News

Studio Owners: Debbie Allen Wants You to Be on Her Live Dance-a-thon!

Photo by Christian Peacock

*Update 6/15: Allen is still accepting donations through her website for another week.

By now, you've probably heard the good news: Debbie Allen is hosting a 12-hour digital dance-a-thon, and it's going to be epic. (Plus, it will be raising funds for dancers, choreographers and dance teachers whose jobs have been derailed by the impact of COVID-19!)

But we've got even better news for studio owners: Allen wants you to join her live to talk about how your studio has been handling the COVID-19 crisis.


Dance To The Music—which will be held on Saturday, June 13, 12 pm to 12 am PT, and is presented by Debbie Allen Dance Academy, JaQuel Knight Foundation, Dance Media, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Annenberg Foundation—will feature performances from top dancers, conversations with celebrities, dance classes with major choreographers and DJ sets to get us all moving. And, possibly, you!

You'll be joining the ranks of Dolly Parton, Misty Copeland, Billy Porter, Tiler Peck, Mia Michaels, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and more, plus Allen's co-host: frequent Beyoncé choreographer JaQuel Knight. Enter here by Tuesday, June 9, at midnight ET, and tell us about the creative ways you've been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic—and have a link to a recent performance video from your studio at the ready.

The entire event will stream live on Allen's Instagram, @TheRealDebbieAllen. Before the show, we'll be hosting "red carpet" conversations on our Instagram page (along with our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe and Dance Spirit) with some of the stars who are scheduled to appear.

And last but not least: The dance studio that hosts the biggest digital watch party with their students on Zoom or Google Meet will receive complimentary subscriptions to Dance Media magazines and special recognition at the Dance Teacher Awards. To enter, send a screenshot of your video chat and a count of participants to danceathon@dancemedia.com by Monday, June 15.

Funds raised through Dance To The Music will go to The Actors Fund, Career Transition For Dancers, The International Association of Blacks in Dance, International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, Dance Resource Center, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The JaQuel Knight Foundation's Dancers' Relief Fund, National Dance Education Organization, Dance/USA, The NYC Dancers Relief Fund and other nonprofit organizations.

See you there!

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 onstageblog.com, 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.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy TUPAC

When legendary Black ballet dancer Kabby Mitchell III died unexpectedly in 2017, two months before opening his Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, his friend and business partner Klair Ethridge wasn't sure she had what it took to carry his legacy. Ethridge had been working with Mitchell to co-found TUPAC and planned to serve as its executive director, but she had never envisioned being the face of the school.

Now, Ethridge is heading into her fourth year of leading TUPAC, which she has grown from a fledgling program in an unheated building to a serious ballet school in its own sprung-floor studios, reaching hundreds of students across the Tacoma, Washington, area. The nonprofit has become a case study for what it looks like to carry out the vision of a founder who never had the chance to see his school open—and to take an unapologetically mission-driven approach.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.