The Great Costume Debate: The Controversy Over Age Appropriateness

World-Class Talent Experience

Should something be done about revealing costumes in competitive dance? Some feel that total freedom of expression must be upheld, others think competitions should implement penalties & restrictions. Shawna David looks at the issues and tries to find middle ground.

Put Your Routines “In the Pocket”

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Dance teachers, have you ever had a great piece of music, but for some reason, your dancers’ timing just always seemed to be a little off? Armed with an iPod Touch or an iPhone, and an application (app) that costs less than $5, you can dial in the perfect tempo, matching your routines to your dancers’ ideal pacing.

How To Nurture Positive Rivalry in Competition and Dance at Home

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How dance students feel, interpret, and react to competition, is often a reflection of how competition is perceived and valued at home. Learn how to discuss the purpose of competition with your child, encourage excellence and debrief after a competition, and offer unconditional positive support so that his/her experience is a healthy one.

My First-Time YAGP Experience

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Alison thought the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition was only for dancers who were one step shy of becoming a professional, not for girls like herself who were serious about training, but with so much left to learn. Little did she know she was about to experience YAGP firsthand and share the preparation, expectations, and emotions of the event with you.

Working With A Music Editor

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Jason Marquette returns with more tips as you prepare music for recitals and competition. This time he helps you save time, money, and frustration when hiring someone to edit your music.

How Much Dance Should My Child Be Taking? – Money and Value

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You may still have concerns about your investment in dance training. Your child is busy, taking hours of dance class per week, and you are wondering, “Is all of this money going toward the right things? Is my budding dancer getting what he or she needs for the best value?”

How Much Dance Should My Child Be Taking? – The Equation


If your child is asking, investigate the reasons she wants to take a new or additional dance class. Costume style, choreography, musical accompaniment, or maintaining friendships may be no less valid or less important to her than the desire to enhance her skills. Dance should be fun, too! Do not devalue or brush away these motivations, they are part of the equation.

When Is Too Much Not Enough? — The Truth About Well-Rounded Dancers


Experience and exposure in a variety of dance styles is important for creating versatile dancers and may even be a necessity for aspiring professionals. Being well-rounded in dance is a good thing. Exposure to different dance forms, starting at a young age, is a great thing. So where’s the myth? It lies in the misplaced emphasis on experience and omission of training.

Crafty Ideas: Recital Gifts For Your Teacher

Great teacher gifts

End-of-year performances dominate dance studios between April and June. It is a busy time and parents and students are often left scrambling to find just the right thank-you gift for their teacher. Gifts for teachers need not be expensive. In fact, I don’t know any teacher who would not cherish a simple thank-you letter from the heart! However, there are plenty of cute, easy, and useful craft ideas online.

Helping Dancers Deal With Disappointment

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Parent your child through this setback and support them in becoming a more resilient and confident human being. When your child is faced with a letdown, you have a great opportunity to encourage your son or daughter to face and rise above the obstacles that come their way. It may not feel like a gift but it is.

How To Discuss Problems With Your Studio Director and Be Heard


If you are hoping to discuss changes with a teacher or director, follow this plan for making your approach. 1. Take a breath 2. Develop an argument 3. Time your approach 4. Buffer your complaint 5. Be willing to listen 6. Be willing to walk away

Parents, Which Type of Helicopter Are You?

Blogger, Vicki Nelson recently did a three-part series about “Helicopter Parents.” As I read the articles, the dreaded term “stage mom” came to mind. Parents of university-bound students are not the only ones who “hover.”