How Do We Shift The Energy In Dance Class?
We all have taught those amazing classes where we leave feeling inspired because the energy in the room that day was so electric. You know, the ones where all your dancers are little sponges and retain everything, are focused, ask questions, connect the dots and dance their hearts out? It can be an incredible teaching and learning experience when everyone is literally in sync and all on the same page; each bringing the same amount of energy and work ethic to the table. This is where progress is achieved, ideas and cultivated, creativity ignited and dancers are made...Read More
Maintaining Joy & Positivity in Dance Class
Remember when you were little and would twirl and spin just because it was fun? Remember those first pair of ballet slippers and the excitement of being in dance class following your teacher in the front of the room? Remember how you couldn't wait to get to the studio and hear the music playing while you learned new choreography for recital? All these experiences were the very foundation to create a love an appreciation of dance.....
Competition, Adjudication & Fair Critiques
I get it. You lay out lots of money for competition fees in the hopes of taking your dancers to an event where they will not only get the chance to perform, but also receive valuable, helpful, thoughtful and objective feedback to enhance their progress. When you come off a weekend and find that your tapes are not what you had hoped for (especially when they don’t support the scores given,) you feel a range of emotions from disappointed, annoyed, angry and cheated.
Having been on both sides, as a teacher and a judge, I understand what teachers and studio owners are seeking and should be expecting. Any seasoned judge who also teaches will be keenly aware of this as well. Anything less and you should contact competition representatives to bring it to their attention. The information below should give you a sense on what a solid adjudication should encompass.....
Exclusive Dance Teacher Q & A With DTW Founders Steve Sirico & Angie D'Valda Sirico Part II
With over 30 years in the Dance Studio Business and teaching worldwide for over 40 years. Steve and Angela share their expertise and knowledge with Dance Teacher Web membersRead More
Utilizing Dance to Unify & Heal
In a time when the climate of the world is anything less than calm, each one of us battles divisiveness, negativity and uneasiness to ensure our students that their studio is a place they can always come for inclusiveness and emotional release.
While we are ourselves don't always have the answers to give our dancers as to why circumstances and situations are the way they are, the one thing we can always provide them with is the reminder that dance heals. It is hope. It is an art form where mind, body and soul unite to calm the spirit and clear the mind...
Please Don't Bypass Technique Warm-up, Change it up Instead!
Technique is the most crucial aspect of any dance class, we all know that. It is the fundamental foundation of dance which propels a dancers growth, increases flexibility, enhances strength and teaches them essentially, “how to dance.” If our dancers are with us long enough, they learn our warm-ups and often know them backwards and forwards without us doing it alongside them. This is great because it affords the dance teacher more time observe to give and make tactile corrections, but it can also have the potential for dancers to go on auto-pilot and check out; especially if they are not being mindful of every single plie and tendu they are putting forth....Read More
Redefining the Term, "Effort" in Dance Class
One of my biggest pet peeves as a dance teacher is when I see students go “half-at” things; particularly dancers with talent and facility. I often sit back and think to myself, did I ever give off this kind of blasé attitude when I was training? No. I didn’t. 100%, without a doubt, no. I wouldn’t have even thought of it. It never even crossed my mind to lean on the barre, not be dressed properly for class, sit down, yawn without covering my mouth, talk or intimate a combination by marking the turns or any other movement for that matter. I also certainly never rolled my eyes or so much as lifted an eyebrow because something being demonstrated was challenging....Read More
Getting Dancers to Emote on Stage
As teachers and choreographers of young dancers, we recognize half the battle is getting our dancers to all look synchronized, understand conceptually and physically what we are trying to convey and present clean technique which highlights their strengths. Often times however we get that unavoidable question when the emotional component may not be quite as clear as to, “What should my face be?” ....Read More
The True Meaning of Expecting Excellence
I am a dance teacher who expects excellence. I make no apologies for that. Neither should you. Whether you want to call it an, "old school," way of thinking or just plain" too tough," on today's young dancers, I disagree. The way in which we set our own expectations should be clear and concise so dancers know exactly what is expected of them at all times...........
Competition Do's & Don'ts
As a dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher, competition judge and spectator I decided it’s time to reach the masses with my compiled list of do’s and don’ts before heading into another competition season. Use this as an inside glimpse into what adjudicators are really thinking and hope to see; while giving your students an optimal chance for success and self-confidence! More importantly…an opportunity to have fun, learn from their peers and take away the experience of performing in a new venue...Read More
The Important Skill of Applying Corrections
Working with young dancers, we are accustomed to giving endless feedback, critique and correction as their young bodies and mind progress and develop. While technical and performance skills are on the forefront of one training agenda, part of their dance education should also reflect alternative skills which go hand in hand with that technique. The importance of instilling application of correction is an important concept which they will take with them in any profession they ascertain. It’s also ironic that it is a skill very difficult for some to grasp....
The Motivation Place with Robert Landau
Each week join Robert Landau as he presents a motivational tip to get your week off to a great start!Read More
Yes, Ballet Technique is Still Essential
In a time when young dancers are influenced greatly by the dance and dancers which they see on T.V. and at competition, it is only natural that they will want to emulate it and consider it the epitome of excellence. The overload of tricks, overstretching and hyperextension, unattractive foot and leg positions, etc. all have the potential to instill bad habits and poor technique if we as teachers do not hold the standard of proper ballet technique essential to one’s training. So how do you answer the question, “Why is ballet still important?”......Read More