January Blog Challenge: Personal Dance Firsts

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Attention all dance bloggers, here is your January Blog Challenge – we're starting off with a fun, personal one.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to share a picture and story of one of your "dance firsts".  First class, first show, first shoes… whatever inspires you!

The Details

  1. Choose one picture that represents your dance first
  2. Share your story
  3. Include a link back to this post (Permalink: )
If you participate, leave a comment below with the link to your post so we can share in the fun!

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2012 – Here are all the participants so far:

And with that, here's my dance first…. 
My first dance performance!

Read more »

Link Love: Great Teaching Ideas!

Times Union

Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene went through my area in upstate New York, but luckily power was all we lost yesterday.  Many places in my area are flooded, but we just had a few downed branches and trees. The creek by one of my studio locations overflowed and closed the road and parking lot, but didn’t get close to the building.  I am so thankful for all of the workers who were out yesterday repairing the power lines and keeping people safe from flooded roadways.  Hope all my readers are also safe after the storm.

Now that the power is back on, I have been catching up on some dance blog reading.  There are some really great teaching ideas I can’t wait to use in my classes in the fall and share with my teachers.

Happy reading!

New Music Mondays: Preschool Playlist

Inspired by last month’s post on Zooglobble, I set out to find artists featured on his blog to come up with a unique playlist for preschool dance that wasn’t filled with Disney artists.  Here is my result:

Warm-Up Songs
One Tiny Light – Recess Monkey One Tiny Light - The Final Funktier
Morningtown – Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem Ranky Tanky - Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
C’Mon – Renee and Jeremy C'mon - C'mon
Let Me Be Yours – Lucky Diaz Let Me Be Yours - Luckiest Adventure
Funkee Flora de Fiesta – Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke Funkee Flora de Fiesta - Rise and Shine

Movin’ and Groovin’! – directive songs
Constellation Conga – Recess Monkey Constellation Conga - The Final Funktier
The Dance From Outer Space – Billy Kelly The Dance from Outer Space - Is This Some Kind of Joke?
Tennessee Wig Walk – Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem Tennessee Wig Walk - Ranky Tanky
Rocks & Flowers – Caspar Babypants Rocks and Flowers - More Please!
Stomp Stomp – Putumayo Jazz Playground

Other Fun Tunes
Going To The Moon – Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke Going to the Moon - Rise and Shine – this would be a fun sing-a-long
Dog Gone Gone Dog Gone – Caspar Babypants Dog Gone Gone Dog Gone - More Please!– this is just a fun song to listen to
Frenzy – Dean Jones Frenzy - Rock Paper Scissors– your body just starts moving to this song!


Click here for other playlists

New Music Mondays: Zoo Globble

If you’re looking for new preschool / elementary music, or if you’re a parent of a little one, you will love the Zooglobble blog!  Stefan Shepherd, the man behind the blog, reviews preschool albums that parents can actually listen to on repeat without going insane.  Check out this post on the Best Kids Music for 2010.

While the site is not aimed towards teaching dance, music and dance go hand in hand, so it is a great resource for any preschool teacher.  I have found a lot of new music and sometimes the artists he features will offer free downloads.  The posts usually have some way to preview the songs, artists and albums they are reviewing, so you can see if it will work for you.

Even if you don’t have room to add another blog to your reading list, at least bookmark the site for their huge list of children’s music links on the side of their site.

Other ways to find Zooglobble:  Facebook  Twitter

On The Blogs: Choosing a Pre-School Program

Choosing a Dance Program for your Pre-School Boy

Just read this insightful article by Nichelle Strzepek on MySonCanDance blog. If you’re a parent looking for a dance program for your son, give this one a read. If you’re a studio owner wondering why you don’t have many boys, check this article to see what red flags your studio that could be sending to parents with boys. For example:

“2. A school without pink walls

A studio’s pink walls equivalent might be princess themes or anything that unnecessarily genderizes dance. Pink is a fine color and for the moment, pink is actually among my son’s favorite colors. However, a school that is “painting their walls pink” is either hoping to appeal to only one demographic or it has never really crossed their mind that a boy might enter the establishment as a student. Either way, it is reason enough for me to look elsewhere.

It may seem like a small thing but, for boys and young men, no pink walls can make all the difference. It is about feeling welcome and comfortable in an environment.”

There is also some good advice that is useful to any parent looking for a dance studio for their child:

“Look for a school whose older dancers move in a coordinated, pleasing fashion.”

Looking at a studio’s advanced dancers is very often a good indicator of how serious a school is or what their focus is on.

Either way, good article – read on!