"When we come together and start talking, everyone starts sharing so much and it's just great. That's my favorite thing to do all year long." —Denise Wall, Dance Teacher Summit Ambassador
For years the Dance Teacher Summit has been offering opportunities for studio owners and dance instructors of all levels to work with world-renowned faculty members to improve their teaching methods, learn new styles of choreography and discover ideal ways to convey choreography to students.
We've all been there—sitting in a classroom full of screaming students we have completely lost control of. Our throats are hoarse from yelling, we are emotionally exhausted and we haven't even gotten to center yet! How do we recover from such mahem??
Never fear—Dance Teacher is coming in clutch on this one. Here's a list of things you can do to regain control of your classroom when it's gone completely off the rails.
Since getting my first pair of pointe shoes, I've noticed that my left ankle is much stronger than my right ankle, and my right knee is slightly bent when I'm on full pointe. Do you have any advice for how I can fix these problems?
When Tracie Stanfield teaches contemporary class at Broadway Dance Center, she often includes choreographed stretch combinations. Dancers might move from a contraction into a lateral bend and then to a cambré back, before repeating it all on the other side. "I try to maximize their range of motion," says Stanfield. "It's my responsibility to get them ready to dance and not just focus on hitting a picture."
Most dancers want to improve their flexibility, especially if they have tight muscles and joints that inhibit their extension. But they might be preoccupied with the height of their legs and disregard the quality of their extension. Some might even force themselves into unsafe stretches or positions, trying to imitate what they see on social media. You can give students safe exercises and ideas—the right balance of strength and flexibility—to help increase mobility while deemphasizing the need for whacked hips and backs.
It may be difficult to believe, now that Marko Germar is a "So You Think You Can Dance" favorite, but the beloved all-star almost didn't make the show. He was cut twice during the preliminary Vegas week in Seasons 5 and 7. But he ultimately gave the opportunity one last shot—and clinched the top 20 in 2011. Now, eight years after his first audition for the show, Germar went on tour as a dance captain with this season's top 10. Here, he talks to DT about how he fought to become one of the most popular artists in the show's history.
"I worked my whole life to be a dancer," says Matt Dorame Warner, co-director of Creative Arts Academy's Touring Company in Bountiful, Utah. "I danced more hours than a lot of kids did anything else. So now as a teacher, I expect the same amount of professionalism and respect for dance from my students."