How Well Do You Know Your Beyoncé?

Beyoncé: She's the rare performer who both exists in her own dimension of unbelievable talent and also convinces us occasionally that we are ALL Beyoncé. If you've been worshipping Queen Bey for years, you've also probably riffed on her moves in your own choreography (or at the very least, demonstrated your mastery of said moves for friends or maybe just your mirror). Adam France created this delightful, short video highlighting a Beyoncé move for each letter of the alphabet, and I bet you're gonna want to watch it and see how many you recognize. Here are a few of my favorites:


M is for Mic Drop

Either you saw this live or, like me, caught it in her documentary Life Is But a Dream, but regardless, your jaw probably dropped when Yoncé revealed her pregnancy to the world at the MTV VMAs. That belly rub move at the end!

T is for Ten Nine Eight Seven Six Five Four Three Two One

Controversial choreography aside, "Countdown" has a super catchy hook and some pretty memorable images.

V is for Video Phone Braid Whip

We're all aware that hairography is a very big part of Yoncé's movement aesthetic. But this braid whip from her collaboration with Lady Gaga is definitely the most satisfying move to bust out when you have at least a two-foot radius between you and other people.

Watch the whole video and tally up how many of the 26 moves you recognize:

Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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