A Dancer’s Dictionary

studio-dance-centre-just-danceYou don’t have to be in a studio for long to realize that dancers have their own language.

Sauté – A healthy way to cook dinner, right?  To a dancer, sauté means jump!

Leo – Academy Award winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio?  Think again!  This is short for leotard!

Use this handy guide courtesy of The Radio City Rockettes or this one from More Than Dancers to be sure that your family and friends can translate from dancer to every day!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

Ms. Kerry

 

 

 

Dancer Fuel: Healthy Snacks to Keep You Moving

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It doesn’t take long to realize that dancing is hard work! Keeping your body fueled up and ready for classes is just as important as remembering your dance bag and choreography.

What are some of your instructors’ favorite go-to snacks?

“I love roasted chickpeas, hard boiled eggs, and apple slices with peanut butter.  Lots of good protein and fuel for your body.”  – Ms. Jamie

“Almonds, toasted sesame sticks, pretzels or carrots with hummus, and kind of a guilty pleasure – not sure how good they are for me – but Snap Pea Crisps are heavenly!” – Ms. Ariela

“My favorite snacks to keep me fueled are pretzels or Wheat Thins with Laughing Cow cheese wedges, some ham or turkey roll-ups, grapes or bananas, and some trail mix for my sweet tooth.” – Ms. Kayla

Check out Dance Advantage’s post about healthy snacks for dancers that give healthy protein, fat, and a complex carbohydrate.  These snacks are easy to put together and pack well too!

Always remember to stay hydrated with the best drink option out there – water!

 

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

Ms. Kerry

Legend Spotlight: Anna Pavlova

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Anna Pavlova, a dancer at the turn of the 19th century, popularized ballet throughout the United States and is credited with creating the modern pointe shoe.

Born in St. Petersburg in 1881, Pavlova decided she wanted to be a ballerina after seeing a production of The Sleeping Beauty.  She studied with the Imperial Theatre School in St. Petersburg under Enrico Cecchetti, known for establishing the Cecchetti technique.  After studying for eight years, Pavlova made her debut with the company in 1899.

anna-pavlova-in-the-ballet-the-dying-swan-by-camille-saint-saens-c-1910Pavlova was known for her expressiveness, especially in her signature solo, The Dying Swan, which was comprised mostly of bourrees and soft arm movements.  She also created the modern pointe shoe, with a hard shank and sole that curved with the shape of the foot.

Pavlova first performed in the U.S. in 1910 in New York Citywhich sparked new interest and respect for the art form.  She eventually established her own company which toured internationally for the next two decades, bringing ballet to China, Australia, India, Mexico, Canada, Peru, and Argentina.

Tips for Dance Parents – How Do I Clean That?

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Does your dancer have rough-looking ballet shoes?  Are her pink tights turning grey at the feet?  Have scuffed tap shoes?

After five months of dancing, it may be time to freshen up your dancer’s gear and the holiday break from classes make a perfect time to give your dancer’s gear a deep clean.

It’s also a great time to be sure that your dancer’s name or initials are on their dancewear, shoes, and other dance gear!

 

Check out these tips from Dance Advantage for getting and keeping your dancer’s gear looking as good as new and ready for 2017!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry

 

Winter Wonderland Dance Camps!

Dance Camps

Our Winter Wonderland dance camps are back!  Click here to RSVP!

Open to 3-9 year olds, these two camps will feature ballet and jazz classes, winter crafts, dance games, and more!

There are two Winter Wonderland camps to choose from:

Monday, December 19 from 2-4pm (ballet)
Tuesday, December 20 from 2-4pm (jazz)

Sign up for a single camp for $25 or sign up for both for $40.  Payment can be made in advance at the front desk, or via phone or email authorization.

(Please complete this form for EACH child attending.)

Children attending the camps can wear any style dancewear or comfortable activewear, and dance shoes or bare feet.

We can’t wait to see you soon!

5 Tips For Getting Past A Dancing Plateau

No matter if you’re a seasoned dancer or a brand new ballerina, dancers can all hit plateaus. A “plateau” is the feeling that you might not be getting the steps, or when you have a dreaded feeling that dance is no longer for you.

serious-dancer-content-logoHere are 5 motivating tips that will help you overcome your plateau and knock down any walls in your way!

  1. Remember to not compare yourself to others in class.  Observe and learn from them.  Listen to the instructor’s corrections and praise for everyone.
  2. Try a new style of dance to breathe new life into your love of the art.  Talk with your instructor and parents about a style that will work with your talents and schedule!  A complimentary class in modern may be just what you need to re-energize your love of ballet.  Making some noise in a tap class may help you nail those stag leaps in jazz.
  3. Get comfortable with making mistakes.  This is how we all learn!  You can’t plie without practice!
  4. See a performance.  The DFW area is full of great dance performances, especially during the holiday season!  Ask your instructor to recommend a show or talk to your parents about starting a new holiday tradition and see The Nutcracker!  Seeing the joy and energy that professional dancers have can replenish yours too!
  5. Bust a move.  In your room.  In the hall.  Where ever.  Bust a move!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry

Legend Spotlight: Martha Graham

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Martha G Quote

Martha Graham is recognized as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.  Her vision was not limited to dance; her art touched countless dancers, audiences, and lovers of creative movement.

Born May 11, 1894, in Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh), Graham did not begin dancing until her teens.  In 1911, she attended the first dance performance of her life, watching Ruth St. Denis perform in Los Angeles at the Mason Opera House.  Graham began her dance studies sooner after, at the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts.

In 1926, she began teaching a group of dancers drawn together by the movement language she had created, based upon the expressive capacity of the human body.  This became the Martha Graham Studio, school of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

The Martha Graham Studio produced countless professional dancers who have joined dance companies, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Jose Limon Dance Company.

During her career, Graham created 181 dance compositions, which still challenge and inspire performers and audiences today.  She was honored with the Local One Centennial Award, which is awarded once every 100 years.  She was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor.  In 1998, TIME Magazine named her the “Dancer of the Century.”  She also holds the honor of being the first dancer to perform at the White House and to act as a cultural ambassador abroad.

The best way to summarize Martha Graham is with her own words, “I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer.  It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way.  Sometimes it is not pleasant.  Sometimes it is fearful.  But nevertheless, it is inevitable.”

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry

Tips for Dance Parents – Flora & the Flamingo

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Recommended for ages 3-5, Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle has interactive flaps and beautiful illustrations drawn by the author.

Throughout this wordless picture book, Flora and a flamingo friend share the trials and joy of friendship through dance.  The two learn at last to dance in perfect harmony!

This book is a 2014 Caldecott Honor Book and part of a series which includes Flora and the Peacocks and Flora and the Penguin.

Have you read about Flora?  Let us know what you thought of her adventure!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry

Ballet and Football: Like Pliés and Jetés, Meant to Be Together

studio-dance-centre-just-danceStrength.  Stamina. Quick direction changes. Giant leaps.

So…are we talking about ballet or football?  Could be both!

The list of professional athletes who’ve benefited from ballet is a long one.  Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman, Steve McLendon; NHL goaltender, Ray Emery; and former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield are just a few!

Ballet increases flexibility and improves coordination.  In 2014, the Dallas Cowboys installed ballet barres outside the locker room for stretching purposes to help prevent injuries.

Take a look at Nathalia Arja, Principal Soloist with the Miami City Ballet, with New England Patriots tight end, Robert Gronkowski, in a “ballet lesson.”

Steve McLendon also talks about how ballet has improved his football game in this video.  I don’t know how he fares on the gridiron, but his glissades are pretty good!

What did you think about his performance?  Send us an email or a Facebook message and let us know!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry

 

Hack Your Dance Bag

serious-dancer-content-logoDance class starts in two minutes.  You’re frantically digging for that one ballet shoe.  Or a bobby pin.  Or a toe pad.  That one thing you need and you can’t find it anywhere in the bottomless pit of your dance bag. We have all been there!

Even when I have a dance bag that’s super cute or expensive ($$$), I always seem to end up with a cluttered mess – and I’m still digging for that ballet shoe!

Check out this dancer’s solution – a Trader Joe’s bottle bag with each compartment dedicated to a specific item!  Plus, you can personalize it to your heart’s desire!

The cost of the bag $0.99!

Getting to dance on time with the correct shoes?  Priceless!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry