Mr. Gaga Is Coming to a Theater Near (Or Relatively Near) You This Month and Next

For those of you who have been eagerly anticipating the U.S. release of Mr. Gaga, the documentary about Batsheva's artistic director Ohad Naharin, I have good news. It's screening in New York City; Rochester, NY; Boston; Irvine, CA; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; and Seattle. (Click here to see the full schedule, and check back often to see if new cities have been added.)

If you're a part of the dance world, you've definitely heard of Naharin. He's an Israeli former dancer and current choreographer who creates work that rips your guts out, squeezes your heart and challenges your perception of what modern dance is. His movement is idiosyncratic and incredibly powerful, and it always seems to come from the very innards of his dancers' bodies. Oh, and he's the creator of Gaga, an improvisatory technique that's sensory-focused. The director Tomer Heymann followed Naharin for eight years (!) to create this documentary, so you know it's going to be good.

The trailer seriously gives me chills (and I've seen Naharin's work more times than I can count):

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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.

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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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