Summer Salsa!

If our June ’08 cover story on ballroom stars Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin inspires you to cha-cha, look no further. You to can add simple Latin flair to your summer dance combos by mastering some easy salsa moves. The traditional partner dance found its way into New York City dancehalls in the 1950s, and has since become an international sensation on both the dance floor and onstage. Modern salsa incorporates various Latin dance steps, fusing them with elements of tap, jazz, reggae, and hip-hop.

Free your student’s spirit by incorporating salsa’s zesty moves into tap, jazz, musical theatre, and hip-hop choreography. The expressive quality of the dance allows for improvisation, and the unconventional timing of the steps will challenge your dancer’s musicality.

Free salsa classes are offered all over major metropolitan areas, with classes ranging from beginning to advanced level classes. Gather your fellow dance teachers, and make it fun night on the town!

 

 

Not sure where to find classes? Check out websites such as Meetup.com (http://www.meetup.com/) or CraigsList (http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html) to search for classes in your area.


Free Classes in the NY Area:

Club Cache
Touted as one of New York City’s “best kept secrets,” this underground club offers a free class at 10:15 pm before turning you loose on the dance floor.
http://www.clubcachenyc.com/index.html

NYSalsaFiesta Socials: Fun, salsa style “parties” that offer free classes before each session. Socials are located all around the Manhattan Area:

Mondays:
Mambo Con Salsa @ Session 73
1st Ave and 73rd St, NYC
Free class at 7:30 pm, Live Band at 9:00 pm

Saturdays:
Salsa on the Pier @ South Street Seaport
Skipper Café-89 South Street Pier 16, NYC
Free class at 7:30 pm, DJ at 8:00 pm

More info available at: http://www.nysalsababy.com/SalsaParties.html

Music
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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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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 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.

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