Letter From the Editor: A Lot to Be Thankful For…
November 2, 2022

Dear DT+ Community, 

It’s the month of gratitude—and for us dance educators and studio owners, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Like finding out your dancer got accepted into the college of their dreams, or discovering that all student fees are finally paid on time. Or simply experiencing the thrill of walking into a class of passionate dancers who are all eager to learn. 

For us at Dance Teacher, continuing to be the source of advice and inspiration along your teaching journey brings us immense joy, and we are so grateful for your ongoing support. We hope you’ll feel especially thankful to see our exciting lineup of stories on DanceTeacher+.

Teaching Techniques

Lesson Plan from Sun Kim on a Popping Walk-Out: Dancer, choreographer and teacher Kim believes that studying popping can benefit dancers of any genre. It teaches body control,” she says. “There’s a groove to popping. Even though it can be tense and robotic, it has to flow.” For her DanceTeacher+ lesson plan, she highlights a step called the “walk-out” that you can experiment with in class by getting your students to practice it in double-time or by traveling in different patterns and levels across the floor.

Navigating Tattoos in Dance: How can dance teachers broach the conversation about tattoos while showing an appreciation for their student’s individuality and desire for body art? Not only is there is still some stigma to contend with but there are also practical considerations for dancers and their teachers. Given that end of year performances and auditions are right around the corner, let’s find out how you can tackle the tattoo topic with your students and uncover tips on how to cover them up when needed.

Helping Your Students Master Quick Costume Changes: Even the most seasoned professionals find fast costume changes tricky. And for students who may be tackling a two-minute (or less) costume switch for the first time, a step-by-step plan can keep things running smoothly and alleviate any nerves. We spoke with several professionals to give you the inside scoop on how to select costumes, set up a quick-change booth and get in and out of costumes at lightning speed. 

Dancing with Props: With the right approach, teaching choreography with props can become a great way for students to improve their technique and gain a deeper insight into their artistry. Plus, your students can also feel the joy of dancing with a prop, instead of seeing it as a burden or additional stressor. Stay tuned for more details on how you can teach such “prop-er performance.”

Health & Body

DT+ Teacher Talk on Helping Your Students Combat Food Guilt Around the Holidays: Are any foods on the naughty list this season? Is it alright to fast before a feast? What resources can dancers and dance teachers use to fuel their knowledge about healthy eating during the holidays? Find out all this and more in our insightful discussion with registered dietitian nutritionist Rachel Fine. 

Retiring or moving on from a teaching position: Whether retiring is a self-made decision or not, moving on from a job you put your heart into can be an emotional and difficult life change to process. We discuss how you can cope with this transition and learn to move on—all while maintaining cherished relationships with your former students and colleagues.

Celebrating Dance Luminaries

Kendorina (Kendra) Redhouse: In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting Native American dancer Kendorina (Kendra) Redhouse to learn about her journey with powwow dancing. Hear about the favorite lesson she has learned through dance, her advice for young dancers, and what she wants Dance Teacher readers to know about Native American dancing in our Dancer Diary column.

Niki Lucia: Danceology owner Niki Lucia led her team of roughly 150 competitive dancers to win the title “Studio of The Year” at one of the country’s largest dance competitions, The Dance Awards. The journey to get there was full of hard work, discipline, and most importantly, according to Lucia, the will to win. In our Teacher Tools column, Lucia shares the secrets that have helped her create a winning studio with a winning mindset.

Princess Reid: In this month’s What My Teacher Taught Me column, Joffrey Ballet’s Princess Reid shares why Laurie Picinich-Byrd at The Florida Ballet at Jacksonville has been the greatest influence in her dance career.

Antonio Gades: It’s International Day of Flamenco on November 16, and what better way to celebrate than by honoring Antonio Gades (1936–2004)—one of the greatest flamenco dance artists of all time. Renowned for his grace and agility likened to that of a skilled matador, Gades performed worldwide, directed four major companies, choreographed numerous works, was an outspoken human rights activist, and earned more dance awards than any other Spanish dancer to date!

I hope all these articles provide plenty of insight and inspiration for your ongoing teaching journey!

To your success,
Reanne Rodrigues
[email protected] 

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