Video of the Month: The Surprise of a Lifetime

Congratulations to Pavan Thimmaiah, our Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

In this video, professional dancers from Thimmaiah’s company at PMT Dance Studio in New York City rehearse for a flash mob on NBC’s “Today Show.” During rehearsals, Thimmaiah prepared dancers for the elements of the performance that would be out of his control. The unpredictability of flash mobs is part of the fun, he says, but it takes planning. (The dancers also had to keep a secret—the performance was a surprise proposal for one of the dancers!)

Thimmaiah got the dimensions of the performance area to mark the amount of space the dancers would have on the studio floor and made sure they knew they’d be dancing on a concrete, cobblestone-like surface. “We even practice without music,” he says. “Sometimes, you’re in a space where you won’t be able to hear your sound at all, and dancers have to be able go off of a starting cue.” Luckily, this flash mob—and surprise proposal—went off perfectly. 

Want to build buzz about your studio, workshop or class? Posting videos to the Dance Teacher Video of the Month Contest is quick, easy and free. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, in DT’s newsletter and on our web and social-media pages! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Studio Owners
The Dance Concept staff in the midst of their costume pickup event. Photo courtesy of Dance Concept

Year-end recitals are an important milestone for dancers to demonstrate what they've learned throughout the year. Not to mention the revenue boost they bring—often 15 to 20 percent of a studio's yearly budget. But how do you hold a spring recital when you're not able to rehearse in person, much less gather en masse at a theater?

"I struggled with the decision for a month, but it hit me that a virtual recital was the one thing that would give our kids a sense of closure and happiness after a few months on Zoom," says Lisa Kaplan Barbash, owner of TDS Dance Company in Stoughton, MA. She's one of countless studio owners who faced the challenges of social distancing while needing to provide some sort of end-of-year performance experience that had already been paid for through tuition and costume fees.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Ryan Smith Visuals, courtesy Whitworth

A New Hampshire resident since 2006, Amanda Whitworth is the director of dance at Plymouth State University and the co-founder of ARTICINE, a nonprofit that uses the performing and creative arts as a means to improve people's health. Whitworth is also the founder of Lead With Arts, a consulting service working in three priority areas: performance and production, arts and health, and creative placemaking. The NH State Council on the Arts recommended her to the governor for a two-year term, February 2020 to February 2022. She is the first dancer in New Hampshire to hold the title of artist laureate. We caught up with her to hear about her new role:

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Genevieve Weeks, founder of Tutu School. Courtesy of Tutu School

As the founder of Tutu School, a dance studio business with a successful franchise model that has grown to 37 locations throughout the United States, Genevieve Weeks was in a unique position for a studio owner at the start of COVID-19. Not only did she have to make sure her own, original Tutu School locations weathered the virus' storm, she also felt a duty to guide her franchisees through the tumult.

Though she admits it was a particularly grueling experience for her at the start—her husband at one point was bringing all of her meals to her at her laptop, so she could continue working without pause—the appreciation she's felt from her franchisees is palpable. "What I've heard from the Tutu School owners is that they're grateful to be part of a franchise system right now," says Weeks.

So how does a franchise survive something like COVID-19? Here's what got Weeks—and her franchisees—through the first few months of the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.