Candy Alternatives for Halloween Class

As Halloween approaches, we often do special activities at my studio or allow students to wear costumes.  Many teachers like to reward their classes with a special treat, which historically has been candy.  I feel that as dance teachers, we have a responsibility to celebrate healthy choices and I like to search out alternatives to candy–especially with all of the food-allergies and preferences that my students have.

Coloring Pages
Such an easy and low-cost “treat”

Glow Bracelets
This is my choice for this year – trying something new and potentially something that they kids can take with them on Halloween.  I found glow bracelets on Amazon for $8.79 for 100 bracelets, so for under $20 I was able to get enough to cover my 16 weekly classes.

Stickers, Stamps & Temporary Tattoos
My elementary-aged kids love stickers, stamps and tattoos.  Not sure if their parents love them as much, but its fun to do a grab-bag of these items.

Rolls of 500 Halloween Stickers:  $9.99
72 Glitter Halloween Temporary Tattoos: $5.50
24 Halloween Stamps:  $7.95


“Haunted House” Class Picture
This one is fun to do with the older kids or students who love social media… the “Haunted House” class picture – take a group picture but tell your students to make a face like they are going through a haunted house – leads to lots of funny faces!

Slap on a filter/background and send to your students and watch them share🙂

More Ideas For Those Blessed in the Craftiness Department (THANK YOU PINTEREST)

Do you do something special with your classes for Halloween?  Do you hand out any treats?  Share in the comments!

Summer Playlist 2015

summerplaylistHappy Summer!  Time to refresh those playlists with some fun summer tunes from the Billboard Top 40!  Here is a list of songs I’ve mixed into my classes to keep them feeling updated.

That’s How We Do – Teen Beach Movie 2:  Super fun and upbeat song – would be great for a tap or jazz combination – currently using it in my 7-10 year old tap class

Drop That – Jacob Plant:  A nice funky electronic beat – fun for tap or hip hop – totally instrumental

You Know You Like It – DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge – have been using this in teen tap

This Feeling – L’Tric: A fun feel-good song – great for warm-ups

I Don’t Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) – Flo Rida: My other go-to warm-up song

Fire Under My Feet – Leona Lewis:  A nice moderate tempo for tap or jazz

Fun (feat. Chris Brown) – Pitbull:  Another moderate tempo

Lean On (Remixes) [feat. MØ & DJ Snake] – EP – Major Lazer:  Steady beat for across the floor combos for older students

Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix Radio Edit) – Omi:  This song.  I have a love-hate relationship with it.  The kids love it and it has a nice calypso-y feel to it that makes it fun for tap, so I had to include it.  Be warned – this will be the song that plays over and over in your head when you go home for the night.

Rude (Acoustic) – MAGIC!:  This is from last summer, but I have been loving using the acoustic version for tap.  Such a fun little groove.


What songs have you been obsessed with this summer?

NMM: Promise Land – Hannah Miller

You know how you start on YouTube looking up a ballet step and then you end up down a weird alley of YouTube and don’t know how you got there?  Or is that just me?  Anyway, this time I ended up at drone videos of Chernobyl (what?), but at least I got this haunting song out of it.  Happy Monday!

iTunes link to Promise Land by Hannah Miller

And here is the drone video of Chernobyl:

New Music Monday: Maps (Maroon5 cover) by Madilyn Bailey

Loving this cover by Madilyn Bailey of the Maroon 5 song, Maps.  I’ve been using it with my advanced tappers for a little combination.  My tappers call this style “lyrical tap” – when you tap to a song that could traditionally be for contemporary or lyrical.   I like that this song has a lot of pauses in it which are fun to fill with tap!

Grab this song on iTunes

Enjoy – happy Monday!


Fall 2014 Teen Playlist

We interrupt this renovation saga with a playlist!  I was updating my playlists for the fall and here are a few new songs my teen/college classes have been enjoying.  I say “teens” because some of these songs have some questionable PG-13 subject matter, so use with caution (as far as I know, there are no swear words).

Stretching Songs

Upbeat Songs

Lyrical/Contemporary Songs

How has the beginning of the new dance year been for you?  Found any new music?  Share in the comments!

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Renovation… Unsteady Progress

A few weeks into June, with nothing other than a new wall accomplished, I admitted to myself that having the room ready for July summer classes was a bit ambitious.  Could we have held classes with a boombox on the carpet?  Sure.  Was that the first impression of the new and exciting space I wanted to give my clients. Uh, absolutely not.

So, onto painting.  But wait!  First the other studio location has to have a pipe burst!  And flood the entire space!  And ruin lots of things!  And require insurance inspectors and summer camp last-minute changes and new rugs and potentially ruined marley!  Because chaos!

::deep breath::

So that was a fun weekend of clean-up and tears and then realizing that a pipe bursting during summer and destroying a bunch of old costumes is not the worst thing in the world, even if it is inconvenient and a pain to clean up (imagine if it happened a week before recital and ruined THOSE costumes?!).  It is also just a bit disconcerting to find your entire space covered in water.



But, back to the matter at hand – oh yeah, I was supposed to be painting, not mopping up water.

And look, a new window!

It turned out, when picking out window sizes that this size was the best one to go with because any bigger was a big jump in expense.


Making progress…

To Do List

X Connect spaces

X Build waiting room wall

X Waiting room window

X Paint waiting room

X Paint dance room

– Install dance floor

– Furnish waiting room

– Buy sound system

– Ballet barres in dance room

– Order and install mirrors

Next up… flooring!

The Renovation Begins

So the first task in the New Space, was to connect the new space to the old space.

A refresher on what we are trying to accomplish:

So I began renting the space in June with the very, very VERY optimistic goal (did I mention VERY optimistic) of having it ready in time for July summer classes.
My contractor and I went over what I wanted and he gave suggestions and little tweaks that made more sense with things like electrical outlets and windows and building code.
And then on June 2 (five days before our end of year recital) the work began!
It was amazing how quickly the wall went up – they framed it out and had the sheetrock up in no time.  The hole is for the observation window eventually.
Looking through the “window” into the dance room.

And connecting the two space (new space is purple, existing studio is beige).

Ahhh!  I don’t know why, but when I saw this, I started getting super excited!  It’s real, it’s real!
Looking back through at the narrow waiting room.

So that was pretty much it with the professional help other than the mirrors and window installation, the rest is on me and my husband!

To Do List

X Connect spaces

X Build waiting room wall

– Waiting room window

– Paint waiting room

– Paint dance room

– Install dance floor

– Furnish waiting room

– Buy sound system

– Ballet barres in dance room

– Order and install mirrors

Next up… painting!