2014 Song Selections

Because I’m a huge music / stats nerd, I like to share my song choices from each year. ¬†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 2013’s music list if you’re curious… and 2012… and 2011)

Our first half of our recital had a theme which was “dance inspired by literature or literary themes”, so you may notice that some of my songs are related to books.

Links open in iTunes, unless otherwise noted ūüôā

TEENS

TWEENS

CHILDREN

“I’m Late” – white rabbit tap solo

Loved this one!

Can I get a show of hands for who used an “over popular” song this year and regretted it? ¬†What was your favorite song to choreograph to this year? ¬†Comment below.

Our “Frozen-Inspired” Dance Camp

frozencampheader

 

Our most asked camp question since last December has been “Are you doing a Frozen Camp?” ¬†So due to popular demand… a Frozen (inspired) Camp is what we did!

What works best for our studio is doing a half-day camp, where the students come 4 or 5 days a week from 9am-noon.

Each year we do a different theme and base the week’s lessons around that theme. We hold an impromptu little “show” on the last day of camp for family and friends.

We did the Frozen (inspired) Camp for our Princess age group (ages 4-7) at the end of June, and we actually had to close off registration a week prior because of the demand!  (For comparison, our July Princess Camp was half as full as the Frozen Camp was).

I’m going to break up the posts into a few different sections, and hopefully they will give you some ideas for your own camp.

1) Music (this post)
2) Crafts
3) Games & Activities 

General Camp Agenda

8:50-9:05am – Parent Drop-off and Student Sign-in
9:05-9:30am – Warm-up and “Get to know you” activities – I like doing the Name Game as an icebreaker
9:30-10:00am – Ballet Dance class (learning choreography / technique)
10:00-10:45am – Craft Time
10:45-11:00am – Snack Time
11:00-11:40am – Tap class (learning choreography / technique)
11:40-12:00pm – Games / Cool-down

Dance Camp Playlist

All links open in iTunes – the Dance Buzz is an iTunes affiliate

I know you will all be surprised when I tell you that the most used album during our Frozen-Inspired Camp was… the¬†Frozen album. Shocking, I know! But we also used a few other non-Frozen songs during our camp so that we (the teachers) didn’t go crazy from having songs stuck our head all day!

Songs We Used for Choreography

Songs We Used in Class (for creative movement, games, and technique)

What non-Frozen songs can you think of that would fit in well?

New Music Monday: Torn – Nathan Lanier

Another great instrumental track (see “Let It Go / Winter” mash-up from last month if you want another instrumental), here is “Torn” by Nathan Lanier. ¬†It’s very “epic soundtrack-y” – I’m using it this year for a modern class who requested a dance where half could be good and half could be evil. ¬†It seems to be suiting them well.

I believe it was used on SYTYCD a few seasons back, but haven’t seen it hit the competition circuit too hard yet, so I figured I’d share!

The Dance Buzz is an iTunes affiliate.

New Music Monday: Ballet Goes Pop

Ballet MimeRecently got turned on to this album by Adult Beginner’s ballet music post¬†(side note: if you don’t already read Adult Beginners’s blog, you should because she is awesome and its about ballet and other fun stuff!).

If you’re looking for some new stuff for this year’s ballet class, check it out!

Ballet Goes Pop – Album open in iTunes

Don’t miss frappes to Single Ladies, and grande allegro to I Kissed A Girl, adagio to Someone Like You. ¬†I hope they make another series soon!

TDB is an iTunes affiliate.

Why, Discount Dance, Why?

It’s the first day of dance and your newest little toddler students enter the room in their new dancewear – hair pulled back, cute little leotards, pink tights and then you look down at their feet and you see:

Flimsy slipper
THE HORROR!
The super soft fake satin ballet “slippers” they unfortunately sell next to dancewear at Target and Walmart. ¬†Every preschool teacher’s nightmare. ¬†They fall off feet, cause dancers to trip and fall and are simply not suited for a dance class.
Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 10.36.27 PM
But they truly are annoying and I cringe every time I see a parent proudly whip them out of a dance bag… usually just a case of being mis-informed.
Then today I was shopping for some new ballet slippers for myself from Discount Dance and I see this:
 Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 10.43.52 PM
Let’s take a closer look…
s200

AHHHHH!  Eh tu, Discount Dance?

I mean, I understand that Target and Walmart might not care if the bedroom slippers they are passing off as ballet shoes aren’t ACTUAL ballet slippers, but Discount Dance should have SOME shred of integrity when it comes to shoes that are listed under the “Ballet” category! ¬†Whyyyyyy??

At least one of the reviewers (mind you, a 13-year old who has better sense then a dance catalog) wrote:

“I’m just going to quickly say if you are planning on buying these to wear them, don’t…Anyway, I actually made them in to a keychain!”

The only use for this shoe is as a decoration!

Ok… rant over. ¬†I feel better now.

At least until the first day of class…

Summer Playlist

Beach DancingHello all – hope everyone’s summer is going good.. as we move into August, here’s a list of the songs that have been getting the heaviest rotation on my summer dance playlists!

Ballet Class¬†– I like to use Sunny Choi’s tunes during our stretch to keep things fresh – links open in YouTube

22 (Taylor Swift Cover) – Sunny Choi
I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor Swift cover) – Sunny Choi
Just Give Me A Reason (P!nk Cover) – Sunny Choi

Stretch / Lyrical Class

All I Want – The Kodaline – EP – nice and slow for stretching
Pompeii – Haunt – EP
Gone, Gone, Gone – The World from the Side of the Moon (Deluxe)
Red Hands – R.E.V.O.

Tap Class
Wake Me Up РAvicii Рlove this one!
You Make Me Feel So Young РMichael Buble Рmy favorite off his newest album
Wild – Royal Teeth
Mountain Sound – Of Monsters & Men
I Love It (Radio Edit) – Icona Pop

Jazz Class
People Like Us – Kelly Clarkson
Cups (Pitch Perfect’s ‚ÄúWhen I‚Äôm Gone‚ÄĚ)- Anna Kendrick
Treasure – Bruno Mars
Blurred Lines (Radio Edit) – Robin Thicke

The Dance Buzz is an iTunes affiliate.

Marching Onward… and Checking In!

Hi friends, just taking a moment to check in and say I’m still here! ¬†Crazy busy, but still here!

February to June is my super busy season, as I’m sure it is for many other dance teachers and studio owners as we prep for our annual recital, register for summer classes and work on next season’s schedule!

Haven’t had as much time to write down thoughts and new music finds, but I wanted to share a funny story from my beginning ballet class. ¬†They are first and second graders and always surprise me, but one caught me off guard!

We were at ballet barre about to work on tendus…

Miss Cait (that’s me): “Now what do we need to remember about tendus? ¬†Sophie?”

Sophie: “Straight legs!”

MC: “That’s right, what else, Julia?”

Julia: “Make them sticky!” (see more about that here)

MC: “Yes definitely… ok, anything else, Morgan?”

Morgan (just as brightly and matter-of-factly as the other responses): “My fish died!”

MC: “Oh.. well… I’m very sorry to hear that – what was your fish’s name?”

Morgan: “Swishy”

MC: “Well…” (scrambling for the appropriate response)

Sophie: “I know! ¬†We can have a funeral for Swishy!”

MC: “I don’t know…”

Julia: “It’s perfect ’cause we’re all dressed up for a funeral – we’re all wearing black!” (we wear black and pink)

MC: “Ok then, let’s dedicate tendues to Swishy”

Kids: “Swishy, this is for you.”

So that’s how we ended up dedicating part of our ballet barre to Swishy the fish!

Ballet Mime

Crossed arms mean love – but be careful –
make those hands into fists and you may
be saying something completely different!

My students and I had a conversation about ballet miming this week:  Did you know dancers are storytellers as well as actors and actresses too?

Ballerinas and ballet dancers even have their own special hand gestures to tell stories – sort of like ballet sign language!

You may already know some common gestures:

– Both hands to the heart for “love

– Hand cupped by ear for “hear

– Bowing or curtseying to show loyalty

– Strong motions with fists to show anger

 

Then there are some you might not be as familiar with:

– Tapping the forehead twice for “princess” and three times for “king” or “queen

– Crossed hands with fists for “death

– And “dance” is said by circling your arms overhead in 5th position

Here are some links for more ballet mime:

Learn the conversation between the Swan Queen and the prince from Swan Lake with this fun video from The Royal Ballet:

The VitaVibe Ballet Barre – A Review

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…a.k.a. “The Search For Portable Ballet Barres, Part 3”

It has been a while since I posted about my search for portable ballet barres (here’s¬†Part 1¬†and Part 2), so I thought I’d do an update.

Full Disclosure:  I am not being compensated by VitaVibe or Ballet Barre Store.  I just purchased the barres for my studio and am sharing my experience in hopes that it helps others!

Since my original purchase in January 2011, I have purchased a second barre from the Ballet Barre Store, so we have one barre at each location in current use.

Both barres arrived fairly quickly (about a week or two) and were very easy to assemble. The first one, my husband helped with and the second one I put together all by myself.
Side note-that-should-be-common-sense-but-I-didn’t-think-about: ¬†An 8-foot barre will come in a box that is.. wait for it.. 8 feet long. ¬†Make sure if you need to move it in your vehicle that it will fit. ¬†It was a close one in my little car!

Both times I purchased the “BD96” – an 8-foot double barre from their “Prodigy Series“. ¬†I chose these over their heavier-weight line because we have wall barres and don’t use our portable barres that often. ¬†The cost of the Prodigy series is also half that of the Professional series.

The connectors make it easy to adjust the height of the
barres as necessary

Each barre is lightweight, easy to move around and very easy to keep clean. ¬†I can’t attest to the “antimicrobial properties” of the aluminum coating, but the barres are very smooth to the touch and we wipe them down with Clorox wipes after use.

With the 8-foot barre, we can fit a maximum of two teen students on a side, but its much more comfortable with just one, especially if they’re using the barre for a leg stretch. ¬†With the littles, ¬†maximum of three littles (two on one side and one on the other).

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum means they are easy to transport to the middle of the floor or to another room as necessary – my students no longer complain about moving the barres!
  • Easy to assemble and adjust as needed – and the Ballet Barre Store sells parts a la carte if anything were to break or you wanted to make your single barre into a double.
  • Has stayed much cleaner than the wood barres. ¬†It doesn’t get that “grubby” feeling… and no more splinters!
This is the bottom part of the barre, where you can see the only visible scratches.
They are from little tappers experimenting with how tap shoes sound on an aluminum barre!
  • The feet of the barre are covered in rubber, which means no more scratched marley – yay!
  • The company gives a 10 year warranty on all of their barres.
Oooh, shiny!

Cons

The only downside to these aluminum barres is that the barre is sometimes too lightweight and feels like it could be pushed over.

While this forces the students to be more conscientious about not leaning or relying too much on the barre, it makes me a bit nervous that they if they ever actually do lose their balance, a big grab might knock the barre over.

So far it has not happened, but it just doesn’t have the sturdy feeling that our older (and much heavier) wooden or metal barres do. ¬†Heck, the ones we used in college were made of some sort of heavy piping that took 2 – 3 of us to even get it to budge!

Would I Buy Again?

Yes Рoverall, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  However, next time I might be tempted to try the Professional series, which is made out of a bit thicker aluminum, which might add enough heft to counteract how light they are to move.