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DANCE TEACHERS: DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL

We train our dancers to take everything with a grain of salt; to take the compliments and the criticisms, to not get too high or too low about accomplishments and failures. We prepare them for the harshness of the outside world, to tackle rejection with grace, to understand things will not always go in their favor and to reconcile that people can be unkind. We motivate them to develop self-worth that will keep their heads high and their confidence unwavering and we aim to instill an inner voice which reminds them they are meant for great things and that their talents are unique to the world. We send them out into the world hopefully ready to take it on, not let anyone stand in there way and believe, with hard work, they can do anything they set their minds to....

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CHECK OUT THIS TERRIFIC INTERVIEW WITH 3 TIME TONY AWARD WINNER KATHLEEN MARSHALL

Kathleen Marshall has Directed and Choreographed 13 Broadway Shows and has won 3 Tony Awards and 2 Drama Desk Awards. Listen to her great insights on teaching, training and preparing your students. Don't forget to check out her terrific class in the "Master Class Video Series" inside members area.

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THE POWER OF POSITIVITY

It may seem like common knowledge and something that is a given; surrounding ourselves only with people who lift us up and want to be see us succeed and fly high. But, that is not always the case and we can at times wind up in a situation where the energy which surrounds us needs to be assessed and shaken up a bit. As studio owners, you deal with all different types of personalities and temperaments; people that want things from you, people that only need you for what do for them, people that question your every move and then the people that you trust and want to see your hard work and dedication pay off. There are all kinds that will enter and exit your life over an extended period of time. It’s fluid. The problem starts to come into play when we don’t acknowledge the negativity which sometimes can present itself and let it manifest until we second guess who we are and where we are going.....

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TWO SIMPLE EXERCISES TO ENHANCE A STRONG BACK AND PORT DE BRAS

We all come across dance students that lack the strength and flexibility to sustain a proper port de bras position. Whether it be the non-engagement of the shoulders and back, not pulling up, the drooping elbows or the sole initiation from the arms, there are simple exercises which can help develop the surrounding muscles and build both strength and flexibility in conjunction with proper technical training and observation.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or take too long and dancers can do these on their own as well. The more repetition and comprehension of their anatomy, the quicker they will see results and understand that a strong back is not only aesthetically beautiful but is imperative for a correct port de bras position! Here are two of my favorite fast and easy ones!........

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THE ADVANTAGES OF DANCING FULL-OUT

If you were like me, you danced everything full-out - all the time, every time. There was never a glimmer of a thought about marking something unless the teacher instructed it was OK to do so. Even then, you rarely took them up on it. Occasionally, today, I see dancers who either take that liberty upon themselves or genuinely think it’s no big deal….and honestly, it infuriates me as a teacher.

Well, I’m here to tell you it is a big deal. I’m from the school of thought that everything should be danced full out 100%, of the time, in class and in rehearsals. It shouldn’t be a strain for teachers to convince their dance students to do so. But, it may be important to explain why it’s beneficial to them so they understand where you are coming from and don't assume you’re just being the cruel, mean dance teacher..........

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