How Are You Celebrating Halloween at YOUR Studio?

The Great Pumpkin himself?

Happy almost-Halloween, DT readers! Take a break from last-minute trips to Wal-Mart for extra Halloween candy and rigging up your own costume (from materials you find around the studio and your home, of course) to enjoy some classic spooky dancing.

And tell us how you’re celebrating Halloween at your studio! Did you have a costume contest? Teach your dancers the steps to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? (Everyone needs to know that information.) Share your studio Halloween experience with us on social media.

But now for the videos:

Yeah, we know Bindi Irwin (daughter of the legendary wildlife expert Steve Irwin) is a total sweetheart—and a passionate conservationist in her own right—but she really pulls out the creepy stops in her Argentine tango with Derek Hough for this season's Halloween edition of “Dancing with the Stars.” Look at those vampire fangs!

Now for a throwback! (#FlashbackFriday, people.) I present the cast of “So You Think You Can Dance,” season two, in what may be my favorite SYTYCD ensemble number ever: Wade Robson’s “Ramalama Bang Bang” routine. Their fancy-zombie-thing really works for me.

And, because I never want this video to die, I must present once more to you the historic news broadcast of KXVO in Omaha, Nebraska. This reporter put on a pumpkin head, donned a black unitard and danced around to the “Ghostbusters” theme. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty.


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Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

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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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