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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.

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…

No Fear

Let the Fear Go

by Rhee Gold Henry Ford once said, “If there is one thing which I would banish from the earth it is fear.” Some people believe that fear is experienced only in dramatic or scary situations, but in reality it can linger in the subconscious, creating a constant state of inhibition. Fear holds us back from achieving our lifelong dreams. Instead of stepping out of our comfort zone to get ourselves where we want to be, we talk ourselves out of taking action by focusing on the “what ifs,” which are more powerful than our desire to dance down that instinctual…

It Started with Breath

It Started with Breath

by Bill Evans Our modern-dance ancestors started with breath. For Martha Graham, it was called “contraction and release”; for Doris Humphrey, “fall and recovery”; for Rudolf Laban, “growing and shrinking.” As you enter the studio, notice your own breath to help you become centered. Draw your students’ attention to their breath to help them become present in body, mind, and spirit. Remind them that movement rides on breath and that breathing is not just about the lungs. It takes place on a cellular level as oxygen travels through the cardiovascular system. Liquid breath throughout the body brings resilience and adaptability.

Husband Shares Dream

Husband Shares Dream

I am one of the lucky dance teachers with a husband who supports what I do. He has dinner waiting on the table when I come home and he takes on as much responsibility with our three children as I do . . . Together we have been saving for three years to come up with a down payment for a piece of land that we know is a fantastic location for the dance school of our dreams.

Dealing with Doubt

Dealing With Doubt

by Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT Make a positive impression by nurturing a strong self-image Successful teaching demands that the instructor take command of her material and her classroom with authority. This can be tough, especially when you’re just launching a teaching career. Think about when you first started teaching. Did you come roaring out of the gate, full of confidence, or do you still sometimes struggle with doubts about your qualifications, teaching abilities, or leadership qualities? My first experience teaching ballet was as a dance major, in the children’s division. Was I prepared? No. It was trial by fire, with…

We Have Come a Long Way, Baby

We Have Come a Long Way, Baby

After months of attending conferences and giving speeches across the United States and Canada, I’ve discovered that there is always more to appreciate about our dance education community.

We are witnessing a time in dance history when many school owners have become smart small business owners who offer quality dance education to every child—and they are being rewarded with financial success. For dance teachers, there have never been more opportunities to teach, not only at these schools but also in a new field that has evolved, in which master teachers travel throughout North America to teach and choreograph at small-town studios. And everywhere they go, they inspire young people to pursue their dance dreams.

Choreography You're an Artistic Genius

Choreography: You’re an Artistic Genius

“You’re an artistic genius! How do you come up with an idea like that?” “Motivated to be different” is the motto of the teacher who choreographed the piece that everyone is raving about. She’s the one who doesn’t want to be like anyone else or follow the current trends in choreography.

Making Peace with the Mirror

Making Peace With the Mirror

by Sandi Duncan It’s a new day of classes and you’re ready to share what you know and love. You’ve chosen your music, created your combos, and put on your workout attire. You enter the empty dance space, set up your music, and glance in the mirror. “Whoa! Wait, is that me?” you wonder. “Have I really aged so much overnight? Where did those extra pounds come from?” Dejectedly you push aside the memory of feeling pretty good when you left the house at 8 a.m. No matter how you shift your bangs to cover new wrinkles or tug on…

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