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Understanding Your Students Complexion Needs

            In many ways our skin is oil and water.  Some people have oily skin with a dry surface due to harsh products used to dry out oil—the problem is, you can’t stop your oil glands from producing oil with skin care products, but you can strip them off the skin’s surface layer so harshly that skin feels dry to the touch.  This skin type should try an oil-free moisturizer.  Dead skin can sometimes be confused with dry skin.  Exfoliation is important to keep skin smooth, free of flakes and tiny bumps.

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Ordering Costumes: Timing Is Everything!

'There is a time for everything and a season for every purpose under heaven,' and if you are a dance teacher or studio owner, you know that this is the season for ordering your costumes. It may not be easy to focus on a show that is still months and months away, but early planning and ordering will minimize the craziness later in the year and maximize the discounts you can get. There are four main keys to making this process easier and more efficient: careful preparation, correct measurements, complete organization and appropriate pricing.

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5 Ways To Making Ballet Fun For Beginners!

I cannot even begin to count the number of times a mother has come in to register her daughter for classes and told us that her child didn’t want to do ballet because they wanted to have fun! It always struck me as rather sad that so many children and parents have such a negative opinion of ballet when it was so important for them to learn and master the technique. I would always ask the parent why the child didn’t want to do ballet and the reasons were almost always the same. It was too slow, it was boring, there was too much discipline, the music was lifeless and it just wasn’t fun.

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Hip Injury Prevention

In today’s competitive world it is common for dancers to try to get their legs up as high as possible in the air without fully understanding what is needed to actually get them there. As a result we are seeing more and more hip injuries in our dancers. There are a number of ways that we, as teachers can help our students to not only become stronger, but also appreciate how important it is to let the body work the way it is designed to.

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The Value Of Knowledge Beyond Movement

 From my experiences as both a student and a teacher, I have come to recognize that learning the why’s and how’s of technique, composition, history, anatomy and more is what ultimately separates the dancer who watches, repeats and may perform well from those who become an artist of their craft. Getting students at an early age to understand and value the importance of where things come from, how a technique evolved, who the pioneers of a certain genre were and what their contributions to dance were, how a particular muscle works to achieve a desired position, the back-history of a musical, how changing the effort quality of a movement changes intent in a work—these can all catapult our students into what I call 'whole dancers' as opposed to solely trained moving vehicles, those literally just going through the motions.

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Eight Ways To Get More Out Of Your Day

Use these tips to free up your time and your mind!

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Building Stamina In Your Dancers

Too often young dancers lack physical and mental stamina in their work and they feel tired and drained by activity that should not have that effect in a young person.

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PreSchool Ballet Content

This month I want to give more pre-school ballet content, plus ideas on props that will not only stimulate the young dancer’s imagination, but also help them develop motor skills and spatial awareness. It is so important when children are learning to dance between the ages of 3 and 5 that they are learning in a creative, fun and challenging way suitable for their ages.

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Preparing Students For Beginner Pointe

Just about every little girl who sees the Nutcracker at an early age has dreams of floating round the stage in pointe shoes, dressed in a sparkling tutu, with a lovely smile on her face and a handsome prince holding her hand. Most girls who grow up taking ballet have a strong desire to go on pointe, but very often the reality is hard to take. I like to prepare my dancers in the best possible way to help them through those difficult times and transitions in the world of pointe.

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Yes you can! Creating an all boys class

With men dancing on television and in the movies, it is easier to get boys to sign up for classes. With former football and basketball players and racecar drivers dancing on prime time TV, guys are starting to learn the truth about dance. Dancing is athletic, challenging and fun! Every year during registration it is exciting when boys show up to register. If you would like to increase your male enrollment, try creating an all boys class. The key is not to identify it by any genre. This way you can incorporate all dance forms into the class, increasing their dance knowledge and overall training. I have written articles on teaching boys and this article will focus on an all boys class!

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Q & A With Angela D'Valda Sirico

We’ve had a number of emails from members who would like help with a number of issues that they are facing. This is the first of a new quarterly Q & A session that will answer your questions and give you ideas on how to handle different situations. Please feel free to send your questions to danceteacherweb@aol.com; we will answer as many as space allows.

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Your Year Long Plan

Each year it is important to make a class plan that will outline the entire year and the content of work you would like your class to learn. This will also help keep you in line with what the class has learned, what they are struggling with and what must be taught. You can and must make this a working document that you will make notations on.

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Strengthening Exercises For The Back

Strengthening the back muscles is essential for dancers, valuable in preventing injuries not just to the back, but also to other areas of the body. When teaching dancers just to stand correctly, I like to familiarize them with the different muscle groups that need to function correctly in order to stabilize the body and give them the strength that they need to perform the technique very often required. I have found that by having the dancers make a diagram of each muscle group, it really helps them to understand where they are, how they need to be fired up and what their exact function is in relation to their body. For instance, understanding that the latissimus dorsi muscles that cradle the ribcage are tremendously important for their balance and for being able to hold the upper body in the correct position for leaps really helps them improve their technique. How many times have you watched a young dancer try to leap unsuccessfully because there is little or no control in the upper body? 

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Positive Thought Provoking Messages For Your Students

 

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Assessment in Dance Education

Having just returned from the celebrated, inaugural Dance Teacher Web Conference in Lake Las Vegas and a successful teacher-talk session on Dance in the K-12 Setting, I’d like to contribute some more information regarding many of the attendees’ questions on assessment in dance education, which can also be adapted for use in the studio setting. 

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