Editor's Note: Fall Training Issue

In September many high school dancers’ thoughts turn toward college: Should they apply or not, and if so, where and what to study? Is it best to major in dance, or attend a school where one can dance while getting a nondance degree? Needless to say, it’s a tough decision and your students can use your help.

 

That’s why Dance Teacher compiles a Higher Ed Guide (in our print and digital editions) with contact information for the most respected college dance programs. We also recommend you keep a copy of the Dance Magazine College Guide in your studio. Updated annually, the College Guide includes details about dance degrees, a convenient comparison chart and a geographic address index. Plus it gives perspectives from dancers and other advisors about finding the right program, how to pay for it and what to expect once enrolled. You can order the new edition at www.dancemagazine.com/college

 

When you welcome new students to your classes, do you find that many need a particular correction? In “Oh No! My Students Are…," the DT editors posed this question to a diverse group of teachers. We loved their responses and think you will, too. Is there a technique issue that you find yourself addressing repeatedly? If so, let us know what it is. Like us on Facebook and join the discussion in our September timeline.

 

It’s not too early to start thinking about costumes for your holiday recital. DT fashion editor Andrea Marks has compiled a great selection of our favorite styles for our print and digital editions. And watch for our upcoming annual costume preview, this year in both the October and November issues, along with advice on care, fitting and alterations.

Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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Dancer Diary
Claire McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

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