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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Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

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Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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