Инвайт новоспайс Toe-Tapping

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

While quite a literal example of ballet helping with tap, toe-tapping is when taps are on the toe of Pointe shoes. Although this discipline is not very well-known or practiced, it is slowly, but surely, picking up popularity in the dance world. And it is quite a contradiction too! Tap requires a lot of loose ankle movements; not floppy, but requires a disconnect at the ankle between leg and toes. Pointe, on the other hand, is all about control and ankle stability. To combine the two seems, to me, to double the difficulty, intensity and danger of the discipline of toe-tapping. But, it is coooool!!!


Ballet - Do we really need it?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

While some of us may not looooove ballet class, it is necessary to excel in all forms of dance! All dance instructors will (or should) tell you that, in order to get better at any and all forms of dance, you must be in ballet class weekly! Ballet is the epitome of dance technique, dance class etiquette, and traditional dance language. To communicate through the styles, it is most helpful to know simple ballet terms, such as chasee and pas du bouree, as the ballet language unites all dance forms.

Some may, however, debate that ballet is not necessary for forms such as hip hop or tap. However, in reality, just like relating sports to dance, ballet increases your overall kinesthetic and spatial awareness, flexibility and core control. All of these elements are super necessary for hip hop and tap and will lead to visible improvement in all of your dance forms!

In fact, this is what Studio 180 Dance’s curriculum is based on: facts that prove dance is supplemental to excellence in sports. Ballet, in particular, is often practiced by professional athletes so it obviously has an impact and develops and improves bodily awareness, balance, the ability to find your center if off-balance, lean muscle vs. bulk muscle, and stretch!

Ballet technique is a skill both for life in general and your dance life. So grab your pink tights, black leos and bobby pins and get to the barre!

En De-What?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I don’t know about you, but after 20+ years of intensive dance training I still couldn’t make the “En Dehors-Out the Door” rule click. And then, reading some dance blogs online, I found this fabulous article that very clearly explains this tricky dance knowledge. You can read about it here:


I also came up with a few other ways to think about En Dehors and En Dedan in case “Out the Door” still doesn’t work for you. Here are a few ways for you to try to make En Dehors and En Dedan click for life:

1. En Dehors – Out the Door
2. En Dehors means “outward” in French and En Dedan means “inward” in French
3. En Dedan is like giving a hug-you have to wrap your arms around a persons body and that arc is exactly like the “En Dedan” motion.
4. Keep going to ballet class!!!

Costuming with Music and Choreography

Monday, August 6th, 2012

When costuming a dance, there are many things you must take into consideration!

Most importantly (and often not considered!), you must choose costumes your dancers can dance in. Different styles and levels of dancers will have different needs. For example, often tap can be costumed in stretchy jeans, but this may not work for jazz because of leaps that could rip the jeans. Similarly, although a cute prom-style dress may be your preference or what you envisioned, be sure that it can sustain the movement choreographed in your dance. Often if the costume is not created by a company that creates pieces specifically for dance, the apparel cannot withstand the extreme requirements of dance movement.

The next step is to consider the style of dance and how your costume can compliment your choreography. The best example I can think of in this sense is flow. If you have a lyrical dance that contains fluid, almost floating movement, a flowy dress would be very complimentary of the style and movement. Alternatively, if you choreograph to music that is high energy or dark, light colors and fluid fabric may distract from your vision. Costumes should enhance the movement, not take away from it!

Next, you must consider the music. Think colors. Black might not be the best color for children dancing to “You are my sunshine.” Yellow would probably be more appropriate. Black, on the other hand, with white would be perfect to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White.” These are 2 very literal examples, however, color is something to consider as it brings out the tone of the dance.

Finally, always remember to keep the costumes age and body-type appropriate. Although your youngest dancers might prefer more mature costumes, you are the choreographer and costumer, and it is your responsibility to respect the dancers’ age and level of maturity. Nobody wants to see their little girl in something an adult might wear at Halloween! Additionally, just as you work hard to highlight dancers’ strengths in your choreography, take the time to consider what a costume will look like on the bodies of your dancers. Ultimately your dancers will be performing your dance on stage and working hard to execute your ideas, so be sure to give them a costume that highlights their best features. Your dancers are responsible for showing the world your vision, so remember to be thoughtful and responsible when costuming them. Costumes are incredibly important and deserve to be considered thoughtfully.

Choreography Techniques

Monday, August 6th, 2012

With Dance Company Auditions coming up at Studio 180 Dance, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your choreography techniques. Specifically for auditioning, you want to show off your strengths, thoughtfulness and creativity. Although it is important to stay true to yourself and take risks, we don't recommend attempting movement that you have not yet fully mastered. Here are few tips to help guide you on the right path:

1. Be sure to choose music that is appropriate for that specific audition (for example, don't perform a musical theatre piece for a ballet company audition!) Be committed to your music-make sure it inspires and excites you and allows your ideas to run freely. Your investment in the choreography and it's execution will shine through in your audition.

2. Definitely include tricks or technically advanced movement (for example acro, leaps, drops or fouette turns) that you are confident you will execute successfully-an audition is the time for you to show off! However, also be sure to give consideration to transitions, fluidity and the basics; judges will be looking for unique perspectives, originality, and a fairly high level of mature understanding of choreography and all that is required to create a dance. We know how much it takes to honestly create and perform a dance and want to see that you do too.

3. Understand your intention, as it applies to your selected music and as it was when creating your piece of choreography. Then decide on the best facial expression to represent that intention and practice using it every time you rehearse. Your expression is incredibly important, especially when the judges wont know your thought process behind your choreography; help them understand your ideas and see your greatness by using, practicing and performing with expression!

4. Work hard to make your piece memorable. This doesn't necessarily mean doing something that may alienate or offend the judges, but think outside the box. Listen to undertones in the music that could inspire unexpected movement and show your understanding of music and its counts. Choose music that is different, new and exciting; consider using covers of mainstream songs, or songs that we don't hear on the radio every day. Set yourself apart from the others and work to make your piece something the judges won't forget!

5. If you get stuck, try improv! Listen to your chosen song, set no boundaries,dance around in your room and see what happens! Often unusual movements become unique and exciting to both the dancer and the audience.

6. If you are not happy with one part of your dance or it feels rigid, take it out and re-choreograph that section. You don’t want to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable because you want to be confident delivering the choreography. Similarly, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't the right choice for that piece-trust your instincts!

7. Finally, have fun! Judges love this part of an audition because they have the opportunity to learn about you, your ideas and creativity, and often see things they were unable to pick up during the other requirements of the audition. If you're having fun, committed and have put in the hard work, success it at your doorstep!