November 2007

Full Circle

Former Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago dancer and teacher Jon Lehrer sets out on his own in upstate New York.

Hot Heads

A step-by-step guide to creating updated versions of three favorite hairstyles

All in Good Taste

Choosing appropriate costumes and music for performance

Costuming on a Shoestring

K-12 teachers share their creative and thrifty solutions for dressing students for the stage.


New costumes for the upcoming season

It Takes a Town

Miami-based studio Dance Town stands out for its focus on ballroom training and family values.

Billy Siegenfeld

The creator of Jump Rhythm technique wants dancers to rediscover the primal joy of movement.

Parlez-Vous Ballet?

Improve your students' dancing by helping them learn the meaning behind the movement.

A Quiet Approach

A new technique helps students concentrate better in the classroom.

How Am I Doing?

Strategies for evaluating yourself as an instructor

Between the Steps

Techniques for smoothing students' transitions

Performance Planner: In the News

Use current events to inspire your next recital.

Prof Swap

Higher-ed faculty talk about why teaching on other campuses is good for them—and their students.

What a Production!

Spectacular sets take hard work, team effort and careful planning.

Ask the Experts

Advice on common recital challenges: handling ticket sales and the intermission debate


Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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