I think we’re all painfully aware that the number of talented dance students exceeds the professional opportunities that will be open to them as adults. But as many dance teachers point out, a professional career isn’t always the goal. Dance is a character-building activity that prepares a young person for a fulfilling life no matter what they choose to do.
We heartily agree. All of us who grew up dancing have a soft spot in our hearts for it—even if we’re now lawyers and engineers (or editors). That’s why it pleased us so much to learn about DanceWorks, started by Lisa Mara to give adults a chance to perform—especially in New York City, where it’s tough to even find a true beginner-level dance class. In “Reigniting a Passion,” Karen Campbell tells the story of 150 people who leave their desk jobs at 5 pm only to spend the rest of their evening rehearsing for their next show—all for the pure enjoyment of it.
Adult students are a growing population—and by serving them you could be opening a new revenue stream for your studio. Dance fitness, somatics and ballroom classes are all great options for adults. But many want to take hard-core technique class. And teaching them requires a different approach. Take pointe class, for instance. In “On Pointe at Any Age,” dancer Julie Diana has tips on how to help your adult students achieve their goals.
If we were to rank our Dance Teacher cover subjects according to their affability, it would be a tough job. We get to work with the smartest, most earnest and truly big-hearted people in the dance field. But Jared Grimes would have to be near the top of the list. Grimes is inspirational not only for his mad tap feet—during our photo shoot, he literally could not stop dancing—but for his persistence. No one has worked harder for recognition, and he’s finally getting what he deserves. The best male dancer in a Broadway musical (per the Fred and Adele Astaire Award 2014 panel) is now starring in the new Radio City New York Spring Spectacular. Candice Thompson has the story, and dance-teacher.com has the moves (step-by-step video with Grimes).
Don’t forget, National Dance Week is April 24–May 3. Our friend Gregg Russell is teaching the official flash mob routine this year. Check it out at nationaldanceweek.org.
Photo by Matthew Murphy