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Dance Studio owners: Are you making this mistake?


The BIGGEST mistake Dance Studios are making in their marketing right now…

Here’s a BIG question for you this week, lovely Dance Informa readers!

When it comes to your studio, are you marketing what you DO or are you marketing what you GIVE? You see, one of the biggest challenges is how to promote your studio in a highly saturated, competitive market when EVERYONE is trying to promote the same thing!

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Every studio offers ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop etc. We need to discover your unique positioning and differentiation in the market.

The wonderful thing is that every studio is different. Some studios are more technique focused. Others give amazing performance opportunities. Whilst some studios pride themselves on individual nurturing and personalized attention.

Really step into the hearts and mind of that parent who is choosing a studio for their child. What are they looking for? What is important to them? How do they want their child to feel? What would turn them off choosing your studio? The more we can understand what your dream student is seeking in a studio, the more we can tailor your marketing message to speak directly to their hearts.

In a nutshell, shifting your marketing message to share what the students will EXPERIENCE at your studio as opposed to what you do in your studio is a wonderful way to connect more with your marketing and start attracting more students.

It’s not about the class itself, it’s about painting a beautifully vibrant picture of how they’re going to feel when they’re in the class.

The studio with the most connection in their marketing will win – and the best thing is that all it takes is a few little tweaks.

In the comments below, share how you describe the experience at your studio…

And, if you’re looking for more guidance on how to craft your studio’s marketing message, the best place to start is in the Free “30 Enrollments in 30 Days” mini course. This course has been designed for studio owners and will walk you through how to rapidly ramp up your registrations. Click here and watch the first video now. 

Here’s to more passion, more profits and more purpose in your studio!
All my best,

By Chantelle Bruinsma Duffield of

How to do a Firebird Leap

How to do a “Firebird Leap”

By: The Dance World Editor

To properly execute a Firebird leap you need to do the following…

1. Take a good preparatory plie and use the momentum from that plie to execute the leap.

2.  While pressing your front leg forward with a pointed foot, simultaneously arch your back with arms in an open or closed 5th position and bring the back leg into attitude position.

3. Always finish your landing with proper plie rolling through the feet to prevent injury.


NYC Ballet’s Teresa Reichlen

NYC Ballet’s Teresa Reichlen

By The Dance World Editor

By Gia Kourlas


Teresa Reichlen is a rarity at New York City Ballet, though for more than her angelic face, long legs and soaring jump, which manages to spring up and float in the air like silk. What’s unusual about Ms. Reichlen is that in the arduous quest to become a ballerina at a competitive and grueling company like City Ballet, her delicacy hasn’t turned into brittleness.

Paul Kolnik/New York City Ballet

Ms. Reichlen performing in Balanchine’s “Jewels.”

Since being named a soloist in 2005 she has preserved her poise and attained a new rigor in her technique. “It took me a long time to realize that you can try too hard onstage,” she said after a company class one day last month at the New York State Theater. “Sometimes you just have to settle down. I would always have good shows when I was really tired, and I think it’s because I just did what I had to do.”

She smiled. “Experience is a big thing,” she said, “and I guess I’m starting to finally have some of that after seven years.”

Her height makes her regal authority all the more apparent. Ms. Reichlen can’t hide. She is tall: 5 foot 9 before rising on point. While such stature does leave her out of the running for certain roles, it can also be an advantage. To enhance her dancing with a touch of rubato — a kind of teasing or playing with the music — she uses her elegant limbs to slow down moments or stretch them out like taffy.

Unlike other classical companies, City Ballet traditionally has a fair share of parts for tall women. (Suzanne Farrell, after all, originated many of them.) Since joining the company Ms. Reichlen has performed Balanchine roles in the repertory that are generally reserved for taller dancers or don’t require partnering: memorably the statuesque sexpot in the “Rubies” section of “Jewels,” which she will perform Friday and Saturday nights; Dewdrop in “The Nutcracker”; the second female lead in “Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2”; and the leader of the Wrens in “Union Jack.”

But she is also easing into pas de deux roles. When the company was in residence at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last summer, she performed “Stars and Stripes,” opposite both Stephen Hanna and Charles Askegard, and last month she again danced the Sugarplum Fairy in “The Nutcracker.”

“She’s so tall, but it’s not hard to dance with her because she’s so light and right on top of her leg,” Mr. Hanna said. “She doesn’t lean to the right or to the left. She’s very willowy, but the thing that’s great about it is that she has this powerful jump that comes out of nowhere.”

Ms. Reichlen is often cast second or third in roles, often behind another tall dancer, Maria Kowroski, but she doesn’t consider her height a detriment as long as taller partners are available.

“I like to think that short girls have it easier because they have less to move, but I think sometimes I’m just making excuses for myself when things feel too fast,” she said. “I like being tall. It helps to be longer to have better lines. It’s easier to cover space. And a lot of amazing roles are created for tall girls that short people don’t have an opportunity to do, like ‘Rubies.’”

Ms. Reichlen, 23, is equally poised offstage. She’s not prone to making flighty pronouncements about ballet; she’s not a gusher. At Barnard College, where, she estimates, she has almost finished her sophomore year as a part-time student, her probable major is biology. “If I can ever fit those courses into my schedule,” she noted with a sigh.

She began dancing at 3 in her hometown, Clifton, Va., “at a little studio behind a grocery store.” Later, while studying at the Russell School of Ballet in Chantilly, Va., she learned of the City Ballet-affiliated School of American Ballet.

“It was infamous because a few girls had tried out for it, but no one had ever gotten in from my school,” she said. “So I was scared to even try.”

She was accepted after her first audition but put it off for a year, eventually moving to New York at 15 to study at the school. It was then that her growth spurt began. “I probably didn’t stop growing until I was 17,” she said. “But I was going through so many changes as it was, trying to adapt to the technique, that I didn’t even notice it.” In October 2000, she was chosen to join City Ballet as an apprentice. A year later she became a member of the corps de ballet.

Her success at City Ballet has surprised her. Originally she assumed that she would end up at Pacific Northwest Ballet, a company in Seattle that she said is more disposed to hire taller dancers. But ever since she was promoted to soloist, Ms. Reichlen has spent less time worrying about her height than about her performance quality. During the last couple of years she has focused on her projection.

Merrill Ashley, a former City Ballet star revered for her impeccable technique, has lately been working with Ms. Reichlen on her upper body and in building her confidence.

“I think there is a certain reserve there,” Ms. Ashley said. “But as each season goes by, I see her coming out of herself a little bit more. To some extent you just have to get out there and perform. I think she’s aware of the need to add her own personality without being false. It’s not easy for her.”

Ms. Ashley would like to see Ms. Reichlen tackle the coolly mysterious part in Balanchine’s “Emeralds” first danced by Mimi Paul. “It would take advantage of her long lines yet give her a chance to work on other aspects of her dancing, because the role is less about technique and more about presence,” Ms. Ashley said. “Dancers need parts that are other than what’s obvious. You want them to push a little beyond.”

Beginning last summer Ms. Reichlen did just that while performing with Christopher Wheeldon’s company, Morphoses. During the group’s City Center engagement in October it was apparent that she had blossomed, surpassing or at the very least proving herself to be an equal of fellow City Ballet dancers like Ms. Kowroski and Wendy Whelan. Even though Mr. Wheeldon is City Ballet’s resident choreographer, their paths had rarely crossed before he asked her to dance with Morphoses.

“I got a lot from that experience,” she said. “I had never really worked with Chris. He is very passionate about his ballets and getting the best out of his dancers, so he was pushing me a lot — I haven’t been pushed that hard in a while — which was great. He was very good at pointing out why Wendy is amazing, telling me, ‘You should watch this about her.’”

Mr. Wheeldon also told Ms. Reichlen that she needed to have a point of view when she danced. “Honestly, that was a very hard correction for me to take,” she said. “It’s not something you can just fix. Some dancers appear to have a whole story behind a ballet — it’s just the way they dance — and I’m not like that.”

For all the unruffled poise she seems to radiate onstage she doesn’t always experience it herself. “It’s funny because people tell me I look calm,” she said. “But I don’t always feel calm. When I’m the most stressed or angry I become really quiet. Maybe it’s my way of dealing. I don’t know if I hold it all in, but it’s just the way I am — in life and on the stage.”

New York City Ballet continues its winter season at the New York State Theater through Feb. 24; (212) 870-5570,


Top 10 Music Videos of 2014

By The Dance World Editor

By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa

2014 has come to an end, but what a year it was for dance in music videos! It seems the music and entertainment industry really leaned in close to the dance scene to not only garner inspiration for new projects, but to pick artists and feature companies in videos and productions. And of course, the dance scene did what it does best – amaze and inspire.

Now, it’s not like dance in music videos is new – far from it. (Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” and Beyoncé’s popular “Single Ladies” should come to mind, along with dozens of others.) In fact, dance and music videos have had a happy marriage for a long, long time. But like any relationship, it has its ups and downs. Recently, dance has reclaimed its role in the spotlight and actually stolen the show.

Here is Dance Informa’s top 10 list of music videos highlighting dance in 2014, in no particular order.

Sia’s “Chandelier”

This video helped further propel Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame into the limelight when it was released in May to great fanfare. Choreographed by Ryan Heffington, owner of the Sweat Spot in Los Angeles, “Chandelier” presents 11-year-old Ziegler in a skin-colored leotard and a platinum wig acting the part of a fully fledged mental case in a dingy, rundown house. She tilts, turns, jerks, kicks, leaps and pretty much goes crazy – all the while showing off her excellent extension and hyper flexibility.

Taylor Swift in Shake It Off
Taylor Swift as a ballerina in her “Shake It Off” music video. Photo source: Vevo.
Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”
Yet, perhaps the most popular music video of the year is Taylor Swift’s adorable and dorky “Shake It Off”, which has over 436 million (and counting!) YouTube views since the video’s release in mid-August. While an obvious choice for this list because of how much dance is featured, the real highpoint is the diversity of dance. The video cycles Swift through a variety of movement styles, everything from ballet, to hip-hop, to contemporary, to cheerleading, to tutting, to twerking. Directed by Mark Romanek, the video also had the creative input of choreographer Tyce Diorio and featured professional dancers like So You Think You Can Dance alumni Melissa Sandvig, Fik-Shun and hip-hop phenomenon Phillip Chbeeb.

Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t”
Speaking of Phillip Chbeeb, did you see him killing it in this video? Released in early August, this sinewy hip-hop dancer (also known as “PacMan”) shows off his many moves, popping, locking and high stepping in this rags-to-riches saga that was directed by Emil Nava. Perhaps you remember Chbeeb as a contestant on Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance? If not, maybe you saw him in the 2012 movie Step Up Revolution or the latest Step Up All In.
With the guidance of choreography team NappyTabs (A.K.A. Emmy Award-winners Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo), Chbeeb uses dance to convey his journey from a guy down on his luck to one literally swimming in the life of luxury. (Also, shout out to Shaping Sound dancer Justine Lutz who was featured in this video and “Shake It Off.”)

Also, while we’re appreciating English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, we can’t bypass his awesome debut into the world of ballroom in his “Thinking Out Loud” music video. This video stands out for many reasons. First off, Sheeran who usually keeps a relatively low profile not only takes centre stage, but he actually does so dancing! The video, which received 2.7 million views in less than 24 hours, was choreographed by Nappytabs as well. It features SYTYCD Season 10 alum Brittany Cherry as Sheeran’s love interest.
According to Rolling Stone, Cherry actually spent five hours per day secretly training Sheeran for the music video while she was on tour with him earlier this year. His hard work definitely paid off.

The Veronica’s “You Ruin Me”
Australian pop duo The Veronicas released their emotive song “You Ruin Me” off their third studio album in September. The music video, which was filmed on location in Los Angeles and in Sydney’s State Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre, was inspired by ballet, and more specifically, Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film Black Swan.
Directed by Matt Sharp and Tapehead, the video features ballerinas warming up in class and their dodgy instructor, played by choreographer Jason Winters, making some suspect moves on his dancers. While the scenes aren’t necessary filled with great, technically proficient dance sequences, they do bring viewers into the competitive, and sometimes dark, world of professional dance.
The Veronicas performed “You Ruin Me” on Australia’s X Factor in late September and the song was used for Dancing with the Stars on October 30.

Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water”
If Swift’s “Shake It Off” video gets the 2014 award for being the most fun and cutesy, then American Idol winner and country singer Carrie Underwood’s recent video “Something in the Water” gets the award for being the most touching.
“Something in the Water” features Underwood singing her gospel-influenced song surrounded by 12 dancers from Shaping Sound dance company. The dancers, who are outfitted in loose gray/off-white shirts and dresses, beautifully move and turn in ankle-deep water as the lyrics allude to baptism. Choreographed by none other than Travis Wall, this video will give you chills.

Sheena Grobb’s “Get Out Alive”
Another video that is sure to give you chills is this small-budget project for Canadian singer-songwriter Sheena Grobb’s heartbreaking “Get Out Alive.” Choreographed, produced and co-creatively conceptualized by Lindsay Nelko, it features SYTYCD all-stars Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan in a desperate, poignant pas de deux. Be warned that this video may make you want to curl up and eat cho

he Bynars’ “Time vs. Money”
One video that seemed to fly relatively under the radar this year was ballet-infused “Time vs. Money” by The Bynars. Combining ballet with the pop/rock sounds from this Boston-based indie band might seem a little odd and even forced at first, but once you start watching you’ll agree that this video is really quite neat.
“Time vs. Money” features dancers Kirsten Evans and Alex Lantz of Festival Ballet Providence in Rhode Island. The duo performs choreography by the 2009 Youth American Grand Prix Outstanding Choreographer, Viktor Plotnikov.
Conceived and directed by Shaun Clarke, the video’s most notable quality is its lighting. Shot in black-and-white, it uses contrasting bright light and heavy shadow to give it a classic, rock-and-roll feel. That paired with the actual choreography and the confidence with which the dancers deliver it colors it a gloriously punk moment.

OK Go’s “I Won’t Let You Down”
And the most epic music video of the year award goes to OK Go! Released on October 27, this ‘’eye-popping, retro-futuristic video” (as dubbed by Billboard) includes hi-tech scooters, umbrella-wielding dancing schoolgirls and one very large car park. And to make things even crazier, the ambitious video was shot in one continuous five-minute take by drone cameras!
Music video by The Bynars
Still from The Bynars’ “Time vs. Money” music video.
Directed by Kazuaki Seki, the video opens with the Grammy Award-winning four-piece band resting on Honda UNI-CUB scooters. The band members ride the scooters through a school and out into a car park, where all the real magic happens.
What’s most impressive about this massive dance spectacle? How choreographer Furitsukekagyou air:man ensured that each dancer’s umbrella opened, closed and twirled in perfect unison. You truly have to see it to believe it. Just wow.

Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
Lastly, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was released in November. It features two adorable, fancy-footing youngsters in place of the celebrity singers. Choreographed by Lynn Page, known for her work on London’s West End and Broadway’s La Cage Aux Folles, it has the kids dancing and flirting away in a swanky hotel as they lip-sync the lyrics. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing the names Emily Carey and Harry Collett again one day down the road. In the meantime, enjoy this fun little dance number, reminiscent of days long ago when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were hot and everyone wanted to be ballroom dancers on the silver screen.

Choreography by Jasmine Meakin


Choreography by Australian Choreographer Jasmine Meakin AKA Mega Jam.

Mega Jam was started in 1996 in Brisbane Australia by Luis Pinto and Jasmine Meakin.
The concept of Mega Jam is to learn Hip Hop dance styles and other styles of commercial street dancing, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Luis and Jasmine’s Hip Hop styles contain traces of Popping, Locking, Gliding, Krumping, Street Jazz, Breakin, lyrical hip hop and super girly, sexy hip hop!
Learn more about Mega Jam here

megajam Mega Jam- Jasmine Meakin




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