#ICYMI the 60th-Annual Grammys' Dance Performances Were...Meh

Last night's 60th-annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York City celebrated more than just the music industry. From performances by Lady Gaga and Elton John to the powerful political activism sprinkled throughout, there was a little something for everyone. Even Broadway diva Patti Lupone showed up to belt Evita's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," from the starring role she originated on Broadway.

Compared to previous years, breathtaking dance and memorable choreography were not hallmarks of the evening, but, ICYMI, here were the standout numbers.

1. With special appearances by DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, Rihanna killed her performance of the hit single "Wild Thoughts," and we're not surprised.

2. Pop/R&B star Bruno Mars, who took home six statues, including record and song of the year—"24K Magic" album and hit single "That's What I Like"—performed with Cardi B.

3. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee performed a saucy "Despacito." Billboard referred to the rare performance by a Latin artist at the Grammys as "unicorn-like."

Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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