Nearly 3000 votes were counted!
Here are the Top 20 Dance Blogs of 2013:
6. On My Toes
9. Tamara Bally Dance AND
6. On My Toes
9. Tamara Bally Dance AND
It’s time, ladies and gents!
Here are the blogs that entered with a blog post about the contest:
Each did such a great job and received fabulous endorsements from their dedicated readers.
Participate in our contest and let your readers choose you as a 2013 Top Dance Blog.
Categorizing is never perfect but do your best to choose just ONE of these categories.
From our participants, Nichelle will choose a blog she feels is noteworthy or up and coming, regardless of comment count or readership. This blog will receive the Editor’s Choice award.
In YOUR post, ask readers to show support of YOUR blog with a comment on YOUR post.
You have until Tuesday, January 22 to round up as much comment support as you can.
As soon as you publish your post, start promoting it and encouraging comments!
Though any blog can enter, only blogs with the most comments on their post will be finalists in the voting round.
Comment support will be compared in all participating blogs. The 20 blogs with the most support will qualify as finalists and compete for the Top Dance Blog title.
The blogs that receive the most comments will also be eligible to compete for the top spot in their category.
On January 24, I will open the Top 20 and category finalist polls.
Even if your blog does not make it to this final round, you will be given special mention as a participant in the contest with a link to your blog.
From Jan 24 – 31, if you are a finalist, send as many people as possible to vote in our polls and secure your ranking.
Voting ends at 10pm EST on Jan 31st. Readers’ votes will be tallied and the results posted on February 2.
DO add our contest logo. (Right-click/Save-as the image above)
DO link back to this post. Here’s the URL: http://www.danceadvantage.net/2013/01/07/be-a-top-dance-blog
DO make it clear to readers that they should show their support by commenting on YOUR post about the competition (not mine).
DO encourage your commenters to share why they read your blog, what makes it special, or which are their favorite posts.
DO monitor and delete any duplicate comments from your readers.
DON’T be sneaky about comments. Please, do not offer incentives to commenters or pad your comment count in any way. Your blog will be disqualified.
DON’T mention competing blogs (positively or negatively) in your entry. Keep your post about you.
Engagement: Winner or not, every blog is noted as a participant and each is given an opportunity to engage their readers.
A Badge: Winners receive a badge to display on their site. Those in the Top 20 receive a badge with their rank. Those with the most votes in their category receive a badge also.
A Feature: Category winners will be highlighted together in an article on Dance Advantage. The Top 20 winner will receive their own dedicated feature.
A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.
If you have questions that aren’t answered on that page, feel free to comment below.
It’s my pleasure to introduce and welcome one of my favorite adult ballet bloggers, Lorry Perez of Bead109, as our guest to review a much asked about floor barre DVD — one of a series. If you love barre as much as Lorry does (or at least value what barre does for you), her thorough assessment is sure to be useful to you. I hope (visit her blog, and I think you’ll hope, too), that Lorry won’t be a stranger! ~N
If you are like me, you’ve got an idea of what it’s about – working out lying on the floor, right?! Okay, maybe I didn’t really know much about floor barre after all.
I started searching the internet for more information about what floor barre really is and discovered that there is a lot of data out there. I watched lots of DVD clips and read reviews and summaries and immediately realized that there isn’t just one “floor barre.” There are different schools of thought in floor barre, just like in ballet, and there are different methodologies based on differing philosophies. Then, of course, there are some people who just throw the word “barre” in there and make an exercise video.
Let me start off by telling you why I chose this method over the others.
Stéphane Dalle explains that the Boris Kniaseff technique is basically barre class on the floor. I like barre. No, let me restate with emphasis, I love barre. I love it.
I’m a technique dancer. Give me beautiful, pure, clean technique over flash and bravado any day. I will jump at any opportunity to drill down, into my brain and body, deep barre technique. I can absolutely see how other pursuits, such as pilates or yoga, can really benefit your body for dancing but perhaps practicing ballet is the best way to really learn ballet.
The Kniaseff method is repetitive. You improve your plié by doing millions of perfect plies, that’s pretty much the way it is. Perfect in practice makes perfect!
I looked at the professional dancers and schools that have used this method for floor barre classes. The list is very impressive; dancers from Paris Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet of London, Stuttgart Ballet, Het National Ballet, English National Ballet, and San Jose Ballet. Pretty much all of the étoiles at Paris Opera have gone through this training.
This method [Read more…]
but Halloween is this week!
Just in case you’re a little confused by the chocolate Santas that have covertly crept into the candy aisle and the wreathes already darkening the doorstep of your local shopping center, I thought I’d share a video that is, without question, in the soul-snatching spirit of All Hallow’s Eve.
If you’re not familiar, The LXD is a popular three-season dance series, only recently released to a global audience on YouTube via the DS2DIO (D-studio) dance lifestyle channel and also available on Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes. Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D), and choreographed by Harry Shum Jr., aka Mike Chang from “Glee” and Christopher Scott, it chronicles the journey of seemingly ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary powers (dance-fueled, of course) and must choose their place in an epic war between good and evil.
The haunting webisode features the supernatural talents of Jesse “Casper” Brown as Peetie/Fangz, and Adedamola “Nugget” Orisagbemi, Nicholas “Slick” Stewart, and Marc “Marvelous” Inniss as ‘The Eaters’.
This has to be our most terror-iffic addition to the Dance Advantage catalog. Watch at your own risk.
If that’s not enough treats in your Jack-o-lantern bucket, stay tuned this week on Monday and Wednesday for two Halloween episodes on DS2DIO 360.
First up, at 10am PST on October 29, Cameron Goodman takes a look at dance-themed Halloween costumes that are both fun and funny on DS2DIO 360: DANCE LOOKS WITH CAMERON.
Then on Halloween, October 31, Cameron joins co-host tWitch (So You Think You Can Dance, Step Up: Revolution) to explore the scariest dance sequences in history on DS2DIO 360: WHEN DANCE GOES EVIL.
If you ask any PhD student what his thesis is about, one of two things is likely to happen:
1. You get a long, drawn out paragraph of mumbo jumbo things that no one in the outside world will ever understand…
2. “It’s about electrons.”
That is to say, you get the watered-down, one word version and a subtle invitation to please stop asking questions because you wouldn’t understand it anyway. But what if there was a way to communicate complex ideas, the stuff of PhD’s, without watering it down or shutting the rest of us out?
What was once a little known video contest for PhD students to explain their research through dance has blown up into a full-scale online dance film fest. Scientist/writer John Bohannon developed the Dance Your PhD contest as a way to make science accessible and understandable to everyone.
Plus, he sees this model as a way to attack some of the problems we face in the dance community. Bohannon gave this TED talk a few years ago, where he claims that dancers are a valuable and fragile resource. Using dancers as a learning tool and a means of communicating lofty, inaccessible ideas could be one way to protect the fields of both dance AND science.
I needed another new social addiction like I needed another hole in my dance tights!
But wait, you’ll reveal a dozen creative ways to fix or upcycle those tights so, it’s all good.
Pinterest is coveting made simple! It’s bookmarking made visual! I’m having fun with this glorious timesuck. Are you?
I joined thinking I’d use it only for personal reasons: crafts for the kids, recipes for the dinner table, DIY projects for my home. But, I couldn’t resist pinning those fantastic dance images (though I do try to only pin the ones with photographer and dancer credits). Then, I found some of the posts here at Dance Advantage were being pinned by readers, so I re-pinned those but… well, I needed a new board for that! And then, oh my gosh, there are such cute dancer gifts and crafts and artwork… oh wait, that’s another board. And wait, these pins are more for dancers… and these would help parents, and…
As usual, dance starts taking over everything in my life! But hey, it IS a significant part of my life. I’m enjoying having both friends and readers show up in my following feed and it’s fun sharing my interests and passions outside of dance!
Elitedance.com has an awesome list of other dancers and dance sites who use Pinterest.
In a moment, I’ll give you the link to the interview, where you can read my full response but one small point I made was that lately there is a much broader variety of dance shows on television. With this, comes an increased opportunity (and responsibility) to invite new viewers of dance to tour the world and life of a dancer.
One new show I’ve been following closely, A Chance To Dance, will air its 4th episode on Ovation TV this week. I gave you a sneak peek of this with some video clips and tips before the show premiered on August 17. Since then, I’ve been tuning in and you may have noticed that Catherine from 4dancers and I are now helping to promote A Chance To Dance.
What’s special about this one? Unlike most competition shows, it gives a pretty realistic view of the expectations dancers face as they seek to get hired and work within an ensemble. But, it also won’t put the uninitiated dance population to sleep. Already, the show has included the following lessons:
So, fellow teachers and dance tour guides, are you feeling me? I’d like to see more young dancers, seasoned dancers, and new viewers give A Chance To Dance a chance.
What is A Chance To Dance?
Here’s a clip of Nunn and Trevitt explaining their feeling that this show brings some “reality” to reality.
So, in case the above isn’t motivation enough to tune in, Catherine and I are sweetening the pot with some contests. Here’s the deal:
Answer our weekly trivia question on Twitter. Get a chance to win some swag!
Look for our trivia question starting now by searching #ACTDtrivia on Twitter. We’re doing a different giveaway each week based on the upcoming episode, so tune in this week (Friday) at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT.
Watch the upcoming episode and write a blog post about it. Get a chance to win $25.
People have already submitted entries for this contest but to give more people the chance to answer we’ve extended our deadline. The details on how to enter are here. We’ll choose a random winner from the entries and promote your answer on our social media accounts. This is awesome publicity for you bloggers out there.
Here’s a preview of Episode 4 which airs this week on Ovation:
1. Got Ovation? Watch it on TV.
2. Also available On Demand as part of your paid TV subscription.
3. Watch on Facebook.
Here’s my interview as Mom In The Spotlight at Mom’s New Stage, wherein I wax on televised dance reality, releasing my inner super mom, and what dance has taught me about blogging.
Enjoy! And, even if you aren’t entering our contests…
Our own stories are built upon the legacies of pioneers, and that is ever true in American dance, which is filled with legends who carved their own paths. On occasion these groundbreaking artists create something that, against all odds, grows to be treasured by the entire nation.
Two recent documentaries each highlight an institution widely recognized as an American dance treasure and both are available to own on DVD.
Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance chronicles the Joffrey Ballet, from its humble beginnings touring the country in a borrowed station wagon, to becoming one of the world’s most exciting and prominent ballet companies.
Never Stand Still takes us to a farm in the Massachusetts Berkshires where visionary dance pioneer Ted Shawn founded Jacob’s Pillow in the 1930s and, through footage, stories, and interviews, places legendary choreographers alongside new innovators and classical ballet dancers next to vaudevillian performers to reveal the passion, discipline, and daring presented year after year at this idyllic mecca for artists.
I have been following the release and distribution of the Joffrey movie for some time and was fortunate to be present at Houston’s one-night-only screening earlier this year.
The Joffrey story is not told enough. Dancers value their history, however, I’m surprised at how infrequently the origins, characters, and events that make up the Joffrey Ballet narrative are discussed or taught. I found there was much to learn about this world-renown dance company.
The film immediately draws viewers into its tale with archival images and anecdotes from those who played their part in the Joffrey story. It is in turn, moving, funny, and inspiring. You will become immersed in the drama of the Joffrey company’s triumphs and failures, easily forgetting that you are watching an educational and historical documentary.
Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, the visionaries behind this company and many of its original ballets were instrumental to the development of contemporary dance in the United States. The underdogs of ballet, they exemplified their time by pushing dance forward artistically and socially with bold political statements, provocative choices, and daring redefinitions of the art form. Young dancers studying today are enjoying the ripple effect of their rendering of the American Dream through The Joffrey Ballet.
No dance program library or history class is complete without this documentary film. It’s that good.
I feel very fortunate to have visited the Pillow several times over the last 8 years. The first time was as the leader of a group of young dance students who could not begin to understand the significance this mountain retreat held for me.
Reverence for Jacob’s Pillow and those who’ve walked its gravel boulevards are a feature of this DVD. Photographs, brief footage, and interviews provide windows into the history of the site; into the minds of the male dancers who first called the picturesque retreat their dance home; and into the passions of Ted Shawn, the man who saw its potential. It also calls on those who have made work on the Pillow’s summer students, like Suzanne Farrell and Judith Jamison, and a few of the young pre-professionals, to share their stories and experiences.
While the significance of Jacob’s Pillow as a mecca for dance artists will not be lost on any viewer, the film also focuses on the lives and craft of dancers past and present. Rasta Thomas, the bad boy of ballet, gives his perspective on what it means to be a choreographer today compared to yesterday. Mark Morris describes the thrust of his work and why it is ‘not for everyone, but anyone.’ Paul Taylor asserts that a dancer chooses a difficult path.
Finally, Never Stand Still, as its title indicates, exposes the ever-evolving nature of dance and the diversity of movement and artistic modalities that are celebrated and brought together year, after year, after year at Jacob’s Pillow.
Well aware that I sound like a broken record, your dance program library is not complete without this film to bring awareness to the next generation of dancers.
On August 17 (tomorrow), the Ovation network will premiere a new reality/competition dance show from the producers of So You Think You Can Dance, Nigel and Simon Lythgoe.
Two choreographers (Ballet Boyz founders, Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt) travel across America to audition dancers for an ensemble slated to perform in only 28 days at Dizzy Feet’s New York City Gala and will eventually bill on the SYTYCD tour.
Most dancers will recognize the high-stakes competition rhetoric (shattered dreams, invitation letters to ‘boot camp’, eliminations, “judges”) for what it is. In reality the dancers are participating in a rigorous audition before the artistic directors and choreographers of a new performance ensemble. Not as punchy, I suppose.
However, after previewing some upcoming episode clips, A Chance To Dance appears to offer viewers a better glance at the audition and creative processes than we’ve seen so far in televised dance reality. Nunn and Trevitt explain the qualities they value in performers, we watch them work during the selection process and in rehearsals, we see them utilizing the strengths of a diverse group of dancers who don’t always fit the mold, and we experience the highs and lows of assembling contemporary choreography.
There’s still plenty of ‘Brits in America’ camp as Nunn and Trevitt explore the cities in which they’re auditioning (see their adventures in a general store/boot and hat shop in Austin below). It remains to be seen if the show will strike an agreeable balance between illuminating the dance profession and entertaining the viewers, but I am encouraged by what I’ve seen so far.
Teachers will celebrate that, for young dancers watching, the show should provide insight into the expectations of performance, reinforcing work ethic, professionalism, and other key concepts.
Billy Trevitt says:
SYTYCD All-star, Allison Holker, who helps scout dancers in Salt Lake City, offers advice for dancers:
Being a Texas resident myself, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this clip of Michael and Billy’s adventures in Austin. It showcases the down-home culture that is a fun and essential part of the Texan identity.
I must comment that Austin, Houston, and other metropolitan areas also have amazing cultural opportunities of another sort. You just may not get to see it on television… ever. I invite you to discover these for yourself at some point!
Watch A Chance To Dance tomorrow night at 10pm ET on Ovation and let us know what you think!
If the Ovation network isn’t available in your area, stay tuned to Ovation on Facebook, where episodes will be simultaneously offered in a streaming format (a first for social platforms).
Nichelle Suzanne began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. Nichelle holds a BA in dance and is an instructor with more than 17 years experience. She covers dance performance in the Houston area as a freelance writer and balances daily life as a mom to two young children. In June 2012, Nichelle presented the whats, hows, and whys of blogging on a panel at the annual conference for Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, to better equip artists and companies for engaging their audience and new readers through online communications and content. Read More…