Dance Teacher all world

Dance Teacher all world

In 2017 with 12 days of inspiration from Dance Teacher to better prepare you, your students and your studio for the year ahead.

In order to be the best teacher for your students, it's important to maintain the best version of yourself. From workout regimens to favorite snacks and books, three teachers reveal what motivates them to stay on top of their game.

Karen Mills Jennings, Michigan-based Flint School of Performing Arts

 Karen Mills Jennings uses the ABT National Training Curriculum to create her lessons plans. Photo by Kadi Reyez, courtesy of Jennings

TEACHING ATTIRE: Capezio dance sneakers, capris ("My favorites are Eurotard"), a Mirella wrap skirt and a turtleneck sweater.

FOR FITNESS: "I try to walk daily, if the weather permits, with my dog Rex. In the winter, it is me on the treadmill and Rex on the couch watching."

 Photo courtesy of Jennings

FOR A QUICK SNACK: Activia yogurt and a strawberry streusel Fiber One bar.

FAVORITE NONDANCE ACTIVITY: "I am a huge Detroit Tigers fan! I am always sad when baseball season is over."

RECOMMENDED READING: Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet, by Gail Grant. "It's the bible of ballet vocabulary. We use it as a textbook and make it available for purchase in our school office."

Joshua Trader, Santa Rosa Dance Theater

 "Ballet isn't going to come over night. You have to be willing to put in the time," says Trader. Photo courtesy of Diana Dumbadse, courtesy of Santa Rosa Dance Theater

FOR FITNESS: "I enjoy a good bike ride to the studio in the fresh air. It's a great workout that doesn't pound the body with high-impact movements."

TEACHING ATTIRE: Solid-colored V-neck shirt, warm-up pants ("My favorites are from Nike and Adidas") and Sansha split-sole canvas ballet shoes.

TRAINING TOOL: "Sometimes I tie students' legs together with a legwarmer (shown is Capezio) so they can practice keeping them together during chaîné turns."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Growing up in San Francisco, everyone learns to appreciate the art of the Mission-style burrito. The debate over which taqueria makes the best one will never end!"

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: YouTube videos of Erik Bruhn. "I want my students to see dancers from different generations. There's something about Bruhn that you don't see anymore and probably never will again. To me, he is the perfect marriage of artistry and technique."

Ashanté Green, The Dance Institute of Washington

"It's my dream job," says Green. Photo courtesy of Dance Institute of Washington

TRAINING TOOL: "I use a book when teaching my students how to do a flat back. It helps determine whether their alignment is correct or not."

MUST-HAVE FITNESS SUPPLIES: Tennis ball, TheraBand, ankle weights and a jump rope for cardio.

FOR AN ENERGY BOOST: Grapes, blueberries, kiwi and bananas. "I try to stay away from processed food, which brings my energy down. I eat a lot of fruit in between teaching."

INSPIRATIONAL READ: Judith Jamison: Aspects of a Dancer, by Olga Maynard. "This book helps the reader understand what it takes to be an artist not just a dancer."

FAVORITE FOOTWEAR: Socks (for jazz), barefoot (for modern) and Grishko ballet slippers.

Teachers & Role Models
Barry Kerollis
From the Male Teacher's Perspective: Should I Teach Hands-On?
I was probably about 15 years old when the director of my local dance school, seeing my drive and ambition, asked me to work as a teaching assistant for one of the main ballet instructors. She asked to meet with me to discuss the details of my new job. She explained what my role was in the studio, expectations of me in the position and more. But as we approached the end of my meeting, I wasn't expecting the conversation to take the serious turn that it did.

Barry Blumenfeld
Ask the Experts: How Can I Integrate Academics into My Dance Classes?
Q: I'd like to integrate some academic subjects into my dance classes this school year. What online resources do you recommend I use to get started?

Deborah Vogel
Ask Deb: My Right Leg Is Longer Than My Left Leg
My right leg is longer than my left leg, and I want to know what I should do in ballet class to avoid exacerbating the hip soreness I feel after class because of it.
There are some common patterns with uneven leg lengths. Generally, dancers like to stand in fifth position with the long leg in back. This is because when the shorter leg is behind, the front knee will want to bend to square off the hips. It's also very common in everyday standing to shift and stand on the shorter leg and bend the knee of the longer leg. I see most leg-length challenges happening at the barre, when you can use your hand to try to force a square pelvis and evenly balance between the two legs.

Putting a heel lift under the shorter leg will not only help dancers work more symmetrically, but it will help spinal curves straighten, help shoulders become even and allow dancers to feel like they are standing evenly on both feet.

If you have a known leg-length problem, I would encourage you to seek some advice from a physician or physical therapist to see if putting a lift in your soft slipper and street shoes would be useful. They will evaluate your skeletal alignment with and without the lift and determine if a correction is needed. I suspect your chronically sore hip muscles would feel better, too.

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

Dance Buzz
Betsy Farber
Dec. 19, 2017 03:27PM EST
Gus Solomons jr Gets Candid About Performing in His 70s
"My body is my friend; my body is my enemy," says Solomons Jr. Photo by Kyle Froman
Despite Gus Solomons jr being 79 years old, he still relishes in the joy of performing. In a recent episode of The New York Times' "The Daily 360" series, Solomons gets real about his aging body and what he learned from choreographer Merce Cunningham.

Dance Teacher all world Dance Teacher all world Reviewed by by Dance GURU on December 21, 2017 Rating: 5

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