April Pinspiration: Leaps & Jumps

If you’re not on Pinterest – don’t join, it’s too addicting! If you are – add me to see all the lovely dance things I find around the web.

This week I was looking for some inspiration in the way of leaps and jumps and I found some lovely unique leaps I’d like to share so you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside too.

Now if only I could get my students to look like this…

“Rachel P.”  By Eduardoizq
Boys represent!  Look at that height… (Unknown photo source)
Gorgeous – Photo via Pointe Magazine’s Pinterest
Top photo – rehearsal | Bottom photo – performance – Photo by: Gene Schiavone
Fierce!  Photo By: Peddecord Photo
Photo By: Richard Calmes
Epic C-Jump – Unknown Source
YES.   (Unknown Source)

Hopefully your day just got a little bit better by looking at these lovely leaps!  I know mine did 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

How To Find Clean Hip Hop Music for Kids

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.Over the past ten years, hip hop classes at our studio have exploded in popularity. We offer hip hop starting with age six through adult.  I know it can be a struggle to find fun, age-appropriate hip hop music when the majority of the songs on the radio are about sex, drinking or profanity.

Looking over the playlist selection on this blog, I noticed that I am slacking in the hip hop department.  While I teach a variety of genres, hip hop is most definitely not one of them.  I can shim sham all day and pirouette with the best of them, but I cannot pop or lock (although it doesn’t stop me from trying!).

Luckily, I have a bunch of great hip hop instructors at my studio who do try to find age-appropriate music that their students love.

Here are their suggestions for finding appropriate music for class (links open in iTunes – The Dance Buzz is a proud iTunes affiliate):

1.  Go ‘Old School’ for the younger classes!

To my dismay, apparently the following songs are now considered “old school” by one of my hip hop teachers (she’s 20-something).  In any case – look to the past for some fun hip hop songs (although I still recommend checking out the lyrics on older tunes):

Shake It – Aaron Carter
Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson

2.  Look for young hip hop artists

Ke$ha and Kanye are all grown up and rapping about grown-up subjects.  Instead, look for pint-size rappers whose parent won’t let them use four-letter words in their lyrics.  The Disney tween stars and starlets also fall under this category.

Suggested Artists:  Lil’ Romeo, Willow Smith, China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm), Keke Palmer

Lip Gloss – Lil’ Mama
My Baby – Lil’ Romeo
Countdown – Victorious
We Belong to the Music (feat. Miley Cyrus) – Timbaland

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To Do List: Spring Break

With the students on Spring Break, it’s time to actually get some work done at the studio!

One of these years I will actually take Spring Break off, but for this year, there is much to be done in preparation for the rest of the year.

Anyway, I figured I’d share what I was up to on my “week off”.  What do you do when dancers are off from class?  Share in the comments!

On my to-do list this week:

  • Design this year’s Recital T-Shirt
  • Schedule recital rehearsals
  • Work on summer schedule
  • Hang up ten classes of costumes that just arrived (see below)
  • Re-tape dance floors (one of my least favorite tasks)
  • Finishing up taxes (nothing like last minute… hah)
  • Choreograph
  • Shop for props for my modern class
  • Sew straps onto costumes
  • Order dance shoes

It is Spring Break at your studio too?  What are you up to?

The UPS delivery guy is not a fan of costume time.

 

Cleaning Dance Routines

Originally published February 25, 2011

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Polishing, cleaning, fine-tuning… whatever you call it, its necessary before a performance.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite techniques that I’ve picked up over the years as a student and teacher.

The first key is making sure everyone knows the dance – break the routine into 8 counts, count by count and analyze and correct everything from the head placement, arms, feet, legs (bent or straight), and tempo.  If you’re low on time, start at the messiest part of the dance.

Once everyone knows the dance, repetition is key!  One of my teachers would not move on until each section (usually 8 counts) had been performed correctly and cleanly three times… in a row.   If we messed up on the third time, she started over.  She called it her “Rule of Three’s” and used it for only the messiest parts of dances because it can get very frustrating, but yields results.

Read more suggestions after the break!

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February Challenge: A Day In The Life

For those who work in the arts, every day can be so different from the next, but that’s part of what I love about my job and what makes it so much fun.  It keeps me on my toes! (pun intended… groan.)

Here’s one of my more ‘typical’ days:

7am – Wake up.  Contemplate exercising or yoga before I shower, but not today.. the blankets and snooze button are calling my name.  Shower, eat breakfast, remember that I am going to take pictures for “Day In The Life” post today!

9:30am – Drive to the studio – weather’s looking a bit icy.. better keep an eye on it.

10:00 am – Admin time.  Pretend to be Beyonce much to the chagrin of my office manager… “I’m all up in these costumes like my job… admin time”.  Follow up on some back-ordered costumes and work on handouts.  Dance party in the office to the hold music (hey Weissmans, at least you have some good tunes!).

11:00am – UPS delivery – hooray!  The first of our recital costumes have arrived!  Unpack, sort and label costumes.


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The Dance Things I Love

In no particular order, the dance things I love:

 When my littles rush into class because they can’t wait one more second to start dancing
Opening up the first costume shipping box of the season
The hush of the audience as the lights go down in the theater


Celebrating the small accomplishments
Warm-up camaraderie before a performance