As a dance teacher, you know more than anyone that things can go wrong—students blank on choreography onstage, costumes don't fit and dancers quit the competition team unexpectedly. Why not apply that same mindset to your status as an independent contractor at a studio or as a studio owner?
Insurance is there to give you peace of mind, even when the unexpected happens. (Especially since attorney fees can be expensive, even when you've done nothing wrong as a teacher.) Taking a preemptive approach to your career—insuring yourself—can save you money, time and stress in the long run.
Judith Nelson led a Dance Teacher Summit session this summer in Anne Green Gilbert's rhyming BrainDance and other movement stories designed for early childhood dancers. The BrainDance is a great warm-up that strengthens neural pathways and helps to integrate the right and left sides of the brain.
Nelson danced professionally with the Limón Dance Company and David Gordon's Pick-Up Performance Co. As an educator, she worked closely with Virginia Tanner in Utah, as well as Green Gilbert. Nelson is currently on the faculty of the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn and the Helen Keller Services for the Blind's Children's Learning Center.
Those who took Akira Uchida's contemporary class in New York City last summer learned a high-energy combination to share with their students back home. Uchida's style infuses contemporary with an influence of jazz and hip hop, and he danced full-out in front of the class to demonstrate. A popular faculty member with JUMP convention, Uchida understands his responsibility as a role model for young dancers.
With a World Championship title in Latin Ballroom, Erica Marr charmed NYC Dance Teacher Summit participants with a spicy combination that focused on Latin action and leg awareness, along with elements of jazz dance. Marr grew up as a studio competition dancer and specializes in how to increase studio dancers' versatility with the basic principles of ballroom technique.
Joanne Chapman gave an entertaining rendition of what not to say during a parent/studio director conversation at the New York City Dance Teacher Summit. This panel was created by our team of studio-owner ambassadors, including Chapman and Dani Rosenberg, Becca Moore, Carole Royal, Sue Sampson-Dalena and Jody Phillips. While we enjoyed laughing at the absurd situation, it felt all too familiar to most in the room. The goal of the panel was to model constructive and proactive responses that will support a strong and successful studio business.
Martin Harvey brought a little movie star charm into morning ballet class at our New York Dance Teacher Summit. (His acting credits include Gossip Girls, All My Children, Dirty Dancing, A Chorus Line, Carousel, plus Metropolitan Opera productions of Carmen and Manon Lescaut.) Educated at the Royal Ballet School in London, he danced many principal roles for The Royal Ballet during his 12-year career.
When Lisa Johnson-Willingham isn't at our Dance Teacher Summit teaching the lateral Ts, flat backs and pelvic hinges that are the hallmarks of Horton technique, she directs the Ailey Extension, offering a schedule of open community classes in New York City at the Joan Weill Center for Dance. Before beginning her arts education career, Johnson-Willingham was a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years under Judith Jamison.
Tapper Anthony Morigerato is known for his crazy-fast feet. In fact, he holds the world record for "most tap sounds in one minute"—1,163, if you're wondering. He has performed with Michael Minery's Tapaholics, the musical group Matt and Anthony, Stacey Tookey's Still Motion, and on several television shows. Here in this photo, he's sharing some of his favorite tap phrases at our Dance Teacher Summit.