January Challenge: What’s in Your Bag?

Did anyone ever have any of the bags above? (The first one is a vintage bag from Etsy)

A dance bag is a dancer and dance teacher’s most valuable possession.  Back when we used to use CDs instead of iPods, my bag weighed 50 lbs from the giant CD case I lugged around… now it still is pretty hefty, because I filled the empty space with water bottles and props. #notthesharpestpointeinthebag

January’s Blog Challenge Mission:

So for the first Blog Challenge of the new year, I want to know:

What’s in your dance bag?

 

Grab this snazzy badge for your post
if you’d like to  be-dazzle your blog!

How to Participate: 

If you have a blog:

1) Take a picture, make a video, write a post or find one that fits the theme (it doesn’t have to be a new post if you’ve already written something that answers the question).


 2) Then make sure you leave a comment below with a link to your post so we can all read it!

Don’t have a blog? 

No problem!  Participate by leaving a comment below, tweeting @thedancebuzz or posting to our Facebook wall a picture of your dance bag, or comment with your favorite item in your dance bag.


I’m getting my post ready to go and am looking forward to taking a peek inside of everyone’s bag! 🙂

Dance Etiquette & Advice

Kind of loving this post at These Are The Lives We Lead about dance etiquette.  My favorite parts:

Love dance!
  • “NEVER mark. Why pay for a class and mark until you get into groups? Groups occur for MAYBE 10 minutes. Most of which you’ll spend trying to figure out the parts you’ve been marking.”
  • “Touching your toes and sitting in a grande plie 2nd for a minute does not a sufficient warm up make.”
  • “Be hungry to know everyTHING about your art; ESPECIALLY its history. you would not be here without those that came before you.”
  • “If you don’t make the youtube video, don’t get the job, or don’t get called out for the “special” group; it doesn’t mean you stop coming to class. In fact, the very opposite. You KEEP SHOWING UP. perseverance and SHOWING UP is often how a job is booked.”
  • “.. know that dance does not come over night.  Or over months.  Or even years.  It happens throughout a LIFETIME process that is to be adored despite struggle.  Love every second of it for genuine reason and you will probably find yourself doing all this naturally.”
I wish all of my students read and understood this.  Good advice for getting the most out of your classes!

10 Hair & Make-Up Tutorials For Recital

Recital season is upon us in the US, and with it comes lots of parents and kids who have never done stage hair or make-up before!  I used to do demonstrations for some of my classes, but it is difficult to find the time when everyone is available, so I have switched to emailing YouTube links.  My students’ parents love it when I point them to a YouTube tutorial – and I have learned a few tricks myself!

Here are some of my favorite tutorials for applying stage make-up and doing hair.  And be sure to share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments!

MAKE-UP TUTORIALS

For older students:

(JAM Cosmetics)
For children:

(JAM Cosmetics)

From start to finish w/little explanation, just her applying make-up:

More specific tutorials

Continue reading

Dance Imagery, Illustrated

Finally got around to posting this for the April Challenge – favorite Dance Imagery!

I was reading Moira’s response to the challenge about Irish Dance imagery (or lack thereof) and realized that all of my imagery happens when I teach modern, jazz or ballet… not too much in tap class.  I am going to pay attention in the next few months and see if I can’t come up with some tap imagery.

In the meantime, here are my favorite images, which all happen to be in ballet.  Probably because my youngest students are my ballet class and I try to use a lot of imagery to help concepts stay in their minds and bodies.  Enjoy… and please don’t laugh too much at my drawing skillz 🙂

Balloons on the ears!
Balloons tied to your ears:  To keep necks long, and ankles, knees, hips and shoulders over toes in releve, I ask my students to pretend they have balloons tied to their ears to keep them lifted up.

Continue reading

Mantras for Recital Season

Sometimes recital season makes studio owners and teachers want to pull their hair out!  Here is a list of mantras to keep you going, keep you positive, or make you smile, even through the most stressful days.

I think I can, I think I can!
It’s almost over… It’s almost over…

Tutus… sequins… and glitter… OH MY!

One step at a time.
When in doubt, fade the music.

Dress the part.  Act the part. 


No words, just the sound of a cork *popping* out of a wine bottle in X weeks…

When in doubt, just take the next step.

Keep your head up.


No one reads handouts or signs.  Just accept it.

You can do it!

Keep calm and carry on.

No matter how good or bad the current situation is, it will change.

GAHHHHHHHHHHH!

Hairspray, duct tape and safety pins will fix anything.
It’s not brain surgery, it’s dance.

I am strong. I am awesome. I will succeed.


Best wishes for your recital this year!

~ Cait

Setting Goals: One Step At A Time

One step at a time… like learning
ballet positions.

Want to read more about setting goals, specifically for dancers and dance teachers?  Check out "Circle Time" at Dance Advantage.  January 2012's topic is "Setting Goals".

January is the perfect time of year to talk about setting goals for the New Year.

As a person who wears "many hats" (dance teacher, studio owner, blogger, wife), its important to set goals in each area of your life.

And what's even more important than setting goals is figuring out how to accomplish them!

Are you serious about wanting to accomplish your goals?

Well, here's an exercise you can do to help SET and ACCOMPLISH your goals for 2012. You will need at least 30 minutes to an hour, so set aside some time for yourself.  This is time for you.  It is important. Do it.

Take out a piece of paper and label columns with all the different areas of your life – don't forget to include a column for personal goals or family!

Here's an example of what your column heading might be

Read more »

Holiday Gift Idea: Teacher Survival Kit!

Need a fun and unique gift for your dance teacher? Create a “Dance Teacher Survival Kit”!  Make a list of items your dance teacher likes and create individual baskets for each teacher.  Stick it all in a cute basket or bin and wrap it up in a nice bow and you are set to go!  Since you’re customizing it, you can spend as much or as little as you’d like.

Practical Gifts To Include:

  • Hair ties or bobby pins if she has long hair
  • Aspirin
  • Mini-sewing kit
  • Small screwdriver if he or she is a tap teacher
  • Small massager tool (for sore muscles or feet)
  • Foot lotion or bath salts (although I’m guessing she already has a closet-full)
  • Pack of stickers (if they use stickers in class)

Funny Gifts To Include (you will need to add an explanation for each one):

  • A marble… for when you’ve lost yours
  • String / paperclip… to keep it all together
  • Sponge… to help clean dances
  • Rubber band.. to keep you flexible
  • Lifesavers… because you are one!
  • Stars (could be Starbursts, or an ornament)… you inspire your students to reach for the stars!
  • Candle… you light up people’s lives

More ideas like this from Angel’s Corner

Other Gifts

  • iTunes gift card
  • Bottle of wine (for after a long night of teaching!)
  • Gift card to his or her favorite restaurant (or to the coffee shop/sandwich shop nearby the studio)
  • Christmas ornament
  • Cookies or chocolate
  • Gum or mints

Share your own ideas: leave a comment!

Looking for more gift ideas?  Check out our ideas from last year.
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