Editor's Note: Staying Power

The day we visited Bethany Marc-Aurele’s Hoboken studio for this issue’s cover shoot, New Jersey was just beginning to recover from severe flooding during Hurricane Sandy. Marc-Aurele and her students had been shut out of their fourth-floor studio for more than a week. Fortunately, there was no property damage, but the loss of a full week of revenue can have a big impact on a small business.

Marc-Aurele had been questioning the wisdom of her recent move from a modest basement location to a larger space at triple the rent, but the flooding put any second-guessing to rest.  “If we were still in that basement, we wouldn’t have a studio right now,” she says. “So maybe the move wasn’t such a bad decision after all.”

For our February focus on careers, we spoke with nine new(ish) studio owners who routinely face similar decisions: when to advertise and how much; whether to grow or stay small; when to delegate and what to do yourself; and always location, location, location. Studio entrepreneurship is not for the timid! The good news is that for the people you’ll meet in “A New Generation," taking a calculated risk has paid off. They talk about their challenges, innovations and inspirations, along with four studio veterans who offer the sage perspective of hindsight.

Of course, you don’t have to own a studio to understand the risks and rewards of a career in dance. Dance Teacher is filled every month with views from educators engaged in all aspects of the field. In this issue, for example, they share advice on such varied topics as bunion prevention, teaching floorwork, mastering the isolations of Fosse-style jazz, a tap dance anti-bullying program and how to structure a fulfilling sabbatical leave.

And speaking of rewards, we are now accepting nominations for the 2013 Dance Teacher Awards to be presented in New York City in August at the Dance Teacher Summit. Send us your role models and colleagues, the people you strive to emulate and the local heroes who deserve to be recognized nationally. We will select educators in three categories: Studios and Conservatories; K–12; Colleges and Universities. For more details, click here.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

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Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

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Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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