January 2017

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  • A Fresh Start

    By Karen Hildebrand
  • Xiomara Reyes Lands Soft and Starts Running at The Washington School of Ballet

    By Candice Thompson
  • Janet Panetta: How I Teach Ballet for Contemporary Dancers

    By Rachel Caldwell
  • Ask the Experts: Follow-up for Potential New Students

    By Kathy Blake and Suzanne Blake Gerety
  • Face to Face: Stephen Petronio

    By Rachel Rizzuto
  • Teachers' Tools: Karen Mills Jennings

    By Rachel Caldwell
  • Music: Lydia Roberts Coco

    By Helen Rolfe
  • Health: Stop Eating Disorders Before They Start

    By Andrea Marks
  • History: Trisha Brown

    By Rachel Caldwell
  • Theory & Practice: 5 Considerations for a Hands-on Teaching Approach

    By Julie Diana
  • Higher Ed: Bala Sarasvati Sends Students Soaring at the University of Georgia

    By Rachel Caldwell
  • Studio Business: 10 Ways to Save $ on Master Classes

    Any savvy studio owner knows that bringing in guest artists is a good idea, whether for a two-hour master ...
Teachers Trending
Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo courtesy Dance With Me

Listening to Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy riff together makes it crystal-clear why each has mastered the art of partnering in the ballroom—they've long been doing this dance in real life as brothers and business partners.

Along with their "Dancing with the Stars" pedigree (and a combined three mirror-ball trophies between them), Maks and Val (and their father, Sasha) also run Dance With Me, a dance company hosting six ProAm Dancesport competitions annually and running 14 brick-and-mortar studio locations across the U.S.

Last year, the pair launched an online component, Dance & Co. The online video platform offers beginner through advanced instruction in not only ballroom but an array of other styles, as well as dance fitness classes from HIIT to yoga to strength training. "DWTS" fans will recognize such familiar faces as Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater, along with Maks and Val themselves.

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Teaching Tips
@jayplayimagery, courtesy Kerollis

In the spring of 2012, Barry Kerollis was abruptly forced into treating his career as a small business. Having just moved cross-country to join BalletX, he got injured and was soon let go.

"I'd only ever danced with big companies before," the now-freelance dance-teacher-choreographer-podcaster recalls. "That desperation factor drove me to approach freelancing with a business model and a business plan."

As Kerollis acknowledges, getting the business of you off the ground ("you" as a freelance dance educator, that is) can be filled with unexpected challenges—even for the most seasoned of gigging dancers. But becoming your own CEO can make your work–life balance more sustainable, help you make more money, keep you organized, and get potential employers to offer you more respect and improved working conditions. Here's how to get smart now about branding, finances and other crucial ways to tell the dance world that you mean business.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Oleson

American dance educator Shannon Oleson was teaching recreational ballet and street-dance classes in London when the pandemic hit. As she watched many of her fellow U.S. friends pack up and return home from their international adventures, she made the difficult choice to stick with her students (as well as her own training—she was midway through her MFA at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance).

Despite shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, she was able to maintain a teaching schedule that kept her working with her dancers through Zoom, as well as lead some private, in-home acro classes following government guidelines. But keeping rec students interested in the face of pandemic fatigue hasn't been easy.

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