Monday, February 18, 2013

NMM: Perpetuum Mobile - Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Today's New Music Monday is a song that just makes you want to create something: Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra (link opens in iTunes).

I've been using this one in my modern classes during improv and I think it helps set a creative atmosphere in class.  Plus its just fun to listen to!  Enjoy :)

Grab it on iTunes:

As a side note, this song was used in the claymation film "Mary and Max", which if you're in the mood for a moving animated movie - watch this (its on Netflix).  Just keep the tissues nearby and don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Studio Craft

Here is a quick and easy craft you can do in your classroom or studio:  Make a wall of hearts!

We started ours last week - I left out heart-shaped red, pink and white paper and a bowl of crayons next to a sign that says "Why Do You Love Dance?"

"I like dancing because it is fun"
Dancers (and brothers, sisters, moms and dads) have been writing and drawing why they love dance all week.

Even the Big Girls got in on the action!

And a note from a "Dance Daddy":
It says "I like to watch my girls grow with dance". 

The Heart Wall has been a nice addition to our waiting room  - everyone has enjoyed reading the responses.  I think I'll leave it up for the rest of the month!

If you can't wait until next year to try this, you could do this any time of the year - or go with the next holiday... clovers for March:  "I'm Lucky To Dance Because..." or Spring umbrellas... be creative!

More Valentine's Day dance ideas:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Coach's Eye - App For Teachers!

I came across this great app that I just started using for cleaning dances and am loving it!

It's called "Coach's Eye" (link opens in iTunes) and it works on iPhones, iPads and iPods.  It $4.99, but its a worthy investment of five bucks - let's face it, I've spend more on coffee in one day (not sure if I like what that says about my caffeine addiction).

This app allows you to record a dance, play it back for your students (in regular or slow motion) and even draw on the video like a football coach or the play-by-play guys on TV do.

You can also record yourself critiquing the video and then share it or send it to your students.

I am trying it out this week and will let you know what I think!

Grab Coach's Eye:
Coach's Eye - TechSmith Corporation

Looking for more advice on cleaning dances?  Check out this post.

Looking for more apps to make your life easier?  Here are a few posts you might like.

Tell me:  Do you use your iPhone or iPad in class?  What do you use it for?

Monday, February 4, 2013

NMM: DJ Earworm - Shine Brighter 2012

Don't miss this year's remix by DJ Earworm - he combined 25 of 2012's pop hits to create one song... and the kicker is that it actually sounds pretty awesome!  The kids seem to like this one a lot.  My pre-teens ask me to play it each week, and the first week it took them a while to actually focus on the steps in warm-up because they were trying to figure out what this song was!

As of this post, I believe you can still download the song on SoundCloud.

If you love mash-ups like this song, check out more mash-ups here.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ballet Mime

Crossed arms mean love - but be careful -
make those hands into fists and you may
be saying something completely different!
My students and I had a conversation about ballet miming this week:  Did you know dancers are storytellers as well as actors and actresses too?

Ballerinas and ballet dancers even have their own special hand gestures to tell stories - sort of like ballet sign language!

You may already know some common gestures:
- Both hands to the heart for "love"
- Hand cupped by ear for "hear"
- Bowing or curtseying to show loyalty
- Strong motions with fists to show anger

There are some others you might not be as familiar with:
- Tapping the forehead twice for "princess" and three times for "king" or "queen"
- Crossed hands with fists for "death"
- And "dance" is said by circling your arms overhead in 5th position

Here are some links for more ballet mime:
Learn the conversation between the Swan Queen and the prince from Swan Lake with this fun video from The Royal Ballet:

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