Spotlight On: A Night to Remember

Seen & Heard At the Dance Teacher Summit

We’ve rounded up the best moments from the Capezio A.C.E. and Dance Teacher Awards evening at July’s 2012 Dance Teacher Summit.

“Thank you so much for this incredibly inspiring event. The energy, ideas, passion and tools you provided all of the instructors will continue to touch and enrich so many other people’s lives... like waves rippling out... and continue to fuel the progression of the art forward. Cheers!” —Kimmie Dobbs Chan, artistic director of Washington, DC’s Deviated Theatre via Facebook

Bree Hafen's "Terminal Soul"

Kim Stroud, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, K-12 DT Award

Katie Glasner, Barnard College, DT Award for Higher Education

Liz Schmidt, Spotlight Dance Works, DT Award for Private Studios/Conservatories

Melinda Sullivan's hard-hitting tap number, "Gone," wowed judges and audience members at the 2012 Capezio A.C.E. Awards.

Angela Whitehill, Burklyn Ballet Theatre, DT Award, Private Studios/Conservatories

Dana Foglia's "Ribbons"

Dance Teacher editor in chief, Karen Hildebrand (left), presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Denise Wall.

First and second runners-up, Dana Foglia (right) and Bree Hafen (left)

Melinda Sullivan won the Capezio A.C.E. Award.

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, 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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