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Connecting With Your Students

As we prepare for the end of the season it is important, as teachers, to connect with each and every one of our students before the year is over. It is easy to have a connection with the eager, talented and out going student, but the ones who are a bit shy, reserved or just not in tune with the class can easily fall through the cracks and will not continue on with their dance training next year, if we are not careful. I have seen many a student continue on with their training just because a teacher said their name or found something that the student has improved upon during the season. One word of encouragement however meager can help you to build a bond with that pupil.

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Helping Students To Be More Aware Of Details

Having been a competition judge for the past sixteen years my eye is trained to look for details. It is no secret that attention to detail always pays off. It does, in fact, make the difference between something being mediocre, good or excellent. So often I see numbers where the concept is good, the choreography works well but no attention has been directed to all the little details that make the difference between something being a winner or not!

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Getting Stuck

It happens to us all, we teach so many classes and set so much choreography, that our material starts to become stale. As a master class teacher traveling around the country, this is the number one complaint I hear from the dance teachers and studio owners. What really surprises me, and has become the main impetus for this article, is that most think they are alone with this problem, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I have become so accustom to these setbacks that I am constantly coming up with solutions to motivate and inspire, step one is 'borrowing'. Borrowing is not stealing. Being a tap dancer, I am very aware of the practice that might be called "stealing steps". This is basically an historical form of "borrowing" that helped pass the art form along. During tap challenges it is common practice to take someone's steps and rearrange them to make a whole new musical phrase. Is this really stealing? Of course not. This is a way of exchanging ideas, of using competition to promote innovation, and most importantly sparking our own creativity to take us to new places. The same can be said for all other forms of dance, choreography, music and theme choices. Now that we have license

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The Importance Of Jumping In Dance Training

In a recent study, dancers in a number of Ballet Companies around the world were surveyed to find out the reasons for the significant increase in injuries. It was discovered that one of the primary causes was simply that the dancers were not including enough jumping in their training to help prevent these injuries. So often nowadays, jumping is viewed as hard work that is not necessary to a dancer's training and therefore is neglected. Consequently this aspect of their daily training is either omitted or greatly reduced. According to an article by Mariana Shedden, M.S and Len Kravitz, Ph.D. " In order to stimulate Bone Mass Density gains in a particular bone, an exercise must overload that bone. This load imposed on a bone during exercise must be substantially greater than that experienced during normal activities in daily living. In other words, there is a certain threshold of loading which needs to be reached in order to produce a bone mass gain." In other words, dancers need to have sustained jumping in order to make their bones stronger and to help in the prevention of injuries.

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