Dance

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.

National College of Dance. ©Branco Gaica 22.6.2012 (1094)
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.


 

Ice, Ice, Baby: How Ice Works on Injuries

Something happens in dance class: you tweak something, you landed a little funny, you felt something... odd.

Our first reaction - after looking at the injured or "funny feeling" area - is to grab an ice pack. What is happening when we ice an injury? Is ice helping or hurting us? What process does ice go through? Let's discuss ICE!

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Advice From Dance Moms to Dance Moms

At Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins, we often get questions from parents who are at a crossroads. Their daughter or son has been taking dance for awhile, and it's time to make a choice: "How serious are we going to take this dance thing?"

Decisions must be made. Pre-professional dance training, and competition dance teams, are a large time and financial investment. There will be hours and hours of classes, rehearsals and traveling. There will be tuition, travel expenses, competition fees and costumes. Your child will be dealing with the stress of handling school work and dance work.

Questions must be answered: Is your child ready? Is it too much? If you don't allow them to do the pre-professional or competition track, are you holding them back? Is it too hard? Is your child emotionally able to handle it? Will they still perform well at school?

So Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins sat down with some moms who have been in this exact spot. And all they all admitted one thing: It's a stressful place to be in!

Dance moms Gina (mother to Robbie Downey, or @balletbabble), Tori (mother to @real_world_ballerina), and Angela (mother to Sheena Jeffers, content creator for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins, @balletbobbypins) talk about their experiences at the "dance crossroads."

So here it is, straight from dance moms: Advice from the hearts and minds of moms who have been exactly where you are.

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Photo: Liza Minnelli as a child (daughter of Judy Garland & Vincent Minnelli). She went on (and is one of the few artists) to win four Tony Awards, an Oscar, an Emmy Award, two Golden Globes, and a Grammy Legend Award.


 

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