Here Are Three Books DT Recommends You Read This Month


Is there anything better than a good dance book? Yeah, we don't think so either! Here are three you should check out this month. All of them can be found on Read away dance fans!!

1. Aerial Dance: A Guide to Dance with Rope and HarnessAerial Dance: A Guide to Dance with Rope and Harness

By Jenefer Davies

2017; Focal Press; $39.95

As an introduction to aerial dance, this guide provides information on rigging, equipment, technique, conditioning and more. The chapters progress in a way similar to an aerial dance class. It provides step-by-step instructions for beginners to follow from their first experience with the art, through various movement phrases, to their performances. It also includes pieces of philosophy and advice from members of the aerialist community: "Aerial is not a reframing of traditional dance forms," says aerialist Andrea Chastant Burkholder. "It has its own integrity and techniques and blends beautifully with any dance form."

2. Dance Anatomy, Second EditionDance Anatomy, Second Edition

By Jacqui Greene Haas

2017; Human Kinetics Publishers; $24.95

Cincinnati Ballet athletic trainer Jacqui Greene Haas takes us through more than 100 of the most effective dance, movement and performance exercises designed to correct alignment, placement and breathing. Exercises demonstrated in the book, like proper abdominal stretching, are meant to help prevent common injuries in dancers and improve skills like arabesque and tour jeté. This book provides colorful illustrations of each movement and clearly highlights how to best develop and strengthen target areas of the body.

3. Tap into Improv: A Guide to Tap Improvisation

By Barbara Duffy

2017; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; $45

Master tap teacher Barbara Duffy calls on several decades of performing (with Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Brenda Bufalino, Jimmy Slyde), and her experience as director of the all-women Barbara Duffy & Company, to provide a volume of advice and practical tools for exploration in improvisation. Contributors include tap stars Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Kazu Kumagai, Thomas Marek, Sarah Petronio and Brenda Bufalino who share their best strategies and exercises.

Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

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Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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