January 2009

The Pioneers

ABT aims to transform ballet training across the country with

its new National Training Curriculum.

Dance Teachers Plus

Three educators prove it’s possible to juggle studio life and

a second career.

2009 Summer Study & Continuing Education Guide

130+ programs for you and your students

Fashion

Costumes ready for the bright lights of Broadway

A Cotemporary Vibe

Ashley Canterna shares her music choices for contemporary

choreography.

The Best of Both Worlds

Spice up your show by going country and rock ‘n’ roll.

Summer Scholars

Help students ace their summer study auditions.

Beat the Winter Blues

Help students get motivated again after winter break with

these inspiring ideas.

A Bronx Tale

Two New York City principals are using dance to improve

academic performance in their schools.

The New Guy

Help male beginners step it up in class.

Anna Sokolow

Modern Dance Choreographer

Letting go

Tips on when and how to dismiss a staff member

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

In 2001, young Chanel, a determined, ambitious, fiery, headstrong teenager, was about to begin her sophomore year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the highly acclaimed "Fame" school. I was a great student, a promising young dancer and well-liked by my teachers and my peers. On paper, everything seemed in order. In reality, this picture-perfect image was fractured. There was a crack that I've attempted to hide, cover up and bury for nearly 20 years.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

Though the #MeToo movement has spurred many dancers to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the dance world has yet to have a full reckoning on the subject. Few institutions have made true cultural changes, and many alleged predators continue to work in the industry.

As Chanel DaSilva's story shows, young dancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse because of the power differential between teacher and student. We spoke with eight experts in dance, education and psychology about steps that dance schools could take to protect their students from sexual abuse.

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Technique
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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