New Year, New Goals

While some of us are once again resolving to lose a few pounds or live within a budget, our cover subjects this month inspire us to think bigger for the new year. Yvette L. Campbell, John-Mario Sevilla and Seán Curran (shown at right with writer Rachel Berman) represent the breadth of dance in New York City, from teaching artists to schoolchildren to performers and choreographers. Their comments about the state of arts education are both broad and personal. And their insight is particularly apt, considering that each has made a career on the professional concert stage. In “Making It in New York,” the three share their new year’s resolutions and more.

Former Paul Taylor dancer, Rachel Berman, interviewed Campbell, Sevilla and Curran.

If your goals for 2014 include continuing education, you’ll be interested in the Summer Study Guide. There are plenty of programs for teachers, as well as some great recommendations for your students. Dancers can often benefit from the change in perspective that an outside summer intensive delivers. Instead of seeing their departure as a loss in your studio revenue, you can add value to your business by helping them get accepted into a program that will serve them well. One way to do this is to arrange a summer study audition video session. See “10 Minutes to Impress” for tips on making an effective video.

DT editors join Jacqulyn Buglisi at the photo shoot for “How I Teach Graham”: (From left) Rachel Rizzuto, Courtney Celeste Spears, Buglisi, Andrea Marks and Kristin Schwab.

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Dance Teacher Awards. We’re accepting recommendations for outstanding educators in three categories: Studios and Conservatories, K–12 and Higher Ed. Look for details on dance-teacher.com, and e-mail your nominations to amarks@dancemedia.com by March 1. Then be sure to join us at the Dance Teacher Summit in New York City, August 1–3, for the awards presentation.

Wishing you success in 2014,

Karen Hildebrand

editor in chief

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 onstageblog.com, 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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Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy TUPAC

When legendary Black ballet dancer Kabby Mitchell III died unexpectedly in 2017, two months before opening his Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, his friend and business partner Klair Ethridge wasn't sure she had what it took to carry his legacy. Ethridge had been working with Mitchell to co-found TUPAC and planned to serve as its executive director, but she had never envisioned being the face of the school.

Now, Ethridge is heading into her fourth year of leading TUPAC, which she has grown from a fledgling program in an unheated building to a serious ballet school in its own sprung-floor studios, reaching hundreds of students across the Tacoma, Washington, area. The nonprofit has become a case study for what it looks like to carry out the vision of a founder who never had the chance to see his school open—and to take an unapologetically mission-driven approach.

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