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


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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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, 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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