Dancers with Food Allergies: What You Should Know

Food allergies are a serious concern, and there are dancers and ballerinas out there with unpredictable reactions to foods. Dance moms and teachers need to be aware of allergies, reactions and what to do in a situation should a dancer begin to react to food.

We spoke with Nancy Giles of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) about how to keep our dancers safe and healthy!

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Photo: Fooducate.com and Blisstree.com

Playing for Ballerinas: The Accompanist

You walk into class and prepare to focus, warm your body, and dance. But dancers often forget that accompanists help train our ear and our bodies with their intricate and ever-changing music which they produce on the spot.

Christopher Hobson, a freelance Ballet Répétiteur, Orchestral Musician and Composer, plays, prepares and sells music for ballet classes around the world. He plays the piano, percussion, violin, saxophone and clarinet. Having grown up with music, Chris transitioned into working with dancers later. Today, he talks with us about the 20 dance classes he plays for a week and the challenges and beauty of merging music and dance.

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Dancing with Scoliosis

Meet Melanie Christine. A 17-year-old dancer from Ohio whose dancing life was drastically changed when she realized her spine was severely curved. Melanie's Scoliosis eventually led to surgery, and when she woke up from surgery her entire spine was fused and she had 2 rods and 30 screws holding her spine into place. She began the long, arduous journey of re-training her body to move.

Today, Melanie serves as an inspiration for other dancers. "I want to devote my life to helping other people because I can relate to what it is like to be pulled down and then have to rise up again," Melanie says.

Even through all of the physical pain of surgery and the emotional pain of being moved to "beginner" level dance classes post-surgery, Melanie believes in one truth without doubt: "If dance is in your heart, you will always find a way."

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Photo from Melanie of her spine pre-surgery

Be a Smart Dancer: 10 Qualities of Smart Dancers

In workshops and at your classes, you often hear, "Be a smart dancer!"

Being a smart dancer will help you, your fellow dancers, the choreographer and the performance piece much stronger. Let's break down what being a smart dancer includes.

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Photo: Greta Hodgkinson gets ready backstage before performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Source: The Ballet Blog Tumblr

Dancing & Surviving in New York City: One Dancer's Journey

27-year-old dancer, Laura De Rubeis was born in Philadelphia, PA. She grew up dancing in Narberth, PA at Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, headed by John White & Margarita de Saa. After years of hard work, she found herself studying Russia. Eventually, Laura felt the pull to New York City, where dance was calling her name.

Today we discuss with Laura the question a lot of dancers wonder about: What is it like dancing and surviving in The Big (expensive) Apple?

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Photo: lauraderubeis.com

Flexibility Expert Shares Important Tips

Flexibility. We all secretly hope we'll wake up one morning and be freakishly flexible. Flexibility expert, Stacey Nemour, is also known as a "miracle worker" when it comes to flexibility. Stacey has worked with people in various fields on how to improve their flexibility that will help them specifically in their field. Stacey created a specific order of stretches, methods and exercises to help the body open up and perform at optimum levels. She sells her flexibility tips on DVDs.

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Photo: Stacey Nemour, www.staceynemour.com Photo by: Tony Donaldson Photo

The Importance of Sleep for Dancers

Dancers have no problem cramming in more rehearsals, scheduling their days minute to minute, squeezing in a 30-minute private lesson here and there. They have no problem viewing videos on YouTube of their favorite dancers until the wee hours of the morning. The problem is: You are missing out on one of the most important factors involved in becoming the best dancer you can be.

Sleep!

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Photo: Dutch National Ballet

Research shows that sleep is the most important behavioral experience we have. Here is why you need sleep in order to be the best version of your dancing self.

Learning to Dance Like a Man: Male Vaganova Student Shares His Story

Being a male in the ballet world takes a lot of hard work and focus. It is a very different experience for males. Lawrence Lambert, a 20-year-old dancer studying at Vaganova Ballet Academy, shares his experiences. Lawrence tells of his journey from his small mining hometown of Cessnock, New South Whales, Australia to Vaganova where he is currently in level 7.

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Photo by: Branco Gaica, National College of Dance

New Dance Season: How to Prepare

The air is crisper, and the notebooks and pencils are on sale. You know what this means: Summer is winding down and school is starting up. This also means: IT'S FALL DANCE SEASON! Nutcracker rehearsals will start soon, rehearsals for competitions are in full swing, and together, we are all really excited about moving to new levels and learning more dances and dance information.

Here are our quick and easy ways to prepare for a successful fall dance season!

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Photo: Maria Doval Ballet

Dance Swap: 2013

Calling all dancers, dance fans, dance moms!

It's Dance Swap Time!

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Here's how it works:

Give a dance gift. Get a dance gift.

This v. That: Ballet

In ballet, there are so many terms that either sound alike, look alike or seem eerily similar. They're the set of words that always get switched in your brain or make you think a little harder on which is which. Stress no more! We are here to help you see and feel the difference in seemingly similar ballet terms.


 

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