Recommended: 4 Editor's Picks

Experiencing the Art of Pas de Deux

By Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Carlos Miguel Guerra

University Press of Florida; 184 pages; $24.95

Two former Miami City Ballet principals cover the finer points of ballet partnering, including what makes a good partner, how to establish trust, great partnerships throughout history and step-by-step breakdowns of popular lifts, turns and promenades with photos.

The Ballet Lover's Companion

By Zoe Anderson

Yale University Press; 384 pages; $27.50

Ballet students and balletomanes alike can improve their knowledge of ballet history with this guide by British dance critic Zoe Anderson. It covers in detail 140 ballets throughout history, with facts about each ballet's style, choreographer and historical context.

The Art of Movement

By Ken Browar and Deborah Ory

Black Dog & Leventhal; 304 pages; $37.27

Get your dance photo fix with these gorgeous images of dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Royal Ballet and other companies. There are also inspirational quotes from the featured dancers and a foreword by ABT principal Daniil Simkin.

Eight Female Classical Ballet Variations

By Nina Danilova

Oxford University Press; 288 pages; $39.95

This new book by former Kirov Ballet dancer Nina Danilova will familiarize you with the plot, musical score, steps, history and memorable performances of eight female solos from classical ballets such as Giselle, Paquita and The Sleeping Beauty.

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Music
Getty Images

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 onstageblog.com, 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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