2005 Activity Calendar
Bachko, Katia, Lewis, Kristin, Dance Teacher
27 class and studio activities to spice up your year
* Have students make two or three resolutions detailing their dance goals, whether it's perfecting switch leaps or developing the strength to do relevé arabesques on pointe without the barre. Meet with each student to discuss how realistic his or her goals are and how they can be reached in the upcoming year.
* If many of your students need head shots and photographs for auditions, it may be cheaper (and easier) to bring a photographer to your studio for a flat fee. Parents can share the cost, and you can help coach students on technique during the shoot.
* Every little girl wants to be the Sugar Plum Fairy, and now is the chance! For your post-Nutcracker classes, play music from the variation or the pas de deux and let little ones dance their dream role.
* For Valentine s Day, skip the candy hearts and other predictable festivities. Instead, pair students as "valentines" in class and let them choreograph duets using steps they have learned. Limit length to four counts of eight and let each group share their creations at the end of class.
* The Academy Awards will be presented on February 27. Play up the Tinsel Town theme by screening famous movie dance scenes. From the classic West Side Story to the more recent Center Stage, your students will have a blast emulating the moves on the screen. (K-12 teachers can offer extra credit for choreographing a dance "in the style of" a particular movie or for writing a report analyzing the role of choreography in the movie.) For a glamorous touch, serve sparkling white grape juice to stand in for champagne.
* Teach an Irish jig for St. Patrick's Day! If budget permits, hire an Irish dance teacher to guest.
* This is the month when households begin thinking about spring cleaning. Take advantage by holding a studio-sponsored flea market or yard sale in your parking lot for parents to unload their wares. To advertise, put an ad in the local newspaper, if it fits your budget, or just hand out brochures. On the day of the event, distribute flyers about your school's offerings and upcoming performances.
* Don't let your students get the better of you on April Fool's. Bring your own mischief to class and teach combinations backward to enhance memory skills. Here is a fun brainteaser for across the floor: Brisé, assemblé, entrechat cinq, assemblé. For an extra challenge, add battu and then reverse.
* Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and meet your students at a local park for "Class on the Grass." Students will enjoy the feeling of dancing outdoors and you will be able to attract potential customers by taking your class into the community. Be sure to bring studio brochures to hand out to intrigued passersby.
* Don't miss National Dance Week 2005, which runs from April 22 to May 1. Enlist your older students to create an eye-catching window display with pictures and decorations, or position costumed dancers on the sidewalk to distribute flyers about NDW activities. Visit www.nationaldanceweek.org to see how others are celebrating.
* Mother's Day is a great time to schedule a parent observation week. Teach your students a dance to Cole Porter's "Unforgettable" in honor of the moms, but keep it a surprise. If your class isn't too large, give each dancer a couple of counts to make up a Mom-inspired solo.
* Give parents an alternative to static school portraits with Candid Camera Day. Allot 15 minutes at the end of class for parents to come in and snap some shots, but be sure to prepare students not to get distracted. You can even make it into an exercise on the importance of not breaking character onstage, no matter what else is going on in the wings or the audience.
* Planning a party or reception after your annual recital or performance? Bring scrapbooking materials so that dancers can get to work archiving their favorite moments. …