Join NYC Dance Leaders in the Juneteenth March for "Justice, Dignity and Equity"

Tiffany Rea-Fisher at an earlier march. Photo courtesy of Elisa Monte Dance

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated annually on June 19 to mark the end of slavery in the United States. Though it's long been celebrated in many Black communities, it's not currently recognized as a national or federal holiday. Yet as Black Lives Matter protests continue nationwide, the occasion has garnered more visibility and attention this year.

The dance community is involved too. This Friday, June 19, at 2 pm, Elisa Monte Dance's artistic director Tiffany Rea-Fisher is co-hosting the first annual Juneteenth March at city hall in downtown Manhattan, alongside other activists and community leaders from across New York City.

Rea-Fisher has called on fellow members of the dance community to march with her. The International Association of Blacks in Dance and Dance/NYC are among confirmed participants. Dance/NYC will provide interpreters. Those marching will gather at two meeting spots near city hall: the corner of Chambers and Centre Streets (just east of Gibney's 280 Broadway location) and at Broadway and Park Row.

The Facebook event asks people to join "to protest for the justice, dignity and equity that Black Lives are owed." The primary goal is to advocate for passing the Andrew Kearse Act, a bill that calls for police officers to be held accountable for refusing medical care to people in custody.

Rea-Fisher, who identifies as both an artist and a community organizer, intends for the event to lead to further conversations about issues of race in America and within the dance community.

Beyond the Juneteenth March, Rea-Fisher has plans to continue to facilitate opportunities for discussions about race and advocacy throughout the summer. On June 25, she will join The Future of Executive Development's public forum on talking about race and taking meaningful action within an organizational context. And on June 30, Rea-Fisher will host another of EMD's public town halls, joined by former Bessie Award executive director Lucy Sexton and members of EMD, Dance Theater of Harlem and Paul Taylor Dance Company to consider the relationship between the arts, civil rights and activism. Rea-Fisher will also continue to serve as a guest lecturer at Dartmouth College for a course called "The Hazel Scott Project: Artist as Activist," taught alongside John Heginbotham, Virginia Johnson and Dartmouth professor Dr. Monica White Ndounou.

At The Dance Union's town hall on Monday evening Rea-Fisher reminded listeners that, as dancers, training one's voice is as important as training any other muscle of the body. For Friday's Juneteenth March, Rea-Fisher said, "All are welcome."

Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

Keep reading... Show less
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.