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Teachers Share Their Go-to Daily Tools for Success

Saleemah E. Knight teaches a mix of dance majors and nonmajors at University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Photo by Carolyn DiLoreto, courtesy of USC Kaufman

Being a dance teacher can be difficult. To be the best teacher for your students, it's important to maintain the best version of yourself. From workout regiments to favorite snacks and books, three teachers reveal what motivates them to be on top of their game.


Elizabeth Corbett, on faculty with the American Dance Festival

Photo by Grant Halverson, courtesy of ADF

MUST-HAVE TEACHING SUPPLIES: Water bottle, yoga mat, pencil and paper

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: Capezio split-sole ballet shoes or Bloch teaching shoes

RECOMMENDED READING: Distant Dances, by Sono Osato. "At 97, she is still ahead of her time!"

DANCE BAG ESSENTIALS: "I always bring Boiron Arnicare Gel and Biofreeze Professional 360° Spray for sore muscles and minor injuries."

FOR INSPIRATION: "I recommend taking a look at William Forsythe's website, Synchronous Objects. It's fascinating!"


Saleemah E. Knight, University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

LEOTARD SHE LOVES: Motionwear Mesh Keyhole-Back Tank Leotard

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: Capezio-E Series Jazz Slip-on shoe. "I also still love a good lace-up jazz boot. I know it's old school, but the ankle support and wrap around the foot is solid for execution."

TO STAY IN SHAPE: "Dance, of course, but I also enjoy yoga during my off season. Like dance, it's a holistic practice that engages the mind, body and spirit."

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: The BBC documentary The King Who Invented Ballet, the PBS documentary Blacks and Vaudeville and the National Visionary Leadership Project's interviews with Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell.

FAVORITE QUICK SNACK: Luna Bars or almonds and berries mixed with yogurt


Amit Shah, AATMA Performing Arts

Photo courtesy of Shah

ESSENTIAL WARM-UP EXERCISE: Warming up the hands with Indian hand gestures called mudras. "It is important to emphasize bharatanatyam and kathak dance techniques, because Bollywood dance utilizes both."

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: Adidas Ultraboost sneakers. "They are extra lightweight, great for running and versatile in design, so I can get away with wearing them out on the town."

FOR AN ENERGY BOOST: Health shake. "I got hooked on Shakeology by Beach Body. It tastes great and keeps me full."

FAVORITE NONDANCE ACTIVITY: Designing clothing and dance costumes through his company Andaz Costume Design

NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT: MacBook Pro, iPhone and Beats Solo Wireless headphones


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