Recommended: 4 Editors' Picks

Being a Dancer: Advice from Dancers and Choreographers

By Lyndsey Winship

Nick Hern Books; 200 pages; $20.95

Get guidance from some of the world's brightest stars like Carlos Acosta, Wayne McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Darcey Bussell and Tamara Rojo. Advice ranges from the poetic (“Every Romeo needs a Mercutio." —Carlos Acosta) to the practical (“There's always another job."

Adam Garcia).

A Chance to Dance: A Parent's Guide to Healthy Dance Education

By Betsy Bradley

CreateSpace; 164 pages; $17.99

There are many nuances to a dance education that the new dance parents at your studio may not be aware of. Help them out by having this resource in your studio lobby. Betsy Bradley addresses topics like the politics of touch in the classroom, why dancewear is formfitting and how parents can best communicate their concerns to their child's teacher.

How to Run a Preschool Dance Studio: The 7 Step System to Create, Grow and Expand Your Preschool Dance Classes

By Emma Franklin Bell

Franklin Bell Publishing; 200 pages; $14.95

Preschool dancers are essential to a well-run studio. Win them over, and they'll be your students for years to come. In this manual for studio owners, Emma Franklin Bell explains how to grow your preschool dance program through a comprehensive system of branding, marketing, staffing and training, customer relations and administration.

Mark Morris: Musician-Choreographer

By Stephanie Jordan

Dance Books Ltd.; 560 pages; $75

Mark Morris has been called the “Mozart of Modern Dance" for his musicality. This detailed analysis of Morris' choreographic relationship with music offers different musical strategies for students of choreography. Chapters come with corresponding links to video clips of his work, which shine new light on familiar scores like Tchaikovsky's “Waltz of the Snowflakes."

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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