Love Your Body Week: A Studio Tradition to Teach Positive Body Image

At Love Your Body Week 2012, students at All That Dance papered studio mirrors with reasons they appreciate their body.

It’s usually in middle school or early high school that dancers first begin understanding, talking about and fretting over weight. That’s why, when fostering positive body image in young dancers, one Seattle studio calls on its teen students to set the right example.

Each year, All That Dance celebrates Love Your Body Week (LYBW) to create a studio environment that accepts and supports all body types. Advanced dancers—members of the studio’s Honor Club and the National Honor Society for Dance Arts—visit younger classes to lead conversations and activities focused on building healthy body images. Last year, for example, students wrote about or drew pictures of what they appreciate about their bodies. By the end of the week, the self-affirming images covered studio mirrors.

This year’s LYBW begins November 18. For more info, or to learn about hosting a similar event at your own studio, visit or e-mail faculty member Mary Pisegna Gorder at

Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.