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.

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Teaching Tips
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After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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Teaching Tips
A recent Dance Media Live! Zoom class

After nearly six months of experimenting with Zoom teaching, many dance teachers are now feeling more comfortable with the platform. As the fall semester begins (and with much of it still happening virtually), now's the time to make sure you're taking advantage of all that Zoom has to offer to enhance your teaching.

One useful aspect of the platform you may not be utilizing to the fullest: the chat function, which can add a valuable layer of dialogue and engagement with your students.

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Teaching Tips
Carla Camargo, courtesy Dance Institute of Washington

Of all the decisions teachers make, assigning students' class levels is one of the trickiest. Even when you feel sure about where a student should be, they (or their parents) may not agree. Determining when to advance your dancers—and knowing how to talk to them about it with transparency and accountability—is important for students' progress, but disappointments and bruised egos are hard to avoid. Here's how some experienced teachers navigate the key elements of level placement.

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Teaching Tips
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Though this school year comes with uncertainty due to the pandemic, and classes may be online where you are, it still holds true that how a teacher conducts class at the start of September can set the tone for the entire year. Taking the first few classes to establish expectations and break the ice can mean the difference between a harmonious classroom and total chaos. Here are eight ways to put your best foot forward.

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