Once competition season ends it may be challenging to keep your dancers excited and involved in dance. Don't let the down time between competition seasons drag on. Dance conventions are an easy and effective way to learn new skills, meet inspiring choreographers, and keep your dancers involved all year long. It is also a great opportunity for your dancers to bond and grow together as a team.


Showstopper's Dance Conventions offer dancers an experience they cannot get anywhere else. Plus, teachers have the opportunity to brush up on their skills, with business seminars, social media classes, and costume inspiration. This is a great chance for you to learn from industry experts on how to build your business and be more profitable.

Here is why you and your studio cannot miss Showstopper Dance Conventions!

1. HAPPY TEACHERS

Teacher and Studio-Owner Seminars for building your business
Learn how your studio can create the most extraordinary competition costumes, maintain a powerful social media presence, and most importantly, maximize its profits. Showstopper Dance Conventions are the perfect opportunity to network with other teachers and share ideas for everything from lesson plans to lobby décor. Showstopper's seminar speakers have ideas for every detail of running a dance studio.

Make dance fun year round and keep attendance high
With so many extracurricular activities available, you want to make sure dance is their number 1 priority if you want to keep your studio full. Creating fun, dance related trips and activities builds the community of your studio and insures that your dancers don't lose their dance spirit in the off-season.

Free hotel rooms, welcome gifts, and choreography videos
Showstopper pampers its teachers with a free hotel room night for every 15 paid students they bring and a free welcome gift. If you are looking for fresh dance ideas, you will have some on video. Teachers also get free choreography videos from every class.

2. HAPPY DANCERS
Dance on extra large, professional dance floors
Ballroom floors aren't always safe to dance on. Showstopper Dance Conventions have professional dance floors to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time. Don't worry about anyone feeling squished, with plenty of flooring in each room there is space for everyone to bust a move! There are also large monitors on the side of each stage that display the instructors so you don't miss a beat!

Learn from top dancers in the industry
Showstopper's instructors can be seen on the sets of SYTYCD, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and Glee. You can see their amazing performances on award shows, in today's top music videos, movies, Broadway shows, and more! By working in different dance professions, each instructor offers something unique and provides a different perspective. Dancers will learn valuable skills to use on and off the dance floor. The instructors work closely with each dancer to help them improve on specific techniques, answer questions, and feel comfortable performing their best.

Mini-dancer program for dancers 8 and under
Young dancers are the future of your dance studio. Build up their excitement early so that their hearts are in it. Showstopper offers a unique and original dance program that allows young dancers to express their individuality, build confidence, and most of all, have fun! This program is for young dancers who may have just started dancing. Showstopper makes the weekend fun for them as they learn from some of the best instructors in the industry in classes specifically designed for young dancers. Not only will they learn jazz, tap, hip hop, song & dance, and pom pon, they'll participate in creative arts and crafts. Our young dancers also receive a free gift bag full of exclusive Showstopper goodies!

Free bonus classes
Your students are well-rounded and their talents probably aren't limited to dance. Showstopper offers bonus classes at no extra charge. From pom pon and belly dancing to voice and audition classes, it has something for everyone. Bonus classes are the perfect way for your dancers to learn how to utilize dance in multiple other outlets.

3. HAPPY PARENTS

No observation fees
At Showstopper there are never observation fees. So, bring the whole squad! Parents are always welcome to watch their kids' excitement as they dance and learn.

Make it a family vacation
Showstopper Dance Conventions are always at family-friendly, fun locations! Whether it's a waterpark, beach, or Universal Studios, it's always a great time. Don't stress over hotel room prices. Showstopper offers special discounted rates for all of its locations. Enjoy a convention and a vacation all in one.

Affordable dancewear and merchandise
The Showstopper Stores at all of its conventions are filled with the latest dancewear and accessories at the most affordable prices. Most merchandise falls between $5 and $20. It's the perfect time to restock on dance merchandise or costume pieces for the upcoming season.

Are you ready to register?? We don't blame you!
Registration is easy! Head to Showstopper's website for more venue information, dates, and registration.

Orlando, Florida | September 28th-30th, 2018
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Universal Entrance and Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites

Wisconsin Dells, WI | October 13th-14th, 2018
Kalahari Waterpark Resort

Sandusky, OH | October 20th-21st, 2018
Kalahari Waterpark Resort

Grapevine, TX | November 2nd-4th, 2018
Great Wolf Lodge

Houston, TX | November 17th-18th, 2018
The Westin Hotel, Memorial City

Myrtle Beach, SC | January 18th-20th, 2019
Landmark Resort, Crown Reef Resort, and Sea Mist Convention Center

The Conversation
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When it comes to running a thriving dance studio, Cindy Clough knows what she's talking about. As executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner for more than four decades, she's all too aware of the unique challenges the job presents, from teaching to scheduling to managing employees and clients.

Here, Clough shares her best advice for new studio owners, and the answers to some common questions that come up when you're getting started.

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Unsplash

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. The list goes on—and you have to decide not only what type of presence you'll have on each platform, but also whether you and your faculty will network with students and family members. How can you set boundaries for yourself and your faculty on social media?

The easiest option may be to prohibit these interactions entirely. At the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida, staff and faculty may not "friend" or otherwise connect with current students or those under the age of 18 on social media, explains Gordon Wright, Harid's executive vice president and director.

At the Dance Zone in Henderson, Nevada, the handbook states that social media should be handled "in a professional manner." Owner Jami Artiga encourages students and faculty to share photos and tag the studio, but prefers not to "friend" kids from her personal account. "Of course, my son dances at the studio, and we have teachers with kids who go here, so sometimes the line gets blurry," she says.

Robin Dawn Ryan of the Robin Dawn Academy in Cape Coral, FL, also has a few students on her Facebook friend list, "but I don't put a lot about my personal life on the site," she says. She uses the platform more to keep track of what dancers and their parents are posting about the studio. "If they put up something they shouldn't," she says, whether that's a bullying post or an unflattering image, "I'll ask them to take it down."

Ryan tends to keep her social-media shout-outs generic: "So proud of this year's graduates!" and "Our dancers looked beautiful at prom!" That way, she can show support without spending hours online or worrying about missing any one student's achievement.

Dancer Health
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When ballet star David Hallberg sought out the medical team at The Australian Ballet to help him recover from his ankle surgeries, one of the things rehabilitation specialist Megan Connelly had him learn was to jump from his hips. By doing so, he learned to put less stress on his lower legs and feet and access the powerhouse group of muscles surrounding the hips, most commonly referred to as the glutes. While many parts of his rehab were particular to him, understanding how to properly engage the glutes is something many professional and pre-professional dancers can stand to gain from.

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Studio Owners
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Many a studio owner might agree that the idea of maternity leave is laughable. "So many people say, 'I was back after two weeks—we had a competition,'" says Meagan Ziebarth, a former owner who sold her studio two years ago. "If that works for you, and you feel great, wonderful. But I feel passionately that having a baby is one of the most transformational life events, and you don't need to put that kind of pressure on yourself and accept that that's the norm."

So how can you take the maternity leave you want and make sure your studio doesn't run itself into the ground? We asked three who did it for their best advice—including what they wish they'd done differently.

Be OK With Crazy

Suzana Stankovic and Natalia.

Suzana Stankovic
Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio
Astoria, New York
Enrollment: 500 (drop-in)
2 years in business

Suzana Stankovic signed the lease on her New York studio a mere 10 days before she gave birth to her first child. The space she'd been renting hourly for private and group lessons unexpectedly became available for a lease takeover, and, despite the timing, it felt like the right decision. "I said, 'This is happening for a reason,'" she says.

For the first two months after her baby was born, Stankovic recovered (she'd had a C-section). She held a soft opening in mid-November (2 1/2 months postdelivery) for existing students and officially opened her studio—with a drop-in class format—to the public the following January (4 months postdelivery).

  • Figure out your childcare. "It's the most important thing. You've got to figure that out, whether that means visiting daycare centers and finding one you're comfortable with or involving your entire family," she says. Stankovic's parents are retired and live near her, luckily, so they became her nannies. "That's the major reason I was able to do this," she says.
  • Expect to feel different after giving birth. "When I had my baby, and it came time to leave her and go to work, it was very, very difficult," says Stankovic. "I wasn't prepared for that. I was texting my mother constantly: 'Is she OK? Did she have her milk? Is she colicky?' It was hard to be fully present, initially. Be prepared for the effects of sleep deprivation and not eating well and the postpartum blues."
  • Have a support system in place. That's how Stankovic got through the roughest times, postbirth. "Have a friend or your husband or partner," she says. "And know that the very difficult times are temporary. They do abate. And if they don't, there are resources. There's help out there."
  • Be OK with crazy. "I would plan my lesson and do my combos in the shower," she says. "On my way to the studio, I'd finish up my grand allégro in my head. I'd send e-mails in the middle of changing her diaper—I'd write two sentences, change the diaper, write two more, then hit send." The result of so much multitasking? "I realized, 'Wow, I can do so much more than I thought I could,'" says Stankovic. "I'm ready for anything."
Dance Teacher Tips
International performer Joy Womack balances flexibility and strength to maintain her turnout. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.

Turnout is one of the defining characteristics of classical ballet and the foundation of your technique, but the deceptively simple concept of external rotation can be hard to execute. For those born with hip joints that don't naturally make a tight fifth position, it's tempting to take shortcuts in the quest for more rotation, but you'll end up with weaker technique and a higher risk of injury. We asked top teachers and physical therapists to break down the meaning of turnout and offer safe ways to maximize your range.

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Photo via @sparklethetinychi on Instagram

In our not-so-humble opinion, dancers and dogs should rule the world. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to hear that we are positively obsessed with all things that are dog and dance at the same time. Namely, puppies dressed up in tutus. OMG—so cute!

We couldn't keep our knowledge of this perfect combination of dreaminess to ourselves. So we decided to share with you some tutu-wearing dogs from Instagram that we will never get over.

You're welcome!

Get ready to experience a level of cuteness that is almost too much to handle, ladies and gentlemen!

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FreeVerse photography, courtesy of Quenga

As a hula instructor at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Hawaii native Kaina Quenga is committed to sharing the traditional dances and culture of Polynesia with the people of the Big Apple. Through training with famed kuma hula (master teacher) Johnny Lum Ho of Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua, Quenga developed a respect for and understanding of the artform that has carried her through the nearly 20 years of her professional career.

In spite of her success as a teacher at 92nd Street Y (she also teaches at Concourse House Day Care in the Bronx and Spoke the Hub Dancing in Brooklyn, and offers free classes in various parks around NYC during the spring and summer), Quenga never anticipated becoming an educator. "I really just lucked into it—I'm not a kuma hula," she says. One can only become an official hula master teacher when their own kuma hula bequeaths knowledge to them through a formal ceremonial ritual after years of training. "But when I came to New York, everyone kept asking me if I would teach classes. There was a need for it. So I started teaching the basics."

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Q: I'm an older dancer/teacher and have some pain under my heel bone and Achilles tendon. I feel it most in the mornings and when I'm walking down stairs. Would wearing teacher shoes with heels help me?

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Carol Channing in the original 1964 production of Hello, Dolly! Photo by Eileen Darby, courtesy of DM Archives

The inimitable Carol Channing, best known for her role as the titular Hello, Dolly!, passed away today at 97.

Though she became a three-time Tony winner, Channing was born in Seattle, far from the Great White Way, in 1921. After growing up in San Francisco, she attended the famed Bennington College, studying dance and drama. She later told the university, "What Bennington allows you to do is develop the thing you're going to do anyway, over everybody's dead body." For Channing, that meant decades of fiery, comical performances, bursting with energy.

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Editor's List: The Goods
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Here at Dance Media, we think everyone's list of New Year's resolutions should include reading more 💁♀️. And aside from reading Dance Teacher magazine (which should, of course, be a resolution in and of itself), we recommend some seriously wonderful dancer memoirs.

Here are three interesting books we think you should check out (or re-check out) in 2019!

Share your favorite dancer memoirs in our comment section! We can't wait to hear what you're reading!

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When it comes to Broadway, Becca Petersen does it all. Not only is she a swing learning multiple roles for Mean Girls on Broadway as well as understudy for the principal roles of Cady Heron and Regina George, but she also plays an administrative role as the assistant dance captain. When she's not onstage dancing one of the 10 different tracks she covers, or acting out two of Broadway's most notorious mean ladies, she's in the audience, taking notes in order to clean choreography in the next rehearsal. "Once the show opens and the creative team leaves, the dance captains, stage managers and associates keep things running," Petersen says. "I help teach choreography to newcomers when there is turnover and make sure the dancing looks good from day to day."

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Joanne Chapman teaching turns (photo by Dan Boskovic, courtesy Joanne Chapman School of Dance)

Think back to your newbie dancer days. Can you remember your introduction to spotting? It might've involved staring hard at your own reflection in the mirror as you wrestled with your first pirouette. Or maybe your teacher had you put your hands on your shoulders as you attempted a series of half-chaînés across the floor.

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