Dance Life Magazine Online

A collection of articles, thought-provoking commentary, classroom tips and strategies, smart business concepts, advice, and more. As always, Rhee Gold and his team will offer content to challenge the dance education field to hold each other and every student in high regard.

Three Steps to a Scheduled Season

Three Steps to a Scheduled Season

by Teri Mangiaratti Presenting families with a full season schedule at registration makes a fantastic first impression. Putting all of your season’s dates on a calendar now will help dancers’ families and your staff plan their year, and they will absolutely appreciate it. So pour yourself a cup of coffee, print out a calendar, and let’s get started! Step 1: Mark Fixed Events in Your Calendar Some events are unavoidable: they happen every year. Put those annual events on the calendar first: studio open date, school vacations, holidays, picture days, recitals, the day recital tickets go on sale, fall registration…

Improv Freeze Dance

Improv Freeze Dance

by Holly Derville-Teer One day I had 15 minutes to spare at the end of a beginner jazz class for 7- to 11-year-olds. “What am I going to do for 15 minutes?” I thought. Then I remembered my days teaching 5- to 6-year-olds and it hit me: freeze dance! I needed to create an older version of this kindergarten hit, on the spot. I recalled the improvisation class I’d taken from Derrick Yanford at the 2011 DanceLife Teacher Conference, and it came to me: improvisation freeze dance. “OK,” I said, “I am going to play the music and you can…

Grateful for the Change

by Rhee Gold I have always believed that the absolute in life is change. Embracing it, rather than dreading it, can change everything. Yes, there may be heartache when we lose someone; yes, it can be scary to open a new door; yes, sometimes we are perfectly happy with where we are at and we would like to just ride with it. BUT, we must be thankful for the way it was, and know we are better or stronger because of each transformation. And let’s be excited for what’s happening now and what may be coming in the future.

Fun Fact The White House

Fun Fact: The White House

Fun facts for teachers and students

Who is Fierce

Who is Fierce?

They don’t perform grand leaps, not one fouetté turn nor a single pirouette, and there’s no flash at all. Yet you watch them with your mouth open, while that head-to-toe body chill takes over your full being for a few moments as you settle into the greatness before your eyes.

Too Much Information

Too Much Information

by Jill Keating You know how when little kids get talking they always enter the “more than I need to know” zone? When I was pregnant and teaching 3- and 4-year-olds, there were always plenty of questions from them. I tried to answer in a delicate and appropriate way. One little girl said, “My mom can’t have babies anymore—she got her cords connected.” I said, “OK! Let’s do some pliés,” and moved on.Jill KeatingPointe Chautauqua DanceMayville, NY

I Made a Huge Mistake

I Made a Huge Mistake

Hi Rhee, I made a huge mistake and I’m not sure how to get myself out of it. Two years ago I lost the studio manager who had been with me from the time I started my school, 13 years ago. She was a delight to work with and I considered her my partner in crime because she had been through all the ups and downs with me. She was always loyal, and to this day she is one of my best friends. In my search for a new manager, I asked a mother of one of my students to…

Speaking Truth

Speaking Truth

It is hard to tell a student she is not ready for the next level of study—even harder if I know the student will see that her peers are advancing. But I simply will not promote a student when she is not ready. That would be unethical on my part and dangerous for the student.

Nor Who They Used to Be

Not Who They Used To Be

by Rhee Gold Almost every dance teacher who has been at it for a while says, “The kids today are not who they used to be.” They may be different, but I am beginning to understand why. Our kids live in a world where they arrive at school or the movie theater looking for the emergency exits—just in case. They have grown up in an America that prioritizes politics over their safety. Yesterday’s youth did not experience that. Kids live in a world where adults argue all day, every day, over politics, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and other divisive issues,…

Mental Rehearsals IG

Mental Rehearsals

by Debra Danese After teaching my students new choreography, I end the class or rehearsal by saying, “Don’t forget to review before we meet again.” However, in the next class I often need to reteach the movement rather than reviewing and adding on. To the students’ explanation that they don’t have time to practice because of school and other activities, I respond, “Practice in your mind,” because we all have time for that. To help them learn to do this effectively, I incorporate creative visualization into class time, a process that is often referred to by sports psychologists as “mental…

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