With the new school year upon us, it's common for teachers to discuss the students that they'll have in their classes. Teachers will inform their colleagues about the upcoming talent and will also warn them about the challenging students that they will face for this season. Although, done with good intensions, by this we are taking away one of our students' most important rights: the right to a clean slate.

Every student deserves the right to start the school year without their past behaviors, mistakes and identities haunting them. The dancers should enter the studio knowing that they have the opportunity to let this year's actions determine how they will be treated and how they will become part of the classroom community. Part of teaching dance is teaching life lessons. This means that we need to lead by example and offer students second chances. So, before you begin emotionally preparing yourself for the students in this year's classes, please consider these three reasons why dancers deserve a fresh start.


Maturity

Although the summer goes by quickly, three months is enough time for students to experience new things. You will often find that the dancers that are walking into the studio this September are not the same people that they were at the end of last year–they've changed and grown. Do not allow preconceived notions taint the new level of maturity your dancers will bring to the classroom.

Class Dynamic

Many times friendships inside and outside the dance studio can play into students' behavior, levels of motivation, and work ethic. Therefore, a different roster of students can create a new class dynamic. A child who was struggling socially last year may now feel more comfortable and you could see a big improvement in that child's behavior this year.

Teaching Style

You, as a teacher, are different from your colleagues. The way you run your classroom, teach your lessons and interact with your dancers will cause them to behave, perform and learn differently. A student that may be problematic in another person's classroom, may act completely different under your leadership. Therefore, you are doing yourself and the child a disservice in assuming that they will behave the same as they did for another teacher. In short, don't allow another teacher's opinion overshadow your experience, until you've experienced the student's behavior first hand.
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Dance Teacher Tips

Filming class is all the rage these days, but without proper know-how, your videos can end up looking unprofessional. High- quality footage enhances the entire experience of your choreography and will give your students content they can use to promote themselves and further their career.

Here are five basic video tips for teachers who want to dip their toes in videography. These bad boys will put you on the road to get quality footage from your next class. Check 'em out! 👇

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Dance News
Photos courtesy of the studio's GoFundMe page

Dance Theatre of Jacksonville has suffered severe damage from the recent storm that swept through the southeastern states.

In an effort to help, a studio owner in California whose current student is an alumni of the studio located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, set up a GoFundMe page.

The studio's roof, floating hardwood floors and ceilings all need repairs. The lobby floors are also ruined, according to the studio's owner, Debra Baile Becerra. See a few photos of the devastation below.

"If you can help them out in any way, it would be so appreciated and a blessing on these kids to get back into the studio and feel some sort of normalcy," reads a statement included in the post.

For more information and to offer support, visit here.

Sequins and sparkles
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Just for fun

The "In My Feelings" challenge took the internet by storm last summer, and we have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed how dancey the internet got for a hot second.

Some of the best editions of the challenge came from some fabulous young ballet dancers, and before the challenge becomes 100 percent irrelevant, we wanted to post one of our favorites for your perusal. You've just got to enjoy Kiki from a classical perspective—am I right?

Share your best "In My Feelings" challenge videos in our comments! We're not ready for this internet phase to end, and we plan to ride it out as long as possible 💁.

You're welcome.

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In an industry exploding with options where bigger is often billed as better, BravO! National Dance & Talent Competition fills a unique void by putting the focus on what matters most - the performers.

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Editor's List: The Goods
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alison Stroming in a Capezio leotard (via capezio.com)

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Studio Owners
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Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in George Balanchine's Agon. Photo courtesy DM Archives

Former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell passed away today in a Manhattan hospital. He was 84 years old.

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Dance Teacher Tips
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Sometimes dance class can get a little (or a lot) predictable, and your students need something that will spice things up.

For times like these, here are some unconventional class activities your kids will love.

Check 'em out 👇 and in the comments share fun and different class activities you like to do!

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Dance News
Joe Lanteri teaching at Steps in the early 2000s

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"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."

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