Editor's Note: With a Spring in Your Step

If the New York City boys who participate in the Dancing Classrooms Academy are any indication, starting a ballroom program in your studio could be just what you need to boost your male enrollment.

When Dance Teacher editor Jenny Dalzell met the teens (Dancing Classrooms is the program made famous by the award-winning documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, released in 2005), she was surprised that so many boys voluntarily came to the weekend sessions. Yes, they’re learning how to dance, but they see it as a social occasion—and they told Jenny they like it because it’s fun! Heads up—this could be happening in your studio.

Of course, it helps that someone as animated as Broadway alum Alee Reed (on the cover) is onboard to raise the awesome factor of fox-trot and swing for this age group. In Technique, the director of the Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company demonstrates a beginning tango move, appropriate for teens.

And should you decide to take our suggestion and recruit a ballroom teacher for your school, you’ll definitely want to check out "Help Wanted" for advice on how to make a successful hire.

National Dance Week is April 26 to May 5.

What better way to celebrate NDW than to honor the man who insisted there must be a School of American Ballet before there could be a New York City Ballet? As of this month, George Balanchine has been gone for 30 years. Thankfully his legacy is alive and well, due in large measure to the efforts of dancers like Francia Russell who restage his work on behalf of The George Balanchine Foundation. Here, the co-founder of Pacific Northwest Ballet talks about the challenges of teaching the Balanchine style to a new generation of ballet dancers.

Also, check out History: Lesson Plan for a concise and easy way to share the Balanchine influence with young dancers in your studio.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

Health & Body
Getty Images

Talar compression syndrome means there is some impingement happening in the posterior portion of the ankle joint. Other medical personnel might call your problem os trigonum syndrome or posterior ankle impingement syndrome or posterior tibiotalar compression syndrome. No matter what they name it—it means you are having trouble moving your ankle through pointing and flexing.

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Scott Robbins, Courtesy IABD

The International Association of Blacks in Dance is digitizing recordings of significant, at-risk dance works, master classes, panels and more by Black dancers and choreographers from 1988 to 2010. The project is the result of a $50,000 Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

"This really is a long time coming," says IABD president and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson of what IABD is calling the Preserving the Legacy and History of Black Dance in America program. "And it's really just the beginning stages of pulling together the many, many contributions of Black dance artists who are a part of the IABD network." Thompson says IABD is already working to secure funding to digitize even more work.

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Studio Owners
The Dance Concept staff in the midst of their costume pickup event. Photo courtesy of Dance Concept

Year-end recitals are an important milestone for dancers to demonstrate what they've learned throughout the year. Not to mention the revenue boost they bring—often 15 to 20 percent of a studio's yearly budget. But how do you hold a spring recital when you're not able to rehearse in person, much less gather en masse at a theater?

"I struggled with the decision for a month, but it hit me that a virtual recital was the one thing that would give our kids a sense of closure and happiness after a few months on Zoom," says Lisa Kaplan Barbash, owner of TDS Dance Company in Stoughton, MA. She's one of countless studio owners who faced the challenges of social distancing while needing to provide some sort of end-of-year performance experience that had already been paid for through tuition and costume fees.

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