Just for fun

Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labor This Weekend Dance Teachers!

Labor Day weekend is upon us, and it's time to get celebrating.

As the U.S Department of Labor puts it, this holiday is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country."

If you ask us, the "social and economic achievements" of dance teachers are MOST impressive this time of year (we might be a little biased, but like whatevs 💁).

So this weekend, we think you people should party hard, enjoy the day off and reflect on all the fabulous things your hard work adds to our beautiful country.

Here are three journal prompts to help you see all the good you do as a teacher. Get ready to be proud!

You. Are. Brilliant!

1. Journal 10 moments this year when your students showed you gratitude.

When students say thank you, we feel all warm and fuzzy inside in the moment, but then quickly turn our attention to the next task. Writing down these moments of gratitude will help you remember just how much good you do.

2. You're a boss teacher who's worth every penny. Write down the financial successes and progress you've made this year.

Even if it's just one more private lesson than you did last year, you're amazing and should recognize your successes!

3. Journal 5 teaching moments this year that made you feel proud.

Whether it's helping a student with their confidence or winning National Studio of the Year, you've done good, kid. Soak it up!

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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."

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Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

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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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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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