I wish I'd taken a photo of Suki Schorer's collection of gorgeous tango shoes at our cover shoot (DT, Feb 2012), but we did get this great shot of her wearing a pair. I remember very clearly the day we shot the cover images (Feb 2012) of Suki Schorer. The stylish Schorer had brought a number of clothing options into the studio for us to consider—including a row of glittery footwear. “Those are my tango shoes," she told me. That was when I learned how a few years ago, after her performance career dancing with New York City Ballet under George Balanchine and the important role she has played with the School of American Ballet, she became passionate about the tango. Good story idea, I thought. Then recently we heard from an enthusiastic student (who happens to be blind) about tango instructor Yuyú Herrera, and we knew we had found a compelling way to frame “A Dancer's Guide to Tango."

The improvisational aspect of the tango, with its give-and-take between leader and follower, makes me think about relationships in general. The beautiful men on our cover this month have chosen to share not only their personal lives but also their careers. Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd met and married while members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and when they retired a year ago, together accepted the position of artistic director for dance at the Center for Creative Arts in St. Louis. In their conversation with writer Alice Bloch for “Coming Home," and a series of photographs taken by Matthew Karas, they appear to be very comfortable with their particular version of the tango.

We're sure our annual Costume Guide will come in handy for your next tango-inspired choreography—and everything else you'll need for your year-end recital. And if you've been on the ordering end of costuming several dozen dancers, you've probably suffered at least one of the meltdowns Rachel Rizzuto describes in “5 Costume Complications, Resolved." Her solutions can eliminate at least one source of stress from your season.

Photos by Matthew Murphy

Don't miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

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."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Diary
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."

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.