Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

Dear Katie: How Can I Keep Up My Dance Training Without Breaking the Bank?

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I've been studying ballet seriously and hope to be a professional dancer. But my family doesn't have a lot of money, and my parents recently told me I need to cut down my dance class schedule. How can I do that without harming my training?

Lily


Dear Lily,

There's no way around it: Dance training is expensive. But there are ways to help ease the financial burden.

First, many schools will provide financial aid for students who can demonstrate need. Some also have work-study programs that allow students to do things like answer phones at the front desk a few times a week in exchange for free classes. Never be afraid to ask about those options. Talk to an administrator to find out what your school's aid policy is.

You can also supplement your training outside of the studio for free. There are many videos on YouTube that allow you to take class in your living room. While the internet should never be your only educational source, instructional videos can really help you keep up your technique on days you can't get to class at a studio.

And make the absolute most out of the classes you do get to take. Keep a notebook and write down all the corrections you hear—whether they're given to you or a classmate—so you can think about and work on them at home. If the teacher allows it, record yourself during center, so you can analyze the footage later and see how you might address your weak spots.


For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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