Nobody Puts Swayze in the Corner

Everyone here at Dance Teacher was extremely saddened to hear that actor and dancer Patrick Swayze was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Movie buffs will recall Swayze’s roles in favorites such as Ghost, Road House and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (in which he played a woman.) But dance aficionados everywhere know him best as Johnny Castle in the beloved 80s hit, Dirty Dancing and later his Chippendale-inspired dance off with Chris Farley on “Saturday Night Live.” The actor didn’t have to look far to develop his love of dance, his mother, Patsy, owned and taught at her own dance school. Swayze went on to train at the Harkness School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.


Many DT staffers had the pleasure of meeting the actor in person, when he made a surprise appearance at our 2005 Summer Conference. “I spent a lot of time at dance conventions,” Swayze said at the event. “Being at this conference feels just like being back home.” He generously stayed for more than four hours to talk with and sign autographs for each and every excited fan who lined up to meet him.


Swayze is still inspiring many by continuing to work through his treatment. Our prayers and thoughts are with him during this difficult time.

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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.