I have a confession…

Photo by Amy Ellis Phottography

Photo by Amy Ellis Phottography

I’d like to get personal for a minute if you will indulge me.

I was that child who didn’t want to leave her mom.  I was that kid that was pretty shy and terrified of new people and situations.  And truly a part of me still is.

 

What does that matter you ask? Because I feel it in my heart every time we get a new student who you can see in their eyes wants to be there, yet is super uncomfortable walking into a new place without a safety net.

 

That’s why we encourage them, we give them the space they need to check everything out and come to us on their own terms.  They have to find that comfort level that allows them to release and breathe, let go and enjoy.  And it can take some time.  Sometimes a matter of days, weeks or months – but it is never a worry.  They will come to us on their own terms and all we can do is support them and encourage them to try.

 

And when they do – that smile is worth a million dollars!  And we cheer so hard for that little dancer ready to make the leap, let go and enjoy the class.  I think back to all the dancers we have met over the years and we many that overcame that fear hold a special place in my heart.

As parents sometimes we want to rush the process,  I truly get it, I find myself trying to do the same with my own kids.  Sometimes though the best course of action is to take a deep breath, smile at our child and hold their hand a little longer,

Look what good it did for me.

Miss Katie Continue reading

14 Lovely Songs About Love

Happy early Valentine’s Day! In order of this holiday of love, I’m going to share 14 of my favorite songs about love. These would make a perfect playlist for a Valentine’s Day party! Listen and dance away!!

1. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – The Lion King

2. L O V E – Frank Sinatra

3. Love Is An Open Door – Frozen

4. Perfect – Ed Sheeran

5. She Loves You – The Beatles

6. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Housten

7. I Won’t Say I’m in Love – Hercules

8. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

9. Marry You – Bruno Mars

10. Accidentally In Love – Counting Crows

11. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys

12. Love Story – Taylor Swift

13. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

14. So This Is Love – Cinderella

More than just steps

Throughout high school I danced with a core group of about 12 dancers. We took every class, performed everywhere and enjoyed every minute of studio time.

Of that group – guess how many went on to study dance after high school? 5

And of those 5 how many are still involved in dance? 4

Crazy right – 25% still pursuing what we all had a passion for. What happened to the others? They now work as lawyers, journalists, hotel managers, environmental scientists, in insurance and in education. Think their parents’ money was wasted? Not in the least.

Dance taught us to persevere when things were hard, and I believe all of us graduated from college no matter what the challenges. Dance taught us time management, managing homework with classes, extra curricular activities and jobs was not easy but we pulled it off. Dance taught us to appreciate the beauty of the art and how hard the professionals in any field work to make it look effortless. We set goals and achieved them, then pushed ourselves higher. We found flexibility not only in our bodies but in life as well, as we all know choreography doesn’t always work out how we planned it and neither does life. We were taught the joy of using our talents to give back to others. And the list goes on.

These classes are teaching more than just steps. We are building lasting relationships and life skills that will carry through no matter where life takes us.

As a final thought – I have never talked to anyone who regretted their dance classes and what they got out of them.

My New Year’s Dance Resolutions

2018

225927-Dancing-Happy-New-Year-Snoopy

Well, it’s that time of year again: the beginning. I wish you all a bright and happy new year! It is my hope that 2018 will be a successful year. I’ve come up with three dance related resolutions that I plan to accomplish this year.

  1. I want to practice more authentic movement! In other words, I want to dance more freely more often. Usually, I am so caught up with following the correct moves and wondering how I look to others. I want to free-dance like no one’s watching! I strongly encourage you all to do so as well. Authentic movement results in the best feelings, as well as the coolest improvisations.
  2. I want to try out a new style of dance! Tap is, and always will be, my favorite style of dance. However, I found that I’ve become too comfortable in my love of tap dance. I’ve forgotten my love of learning new dances! 2018 is the perfect time for me to revisit styles of dance that I haven’t thought of in years, or learn a completely new style! Does anyone have any suggestions? Feel free to comment your favorite style of dance as motivation for me!
  3. I want to stretch more! This particular resolution is SO IMPORTANT to all dancers. I cannot stress this enough! Like many other dancers, I am guilty of sometimes foregoing a stretch in order to just jump right into dancing. This is not the healthiest thing, and lately my body has been reminding me of this with some aches and pain. I’m hoping to fight this pain with some really thorough stretching warm-ups in 2018.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling really confident about my New Year’s Resolutions! Feel free to comment yours. I would love to hear what you will be working on in 2018! Maybe we can motivate one another to accomplish everything we want to this year.

 

Giving Back

I was raised in a family heavily involved in volunteer work. If there was something that needed to be done, you can bet my mom had volunteered to do it.  Coincidentally that carried over to my dance training as well. We performed for nursing home residents, at church Christmas parties, community events – the works. We never thought twice about it and never considered not doing it, as it was just a part of our everyday life.

As I am getting older I find the same thing happening. I have the privilege of taking our dancers to community events to use their talents to give back to others. It is truly a joy to watch the faces of the people at nursing homes when they see the kids come to dance for them, knowing that some don’t get the chance to interact with young people anymore and some do not even get visitors. And like the students before them, I don’t think the students realize the magnitude of what they have done. I’m so glad to be raising dancers that give back to our community and do not think twice about doing so.

If you know somewhere that would like to host us – we would love to dance for them! Please feel free to contact me ad we can set something up.

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Our Favorite Holiday Songs To Dance To!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and that calls for the most wonderful playlist of holiday music! I hope you enjoy our favorite tunes for the winter…

  1. Frosty the Snowman – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6zW225k_O0
  2. All I Want for Christmas is You – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY
  3. Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKreDYVWark
  4.  Linus and Lucy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6zypc_LhnM
  5.  Put One Foot in Front of the Other – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OORsz2d1H7s
  6.  Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cETxWKjwizk
  7. The First Toymakers to the King – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu2BvNXgW_4
  8.  Let it Snow – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-10fWHdpmks
  9.  Dreidel Hokey Pokey Song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA0svAvafLY
  10.  Hot Chocolate – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF8AiT_zXSw

Happy Holidays, everyone!

25 Reasons To Dance

Most of us don’t need a reason to dance, we just do it! But, if you’re someone who needs to be convinced, here are 25 reasons why you should dance. Some are serious, some are silly, and all are true!

 

25. Because you’re cold and moving around will produce body heat

24. Because you just aced a test

23. Because your friend just aced a test and you’re a supportive friend

22. Because your favorite song is on the radio

21. Because someone told you that you can’t dance and you have to prove them wrong

20. Because you’re at a party and everyone is dancing

19. Because you’re at a party and no one is dancing

18. Because you’re in dance class

17. Because you’re in class at school and quietly tap dancing under your desk helps you focus on what you’re learning

16. Because you’re at a concert and you’re hoping that your favorite singer will notice you rockin’ out in the audience

15. Because you want to embarrass your kids

14. Because you want to embarrass your parents

13. Because you don’t get embarrassed dancing in public

12. Because it’s raining

11. Because you’ve been cooped up in bed all day

10. Because you just watched a movie musical

9. Because a little kid asked you to dance with them

8. Because you’re trying to wake yourself up

7. Because you need to stretch

6. Because you want to see if your pet will start to dance with you

5. Because everyone is watching

4. Because no one is watching

3. Because you’re with your best friends

2. Just cuz you can

1. Because it makes you feel happy 🙂

 

Hope this brought a smile to all your faces! Have a wonderful, dance-filled day!

My Favorite . . . Broadway Musical Dance Numbers!

No Broadway musical is without a show-stopping dance number. Here are some of my favorites! Check them out and let me know what you think.

 

5. Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast
This is just such a fun number! It is impossible not to smile while watching. Also, it’s Disney, so what could be better?!

4. Too Darn Hot – Kiss Me Kate
I have a hard time picking whether I like the original performance better or the revival performance. Give both a watch! I’m impressed by the two different interpretations of the same song.

3. Brotherhood of Man – How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
This number has a bunch of dancing businessmen, a high soprano, and Daniel Radcliffe himself. What’s not to love?! This dance number leaves you feeling all warm inside as the company sings and dances to the idea of brotherhood.

2. Once and For All / Seize the Day – Newsies
No list of Broadway musical dance numbers is complete without a performance from Newsies! I could watch these actors dance everyday for the rest of my life!

1. Anything Goes – Anything Goes
I have such a soft spot for giant tap dance numbers, so of course this is number one on my list! I just love the sounds of an entire company with clear taps.

So, what do you think? Do you agree? Have any other Broadway musical dance numbers to recommend? Comment below!

Seven Spooky Songs for the Perfect Halloween Party!

Are you planning on throwing a fun costume party for your little ones and their friends? Get the party started with some of our favorite, kid-friendly scary dance songs! Don’t worry . . . they’re not TOO scary!

  1.  I’m In Love With a Monster – Fifth Harmony
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlkFTxnizyk
  2.  Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9We2XsVZfc
  3.  Rotten to the Core – The Descendants Cast
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGlLe1w3DJM
  4.  This is Halloween – Nightmare Before Christmas
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpvdAJYvofI
  5.  The Harry Potter Theme Song
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htaj3o3JD8I
  6.  I Put a Spell on You – Bette Middler in Hocus Pocus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaC-WDrvmUQ&index=12&list=RDQMZnDfqLhbuIs
  7.  Calling All the Monsters – China Anne McClain in Ant Farm
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmSpn3EnsE0&list=RDQMZnDfqLhbuIs&index=34

download

 

Mwa ha ha ha! 

Must Know Stage Terms!

IfBa you’re going to be a dancer, there are some stage terms you need to know in addition to the names of the steps. Don’t worry though! I’ve made you a little cheat-sheet to help you remember.

House: the audience

House lights: the lights in the auditorium/performance space dancers are performing in

Onstage/Stage: the area where dancers perform

Stage lights: the bright lights that shine on the area where dancers perform

Backstagethe area where dancers can get ready to perform, it is usually somewhere behind the stage

Curtains: the fabric in front of the stage that hides dancers from the audience until it is time for them to dance

Wings: the area in between the backstage and performances spaces where dancers wait right before going onstage

Bows: the last time dancers are seen onstage and are applauded, usually with all of the performance’s dancers

“Break a legg”: good luck for a dancer, it means to get so many encores that the curtain legg breaks from being opened and closed so many times

And finally . . . here is an image breaking down Stage directions. Where this dancer is standing in this image is known as Center stage.Screen-Shot-2013-10-21-at-10.30.29-PM