Dear DT+ Community,
With competitions around the corner and recital time ramping up, you might be feeling like you need a breather, and a refresher, at the same time.
Well, you’re in luck, because in this month’s columns you’ll find plenty of advice and inspiration on everything from helping your students develop a strong eye focus on stage to super seeds that you can add to your daily meal plans on-the-go and more!
How to Help Students Develop a Strong Focus: When yielded with intention and clarity, the eyes can be a powerful tool for communicating with the audience, conveying emotion and character and connecting with fellow performers. But your students’ eyes’ focus can reveal hesitancy just as easily as they can project confidence, and too often, it is an afterthought. In this article, Ragamala Dance Company founder and bharatanatyam teacher Ranee Ramaswamy and other expert teachers share their tips on helping your students learn to speak the language of the eyes.
Christine Colby Jacques Teaches a Sequence From Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’: This month, a revival—styled as Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’—launches at NYC’s Music Box Theatre. Colby Jacques worked alongside director Wayne Cilento, who was also in the 1978 production, to reconstruct the original dance numbers and to teach the choreography to the new cast. For her Lesson Plan, she shares a sequence from Fosse’s “Crunchy Granola Suite,” a number she describes as “pure joy.”
Dance Business Insights
How 3 Former Teachers Became Branding Coaches for Dance Studios: Imagine being a dancer teacher, business owner, social media manager and website designer, plus any other role your dance studio requires. Sound familiar? Many studio owners wear lots of hats when it comes to running their own businesses, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Meet three educators-turned-entrepreneurs who are using their knowledge to help dance business owners market and manage their studios more smoothly and efficiently.
Studio Owner Spotlight––The VIVA School: Lots of dance schools grant full merit scholarships to underrepresented students who show promise. Very few extend full merit scholarships to their entire population of students. Even fewer focus solely on educating the dance world’s coming generations of young artists of color. It’s this singular mission that sets apart The VIVA School, co-founded in Washington, DC, in 2017 by artistic director Chandini Darby and executive director Kelli Quinn. Learn more about this innovative studio which centers dancers of color throughout their entire training experience.
Health & Body Advice
Nina Martin’s ReWire Method: March is National Disabilities Awareness Month and Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day falls on March 25. So we’re spotlighting the incredible and life-changing work of Texas Christian University professor Nina Martin, whose revolutionary ReWire method has impacted hundreds of students with movement disorders like cerebral palsy.
3 Super Seeds You Must Add to Your Diet: Seeds offer a versatile and allergy-friendly option, and compared to other foods with similar nutrient profiles, like nuts and nut butters, they can be a more economical inclusion to your eating routine. In this article, we dive into three types of seeds and how you can add these nutrient powerhouses to your meals and snacks in a way that supports your teaching schedule.
Celebrating Women in Dance Education
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re continuing to celebrate the creative visions of women artists and educators across identities, genres and generations—and honoring the impact they have made and are continuing to make in the field.
Anna Sokolow (1910–2000): A woman of integrity, Sokolow possessed deep convictions and a fierce commitment to social justice. She wasn’t one to do something just because it was popular. A dancer, choreographer and teacher who contributed to modern dance for nearly seven decades, Sokolow remained true to herself and devoted to dance as an expressive artform.
Yan Chen: In this month’s Office Hours column, Yan Chen, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company rehearsal director and principal teacher for the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School’s Pre-Professional Division talks about her biggest challenges, role models, and how she strives to “create the kind of class environment where everyone feels invited to join in on exploring the movement.”
Ai Fujii Nelson: In our Teacher Tools column, we spotlight Ai Fujii Nelson, who is carrying Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s educational mission forward through imagery and enthusiasm as the organization’s current education director. Her biggest priority? Providing dance opportunities to anyone, and everyone.
I hope you enjoy reading all these stories and put into practice what you’ve learned from them with your students this month!
P.S. There are only 4 weeks left to nominate an extraordinary dance educator for a 2023 Dance Teacher Award. To submit your nominations, click here.