June 2006

Business With the Benders

Innovative duo Kevin and Meri Bender build solid dancers and a strong community in Phoenix, Arizona.

Off the Beaten Path

Teaching dance in a community outside of an urban center.

Guest Spot

A guide to developing a contract to protect guest artists—and yourself

Right-Hand (Wo)Man

The pros and cons of hiring an office manager for your growing studio

Performance Planner: Animal Instinct

Animal-inspired performance themes to make any audience roar

Fashion

Costume styles to help your dancers walk like the animals

Jack Cole

Founding father of theatrical jazz dance

Turning Dancers into Teachers

A look at how you can give non-dance education majors tools for future teaching careers

A Picture of Progress

Learn how portforlios can document your students' growth—and your success as a teacher.

Ask the Experts

Answers to questions on leg-"straightening" exercises, overweight dancers and student advancement

 

Music
Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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News
Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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