Seattle’s Anne Green Gilbert is a woman who wears many hats. As artistic director of Creative Dance Center, Kaleidoscope Dance Company and Summer Dance Institutes, she teaches students and runs a studio business, while managing to break new ground in the dance community with well-received books like Brain-Compatible Dance Education (National Dance Association, 2005). She’s a nationally revered advocate for creativity in the classroom—she believes the best way to learn is by playing—so it’s no surprise that her musical interests for her students are multifaceted. “I enjoy using a wide variety of music to inspire my students to move in novel and inventive ways,” she says. “Also, using a new piece of music often inspires me to create engaging and supportive combinations and choreography.” Green Gilbert let DT in on a few of her favorites for teaching students to move creatively. DT

Artist: Eric Chappelle
Album: Music for Creative Dance: Contrast and Continuum, Volumes 1–4
“Eric Chappelle’s original instrumental compositions are written especially for creative and modern dance classes. The incredible variety of meters, styles and lengths of pieces will inspire and support you and your students, young and old. Each CD’s booklet contains movement ideas for each song.”

Artist: Hap Palmer
Album: Rhythms on Parade
“The short, lively songs on this CD are appropriate for ages 5 and under. Although I prefer instrumental music for creative dance classes, I often include one of these pieces for a quick, engaging dance to start class. The clear beats in the music are also excellent for developing young dancers’ rhythmic skills.”

Artists: Gary King and Christoph Maubach, arrangers
Album: The Best of Shenanigans’ Dance Music 1980–1990: Children’s Dances of Terra Del Zur
“My students love music from different cultures. Many pieces on this CD have a clear ABAB form that is useful in exploring contrasting dance concepts, practicing skills or creating simple routines.”

Artists: Greg and Steve
Album: Kids in Motion
“Although this album has an ’80s feel to it, the CD contains some popular, high-energy tunes. The songs all contain words, but I often provide additional ideas and cues to inspire more creative movement.”

Artist: Baka Beyond
Album: Spirit of the Forest
“The mixture of Western and African rhythms on this CD inspires my students to move outside of their usual patterns. Some tracks have a strong rhythmic beat and others are more flowing. I’ve used the music for improvisations, combinations across-the-floor or choreography.”

Artist: Eric Chappelle
Album: BrainDance Music
“I use this CD to accompany the complete brain/body warm-up exercise called the BrainDance. Tracks include sections that use nursery rhymes, are fully narrated, have simple cues or are purely instrumental.”

photo by Stewart Tilger

The Conversation
Dance Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy of Hightower

The beloved "So You Think You Can Dance" alum and former Emmy-nominated "Dancing with the Stars" pro Chelsie Hightower discovered her passion for ballroom at a young age. She showed a natural ability for the Latin style, but she mastered the necessary versatility by studying jazz, ballet and other forms of dance. "Every style of dance builds on each other," she says, "and the more music you're exposed to, the more your rhythm and coordination is built."

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Burklyn Ballet, Courtesy Harlequin

Whether you're putting on a pair of pointe shoes, buckling your ballroom stilettos or lacing up your favorite high tops, the floor you're on can make or break your dancing. But with issues like sticking or slipping and a variety of frictions suitable to different dance steps and styles, it can be confusing to know which floor will work best for you.

No matter what your needs are, Harlequin Floors has your back, or rather, your feet. With 11 different marley vinyl floors available in a range of colors, Harlequin has options for every setting and dance style. We rounded up six of their most popular and versatile floors:

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Sponsored by Insure Fitness
AdobeStock, Courtesy Insure Fitness Group

As a teacher at a studio, you've more than likely developed long-lasting relationships with some of your students and parents. The idea that you could be sued by one of them might seem impossible to imagine, but Insure Fitness Group's Gianna Michalsen warns against relaxing into that mindset. "People say, 'Why do I need insurance? I've been working with these people for 10 years—we're friends,'" she says. "But no one ever takes into account how bad an injury can be. Despite how good your relationship is, people will sue you because of the toll an injury takes on their life."

You'll benefit most from an insurance policy that caters to the specifics of teaching dance at one or several studios. Here's what to look for:

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Studio Owners
Getty Images

If you're not prepared, studio picture day can be a real headache. But, if done right, it can provide you with gorgeous photos that will make your students and parents happy, while simultaneously providing you with marketing content you will be able to use for years to come.

Here are five tips that will help you pull off the day without a hitch.

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Studio Success with Just for Kix
Bill Johnson, Courtesy Just for Kix

Running a dance studio is a feat in itself. But adding a competition team into the mix brings a whole new set of challenges. Not only are you focusing on giving your dancers the best training possible, but you're navigating the fast-paced competition and convention circuit. Winning is one goal, but you also want to create an environment that's fun, educational and inspiring for young artists. We asked Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner with over 40 years of experience, for her advice on building a healthy dance team culture:

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Just for fun
Via YouTube

In its 14 years of existence, YouTube has been home to a world of competition dance videos that we have all consumed with heedless pleasure. Every battement, pirouette and trendy move has been archived somewhere, and we are all very thankful.

We decided it was time DT did a deep dive through those years of footage to show you the evolution of competition dance since the early days of YouTube.

From 2005 to 2019, styles have shifted a whole lot. Check them out, and let us know over on our Facebook page what you think the biggest differences are!


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Sponsored by World Class Vacations
David Galindo Photography

New York City is a dream destination for many dancers. However aspiring Broadway stars don't have to wait until they're pros to experience all the city has to offer. With Dance the World Broadway, students can get a taste of the Big Apple—plus hone their dance skills and make lasting memories.

Here's why Dance the World Broadway is the best way for students to experience NYC:

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Dance Teacher Tips
Photo courtesy of Koelliker

Sick of doing the same old stuff in technique class? Needing some across-the-floor combo inspiration? We caught up with three teachers from different areas of the country to bring you some of their favorite material for their day-to-day classes.

You're welcome!

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Dancer Health

Q: I have a very flexible spine and torso. My teachers tell me to use this flexibility during cambrés and port de bras, but when I do, I feel pain—mostly in my lower back. What should I change so I don't end up with back problems?

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Studio Owners
Getty Images

If you're a studio owner, the thought of raising your rates most likely makes you cringe. Despite ever-increasing overhead expenses you can't avoid—rent, salaries, insurance—you're probably wary of alienating your customers, losing students or inviting confrontation if you increase the price of your tuition or registration and recital fees. DT spoke with three veteran studio owners who suggest it's time to get past that. Here's how to give your business the revenue boost it needs and the value justification it (and you) deserve.

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Dance Teachers Trending
Margie Gillis (left); photo by Kyle Froman

Margie Gillis dances the human experience. Undulating naked in a field of billowing grass in Lessons from Nature 4, or whirling in a sweep of lilac fabric in her signature work Slipstream, her movement is free of flashy technique and tricks, but driven and defined by emotion. "There's a central philosophy in my work about what the experience of being human is," says Gillis, whose movement style is an alchemy of Isadora Duncan's uninhibited self-expression and Paul Taylor's musicality, blended with elements of dance theater into something utterly unique and immediately accessible. "I want an authenticity," she says. "I want to touch my audiences profoundly and deeply."

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