Technology: 5 Things to Look for in a Website Design Program

If you’ve got the time and the inclination (or a staff person who does), building your own website is no longer a Herculean task—thanks to the many intuitive, easy-to-use website builders you’ll find online. But it helps to know which features to look for before you commit to the monthly fee.

Eye-catching templates An attractive, customizable template (Squarespace’s are tops) gives you a great base to build on.

Easy customization The drag-and-drop method used by Weebly and Wix makes adding page elements—text boxes, images, maps, media—simple.

Built-in statistics With Squarespace and Weebly, you can gather valuable information on how visitors respond to your site: page views, search terms used to find your website and what pages are visited most.

Photo editing and storage Streamline your photo-editing process by using a website builder, like Wix or Squarespace, that includes the full range of editing tools. Wix even offers online folder storage, so you don’t have to re-upload images to reuse them.

Mobile-responsive design Most website builders automatically generate a version of your site that’s easy to view and navigate on a mobile device, but some—like Weebly—even let you customize your mobile version. —Rachel Rizzuto

Squarespace $5–$70/month Weebly free–$25/month Wix free–$24.92/month

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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