Editor's Note: Fresh Start

The news that Edward Villella would leave Miami City Ballet was first announced more than a year ago. We were as surprised as everyone else when he abruptly accelerated his departure date just as we were preparing the cover of this issue! In “Edward Villella Speaks Out, the former MCB artistic director gave us a very candid interview just days before he left his position. We wish him well as he continues to pass forward to the next generation of dancers what he learned from Mr. Balanchine, “body to body, mind to mind.”

The new year is always a good opportunity to make a fresh start. As you think about your goals for 2013, an update for your studio image may be on the list. In “A New Look for a New Year,” our experts tell how you can make the best first impression on potential customers through your logo, website and social media presence.

We’ve been working on a few changes ourselves. For one, we’re going back to basics for the monthly History column. This issue, we begin with Martha Graham in a new, concise lesson-plan format that you can easily share with students. We’ll introduce other essential dance history makers each month: their impact on the field, the cultural context for their work and why they continue to matter today.

A popular feature of the January issue every year is the Dance Teacher Summer Study Guide, beginning on page 68. Whether you’re helping your students find the right summer intensive or you’re looking for a continuing education opportunity for yourself, you’ll find it here.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

Teaching Tips
Courtesy Jill Randall

Fall may be fast-approaching, but it's never too late to slip in a little summer reading—especially if it'll make you all the more prepared for the perhaps crazier-than-usual season ahead.

Here are six new releases to enrich your coming school year:

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Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

Studio owners who've been in the recital game for a while have likely seen thousands of dance costumes pass through their hands.

But with the hustle and bustle of recital time, we don't always stop to think about where exactly those costumes are coming from, or how they are made.

If we want our costumes to be of the same high quality as our dancing—and for our costume-buying process to be as seamless as possible—it helps to take the time to learn a bit more about those costumes and the companies making them.

We talked to the team at A Wish Come True—who makes all their costumes at their factory in Bristol, Pennsylvania—to get an inside look at what really goes into making a costume, from conception to stage.

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Studio Owners

Jana Belot's 31-year-old New Jersey–based Gotta Dance has six studios, 1,720 students and, usually, 13 recitals. In a normal year, Belot rents a 1,000-seat venue for up to 20 consecutive days and is known for her epic productions, featuring her studio classes and Gotta Dance's pre-professional dance team, Showstoppers. Until March, she was planning this year's jungle-themed recital in this same way.

When the pandemic hit, Belot soon decided to do a virtual recital instead. Due to the scale of the production—300 to 500 dancers performing in each of the 13 shows—postponing or moving to an outdoor venue wasn't practical. (Canceling, for her, was out of the question.)

Unsurprisingly, Belot's virtual recital was just as epic as her in-person shows—with 10,000 submitted videos, animation, musicians and more. Here's how it all came together, and what it cost her.

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