How To Get A Clean Music Edit Using GarageBand

For our 200th post, I am excited to debut the second video in our GarageBand Tutorial Series:  How To Get A Clean Edit Using GarageBand (see How To Fade a Song here)!

Check out the tutorial below or click the jump for a full transcript with additional notes that aren’t in the video.


Side note…  200 posts!  I feel like that is an exciting milestone.  Fellow bloggers – do you get excited for “milestone” posts?  Or do you celebrate your blog’s “birthday”?  Or am I alone in being dorky?

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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

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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.

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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

How To Find Clean Hip Hop Music for Kids

..

.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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Cleaning Dance Routines

Originally published February 25, 2011

—-

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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SOBuzz: Family & Friends Discount Dilemma

Just watched a great video from Marie Forleo discussing the “friends and family discount” that could easily apply to any dance studio owner.

When you own your own business, your friends and family often want to support you, but sometimes they are looking for a discount in return.  The message of the video below is whatever you choose, be clear and upfront about your policy.

If you can’t afford to give discounts because you’re just starting up or because you simply value your time, say so (in a polite way of course) and give them the opportunity to choose another dance studio.

Marie offers a script (around 2:14 in the video) to say to your family and friends when you don’t have a discount and I’ve adapted it so it works for dance teachers and studio owners.

“I’m so excited Susie wants to take dance.  Know that I’d never expect you to choose my dance studio because of our relationship.  Before she registers, make sure that our studio is the right fit for you because I don’t offer a friends and family discount.  If you want to move ahead, here are the tuition rates and available classes.”

This gives them an ‘out’ if they were only looking for a handout and let’s you be clear in advance without all the uncomfortableness that would come if you let them know this AFTER she signed up for classes.

What’s your policy for friends and family?  Share in the comments!

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

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SOBuzz: Music Licensing Break-Down

I will dance to a different drum…
unless that drum beat is owned by BMI.

It's that time of year again… music licensing!  If you're like my dance studio, you may have recently gotten an invoice from ASCAP and are contemplating hiring a band of musicians just so you don't have to pay the necessary evil that is music license fees every year.

(Dear ASCAP, BMI & SESAC… just kidding – I will still be paying you this year!)

I get many requests for what I actually pay for my studio's music license, so I thought why not do a post now?

Before you scroll down further, if you're a new dance studio owner, fitness instructor or dance teacher and want more information about WHY we you may need to pay music license fees, check out my previous posts on music licensing:

  • License-Free Alternatives – really don't want to pay BMI, SESAC or ASCAP?  Use only live musicians or license-free music.  Check out the pro's and cons here.
Ok.  All studied up?  Alright, let's move on to the money.

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NMM: Katie Herzig – Lost & Found

I love this song – I heard it on Grey’s Anatomy a few months ago and needed to have it immediately!  I finally found out that it is Katie Herzig’s “Lost and Found” from her album “The Waking Sleep” that came out in September 2011.  Grab the song on iTunes here: Lost and Found - The Waking Sleep

I’ve been using it in my jazz & contemporary warm-ups and cool downs.  The beginning starts off slowly, but make sure you listen through until about 2:10 when the chorus starts in and the song really starts to take off… it has such an uplifting feeling!  My teens really enjoyed this song and the lyrics are PG enough to use for younger students as well.