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Dance Educating vs. Dance Training

          There has always been much emphasis placed on creative movement within K-12 dance education.  However, the concept of integrating formal, more sophisticated improvisation and choreography-composition classes within the private sector has often been overlooked. As someone who just finished her thesis on the choreographic process of technically advanced dancers during late adolescence/young adulthood, it is important to mention the growing trend of technically-trained adolescent dancers who are finding choreography as their true calling and are often not experiencing these courses until they reach higher education dance programs. What is even more interesting is that the works of some of these young dancemakers are the most refreshing, thought-provoking and promising works I have seen throughout my time as a choreography teacher. 

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The Desire For Increase

Students of all levels and varying degrees of interest have one common goal: The desire to improve! If, at all levels, you can show that they have increased their knowledge, skills level and their overall ability to express themselves, they will come back to your classes over and over again.

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Making Dance History Come To Life

One of the greatest gifts that we, as teachers, can give our students is to show them how to have an open and curious mind forever. Too often students only skim the surface in their classes and never really fully understand the scope of what they are learning. Almost always when dance history is mentioned there is either a complete disinterest in the subject or, at best, a lukewarm reception given to the whole idea of it. I like to try to find ways to interest my students in what went before them and how it can be of help to them in their futures.

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10 ways to improve releves

 So many steps in dance involve a releve so it is important to strengthen this movement from an early age to enable dancers to fully execute the steps that involve a releve. With a young dancer it is important that they understand the difference between a rise and a releve. Too often a releve is attempted without the use of adequate plie and consequently potential damage to the knee. However, both a rise and a releve need a strong pulled up knee to be successful. The rise should be smooth and without demi plie and the releve needs demi plie and should have a slight spring to the action. Here is a list of 10 ways that I have used to help strengthen the use of releve.

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