Recommended: 4 Editors' Picks

Lincoln Center at the Movies: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

C Major Entertainment; 2016;

101 minutes; $18.50 (DVD)

Enjoy the soulful dancing of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from the comfort of your own home. Included are Alvin Ailey's choreographic crown jewel, Revelations; artistic director Robert Battle's humorous solo, Takademe; Wayne McGregor's Chroma; and Ronald K. Brown's modern/West African fusion, Grace.

Dance Pedagogy for a Diverse World: Culturally Relevant Teaching in Theory, Research and Practice

By Nyama McCarthy-Brown

McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers; 277 pages; $35

Indiana University professor Nyama McCarthy-Brown proposes ways to diversify dance history courses, ballet technique classes and approaches to choreography, and ways to incorporate Native American dances into dance theory and practice.

Dancer

MPI Home Video; 2016; 85 minutes; $19.99 (DVD)

In 2010 at age 19, Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin was the youngest-ever principal with The Royal Ballet. Without warning, he walked away from the company two years later with no plans to continue dancing. Dancer tells the story of Polunin's early life, resignation from TRB and his eventual return to dancing.

Motor Learning and Control for Dance: Principles and Practices for Performers and Teachers

By Donna Krasnow and Mary Virginia Wilmerding

Human Kinetics; 336 pages; $32

Understanding the science behind motor function can help amplify your dance instruction and performance. Part dance science book, part teaching manual, Motor Learning and Control for Dance covers motor development, operations of the nervous system and strategies for teaching posture, balance and locomotor skills, among other topics.

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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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