For teachers, parents and young dancers, Joe Tremaine, Dance Teacher's 2017 Award of Distinction winner had a piece of wisdom to share with everyone. Here are his standout quotes (and lessons) he offered in his gracious acceptance speech.


Trust Your Teacher

"Trust your teacher, listen and when they correct you, they are trying to help you. They want to make you better."

Don't Go Studio Hopping

"Don't go studio hopping. Don't go out there and go 'I'm not going to go to the studio anymore. I don't need that.' And you're 12 years old? Oh, I don't think so. I've been around the block a few times and I know that ain't it. No, stick with your home studio."

Attend Dance Conventions

"Yes, go to dance conventions. Please come to ours."

Education Is Freedom

"Education is freedom, so get educated. Get all your schooling and your good dance education. Anytime your child stops dancing and never wants to dance again, your money has been well-spent for all those years, because they are learning life lessons."

It's Called Show Business

"It's called show business. You're not gonna have a show if you don't have the business end of it together. Hello! Simple concept. So, you want to get out there and do your art, make your art, get out and choreograph? Well, learn about the business and get the business end of it together and have good, good rules, ethics, etc. Then you'll be free to do your artistic endeavors, and you'll be successful, probably, if you work hard."

Open Your Studio With Integrity

"Open your studio with integrity. Don't open it across the street or down the block from your teacher. Don't do that. Go somewhere else. Move over; get out. Go 10 miles away, 20 miles away. Your teacher loves you, loved you all your life, raising you. Be respectful."

Dance Training Is Life Training

"Dance training is life training. Congratulations, parents, for giving your child the gift of dance. You're giving your child a gift that they will carry with them through their entire lives. So never stop."

Love What You Do

"I love dance more than anything. I always wanted to dance. I don't know how to do anything else. I don't care how to do anything else, without the music and joy of movement. I'm so happy I spent my life doing it."

Learn Your History

"Dance is more popular than ever. It's at your fingertips. You've got it right here in your phone. If you don't know who the Nicholas Brothers were, whip out your phone and find out. Learn your history. And you, too, may become part of the history."

When Exiting, Ball Change

"I am so thrilled and honored. I thank you for this award. I plié to you. I curtsy to you. And I'll bourrée away, and ball change."

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Photo courtesy of Kreiling

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For seven decades, Frank Shawl's bright and kind spirit touched thousands of dancers in the studio and in the audience.

After dancing professionally in New York City and with the May O'Donnell Dance Company, Shawl moved with Victor Anderson to the San Francisco Bay Area and founded Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in 1958. It is the longest running arts organization in Berkeley.

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Alonso received recognition throughout the world for her flawless technique and her ability to become one with the characters she danced, even after she became nearly blind. After a career in New York, she and her then husband Fernando Alonso established the Cuban National Ballet and the Cuban National Ballet School, both of which grew into major international dance powerhouses and beloved institutions in their home country. On October 17, the company announced that, after leading the company for a remarkable 71 years, Alonso died from cardiovascular disease at the age of 98.

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