Letter From the Editor: You Deserve All The Happiness This Holiday Season!
December 7, 2022

Dear DT+ Community,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Over the last few months, you have helped make your dancers’ dreams come true. You have given them the tools to become phenomenal performers and capable human beings. And you have invested in your ongoing professional development to become the best teacher you can be for your students.

So whether you and your dancers are looking forward to spending time with Clara and her candyland fantasies, celebrating the joy of gift giving or receiving, or revelling in special family traditions and recipes, YOU deserve all the merriment that is to be shared and enjoyed this holiday season. 

For us at Dance Teacher, bringing you the advice and inspiration you need to nurture the next generation has brought us immense joy all year long, and we are so delighted to be a part of your incredible teaching journey. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the new year. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of all the exciting content we have in store… 

Teaching Tips 

Making Holiday Celebrations More Inclusive: Many dance teachers grapple with several “December dilemmas” during this time of the year: Are the halls too decked up with Christmas decorations? Should Hanukkah be celebrated as much as Christmas? And what about Kwanzaa? As dance educators who strive to create diverse and equitable spaces, we know that navigating the holiday season can be tricky, so we’re bringing you all the advice on creating an inclusive celebratory environment in your studio or classroom. 

New Children’s Books for 2022: Books can be a part of young dancers’ lives in so many ways: sitting and reading in the lobby with a parent while waiting for a dance class to begin, used within a dance class as a follow-along activity, or even as a holiday gift for an enthusiastic student. Check out our specially curated list of children’s dance books ranging from preschool to 5th to 8th graders. 

How Video Experience Classes Offer Dancers a Path to Mastery and Self-Discovery: If you’ve browsed YouTube, TikTok or Instagram lately, you’ve likely come across a commercial dance-class video. Now, a trend is on the rise: classes with guaranteed videos for all levels, intended to help dancers improve, track progress and present high-quality self-promotional materials to land jobs. The videos also promote the educators’ work and can help build the host studio’s reputation. Stay tuned to find out more.

Teaching Techniques

How to Teach Safe, Not-Scary Falls: Dealing with slips, trips and falls is an unfortunate but inevitable part of teaching dance, and you’ve likely supported your dancers through a fair share of embarrassment and bruises. One way to make these events less traumatic: Teaching your dancers how to fall. In this article, you’ll find the basics on teaching your students to fall safely with grace and confidence.

Lesson Plan: Annette T. Thomas Teaches Vaganova-Inspired Exercises for Trunk and Hip Stability: As a dance and figure skating educator and mentor, Thomas says her main focus is to build the small stabilizer muscles that help dancers and skaters move skillfully and safely. In her lesson plan, she offers a set of exercises to strengthen the stabilizing muscles of the trunk and hips. Excerpted from the Vaganova Level 0 curriculum, these exercises, according to Thomas, are “responsible for creating a strong foundation.”

Health & Body

5 Healthy Hot Drinks to Cozy Up With This Holiday Season
Looking for delicious, warm sips for all those cold days ahead? These five winter beverages are not only tasty, but they will also leave you enjoying the holiday season without food-related guilt, stress or anxiety.

How to Support Grieving Students: The past few years have been a time of tremendous loss, and as result of the Covid-19 pandemic, young dancers are more likely than ever to be grieving the loss of a parent or caregiver (and be especially reminded of them during the holidays). Knowing how to honor the grief of young children can feel intimidating but by understanding how children process emotion, you can be an important figure of support in one of the hardest times of a student’s life.

Celebrating Dance Luminaries

Demi Rox: Rox’s career is “levitating” right now as she finishes the fourth leg of Dua Lipa’s “The Future Nostalgia Tour.” But she’s not content to just stop there—with an endless list of mammoth dreams on the horizon, Rox is sure to leave her mark on the dance industry. In this month’s Dance Diary column, she shares the guidance that has made all the difference in her career, the wisdom she would like to pass on to up-and-coming dancers, and her goals for the future.

Salwa Rizkalla: Rizkalla’s dance training began at 11 years old in Cairo, Egypt, where she trained (and later taught) in the Vaganova method at the Higher Institute of Ballet. In March of 1983, she moved to the US and created Southland Ballet Academy in Fountain Valley, CA. Find out the secrets that have helped Rizkalla succeed as an educator for more than forty decades in our Teacher Tools column this month. 

Skye Mattox: In this month’s What My Teacher Taught Me column, Broadway’s Skye Mattox shares why ballet teacher Chris Alloways-Ramsey at Boston Youth Moves has been the greatest influence in his dance career.

The Nicholas Brothers: Fayard and Harold Nicholas, aka the Nicholas Brothers, were known for their one-of-a-kind “flash act” performances, characterized by full-bodied animation, rhythmic perfection and fearless stunts. They were also among the first African-American entertainers to break through the segregation of pre-Civil-Rights-era America and be featured in integrated films. Learn more about this dynamic duo that tap danced with flash and class!

Thank you for being a part of our DanceTeacher+ community. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a very prosperous and successful New Year 2023! 

Best wishes,
Reanne Rodrigues
[email protected] 

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