Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tune into the Hit Web-Reality Dance Series - Dance 212

Do you dream of making it big as a dancer in NYC but sometimes wonder if you've got what it takes? If so, then you've got to tune into this hit web-reality series, Dance 212. This series follows five college-aged dancers as they pursue their dance dreams in NYC. You can watch them take classes, go to auditions, perform and learn what it's really like to be a dancer in prestigious second company. There's a new episode every day!

Selling Snacks At Your Studio

Ever thought of selling snacks at your studio? Well, read how other studio owners have done it and what they recommend to make it a successful business venture in this article from Dance Teacher Magazine - "Business: Food for Thought". Some dance studios price items high in sugar more than the healthy ones to encourage the dancers to eat more healthy foods. Another studio outsources the vending machine itself, hiring a outside company to operate it and fill it, taking a small commission, while others just have snacks stashed behind the desk that they sell as dancers ask for them.

Check out the article in its entirety at the link above for all the juicy details!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Conversations with Desmond and Dwight

Desmond Richardson - co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Photographer: Dah-len/Complexions Contemporary Ballet via Bloomberg News

Ever wonder how legendary dancers and choreographers Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden began Complexions Contemporary Ballet? Here's an insider's look into the makings of their company, in a three-part video interview.

Part 1: How they met and developed their technique
Part 2: How they team-teach
Part 3: What it takes to dance with them

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Improving Port de Bras

Once dancers are aware of their cores and have a better understanding of how to use those muscles, teachers can begin to work on their port de bras and grace.  In this article from Dance Magazine, Improving Port de Brasauthor Joseph Carman gives very practical tips that teachers and students can use in the classroom to get those Margot Fonteyn arms.

Author Joseph Carman writes that improving the port de bras starts with understanding the anatomy of the torso. Then, the dancer must use the "breath to initiate the port de bras," which is commonly missed, and coordinate the arms with the head, eyes, and torso. The body must work in complete unison.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Getting to the Core

One of the main areas of weakness I see in my students is lack of grace and control in their upper bodies, generating from a lack of core strength. But what I haven't realized until recently, is that it's not necessarily a lack of core strength, but a lack of awareness of their core and how to properly use it. I find that their arms, shoulders and upper backs are stiff and and hold all of their bodies' tension, which prohibits them from doing more than 2-3 turns and landing jumps properly. This was something I struggled with a lot as a young dancer and it wasn't until I was in my 20's that I realized my arms shouldn't move until after I engage my upper back, and then I felt I was truly dancing from head to toe.

Margot Fonteyn was known for her beautiful port de bras and grace. Here she dancing the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty.

I found an excellent article in Dance Magazine (May 2010) that gives practical advice on teaching dancers to use their core and arms correctly. Check it out! Break Your Bad Habits: The Core Muscles

The article addresses bad habits as it relates to the core muscles and how to fix them. Habits such as:

  • Underused pelvic floor and transversus abdominus
  • Overly constricted core
  • Hypermobile lumbar spine