12 Tips for Teaching Tots

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Tips for managing, engaging, and interacting with young children. Problem solving and strategies for short attention spans and behavioral challenges typical of the preschool (3-6 years) age group.

Teaching Piqué Turns

Given my recent Piqué Turn How-To, I thought I would expand into my process for teaching this turn.

Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

A while back I did a post entitled Encouraging Boys to Dance. It had a good response and I was even asked to submit an edited version for the PTA (National Parent Teacher Association) website.  It is my firm belief that boys should be encouraged to dance by dance teachers and parents in particular. After all, there are many who would discourage them – we should be making it an easier choice for young guys who may have an interest {Read More}

Dance of Independence

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As children prepare for preschool and begin to participate in more structured activities, dance class may be the first time he/she is separated from you. As a parent, you may be unfamiliar with the procedures of a dance class or operations within a particular studio, but whether you have had experience with dance in your youth, as an adult, or not at all, you have your own expectations for your child, the class, and the teacher. Jumping In For a {Read More}

Negativity

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The mindset plays a very serious role in how we dance. Negative self-talk is damaging and has a way of oozing out to the people around you, actually affecting the performance of others. For instance, a little joke, a negative or sarcastic comment about your dancing can lead to another dancer feeling worse about any problems he/she may be having in the class. Even your teacher may feel as though she is failing the class in some way or respond {Read More}

Bullying in Dance Class

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

What does a bully look like? We tend to picture a bully as a big, tough, boy that picks on those smaller or younger than himself. However, there has been a lot of discussion lately within educational circles about bullying and we are slowly learning that bullies come in many forms. Although dance can foster understanding and a sense of community among young people, dance classes are not immune to episodes of bullying. Boys in dance often receive taunting, teasing {Read More}

Encouraging Boys to Dance

Dance is a physical and athletic activity requiring great skill, strength, and agility. Sounds like an ideal fit for energetic boys… so where are they?? Well, we know that public perception is difficult to change and, in general, the current perception is that dance is not a “manly” activity. For ballet and some other dance styles, the aesthetic is for movement to look effortless. Even though the audience knows that men in dance must be in top physical form, beauty {Read More}

Watching and Discussing Dance

Continuing my series on how dancers, teachers, parents, and schools can celebrate National Dance Week in meaningful ways that will endure beyond this small portion of the year, this post is about watching and discussing dance. In an earlier post, I suggested that one way to celebrate NDW is to go see dance in order to better appreciate the art form you are practicing.  But, watching, understanding and appreciating dance takes practice, too!  The Arts Alive website offers some important {Read More}

Teaching and Exploring the History and Evolution of Dance

A student in ballet cannot learn the art in isolation and no one can know what great dancing is without seeing examples of it. Not only can the dancer not be separated from the dance, she also cannot be separated from the history of dancing, from the line of dancers and teachers leading to her. This is a quote taken from an article written in Dance Magazine in 1995 regarding the film The Dancer. This sentiment holds true not just for {Read More}

Celebrate National Dance Week

National Dance Week is approaching ( April 25-May 4, 2008 ) and if you haven’t already, now is the time to decide how you’re going to celebrate!  Obviously if you’re visiting this blog, you probably have an interest in dance and may already feel like you are immersed in its practice.  However, there are lots of ways you can observe this special week that will enrich your own or your school’s dance experience. And who knows, they may even spill {Read More}

Fostering Artistry in Young or Beginning Dancers

I came across a new blog, Design Dance, that coincided with something I’ve recently been thinking about. The blog is for a dance school in Chicago that has a mission to offer classes that not only teach technique but also create an environment that encourages the young artist. Let me just quote a bit from their first post: After 7 years of being a dance educator and seeing what goes on in studios, I’ve begun to make some guesses as {Read More}

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