January 2005

An Extraordinary Gentleman

John Meehan talks about teaching ABT's next generation

Many Happy Returns

How to help dancers get back into studio life after summer study

Going Back to School

A rundown of the major types of continuing education options available today

Time Out

A sabbatical is a special opportunity to pursue a personal or professional drea.

The 2005 Continuing Education & Summer Study Guide

More than 125 continuing education and summer study programs in the U.S. and abroad

Performance Planner: In Your Element

Earth, fire, wind and water are the perfect ingredients for an original recital

Marius Petipa

The bard of classical ballet

Running a Temperature

How to pick the perfect setting for your studio thermostat

How-To: Activity Calendar

27 class and studio activities to spice up your year

Play Time

Games can be a great tool for teaching young children dance basics.

Declaration of Independence

How to start an independent study program in dance

It's All Relative

Teaming up parents and children turns competition into a family affair.

Fashion

Costumes with sequins and rhinestones

Armed Against Injury

Three exercises to prevent upper-body injury

Breathing Ins and Outs

Breathing techniques to increase endurance and optimize performance

Safe and Sound

How to assess the safety of your studio and be prepared for an emergency

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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Dancer Diary
Claire, McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

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