Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year: Blog Challenge

This guy will kick your butt if you don't
participate!
Attention all dance bloggers - I am excited to announce that starting in January, I am going to be posting monthly blogging challenges called "Dance Buzz Blog Challenge".  I hope you all find a few that sound like fun to participate in.

WHY AM I DOING THIS?
I enjoy being part of a community of dance bloggers and I think it will be fun to get different perspectives or learn new things about the bloggers themselves.

I also enjoyed participating in Pas de Trois when that was going on, and I miss the inspiration.

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
Hopefully these challenges will jump-start your writer's block, should you encounter that anytime soon.  The next time you're stumped at what to write about, you can check out all the challenges for inspiration.

And you get to add this sweet badge to your blog if you'd like. BONUS! (To add the badge to your page, save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog).


Blog Challenge:  So easy you could do
it while perched on a young man's
shoulder.
SO... HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?
After I announce the challenge question or theme, write your own blog post related to that theme. Then add a comment on the original challenge post (on this blog) so everyone can share.

DO I HAVE TO POST IN THE SAME MONTH AS THE CHALLENGE?
No.  Absolutely not.  I am doing it by month because I think that is a reasonable time period for me to come up with another challenge.  If you decide to do the January challenge in July, so be it - just please still add a comment to the challenge post so we can all share!

CAN I SUGGEST A CHALLENGE?
Yes!  Email me at thedancebuzz@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

SO WHAT'S JANUARY'S CHALLENGE?
You'll have to wait until January to find out...  but I can tell you that it is a fun one!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas!


I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  The Dance Buzz and hubby traveled to Western New York for the holiday to visit Mr. Dance Buzz's family.

I can't believe how quickly the end of 2011 is rapidly approaching... I spent the day at the studio preparing recital costume orders, gathering up lost and found items to donate and rehearsing some of our performance team kids who came in over break.  Trying to tie up some loose ends before we begin the start of our busy season filled with competitions and recital preparations.


TOP DANCE BLOGS 2011
Thank you for everyone who commented on our 2011 entry into Top Dance Blogs - we didn't make the finals for Top 20.. but go on over to Dance Advantage to vote for the blogs who did!  I'm excited to find some new blogs to add to my blog reader.

If you want my advice (and why wouldn't you?), The Dance Buzz's favorite blogs on the list are Maria's Movers and Adult Beginner.  If you don't know who to vote for, I recommend one of these blogs!  But don't take my word for it, check 'em out!

SURPRISE COMING SOON... GET READY!
I have somewhat of a surprise for other bloggers to be revealed this week that I hope will inspire some dance bloggers to participate!  Sorry, can't tell you now... you'll have to check back later this week.

Think of it as a virtual Christmas / New Year's present to you from me :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

NMM: Hey Ya - Obidiah Parker

This one's been around for a while, but I recently re-discovered it in my playlists.

Today's New Music Monday song is an acoustic cover of Hey Ya Hey Ya - Obadiah Parker Live by Obadiah Parker

I like to use this song in my modern and contemporary classes and also for a cool-down in jazz class. The only problem is for the first few times you play it, the kids will be concentrating on figuring out why it sounds so familiar. I know I was!



Click here for all contemporary New Music Mondays

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And there's ONE MORE DAY LEFT to VOTE FOR US for Top Dance Blog of 2011 by commenting on the post (click this link). Thank you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Monthly Recap

Are you on Pinterest yet?  If you were, you wouldn't have
missed this awesome picture!
Yes I am aware that monthly re-cap would make more sense at the end of the month, but its been a busy month! And at the end of the month we have to have yearly recaps... so here is December's (a bit early) recap.

What You Missed From The Dance Buzz

Dance Happenings Around The Internet
  • I am so excited about the Jacob's Pillow "KNOW DANCE" project inspired by the Never Stand Still dance documentary (directed by Ron Honsa). You can participate by creating a response by answering this question in a video: "what do YOU want people to know about dance"!  I can't wait to see people's responses and would like to involve my students in creating a response of our own.
  • Economics behind the Nutcracker
  • Top Dance Stories from my dance blog friends at Twitter
  • Stephen Colbert features (and participates) in the Nutcracker:


And if this doesn't spread some holiday cheer, I don't know what will...


And did I mention, vote for us for Dance Blog 2011!?

Oh, I did?  Well then, why haven't you voted yet!   Tuesday is the last day for comment voting for Round #1

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Idea: Teacher Survival Kit!

Need a fun and unique gift for your dance teacher? Create a "Dance Teacher Survival Kit"!  Make a list of items your dance teacher likes and create individual baskets for each teacher.  Stick it all in a cute basket or bin and wrap it up in a nice bow and you are set to go!  Since you're customizing it, you can spend as much or as little as you'd like.

Practical Gifts To Include:

  • Hair ties or bobby pins if she has long hair
  • Aspirin
  • Mini-sewing kit
  • Small screwdriver if he or she is a tap teacher
  • Small massager tool (for sore muscles or feet)
  • Foot lotion or bath salts (although I'm guessing she already has a closet-full)
  • Pack of stickers (if they use stickers in class)

Funny Gifts To Include (you will need to add an explanation for each one):

  • A marble... for when you've lost yours
  • String / paperclip... to keep it all together
  • Sponge... to help clean dances
  • Rubber band.. to keep you flexible
  • Lifesavers... because you are one!
  • Stars (could be Starbursts, or an ornament)... you inspire your students to reach for the stars!
  • Candle... you light up people's lives

More ideas like this from Angel's Corner

Other Gifts

  • iTunes gift card
  • Bottle of wine (for after a long night of teaching!)
  • Gift card to his or her favorite restaurant (or to the coffee shop/sandwich shop nearby the studio)
  • Christmas ornament
  • Cookies or chocolate
  • Gum or mints


Share your own ideas: leave a comment!

Looking for more gift ideas?  Check out our ideas from last year.
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And there's only a few days left to VOTE FOR US for Top Dance Blog of 2011 by commenting on the post (click this link). Thank you!


Monday, December 12, 2011

NMM: Jungle - Emma Louise

Today's New Music Monday tune is Jungle Jungle - Full Hearts and Empty Rooms - EP by Australian singer  Emma Louise.  Enjoy!




I've been using the "TapeGun" remix below for my jazz and contemporary classes, which you can download here (for free!).  I like the intro of this remix and that it is a little faster than the original. We used it for a combination that only used the first minute or so. After the chorus it gets into the more "remixed" feeling and dubstep, which doesn't inspire my lyrical-leaning choreography, but you might like it!




Click here for all contemporary New Music Mondays

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And there's ONE MORE WEEK LEFT to VOTE FOR US for Top Dance Blog of 2011 by commenting on the post (click this link). Thank you!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NMM: Holiday Music Round-Up

 If you enjoy this post, take a moment to VOTE FOR US for Top Dance Blog of 2011 by commenting on the post (click this link). Thank you!
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My students performing "Winter Song" (2010)

I started writing a post about holiday music, but I realized:

1. I did that last year and I still use the songs on the list.

2.  Other dance bloggers also have some great suggestions.

3. It's not Monday, so I guess this isn't a "New Music Monday".

So instead, I'm pointing you in the direction of some already awesome posts about holiday music! Ok, so one of them is my own post, so technically I just called myself awesome.. but let's let it slide, ok? 'Tis the season!

And because I can't resist, here are a few more "winter" and holiday tracks to keep your playlists updated!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Music Monday: License-Free Alternatives

If you enjoy this post, take a moment to VOTE FOR US for Top Dance Blog of 2011 by commenting on the post (click this link). Thank you!
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Our most popular post to date has been Dance Studio Music Licensing FAQ.  If you haven't checked it out, it's worth a read whether you're a studio owner or instructor - including the comments!

After seeing more comments pop up, I became interested in researching royalty-free music.  While there are not that many specifically for dance studios, I did come across some alternatives.

My favorite alternative for royalty-free class music is the use of live music!  However, when live musicians are not easily available (or affordable), you maybe looking for some options.

You will notice that the prices for license-free music is much higher than the 99 cent or $1.29 per track cost of licensed music.  Because license-free artists do not receive royalties, the prices are higher. Either way, here are the tracks which you can use in class or for performance without paying ASCAP, BMI or SESAC:

1) Lynn Stanford's Ballet CD collection - I love Lynn Stanford's ballet music - possibly because my ballet teachers used his CDs throughout my childhood and then again in college.

The only one available on iTunes is #8301 "More Music For Ballet Class" More Lynn Stanford Music for Ballet Class - Lynn Stanford, but you can find the rest on danceclassmusic.com - The ballet music titles that are without license are: #8001, #8301, #8403, #8712, #9121, #9122 (prices range from $16.00-$30.00).

He also has Music for Modern Class ($26.00).



Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 Top Dance Blog - Please Vote!

It's that time of year again... the 2011 Top Dance Blogs Contest - held by Nichelle over at Dance Advantage!

Last year, I threw our hat in the ring more as an experiment to see if anyone was actually reading this blog - and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of responses! Ok, so it was only five comments, but five people is way more than I ever expected.

So let's see if we can beat that number this year--it's up to you!

If you enjoy reading this blog, VOTE for The Dance Buzz by leaving a comment below on this post. 

I am entering under Teacher Talk category since most of my posts are about teaching or would be useful for dance teachers (I hope).  I have a feeling this will be a tough category this year, but I am happy to just enter.  Thanks Nichelle for hosting this contest again! :)

Thank you for your support!  Comments are open until December 20.

~Cait

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lyrical & Modern "Shoes" - Do You Wear Them?

I prefer bare feet for my modern and contemporary classes, but lately my students have been wearing FootUndeez or Dance Paws (the ones with stripes, polka dots, sparkles, etc) to class. I feel like an old lady but I tell them "when I was your age, those shoes didn't exist and we toughened our feet by dancing barefoot. We we proud of our callouses". In college, we were not allowed to wear them and quickly adapted to dancing on marley barefoot.

Then my students laugh at me and pull on their rainbow colored modern "shoe" over their tender, un-calloused feet.  So here's my question to you, dear reader:

What do YOU wear on your feet to modern / lyrical class?  
Or if you're a teacher - what do you allow your students to wear in class?  For performance?


If you're not sure of what I'm talking about, they are little shoes that slip on over your toes and just over the ball of your foot to reduce friction and help with turns.

As a teacher, I allow my recreational students to wear them in class and in recital, but they must be skin-toned for the recital.  And they must make a choice - whatever they plan to wear for the show, they must wear for class.

For my competitive students, I do not allow the to wear them for modern dances and for lyrical, I make a decision on the day of competition based on the surface of the stage. For slippery stages, they go barefoot.

As a dancer, I don't like the feeling of things between my toes while I dance.  I have a wide foot and the "Pawz" and "FootUndeez" cut off the circulation to my pinkie toe - does anyone else have that problem?  I think I might like the half-ballet shoe (top row, middle), but for now I will remain shoeless.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pinspiration: Lifts & Partnering

If you're not on Pinterest - don't join, it's too addicting! If you are - add me to see all the lovely dance things I find around the web.

This week I was looking for some inspiration in the partnering department and I found some lovely unique lifts I'd like to share.

Alonzo King "Lines Ballet"




Enjoy!

I was unable to find the credits for the last three photos so if anyone knows who the dancers or photographers are, please post a comment so I can credit them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blank Wall Makeover

I painted one of my studios this summer and hadn't gotten around to putting the posters back up. I guess I have been enjoying the simplicity of the bare walls. I felt like the wall above the barre was looking a little too bare, so I thought about what to do with the space:


  • Put the posters back up - our posters were getting faded and ragged, so this idea got thrown out - aside from looking for new posters.
  • Have someone paint a mural - might be expensive and I couldn't decide what to put up.
  • Some sort of special wall the students could help make (handprints, signing the wall)... 
I wanted something large and graphic but not so distracting that it would take away from class.  I also didn't want to spend more than $100 for supplies and /or labor.  I starting searching craigslist and eBay for any posters or large graphic. That's when I came upon this:


Wall stickers!  And available in a ton of colors too (found on eBay).  I decided to go with white so that it wouldn't be too distracting.

It was a little daunting when it arrived - the sticker comes in 8 pieces, each about three and a half feet tall by one and half feet wide.  The instructions said to tape all of the pieces on the wall first, but I decided to do one piece at a time.  I chose the one labeled "A" so I was at least going alphabetically.


Monday, November 7, 2011

New Music Monday: Tap Solo Songs!




Do you have a student who can't keep his or her feet from flying?  Try these super-quick songs:
  • "Airmail Special" (Nikki Yanofsky) iTunes Live from Montreal - Nikki Yanofsky
  • "Bumble Boogie" (Freddie Martin) Bumble Boogie - Big Band Bash


More Jazz Tunes
  • "Frim Fram Sauce" (Diana Krall) Frim Fram Sauce - The Very Best of Diana Krall - A great soft shoe song - Diana Krall's voice and the slow jazz music are perfectly suited for some tapping on top.  Just make sure your soloist has the stage presence to pull off this slower number.
  • "This Can't Be Love" (Stacey Kent) In Love Again - Stacey Kent - Enjoy Diana Krall?  Check out Stacey Kent for some other lovely tappable female jazz vocals.
  • "Steppin' Out" (Tony Bennett) Steppin' Out With My Baby - The Ultimate Tony Bennett- perfect for a male tap solo


Fresh Tap Music

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thera-Bands for Dancers: Improve Balance

Here's some other posts you might enjoy:  Preparing to Exercise, Foot & Ankle Exercises or read all the posts here: Thera-bands for Dancers
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Today's post contains exercises you can do in class or at home to improve your muscle strength.  Before you begin, remember to review our exercise tips.

Benefit to dancers: Strengthened hip flexor muscles and improving balance on one leg (which helps with turns and static poses).

All of these exercises need the band to be stabilized by a stationary object low to the floor.  At home, this could be a sturdy table, bed post or other heavy piece of furniture. In class, you could use a partner - just remind the students to check their bands for small tears which could cause the band to snap.

Slow Degages to the Side (Hip Abduction / Adduction)
Loop the band around your ankle and attach the other end to the sturdy object.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Winter... already!?

It's snowing here in New York (in October!  The horror!) and I am feeling less than motivated to prepare my lesson plans.

Nothing like a little Pinterest pretty to get inspired...or waste some time before I have to go outside!

This is what I feel like (except much less elegant):
Winter Wedding

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (with actual snow machines)



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Business: Avoiding the Growth Trap

Room To Move StudioJust read a great small business article by Jay Goltz at the New York Times:

Avoiding the Growth Trap

Worth a quick read if you are a business or studio owner considering expanding your business to a second location or doing other "growing".  If you're like many small business owners, you are constantly looking for ways to improve your business or opportunities to expand.  It is hard to shut down that entrepreneurial spirit that may have even prompted you to open in the first place!
"It really comes down to priorities. Do you want to take outside capital and the “partners” that come with it? Do you want to take on more risk? More employees? More travel? More stress? More potential aggravation?"
Mr. Goltz also makes a good point that sometimes business owners get so caught up in growing their business and expanding that they forget to check if they are still making a profit!
"I have also figured out that business is not just about growth...it is also about making a profit, which many companies seem to forget as they grow themselves out of business. Business is also about understanding that bad things happen...choosing to over-expand instead of being prepared for this kind of stuff can put the company in jeopardy. "
Look before you leap, and really take a hard look at all the possibilities when you are considering expanding. Sometimes its the right move, but sometimes things may be better off left alone.  Figure out your priorities and you will figure out what is right for you and your business.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Music Monday: Halloween Playlist

Tired of the playing the Kidz Bop version of "The Monster Mash"* or "Who Let The Ghosts Out"* for your halloween class yet?  Here's a fresh group of creepy and spooky songs just in time for the spooky season!

* Here's the link to that album in case you're not tired of it!


PRESCHOOLERS
Boogie Monster - Recess Monkey - your kids won't be able to sit still when this song starts playing
Harry's Haunted Halloween Circus - Ralph's World
Looking for Dracula - Charlotte Diamond
Dressing Up - The Wiggles

Sunday, October 2, 2011

SOBuzz: New Season Wisdom 2011


Hooray!  We just finished our first month of our 30th season at my studio and everyone is starting to calm down and get into the pattern of the new season.  It is always a busy and exciting time when we go back to school and back to dance school... new faces and new classes!


Here's what I learned from the start of this season:

  • Repeating the same thing as last year and expecting different results really is insane... I did labels again this year for the preschool classes only to have TWO stuck to the marley this year.  Note to self: you are insane.. no more labels please.
  • No matter how long you have been in business, you have NOT heard it all.  There will always be a parent or student ready to supply you with a question that you are unprepared for.  This year's winner:  Does she need to wear tap shoes for tap class?
  • Don't put any book/magazine in the waiting room that you actually want back in one piece.
  • When decorating your studio remember - pink with never go out of style, but consider the few (or many) boys you also have at your studio.  Are you scaring them away with all that pink?
  • While this may be your 5th year (10th, 30th, 50th!) teaching, to some of your students (and parents), it is their FIRST DAY of dance.  Take time to enjoy the magic of their first experience and memories in the making.
And my mantra from last year:
  • You can't please everyone!
Hope you survived your first month back and best wishes for a wonderful season!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Teaching Tip: Sticky Tendus

I got this visual teaching tip from watching my ballet teacher's preschool and Ballet 1 classes.

Her class was practicing tendu and the students had very slow and articulate feet during their parallel (preschool) and turned out (Ballet 1) tendus!  After class, I asked what her secret was and this is how she teaches tendu:

1.  Take out your imaginary piece of gum and chew it up so its really sticky (in the preschool class, everyone gets to say what flavor/color gum they are having)

2.  Take out some of your sticky gum and put it under your toes!  (An explanation of why we only do this with imaginary gum and never at home is also given at this point)

3.  With straight legs, try to slide the foot out... but the toes are very hard to move!  Finally we get all the way out and the gum pulls us back to the starting position.  Repeat while teacher says "sticky sticky (foot slides out) tendu (close)!"

4.  Repeat with the other foot.

As they progress during the year, the teacher only needs to say "sticky sticky tendu" and the students recall the sticky sensation and slow down while pushing through their toes.  I think this imagery would also benefit older students - after all, who doesn't love a little silliness in their class every now and again?

Hope it helps you or your classes!  What teaching tips do you have for tendus?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breathtaking

Just wanted to share this little video!  The human body is pretty amazing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teaching Tip: Spaghetti, Meatballs and Pancakes, Oh My!

This creative movement idea was inspired by this Fruit Tree post at Maria's Movers and the comments from Zan (of Hullabaloo Danceshop).  Zan describes her "turnip dance" in the comments and I loved the idea so I've been trying it out with my Modern I / Creative Movement class (ages 8-10).  We have changed it to fit our needs and the kids have come up with different food names (since most of them have never eaten a turnip).  We tried to keep it to somewhat healthy foods.

Our food stretch goes like this (movements in parentheses):
Spaghetti, toast and... pizza?
Ok there's no pizza stretch.. yet!

Flat as a pancake (lie on back)
Round like a meatball (contract and roll into ball on side)
Stretch like spaghetti (stretch long on side, keeping balance)
Flat as toast (lie on belly)
Up like a banana/mermaid (cobra or mermaid pose*)
Flat as toast
Stretch like spaghetti
Round like a meatball
Flat as a pancake (repeat other side)

The only trouble is they always say they're hungry after we do this stretch!

*Some days we do cobra pose (leaving feet on the ground and using hands to push up to stretch back) and some days we do mermaid (lifting feet and kicking arms off ground balancing on belly) - also known as superman pose.

Happy dancing!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tap Teaching Tip: The Snappy Shuffle

This year I have three classes of 1st and 2nd graders in tap / jazz combination class and we are focusing on increasing the speed and clarity of their tap steps.  I've noticed that they are still doing the large "baby" shuffle -- where they use almost their entire leg to swing the foot back and forth to make the sounds.

I was trying to think of a way to help them understand the faster shuffle and we came up with the "snappy shuffle" which we practice during tap barre.  The "snappy shuffle" is a quick shuffle that is small and the dancer uses the knee to do most of the work (lifting the knee up and down as opposed to bringing the whole leg forward and back).

I am having good results so far.  The kids love "going fast" and enjoy the challenge of doing "steps like the big girls/boys".

Now we are working on translating that same "snappy shuffle" into our other steps, like irishes (shuffle hop step) and buffalos (leap shuffle leap).

Here is our tap barre that I use for a warm-up, lately we've been using "He Could Be the One - Hannah Montana to give you an idea of the tempo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Music Monday: Currently Loving...

Short music post today - just wanted to share three songs I've been loving lately!

Titanium (David Guetta feat. Sia) - My go-to warm up songs for my older students.  I've been using this in tap and jazz classes as it has a nice steady beat and hasn't been overplayed on the radio yet.

Timshel (Mumford & Sons) - This is a hauntingly beautiful piece that I've been using in my lyrical/contemporary classes.  Easy to put emotion into it.

I'm In Here Piano/Vocal Version (Sia) - I can't help it - I love Sia's voice.  You might recognize her from "Breathe Me" a few years ago.  I just love the different sound she has. I've been using this song in lyrical and jazz class for a cool down.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Great How-To Music Editing Videos

Getting ready for competition or recital season and need to cut music?

Check out the great series of tutorials on music editing by Morriss Partee of SquirrelTrenchAudio. The explanations can get a bit long, but if you are struggling to know how to edit your music, there are some great tips here.

And if all else fails, Morriss also offers custom music editing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Playlist Update for Fall 2011

Now that the studio is open and I'm getting back into the swing of things, I updated some of my playlists for class and wanted to share my favorite new songs with you!  Most of these are from the Top 40 and some are old favorites, but hopefully they might inspire you or give you something new for the season!




Not offered on iTunes:
Pumped Up Kicks (RLYNX Remix) - Foster The People
Party On The Floor - DJ Earworm Remix - check out his other remixes too!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dance Studio Season Opener


Today was the season opener at my dance studio.  I don't teach on Saturdays, so I worked in the office and got to sit back (ha!) and observe for the first part of the day.

On Saturday mornings, we have many of our preschool classes and I always love watching kids experience the joy of dance for the first time!  I overheard a little girl tell her teacher, "I couldn't sleep last night because I was so excited to do ballet!"

It's also fun to watch the first-time parents... nervous that their child will follow directions or like the class - as a teacher I used to think the parents were watching me, until I had a niece take class and all I wanted to do was watch her!  We had a lot of dads bringing students today, which is also funny to see their reaction to "Daddy, look at my plie!"

After our morning classes, our performance team danced at a local community event (free advertising!) and then I enjoyed the rest of the night off!  After our first week back, I plan to take my office manager out for some margaritas... we've been working so much overtime these last few weeks to get everything ready for today, I think its high time for a night out!

If your studio opened this month, congratulations on a new season!  What did you do on your first day "back to work"?  Did you feel prepared?  Stressed?  Relaxed?  Hopeful?  Leave a comment!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Haute Couture Is.... Pointe Shoes?

And you thought pointe shoes were painful enough!   

Christian Louboutin has always created mind-blowing shoes, but I have to say that these 8-inch heels, his highest to date according to JustLuxe.com, are ridiculous.

I am ok with ballet and dance setting trends, but there is no way anyone in their right mind would wear them.  If the pointe of them (horrible pun intended) is to make people think about fashion, then its a success! But if hope we don't see these tiptoeing down the runway anytime soon or in any fashion editorials...

Read the rest of the article here or visit ChristianLouboutin.com for more shoes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LXD & Coke Zero

Have you seen the Coke Zero and League of Extraordinary Dancers campaign for a new dance move?

It's still running so there's some time left to enter, but what's also great is they provide some nice dance tracks for you to use in your submission videos AND they are free to download!


The ones that I've listened to would be great to use for hip hop class - plus all the songs are more than 3 minutes long!  I've only listened to a few tracks all the way through and while there are no swear words, you might want to listen to the content to make sure its appropriate for your age group.

To get to the songs, click on How To Participate and select your track and click "Download".



Full Disclosure: Coke or LXD did not pay me to write this!

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Music Monday: Work Playlist

It's Labor Day here in the United States, so in honor, here is a short work-inspired playlist to with a little something for everyone!

These songs would also work great for a job-themed recital - we did "Work & Play" a few years back.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SOBuzz: Getting Ready for Fall... Painting!

For a studio owner, getting ready for fall classes means a lot of things... piles of paperwork, phone calls and emails to return, attendance sheets and class signs to prepare.  For me, it also always means painting the studio! It seems like every year I end up painting one or more of the rooms.

Maybe it's just me, but I get very anxious when selecting a new color to paint the studio. Perhaps it's because I will be spending the next two or three years (if the paint is good) staring at the wall color, who knows?  Although I do fine choreographing formations, I'm not a very good visualizer of the end product.  I need something more.  I used to get a bunch of little samples, tape them to the wall and deliberate for a week, asking everyone who walked by whether "summer white" looked nicer than "classic beige".

But wait, there's a solution!

My favorite tool to use before painting is Sherwin William's "Color Visualizer" tool.  You can upload a picture of any room and "paint" using their colors.


Now I can digitally "paint" my rooms and change them around as much as I like before purchasing paint!  Hooray!

If you are still having trouble choosing a color or narrowing your choices consider the following:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Tempo Magic App

I was so excited to try out my new Tempo Magic Pro app last week at our dance intensive tap classes (see previous post here).  I will admit that every time I see it on my iPhone screen I cannot resist the urge to say "tempo MAGIC" while wiggling my jazz hands with a magician-like flair.  Try it with me now... tempo MAAAAGIC!

Ok.

Moving on.

The app is pretty straight forward.  The first thing you have to do is add the songs you want to slow down.  Tap the playlist button.



Link Love: Great Teaching Ideas!

Times Union
Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene went through my area in upstate New York, but luckily power was all we lost yesterday.  Many places in my area are flooded, but we just had a few downed branches and trees. The creek by one of my studio locations overflowed and closed the road and parking lot, but didn't get close to the building.  I am so thankful for all of the workers who were out yesterday repairing the power lines and keeping people safe from flooded roadways.  Hope all my readers are also safe after the storm.

Now that the power is back on, I have been catching up on some dance blog reading.  There are some really great teaching ideas I can't wait to use in my classes in the fall and share with my teachers.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tempo-Changing App!



Just read Morris Partee's post over at Dance Advantage on this awesome new app for changing the tempo of your music:  Tempo Magic Pro

This app allows you to adjust your song tempos on your iPhone or iPod touch.  As a tap teacher, I am so excited about using this app in class!  Our sound system currently has tempo-changing CD players, so I used to burn my music to a CD and then use the CD player to playback with different tempos.  I am hoping this app will change my life.. hah!  I am teaching this week at our summer camp intensive, so I will report back with results.

...off to go play with my iPhone now!

If you're also an iPhone addict, you might also like to check out this post on two free iPhone apps that I use as a dance teacher.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Theme Playlist: "Circus"

Fill your show with death-defying dances inspired by the big top!  This post was inspired by the SYTYCD routine by Tyce Diorio "The Circus Sets Up" (music from Water for Elephants soundtrack)



Welcome To The Big Top!
Charmed I'm Sure - Circus Contraption Charmed, I'm Sure - Grand American Traveling Dime Museum - very dark and scary - definitely for mature dancers
At The Circus - Dance A Story - Richard Maddock Dance-a-Story
Happy Boys and Happy Girls - Aqua Happy Boys and Girls - Aquarium- a cute young jazz or hip hop
Glitter In The Air - Pink Glitter In the Air - Funhouse (Deluxe Version)- slower lyrical song

Animals & Performers
Animal Crackers - my favorite version is Joanie Bartels Animal Crackers In My Soup - Sillytime Magic
Talk To The Animals - The Broadway Kids Buy From Amazon

Lion Tamer - Sylvia - Prelude: The Huntress Sylvia, Ballet Suite: I. Prelude: The Huntresses - Delibes: The Best of French Ballet
Ponies - any sort of prancing ballet music

Treats Under The Big Top
Popcorn - Crazy Frog Popcorn - Crazy Hits
Cotton Candy - Melany Cotton Candy - Kidstuff By Melany- great for Kindegarten age
Circus - Britney SpearsCircus - Circus (Deluxe Version)

Clowning Around
Make 'Em Laugh Make 'Em Laugh - Singin' In the Rain (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Send In The ClownsSend In the Clowns - The Very Best of Judy Collins
Tears of a ClownTears of a Clown - All Time Greatest Hits
Rodeo Clowns - Jack Johnson Rodeo Clowns - On and On - a nice soft-shoe style tap song

Death-Defying Feats!
Tightrope - Janelle Monae Tightrope - Friends With Benefits (Original Soundtrack)- upbeat jazz or tap
Tightrope or Acrobats - Into The Spin - Dessa Into the Spin - A Badly Broken Code - the strings remind me of a tightrope
Acrobats - Tea Party - Kerli -Tea Party - Almost Alice (Music Inspired By the Motion Picture) great jazz or acro number
Sword Swallowers - Steel Dreams - Cirque du Soleil Steel Dream - Quidam (Soundtrack)
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