Editor's Note: The Convention Issue

Remember when you attended your first convention? And how exciting (and scary!) it was to take class from a famous teacher? Today, many of the dancers your students emulate from television and the concert stage also teach at dance conventions. What an opportunity it is, for instance, to take class from DT cover girl Brooke Lipton, who makes casting decisions for the hit TV show, “Glee.” In “Red Hot” (page 34), L.A.-based writer Victoria Looseleaf tells how Lipton made a career for herself in the tough professional environment of Hollywood, and she shares the positive influence Lipton has on young dancers as a teacher for The PULSE On Tour and Hollywood Connection.

Conventions can open doors for your dancers—all your dancers, not just those with commercial aspirations. We get excited about the glamour and ambition, but let’s not forget the powerful educational foundation of these events. In this issue, Dance Teacher focuses on what it takes to teach in that setting (“Mastering the Master Class” on page 58) and how your students can benefit (“High Five” on page 28)—including the 2012 Convention Guide (page 70) for easy reference to contact details and other essentials.

How are you celebrating the holidays at your studio? In “Holidays in Every Way” (page 38), writer Nancy Wozny spoke to studio directors about how they reflect the varying demographic interests of their communities. Do you do something unique? Let us know by liking us on Facebook and joining the discussion about ways to make your studio inviting to everyone. And do have a look at “Goods” (page 32) to see our holiday gift suggestions for the dancers on your list.

While The Nutcracker may be consuming your life this month, the new year is right around the corner. If you’re one of the many who resolve to diet or exercise with renewed vigor on January 2, be sure to read “My Personal Fitness Plan” (page 50), where three busy teachers share their health and fitness routines. They impressed us, and we hope they will inspire you.

Here’s to a fulfilling holiday season and fruitful new year,

Karen Hildebrand

editor in chief

Music
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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News
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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