It is hard to believe that I began Dance Advantage just over six months ago! Last April, the idea that had been loitering in my head became a living, breathing entity. I had no idea where this blog would take me, how much time I would put into it, or if anyone would even read the darn thing! My aim was to write about all of the things I never seem to have time to cover when teaching my classes, to pull together useful links and sites, to offer my knowledge of dance and share my passion. My hope was that other teachers and dance students would take these things, apply them to their work and study, and share them with others.
As you can see from the chart above, Dance Advantage is growing! More people are commenting and responding, and the number of hits this blog receives has been steadily rising. I expect that it will continue to do so in October and beyond. The numbers are nothing compared to many sites but I wanted to share this small success with those of you who regularly read the blog.
Using This Site to Your Advantage
Since I’m taking time out to talk about the blog itself, I’d like to point out some important features you may not be aware of. There are pages offered on this site that don’t show up in feeds (if that happens to be how you read the blog) that I think are helpful to current subscribers and visitors alike. In particular, the About page offers some ideas about how I hope this site will be used and also some of the other places where Dance Advantage is present online. For instance, I have a page and profile on Facebook – I’d be honored if you became a fan there. Another useful page provides a tour of the Dance Advantage website. Most importantly, on this page I’ve explained how to use category or tag links to help you find archived or past posts you may have missed.
Your Own Magazine
If you enjoy or make use of the posts here, regardless if you are a frequent reader or just visiting, I also want to encourage you to subscribe to the blog. I’ve found that many people searching the internet for information don’t know much about blogs or RSS feeds. I know I didn’t prior to setting up this website!
You can quickly subscribe to e-mail updates with just a few clicks. I usually subscribe to all of the blogs I read with Google Reader, however. Amber, of The Dance Primer, recently wrote on her personal blog about creating a “personalized magazine” using a feed aggregator (or reader). If you know nothing about feeds, a little information may be enlightening but not necessary to understanding Amber’s analogy. She likens the experience of trying to keep track of all the magazine articles and clippings one might find useful, to trying to keep track of the online info you want to read and find again. A feed reader allows you to create one big magazine, filled with updates from all of the websites you read (or want to read) regularly. Instead of one magazine for each interest, here you can combine your love of dance with your passion for knitting, plus keep tabs on current events, reality tv, and what’s new in parenting, and do it all in one place. A reader has been invaluable for me because I rarely ever take the time to visit my bookmarked websites – it becomes overwhelming. A reader allows the websites to come to you. Of course, a reader can only read feeds, and while still really useful for blogs and other places where you see this little symbol, I’m finding I need more to manage all those “clippings.” So, I’ve been looking at a few options: Journler, MacJournal, and Google Notebook. The latter is free but a bit more limited. You should check it out though if you, too have trouble keeping track of it all, or are a blogger like me. I’ll let you know what I end up using.
At Your Service
Thanks again to all of you that read regularly. Because this site’s mission is to serve you, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask your opinions. So I want to know…
What topics would you like to see covered on this site?
What would you like to see more of?
Which posts have been the most useful to you so far?
Have you or would you share the site with other dancers, your students, your teachers?
How do you feel about the design/layout/features offered on the site?
Do you subscribe? Why or Why Not?
I truly want to hear from you! Add your comments or contact me. Thanks again for reading! I promise it’s on with the dance for the next post!
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.