Recommended: 4 Editor's Picks

Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution

By Dana Caspersen

Penguin Books; 272 pages; $18

Former dancer Dana Caspersen has written a book that can help you resolve conflict in your studio business and personal life. The longtime collaborator (and wife) of William Forsythe, Caspersen has a master's degree in conflict studies and mediation. In Changing the Conversation, she offers practical tools that you'll be able to put to immediate use.

Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

By Simon Morrison

Liveright Publishing; 512 pages; $35

Delve into the history of one of the world's oldest and most acclaimed classical ballet companies. From the company's rise to prominence under the Russian tsars, to the shocking 2013 acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet's story promises to excite.

Dance Studio Transformation: Build a 7-Figure Studio, Increase Your Community Impact and Get Back Your Life!

By Clint Salter

Clint Salter Pty Ltd.; 194 pages; $19.95

Whether you're focused on building your studio's brand, simplifying administration, creating additional revenue streams or deciding what to pay your teachers, you'll find plenty of practical solutions in Dance Studio Transformation. Author and Dance Studio Owners Association founder Clint Salter draws from his personal experience owning and selling a successful studio.

Sweethearts of the Gridiron

Overton Films, 2016; 87 minutes; $5 (DVD)

This must-see documentary for high school drill team hopefuls features the Kilgore College Rangerettes, America's first dance drill team. The film follows five prospective team members as they're put through their paces to win a coveted spot on the team.

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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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