Editor's Note: A small adjustment can make a huge difference

A small adjustment can make a huge difference. —TaraMarie Perri

The fall back-to-school season can be an exhilarating fresh start—and it can be stressful. It seems we could all benefit from a bit of yoga practice. Yoga’s calming attention to breath and meditation is fundamental to TaraMarie Perri’s Mind Body Dancer program. But as Perri says in “How I Teach Yoga for Dancers," “We don’t teach bliss and rainbows.” Her practice grew from her interest in alignment and anatomical awareness. Simply put, yoga helped her become a better dancer. We’re excited to share her advice about poses used (and misused!) frequently by dancers.

One of Arvin Cheng Arjona’s first tasks of the new school year is to organize an annual spring trip to either the Regional or National High School Dance Festival. He says the festivals are a good ego reality check for his students, many of whom study at local studios outside his class. “They’re all well-trained,” he says. “But I tell them there’s always someone better. They don’t believe me until they go to the festival.” Read about Arjona’s engaging approach to college prep dance in Millburn, New Jersey, in “Boundless Energy.”

Technology is a wonderful tool that can support the way you teach. But with the frequency of new offerings and upgrades, it’s not easy to keep up. That’s why editor (and dancer) Kristin Schwab makes a suggestion in every issue of Dance Teacher. (See Technology here.) Also, “Ask the Experts” columnist Barry Blumenfeld offers great tips that are targeted to those working in the K–12 setting. Note: Did you know you can now get your monthly Dance Teacher magazine on your iPad or other tablet, via the iTunes or Nook newsstand?

While you may sometimes want to hide your head in the sand when it comes to electronic technology, that’s not an option with new advances in pointe shoes. So this month, we asked Amy Brandt to give us a “Pointe Shoe Primer” reviewing all the latest innovations from noted manufacturers. Brandt knows what she’s talking about: A dancer with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, she also manages pointe shoes for the company. After reading the primer, head to your local dancewear store, where the master fitter will make sure your students spend their money well.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by Jerome Capasso, courtesy of Man in Motion

Finding a male dance instructor who isn't booked solid can be a challenge, which is why a New York City dance educator was inspired to start a network of male dance professionals in 2012. Since then, he's tripled his roster of teachers and is actively hiring.

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Studio Owners
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You've got the teaching talent, the years of experience, the space and the passion—now all you need are some students!

Here are six ideas for getting the word out about your fabulous, up-and-coming program! We simply can't wait to see all the talent you produce with it!

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Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by Todd Rosenberg, courtesy of HSDC

This fall Hubbard Street Dance Chicago initiates an innovative choreographic-study project to pair local Chicago teens with company member Rena Butler, who in 2018 was named the Hubbard Street Choreographic Fellow. The Dance Lab Choreographic Fellowship is the vision of Kathryn Humphreys, director of HSDC's education, youth and community programs. "I am really excited to see young people realize possibilities, and realize what they are capable of," she says. "I think that high school is such an interesting, transformative time. They are right on the edge of figuring themselves out."

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Q: What policies do you put in place to encourage parents of competition dancers to pay their bills in a timely manner?

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Photo courtesy of Kim Black

For some children, the first day of dance is a magic time filled with make-believe, music, smiles and movement. For others, all the excitement can be a bit intimidating, resulting in tears and hesitation. This is perfectly natural, and after 32 years of experience, I've got a pretty good system for getting those timid tiny dancers to open up. It usually takes a few classes before some students are completely comfortable. But before you know it, those hesitant students will begin enjoying the magic of creative movement and dance.

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Photo via @igor.pastor on Instagram

Listen up, dance teachers! October 7 is National Frappe Day (the drink), but as dance enthusiasts, we obviously like to celebrate a little differently. We've compiled four fun frappé combinations on Instagram for your perusal!

You're welcome! Now, you can thank us by sharing some of your own frappé favs on social media with the hashtag #nationalfrappeday.

We can't wait to see what you come up with!

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Original photos: Getty Images

We've been dying to hear more about "On Pointe," a docuseries following students at the School of American Ballet, since we first got wind of the project this spring. Now—finally!—we know where this can't-miss show is going to live: It was just announced that Disney+, the new streaming service set to launch November 12, has ordered the series.

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Dance Teacher Tips
Photo by Tony Nguyen, courtesy of Jill Randall

Recently I got to reflect on my 22-year-old self and the first modern technique classes I subbed for at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, California. (Thank you to Dana Lawton for giving me the chance and opportunity to dive in.)

Today I wanted to share 10 ideas to consider as you embark upon subbing and teaching modern technique classes for the first time. These ideas can be helpful with adult classes and youth classes alike.

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Dance Teacher Tips
Misti Ridge teaches class at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio. Photo by Arlyn Lawrence , courtesy of Ridge

The dance teachers who work with kids ages 5–7 have earned themselves a special place in dance heaven. They give artists the foundation for their future with impossibly high energy and even higher voices. Enthusiasm is their game, and talent is their aim! Well, that, self-esteem, a love for dance, discipline and so much more!

These days, teachers often go a step beyond giving tiny dancers technical and performative bases and make them strong enough to actually compete at a national level—we're talking double-pirouettes-by-the-time-they're-5-years-old type of competitive.

We caught up with one such teacher, Misti Ridge from Center Stage Performing Arts Studio, The Dance Awards 2019 and 2012 Studio of The Year, to get the inside scoop on how she does it. The main takeaway? Don't underestimate your baby competition dancers—those 5- to 7-year-olds can work magic.

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Patrick Randak, Courtesy In The Lights PR

The ability to communicate clearly is something I've been consumed with for as long as I can remember. I was born in the Bronx and always loved city living. But when I was 9, a family crisis forced my mom to send me to Puerto Rico to live with my grandparents. I only knew one Spanish word: "hola." I remember the frustration and loneliness of having so many thoughts and feelings and not being able to express them.

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Studio Success with Just for Kix
Courtesy Just for Kix

As a teacher or studio owner, customer service is a major part of the job. It's easy to dread the difficult sides of it, like being questioned or criticized by an unhappy parent. "In the early years, parent issues could have been the one thing that got me to give up teaching," says Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix and a teacher and studio owner with over 43 years of experience. "Hang in there—it does get easier."

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