Studio Owners

Jacki Ford recently wrapped up the first year of her new studio, District Dance NYC, a new dance training program for kids ages 3–10 in the Financial District of Manhattan.

Starting a studio at any location in the country is a major undertaking, but taking it on in New York City contains a whole other level of complexity. We sat down with the former Rockette and Pace faculty member in commercial dance to get the inside scoop on how she's done it, and what her plans are for the future of DiDa NYC.

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Kerollis and students in his eight-week Absolute Beginner Workshop at Broadway Dance Center

When most people think of dance students, they imagine lithe children and teenagers waltzing around classrooms with their legs lifted to their ears. It doesn't often cross our minds that dance training can involve an older woman trying to build strength in her body to ward off balance issues, or a middle-aged man who didn't have the confidence to take a dance class as a boy for fear of bullying.

Anybody can begin to learn dance at any age. But it takes a particular type of teacher to share our art form with dancers who have few prospects beyond fun and fitness a few nights a week.

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Just for fun
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

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If you're looking to find new teaching jobs or just expand your reach as a teacher, look no further than your Instagram account. Developing a digital voice that connects with studios and dancers is an easy (and cost-free) strategy to boost your profile.

"Instagram has definitely shined a spotlight on my gifts as a teacher," says Kelby Brown, who's taught for American Ballet Theatre and at conventions like The PULSE.

"I have had many inquiries about teaching master classes or being asked to be on faculty at different schools. It has also kept dance competitions in the know and reminds them to bring me out as a judge and educator."

Here, Brown offers his insights to make your Insta account start working for you.

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Teaching Tips

Showing up day after day to the ballet barre can feel monotonous, at times, tedious. Ohhh, le sigh. But as teachers and students know, daily practice is essential to maintaining strength and technique.

Before you hit class today, take a quick inspiration Insta video break to regain a fresh perspective.

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Martha Myers, second from the left, was dean of American Dance Festival for more than 25 years. Photo by Peter Cunningham, courtesy of ADG

The event, Celebrating Diversity, September 7–10, features work by 30–35 choreographers from around the world. Modern choreographer Garth Fagan, beloved educator Martha Myers and Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will also be honored at the event, held at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City.

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New Yorkers, get ready for a 60-minute dance extravaganza! 60x60 Dance returns to the Brookfield Place Winter Garden for two performances next Friday, October 23. Sixty dance groups will each premiere a 60-second work, set to new music by 60 different composers. The pieces will run back-to-back for one hour of nonstop dancing.

60x60 Dance will feature up-and-coming choreographers and illustrious composers like Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood. For dance styles, anything goes! Expect a wide range of music and movement.

The event is FREE, with no reservations required. Catch this awesome show at 12:30 or 8 pm. For more info, visit:

Photo courtesy of Arts Brookfield.

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Diana Byer with Ballet School NY student Victor Rosario

In a 2012 DT Technique column, New York Theatre Ballet artistic director Diana Byer shared her approach to teaching the Cecchetti method and impressed us with her adorable and talented young students. Recently, she’s announced that NYTB and its school are in trouble. The organization is losing its home in Manhattan's Murray Hill neighborhood after 34 years there. "We're in a crisis," she said in a statement. "I don't know if we're in danger of closing. I'm just reaching out to everybody to see what will come about." NYTB occupies space on the fifth floor of the historic parish house of a Baptist church, which has been sold and, according to The Huffington Post, will soon be demolished.

This news, piled on top of nonprofit studio Dance New Amsterdam’s climaxing struggles with debt and eviction, points to an alarming trend of flailing New York City dance institutions. What can we as dance lovers do to help? Keep taking classes! That’s a win-win way to support your local studios, you can also make donations. DNA has been lucky enough to have generous contributors provide thousands of dollars to cover legal costs. Byer is hoping for a similar miracle for her company.

Diana Byer with NYTB principal dancer Elena Zahlmann and Ballet School NY students Izzy Hanson-Johnston and Victor Rosario

Photos by Matthew Murphy at Ballet School NY

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