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

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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?

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!

Summer Moving, Happened So Fast

Summer moving, havin’ a bla-a-ast!

Summer?  In October?  Ok, its been a crazy last few months – but I finally have had some time to write about my summer adventures!  Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your school years – I’ve missed blogging and am happy to get back to it.

A little background – I have two studio locations, with the smaller location having one dance room. We are in a strip of businesses and we are currently the second-to-last unit from the end. The last unit on our end used to be rented by a Curves (workout for women), but the owner decided to move on and the space went up for lease last January.  It sat vacant for a few months and I looked at the space, did some calculations, negotiated the price and by June, we were in contract!

It may sound like I jumped in quickly, but in reality, I tried to make sure it was a smart decision, talked it over with just about everyone I could think of who could give me some perspective and triple-checked my break-even calculations.

So here is a super short tour of what we started with, and I apologize for the poor quality cellphone pictures:

That is standing in the front of the building, looking towards the back. The doorways back there lead to a utility closet (furnace / AC units) and bathroom.

And here is standing in the back by the bathroom and looking at the front.  Our existing space is to the right (“through” the purple wall). Windows look out onto the sidewalk and parking lot and there is an exterior door to the left.  Also strangely located air conditioner to the left and yellow ladder, which did not come with the space, much to my husband’s disappointment.

Here is a floorplan to help visualize. The new space is in purple:

So as you can see, the purple Curves space is a loooong room, but with a lot of potential!  And a lot of PURPLE.  Purple walls, purple trim, purple rug. What’s hard to see in the photos is that the ceilings are actually 10′ tall – which is awesome!
After brainstorming, our potential game-plan into turning this into a functional dance studio was this:
1) Divide the space and create a waiting area – one of the biggest struggles of our existing space was the waiting room was very narrow and small.  It was impossible for anyone with a stroller to enter and would be crazy when one class was leaving and another arriving.  I wanted to make the new waiting room a little bit deeper to help fix this problem.
 
2) Adding connecting doorways – we needed to connect the two spaces together, by joining the waiting rooms and in another spot.  In the waiting room, I wanted an open doorway to make the rooms feel very open and encourage overflow from the narrow waiting room into the larger one.
I also wanted to a door connecting the two studios, but <SPOILER ALERT> apparently the wall between the two studios was filled with bricks?!  My contractor found this to be annoying and confusing (as did I).   The only other place that had just sheetrock separating the two spaces was all the way in the back through the furnace closet.  Not ideal, but as Tim Gunn says, we made it work.

I know you are anxious for beautiful before and after photos, which I PROMISE will happen, but in another post!

In Defense of the Dance Major

Really well-written post about the benefits of dance and why some students choose to major in a field that might not benefit them the most economically. Brava!

shannondoolingdances

after the rain After the Rain – the first piece I choreographed at DeSales University, in 2005

Several months ago, I heard two interesting reports from NPR’s Planet Money team that focused on college majors and jobs – why people decide to pursue particular tracks of studies and the careers they hold as a result  As might be expected from a program entitled “Planet Money,” both of the these reports focused heavily on the economics of such decisions. Specifically, “What’s Your Major” took a look at the relationship between college majors and salaries, and the title of “Why Women Like Me Choose Lower Paying Jobs” pretty much says it all.

One topic that came up often as the various economic experts tried to justify why someone wouldn’t choose a more lucrative college major and career was “passion.” On some level, I think that is absolutely true. Some of us do make such…

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Happy New Year & My Favorite Smoothie

IMG_5672Happy New Year, people of the Internet!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Mine was filled with traveling and family and friends and a nice break from the studio.

A lot of us make resolutions this time of year that have to do with healthier living, eating better, and creating habits to lead to wellness.  I’ve been wanting to share my favorite smoothie with you all for a while and I thought this was the perfect time!

My first instinct in the morning is to grab some cereal or toast or something bread-y and this is a quick alternative that still tastes good and starts my mornings off with some fruit.  Hope you enjoy it!
Here’s what you’ll need:

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