Success Basics Everyone Needs to Know: Seek Advice Properly
As a dance teacher, people are always willing to give you advice on all kinds of matters. They will give you advice on who to teach for, what to teach and how to fix a problem you may be having. The world is full of people willing to give unsolicited advice. Sadly, there are almost as many people willing to take that advice, without taking the time to do it correctly. Even though people ask for it, ironically, most people feel advice is worth what it costs - nothing. This is probably true in most cases.Read More
A Fresh Start!
It's that time again, yet another year has passed. While the mere mention of this can throw ordinary mortals into deep bouts of depression, there's really no need to even go anywhere near there. Why? As a teacher, the passing of another year can be a true gift. How so? As the old year passes and the New Year begins, you have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean so to speak. You can keep what worked for you during the past year and what didn't work; you can choose not to bring forward with you into the New Year.Read More
The Use of Breathing in Dance
Dancers are always so consumed with movement that very often they completely forget to take deep breaths when they are dancing. It is common for dance students to become red in the face, short of breath and easily fatigued all symptoms that can be caused by the lack of good oxygen intake.Read More
When Is It Appropriate For Dancers To Go On Pointe?
Ballet teachers are faced with the dilemma each year as to which of their dancers are ready to go on pointe. There are always the pressures of both students and their parents pushing their teachers to let them go on pointe. It is a great responsibility and it is very important to make the correct decision for any classical student as to when and if a student should be put on pointe. Really the decision can only be made according to the level of the student’s skill, age and physical development and mental strength. The teacher’s assessment of the student should be the defining answer, no pressure from student or parent should affect the teacher’s decision. Dancing on Pointe is difficult and permanent damage can be done to the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back if a dancer is not ready or physically inappropriate to dance on Pointe. Of course, many a young dancer has the dream or vision of being on Pointe, the professionals make it look effortless and beautiful; but it is a long road to get to that level. The reality is that some dancers will never be suitable for Pointe work. Of course young dancers who look upon going on Pointe as a promotion or status symbol are disappointed if it is not their time, but it is definitely worth that bit of disappointment to keep the dancer away from unnecessary injury and suffering.Read More
Nutcracker Makeup Tips
Tis the season for Christmas Holiday shows and of course the most popular of all, the Nutcracker, will be presented by studios across the country. In many cases this will be presented on a large stage and may require a little more facial enhancement than a typical small stage performance.Read More
A Facilitator of Greatness!
Someone once said that you can't move forward without having a good idea of where you've been. The past can serve as a good foundation for the future. Sometimes we can be so focused on what we want out for our future that we often forget to see where it is that we've come from. Teachers, as you probably well know, are in demand every moment they are on the job. Students have needs, parents have needs and it seems that the whole world needs something from you at any given moment in time. You have to be 'on' the moment you walk into the studio door and hold that energy until you leave after teaching your last class. So let's stop the wheels from turning for just a few moments and have you take a look at a couple of things that I hope you'll find important and worthwhile.Read More
The Lesson Within the Lessons
As dance teachers we are clear on our role to teach our students proper technique and performance skills. However, as generations are continually changing, so is the world in which they are growing up in. Perhaps a traditionalist to some extent, it is my belief that certain etiquette, good habits and respect for the dance studio is becoming a lost value within some training programs. Furthermore, while the dance studio is many times a student’s 'home-away-from-home,' we also become example-setters; instilling rules, discipline and boundaries of our own for the welfare of our students. While it is a fine line to be cognizant of what some parents could misconstrue as overstepping their parental rights, it is always important to reassure them and be clear that the studio and teachers’ mission is undoubtedly in the best interest of their children and studio community. In essence, we are helping to not only train the dancer but also produce polite, humble and respectful professionals. In my experience, parents most often come to appreciate this reinforcement of lesson implementation; which they are already trying to instill at home. This consistency and follow-through are always recipes for success.Read More
Guiding Students Towards Positive Thinking
As dance teachers we are faced each day with not only nurturing our students from a technical aspect but more importantly from a psychological one too. The majority of dance teachers do not hold degrees in psychology and yet we need to help our students, especially the teenage ones with this incredibly important side of their dance training. Even in our discussions with dancers promoting nutritional health very often the psychological side is omitted. Without adequate nurturing in this direction for our young dancers many of them will never be able to realize their true potential as dancers or as professionals in whatever field they choose to work in.Read More
How To Avoid Burnout!
As a dance teacher, creator and motivator to your class it is imperative that you stay fresh and inspired. The key to this is to know and understand what makes you tick. If you know what gets your creative juices flowing, NOW that summer is over and fall is here it's time to get yourself recharged and reenergized for the season. We encourage you to take the test below. It will help you to understand more about yourself and what you need to keep your classes fresh and exciting.Read More
Setting Your Goals - Easier Said, Easily Done
The basics of setting a goal is an open secret known by top-caliber athletes and dancers, successful businessmen and businesswomen and all types of achievers in all the different fields. Dance teachers need to set goals not only for themselves but also for their students. The basics of setting goals give you short-term and long-term motivation and focus. They help you set focus on the acquisition of required knowledge and help you to plan and organize your resources and your time so that you can get the best out of your life.Read More
Exercises to Keep the Knee Healthy
Knee injuries are very common for young dancers and athletes either through growth, overuse or because of accidents not generally linked to dancing or a sport. The most important advice and help that I can give to my students is to show them how to keep the muscles that surround and stabilize the knee healthy.Read More
Keeping the Energy Level Up
At the beginning of any season, the energy felt in the air when students return to class can be exciting for all. Dancers realize how much they missed dancing or for those who studied over the summer they are eager to show their newfound strengths and knowledge. For teachers too it is a great feeling to walk into a class where the students are so eager to learn and practically hang on to every word that comes out of your mouth. All and all it is a dance love fest! The problems arise when you are three months into your semester and all of a sudden that energy seems to have dropped to a new low and somehow you become the one individual who seems to be responsible for regenerating that initial excitement.Read More