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

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

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

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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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to, 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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Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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