Farewell, Dance Advantage

To friends and readers all over the world,


It is with a heavy heart that I write DA’s final post. Those of you closest to me may have suspected this day would come. I began Dance Advantage six years ago with no inkling of where it would take me and I am so proud that it’s become a resource for the dance community.

Over the past few years, changes in my life have made the site more difficult to administer. I teach, I care for my children, I manage my home, I freelance. Through it all, I’ve fought to make time for DA in my schedule and surrendered hours and hours of sleep in order to check off the mounting number of tasks required of me as editor and contributor of a growing site.

My decision has not come lightly, and I know that many of you will be disappointed. However, the time has come for me to move forward on a new path. Don’t worry, our former posts will remain at this domain for as long as I can maintain it.

I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and inspired me through the years, and who stand by me now as I make this difficult decision. I have appreciated our time together more than you could ever know.

With love,

Dance and dream out loud,




April Fools!

Was that mean? Or, did you totally know I was pulling your legwarmers?

Dance Advantage isn’t going anywhere. I repeat, this is not our final post – far from it. It’s just our… 813th.

Okay, parts of that letter are actually true. First of all, I really would like to say THANK YOU! I’m quite sure that I have the smartest, most creative readers in the universe. And, yes, more hours than I can even calculate have been spent working on Dance Advantage – my own, and that of our contributors and our friends. Growing has its pains but Dance Advantage hasn’t been a pain at all. In fact, I honestly love what I do.

Stepping out on this limb six years ago (yes, it’s our blogiversary!) is possibly the best thing I’ve EVER done, aside from giving birth to two fantastic children.

What an amazing journey.

There are over 5,000 comments on our posts and almost none are SPAM. I know because, well, remember those mounting tasks I wrote about?

And, did you know that since 2009 (when I actually started counting in earnest), DA has had 1.4 million visits? I know Facebook gets like 600 times that in a day, but hey, for an independent dance site, we’re doing okay!

Climbing stats and number of visits at Dance Advantage




What are the musts to keep a dance blog going for six years?

Two things:

1. Love it.

2. Stick with it.

That’s what I’ve done so far with dance and with dance blogging, and neither pursuit has let me down so far. Instead, I’m continually blessed and fulfilled by what they bring to my life.

How has DA helped you in your dance life? Tell us in the comments.Even though you’ve given me a lot, I’m humbly asking if you’d honor me with just a few words in the comments.

I’d like to know if Dance Advantage has ever helped you with something in your dance life. Yes or No?

If you can, elaborate on ways or instances that it has.

I’m asking because it will highlight more ways I can help you in the future.

Again, thank you. Here’s to another six years!

24-Week Toddler Curriculum Giveaway

Maria of Maria’s Movers has been writing for Dance Advantage for two years, bringing wonderful advice and years of experience to her posts about working with your littlest dancers. We love Miss Maria!

BrookeHere’s just a quick flashback of some of her fantastic work:

Today, we’re thrilled to let you know she’s giving away something special on the site. Read on…

[Read more…]

You. Me. The Big Apple?

In one month, I’ll be in New York City.

A glittering big apple charm with NYC as a backdrop

Photo by Kathryn Connell

I’m headed to the Dance Teacher Summit to get ready for fall teaching, to see some of my online buddies in the flesh, and to make some new friends, too.

Do you plan to be at the Summit?

Or perhaps in NYC between August 5 and 7?

If so…

I’m staging a ‘Friends of Dance Advantage’ meetup.

Nothing formal.

Say hello, introduce yourself, exchange info, stay and chat, or all of the above. I’d just like to connect (however briefly) in person with you for a change.

If you’re going and you’re game, please leave a comment below. Or, you can email me at this address:

Nichelle's email

I’ll iron out the when, where, and how and let you know the details via email.

Hope to see you there!

New Dawn, New Day, New Things Coming Your Way

I’m feeling good over here at Dance Advantage.

Why? Well, this will be my third year running the Top Dance Blog contest. You’ll have the chance to pick which blogs you felt were the best of 2012 this month so stay tuned for that announcement!

Plus, the new year will bring a milestone — Dance Advantage will celebrate its 5th birthday on April Fools’ Day!

There are also cool things happening “backstage.”

The second half of 2012 brought new partnerships, for example.

One of those partnerships included Ovation, a TV network to which, as a frequent viewer, I’ve been happy to bring attention. If you are a dance enthusiast in the U.S., you may know them primarily for their Battle of the Nutcrackers programming, but they bring many fine dance performances and performing arts documentaries to the small screen.

OvationTV - Be MovedOvation is the only network in town dedicated to the arts. You can find them on various cable and satellite providers. Though partnering with them has been exciting, I have a bit of bad news.

Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable recently dropped Ovation from their lineup. Boo!

So, I’ve signed the petition at BringBackOvation.com. Whether you have enjoyed Ovation television via TWC or not, the network could use your support. I know the arts are important to you and that you’d probably like to see a wider variety of dance programming on TV. Please let Time Warner Cable and others know you are unhappy with their decision by joining me in signing this petition. It only takes a few moments. Thank you!

A little disclosure: Though Dance Advantage has previously received compensation for promoting OvationTV and its programming, we are not receiving compensation for the Bring Back Ovation campaign. We just want to use this platform to help out a network that directly supports the arts and artists.

OK, on to some good New Year news!

Another of our recent partnerships has, so far, been developing behind-the-scenes ever since I met Catherine Tully (of 4dancers) in person at the annual Dance/USA conference in San Francisco last June.

4dancers.org logo

In 2013, the relationship is going public as DanceAdvantage.net teams up with 4dancers.org to more fully cover the topics you want and ask for, when you most need them.

We’ve devised a shared calendar for our content to help you read and learn and share in a more focused way. Over the first quarter of the year (January through March), we’ll be diving into the following topics on both sites:

  • Summer Intensives
  • Commercial Dance and Broadway
  • Footwear, Foot care, and Fashion
  • Competitions and Conventions
  • Career and Auditions

These won’t necessarily be the only topics covered during the next few months, but you can expect them to be a major focus.

Each site will still do what it does best, with the same caliber articles and methods of approach you’ve come to expect. We’ve just decided to get ourselves in step.

We think it’s a duet you’ll appreciate!

Got specific questions or concerns in any of the above areas?
Suggest the article topics you’d like to see covered in our comments below!

We are never alone.

The message of Christmas, according to novelist Taylor Caldwell, is that “we are never alone.”

Photo by Armin Vogel

Photo by Armin Vogel

In a short story called My Christmas Miracle, she writes of a low point in her life as a newly single mother, and how her immediate needs were unexpectedly met one Christmas Eve. Through the generosity of others and the aligning of some events, Caldwell concludes that even in the midst of despair, darkness, and doubt, she was never alone. She implies that the God she thought had abandoned her was with her all the time, laying the groundwork for the events surrounding her personal miracle.

There’s no doubt that the recent events in Newtown, CT are a somber reminder of the darkness we are privileged enough to keep at bay most days. We may feel abandoned by goodness, light, and love during these times but, as Fred Rogers’ mother used to say to him when he was a child, we need only “look for the helpers” to realize that we are never alone. Not at Christmas, not ever.

Fred Rogers with the Neighborhood Seen on his show.“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Throughout my life, especially during my own lows (yes, this is the heart-on-my-sleeve moment), there have been “the helpers.” There have also been events, seemingly inconsequential at the time, that later reveal their true significance. Unexpectedly, it’s become clear in light of some personal and difficult times this year, that the beginning of Dance Advantage in 2008 was one such event.

I’m not sure I can accurately express how thankful I am that this groundwork was laid and for the many helpers who have come into my life as a result of my association with Dance Advantage and otherwise.

Though I certainly wish that circumstances were very very different, I am also thankful for the perspective that tragedies like the one in Newtown provide.

I pray that despite differences of opinion and reaction, that we are united in our desire and efforts to be a helper; to show love, generosity, and graciousness even in the darkest of times; to be part of someone’s miracle.

May your own holiday season be filled with helpers, surprising significance, and miracles big and small.

Season's Greetings from Dance Advantage