the next generation of Dance as Art

All Blog Posts (165)

Music Moves Me: An Ode to NYC's Ballet Class Accompanists, Redux


Back in December of 2008 during my brief departure from to the now-defunct, I wrote about seven of the amazing ballet accompanists who play for some of the classes I take in New York City. The response to the post was so positive that I've decided to bring it back and add four artists to my original roster of those who know exactly how to inspire dancers. Many of the top-flight musicians on my list play from memory or improvise on the spot, feats that continue…


Added by Sondra Forsyth on July 13, 2011 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Why I Don't Do Recitals

(First published on June 2, 2011 at The Mindful Dancer)

I am a diehard, lifelong Pittsburg Steelers fan--and a dancer. It goes without saying that I was doubly proud when Steeler’s wide-receiver Hines Ward won the recent season of Dancing With The Stars. But being both a football fan and a dancer has its pitfalls.

Imagine the ensuing embarrassment from…

Added by James Robey on July 5, 2011 at 9:29pm — No Comments

Teaching As An Egoless Practice

(First published on May 24, 2011 at The Mindful Dancer)


“creating without possessing,

acting without expecting,

guiding without interfering.”

~Tao te Ching (from the Stephen Mitchell translation)

Creating, acting, guiding, and (I might add) teaching without possessing, expecting, and interfering. This has been a guiding principle of…


Added by James Robey on June 28, 2011 at 2:46pm — No Comments

The Royal Danish Ballet's Engagement at Lincoln Center

The evening of June 14th 2011 was unseasonably wet and chilly in New York City but the ebullient goings-on inside the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center chased away the gloom for the appreciative balletomanes in the audience. The occasion was the opening night of the Tuesday to Sunday run of mixed bills by the Royal Danish Ballet in its first New York appearance since 1998. Nikolaj Hübbe, a long-time and well-loved New York City Ballet principal dancer, has been Artistic…


Added by Sondra Forsyth on June 15, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Eat Your Veggies Pasta Sauce

Need a way to get more veggies in your diet?  Try this pasta sauce recipe that is adapted from the roasted vegetable sauce from The Essential Pasta Cookbook.  I make big batches when the veggies are in season (or on sale) and freeze them. 



4 large red bell peppers (orange works too - green works but looks way less appetizing in the end product)

1lb roma tomatos

3 sweet yellow onions

1 small eggplant (1…


Added by abc for dance on May 5, 2011 at 12:45pm — 1 Comment

Performance Checklist

As many studios and schools begin wrapping up the dance year, concerts, recitals and other end of year performances abound.  Here's a quick checklist for you during this hectic time of the year.



Touch base with the administration and make sure that everyone has the same dates / times reserved. When weather has been crazy, sometimes school functions will be booked over outside events and people doing the booking don't always remember to call…


Added by abc for dance on April 26, 2011 at 9:03am — No Comments

Knee Hyperextension - Training students to find "straight"

Many dancers have the ability to hyperextend their knees.  The position of hyperextension feels straight to the dancer and breaking this alignment habit is hard to do. If you aren't familiar with the differences between hyperextension and straight, look at the pictures below.  The same student appears in both pictures, in the one on the left she is standing in what she considers her natural stance (hyperextended), the picture on the right is where she constantly corrects to now that she…


Added by abc for dance on April 23, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments



My dear friend released the trailer for his book based on Sydney Australia's dance. I have watched his journey in the writing and photos as he built a relationship with the company.


It is stirring and moving. Enjoy.

Added by Rhian Royce (Siomha) on March 30, 2011 at 1:27am — No Comments

Dancer/Teacher Requirement

We are India’s only ISTD ballet school based in Bangalore, a cosmopolitan city and the Information Technology hub of India and home to maximum number of International Schools.

Founded by Yana Lewis, A.I.S.T.D.Dip from UK, we have more than 450 students learning Ballet, Jazz, Callanetics and Pilates in our Academy. We also have a performing company specializing in…


Added by Sakshi Bhatia on March 28, 2011 at 1:26pm — No Comments

Increasing Your Students' Ballet Classes

One question I get a lot from other teachers is "how do you get your students to take more ballet classes"?  My first question back is "why do you want them to take more ballet?"  Mind you, I'm not trying to talk anyone out of additional ballet classes, I just like hearing the answers.   The post that follows are some of the reasons I get in response and suggestions on how…


Added by abc for dance on March 27, 2011 at 12:30am — 2 Comments

Barre Stretch Combination

Have some time (about 12 minutes)?  Try this barre stretch series after you've already done some large full body movements for at least 5-10 minutes to get the blood moving through your system and your core temperature warmed up. 

Remember proper alignment is crucial for the effectiveness of any stretch or strengthening routine.  To gain the most benefit, never sit and hold the stretch but always feel like you are moving the 2 ends of the body away from each other.

I use a 3/4…


Added by abc for dance on March 1, 2011 at 11:01am — No Comments

Save Some Time - Make Some Money

As recitals get closer and competition season starts to heat, many teachers and choreographers find themselves spending time to burn cd's of music for their students to practice to.

Here's an idea that can bring in a little income and save you some time (another way of bringing in more income).  Best yet it doesn't involve breaking the law like burning and distributing cds does (even if you don't charge them, it's still unauthorized distribution…

Added by abc for dance on February 21, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Planning Ahead for Fall

Spring is almost here and that can mean only one thing to studio owners and teachers - getting the fall schedule together.  In these times of economic uncertainty, planning and cost management can mean the difference between profit and shutting the doors.  Here are some ideas to think about while you have time to plan changes that can help your bottom line:

Website - does your website reflect the atmosphere and personality of your studio?  Is it…

Added by abc for dance on February 20, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Stretching / Flexibility

Dance Teacher Magazine published an article on stretching in January 2010 that I had been interviewed for.

You can read the article here

I'd like to clarify one statement attributed to me in the article. "Start by emphasizing that while a strong pull during stretching is…

Added by abc for dance on February 19, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Your Studio Legacy

How do you measure the success of your studio? Do you look at the number of students, current or former who are successfully employed in the field of dance? Is it the number of trophies, plaques and ribbons displayed on your shelves? The size of your studio, number of students or profit? I challenge you to look at something more tangible, the character of the students who cross your door step. I was reminded of this fact in April of 2009.

My mother was…

Added by abc for dance on February 18, 2011 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Bone Health and Dancers

As more information comes to light about Osteoporosis, it seems that many dancers may be at a higher risk than the average person.

Research is now showing that women lose up to 25% of their bone density in the first decade after menopause. Many sources are now suggesting that women get a baseline bone density report done right after menopause instead of waiting until 60 or 65.

Males generally are not screened until they are 80 unless other risk factors are present.



Added by abc for dance on February 17, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Dance - Teaching Beyond the Steps

The reason behind the title of the abc for dance curriculum series

Teaching dance is more than have a student copy steps that you dance.  It is about teaching a solid foundation that can be built upon.  Encouraging students to look at the qualities that make up a movement.  Including expression in class and performance and kindling a passion for learning the art and sharing it with others. 
There is a certain spark, that elusive something, that makes…

Added by abc for dance on February 17, 2011 at 12:45am — No Comments

     I have enjoyed danceart for several years.  It is helpfull to me even though I have been    teaching for 57 years.  I guess you are never to old to learn.


   I have enjoyed danceart for several years.  It is helpfull to me even though I have been

   teaching for 57 years.  I guess you are never to old to learn.


Added by Ann H Watts on February 9, 2011 at 9:08pm — No Comments

Performance Art to Improve International Relations

The Language of Art and Music is an international symposium taking place in Berlin from 17th – 20th February 2011 to explore the potential for art and music to provide a neutral platform for cultural exchange. Artists and practitioners from the fields of film, performance art, literature, and music, will share their perspectives alongside renowned academics and leading figures from international… Continue

Added by danceart on February 8, 2011 at 12:25pm — No Comments

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