November 2007

Full Circle

Former Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago dancer and teacher Jon Lehrer sets out on his own in upstate New York.

Hot Heads

A step-by-step guide to creating updated versions of three favorite hairstyles

All in Good Taste

Choosing appropriate costumes and music for performance

Costuming on a Shoestring

K-12 teachers share their creative and thrifty solutions for dressing students for the stage.


New costumes for the upcoming season

It Takes a Town

Miami-based studio Dance Town stands out for its focus on ballroom training and family values.

Billy Siegenfeld

The creator of Jump Rhythm technique wants dancers to rediscover the primal joy of movement.

Parlez-Vous Ballet?

Improve your students' dancing by helping them learn the meaning behind the movement.

A Quiet Approach

A new technique helps students concentrate better in the classroom.

How Am I Doing?

Strategies for evaluating yourself as an instructor

Between the Steps

Techniques for smoothing students' transitions

Performance Planner: In the News

Use current events to inspire your next recital.

Prof Swap

Higher-ed faculty talk about why teaching on other campuses is good for them—and their students.

What a Production!

Spectacular sets take hard work, team effort and careful planning.

Ask the Experts

Advice on common recital challenges: handling ticket sales and the intermission debate


Teachers Trending
Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo courtesy Dance With Me

Listening to Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy riff together makes it crystal-clear why each has mastered the art of partnering in the ballroom—they've long been doing this dance in real life as brothers and business partners.

Along with their "Dancing with the Stars" pedigree (and a combined three mirror-ball trophies between them), Maks and Val (and their father, Sasha) also run Dance With Me, a dance company hosting six ProAm Dancesport competitions annually and running 14 brick-and-mortar studio locations across the U.S.

Last year, the pair launched an online component, Dance & Co. The online video platform offers beginner through advanced instruction in not only ballroom but an array of other styles, as well as dance fitness classes from HIIT to yoga to strength training. "DWTS" fans will recognize such familiar faces as Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater, along with Maks and Val themselves.

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Teaching Tips
@jayplayimagery, courtesy Kerollis

In the spring of 2012, Barry Kerollis was abruptly forced into treating his career as a small business. Having just moved cross-country to join BalletX, he got injured and was soon let go.

"I'd only ever danced with big companies before," the now-freelance dance-teacher-choreographer-podcaster recalls. "That desperation factor drove me to approach freelancing with a business model and a business plan."

As Kerollis acknowledges, getting the business of you off the ground ("you" as a freelance dance educator, that is) can be filled with unexpected challenges—even for the most seasoned of gigging dancers. But becoming your own CEO can make your work–life balance more sustainable, help you make more money, keep you organized, and get potential employers to offer you more respect and improved working conditions. Here's how to get smart now about branding, finances and other crucial ways to tell the dance world that you mean business.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Oleson

American dance educator Shannon Oleson was teaching recreational ballet and street-dance classes in London when the pandemic hit. As she watched many of her fellow U.S. friends pack up and return home from their international adventures, she made the difficult choice to stick with her students (as well as her own training—she was midway through her MFA at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance).

Despite shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, she was able to maintain a teaching schedule that kept her working with her dancers through Zoom, as well as lead some private, in-home acro classes following government guidelines. But keeping rec students interested in the face of pandemic fatigue hasn't been easy.

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