Get Your Students In Back-To-School Mode With These 4 Memorable Musical Numbers

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The end of summer is near, (cue sad trombone), and most young people are less than thrilled to return to their regularly scheduled programs. Perk your dancers up with these classics songs so they'll be running back to class.


"Summer Nights," Grease

This classic 1978 dance number that started in the cafeteria at Rydell High captures the bittersweet farewell to summer. When Danny Zuko, Sandy, the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds reminisced about their shenanigans, it's hard not to dance (and sing) along.

"Fame," Fame

The high school students dancing atop cars in traffic in 1980s Times Square, choreographed by Louis Falco, is nothing short of perfect inspiration for getting back to class—dance class, that is.

"You Can't Stop the Beat," Hairspray

You can't stop summer from being over, but you also won't be able to physically stop this infectious beat, paired with Adam Shankman's choreography from the 2007 film, from entering your bones.

"We're All In This Together," High School Musical

If your students are still bummed about getting back to class, let Zac Efron and company's cheery, upbeat celebration by Kenny Ortega reminds everyone that we're all in this together.


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Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Teachers Trending
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

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

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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