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Browsing All Posts By Sawyer Klein

Top 5 Dance Podcasts

Dance Podcasts

Podcasts have become immensely popular, and there is an unbelievable number of them out there. They are great to listen to in the car, at your desk, during your workout. There is find one for every interest and hobby. Dance podcasts are no exception. So we’ve put together our top 5 dance podcasts for you to check out!

Top 5 Dance Podcasts:

  1. Conversations on Dance – Hosted by Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden of the Miami City Ballet. These two experts cover all things dance, from training to choreography with a weekly guest from the industry’s best and brightest.
  2. Becoming Ballet – Hosted by expert Kimberly Falker of the Premier Dance Network. Her conversations are raw and unedited about how to make it in ballet. She never fails to entertain. If you enjoy this podcast, you should also check out her other dance podcast Ballet Uncovered ~ Balancing Pointe.
  3. Transform My Dance Studio – In this dance podcast, Clint Salter brings in guests that share their expert advice on business as well as dance. This is a fantastic resource and a must-listen for all dance studio owners looking to make theirs the ‘go-to’ studio; Salter and his guests are not only educational but also motivating as they discuss tips, ideas, and strategies
  4. The DancePreneuring Studio – Annett Bone hosts this dance podcast. She has entrepreneurial experience in and out of the world of dance that gives her show a unique perspective on what it takes to follow your passions and how to push yourself to accomplish your goals. It will inspire you, as she shares her passion for dance with her listeners that will resonate with anyone that has a love for dance.
  5. Ask Megan! – Also from the Premier Dance Network, this weekly podcast features New York City Ballet’s principal dancer Megan Fairchild. She offers advice from calls and write-ins. In some episodes, she interviews other dancers that give her listeners a rare look inside the professional world of dance.
Check out some of these articles about the world of dance:
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Competition Preparedness

Competition Preparedness

Competitions are an exciting experience, but competition preparedness is key. Because without it, they can be an incredibly stressful time. As a studio owner, staff member, or parent-volunteer, you have the responsibility to relay detailed information, expectations, and general reminders of preparedness to our parents and students to ensure a pleasant, positive, and organized experience for everyone.

Prior to competition season even starting, it is important to prepare and distribute a competition overview packet. This packet should detail all the expectations for the regional events of the season. This includes costume checklists, call times, and responsibilities. It provides parents and dancers a detailed overview of what will happen at the event, what they should expect, and appropriate etiquette. When you receive the schedule for an event, it is a good idea to re-type it so that parents explicitly understand call times, locations/directions, and performance times. The information is beyond thorough and strives to provide more information than necessary.

 

Key steps to help guarantee competition preparedness:

    • In January, offer a hair and make-up seminar where parents style hair and apply make-up. This way, everyone has a consistent look (and the appropriate products) for a successful competition.
    • At the event, submit your music in an organized, timely manner. Stomp each of your CDs with your logo and organize all of the CDs (in entry order) in a CD book. Prior to the weekend, test each of your CDs for any scratches or playing issues. The back of the CD book contains back-up CDs for the routines, and as a backup, it may be wise to also carry all of your competition music on an iPad or another MP3-enabled device. The CD book lasts throughout the season.
    • In post-competition rehearsals, debrief the event by discussing appropriate competition etiquette and utilizing the competition feedback. (some studios have made a point to attend competitions where the feedback is constructive)
    • Take responsibility for transporting any large or group required props.

Competition preparedness at the competition:

    • Be on-site for your students’ call times and performances. If the studio has representatives at an event, it is most important that there be some form of studio leadership/liaison at the event, too.
    • If you have a question about an event, ask, usually in advance. You never want there to be an “unknown” regarding a weekend. Of course, if there is information you feel as though you are missing, reach out and ask someone. Assuming that the company is professional, they will be happy to help.
    • If a concern, incident, or issue arises on site, take the time to handle it calmly and professionally. Everyone is working together to make this a wonderful experience for our students. There is no need for stress, tempers, or panic. The hours are long and the environment can be stressful. But if you put yourself in the proper mindset, the experience will be more rewarding and productive for everyone. Be kind to everyone!

Competition Preparedness Conclusion:

Ultimately, being organized, calm, and in control, as a representative of your studio (whether you are a studio owner or instructor), will help ensure that your students and parents will follow your lead. Likewise, if you are unorganized, frustrated, or uncertain, that mentality will convey to your parents and students.

The competitive experience is an opportunity for each of your students to grow and improve, as dancers, performers, and people. Therefore, it is important to make the event positive, encouraging, and constructive.

Finally, take the time and ask yourself if you are doing everything in your power to guarantee that your parents and dancers are fully prepared for competitive events? We are always evaluating and evolving our systems and methods to make sure that everything is efficient, informative, and functional for a successful weekend.

Check out some of these articles focusing on preparing for dance competitions:

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Back Injuries Common for Dancers: What You Need to Know

Back Injuries

In a previous article, we covered 5 of the more common dance injuries. At the top of the list was Lumbosacral injuries, more commonly known as the lower back area. It is the base of the spine and crucial to the connection between the upper and lower body. But this is not the only area of the back that is known to frequently plague dancers if they are not careful or pay attention to their body’s limits. It is important to be aware of some of the specific types of back injuries to this area and others. They can seem minor but left uncared for, can be some of the most detrimental to a dancer’s career. It is important to know when to seek medical advice.

Common Back Injuries:

 Muscle Pull in the Quadratus Lumborum 

  • About the Injury:

Strain or overexertion of the Quadratus Lumborum

  • Symptoms of Injury:

Tightness and aching in the lower back (though it sometimes may present itself as a sharper pain

  • Causes:

Like many muscles pulls it can be caused by overexertion. Other causes can also include: poor posture, unequal leg length, muscle weakness, and trauma

  • Further Complications:

While soreness and muscle pain are common for any athlete. Attempting to fight through the pain can lead to worsening the pull, chronic low back pain, as well as injuries to other parts of the body trying to compensate for the injury, typically the hips.

  • Treatment:  

Rest, heat or ice, yoga and stretching, massage therapy, and, if necessary, medication

Stress Fractures of the Lower Back (also known as Spondylolysis)

  • About the Injury:

This injury is most common in younger dancers. It forms in the thin area of the vertebral bone, known as the pars interarticularis. It is the part of the vertebra that helps form the joint with the other vertebra. A stress fracture is a unique type of fracture or breaks compared to a traumatic break. As it is but a complete break but happens over time when the bone can regenerate fast enough to keep up with the strain.

  • Symptoms of Injury:

Unfortunately, injury can exist for some younger dancers for a period of time without any noticeable symptoms. The most frequent symptom is a dull lower back pain that worsens over time. It often feels similar to a muscle strain. If you think your child may have or be at risk for Sondylolysis it is important to consult a doctor. This injury does not mean the end of a dancing career. But special precautions are recommended to ensure it does not interfere with your dancer’s experience.

  • Causes: 

Overexertion

  • Treatment:

Rest, acetaminophen, and several months of physical therapy is the best way to treat this type of injury. It is important to improve core and muscle strength around the injured area to reduce strain.

Disc Herniation (or “Slipped Disc”)

  • About the Injury: 

A “disc” is the cushion between the individual vertebrae. This disc can sometimes tear through is protective exterior. These types of back injuries are far more frequent in older dancers than in children.

  • Symptoms of the Injury: 

Arm or leg pain. Herniations of the lower back most commonly result in the buttocks, thigh, and calf. It is a noticeable, intense pain. There may also be numbness, weakness, or tingling. Though, it is possible to have a herniated disk and not be aware of it.

  • Causes: 

Some people are at a higher risk for this injury simply based on genetics, but the most common causes are excess body weight and physically demanding jobs that require repetition of strenuous motions.

  • Treatment: 

While physical therapy, yoga, and other non-medical activities can be helpful. If the herniation is severe enough, it will likely require over-the-counter medication, and, possibly, surgery.

Lumbar Facet Sprain

  • About the Injury: 

This type of sprain is often caused by hyperextending the spine, causing two types of joints to be compressed.

  • Symptoms of the Injury: 

It typically presents as back pain – the tenderness of the muscles connected to the spine occasionally accompanied by radiation to the groin and the back of the leg, but it does not extend past the knee

  • Causes:

This type of sprain is often caused by hyperextending the spine, causing two types of joints to be compressed. Especially when bending forward and backward while rotating the spine.

  • Treatment: 

Fortunately, this injury does not require surgery. Rest, physical therapy, and a slow progression back into dance should resolve the injury.

General Risk Factors

The risk factors for many of these back injuries include: fatigue, inadequate conditioning, poor flexibility, and being underweight.

Conclusion:

Back injuries are to be taken seriously as many risk developing into debilitating injuries that will put one’s future in dance at risk. It is important to listen to your body or your dancers. It is also important to take medical advise seriously and to come back stronger than before the injury.

Check out some of these articles focusing on stretches to help avoid these and other injuries:
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Nutcracker Remake: Should One of the Greats be Changed?

Nutcracker Remake Image

Nutcracker Remake: Preservation or Progress

This article is not a review of the upcoming movie. It is not to persuade or dissuade people from seeing it. But there is a question that ought to be considered. Much of the footwork in the remake of this classic ballet comes from sword fighting. Mother Ginger or the Sugar Plum Fairies have taken a backseat. The action and scenery seem to fill the role once occupied by the dance routines and the score. I’m not saying that makes the movie a bad movie or anything else. But the one thing this Nutcracker Remake is not, a Classical Ballet performance with master dancers at the center stage of every scene. You can read more about the history and role it has played in dance in America here.

Other Remakes of Classics:

The Nutcracker Remake is by no means the first time a classic piece of art has been remade. Given how venerated and ubiquitous the Nutcracker is, the mist comparable work of art to be remade in such a drastic fashion, might be Romeo and Juliet. Now Arthur Laurents did not write West Side Story because he thought Shakespeare was a hack that ruined a great idea for a story. He wanted to honor the story and express the themes as they related to the world around him.

Satire

Even satirical remakes of classics should not necessarily be off limits. Mel Brooks respects George Lucas and the Star Wars Trilogy, but he still made Spaceballs. Telling a story to a different audience or in a different time period or with a little more levity does not mean the piece has been shamed or in the case of Spaceballs, no longer conveys the courage of refusing to be told the odds and to fight for what’s right.

Ultimately the Opinion is Yours

While it is my opinion that remakes on classics are not necessary, nor are not bad either. What is important that is that if a remake is going to be made it should be in an attempt to honor, respect, and preserve the memory of the original. But as art forms progress, not every work of art has to progress with it. And Nutcracker Remake surely is not necessary, but the value in art is not a simple necessity. But there are two points of interest, I believe, are unique to the Nutcracker Remake situation.

1. The practice of Classical Ballet is beginning to dwindle. Some fear it will eventually be a lost art without true dance masters. So should we be concerned that most well recognized and performed piece of Classical Ballet is falling subject to pop culture and possibly morphed into another modern dance work?

2. Despite all the concern of the art of Classical Ballet being missing from the Nutcracker Remake, Misty Copeland, one of the most renowned classical ballet dancers of her generation, does have a role in the film. It is an interesting fact to consider, regardless of what effect, if any, her accepting a role in this movie has on your opinion in this matter.Nutcracker Remake

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Tutu Tip: Selling Tickets Through Facebook

We want to make selling tickets as easy for you as it is for your patrons buying them! So we put together this easy guide, so people can find your ticket sales right from your studio’s Facebook page

If you have administrator or editor permissions for your studio’s Facebook page, you can add a button right to your Facebook page that will take your patrons directly to your ticketing!

Log into your Facebook and navigate to your studio’s page. On the left side of your page, there should be an “+ Add a Button” option. Click on this button.

In this next step, you will select the text that appears within the button. What you select will not affect how the button works. However, to make it clear to your ticket buyers, we suggest the “Book Now” or “Shop Now” options. After you make your selection, click Next.

 

OR

Step 1: Select the “link to website” option.

Step 2: Type in the URL for your TutuTix page. For example, www.tututix.com/yourdancestudio

Step 3: Click Save.

Your last step is to click Finish, sit back and, watch your ticket sales grow!

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