All Around Dance

Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins creator, Sheena Jeffers, was recently asked to be interviewed by a dance blog called All Around Dance. Below is the interview. Be sure to check out their blog!

Raising Artists

I'm back! Fresh off the train from New York City!

Classes were challenging and inspiring. Some of my students felt, for the first time, their Super Hero Dancer inside of them; they were doing things they've never done before. This glimpse of how freeing dance can be has instilled within them a new confidence, and fanned a flame inside of them.

If There is Only One Thing

We sat in class watching dance students. They are all in different phases of life; Some are starting high school, some just finished and are packing up their childhood, on their way to college. Some were going through personal drama, and others are dealing with bad friends or embarrassing moments. We wondered:

If there is only one thing they take from their teachers, what would it be?

We want them to feel and understand completely how deeply the love for dance runs. And we want them to carry that confidence with them always.

Our passion for dance cannot be measured. It's nothing like baking cupcakes. There isn't a specific amount of passion to be poured into the mix. For us, it is everything, all of it: the reason why we do what we do, live how we live, believe how we believe. It's the reason why we carry faith and happiness with us in everything we do. Within every one of our cells there is an urge and need and desire to dance. It's a rush, a jolt of beautiful, that feels a little something like...

Work With What You've Got: Your Turnout

"Turn out! Rotate, rotate, rotate! From the hip!"

Dancers, you've grown up hearing these words. From the day we learn what First Position is in ballet, you've heard these words more than you've probably heard any other collection of words.

We model ourselves off of the ballerinas we see on stage, on TV, in photographs and magazines. While this helps us visualize what the "ultimate goal" is, it isn't necessarily healthy. We have to learn a valuable lesson first:

You've got to work with what you've got!

How to Teach Confidence

The first day of dance class: The students come in, quietly put their bags down, then walk to an isolated part of the room to start stretching. Some just stand there. It's as if their bodies are just stuck in the space in a standing position. They look around at the other dancers. Eyeing this, eyeing that, eyeing her, him, me. They have no idea what the class will be like.

First order of business: Confidence.

As teachers, we know if you're going to get these students to dance, and we mean really dance, you have to make them feel comfortable in three different areas:

1. With themselves

2. With their classmates

3. With that inner voice that tells them, "You can!" and "You can't!"

What To Love About Teaching

Plain and simple. What we love about teaching.

Watching a student realize they are capable of doing something they never imagined they were capable of.

Inspiration Contagion

"She spins and she sways to whatever song plays, without a care in the world. And I'm sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders."

Real life is difficult to escape. You get up in the morning, pull on your work clothes, pack a lunch and head out the door. Then, you're met with traffic because somebody bumped into somebody and both decided it would be best to "settle" this in the middle of the street instead of pulling over to the side. You arrive at work 5 minutes late and flustered. There's already a voicemail waiting for you, half a dozen e-mails asking, "Has this been done?" And then you remember: You left the lunch you packed at home. Life kinda goes like that.

Happiness is a Rather Large Task

Within the last two years we have realized something that we were never told would be our own responsibility. Our parents, our school teachers, our Sunday school teachers, the girl who taught us how to swim, our dance instructors, the teenagers who came in as part of the DARE program telling us to "just say no" to drugs, our college professors: Nobody, not a single one of those, told us.

How were we supposed to know we are responsible for our own happiness!

When a Dream Gets Tired

What was your dream future when you were 18 years old?

If we were to mail you your dream report card right now, where would you fall? Pass? Fail? Exactly where on the bell curve would you be sitting?

What happens to all of the dreams that get tired?

Future Investments

"This is what it's all about: to make a child happy. And you know it." –Woody (Toy Story 2)

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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Design & Development by Shane Jeffers