Finding a last-minute substitute

Holidays, illness, emergencies—there’s a seemingly endless list of reasons you might need a substitute for your classes at a moment’s notice. This is where comes in. Created by dance teachers for dance teachers in the tri-state area (New York City Dance Alliance’s Joe Lanteri is the director), this website acts as a matchmaking service between studio owners in need of a sub and well-qualified teachers who can fill in with as little as a few hours’ notice.

To access this free substitute-finding service, a studio owner creates an account with, providing contact information and the studio’s hourly pay rate for subs. Then, when a fill-in teacher is needed, the studio owner completes the teacher request form on the website, detailing what type of teacher is needed and when. The team responds as quickly as possible, matching up from the service’s database the studio with a vouched-for teacher whose price per hour aligns with the studio’s substitute pay rate. A few hours’ notice for a substitute is recommended—allowing for travel time—but has been able to place a job within an hour on occasion. Studios in New York City (all five boroughs), New Jersey and Connecticut can use, and there are plans to branch out to other areas.

Though finding substitute teachers (short- or long-term) is the main service of, you can also use the site to find guest artists for bigger studio productions (like The Nutcracker), competition choreographers or professionals for master classes and workshops.

Interested in joining the substitute instructor list? You can apply at and by submitting your resumé and headshot. If is interested, someone will contact you and ask for a video of you teaching.

Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.