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Getting young dancers to read is just as important as getting them moving at a young age to prompt an active lifestyle and energized mind. So why not combine these two great activities with some literature in dance?! Below are some of my favorite children's books on dance that will inspire your dancers and take them on a journey through the pages in these books as they leap into their next class! Teachers and studio owners, these are also wonderful additions to your studio or class library as well!

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Everyone here at the Dance Teacher Web Family would like to pause for a second and take the opportunity to thank you all for another wonderful and innovative year. It has been an eventful one for us and we're sure it has been for you too! It's not hard to believe another full year has gone by so quickly. Every year though, time seems to go by faster and faster. With that, we have all grown with the changes that have come our way, adapted to new circumstances and persevered through obstacles. It is the time of year however, when we should all be able to take a breath for a moment, slow down and enjoy the fruits of our labor and remember why we do what we do.

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With the holidays upon us, this is a great time for studio owners to tap into the joyous spirit that is radiating inside your doors and bond with students and faculty; building on the feeling of camaraderie, team work and the unified studio family you all are lucky to have. During the year, everyone gets so wrapped up on deadlines and choreography that we sometimes forget to stop and be grateful for each other, the gift of dance we receive every day and our "second home."

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Teachers, we all know, finding the right music for our pieces can take weeks and weeks to find the song that inspires us to create movement, is original and age appropriate. We also know that sometimes that research can lead us in circles with hours on end navigating ITunes only being led to another song with no end in sight! Well rest assure because **Rolling Stone Magazine** has just released the Top 50 Albums of 2013! Hopefully it will inspire you to try something new and eclectic and give you a little boost in your music research selection! Click the link below to be musically inspired! Happy choreographing!

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Re-Auditioning your Company Members Yearly...Do, or Don't?

Directors, what is your view on re-auditioning your company members every year? It is definitely food for thought and in my experience an important essential to studio business. The most obvious reason is it gives new dancers an opportunity to move up from either apprentice, junior company, performance groups, etc. It also gives new dancers to the studio an opportunity to audition and get a sense of what the commitment entails; i.e. how "company" works.

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Inspiring the Uninspired

As choreographers, our students look to us as the beacon of creativity. Particularly at the start of a new year, dancers await the delivery of new pieces, concepts, movement and music. It is a very exciting time of the year for them when they anticipate where they will stand in formation, whether they will have a featured part, how the choreography will look and feel on their body, whether they will be chosen to partner and how the overall vision will take shape. What happens though when this role model of inspiration is uninspired? What do we do when the ideas are not flowing, the choreography is stuck and there is no end in sight?

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Putting Dancers on Pointe: The Real Truth

Determining when a dancer is ready to go on pointe is an extremely important decision in terms of a dancer's advancement. While many ballet dancers will be eager to get their first pair of pointe shoes, many don't realize until they are up on pointe, how much dedication is involved, how much work and discomfort actually coincide with it and how strong the body and mind need to be to move onto this level.

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I am a Dance Mut...and I'm Okay With That

During my professional training and performance career, I was lucky enough to have an eclectic and vast range of the genres I was exposed to. I started off with strict ballet training in my youth and throughout my teenage years, fell in love with modern in college, focused on jazz and musical theater in my early twenties, etc. Because of this, I was a desirable hire at auditions; well-rounded and I could do almost anything because I was well versed (except tap, I was never a tapper!)

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Well..... What can I say except WOW! What an incredible few days it's been here at our Dance Teacher Web Live Conference & Expo! So much to recap, but I must start with how electric the energy has been here at the conference! Everyone from the faculty to the attendees to our wonderful staff have been buzzing with enthusiasm, positivity and readiness! It's really been so exciting and inspiring to come in and teach and share with everyone.... and it keeps getting better year after year!

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