Trending

Point Your Feet! And Other Corrections We Know You're Sick of Repeating

"Shoulders down!" "Eyes Up.""Don't Sickle!" Sound familiar? Well, you're not alone. As a dance educator, giving corrections is a part of your job. Yet, at times, giving feedback can feel pointless when you're talking to an entire room of students mentally out to lunch. Cue a collective deep breath.

Recently, DT asked the Facebook hivemind to share the corrections that seem to pop up in every class. Here are the gems we know you know all too well.


"If I give a correction to one student, it doesn't mean it's not also for you: Pay attention!" Or lately, "core!"

—Leigh Brockman Horowitz, teacher at Dimensions Dance Center


"My saying is 'for the love of everything good and holy, please point your feet.'"

—Tiffany Prout-Leitao, owner of Center Stage Dance Academy


"Close your rib cage, and put weight in your arms."

—Kay Kissick, substitute teacher at Bluegrass Youth Ballet


"You don't need to lift your shoulders to jump."

—Nela Nilemann, founder and director at The Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts


"Don't even go there. For just half of one Primary class I said 'Where should your feet be (or similar)?' 37 times. They have their exam in eight weeks."

—Elizabeth Stagg, owner of A1 Dance


Some see giving corrections differently...

"Your teacher should only have to give you a correction once. Only ONCE? You gotta be kidding.🙄 I'm not a teacher, but in the past 27 years I've learned that it takes more than one correction to build correct muscle memory and proper understanding of alignment and movement dynamic. Maybe I am a slow learner, but I sure am grateful for all my teachers who were patient and interested enough to keep working with me. Without their heads exploding, nonetheless."

—Johanna Elina Aurava, ballet blogger

"What on earth? Corrections are given as many times as a student needs it. No student in the world wants to look bad. It takes a while sometimes to figure it out." ❤️

—Marianella Desanti, teacher at Body Motion Dance Studio

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
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Diary
Claire McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.