Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

8 Week Beginner Classes

Often I get the question, “Why should I take one of your sessions, when there are drop in classes available?”

I think it is a really great question and it depends on each person and their schedule. With changing schedules and how fast life moves, drop in classes can be a great option. It gives dance students a certain freedom to come and as they please.

For beginner dance students that do have a fairly constant schedule there can be a lot of benefits to come to a regular session. Here are some the pros:

1) Together! A major benefit for beginners a part of an 8 week session. Everyone can move together at the same pace. It really gives students a chance to learn movements together, so if you attend sessions there is less of a chance for new students to feel left behind. which leads me to the next benefit…

2) Accountability! When you sign up for a session, it can really motivate you! Let’s be honest-life happens! Sometimes we don’t make time for ourselves in the long list of things to do each week, but when you sign up for a session, it gives a chance to say, “Sorry I can’t – I have class.”

3) New people! New friends that you know you will see every week! Not only do you meet new people, but it really gives you a chance to build a relationship with the instructor. So you are not just another dancer in a class, the instructor knows YOU, uniquely! You are a part of a whole new community and have a chance to connect with people that you would not normally meet in your daily schedule.

When deciding whether or not to take a dance session or a drop in dance class, it really depends on what your needs are!! So if you have always wanted to dance, get out there and try some different classes and try some new ways to work out and have a great time.

Hope to see you there!
Sincerely,
Kendra

I finally saw Black Swan last night! A big theme in the move was the main character wanting to be the “perfect” dancer. I think for anyone in the dance field,  that is a great question. What makes a dancer great? Is is technique? Is it expression? What do you think?

How do you define a great dancer?

We want to hear from you!

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

The first day of 2011 is an exciting day for me. I like to take a look back at 2010 and see what worked for me and what did not work. I also like to set some new goals for the new year!! Goals are a tricky thing, sometimes it is hard to know where to get started so here are a few tips to think about when setting new goals (or even if you want to take a look at your old ones!).

Make your goals – SMART goals!!

Specific: Make your goals as specific as possible. It is one thing to say “I want a million dollars” and it is another to take a look at exactly how are you going to get there. Let’s say a good specific goal would be ” I want a job in my preferred field”. From there you are have to take a look at what steps are you going to take to get to that specific goal. (i.e. Revise my resume, start looking at the classifieds, etc.)

Measurable: A great goal is one that you know you have reached. So using the example of looking for a job in your field, you know you have reached it by attaining a job in your preferred field. Sounds simple right? Exactly and it is a really important thing to look at when you set your goals . Ask yourself: “How will I know when I have reached my goal?”

Achievable: Do not be your own worst enemy!! Set goals that are within your reach in the near future. Setting goals that are beyond your reach hinders your motivation and makes it hard to keep and set goals!

Realistic: Once again you want to set a goal that is attainable within your means of time and resources. To set a vague unrealistic goal will only frustrate you! Set goals that are realistic for you.

Timely: Deadlines are crucial for setting goals. It is one thing to say I want to have a new job, but by when? Not having a deadline that is time sensitive would make it easier for you to procrastinate. Keep yourself motivated by having a deadline to meet!

Here are some other websites about setting SMART goals:

SMART Goal Examples

10 Steps to Setting SMART Goals

What is your goals this year? We would love to hear from you!

Wishing you all the best in 2011!
Kendra

 

 

Welcome!

Contemporary Sessions have started up again and we are having so much fun.  All the students that registered were entered into a draw to receive the eight week session for FREE! Dayna was a our lucky winner this session. Congrats Dayna!

I teach dance classes to all ages around the city and I wanted to dedicate a post to making the most out of your dance classes. Here are some tips that I find helpful:

1) Arrive in enough time to stretch before class. Especially if you have an injury or sore muscles, you want to make sure that you prepare your body for the class by stretching and warming it up. As well, I find just being there early, I am not frazzled or worried about getting to the class on time and I can bring my mind to the here and now! It makes it easier for me to focus in the class.

2) Dress and hair!! You want to come appropriately dressed in comfortable clothes that you can move in. As well you want your hair out of your face, so you can concentrate on working on those turns and jumps and not have to worry about your hair getting in your eyes. Depending on the class some teachers would prefer you wear your hair in a bun or a ponytail. If your hair is too short or if you have bangs, bobby pins and hair bands are a great way to keep the hair out of your eyes.

3) Set a goal. It helps if you have a goal in mind for the class. Do you always stand at the back? Do you want to work on emulating the teacher? In a dance class you want to have a specific goal in mind that you are going to work on for that class. You might decide that today is the day that you are going to stand in the front row of the class. Or you are going to take more risks when dancing, put more feeling into the moves. It is important to give your mind something to focus on during the class so you can push yourself to new heights and get the most out of class.

4) Have fun! Remember this is your time to get out the stresses of the day, to just focus on yourself and have some me time. So coming prepared and on time makes it easier for you to enjoy the class. Once you are there claim your space and get ready to sweat. Remember to push yourself and set goals. You will get more results and quicker! Most importantly – have fun!!

Happy dancing !

Odds are if you have ever been to a dance audition before, you have been asked to freestyle. If you have not come across this experience yet, then you probably will soon. It is very common to be taught a few counts of 8 for an audition and then to freestyle at the end by the choreographer. Or maybe you have made the first cut and now the choreographer wants to see more.

What is a choreographer looking for during your freestyle?

Your energy, your musicality or there might be something else specific that the choreographer is particularly looking for.

How do I freestyle?

You are a unique dancer, you have your own style and flair. This is where you would show the choreographer the best of your best. Do you know some acro tricks? Can you do any impressive jumps or can you turn like no one else?~ Now is the time do these moves and show your personality. If you have been asked to freestyle don’t panic, take some deep breaths before starting the combination, find the timing of the music and dance your heart out.

If you are worried and have never had to freestyle before, it is always a good idea to practice at home or in the studio when you have some time. Just turn on some music and dance!  The more you practice on your own, the less intimidating it will be do you in an audition setting when you could have the chance at your dream job.

Remember to have fun with it!

~If you have any comments or questions feel free to post below~

5 Tips on how to audition

Auditions are the single best way to get yourself out there. Sometimes they can be daunting, but here are some tips on how to do a successful dance audition. Please feel free to leave comments or other tips that I might have missed!

1. Great a good night’s sleep the night before

Nothing can more important that getting a good night’s sleep before an audition. Getting the proper amount of sleep can leaving you not only looking your best, but feeling your best. You never know what is going to get thrown at you at your audition. Most likely you will be asked to freestyle or you might be given specific direction of what the artistic director wants to see different. A good night’s sleep will better prepare you for these moments. It was the first audition tip that came to @mattox1 on Twitter. Good advice!

2. Don’t look like you are about to take a dance class

When showing up for an audition don’t wear clothes that look like you are about to take a class. Wear something that reflects your personality and that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. As well ladies, you want to wear some makeup. Of course you don`t want mascara streaming down your face while you are dancing, but you want to wear at least some makeup. You want to fit the look of the company that you are interested in auditioning for.  Do your research **see the last tip**

3. Remember – the audition starts the moment you walk in the door

From the moment you enter an audition, whoever is on the panel is watching you. Are you friendly? Are you talking to other dancers? Companies only have a short time to get to know who you are and if you are right for the company. Remember, the company doing the auditions want YOU, they want dancers who are friendly, easy to work with and who makes friends with other dancers. Remember you are on display from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you walk out the door.

4. If you mess up – keep going!

This is to go along with tip number 3. If you make a mistake during the audition, don`t worry about it and just keep going! Most likely those who are running the audition are more interested in your style, your personality and how well you handle these moments like making mistake during the audition. Just keep going and show your love of dance!

5. Do your research

There is nothing worse than showing up to an audition not doing your research. It says a lot to me when a candidate gets into the interview process and has seen videos on YouTube, or knows a little bit about the company and the dancers. I had one dancer asked me during the greeting ask me what kind of dancing my company does. This is not the first impression you want to make on an artistic director or a choreographer. If you haven`t seen the dance company live at one of their shows, check out and see if they have a website, or a page on YouTube, or are they on twitter? With all the different social media websites out there, information is easier to find, take advantage of it.

Last Note:

If you do not get an audition, do not let it stop you from pursuing your dreams. There are so many reasons why a dancer does not get a part. The important thing to remember is that you are going to auditions and putting yourself out there. Just keep taking classes, meeting other dancers and have some fun with it! Best of luck in the future!