Extra! Extra! Read (and Write) All About It!

Calling all dance teachers! The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards needs YOUR input.

In early 2014, NCCAS plans to release new voluntary arts education standards. These standards will serve as a guide for what students should know and be able to execute as part of their arts education in a particular discipline. From now until October 21, you have the chance to review the dance standards for high school students and offer your own suggestions and edits. Anyone can review the standards; you don’t necessarily need to be a high school dance teacher. During the last review, which took place in June and July of this year, more than 160 dance educators from across the country gave their opinions about Pre-K through 8th-grade standards. NCCAS is hoping to dramatically increase that number this time around—according to the organization’s Facebook page, over 10,000 people have visited the high school standards review site.

Main goals for the new set of standards include emphasizing big ideas and philosophical foundations, as well as establishing performance standards.

Think you’ve got a few things to say? Hunker down and click here to participate in the review process.

Music
Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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News
Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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