Dance Teacher Tips
Photo courtesy of New York Live Arts

Ellen Robbins' modern dance classes for kids and teens are legendary in New York City. Robbins, who has been teaching kids how to dance since the 1970s (and whose pupils included the actresses Claire Danes and Julia Stiles), takes the standard recital model and turns it on its head. Her students—ranging in age from 8 to 18—are the choreographers for the annual concert she produces at esteemed NYC venue New York Live Arts.

If that approach sounds borderline insane to you (we know you're all deep in the throes of recital season right now), consider Robbins' unique teaching philosophy: Improvisation is present in every aspect of class, for every age group. Here are four ways she shapes her youngest dancers into choreographers—almost without their realizing it!

Keep reading... Show less
One tactic: Post a statement on your studio's website about your commitment to proper training, per master teacher Susan Williams, seen here at Gus Giordano Dance..Photo by Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Photography

Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Anna Liceica has been judging the Youth America Grand Prix since 2007. "Once in a while, we see someone who tries to do too many turns without good form or musicality," she says. "We don't encourage it, and that dancer does not place high." Judges (and artistic directors in attendance) might appreciate the spectacle, but they take technique and artistry into account when assessing the overall dancer. "Of course it's nice to do a lot of pirouettes and jump high," says Liceica. "But if the rest isn't there, the tricks mean nothing."

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Dancer Kristen Rizzuto, Photo by Kyle Froman

Neuromuscular expert, Deborah Vogel breaks down understanding functional turnout.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Summer campers at Center Stage in North Carolina. Photo by Kristi Hedberg, courtesy of Center Stage

Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Maxwell Bolton, courtesy of Next Generation Ballet

Paint the walls of your studio in a gender-neutral color, like tan, gray, green or even red.

Have some male-centric wall decor to balance out your ballerina posters. Frame dance photos featuring strong male dancers for inspiration.

Change the color of your class uniforms from pink to maroon, black, green or blue.

Keep reading... Show less

Thinkstock

Running a studio can be a major juggling act. You have to stay on top of the big things, like paying rent on time and chasing after delinquent payments, and track the details, like replacing that blinking lightbulb and sending out a snowstorm alert. No surprise, then, that a few things slip through the cracks—costing you money or students. Here, some savvy studio owners talk about five common but often unnoticed mistakes, and what to do about them. Pay attention to these, and you'll find yourself with more time, clients and revenue on your hands.

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox