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Last week we looked at how we can make a preteen musical theatre curriculum age appropriate, relevant and relatable. We discussed the many ways in which to provide the dancer (regardless of the level,) the entire experience towards complete comprehension. Well, you can’t have a successful musical theatre curriculum without its most important though….the MUSIC!..........

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Dance Studios are a dime a dozen. Right? In some places you can see one every couple of miles. I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself in passing, what makes this one better than that one? What makes mine the standout amongst all these others? What might these studios be doing that I’m not? Well the truth is, each dance studio really has a personality all its own; with goals and structure that cater to different types of clientele. Parents in the market for a dance studio for their children might be overwhelmed at the selection and wonder the same thing in passing. So, how do you stand out in such a competitive market and demonstrate to be you are the one best suited for their needs? Below are five essential things you can do to start thinking about making your mark in the dance studio industry, how to build that brand and how to maintain longevity and grow in the years to come....

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There are many components to teaching musical theatre effectively; technically, stylistically, historically and conceptually. This is especially true when introducing it to the preteen demographic. This genre is a real love of mine and where my heart is at, so I take great passion in providing my students with complete knowledge in the truest sense; regardless of age or level. The difference between a good musical theatre curriculum and a great one, is providing your dancers not only with the understanding of extracted musical numbers from shows or movies, but having them understand the whole show; music, book and lyrics from beginning to end!. Teaching them the details of who the composer and lyricist was, who the choreographer was, who wrote the script and when and where these musicals were produced will elevate their knowledge to a whole new level (not to mention continue the legacy of passing these musical gems onto future generations.) Providing material which is fun, relatable and appropriate is also key and very often overlooked. If the content is too mature or too out of reach for them, they will never be able to fully grasp the key ideas mentioned about.......

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Sometimes if we’ve been teaching long enough it is inevitable that we go on autopilot from time to time. Like our students, we can sometimes coast, phase out, be distracted and ride out the already known. We’re human. But, our ultimate responsibility is to model teaching so that learning is exciting and ignites a passion to progress.

We want our dancers prepared with a comprehensive understanding of their craft; both kinesthetically and mentally. Sometimes, we just need to shake things up in dance class both for ourselves and our dancers so that we stay present and alert, not to mention challenged. We also need to recognize that learning technique is a long process, sometimes with a spurt of growth but usually with small developments over time with good training.

Below are some simple strategies to be mindful of to help both you the teacher and your dance students. Making subtle adjustments to the way you teach will have a direct impact on the way they learn. The more they learn, the more they retain and the more they retain the more they will progress!

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