Dance News
Courtesy of Votaw

Since street dancing on subway cars is illegal and dangerous, members of It's Showtime NYC! have found alternative outlets for their craft. One Friday night a month, they gear up for Battle! Hip-Hop in Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Many people know about the program and are coming to see it," says Pierre Terjanian, curator in charge of the department of Arms and Armor. "Other visitors are just passing through the museum. The element of surprise is part of the exhilaration."

On this frigid night in January, a crowd gathered near the museum's beloved display of suited knights and horses. "Children up front!" a staff person shouted, encouraging kids as young as 2 to sit near the action, a rectangle of space beneath the balcony. On the floor, pieces of medieval gear and modern streetwear suggest confrontation.

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Dance Teachers Trending
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Just like foodies pursue their favorite taco trucks, dance lovers can track beloved choreographers and teachers through pop-up events advertised on social media.

"I've stopped thinking of myself as a starving artist," says Natalia Roberts, a Brooklyn-based dancer who has almost 5,000 followers on Instagram. "I am my own business."

Through Instagram posts, Roberts, who has a background in fitness and architecture, chooses off-beat locations to showcase site-specific choreography for events, like this gallery opening at Long Island City's Cigar Factory. Her strong web presence operates as a 24-hour business card cultivating the element of surprise.

Pop-ups rely on the delight of being in the right place at the right time. Such flashes of intrigue have changed the way consumers engage with products and services, according to "How Pop-Ups Took Over America's Restaurants." Because dance itself is built on impermanence, many artists embrace fleeting moments to market themselves on the web.

Below are five suggestions to get you onboard the pop-up train.

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Dance Teacher Tips
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Even the most disciplined dancers admit to weeping in class sometimes. Sorrow and fear are human expressions, but teachers may not always know how to navigate a sudden burst of waterworks.

"Stress is in the body," explains Linda Taylor, a school psychologist in Idaho who has taught ballet to all age groups, from toddler to professional. "Sometimes the release of it can bring on tears, especially for older students."

"We all need to cry sometimes," says Joel Hall, founder and director of Joel Hall Dancers & Center in Chicago. An instructor who has taught for 46 years, he admits he used to feel panicked at the sight of watery eyes. Now, he has a better understanding of students' feelings and how to work with them.

Here are five expert tips from Taylor and Hall for navigating grief in dance class.

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Dance Teachers Trending
Taylor with PTAMD dancers Annmaria Mazzini and Michael Trusnovec. Photo by Richard Calmes

A person's walk is like a fingerprint, according to four Paul Taylor dancers who are stepping on without their beloved choreographer. Taylor died August 29, passing the legacy of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance to Michael Novak, the second artistic director in the company's history.

"Human movement never lies," says Novak, who sometimes slipped into present tense when describing his mentor. "For auditions, Paul makes dancers walk across the floor in rhythm. The first time I auditioned, I didn't get the job. I was terrified, but now that I'm on the other side of the audition process, 'the walk' is telling."

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Dance Teachers Trending
Teacher Elias Kababa with students at the 92nd Street Y "Hip-Hop to the Top" workshop. Photo by Todd France, courtesy of Votaw

With hopes of better connecting to young students, dance educators met Saturday at New York City's 92nd Street Y for "Hip-Hop to the Top: Exploring the world through hip-hop dance."

The five-hour workshop provided age-appropriate lesson plans rooted in history and Laban Movement Analysis. But the program also reassured classically trained teachers to "come as you are." After all, a "groove" is just a plié with a grounded "urban edge."

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Dance News
Photo by Alex Huber, courtesy of YDC

Ballroom dance could be the best form of diplomacy, according to New York City teenagers starring in a new documentary, Taking New Steps—The Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company Goes to Israel.

Saturday, members of the Youth Dance Company and their loved ones watched the private screening with family and friends at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Produced by SingularDTV, the 18-minute documentary captured individual interviews and sweeping drone shots during the company's 2017 trip to Israel for the Karmiel Dance Festival. Dancers in the audience, now a year older, cheered as they viewed younger versions of themselves on the movie screen.

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Dance News
The Cannarsie Wobblers, a professional dance group in New York.

Prohibition fever is sweeping the nation with toe-tapping picnics that will have you shimmying all summer long.

"I think with 2020 approaching and the release of the 2013 film The Great Gatsby, people are excited about the Roaring Twenties," says dance instructor Andrew Selzer of Boston Lindy Hop.

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Dance Teacher Tips
Students at Steps Consevatory in NYC.

Dancers who dare to sing increase their marketability, according to voice teacher Jan Horvath.

It's one thing to master a triple pirouette, she says. It's another to be a well-rounded performer who can tackle any challenge without being discouraged.

Horvath teaches voice at Steps Conservatory, a two-year professional dance program in New York City. Once a week, she leads two groups of 10 students in a 90-minute vocal course.

"It's like a ballet barre," she explains. "We focus on one little thing of the day and perfect it and move on."

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