SYTYCD Launches Dizzy Feet Foundation

Celebrity blogs have been buzzing for weeks now about Katie Holmes making an appearance on “So You Think You Can Dance.” But DT readers were among the first in the know that the star has been working with Tyce Diorio (our February cover subject) for daily, four-hour private sessions and on dance-history education. And now, Holmes will show off her hard work when she performs a tribute to Judy Garland (choreographed by Diorio) on the 100th episode of "SYTYCD," airing July 23.

What’s more, Holmes will donate her entire appearance fee to the brand-new Dizzy Feet Foundation—a non-profit charity founded by the show’s own Nigel Lythgoe, “Dancing With The Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba and director Adam Shankman. The foundation was created to provide scholarships and assistance to talented, underserved young dancers and will also aim to elevate and standardize dance instruction throughout the United States.

Many other former DT cover subjects and big names in the entertainment industry are also on board. Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus, Mia Michaels, Mary Murphy, Debbie Allen, Shane Sparks and others have been tapped to serve on a Steering Committee—the group responsible for selecting scholarship recipients and following their journeys.

The foundation comes at a particularly crucial time for the arts in America and it seems like a great move for the dance community. I know I’ll be watching Holmes’ debut on the 23rd and hope you will too!

For more information on Dizzy Feet Foundation:

Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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Dancer Diary
Claire McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

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