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SPECIAL DANCE TEACHER WEB EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH AARON TURNER

**Dance Teacher Web Founder Steve Sirico presents a special interview with Aaron Turner. Discover how Aaron learned his love of dance and what motivates him. This video is a must watch for your male dancers!**

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DANCE TEACHERS: IT’S YOUR ATTITUDE THAT DETERMINES YOUR ALTITUDE!

Every time you enter your classroom you need to have energy and an uplifting aura about you. It amazes me when I see teachers walk into a room in an obvious bad mood and with their head down and then wonder why students that day were not receptive to being taught. If your class is not behaving well, I recommend that the first place you have to look is at yourself.

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BUILDING TEAM SPIRIT IN THE DANCE STUDIO!

Being a studio owner involves the constant juggling of many hats; often all at the same time. Certain seasons and groupings of dancers lend itself to everyone being connected, excited and full of team spirit. However, that sense of camaraderie and team focus doesn’t always surface and if it does, can dwindle; only to have to be rebuilt all over again once a new season begins. I began to think that perhaps the biggest hat studio directors have to wear is that of cheerleader. If we were to look at the role as the “team captain,” it really does start with keeping motivation and momentum going in order to achieve a common goal. Realistically, it all has to start with enthusiasm, passion, desire, commitment and focus in order to achieve individual and group success; and if the captain isn’t motivating their team from Day #1, the game is over before it’s begun!...........

 

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5 QUICK TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL MUSIC SELECTION

The task of music selection year after year can be a daunting one, especially for those of us teaching multiple classes. We aim to be creative, fresh, innovative and contemporary, but the truth is, many struggle to deliver original and age appropriate content that is both family friendly and not overdone. So, how do we attempt to include all of the above and still find something that inspires us as artists as well? The trick is to do your research ahead of time. Heading to ITunes or Spotify at the last minute right before you need to set a piece rarely works well, but actually listening to music you enjoy regularly and giving yourself time will allow you the opportunity to create a library of songs you can keep in storage for the perfect group as an when the need arises! Having an arsenal of ideas will always put you ahead of the game and make for infinite options vs. settling on something your creative spirit is not really in tune with. Here are 3 quick tips below to help you zero in on successful music selection season after season!......

 

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NATURALLY GIFTED VS. PASSIONATE DANCER

There is nothing more frustrating than having a dancer in class possessing the raw ability, natural facility and talent a dancer dreams of but somehow lacks the motivation and enthusiasm as some of our less talented students.
I'm sure you've all experienced it. The dancer in class with extension for days, effortless turning ability, ridiculous flexibility and feet that are unmatched. Their attitude however is 'ho-hum' at best. Everything looks like marking and the self-motivation to push themselves beyond anything out of their comfort zone is lacking. As a teacher, it can be infuriating to watch and the lack of enthusiasm often makes you stop and wonder whether they enjoy dance at all....



 

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DANCE TEACHER WEB EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH DOLLY KELEPECZ DIRECTOR OF DANCE TEACHER UNIVERSITY

Steve Sirico co-founder of Dance Teacher Web.com interviews Dolly Kelepecz who is the director of the Dance Teacher University Teacher Certification Program. She has been a professional dancer for over thirty years. She danced with Los Angeles Ballet, Houston Ballet, Nevada Dance Theatre and the Zurich Opera Ballet before joining the famed Lido Show at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas where she was the principle dancer/ singer.

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INSPIRING STUDENTS OUT OF MEDIOCRITY & COMPLACENCY

There is a current trend that I’m seeing in not all, but many students and I wonder if you are too. In a world where there is endless opportunity for our up & comers, it seems that the And, what is our role as teachers, studio owners and parents in all this? Are we motivating our students and inspiring them to actually want to succeed consistently? Are we consistently challenging their minds and bodies, teaching consequences for actions and quite frankly not accepting excuses for their own self-acceptance? How do we stay positive role models and ones they look up to? How do we keep that determination and drive going in ourselves and amongst students? How do we show them that the world is theirs for the taking if they have the discipline to acquire it? Ultimately, how do we get them to care about their own lives?

After speaking to Robert Landau, International Motivational Speaker, here are his words of wisdom on teaching our students the golden rule, “victory is rewarded to the most preserving"

 

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Exciting Interview With Aja DePaolo Professional Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher

Dance Teacher Web Founder interviews Aja DePaolo who is a former student of the D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Centre in Fairfield CT. Aja has toured with Selena Gomez, Cee lo Green. Has appeared in videos with the Jonas Bothers and Kelly Rowland. She will be performing in the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Rita Moreno on December 29 2015!

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DANCE TEACHER WEB SPECIAL VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH RICKY HINDS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF "NEWSIES"

**This week we are thrilled to have DTW Faculty Member and Associate Director of the Tony Award winning "Newsies," Ricky Hinds in our Dance Teacher Web video interview corner! Get the inside scoop straight from this extraordinary artist on his views on teaching, students and how to make the most impact towards nurturing successful dancers!**

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UTILIZING SET-BACK TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES.

As dedicated dance teachers, our job day-in and day-out is to move our students forward, teach them the next lesson, prepare them for the future, progress their technique, etc. etc. Often we apply this same mentality to our own lives and goals, constantly wanting to do better and utilizing tunnel-vision to check off the next goal on our list. At times we don’t take into account the effect that set-backs can have on our psyche, our health and our mental wellbeing. It is a topic that is extremely relevant because our students will also endure these kinds of disappointments as well. Our job is to first learn how we can deal with them on a personal level so that we can give our students the best advice and guidance in terms of how to move forward from life’s little surprises....

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EXPANDING MULTICULTURAL DANCE IN THE STUDIO SETTING

Ballet. Tap. Jazz. Contemporary. Lyrical. Hip-Hop. That's the basic core curriculum for many dance studios. While a well-rounded dance education is key for nurturing a well-rounded dancer, many times the idioms included in their training can lack, shall we say, cultural diversity. It's just the way things have been done and in fairness, there are only so many classes that can be offered and only so many classes the average child will take. The progression of including multicultural dance in such genres as African or Afro-Jazz, Indian, Latin, etc. however can potentially open the eyes of young dancers who may never have been exposed to it in the first place. We are a changing world and the dance world is no exception.....

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DANCE-THE HEALING ART FOR ALL

In a time when the climate of the world is anything less than calm, each one of us battles divisiveness, negativity and uneasiness to ensure our students that their studio is a place they can always come for inclusiveness and emotional release.
While we are ourselves don't always have the answers to give our dancers as to why circumstances and situations are the way they are, the one thing we can always provide them with is the reminder that dance heals. It is hope. It is an art form where mind, body and soul unite to calm the spirit and clear the mind.
By coming to class or rehearsals, dance provides an outlet where one's thoughts and feelings, fears and hopes can be parlayed into a living, breathing vehicle which speaks volumes. There is no right or wrong opinion or feeling. Dance doesn't judge. It doesn't divide. It unites through collaboration, acceptance, tolerance, patience and hard work. It honors commitment and dedication and it unknowingly can create a dialogue amongst human beings which might otherwise be difficult with words. Dance is our time to learn about one another, to build relationships and to find tolerance in the differences we may have. It is also a space to recognize that we are all more similar than different.......


 

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HELPING STUDENTS KEEP A LEVEL HEAD DURING COMPETITION SEASON

I am the most competitive person out there. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like to win. Who doesn't? Nobody goes into a competitive situation and says, "Come to think of it, I'd actually like to lose." As a teacher, I love to see my dancers excel even more. There's no greater feeling than watching your students' hard work pay off and be recognized for their commitment and talent. And, let's be honest, it also makes us feel good as choreographers when our work is acknowledged by our peers as well.

Competitions are a great arena for creating performance opportunity, learning teamwork and collaboration, seeing what other studios are doing out there, learning from peers, receiving objective critique and feedback and getting to experience exposure to new things and people in the dance world. Remembering that healthy competition is a good thing to keep dancers motivated, on their toes and passionate about learning and wanting to progress, the issues arise in these competitive situations when students get too high or too low about the accolades they receive. As teachers and studio directors, it's our responsibility to rally the team and remind them of what's important going into and coming out of competition season....



 

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DANCE EDUCATION VS. DANCE TRAINING. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Understanding the difference between dance education and dance training is a pivotal distinction. In turn, this understanding affords a dance teacher the knowledge to incorporate both (equally important) agendas into a studio’s curriculum; thereby cultivating a cohesive program.

So what is the difference? In the simplest terms, dance education, most often seen within the K-12 setting, offers a child the opportunity to dance appreciation and a solid arts education; where emphasis lies on the child’s creative process and creation. While technique is offered and incorporated as part of the “Do, Know, Create, Perform” Learning Standards, the goal of public school dance programs are less focused on the idea of creating technical dancers but more on the idea of educating the “whole” child by: introducing dance history, exposing students to various dance genres, teaching them how to identify, look at and critique famous masterworks, how to use dance as a vehicle for interdisciplinary subjects and introducing students to their community and cultural diversity through dance. Most importantly, again, is the emphasis for the child to take this knowledge and develop their own creative works to expand higher order thinking skills, develop aesthetic, find individual artistic voice and encourage peer interaction through collaboration and constructive feedback. Because many public school students will not go on to become professional dancers, what dance education aims to do is create an ongoing knowledge and appreciation for the art-form which may in fact lead to jobs in the art field, future avid theater goers or just more well-rounded, arts educated individuals. Dance education ultimately strives to enrich the overall advancement of a student’s well-being and provides students the outlet to create their own art and release the stresses of their scholastic and private lives. Dance education also provides a special environment where there are no wrong answers. Students can move freely and fall in love with the art form........

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SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE HAMSTRING STRETCHES FOR ALL LEVEL DANCERS

The hamstrings are muscles which cross more than one joint; making them susceptible to frequent muscles pulls, tears or strains. These injuries can be caused by a variety of reasons which include but are not limited to: improper technique, muscle imbalance, incorrect stretching techniques or a single gross motor movement; particularly when improperly warmed up.

It is essential that dancers take the necessary steps to ensure that these muscles are given some love and stretched properly with lengthening exercises which are held for a minimum of one minute. Making sure that both the muscles have the stretch and the flexibility to perform required movements will ensure a safe, effective approach to dancing and maintain the well-being of the hamstrings and the surrounding muscles they are connected to......

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