The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO wants to know how a dance teacher has affected your life. For me, the dance studio became a second home, a place I could escape the stressors of life. My dance teacher was kind but firm. She was both feminine and a strong female role model. She taught me discipline, hard work, determination, grace, confidence and more. I was painfully shy and had a poor self view. My dance teacher saw something in me and nurtured it. It changed my life. Thank you, JoEllen!
NDEO is currently working to gather testimonial data on the importance of dance teachers and the impact they have on their students. Behind every successful student is a dance teacher who helped make that success possible! Whether you became a professional dancer, a dance teacher, or successful in any other career, NDEO wants to hear what you have to say about the teachers! – Some questions to answer about your own teachers,
– Did you have a dance teacher that impacted your life significantly?
– Do you have any quotes or stories about how and why your dance teacher had such a significant impact?
– If you have not entered into the dance profession – what did you learn from your dance teacher about work ethic, character, professionalism or any other topics that are relevant to your current career path? (For example – Steve Jobs was quoted about how he applied lessons in movement and perception learned in dance class to designing games at Atari.
) – Why do you think dance teachers are important?
You can send your responses to Elizabeth Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can do so in the comment section below. Let’s let the wonderful dance teachers out know how important they are. Trust me, it makes all the hard stuff worth it when we see our students go on to be successful not just in dance, but in life.
Last time we talked about the benefits of dance in “Why you/your child should dance.” Some of those benefits are the reduction of depression and the relief of stress. Depression affects about 121 million people worldwide. It results in the largest drop in productivity and is among the leading causes of disability. One study in Germany compared the change in depression levels and increase in productivity in three groups. One group participated in dance, one group listened to the dance music only, and one group used a stationary bike. All three groups improved but the dance group seems to have benefited the most. To read the full study results, click here. Prevention Magazine recently published an article about studies that have shown that Tango music and dancing have had higher positive results in reducing anxiety, depression and stress than meditation (not that meditation is not effective, it is a great addition to achieve a happier, healthier life.) To read that article click here. Personally, when I am stressed, irritable, depressed, sick or have to clean, I put on some of my favorite high energy music and get my dance on. And no, even though I am a dancer, it is not always pretty, lol! But it doesn’t matter, it just feels good. So, even if the last thing you want to do is exert any effort, just put on your ear buds and blast your favorite dance tunes and I promise you will feel, at the very least, a tiny bit better.
What are your favorite tunes to listen to when you are down? Let us know in the comment section below.
Jumps and Turns: 6:00pm Wednesdays
Learn the secrets to clean, multiple turns, higher jumps and bigger leaps. This class is great for the student of any style of dance and will focus solely on the most fun and sometimes the most difficult steps in dance, jumps, leaps, turns, etc. We will start with a quick warm-up and some strengthening exercises specifically for turns and jumps and then go right into turns, progress to jumps and end with the big leaps. You will be amazed at how fast you will improve
Stretch and Strengthen: 8:15pm Wednesdays
Whether you are a serious dancer or have never taken a dance class in your life, this class will help you improve your overall flexibility and strength. Using the latest techniques such as neural and fascial release, body rolling, isometrics and more you will experience more mobility in tight muscles, relief from chronic pain, more stable joints, increased strength, energy and general well-being. We will also teach you the secrets to higher extensions and over-splits SAFELY. You can always schedule a trial class before you commit, so what do have to lose but that aching back or neck?
Adult/Teen Jazz: 7:15 Mondays
Let your inner Flash Dancer out! We will study various jazz techniques from Broadway to Jazz Funk and Street Jazz to Latin Jazz and more. Working on technique, personal style and sass, you will have a blast while blasting fat and stress.
Register now at www.baltimoreschoolofdance.com so you don’t miss out.
We still have openings in our ABC’s of Dance Parent-ChildSaturdays at 9:30, ABC’s of Dance Wednesdays at 1:15 and Fridays at 4:30, ABC’s of Pre-ballet/Jazz/Tap Saturdays at 11:30, as well as our Youth and Adult/Teen classes. It is not too late to start. Check out our schedule by clicking on “Classes.”
I get a lot of parents who, without meaning to be insulting, ask, “What could you possibly do with a 3 year old in a dance class? Aren’t they just running around for an hour?” Uh, no. I used to be incredibly insulted and even angered, but then I realized it is just a lack of knowledge and understanding. There are so many things that even the youngest child learns in a well-crafted dance class that is developmentally appropriate. Not only do they learn gross motor skills but they learn social skills, how to share, take turns, impulse control, and concepts of levels, speed, repetition, shape, movement quality, and more. Believe me, there is a lot of education, both in dance and in learning theory, child development, etc., that goes into becoming a dance teacher. Pre-school dance is an even more specialized field. (Just think for a moment about the last you had to hold the attention of a group of toddlers and keep them on task…yeah, you know you’d rather have a root canal!) There are certain techniques that work with this age. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of energy and you have to be able to think quickly on your toes if something is not going as planned, which is pretty much expected in every class.
There are some obvious benefits to studying dance, such as fitness, strength, flexibility, coordination and grace and some less obvious ones such as confidence, organizational skills, discipline, persistence, grooming and creativity. The National Dance Education Organization states:
“The art of dance uses movement to communicate meaning about the human experience. It is far more than exercise or entertainment. It is a powerful medium to express one’s values, thoughts, and aspirations about the lives we live and the world in which we live. Education in the art of dance develops the knowledge and skills required to create, perform, and understand movement as a means of artistic communication. A comprehensive education includes improvisation, technique, choreography, performance, observation and analysis. Exposure to dance history and cultures, kinesiology and anatomy, and movement theories further enriches the dance educational experience. Education in the art of dance engages the artistic processes of creating, performing and critical analysis. These processes require students to read symbol systems, use critical thinking skills, excel in nonverbal reasoning and communication, exchange ideas, work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, and interact within a multicultural society. More comprehensively, education in the art of dance develops kinesthetic and spatial learning as well as intra- and interpersonal knowledge of self and others. Arts research shows that students who study dance are more
(Go to www.ndeo.org for more info.)
For more on why you/your child should dance, check out this article in Dance Informa Magazine click here.
Tell us below in the comment section why you dance. We love to hear what inspires others to work so hard at this magnificent art.