Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Music for Dance Class

I love using Christmas music in my dance classes this time of year. It helps to keep the mood bright and my dancers love to sing along to their favorite songs. It makes the same ole exercises like plies and tendus feel new and fresh! Here are some of my favorite albums, artists and songs to use in my dance classes.

You can never go wrong with Lisa Harris, and here is her beautiful Christmas album! Listen to the album here.

Once you can get past the super cheesy album cover, you'll see that this album is perfect for ballet class. An oldie but a goodie! Listen to the album here.

I love Harry Connick Jr's Christmas album for allegro, petite allegro, and jazz class. Listen to the album here. Here are some of the best tunes for class:

Ave Maria
Parade of the Wooden Soliders
I Pray on Christmas
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
O Holy Night

Jim Brickman is a beautiful pianist who writes his own arrangements of classic Christmas tunes that are perfect for ballet class. Listen to the album here.

Sarah McLachlan has a beautiful, enchanting Christmas album that makes for excellent contemporary routines and stretching. Listen to the album here. Here are some of my favorites from the album:

Song for a Winter's Night
In a Bleak Mid Winter

Sara Bareilles delivers yet again on this gorgeous album that is also good for contemporary class and routines. Plus, Winter Songs includes other fantastic artists like Fiona Apple, KT Tunstall, Colbie Caillat, and even Katy Perry. Listen to the album here. Here are some of my favorites:

Wintersong (with Ingrid Michaelson)
Silent Night (Priscilla Ahn)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in Their Heads

Painting from the Nutcracker by Linda Paul

Got a few extra minutes to get into the Nutcracker and holiday spirit? Sit back and enjoy some excerpts and interviews from some of the world's greatest ballet companies and their Nutcracker performances. Many big ballet companies have their own YouTube channels. Search for them and watch clip after clip of not only performances, but interviews and rehearsals.

Miami City Ballet has quite a few back-stage interviews done by the company members themselves, so it really gives viewers a relaxed and real inside-look into the company.
Here's Patricia Delgado interviewing her sister, Jeanette, who is the Dewdrop.

And here is Patricia Delgado's Nutcracker journal, where she tapes rehearsals and interviews the dancers about their parts in the show.

And an interview with retiring ballet dancer, Deanna Seay, who dances the Sugar Plum Fairy.

New York City Ballet's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/newyorkcityballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/pacificnwballet

Joffrey Ballet's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJoffreyBallet

Houston Ballet's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/houstonballet

San Fransisco Ballet's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SFBallet

Annaheim Ballet's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AnaheimBallet

Friday, November 5, 2010

Salt Gets A Bad Rap - Dancers Need It!

Salt has really gotten a bad rap lately. Sure, too much of it in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and heart problems, but your body must have it to perform basic bodily functions. Dancers especially need salt because sodium is expelled when you sweat, so it needs to be replaced. That doesn't mean you should start eating processed and fast foods - salt can be found in Gatorade, fruits and vegetables. So, before you start thinking you need to cut salt out of your diet, read this article from Dance Magazine and think again!

Your Body: Spice of Life