1. Remember no jewelry unless specifically requested by your instructor. This is because bracelets and rings can easily get snagged on costumes and earrings cause reflections; plus not everyone has their ears pierced.
2. No fingernail polish to keep everyone uniform.
3. To keep everyone looking wrinkle free, we insist no underwear under tights.
4. No eating in costumes. I know how hungry I get during a show so I always pack an oversized shirt or robe to coverup my costume.
5. For students in multiple dances, I recommend a nude camisole leotard. This help to avoid feeling uncomfortable during quick changes.
6. It’s always good to bring a small makeup bag and hair supplies in case you need to reapply or fix hair before show time.
7. Pack a snack. We use a lot of energy on stage and off, so it’s always good to have a granola bar and a water bottle.
8. Bring something to occupy students while they wait back stage. Coloring books (crayons only), cards, or something to read is best.
I’m thrilled to announce, after many years in the making, my first book has been officially published! Ballet For Me And You started as a simple document that I passed out to my students’ parent to help them understand what their children were learning in ballet class. In the past few years, this simple document expanded into a iBook with poetic verses, a guide for parents, step by step images, and quizzes. As a dance educator, my goal has been to spread my passion and knowledge of dance. Through this book series, I am excited about continuing this mission. Ballet For Me And You is now available for your iPad on the iBookstore for $2.99.
If you have a 3 – 5 year old enrolled in ballet or creative movement for the first time, chances are they are learning how to skip. Why skipping? The reason many schools teach young students to skip is because it teaches so many things like coordination, opposition, traveling, and rhythm. The simple act of skipping is a bridge to teach students how to connect one dance step to another. With a simple transfer of weight, a hop, and pointed toes, your tiny dancer is on their way to perform on the big stage.
Simple Exercises to Prep for Skipping:
1. Marching with high knees and pointed toes
Stand up tall with hands on hips
Bend the right knee into your chest and point your toe
Place the right foot firm into the ground
Step forward and bring the left knee up into your chest with a pointed toe
Continue to march across the floor
Tip: Try practicing to a Madagascar’s “Move It.” It’s a great song to hear the beat and get kids marching!
2. Hopping With a Stuffed Animal
Place a stuffed animal in your hands in front of your belly button
Bring your right knee up with a pointed toe to “kiss” your stuffed animal
Repeat with the left
Now try to repeat again with the right knee, but this time hop into the air
Repeat with the left
Tip: Once you have the coordination of switching legs and hopping, try traveling the hop forward.
How to Skip:
Stand up tall with hands on hips
Bend the right knee into your chest and point your toe and hop
Step forward to bring the left knee up with a pointed toe and hop
Continue to step and hop (skip!) across the floor
Tip: Say “step hop left, step hop right” in rhythm with the music to help your child learn their left and right legs.
2. Ballet Skips (Sauté Passé)
Stand up tall with hands on hips and feet in “V” (first position)
Slide the right knee into passé as you hop
Step forward to bring the left knee to passé as you hop
Continue to step and sauté passé for a perfect ballet skip.
Tip: Remember ballet skips must stay turned out. The knee points to the dancers side in passé.
Now that you have learned how to skip, want to try something more difficult? Try to skip backwards! Your dance teacher will be impressed!
For the last leg of my Dance Around The World adventure, my husband and I traveled to the beautiful country of Thailand in Southeast Asia. We spent a few days sightseeing in Bangkok and then headed north to Chiang Mai. I’m not going to lie; now that we’re in our six month of traveling, I’m getting pretty cranky. Although we had just arrived in this charming city, all I wanted to do sit in my hotel room and see what all my friends back home were up to on Facebook. My adventurous husband, on the other hand, couldn’t bear the thought of possibly missing something, so I encouraged him to explore while I immersed myself in social media.
On April 7th my Eurail pass was stamped, and Dan and I had exactly one month to travel across Europe. Considering all the amazing places to see in Europe, we had to narrow down our list of 18+ countries to just 10 for timing. It was a tough decision, but at least we have a reason to go back and see more later. Because our trip was so quick, sometimes only having a few hours in a city, I wasn’t able to see or take dance classes. However, I was able to film my project. Below is a little recap of my dance/filming adventures through Europe.
What dance form incorporates clapping, stomping, castanets, singing, and guitars? That’s right, flamenco. And where’s a better place to see a live flamenco performance than in Madrid!
For our six days in Spain, Tim (a good friend of my husband and I) joined us. When we were contemplating what to do, I of course said we have to go to a flamenco show. Dan wanted to see the Goya’s Black paintings, and Tim wanted to go to a soccer game. I think the boys were a little leery about going to see a dance performance, but I promised they would love it, as we secured tickets.
Marrakech is a wondrous and unique city with a bit of restrain. As I walked through the souqs and the main plaza, I was surrounded by beautiful art, smells, and music. It seemed to have all the right components for dance.
Dreaming of my time in Brazil, I thought I would be surrounded by Samba dancing, capoeira, and the beach. Well, after spending a little over a week in Ipanema, the only one of these I experienced was the beach. I guess if you’re not there during Carnival, your chance of experiencing dance is low. So, I began to scout for a dance class. I did find a studio. However, the website wasn’t very informative. Plus, the only class available was a pole dancing class. Although I do appreciate all forms of dance, pole dancing isn’t appropriate for my blog or for me.