Technology: Square

Square

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Portable POS System

Its small credit-card reader looks innocent, but Square is a POS powerhouse—and it got a few updates recently. At its most basic, the free app/account for iPhone, iPad and Android provides users with a Square Reader that plugs into mobile devices to accept credit and debit card payments; businesses pay a 2.75 percent per swipe fee or monthly $275 flat rate. The system saves inventory information on the app and provides sales data summaries. Completely portable, it can move from the front desk to the dancewear store, recital booths and fundraisers. It’s also especially handy for freelance teachers who rent their own space.

New is Business in a Box, a boxed kit for the iPad that includes two Square Readers, iPad holder and cash drawer for $249, or $499 with a receipt printer. (Transaction fees still apply.) Also recently launched is an online store option that allows customers to access goods or services through web ordering and payment.

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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