Studio Owners
Outdoor class at Lake Tahoe Dance Collective. Photo by Scott Rokis, courtesy of LTDC

With restrictions on large gatherings still in place in many parts of the country, finding a way to keep classes running is very much at the top of studio owners' minds. While hundreds have taken to online platforms like Zoom to stay in business during the pandemic, some are finding that as social distancing guidelines gradually lift, there's another way to keep dancers engaged: outdoor dance classes.

Gathering outside in a small group to dance can be tricky, but these studio owners are finding that the boost in morale at their schools is well worth the effort. Here, they share how they set up their COVID-compliant outdoor dance classes this summer.

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Trending
Diorio at the DT Summit. Photo by Rachel Papo

To the dance world's delight, the long-anticipated High Strung Free Dance is officially available in retail stores, other VOD stores, Amazon and iTunes. The film tells the personal and professional story of a young ballerina (played by Juliet Doherty) who books a new Broadway show called Free Dance. It's produced by Michael and Janeen Damian—the creators of 2016's High Strung, starring Keenan Kampa—and is choreographed by Tyce Diorio and SFB soloist Myles Thatcher.

Here, Diorio shares a bit of his experience choreographing the show and gives some sage advice for educating the next generation of artists.

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Students at Loco-Motion Dance Theatre for Children have tackled issues like race, police brutality and immigration. Photo by Jennie Miller, Courtesy Loco-Motion

More and more, students are speaking out about the issues that matter to them, whether that's climate change or gun violence. For young dancers, the studio or stage can be the perfect place to express these interests. But if you're a teacher who has never tackled difficult topics in the classroom, getting started may feel daunting. Here's how to introduce activism in a way that is safe and age-appropriate.

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Trending
Lani Corson. Photo by Royce Burgess, courtesy of Corson

Aerial work is growing in popularity in the dance world these days. Don't believe us? Check out this Dance Magazine article! If you're a studio owner who didn't grow up with aerial training (let's face it, how many of us really did?), then you may be feeling a little apprehensive about what to look for when bringing on a new aerialist faculty member. You know exactly what you want from your ballet teachers, your jazz teachers, your tap teachers, heck—even your tumbling teachers! Aerial, however, is a whole other ballgame.

To help you feel confident you're bringing in a teacher who is safe for your dancers, we sat down with Lani Corson, NYC aerialist, circus performer, adjunct professor at Pace University and teacher at Aerial Arts NYC, to get the inside scoop on exactly what you should be looking for.

Enjoy!

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Health & Body
Thinkstock

Q: How can I improve my pointed feet?

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Just for fun

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, people are coming out of their houses—spring is finally upon us! After a long and brutal winter, this new season is bringing us some extra joy this year. In fact, it's starting to remind us of the happiness dance brings us! (Obviously spring is not quite as fantastic as dance, but you catch our drift.) It got us thinking about some of the things that dance and spring have in common, and we just couldn't help but share them here with you!

Let us know if you agree over on our Facebook page!

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Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

When Danica Paulos left Southern California at 17 to train in New York City at The Ailey School while she finished high school, she had no idea that she'd be dancing with the professional company within four years. She completed the school's professional program (on scholarship), then landed a spot with Ailey II. After a year, she was invited to replace an injured dancer in the main company, and when her Ailey II season ended, Robert Battle invited her to continue full-time.

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News
Flamenco students at Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba. Photo by Toba Singer

Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba's downtown Havana studios are on a plaza where you see few tourists. A historic landmark, the building is now where 1,300 dance students learn the Cubanismo style, 30 of them in its academic program. Artistic director Lizt Alfonso trained in classical ballet at Cuba's National School of the Arts, but not endowed with what Cubans call condiciones, a "ballet body," she dreamed of putting all Cuban dance styles onstage in one evening. To critics, her project was overreaching, but Alfonso turned a deaf ear to the word "can't."

Laura Alonso, respected teacher and daughter of eponymous ballet figures Alicia and Fernando Alonso, liked her idea. Having hired Alfonso to teach, Alonso also provided her rehearsal space. Cuba's then-President Fidel Castro saw a performance, and enthusiastic, intervened to remodel the building Alfonso wanted. Besides studios, the building, with its brightly painted walls, has a costume shop, classrooms, a cafeteria, gym, recording studio and offices, and a terrace café. From LADC, specialists in dance, music, costume and stagecraft send company tours to New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Las Vegas and Tel Aviv.

I asked Alfonso how the school is organized.

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