News: Studio Openings and Closings

 

—Maria Calegari and Bart Cook, former New York City Ballet principal dancers, have opened the CaleCo Ballet Studio in North Salem, NY. www.calecoballetstudio.com

 

The Festival Ballet Providence Center for Dance Education, under the leadership of school director Mary Ann Mayer and artistic director Mihailo Djuric, opens two satellite locations in Rumford and East Greenwich, RI, this fall. www.festivalballet.com

 

Gibney Dance Center opened in New York City in September. Housing the former Studio 5-2 that Gina Gibney Dance operated for 20 years, the new space will allow Gibney to generate special creative programs as well as offer workshops, classes, residencies and rehearsal space. www.ginagibneydance.org

 

The Fokine School of Ballet in Ridgewood, NJ, is closing its doors after 56 years. Founder Irine Fokine, niece of Michel Fokine and daughter of Alexandra Fedorova,
produced 52 Nutcrackers throughout the school’s history.

 

Photo courtesy of Gibney Dance Center

Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

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Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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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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