I'm writing this while still on a high from our Dance Teacher Summit in New York City. As I told those at the final session, the Summit is my annual dose of special inspiration. Yes, I talk with artists and educators every day. But what really fills my cup (I'm stealing that phrase directly from Kim Delgrosso and her DTS seminar on life balance) is to spend three full days face to face with the teachers who read our magazine. It's another reminder of, “Oh, this is why we do what we do!"

There were so many things that made me smile this year. Here are just a few.

  • When Kathleen Isaac did a saucy little Latin step at the podium (in honor of the A.C.E. number we had just seen by Eugene Katsevman) after accepting her Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education.
  • When Lisa Campbell Stuart, ballet teacher at CC & Co. Dance Complex, ran up to me, so excited that emerging choreographer and CC & Co. alumna Martha Nichols had just won the A.C.E. Award. I'd met the free-spirited Lisa the night before, dancing onstage after the fashion show!
  • When Broadway choreographer Warren Carlyle taught a number from After Midnight without a demonstrator. A class for dance teachers is different than a class for dancers, he said. By demonstrating the movement in his own body, he could more directly access what it takes to teach the material. “Risk everything" was his motto, and I've been thinking about that ever since.

Introducing Robert Battle of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Checking in with our team of ambassadors always feels like the first day of summer camp. This group of longtime studio owners is available throughout the weekend to share their knowledge—either one-on-one or in panel discussions. (Producer Gil Stroming introduces them fondly the first morning as having about 3.2 billion years of combined experience between them.) And, of course, they are regular contributors here in the pages of Dance Teacher magazine—this month is no exception. Check out their advice on “Prepping for Competition and Convention Season."

By Sunday, I usually have time to walk the massive exhibit hall and check in with our dynamic community of product vendors and service providers. I always learn something new! And many of these people are now old friends. I hope you'll support them with your business. They make this magazine happen.

With every issue of Dance Teacher we carry forward the conversation with inspiring stories and flashes of brilliance. If you'd like to share a favorite moment from the Summit, please write me at khildebrand@dancemedia.com.

Photo by Rachel Papo

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