Teaching Tips
Father-daughter dance. Photo by Lisa Lee, courtesy of Dance Academy USA

Your year-end recital is your studio's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not only is it the time for your dancers to celebrate what they've accomplished during the year, it's your opportunity to demonstrate to parents firsthand the value of a dance education. A successful recital can also grant your school an influential role in the local community. Whether a prominent conservatory or a small-town studio, and whether your dancers win competitions or take classes once a week, your year-end recital is the chance for your dancers—and your program—to shine.

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Teaching Tips
Photo courtesy of Koelliker

Sick of doing the same old stuff in technique class? Needing some across-the-floor combo inspiration? We caught up with three teachers from different areas of the country to bring you some of their favorite material for their day-to-day classes.

You're welcome!


Nick Lanzisera: Millennium Dance Complex, Edge Performing Arts Center and Transcend Dance Convention

Go-to across-the-floor combo (perfect for a teen convention room!)

Photo by Aidan Gibney, courtesy of Lanzisera

1. Chassé arabesque.

2. Pass through passé and prepare.

3. Double or triple pirouette.

4. Plié chaîné into a sustained fankick, hold.

5. Break into an attitude.

6. Slide into a step, step grande jeté.

"The goal is to do it once normal, and then a second time but with movement quality added."


Karli Koelliker: Dance Academy USA, Cupertino, California

Simple across-the-floor to warm up turns

Photo courtesy of Koelliker

"I love this one because it is super-simple, but works a lot of things. I think sometimes kids just need to go back to basics before diving into really hard turns/tricks/etc. This combo will help them find their center, high relevé and control."

1. Start facing the mirror.

2. In plié (make sure they are working into the floor with strong arms) take four steps (right, then cross behind left, then right then into prep for pirouette) counts 1,2,3,4.

2. Hold passé for counts 5 and 6, then plié with a forced arch, and extend the arms to second on counts 7,8.

3. Repeat the initial four steps in plié facing the mirror.

4. Next, do a single pirouette (very slow and controlled) on counts 5,6, then hold and plié into forced arch with extended arms into second on counts 7,8.

5. Again, repeat the four steps in plié facing the mirror.

6. This time, do a double pirouette on counts 5,6, then stop and hold in forced arch with extended arms on counts 7,8.

7. Finally, repeat four steps in plié facing the mirror.

8. Go for a quad on 5,6,7,8.


Laila Hardman: Technique teacher at Studio C in Boise, Idaho. Founder of London Dance Project in London, England; and owner of The Dance Project SLC in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Favorite technique combination for spotting


"This combination helps dancers perfect spotting and directional changes, while challenging their minds to think."

1. Start with a pas de bourrée on your right foot facing the front.

2. Next, do a half pas de bourrée, which turns your body to face the back and lunge.

3. Single turn to the back with the balance.

4. Repeat steps but start facing the back, and finishing with a lunge to the front.

5. Do one-and-a-half turns to finish facing back.

6. Then do another pas de bourrée + half bourrée to lunge front.

7. Double pirouette to finish front.

8. Finally do another pas de bourrée plus half bourrée to lunge back.

9. Two-and-a-half pirouettes facing front to finish.

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