Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Teacher

You may be an expert when it comes to looking out for your students’ health, but what about your own? On your feet for hours at a time, working from dawn to dusk, you could be putting yourself at risk for injury, stress and fatigue. As a teacher, you should be setting an example for your students by keeping as healthy as possible. Clarice Marshall, who teaches injury prevention and Pilates in her own studio, as well as at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Mark Morris Dance Group and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, offers these 10 easy-to-follow tips.


1.    Get enough sleep. The amount of sleep a person needs is very individual, so make sure you get enough for your body.


2.    Drink enough water. Three liters a day is recommended for an active person.


3.    To maintain high energy output, eat nutritious food and snacks throughout the day.


4.    Avoid the quick fixes that caffeine and sugar provide.


5.    Make sure you are at a fitness level that is appropriate for the job you are asking your body to do. If you don’t feel confident demonstrating that grand allégro combination full-out, don’t.


6.    Choose aerobic fitness that is low-impact, like swimming or using an elliptical trainer. Maintaining a constant level of aerobic fitness gives your body better stamina.


7.    Cross-train with a fitness professional or body-conditioning coach. Having an outside eye on you on a regular basis helps to keep imbalances from


8.    Study something new related to your area of dance work, like a new teacher training or a new exercise technique. Keeping your brain curious and active helps you stay creative as a teacher.


9.    Develop hobbies outside your field. Dance is an all-consuming profession, but having other interests can help prevent burnout and reduce stress. Being too stressed yourself will stress out your students.


10.    Recognize when you are becoming overwhelmed and develop healthy resources for reducing that stress, like getting outdoors, reading, massage, meditation, regular time off or a pet.


Illustration by Emily Giacalone

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.