I’m super-excited about our special section this month, “Training the Healthy Dancer." I think you’ll love the straightforward advice of our experts. But as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that the first step in training a healthy dancer is to be a healthy teacher: centered and strong. Teacher self-care is an evergreen topic in Dance Teacher.

Take nutrition, for instance. “I can’t tell you how unhealthily I used to eat,” Kim McSwain told DT in 2011. “Red Bull to start my day, followed by Jack in the Box cheeseburgers. I used to hear people talk about eating healthy and think, ‘That sounds awful; go eat a hamburger and get a life.’” But McSwain, who is now on our Dance Teacher Summit faculty, eventually changed her health outlook and has no regrets. “I would never go back to eating the way I did or not working out. I carry myself differently now, and my energy level has gone up. Taking an hour or two a day to go for that walk or go to the gym, it’s worth it.”

This month in “Lunchtime Lecturer," you’ll meet another popular teacher—Caroline Lewis-Jones—who brings a message of smart nutrition and positive body image to convention dancers.

And in “Let It Go," we identify activities that a dance studio owner can easily outsource. Perhaps after you delegate a few tasks, you’ll be able to create a time-out for yourself. May I suggest listening to a brief mini-practice in mountain pose created by Susan Kraft, the author of “Find Your Center With Yoga”? Taking a moment to quiet your busy brain and center yourself before class can help both you and your students. You’ll find the mini practice audio at

Here’s to your health and well-being.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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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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