In this issue we focus on educators who give young children their very first dance experiences. During these formative years, says Jody Gottfried Arnhold, dance can really take root.
When she accepted the National Dance Education Organization’s Visionary Award last summer, Arnhold announced that her vision was “sequential dance education for every child.” The dance educators applauded enthusiastically and I wondered if I was the only one to have the thought, every child? When children arrive at school hungry and leave without learning how to read, dance can seem more like a luxury than a basic educational right. But in the cover story, Arnhold challenges us to think big and imagine the far-reaching impact of raising generations of dance-literate children.
Here, Suzi Tortora offers music suggestions (and some surprises) for creative dance class. When Kandee Allen, takes her littlest dancers to competition, she treats the experience like an additional recital so they don’t burn out before high school. And for those of you who have your own children in class, click here for advice on how to separate your dual roles as teacher and mom.
Editor Jenny Dalzell and I had a great conversation with Germaine Salsberg at Broadway Dance Center as we shot this month’s Technique column, “How I Teach a Paddle and Roll” . Salsberg noted that beginning tappers often have trouble letting go and allowing their ankles to move freely. Watch her video in which she demonstrates how to get crisp sounds from a loose ankle.
It was the late Gregory Hines who initiated the hunkered down style that Jason Samuels Smith, Savion Glover, Derick K. Grant and others have taken to new heights. In honor of National Tap Dance Day (May 25), writer Katie Rolnick highlights the pivotal role Hines played and shows why he is so revered by hoofers.
The Higher Ed and K–12 stories this month address topics of interest for educators in all settings. For instance, how often do you wish your students would queue up something other than Top 40 hits in their iPods? In “Breaking the Sound Barrier” , dance accompanists share ways they help students broaden their musical tastes. And “Watch and Learn” is all about how to successfully use video. (Perhaps we’ll soon see your entry in the Dance Teacher Video of the Month contest.)
Editor in Chief