May 2015

The Innovators

by Karen Hildebrand

On Thin Ice

Jody Sperling calls attention to the impact of climate change.

You Could Be YouTube Famous

Three choreographers use video-sharing sites to go viral.

Plus: Yes, Emily: Studio owner and Facebook sage

Alberto Del Saz

How I teach the Nikolais/Louis philosophy

Fashion

Dancewear looks you’ll love both in and out of the studio

Face to Face

A Conversation with choreographer Warren Carlyle

Teachers’ Tools

Up close with Lisa Swenton-Eppard

Marcelo Gomes

Music for classical and contemporary ballet

Your Best Legs

Bowlegged, hyperextended, knock-kneed—or not

Alwin Nikolais

Multimedia pioneer

Sky-High Skills

Training your students to dance in heels

Finding the Patterns

An innovative way to learn math and music with movement

How to Date a College Dance Program

4 ways to make sure you’re making the right match

3 Ways to Make Summer Sales Sizzle

Creative programming can keep revenue running in the slow season.

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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Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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