Every fall, as the halls of academia fill with eager freshmen, a new batch of dancers will discover that dance in college bears little resemblance to what they knew at their home studios. It can be a disheartening experience. That’s why it helps to have a professor like Judy Rice as an advocate. With one perfectly pointed foot in the University of Michigan dance department and the other planted in the dance convention circuit, she understands exactly what competition dancers face in a university setting. In "Dance Ambassador," DT editor Kristin Schwab tells the story of how Rice turned personal disappointment into an unexpected career path.

As a studio director, you are in a unique position to prepare dancers for their next steps after high school graduation. In “A Collegiate Affair,” Virginia Commonwealth University interim dance department chair Lea Marshall recommends taking students to a college dance fair and shares tips on how to make the most of the experience.

The DT Higher Ed Guide is a quick reference for your college-bound dancers, and you’ll also want to stock your studio library with the annual Dance Magazine College Guide. Along with descriptions of the most prominent dance programs and a handy comparison chart to make sense of all the choices, the College Guide is full of advice from the dancer’s perspective. One of my favorite parts of the new edition is a list of the top-10 questions every college-bound dancer should be asking. Get your copy at dancemagazine.com/college.

And don’t send your dancers to college without some basic knowledge of the famous artists who’ve created dance history. Each month DT editor Rachel Rizzuto delivers a concise lesson plan to share as a handout or post on your studio bulletin board. This month she presents the father of theatrical jazz dance, Jack Cole—highlights of his career, the dancers he influenced and how to identify his movement vocabulary when seen today.

Whether or not you work with college-bound dancers, we are confident you’ll find something in this issue that speaks to you. Let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see in the magazine. You can connect with us on Facebook or write to me at khildebrand@dancemedia.com.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

"You don’t always need bam, bam, bam and boom, boom, boom,” said Frank Hatchett at the cover shoot for this issue. “VOP is about hitting it. But it can have soft and soothing, too,” he added, demonstrating with a luxurious roll through his shoulders. What? Is the man who put the VOP into jazz, going soft?

Indeed, soft and soothing may now play a bigger role in Hatchett’s life than it once did: He has retired from active teaching for health reasons. But if the afternoon we spent together at Broadway Dance Center is any indication, his New York connections are as strong as ever. Hatchett, who now lives in Massachusetts, held court to a constant procession of staff and faculty stopping by to say hello.

A revered teacher, Hatchett helped shape several generations of dancers. Under his sometimes gruff exterior lies a great—and yes, soft—heart. We are pleased to honor him with the Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award next month at the Dance Teacher Summit.

In Technique, DT associate editor Kristin Schwab discusses Hatchett’s method and shares an eight-count move of his signature style. Also featured this month is our annual Dance Teacher Dance Directory of contact information for makers and suppliers, programs and services. If you need it for your studio or your dance career, you’ll find it here.

I hope that between competition Nationals and summer intensives you’re finding some time for personal renewal. We’re currently in high gear with preparations for the Dance Teacher Summit, where, in addition to Hatchett, we will give DT Awards to four exemplary educators and inaugurate the newest ACE Award winners. The Dance Teacher Summit is where we bring the pages of the magazine to life. I look forward to seeing you there.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

When it comes to running a dance studio, what exactly is success? Is it about winning awards? Is it about revenue? Enrollment? Community reputation? Famous alumni? For many, it’s all about watching youngsters blossom in dance class.

Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Denver seems to have it nailed on all these accounts. When Jennifer Owens and Julie Jarnot (on the cover) first opened in 2000, their company won awards right out of the gate. And if the competition circuit had a congeniality award for studio directors, the sisters would almost certainly bring home the trophy. Turn to “Yin and Yang”—their story puts to rest the myth that nice guys finish last.

Running a smart business while also maintaining high artistic and training standards isn’t easy. We all know of devoted dance teachers who seem almost ashamed to admit that they get paid to do their job. But at Dance Teacher, we advocate for operating a profitable business as the best way to deliver your labor of love. Every issue is filled with expert advice and tips from experienced studio owners.

In this issue:

• Nancy Wozny gets the 411 on all those crowdfunding requests that have been showing up in your e-mail: “Kickstarting Your Dream.”

• We know you have a long to-do list. But what if the item that could make the biggest difference isn’t even on it? “Time for a Tune-Up,” by editor Rachel Rizzuto.

• You don’t have to teach in a public-school setting to take a lesson from the K–12 story this month: “Making a Safe Space for Dance,” by Hannah Maria Hayes.

We love hearing your success stories, so please continue to share. One way is to enter the Dance Teacher Video of the Month contest. Post a short clip (to dancemedia.com) of your students performing their best competition or recital number. Or demonstrate the way you teach an element of technique. If your video is selected, we’ll feature your studio the way we did with Spectrum’s Dance Factory in Jacksonville, FL.

In “Ask the Experts” this month, Kathy Blake and Suzanne Blake Gerety recommend investing in yourself by attending dance conferences or business training. A great option is the Dance Teacher Summit, where the pages of Dance Teacher magazine come to life. August 5–7, New York City. Details at danceteachersummit.com.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Just looking at our cover this month makes me want to take a deep breath of the fresh Rocky Mountain air of Provo, Utah, where Brigham Young University is located. We’re delighted to introduce readers to Jodi Maxfield, the dance teacher behind the mega-successful BYU Cougarettes. In “Forever Young," frequent contributor Jen Jones Donatelli talks with Maxfield about why dance team is a viable college option for technically trained dancers.

For the Health & Wellness issue this year, we home in on that fundamental element of technique, turnout. Regular DT contributor Deborah Vogel and respected anatomy expert Irene Dowd share their approaches for developing a holistic, career-maximizing base.

And speaking of a healthy base, dancers need more than dance class to build the cardiovascular capacity demanded by many professional roles. In “No Pain, No Gain,” Julie Diana suggests ways to develop heart and lung power both inside the studio and out.

Of special interest to studio owners, we expand the wellness theme into studio infrastructure in “Seeing Green," with advice on how you can do the right thing for the environment and your bottom line.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

Remember when you attended your first convention? And how exciting (and scary!) it was to take class from a famous teacher? Today, many of the dancers your students emulate from television and the concert stage also teach at dance conventions. What an opportunity it is, for instance, to take class from DT cover girl Brooke Lipton, who makes casting decisions for the hit TV show, “Glee.” In “Red Hot” (page 34), L.A.-based writer Victoria Looseleaf tells how Lipton made a career for herself in the tough professional environment of Hollywood, and she shares the positive influence Lipton has on young dancers as a teacher for The PULSE On Tour and Hollywood Connection.

Conventions can open doors for your dancers—all your dancers, not just those with commercial aspirations. We get excited about the glamour and ambition, but let’s not forget the powerful educational foundation of these events. In this issue, Dance Teacher focuses on what it takes to teach in that setting (“Mastering the Master Class” on page 58) and how your students can benefit (“High Five” on page 28)—including the 2012 Convention Guide (page 70) for easy reference to contact details and other essentials.

How are you celebrating the holidays at your studio? In “Holidays in Every Way” (page 38), writer Nancy Wozny spoke to studio directors about how they reflect the varying demographic interests of their communities. Do you do something unique? Let us know by liking us on Facebook and joining the discussion about ways to make your studio inviting to everyone. And do have a look at “Goods” (page 32) to see our holiday gift suggestions for the dancers on your list.

While The Nutcracker may be consuming your life this month, the new year is right around the corner. If you’re one of the many who resolve to diet or exercise with renewed vigor on January 2, be sure to read “My Personal Fitness Plan” (page 50), where three busy teachers share their health and fitness routines. They impressed us, and we hope they will inspire you.

Here’s to a fulfilling holiday season and fruitful new year,

Karen Hildebrand

editor in chief

Dressed in street clothes, Daniel Ulbricht is more compact than he appears onstage. He also looks younger than 27. That youth is part of the reason his new role as

artistic advisor for the Manhattan Youth Ballet is generating some buzz. What a thrill it must be for the teens to study with this buoyant, high-spirited New York City Ballet star while he is at the height of his stage career!

Dance Teacher visited a class Ulbricht was teaching for the MYB summer intensive one Tuesday morning in August. Within minutes

it was evident that the dancer’s teaching gifts are every bit as com-pelling as his capacity for high jumps. “The whole body does a passé,” he coached the class of 14 girls and four boys. “Don’t stop— keep growing.”

During one correction, Ulbricht suggested drawing out a tendu by thinking of it as the words to a song. “I know it sounds corny, but it’s a tendu song.” He demonstrated again. “Here we go, eyes up.” In “Head of the Class” (page 36), Joseph Carman tells why this busy performer has decided to add a second full-time job to his repertoire.

November is the annual Dance Teacher recital issue and the editors have compiled a potpouri of fun and useful articles on the topic:

  • In “Just Keep Dancing” (page 28), editor Rachel Zar reminds us that a sense of humor is essential.

  • Need a new recital idea? You’ll find more than one in “Once Upon a Time in New York City” (page 42).

  • In “A Winning Warm-Up” (page 80), dancer Julie Diana discusses several approaches to preparing your dancers for their performance.

  • l Making money may not be your first thought when it comes to staging a recital, but it’s a good thought. In “Recital Riches” (page 90), five studio owners reveal their profit motives.

  • l And, of course, recitals mean costumes. Style editor Kristin Schwab has rounded up a preview of the best of the new season in “Fashion Forward,” beginning on page 52.

Wishing you and yours a warm and peaceful Thanksgiving,

Karen Hildebrand

editor in chief

When I first became an editor, there was quite a debate about whether or not to use the word “winning” when it came to dance, so I learned to write about competition using phrases like “she was awarded a trophy,” or “she placed first.” Though I understand the perspective held by many in our field—to focus too much on the win can undermine the artistry of dance—I’ve since come to terms with the word. Who, after all, doesn’t want to be a winner?

But along with the trophies, let’s not forget the quiet wins that occur in daily class or rehearsal—the aha moments when it’s just you and the mirror, and something you’ve been struggling with suddenly clicks. As choreographers, business owners, educators and competition judges, we all appreciate accolades for work well done. Our wins are worth celebrating.

We are pleased this month to celebrate Westchester Dance Academy. Dancers from the studio are consistent finalists at competitions, so when we planned a piece about directors who choreograph their own competition numbers, Kelly Burke was at the top of our list. It was a treat to spend time with Burke and meet her mother and business partner, Sallie, and some of her star students—the tremendously poised young women aged 14 and 16 who are pictured in “Final Pose,” page 130. You can hear more from Burke in an exclusive interview at www.dance-teacher.com.

In “Bringing Home the Trophy” (page 66), Burke and other studio choreographers share their strategies for creating award-winning work. Plus we’ve added some tips from “So You Think You Can Dance” celebrities Mandy Moore and Joey Dowling.

Be sure to consult the “Competition Guide” beginning on page 114 as you plan your season. With celebrity teachers, influential judges and a growing emphasis on education, there’s a lot more to consider than geographic proximity when selecting an event to attend.

Speaking of winning moments, we had an incredible time this summer with the more than 1,600 teachers who attended the Dance Teacher Summit. The lively conversations and sense of community were very much on our minds as we put this issue together. Want to continue the discussion? LIKE US! on Facebook and join the conversation as we share best practices and debate hot issues on the Dance Teacher discussion board.

Karen Hildebrand

editor in chief

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