Recommended: 4 Editor's Picks

Power and Space: Percussion for Horton

By Kevin Sport

32 tracks; 72 minutes; $14.99

The Ailey School accompanist Kevin Sport provides rhythmic accompaniment for an entire modern class on this new album. Each of the 32 tracks corresponds to a Horton exercise, like “Laterals" or “Fortification 6." However, the album's variety of rhythms is easily translatable to any type of modern technique class.

Inside Ballet Studio: Upper Level Technique Class, Vol. 1

By Stephanie Murrish & Yee Sik Wong

42 tracks; 52 minutes; $25

Dance to piano arrangements that span the decades and musical genres, like Puccini's “O Mio Babbino Caro" or Scott Joplin's “The Entertainer" in this CD for an upper level ballet class. Ballet mistress Stephanie Murrish takes listeners through an entire class, including five tracks for men's exercises at the end of the album.

Hamilton: The Revolution

By Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Grand Central Publishing; 288 pages; $26.49

Playwright, composer and rapper Lin-Manuel Miranda's revolutionary musical about the United States' first Secretary of the Treasury has taken Broadway by storm. Hamilton: The Revolution contains the musical's full libretto along with fun footnotes by Miranda and a peek into the production's six-year journey from concept to opening night.

Beginning Jazz Dance

By James Robey

Human Kinetics; 176 pages; $39

In this installment of Human Kinetics' Interactive Dance Series, Webster University dance professor James Robey offers students a thorough overview of introductory jazz concepts. An accompanying web resource with photos and video clips complements the book's many assignments, worksheets, glossary terms and chapter quizzes.

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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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