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NYCDA Foundation's Annual "Destiny Rising" Performance Was All Kinds of Inspiring

Every January, students, parents, professionals, and lovers of dance all gather for the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's annual fundraising performance "Destiny Rising" at The Joyce Theater. And every year we fall a little bit more in love with the foundation's mission: "Investing in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education." Since its founding in 2010, the foundation has awarded over $2.5 million in scholarships. Because of the program (and its uber-generous donors), kids across the country literally get to attend college and pursue their dance dreams. What could be better than that?! Not much...


It's always very emotional watching the former scholarship recipients (who are out in the dance world doing huge things) come back and talk about how much the foundation means to them and why their careers wouldn't be where they are today if they hadn't had those scholarship opportunities. Last night, we got to hear more about the story and journey of the lovely Courtney Celeste Spears, a new Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member, and it was some serious #Mondaymotivation.

The night also always proves to be a super-glitzy and fun performance thanks to lots of high-profile guests, and last night was no exception. New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia performed a dazzling excerpt from Stars and Stripes, Marymount Manhattan College students performed a stunning piece by Gabrielle Lamb, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet presented an excerpt from the ethereal Dwight Rhoden piece Bach 25, to name just a few. (And can we just say it was SO FUN getting to watch former DS Cover Model Search finalist Tatiana Melendez perform her heart out with her new company fam CCB! Go girl! đź’Ą)

If you're a current junior or senior in high school who's wanting to go to college for dance, make sure you don't miss the next NYCDA Foundation audition date: July 1, 2019 in NYC. You never know what might happen... ✨

And ICYMI, enjoy this peek at Marymount Manhattan College's performance:


Teaching Tips
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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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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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Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

With so much else on your plate, from navigating virtual learning to keeping your studio afloat, it can be tempting to to cut corners or to settle for less in order to check "costumes" off of this season's to-do list. Ultimately, though, finding a costume vendor you trust is paramount to keeping your stress levels low and parent satisfaction high, not to mention helping your students look—and feel—their absolute best. Remember: You are the client, and you deserve exceptional service. And costume companies like A Wish Come True are ready to go above and beyond for their customers, but it's important that you know what to ask for. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your costume company.

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