Showing posts from July, 2018

Tap: Why We Do Not Offer It for Preschoolers

Many studios offer a combination preschool dance class of ballet and tap. We do not. Our Creative Movement Class for preschoolers is ballet based. We incorporate fun, developmentally appropriate ways for little ones to learn basic ballet technique and terminology along with basic rhythmic movements. So, why do we not start teaching tap at the preschool age?

Well, we have a few reasons.

Tap shoes are specialized dance shoes just like pointe shoes are. Dancers need fundamental skills, specific muscle strength, and specific muscle control to use the shoes appropriately.
Tap shoes have to fit the dancers feet. Often, to save money, families purchase tap shoes for their child to "grow into." Tap shoes that do not fit appropriately will not allow the child to learn to execute the steps correctly.
Tap dance requires dancers to relax their ankle and foot joints.  It also requires that dancers use only one part of the foot at a time in order to produce clear and concise sounds. This is …

Ballet is Important

Some dancers live for ballet while others struggle to drag themselves to ballet class. For those that consider themselves hip hop dancers, tap dancers, or jazz dancers, they may try to avoid ballet. So why is ballet important for all dancers?

Ballet lays the foundation for most forms of dance. When a dancer has the technique background from ballet, it enhances all other dance forms they undertake. A dancer with a ballet foundation stands out from others. Ballet demands discipline and dedication. Ballet technique is very specific and requires continual practice to improve. Quite often, the qualities of discipline and dedication translate themselves to other areas of life such as work and school. Ballet improves posture. Let's face it: everything about ballet requires good posture. Good posture is carried through all other dance forms.Ballet improves balance and flexibility. Ballet technique develops, improves, and maintains balance and flexibility which lessens diminish the possibil…

Criticism in the Dance World

Everyone is a critic!

One thing you can count on in the dance world is that you will face a lot of criticism. Criticism can be tough on a dancer. A thick skin will help a dancer get by, but here are a few things to think about when dealing with criticism.

Take time to celebrate achievements!

You finally achieved a perfect single wing on your left and your teacher was working with another dancer. Or, your teacher sees you and tells you to work on switch wings rather than praising your accomplishment. It can be frustrating, but take time to be proud of yourself. As Mikhail Baryshnikov said, "I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself." Take corrections, apply yourself, and pat yourself on the back when you improve.

Use corrections to grow as a dancer!

Dancers are made, not born (Baryshnikov). Dancers should be continually learning and growing.  In order to improve, a dancer needs feedback. Some instructors can be harsh with their critiq…