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Putting Dancers on Pointe: The Real Truth

Determining when a dancer is ready to go on pointe is an extremely important decision in terms of a dancer's advancement. While many ballet dancers will be eager to get their first pair of pointe shoes, many don't realize until they are up on pointe, how much dedication is involved, how much work and discomfort actually coincide with it and how strong the body and mind need to be to move onto this level.

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I am a Dance Mut...and I'm Okay With That

During my professional training and performance career, I was lucky enough to have an eclectic and vast range of the genres I was exposed to. I started off with strict ballet training in my youth and throughout my teenage years, fell in love with modern in college, focused on jazz and musical theater in my early twenties, etc. Because of this, I was a desirable hire at auditions; well-rounded and I could do almost anything because I was well versed (except tap, I was never a tapper!)

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DANCE TEACHER WEB LIVE CONFERENCE & EXPO 2013 RECAP

Well..... What can I say except WOW! What an incredible few days it's been here at our Dance Teacher Web Live Conference & Expo! So much to recap, but I must start with how electric the energy has been here at the conference! Everyone from the faculty to the attendees to our wonderful staff have been buzzing with enthusiasm, positivity and readiness! It's really been so exciting and inspiring to come in and teach and share with everyone.... and it keeps getting better year after year!

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Preparing Your Dancers For The Real World

I just happened to be on FB this morning reading the posts of my many talented friends in the business; many that have had long, long careers doing what they love to do and making a good living at it. Today, in particular however, I stumbled across a post of a friend who is between shows. This is someone who has pretty much worked consistently in the Broadway community for the past 25 years. This one line resonated with me so much it made me stop and think whether we truly prepare our students enough for what is ahead of them. The post read, "Isn't this biz amazing how you can live your lifelong dream dancing with Chita Rivera one week and then back to the audition grind the next?"

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Healthy Pick Me Ups For Your Dancers

We all aim to keep our dancers healthy and encourage well-balanced nutrition. Long days at school, followed by nights and weekend classes & rehearsals at the studio can leave young dancers drained. So how do we promote healthy eating and snacking to ensure they have the energy and acute brain power they need to thrive in class?

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Visualizing Your Way To Success

Teachers, Directors…..we all live in a fast paced studio world of needing and wanting to get things done. Because we are so busy, we often forget to stop and reflect on what we have accomplished, where we're going, what we want out of our life, what our goals are and how we are going to attain them. Sometimes, something as simple as breathing and sitting still can unleash a plethora of ideas, hopes, wishes and dreams we have for ourselves and our business.

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Injury, Acupuncture & Younger Dancers

I had the privilege of sitting down with my friend, dancer, performer and now highly regarded NYC acupuncturist Erika Weber on the topic of acupuncture as a means for injury prevention and treatment in our younger dancers. If you have dancers of your own interested in this option, this is the interview for you! Very informative and some great advice to share in your studio! Enjoy!

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Meet Jessica Rizzo-Stafford

**_Well.....I thought it was about time to introduce myself to you in _****_THE SPACE, _****_since you see me and read my words here as Editor in Chief and Head Contributor on the DTW Blog week after week! So... now you can get to know me a little, see how I "tick" as a choreographer and teacher & discover what inspires me so I can help continue to inspire you! _** **_See you in the Studio,_** **_Jessie_**

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Teacher Conduct & Tactile Correction

When I was training, I had teachers who'd take hold of me and fix me, turn me out, poke me, stretch me, mold me, move me and use tactile correction in whichever way necessary to get their point across. They'd "teach" me by showing me how it felt on my body to have something done correctly. My generation loved that kind of correction, that attention. It was never questioned. You're a dancer, that's what dance teachers do. Sometimes you can say something to a student a million different ways and it won't register, but if you physically show them on their body, it clicks! And once it clicks, it's there forever. It may take quite a few times for it to become muscle-memory, but the notion to self-correct becomes greater and ingrained in one's own body over time.

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Be Specific!

It seems nowadays especially, so many things get generalized, glossed over, breezed by and given half-hearted attention to. We glimpse, we glance, we mark, we coast and this effect trickles down to others. What happened to attention to detail? What happened to specificity? Clarity? Intricacy? Painstaking accuracy? These values are slipping away faster than we realize and what was maybe just an oversight is now becoming trend. Read More

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