History Quiz: Bessie Schönberg

1. What unique ability did Bessie Schönberg possess that led her to become one of the most revered composition teacher?


2. Name some of Schönberg’s former students who went on to become groundbreaking artists.


3. Schönberg directed the nation’s first college dance department at _____ _____ _____, for nearly four decades, establishing a shift in focus to the study and performance of _____ _____.


4. As a child, Schönberg fell in love with dance while watching performances by this famous German dancer/choreographer and teacher.


5. Who introduced Bessie to contemporary dance at the University of Oregon in 1927?


6. True or False: Schönberg performed in such famous works as Martha Graham’s Heretic and Primitive Mysteries, before a knee injury in 1931 prematurely ended her career.


7. Bessie’s unique teaching approach included focusing on _____ _____ _____, then exploring all variations, before defining a set of boundaries and developing a short study to perform in class.


8. Why did Bessie favor all styles of dance equally?


9. Since 1983, Schönberg’s first name has been synonymous with whose annual dance awards?


10. True or False: Bessie experienced a professional renaissance after her mandatory retirement, becoming a
sought-after choreographer teacher across the United States and Britain.






1. To help her students find their own creative voices, by honing in on the exact characteristic that set a person apart from everyone else;

2. Annie-B Parson, Jerome Robbins, Carolyn Brown, Lucinda Childs, Meredith Monk and Ronald K. Brown;

3. Sarah Lawrence College; student choreography.;

4. Mary Wigman;

5. Martha Hill;

6. True.;

7. Fundamental movement principles;

8. Because she believe that all dance, no matter the style, was difficult to create;

9. Dance Theater Workshop’s New York Dance and Performance Awards.;

10. True

Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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 onstageblog.com, 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.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.