History Quiz: Russell Markert

1.     Name the group that inspired Markert to become a director and choreographer of precision-line dancing.


2.     What did Markert initially wish to do differently with his group?


3.     True or False: After returning home from Army duty in France, Markert lived the rest of his life with his mother and sister, and he never married or had children.


4.     Markert formed the _____ _____ in St. Louis. This troupe later relocated to NYC and underwent _____ name changes before permanently moving into Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center in _____.


5.     Why did Markert retire in 1971, after a 39-year career?


6.     How did Markert develop a reputation as a father figure to the Rockettes?


7.     His _____ _____ has become a family holiday entertainment tradition.


8.     Name the prestigious award that he won with the Rockettes in 1937.


9.     True or False: Markert came from a long family line of stage performers.


10.  What was Markert’s greatest choreographic contribution?



ANSWER KEY:  1. The Ziegfeld Follies;  2. He wanted more tap dancing and higher kicking as performed by taller women.;  3. True;  4. Missouri Rockets; two; 1932;  5. Radio City had been losing money since the 1960s, and the aging Markert could no longer produce the grand spectacles he had grown accustomed to.;  6. He encouraged the dancers to come to him if they had problems; he paid them well; he offered them chaperoned lodging next to the theater.;  7. Christmas Spectacular;  8. The Grand Prix at the 1937 Paris Exposition;  9. False;  10. He made precision dancing into an art form by integrating it with elaborate stagecraft and lighting to create musically diverse and visually stunning shows, and he set the model for how to choreograph on gargantuan stages.


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.