2017 Song Selections

At the end of each dance season, I like to do a wrap-up of the songs I used during the year – a sort of song “yearbook” for myself.   It’s mostly for me to be able to look back and say “when did I use that song”? , but maybe someone will enjoy it too.

(Here’s a link to 2014,  2013... and 2012… and 2011)

This year’s recital was entitled “A Kaleidoscope of Dance”, but most of my pieces were competition and unrelated to the theme.

Links open in iTunes, unless otherwise noted 🙂

TEENS

TWEENS

CHILDREN

  • Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) – Intermediate Ballet for ages 9-11 – costumes half in black, half in white – was a lot of fun to be dramatic
  • Try Everything (Shakira) – Beginner jazz, ages 6-8 – the kids loved this song so much, they sang the first part of it, even for the show (oh oh oh oh OHH!) – I like the message behind the song as well – don’t be afraid to try something
  • At The Hop (Danny & The Juniors) – Beginning tap, ages 6-8
  • Various selections from Narnia soundtracks – Beginner ballet, ages 6-8, called this “The Golden Coronation” – had girls dressed up in golden tutus as princesses, my gentleman in gold top (the prince).  He had a scepter and “crowned” all of the princesses.  They loved it.  Music was a little hard to follow sometimes.
  • Fairy Dance (James Newton Howard) – beginner ballet, ages 6-8 – I liked how the tempo changed during the song.
  • Three Little Fishies (Finding Nemo soundtrack) – beginner tap, age 4
  • Dinosaur Rock N Roll (Joanie Bartels) – beginner jazz, age 4 – my assistant was the “dinosaur” for this one!  Super cute.
  • Brave (cover by Savannah Outen) – intermediate tap, ages 9-11 – in hindsight this piece was a bit to mature for them to pull off… but they worked hard on it!

RECITAL OPENER 

What was your favorite song that you used from last year? Share in the comments

Advertisements

Guest Post: 5 Things Good Dancers Do Differently

With competition season rehearsals kicking off for our studio, soloists are always looking for ways to outshine the competition.  This week we have an article from guest contributor Wendy Dessler, about what you can do differently to set themselves apart from the pack – enjoy!  Wendy is a “super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.”  Hope you enjoy her insights!

—–

In 2009, it was recorded that there were more than 450 million professional dancers in the world. As with any difficult profession, (and dance is a difficult profession) there are levels of expertise. There are great dancers and good dancers and many dancers who are talented but will never reach their ultimate goal of being the best.
There are certain things that a good dancer does differently than the talented but not spectacular dancer. These are tips they learned from someone better than them and incorporated into their lives. This is how we grow. So, let us give you a few tips to help you see the world of dance through their eyes.
  • Take inventory of your surroundings

Every platform and venue are different. The dancer has been practicing in a particular studio and without even knowing it, in their mind, they know every inch of that studio. They know the distance they have to turn, jump, and move. If there is anything around the floor, they know exactly where it is and as they practice, they calculate those inches.
Before a performance, test out the stage if possible. Take inventory of the area you will be given to perform. This will maximize your comfort and control.
  • Floor, lighting, props, and distractions

Check the floor. Where are the markings? How do your shoes perform on the floor? (Always have rosin with you to treat your shoes if needed) Where are the props and what are they made of? Are there mirrors, spotlights on the floor, sound or other lighting equipment? All of these things could potentially distract the unprepared dancer.
  • Cross-train

 

Incorporate other physical challenges into your life. Build your body and muscles in every area for longevity in your performances. Try swimming, biking, or running in addition to your dancing and you will realize a major return on that investment.
  • Dress appropriately

Take into account what you are doing and use your attire as a tool. If you are practicing, wear your dance attire made for that purpose. You can take advantage of a good discount dance supply store and always have the right tools on hand. If you are auditioning, impress them with your talent and the fact that you know what to wear for every style of dance. Few ballerinas will get a part when they audition in hip-hop clothes.
  • Learn to listen to your body

A good dancer is in tune with his or her body. They understand that food is fuel, but the body needs different fuels for different demands placed upon it. If you are preparing for a long performance, you need protein and lots of it. But, if you have been performing for longer than expected, and you are running out of steam, you need some fast acting carbs. Know how to use food. Chocolate milk is a great instant refuel drink for times like that. Experts agree it is better for you than those expensive protein drinks. It gives you instant energy from the sugars and carbs and protein that rebuilds the muscles.

 

While dancers must eat a healthy diet, do not discount the need for special treats and your ability to draw something good from them. You can use candy as a quick fix in some occasions. There are proven benefits to athletes eating small amounts of candy. However, it’s definitely not wise to go to the candy counter every week. You could order some in bulk and have it around for yourself and your dance friends when needed or wanted. For a supplier, check this out.

Practice these tips and you will soon find yourself growing as a dancer and helping others to reach their goals as well.

——–

Thanks Wendy for your post – Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.

Summer Playlist 2017

Happy (End of) Summer!  Keep the summer vibes going as we move towards fall and update your playlists with fun summer tunes!  Here is a list of songs I’ve mixed into my classes to keep them feeling updated. Most links open in iTunes store – The Dance Buzz is an iTunes affiliate.  All opinions are my own.

Is This Love (LVNDSCAPE & Bolier Remix) – Bob Marley: Instant beach vibes remixed into a good 3-minute warm-up song. (Link to YouTube)

Believer (Kaskade Remix) – Imagine Dragons:  A fun twist on this summer hit.

Thunder – Imagine Dragons: Another one from Imagine Dragons, love this song right now

Someone Who Can Dance – Icona Pop: Another good steady beat for warm-ups

Most Girls – Hailee Steinfeld:  My middle school classes love this song

LovE is LovE is LovE (Benji Schwimmer Edit) – LeAnn Rimes:  Great message, fun song – have been using it for leaps and turns class (link to YouTube)

Celebrate (feat. AJR) – Ingrid Michaelson:  A nice laid-back summer tune

Told You So – Paramore:  Have been using this for tap warm ups in my senior classes. Has a good steady beat.

Switch (feat. Anitta) – Iggy Azalea:  Would be fun for a tap, jazz or hip hop combo.

Location – Khalid:  A nice groove for cool down and slower warm-ups.  I also used it in tap with my seniors for a nice mellow

Link to Open in Spotify

Enjoy!

Life Update

Hi all! It has been quite a while since I last posted…but I had good reason, honest!

I am going to blame my absence of that on the pregnancy, birth and first year with my son.  Babies are good to use as an excuse, right?  Plus they’re adorable (at least I think so):

 

My husband and I welcomed our son to the world in February 2016 and since then, it has been a crash course as I adjusted to my new role as Mom in addition to Wife, Studio Owner, Teacher, Choreographer, etc.  I was a bit overwhelmed, to say the least.

2 weeks old.. already at play practice

Luckily, I have a wonderful support team at my studio and an amazing husband, and of course a darn cute little boy, and we are figuring it out day by day.  But it is only now, as my son reaches the 18 month mark, I am *just* starting to feel like I have some breathing room and can begin to take up my “hobbies” again.  I am still treading water, but lately I actually feel like I am above the surface, instead of coming up for a breath every now and then.

My ‘baby’, helping out at Dance Camp this year… time flies!

I don’t anticipate being able to post nearly as often as B.B. (Before Baby), but I am certainly going to try to step it up from the ZERO posts in 2016 🙂  #goals

So hello again and I am looking forward to re-connecting in the upcoming dance season.  What have you all been up to?

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.

Enjoy!

What songs have you been obsessed with this summer?