Recommended: Les Petits, Tutus and Tempo Collection, Vol. 1

Audio CD 

by Nolwenn Collet and Nicola Farcas

45 tracks, 42 minutes

On the hunt for energetic music that will manage to hold the interest of your pre-ballet kids? Teacher Nicola Farcas teamed up with pianist Nolwenn Collet to create 45 different melodies tailored to the youngest dancers, in terms of style, tempo and track length. Rather than offering pieces to be used with technical ballet exercises, like pliés or tendus, Collet’s tracks invoke imagery to appeal to this age group—and Farcas has provided sample exercises to accompany each song, complete with counts. “Butterflies and Angry Tigers,” for example, calls for fluttering your “wings” as the piano trills arpeggios and then adopting the yoga cat pose like a tiger when the tempo abruptly changes. “Picking Coconuts!” asks students to reach or jump for coconuts in the trees when higher notes are played on the piano; when keys in the lower register are played, students must pick up the coconuts that have fallen to the ground. Other song topics include the four seasons, eight different moods, fairy tales and clapping games—there’s plenty to engage and inspire your preschool-age dancers.

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

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Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

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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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