Dance Education

Being a Dance Mentor

Nobel Banquet prizewinner, Rosalyn Yalow, once said to a group of students:

"If we are to have faith that mankind will survive and thrive on the face of the earth, we must believe that each succeeding generation will be wiser than its progenitors. We transmit to you, the next generation, the total sum of our knowledge. Yours is the responsibility to use it, to add to it, and transmit it to your children."

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Where is Dance Headed?

A question that often creeps into the minds of dancers, choreographers, company directors, dance enthusiasts and supporters is: What is next?

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Photo: The Regional High School Dance Festival at Todd Rosenlieb Dance studios


 

Choosing a Dance School

Fact: Dance training is expensive.

Fact: Dance training is a rather large time commitment.

Fact: Dance training is working with muscles/bones/developmental growth.

Fact: It is important that you research schools, ask questions and choose one that fits what you are looking for in a school and for your child.

This isn't the easiest task in the world to do, especially if you do not know a lot about dance. Perhaps you don't know the questions to ask or certain things to look for. Here is our guide to Choosing a Dance School! Plus download our special checklist for parents!

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Photo: Southeastern Regional Ballet Association - Photo by Richard Calmes


 

Vote for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins!

The race is on for the Top Dance Blogs! Dance Advantage is hosting their annual contest to identify the top blogs making moves in the dance blogging world!

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And Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins needs your votes (via comments on THIS post) to be considered!


 

Ballet Dance Identifications

Do you ever feel lost in dance conversations?

We're here to help you!

Here are some quick-and-simple Ballet Dance IDs of people in the dance world who made a difference.

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10 Things Dance Teachers Say

1. What we say: "Point your feet!"

What this really means: A beautiful pointed foot is not just about the toes. In fact, "scrunching" your toes is not a pointed foot at all! Scrunching toes can also lead to injuring a tendon in your foot. A good point, instead, lies in the instep (between your ankle and toes). Try exercises sitting down, pushing through demi pointe and then en pointe, using your entire foot. Also try standing, and thinking "pulling up through your arches" and "spreading the toes" out. This will help you feel the energy coming through your instep. Then, when you jump of lift the foot off the floor, the toes will come underneath in a beautiful point. Pointed feet exhibits a dancer's extensions and lines. It is also important for balance and strength.


 

A Great Teacher

"I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt to heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized." -Haim Ginott


 

Teaching Synesthesia in Dance

[Synesthesia] : Ancient Greek meaning "together" and "sensation." This neurological condition connects one sensory stimulation to a second sensory stimulation.

For example, you may hear a little kid say, "I smell something, and it smells like the color blue." Later, as that child attends school, a teacher will say, "Now 'smell' doesn't describe 'blue.' Blue is visual, and smell is... smell!" We teach children to categorize, differentiate, separate. But why?


 

Motivating the Unmotivated

Robert J. Samuelson recently wrote in an Op/Ed piece about higher education about those who are disconnected from it. He described it perfectly:

"School bores and bothers them. Teaching them is hard, because they're not motivated. But they also make teaching the rest harder. Their disaffection and periodic disruptions drain teachers' time and energy. The climate for learning is poisoned."

His description may sound negative, but really it isn't. He hit the nail on the head, and the only way to overcome that disconnect is:  "... to motivate the unmotivated."

These are not terrible, unwanted students. They are certainly capable of learning, even if their desire remains undiscovered, even to themselves.

How do we, as teachers, motivate the unmotivated?


 

Capturing Jealousy: The Little Green Monster

The comments are made in passing...

"I wish I had her feet."

"Man, I wish I could do the splits as easily as you."

"Ugh, her turns are PERFECT. I wish I could turn like that..."

These comments come from a desire within us of wanting to be someone we aren't. We want her legs, her feet, his jumping power, their strength, this or that, over here or over there. The challenge is teaching students to recognize the little green monster before its tentacles reach every aspect of your thought processes, thus affecting every aspect of your life.

How is this done in a performance world where ballerinas have been taught for ages to execute everything the exact same way?


 

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