Posts Tagged ‘choreography’

Ask Rhee Gold | Setting policies for dance trips

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, Some of my studio parents have backed out of our upcoming performance trip to Disney, causing a lot of issues at the studio and stress for me. These same parents still want to attend this spring’s competitions. The Disney trip was our original plan—the competitions weren’t added until later.…

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FYI | Special-Needs Team’s Competition Dreams

What’s up in the dance community Dance educator Kim Smith’s search for a dance program that could accommodate her autistic daughter came up short, so in 2015, she created her own. A Chance to Dance welcomes dancers of all abilities at North Carolina studio Miss Donna’s School of Dance; owner Donna Mitzel, Smith’s former teacher,…

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Spring Cleaning

Suggestions for making your dances sparkle and shine Cleaning dances. It’s a dirty job, but we all have to do it! Whether students will be performing in a recital, spring showcase, or competition, you don’t want them going anywhere near a stage until you’ve wiped away all the sloppy steps, crooked lines, and cringe-worthy counts.…

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FYI | Ballet in a Box Takes Dance on the Road

What’s up in the dance community All kids should experience dance, Redondo Ballet founder Francesca Stern believes, so she and company co-artistic director Donna Perkins created Ballet in a Box: boxes containing all the elements—leotards, tights, costumes, shoes, music, story, and accessories—to stage a Redondo Ballet dance. Boxes are gifted to underserved children, whether dance…

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Tips for Tap Teachers | Improving Step Recall

by Thelma Goldberg With recital season upon us, let’s talk about memory and how to help our students strengthen their long-term recall of tap steps. Memories form when our neurons get fired up and make connections (or synapses) with one another to form a pattern of activity. During the memory encoding stage, dancers learn movements…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Roll Out

Ideas and advice from teachers Many teachers work throughout the year with the end goal of a performance in mind, be it a holiday revue, a spring ballet, a recital, competition routines—or, in many cases, all of the above. During a particularly hard time, I was dealing with “all of the above.” I was not…

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Competition Zone | Putting a Price on Winning

by Joan F. Smith Most competition dancers spend grueling hours in the studio learning choreography and perfecting routines with the hopes of both dancing and scoring well. But at Clarion [PA] Center for the Arts, directed by BreAnna Charis Liberto, competition dancers have a loftier goal: raising money for charity. “The arts are supposed to…

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Tips for Special-Needs Teachers | Encouraging Self-Help

by Tricia Gomez This month we’re focusing on the self-help developmental domain, which requires skills from the motor and cognitive domains. Activities of daily living (ADLs), such as feeding, dressing, self-care, and self-regulation, are often taken for granted, but this is an area where many students with learning differences and special needs struggle. Let’s take…

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Media Hub | Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation

Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation by Sandra Cerny Minton The fourth edition of this book contains new and updated materials and tools to help students develop their choreographic skills, from coming up with an idea to staging a performance. Includes expanded movement explorations and a new web resource with 23 video clips to help…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Looking for New Teachers

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, What is the best time of the year to search for new teachers? I’m looking for someone to start in the fall. Is it too soon to post an ad? I’m thinking the sooner the better, so that the teachers I hire can make any plans they need. Also,…

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Tips for Tap Teachers | Three-Sound & Four-Sound Cramp Rolls

by Thelma Goldberg Cramp rolls are useful both in class to strengthen small footwork and in choreography. With recital season on the horizon, here are some tips for using them: Begin with clean quarter notes. Dancers should shift weight correctly and separate their sounds. A favorite three-sound pattern for beginners is the press cramp roll,…

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Ballet Beyond Borders

Montana dance festival has global reach by Bonner Odell The snow-capped mountains surrounding Missoula, Montana, might seem like a surprising backdrop to a dance festival featuring some of the world’s most elite dancers and teachers. But Missoula is the birthplace of the Vienna International Ballet Experience USA (VIBE USA), which last year alone drew more…

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FYI | De Mille Muse Gemze de Lappe Dies

What’s up in the dance community Gemze de Lappe, who championed Agnes de Mille’s choreography both as a dancer and coach, died of pneumonia November 11, 2017, in Manhattan, according to the New York Times. She was 95. In 1943 de Lappe was cast in the first national tour of Oklahoma!; she went on to…

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Editor Speak | Improvisation and Inspiration

The modern dance classes I took as a child started with every dancer taking a turn in the circle, improvising to whatever word the teacher called out—red, bumblebee, wooden. I loved it. In high school, I improvised a 30-second or so solo at winter guard competitions, flag and all. But now, the word “improvisation” and…

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What a Concept!

Rhiannon Archerelle’s Ballet Concepts class reframes classical training by Mary Ellen Hunt Initially, Rhiannon Archerelle’s Ballet Concepts class—which weaves together several strands of dance education, including history, anatomy, somatic practice, improvisation, and choreography—was designed to engage students who didn’t particularly enjoy taking ballet. Archerelle, 39, first developed the class while she was teaching at The…

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The Anatomy of a Recital Postmortem

Your recital may be over, but don’t bury it just yet by Tiffany R. Jansen Pulling off a successful recital feels great, but there is nearly always room for improvement. That’s why it’s a good idea to break down your most recent recital shortly after it’s done to determine what worked, what didn’t, and how…

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Teacher Tune-Up | Keeping Current

by Sandi Duncan Once upon a time, we were the cool teachers. We created cutting-edge choreography and classes and felt on top of our game. But as time has passed and we’ve aged oh so gracefully, new trends have emerged in our field, leaving many of us scratching our heads and wondering how to keep…

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Ask Rhee Gold: Choreographer Contracts

Advice for dance teachers | Choreographer Contracts Dear Rhee, Off and on for many years, our studio has brought in master teachers to create choreography for our competitive students. This year a choreographer set a fantastic routine on a large group of our older students. The total expense for this was more than $4,000, including…

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July 2017 | Ask Rhee Gold | Retaining Recital Choreography

Advice for dance teachers | Retaining Recital Choreography Dear Rhee, What are your strategies to help students retain recital choreography? This year was especially hard, which resulted in a lot of stress for my students and me. I know I must be missing some tricks of the trade. Any expertise is appreciated. —Mikala Hi Mikala,…

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July 2017 | Media Hub | The Nutcracker

Onscreen, on the page, and online The Nutcracker produced by New York City Ballet and illustrated by Valeria Docampo Ballet and picture book lovers, rejoice! New York City Ballet presents The Nutcracker, a 2016 children’s book featuring the beloved story, which is told for the first time using George Balanchine’s quintessential production as inspiration. The…

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March-April 2017 | EditorSpeak

“The Rights Stuff: Who Owns Choreography?” by Karen White: There I was, in another conversation about who owns choreography, the teacher or the studio. Sometimes I think this issue will never go away, doomed to be debated forever by two clans glaring at each other over an immovable fence.

“Cycles of Inspiration” by Thom Watson: There are days when I really love my job. For this issue, for example, I exercised editor-in-chief privilege to assign myself the delightful task of interviewing several of my favorite choreographers and master teachers for a feature story, “Cool & Contemporary.”

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February 2017 | College Close-Ups | Sweet Briar College

In Sweet Briar’s dance program, students explore creative expression while gaining practical experience. For more than 40 years, the program has drawn on traditional and modern dance techniques and newer styles such as aerial, with an emphasis on and intensive training in choreography.

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February 2017 | 2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Playing with Tempo Changes

by Samara Atkins

Tip 1: When you’re building up choreographic phrases, repetition is key to students’ understanding of the sequencing. Repeating a section several times, breaking down the more difficult moves as you go, helps students remember what you’re teaching.
Tip 2: Playing with tempo changes is also helpful once you’ve taught the entire phrase.

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February 2017 | A New Look at Nia

by Bonner Odell

A fusion of dance, martial arts, and healing arts, Nia is a cardio fitness technique performed barefoot to music from around the world. Through a mix of simple choreography and guided improvisation, Nia instructors emphasize sensation and internal experience over outward aesthetics in an effort to cultivate awareness of one’s body, mind, emotions, and life as a whole.

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