I spent part of last week in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona for a dance educators seminar and it was fantastic! I attended Rhee Gold's Dance Life Teacher Conference five years ago and walked away with so much information. When I came back this time, I knew I would be getting another inspiring experience and I wasn't wrong.
Dance Life Teacher Conference is usually held every other year but there was a hiccup last year causing a three year gap since the last one. It seemed everyone was thrilled to be back at again!
I find that this particular conference is strongly based on an educator's perspective. The faculty are seasoned with years of experience working studios, owning studios, and teaching dancers to all ages; Basically women and men who have a great deal to offer current dance teachers currently in the trenches. There is a great blend of dance classes, lectures on specifics such as props, recitals, behaviors and even learning disabilities plus there is a whole business track for owners and office managers.
While I'm not necessarily teaching young ones on a daily basis, I am working with future dance teachers and I always need more information and resources to pass on to my students. Conferences like this are concentrated opportunities to double down on that information. What I found were some good reminders, a few new suggestions, and a great deal of reaffirmation in what we're teaching already.
Aside from all this great material, I got to meet a ton of wonderful teachers from all over including New Zealand and those ladies were amazing dancers! The best part, for me, was that all of us teachers got to actually dance for ourselves and I mean dance. Full out, no marking and it felt good, y'all! When you get an opportunity to move for yourself, you take full advantage of it and I certainly did. I'm still feeling it a bit, but who cares, I got to dance!
I also ran into so many alumni and friends which made the experience that much sweeter!
Trying to share every piece of information would be impossible but if you're looking for some new resources, try looking up:
Julie Kay Stallcup - Focuses on working with younger dancers, faculty of LA Dance Magic, studio owner in southern California so so much more!
Tricia Gomez - Founder of Dance in a Box, crafted the Rhythm Works Certification system, choreographer for Disney and a ton more!
Billy Griffin - Awesome musical theater choreographer in NYC, teaches at Broadway Dance Center and Steps. He was a blast--check out his instagram!
Rhee Gold - Of course, if you weren't familiar with him before now, definitely get to know the man. He's a vast amount of knowledge and well worth the time getting to know.
There are so many more, but I truly think you need to experience the conference for yourself!
If you're looking for an opportunity to brush up on your skills, get some new material, be inspired by other teachers, this could be the conference for you. If I owned a studio, I would definitely attend again with my own faculty and staff. Apparently next year is in Atlantic City, a whole new spot--maybe this is the year for you!
Definitely enjoyed my time in Arizona and have plenty to take back with me this school year. Now, it's time to get focused for the next project, setting A Chorus Line!