Your Weekend Dance Skim

Sia with Mina Nishimura behind her

I recently signed up to receive news briefs from theSkimm—it’s an e-mail Listserv that sends you a short, clever e-mail Monday through Friday, skimming major news stories (yes, I know I’m basic). This morning, I found myself wishing I had a dance version of a news aggregator. So…I decided to do it on my own. May I present what I think is the coolest dance-related bit of news I’ve found from this past weekend.

November 7’s “Saturday Night Live” had notoriously disguised Sia as the musical guest. One of the songs she performed, “Bird Set Free,” featured butoh-inspired Japanese dancer Mina Nishimura. (If you’re not up on your Sia dance history, read about her obsession with Maddie Ziegler of “Dance Moms” fame here and how choreographer Ryan Heffington created those quirky moves here. Plus, for Sia's last video, “Alive,” she featured 9-year-old mixed martial arts prodigy Mahiro Takano. Sia is nothing, if not surprising.)

It’s pretty out-there stuff for an "SNL" performance, no? But it’s powerful, especially when you keep in mind that Sia’s dancers are often stand-ins for the singer herself. (Plus, it was so much better than Donald Trump’s parody of Drake’s “Hotling Bling” dancing.) Watch it here:


Don't miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

In 2001, young Chanel, a determined, ambitious, fiery, headstrong teenager, was about to begin her sophomore year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the highly acclaimed "Fame" school. I was a great student, a promising young dancer and well-liked by my teachers and my peers. On paper, everything seemed in order. In reality, this picture-perfect image was fractured. There was a crack that I've attempted to hide, cover up and bury for nearly 20 years.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Getty Images

Though the #MeToo movement has spurred many dancers to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the dance world has yet to have a full reckoning on the subject. Few institutions have made true cultural changes, and many alleged predators continue to work in the industry.

As Chanel DaSilva's story shows, young dancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse because of the power differential between teacher and student. We spoke with eight experts in dance, education and psychology about steps that dance schools could take to protect their students from sexual abuse.

Keep reading... Show less
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.