not just those with commercial aspirations. We get excited about the glamour and ambition, but let’s not forget the powerful educational foundation of these events. In this issue, Dance Teacher focuses on what it takes to teach in that setting (“Mastering the Master Class”) and how your students can benefit (“High Five with Cris Judd”)—including the 2012 Convention Guide for easy reference to contact details and other essentials.

 

How are you celebrating the holidays at your studio? In “Holidays in Every Way,” writer Nancy Wozny spoke to studio directors about how they reflect the varying demographic interests of their communities. Do you do something unique? Let us know by liking us on Facebook and joining the discussion about ways to make your studio inviting to everyone. And do have a look at “Goods” to see our holiday gift suggestions for the dancers on your list.

 

While The Nutcracker may be consuming your life this month, the new year is right around the corner. If you’re one of the many who resolve to diet or exercise with renewed vigor on January 2, be sure to read “My Personal Fitness Plan,” where three busy teachers share their health and fitness routines. They impressed us, and we hope they will inspire you.

 

Here’s to a fulfilling holiday season and fruitful new year.

Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

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All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

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