Friday, November 4, 2016

Signed Up For A Ballet Class? Seven Tips To Prep For Success And Fun!

Female ballet dancer

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “ballet class?” If you’re like most people you may instantly conjure up images of intense studio time, trying to master difficult moves and positions, as well as tights, leggings and hair buns. Yes, participating in a ballet class at any level can be a challenging endeavor. However, it is possible to effectively prepare for success, no matter where your skill level currently lies. Knowing a few helpful tips when progressing through your ballet class can help you best prepare for success, and for having fun!

When Starting Your Session, It’s Important To:

Gear Up: What’s the first thing to do before any type of dancing experience? Make sure that you have the right gear. The right gear will always help you to be successful. Taking a ballet class means having some specific apparel and shoes for comfort and, most importantly, safety. Keeping your hair out of the way, as well as wearing the proper tights, leotards, and soft slippers can instantly get you ready to succeed in the studio. You will also want to include a water bottle as part of your routine to stay hydrated throughout the session.

Listen To Your Instructor: Whatever the skill level in your studio session, you will be given a lot of instruction by your teacher. It’s important to stay focused. Pay careful attention to your teacher and take notes after the session. This will help you keep up with any new techniques you’re learning in the class.

Build Your Strength: This type of dance requires extensive strength from its dancers. Taking the time to build your strength can help you to be more successful during to your time in the studio. Talk to your instructor about various exercises you can do to build muscle and strengthen your body as you learn.

Improve Your Balance: Beyond strength, you will also need to improve your overall balance in order to achieve the maximum results in the studio. Use the barre in the studio to help you get the right positioning, and then try the move without it to help increase your balance.

Extend Your Flexibility: It’s no secret that a ballet class requires impressive flexibility. Even if you weren’t born with natural flexibility, it is possible to improve it. Taking yoga and Pilates classes will help you extend your flexibility, as well as build core strength.

Practice: You don’t have to wait until your studio time to try out your newly acquired skills and techniques. In this particular case, practice really can mean perfect. Practice in between your time in the studio to master positions and moves faster.

Have Fun: Yes, ballet class can be a challenging and sometimes intense experience for dancers of every age and ability. However, it’s important to make sure you are ready to have fun, otherwise what’s the pointe? Go into every session with a great attitude and a positive spirit; it’s the best way to ensure that you are ready to learn, excel and have a great time.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Taking A Hip Hop Dance Class? How To Gear Up And Get Ready

Every style of dance brings with it its own unique set of requirements. A hip hop dance class is no exception. When getting ready to begin your movement education in a hip hop dance class, it’s imperative to know in advance what you’ll need to wear, bring, know and expect when entering the studio. Knowing a few key tips on how to gear up and get ready can give you the best opportunity for success.

When prepping for your upcoming hip hop dance class, consider:

What To Wear Above The Ankles

junge Frau tanzt Hip HopComfort proves crucial during your time in the studio. When suiting up for your hip hop class, you may want to leave shorts and any tight-fitting articles at home. Instead, always opt for function over fashion. Consider pairing sweatpants, stretch pants or other loose-fitting bottoms with a comfortable t-shirt or tank top, which often prove common attire for your session. In colder weather, you may want to consider wearing various layers to take off as you warm up to proactively prevent injury. Also, while you may feel like your outfit needs various accessories such as jewelry and/or caps, these items often get in the way of movement and become an instant hindrance. Bottom line, clean and comfy is the way to go; leave the unnecessary accessories at home to guarantee you are ready to learn and move without worry about extraneous garments.

What To Wear Below The Ankles

While shoes are always a critical component to any dancing classes, for this type of session, you really don’t have to purchase a pair of specialty dancing shoes. A simple pair of sneakers that you would wear to the gym during a workout is often the perfect accessory for your session. Just be sure to wear a pair with non-marking soles so you don’t scuff up the floor during your lesson.

What To Bring To A Hip Hop Dance Class

Of course, attire is just one thing to consider when in the studio; there are also some items that will be helpful to bring with you during your classes. A bottle of water is always a must. You also may want to think about bringing a gym towel, especially during the warmer weather seasons. Additionally, this type of dancing can also prove strenuous and burn a lot of calories, prompting many students to pack a snack for after their classes.

What To Know

As a new student to the dancing world, you may initially feel nervous or intimidated about entering your studio for the first time. This is perfectly normal. However, don’t let initial nervousness prevent you from pursuing your dancing dream. No matter your current age and experience, it’s important to know that reputable studios will make the transition from spectator to dancer an easy one. When screening various studios, look for ones that offer skilled, trained and certified instructors who have experience teaching students of all ages and of every kind of movement ability.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tap Dance Classes: Why You And Your Tiny Dancer Will Love Them

Bowler Hat with Tap Shoes and White Gloves

Sometimes, finding worthy activities for our children can feel like a full-time job. As parents, we strive to find sports and/or events that will captivate their interest and they will enjoy. However, we also want to find things for them to do that will also broaden their horizons and enhance their development in a wide range of ways. Sound like your current extracurricular dilemma? Consider tap dance lessons.

Benefits Of Tap Dance Classes For Your Child

Many parents are surprised when they realize the many benefits offered through tap dance classes. In some ways this particular style gets overlooked as not being “current” or “modern” enough. However, this simply isn’t the case. While many kids may initially feel more interested in styles such as hip-hop and tumbling, it’s important to remember that this particular dancing genre is a proven classic for a reason. When working with a seasoned team of instructors, you will quickly see for yourself everything that this style has to offer.

Tap dance classes at a reputable studio can yield a wealth of benefits and advantages to your tiny dancer, such as:

Exposure To New Music And Musicians

Ready to broaden your child’s musical exposure? This style of dancing is a perfect way to do it. Your little one will learn steps to so many different musical genres; it will stretch her horizons beyond more mainstream flavors.

Fitness Masked As Fun

It’s no secret that we all try to work in ways to keep our kids fit without them knowing it. Tap dance classes are a prime example of a workout that doesn’t seem like work. Your child will have so much fun in the studio that he will never know that he’s actually doing something good for himself. And your secret is safe with us.

Creative Outlet

Do you have a little one who is always looking for new ways to express herself? A qualified studio can prove a perfect forum; her instructor will give her a solid foundation in movement and theory, and she will have the opportunity to truly let her creative juices develop and flow.

Social Engagement

Group dancing sessions offer a chance for children of all ages to socially connect and engage with their peers. Your child will have an age-appropriate room full of fellow dancers to meet and mingle with to help further develop social skills.

Enhanced Coordination And Motor Skills

Every dance class helps children build coordination and motor skills; tap dance classes are no exception. Your child will continuously improve strength, agility, and overall coordination ability during her time at the studio.

Self-Confidence Boost

Most importantly, this type of dance genre can offer a major bump in your little one’s self-esteem. Learning combinations, mastering steps, and continuously progressing throughout the class can help increase confidence, not only in dance class, but also in every endeavor she undertakes.

With so many distinctive benefits, it’s easy to see why parents are signing up children of all ages for tap dance classes.

How To Find The Right Ballet Dance School For Your Ballerina

It’s no secret that ballet offers children of all ages a wide range of physical, intellectual, and emotional benefits. Little ones studying this form of movement will learn how to connect with their bodies, improve their social skills, and sharpen cognitive abilities as they learn to not only dance, but to create an art form.

Ballet Girl

Know What To Ask A Prospective Ballet Dance School During Your Search

No matter what your child’s specific skill level, or desired goals, finding the right ballet dance school will play a critical role in your little one’s overall dancing experience. Whether your child is simply drawn to the aesthetic beauty of ballet, or wishes to someday become a prima ballerina, finding a quality ballet dance school will help get your young dancer on the right path for success.

When screening various studios, it’s important to know which questions to ask for an informed final decision. As you move through the screening process, ask:

Is there an age requirement to begin?

This movement form not only demands physical strength, but it also requires emotional maturity as well. Many studios will require young dancers to do preliminary classes to help build their dance foundation.

How do you break up classes?

Some studios create classes based on age alone; while others offer various sessions based on dancers’ abilities. Some ballet dance schools even offer a combination of classes based on both age and ability. Knowing how your child will be placed will help you know if it’s the right school for her.

What are your instructors’ credentials?

Yes, working with instructors who have a degree in various dancing art forms can have a positive impact on your child’s development. However, it’s also important to look for instructors who have experience working with children. Understanding the credentials required of teachers can put your mind at ease that your young dancer is learning from a qualified team.

Do you offer other classes?

Many young dancers who may start with one specific genre soon find out that they are interested in learning about other movement forms as well. Working with a studio that only specializes in one genre means that you’ll have to start the search process all over again should your child want to broaden his dancing horizons. Look for studios that offer a comprehensive range of options to ensure your child has access to as many classes as he is interested in.

How long is your dancing season?

Some studios set a very specific season. These sessions run for a specific period of time and are usually punctuated by a recital for parents and family members. However, some schools will run classes throughout the year. It’s not uncommon for young children to have a wide range of interests and activity commitments. Knowing the kind of time obligation that will be expected from your child can help you decide if she will have the bandwidth needed to successfully completed classes while managing other activities on her schedule.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Get Fit With A Hip Hop Dance Class

Are you looking for a fun way to burn calories and get fit? You may want to consider taking a hip-hop dance class. Not only does a hip-hop dance class help you feel more comfortable on the dance floor, it can also deliver a myriad of health benefits as well. These health advantages can include:

Enhanced Stamina

Mastering moves in this dancing genre means successfully changing positions and running through sequences at an extremely fast pace. Practicing not only helps you get better in the studio, it can also help you improve your current stamina and endurance levels. The more you work in the studio to keep moving, the more you will see your aerobic capacity to continuously improve.

Calorie Burn

Dancing people

Including a hip-hop dance class into your workout routine can deliver a major calorie burn. Some classes can burn up to 500 calories per hour. Many dancers experience an upswing in their metabolism and burn more calories in less time the longer they practice this art form.

Strengthened Heart And Lung Capacity

Speaking of aerobic capacity, all of that constant movement, not only builds your endurance, but it also strengthens your heart and lungs in the process. A hip-hop dance class can help strengthen heart muscles and improve your lung capability.

Energy Boost

A dancing body in motion tends to stay in motion. A hip-hop dance class can also contribute to an upswing in your overall energy level. This type of cardiovascular activity can also act as a major stress reliever. You may find that you sleep better and stress less when you are participating in your hip hop dance class.

Tones Muscles And Builds Physical Strength

During your time in the studio, you will constantly contract and expand your abdominal muscles as you continue to master your dance moves. Over time, you may notice leaner, stronger abdominals and core muscles. Additionally, as with any type of dance class, it’s an all over body workout. You may find that you tone muscles everywhere, as well as build you overall physical strength.

What Else You Should Know About Finding The Right Dancing Environment

Beyond understanding the many health benefits offered by this type of dancing, you should also know how to find a quality studio. Look for a dancing studio that offers well-trained, qualified instructors. Your chosen studio should offer diversity within its classes. Reputable facilities will cater to every age group and skill level, so every student gets the attention they deserve and feels challenged during instruction.

In addition to a wide range of hip-hop dance classes, leading facilities will also offer a comprehensive range of other movement and dance classes, as well. Ballet, jazz, and tap are just some of the many classes you may have access to during your time in the facility. Choosing a studio that provides a wide range of dancing options means that you will have the opportunity to truly explore your dance and movement interests, all in one place.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

How Will Your Child Benefit from Learning Jazz Dance?

Tween Jazz Dancer in Rend

There are many misconceptions about dance and being a dancer. It’s sometimes perceived as being “fluffy” or not as rigorous as sports. However, dancers, from advanced students to instructors, know that this is far from the truth. In order to become a dancer, you need to be strong and fierce, and there’s nothing fluffy about it. Another misconception is that you only have one or two choices. This may have been true in the past, but now there are so many types of dance lessons to choose from.

Take a jazz dance class in Batavia, and learn more than just dance moves.

Ballet is the most recognized form of dance, but if that’s not your style, there are many other choices available to you. Jazz dance is one of those choices. Jazz is rooted in early American and Caribbean dance styles, and it’s a more contemporary mode of expression than Ballet. Fortunately it also has many of the same benefits as ballet, plus some of it’s own.

Your Child Will Burn Calories Faster

Childhood obesity is on the rise, but you can fight it by keeping your child active. Taking dance classes two times a week can burn up to 250 to 500 calories per session, but that’s not all! The more muscle your child builds, the more calories he or she will burn throughout the day. That brings us to our next advantage!

Your Child Will Have Stronger Muscles

Strong muscles are essential for being fit, plus they burn fat and calories more efficiently. Jazz dance strengthens the heart. This is good news, because if your child strengthens their heart, they’re less likely to have heart disease as an adult.  In addition to making your child’s muscles stronger, the movement in Jazz dance makes your child’s muscles more flexible. This means less sports injuries and better posture; which brings us to our next benefit!

Your Child Will Have Better Balance

Stronger muscles mean better balance and posture. This will also lead to less sports injuries, but it goes beyond this immediate benefit. Better balance and posture means less chance of developing hip, leg or back issues as an adult. Plus, a straight back helps you hold your head high, which is another advantage!

Your Child Will Have Greater Confidence

When your child takes Jazz dance lessons, they will hold their head high! Learning any kind of dance can help someone become more confident about their body and how their body moves. And in an age where kids have low self-confidence and poor body image, this is so important. Jazz dance also teaches a child how to both be in the spotlight and work as a team, which are invaluable lessons that reach far beyond the dance floor. These skills will put your child ahead of the game in high school, college, the workforce and beyond.

Your Child Will Have Less Stress

A little stress is motivating, too much is just plain damaging. Unfortunately even our kids know how detrimental stress can be in their lives. With tests scores, SATs, STEM school and college applications, our children are under more stress than generations before them. But Jazz dance lessons can effectively reduce stress, much like meditation or Yoga. Jazz requires you to let all of your other thoughts go and just focus on your movement. This helps your child to “un-cloud their mind,” lower their heart rate and reduce cortisol levels; so they return to their studies, tests and application essays with renewed calm and composure.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What Is The Right Age For Kids To Start Tap Dance Classes?

Once kids have moved beyond the toddler years and are steady on their feet, parents begin to realize that they need a constructive outlet for all that energy! Thoughts inevitably turn to dance. While ballet is a popular choice, tap dance classes might be a better fit, especially for boys. The style is a bit more energetic, helping to get those wiggles out, the demands on the body are less rigorous, and what kid can resist the tap-tap-tap of those fancy shoes?

The question then becomes what’s the best age for kids to start tap dance classes?

How To Determine If Your Child Is Ready For Tap Dance Classes

Novice Girls Tap Dance Trio

You can find fun, informal tap dance classes for kids as young as two, but whether or not you enroll in one depends on the interest, abilities, and attention span of the individual. Placing them in a class that demands more than they can give isn’t good for the individual participant or the rest of the students. You risk injury, turning the child off to dancing, or disrupting the class if the child isn’t ready for formal lessons.

To help decide if the time is right for formal instruction, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is my child at least 3 years old? While kids definitely show an interest in music and dance at an earlier age, they simply don’t have the maturity level needed to participate in formal lessons. Encourage their interest, keep them moving, and even enroll them in informal classes, but unless they can control themselves and follow classroom instruction, wait a bit before enrolling.
  1. Is my child physically able to participate in a class? Kids need to have strong motor control skills in order to participate in formal lessons. Even if he or she meets the age requirements of the class, the child may not have the physical capabilities to meet the demands of dancing.
  1. How does my child feel about performing in front of others? Recitals are demanding and can be scary for some kids. If your son or daughter is not ready to be on stage and perform for strangers, look for an informal class that does not require performances.
  1. Is my child comfortable enough to attend class without me? Comfort taking instruction from the teacher without a parent present is a must. At this age, the most important skill the teacher has is the ability to connect with the kids, remain enthusiastic and supportive, yet in charge of the class. The more fun the class is, the more comfortable children are without parents in the room.

Dance Opportunities Are Everywhere

So many of the decisions you’ll make as parents will come down to what’s best for your child and your family. Starting tap dance classes is no different. Keep in mind that there will still be classes when your child is ready. There’s no need to rush it and you have plenty of options to keep their interest growing in the meantime. Dance at home. Find a creative movement class. Enroll in a Mommy & Me class. Watch some tap videos on You Tube. Anything that keeps their little bodies moving and coordination skills improving will prepare them for eventual classes.