January 2016

Buy this issue!

  • On Desmond and Planning for the Summer

    By Karen Hildebrand

  • Desmond Richardson Brings His Gifts as a Performer to the Role of Educator

    By Karen Hildebrand

  • Musicians Talk About What They Need to Make Successful Live Music for Dance Class

    By Mary Ellen Hunt

  • Archie Burnett: How I Teach Voguing

    By Rachel Caldwell

  • Fashion: Ballet Slippers and Pointe Shoes for Dancers of All Levels

    By Alyssa Marks

  • DT Notes: Current Events of Interest to Dance Educators

    By Rachel Caldwell

  • Ask the Experts: Studio Business, Competitions and Technology in the Classroom

    By Joanne Chapman

  • Face to Face: Amanda Gaines

    By Rachel Rizzuto

  • Teachers’ Tools: Diane Duggan

    By Rachel Caldwell

  • Music: Michelle Barber

    By Alyssa Marks

  • Health: How to Get Dancers in Shape after Vacation

    By Andrea Marks

  • History: Merce Cunningham

    By Rachel Rizzuto

  • Higher Ed: College Audition Tour FAQ

    By Ashley Rivers

  • Business: Boost Your Biz in the Slow Summer Season

    By Charlotte Barnard

  • Summer Study Guide: 339 Intensives for You and Your Students

    Compiled by Caitlin Dutton and Jennifer Roit

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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