March 2007

Three's Company

Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kimi Okada, co-directors of San Francisco's ODC Dance Commons, talk about 35 years of nurturing an artists' community.

Notable Instruction

How to use dance notation in the classroom to foster better body awareness and boost creativity

Teaching Anatomy

Integrate anatomical principles into your classes to help students stay injury-free.

Cardio Rx

A strong cardiovascular system can boost endurance and strength.

Pushing the Limits

Challenge your students while safeguarding their health.

Healthy Habits

10 strategies for a lifetime of wholesome eating

Face to Face: Rennie Harris

The hip-hop advocate celebrates the 15th anniversary of his Philadelphia-based company, Rennie Harris Puremovement.

Performance Planner: Rhymin' Time

Create a medley of dances based on everyone's favorite nursery rhymes.

Helen Tamiris

Modern dance pioneer and esteemed musical theater choreographer

Physics 101

Clarify mechanics of motion to help your dancers develop their technique.

A Community of Learners

Learn how educators are working to offer accredited dance programs at community colleges around the country.

A Family Affair

Three K-12 teachers share strategies for getting parents involved in their children's dance education.

Ask the Experts

Answers to your questions on dance education certification and finding good yoga teachers

Accounting for Success

The ins and outs of hiring an accountant


Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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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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