Editor in Chief of Dance Teacher since 2009, Karen Hildebrand is Vice President-Editorial for DanceMedia (Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Pointe and Dance Retailer News). She first joined Dance Magazine as education editor in 2001.
Business leader Misty Lown convened (remotely) more than 700 dance studio owners to create an action plan in response to COVID-19 studio closures. ICYMI, here are the takeaways:
- Studios can deliver value to customers with online content.
- Owners can preserve enrollment with caring communication.
- The federal stimulus package is a strong short-term safety net.
Please join us for a Virtual Town Hall with Misty Lown, owner of More Than Just Great Dancing, an affiliation of 300 studios worldwide, and Youth Protection Advocates in Dance. She's also a dance studio owner of 23 years.
Register here to join the call for Monday, March 30, at 1 pm CST (2 pm, EDT).
Every year in our summer issue, we honor four dance educators for their outstanding contributions to the field. Recipients have included studio owners, professors, program directors, K–12 teachers and more, whose specialties run the gamut of dance genres.
We need your help to identify this year's best in the profession. Do you have a colleague or mentor who deserves to be recognized as a leader and role model?
Send your nomination by March 1, 2020. You can e-mail us at email@example.com with the following details:
Each year, the Dance Teacher Awards honor four outstanding educators for their contributions to the field. Recipients have included studio owners, professors, program directors and more whose specialties run the gamut of dance genres. We need your help to find this year's best in the profession. Do you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized as a leader and role model? Nominate him or her for a 2019 Dance Teacher Award! The Awards will be presented at our Dance Teacher Summit in July.
Send nominations by March 1, 2019. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your nomination should include the following:
1. Award category: Studios and Conservatories; Colleges and Universities; K–12.
2. School or studio name and location, nominee's position at the institution.
3. Nominee's contact info.
4. Your relationship to the nominee.
5. In 200 words or less, tell us why this teacher deserves an award. What are his/her leadership qualities, for instance, and list some notable accomplishments. Feel free to include any helpful photos or videos, as well!
DT Awards will be presented at the Dance Teacher Summit. Nominees must be available to attend.
It was a fun moment at our Dance Teacher Summit when Stacey Tookey stopped teaching mid-sentence to greet her 6-month-old daughter who had just entered the room in the arms of Tookey's husband. "Hi Harper!" she said brightly. Then without skipping a beat, she returned to teaching, while her family watched from the sidelines. It seemed the most natural thing in the world that they were traveling with her for this weekend convention. Her work life and home life were perfectly integrated.
Thank goodness having a baby no longer means giving up your career. It does mean giving up your perfect dancer body, at least temporarily. “Your ligaments get looser," as Dr. Bridget Quinn of Boston Ballet told Dance Magazine. “Your center of gravity changes. You become short of breath more easily. It's a lot for a dancer. But with diligent training, you can prepare for both a healthy labor and a quick recovery." In our Special Health and Wellness Section (“Supporting the Pregnant Dancer"), we share some useful advice for doing just that.
Pregnancy isn't the only thing that can shift your center of gravity. When Paula Frasz broke her leg (“How Injury Changed the Way I Teach"), she had to completely rethink her teaching strategy. The silver lining? She became a better teacher. And what if it's your student who becomes injured? They may think they're ready to return to class, but it's up to you to keep them safe. In “Bouncing Back," our experts outline the careful steps back to full class participation and point out some red flags that might interfere.
It seems more dancers than ever are becoming certified to teach Pilates and yoga. Such skills can complement a performance career, both financially and in physical practice. In “More Than a Backup Plan," we tell you where to get this training right alongside your college dance degree. Might be just what a reluctant parent needs, to finally say yes to majoring in dance.
Time certainly does fly. One day you decide to start a school, the next, it's been 25 years. When we reached out to Patricia Reedy and Nancy Ng about being on our cover and learned this is Luna Dance Institute's silver anniversary, it was a wonderful moment of serendipity. I think you'll be inspired by this passionate duo as seen through the eyes of writer Claudia Bauer in “Finding Their Own Way." Teacher training is an important part of their mission, and you'll find details about the Luna Dance Summer Institute among the 54 programs listed in our annual guide to continuing ed programs.
In compiling the Teacher Training Guide, I was struck by the diversity of offerings. From acro to somatics, from French to Russian styles, from jazz to Laban/Bartenieff, there's something to suit every dance educator. There's even a special interest group for men this summer. Regardless of which program you attend, we know how energizing it can be to simply change the scenery and do something nice for yourself. To that end, I asked several educators to write about their 2016 study experiences in “Field Report." Just as I was finalizing Thom Cobb's contribution, the news of his passing came (see DT Notes). It makes me treasure his report all the more. We will certainly miss him at our Dance Teacher Summit this year.
It's a little like preaching to the choir to mention here that one needs a lot more than a background in dance in order to teach—particularly when facing a room full of kids who don't necessarily want to dance. Nevertheless, in “4 Essential Skills for Teaching Artists," we asked our good friends at National Dance Institute, Dancing Classrooms and Island Moving Company how they do exactly that. Don't miss their best advice about what dancers must know to be successful in the classroom.
Speaking of time flying... February is still early enough to set your studio business vision for the year. Editor Rachel Rizzuto asked seven studio owners: “What's Up for You in 2017?" Some of their answers may surprise you.
Photo by Matthew Murphy
We may not have a woman in the Oval Office, but we do have a much-admired female leader in Washington in the form of Julie Kent. We've been following with great interest her actions as the new artistic director of The Washington Ballet. One of her first decisions was to invite Xiomara Reyes to become head of the venerable Washington School of Ballet.
The school has a storied past. Co-founded by Mary Day and directed by her from 1944 to 2003, presidential daughters Chelsea Clinton and Caroline Kennedy were both students there. While Day trained dancers who went on to highly visible careers outside TWB (Kevin McKenzie, Amanda McKerrow, Virginia Johnson and Patrick Corbin, to name a few), Kent has more ambitious goals. A strong school that offers a pathway into the company is a vital part of the vision. However, in “New in Town" Reyes makes it clear that TWSB is a place where not only pre-professional students will thrive.
Are your students making plans for their summer intensives? One of the ways I gauge the state of dance-studio business is by the size of our annual Summer Study Guide. This year, we have 16 pages of opportunities for you and your students—offerings that span the full spectrum of dance styles, with choices for technique, repertory, conditioning, history, wellness and much more. There truly is something for every dancer in this valuable resource.
Frederic M. Seegal, CEO, DanceMedia
Dance Teacher recently changed ownership. Here's a message from our new CEO:
“I'm excited by the opportunity to help the DanceMedia team, because this is an exciting time for dance. Never before has dance (and dancers) been in the public and media eye the way it is today, and, as a result, the needs of both dancers and dance companies are changing dramatically. The need for a trusted voice is more important than ever. We plan to continue to be at the center of it all and over time to extend our extraordinary magazines into the same position in the digital world.
“A little about me: Vice chairman of Peter J. Solomon Company, I have made my career advising major media, telecom and internet clients. I have a passion for the performing arts and have committed my time accordingly. I have served as president of American Ballet Theatre's Board of Trustees, and as trustee for New York City Center, San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera.
“The one thing I've learned from my experience is that people come to dance because of the dancers. Our mission is to make sure dancers are recognized, educated and rewarded. Without you there would be no dance."
From top: photo by Matthew Murphy; courtesy of Seegal
Every December when the editors select their favorite covers for this page, it becomes an opportunity to review the year. We're especially proud of 2016 and the inspiring range of artists and educators who graced Dance Teacher. We put a lot of love into each and every cover—and here is what stands out as we look back.