Dancers love to move. They love to feel their bodies flow across the stage, but it’s important for them to slow down sometimes. Doing yoga is a great way for dancers to increase their strength, joint stability, and flexibility. Yoga, over time, makes a dancer better, regardless of their dance style. While every yoga pose is beneficial in some way, there are certain poses that are specifically great for dancers.
Dance technique can be found in every style of dance, whether it’s ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary or hip hop. Leaps, Turns and Tricks Class puts the emphasis on technique by working to improve pirouettes, leaps, turn sequences and more! Below are some tricks and tips that enrich overall technique and strength.
Repetition: Dance classes are planned around repetition, utilizing combinations and pathways in the dancer’s body to create proper application of muscle memory. Per Merriam Webster, muscle memory is the ability to repeat a bodily movement exactly. This is a vital part of learning to dance with strong and safe technique. Creating the wrong pathways leads to poor muscle memory, injury and subsequently, bad technique.
Pirouettes: Finding the correct position for your pirouette in releve balance requires a strong core and body alignment. Balances in passé, parallel passé, and coupe are the most common positions to work on for pirouettes. Planks, Pilates Abs and Crunches before working on balances in Leaps and Turns Class activates the core muscles and prepares the dancer for optimal technique. Add in flat backs and V-sits to engage the back muscles as a bonus. Dancers must keep the spine in line and straight, core pressed in, and a strong passé/coupe position while practicing balances. Pressing down through the shoulders, rounded arms in 1st and your highest releve are key to proper pirouette position.
Balon: Balon is the ballet terminology for gaining height in leaps. The name was inspired by French ballet danseur Claude Balon, who was known for performing exceptionally light leaps. When working on ballon, it is important to engage through the core, tighten the rear and press down through the shoulders. Often, a breath in as you leap can make a big difference. Whether it’s a leap of a jump, you want to make sure your plie pushes through the floor with your toes being the last thing to push off the floor and the first thing to land as you roll through the landing into plie.
Dance technique is constantly changing and growing, pushing dancers to their limits. The most important thing is make sure your instructor is pushing you in the all the right ways to not help grow your strength and technique, to be the best dancer you can be.
It’s that time of year at Legacy! We are busy finishing Showcase Choreography and getting ready for the big show at the News Journal Center on July 9th! Classes will continue as scheduled through June and the first week of July before the Show.
Showcase tickets are still on sale at Tututix and we have sold almost 500 tickets already! Please purchase your tickets ahead of time, ticket prices go up to $25 at the door.
Studio Pictures – June 11th
Picture Day is THIS Saturday, June 11th. You can see the picture schedule on our website here. Group photo participation is required and individual shots are optional. Please bring all costumes and make sure all of your belongings are labeled with your initials to avoid any lost items.
1. Arrive 10-15 minutes early in costume, appropriate tights, makeup, shoes, headpieces, costumes and hair done in slicked back ballet bun.
2. If your dancer requires changing their costume (Ages 8 and Up) Please be available to help them change quickly and efficiently into each outfit. Check all accessories and headpieces are there.
3. Parents are to remain in the lobby during group and individual pictures. Only dancers, Under the Son Photography, and Legacy Volunteers are allowed in the Dance Studio.
4. In order for the dancers and photographer to focus on capturing the best shots for your dancer, please refrain from taking pictures through the lobby doors.
Our First Annual Showcase is at the News Journal Center on July 9th at 7:00pm.
July 8th -Mandatory Dress Rehearsal (This rehearsal is closed except for Volunteers, Dancers and Legacy Staff)
- July 8th -Mandatory Dress Rehearsal (Come in Costume and/or Bring ALL COSTUMES, Shoes, Tights and Hair in Show Bun -No Makeup) (THIS IS A CLOSED REHEARSAL, ONLY LEGACY STAFF AND OFFICIAL VOLUNTEERS ALLOWED IN THE THEATER)
Arrive – 5:30
Start time – 6:00
-7:30 Pick Up Time: Monday 5:45 and Saturday 10:00 Classes
-8:00 Pick up Time: Monday 4:45, Thursday 4:00, Friday 4:45 Classes
-9:00 Pick Up Time: Everyone else
- July 9th – Showcase (Come in Costume and/or Bring ALL COSTUMES, Shoes, Tights, Stage Makeup and Hair in Show Bun)
- All Dancers Participate in the Final Bow and are to remain backstage for the entirety of the show. No child should be picked up until the show is completely over.
Arrive – 6:15pm
Show Time – 7:00pm
Summer Dance Classes 2016
Legacy Summer Dance Classes Begin July 18th. The two week intensive has levels for ages 3 and up. Accelerate your dancing and stay in shape this summer in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and more!
We are offering a Four Day Boot-Camp Session August 8th as an option if you’re out of town this July or want to double up your training for the summer for ages 7 and up.
*Aspiring Legacy Stars are encouraged to participate in summer dance intensives in preparation for Auditions in August.
See you on the Dance Floor!
Priority Registration and Class Recommendations – $10 REGISTRATION FEE, $5 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL CHILD
JUNE 1st THROUGH JUNE 15th.
Class Recommendations are being sent home with Miss Shannon’s suggestions for next season. Please feel free to contact her directly with any questions. 386-295-9298
This special offer is just for YOU and Expires JUNE 15th.
Open Enrollment – 50% OFF
JUNE 16TH THROUGH AUGUST 6TH
SAVE !!! $15 REGISTRATION FEE, $7.50 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL CHILD
*Refer a Friend and get $20 credit toward your next month’s payment installment!
Open House and Registration Event– 50% OFF
August 6th 4-8pm
Legacy Stars Auditions – Competitive Performing Arts Company
The Legacy Stars are a competitive dance team, required to take at lea
st 4 hours of dance classes per week and Perform at Community Events, Competitions, Saturday Rehearsals, Legacy Events and More!
AUGUST 19TH – AGES 6-9
MINIS – 5:00-6:00
AUGUST 20TH – AGES 10 AND UP
JR./TEENS – 10:00 – 11:00
SR. – 11:00 – 12:00
Improving split leaps is a something dancers work on consistently in ballet, jazz, and contemporary/modern dance classes. Whether you are practicing grand jeté or saut de chat, below are a few tips to get you flying in the air looking fabulous!
Be sure to build momentum into the preparation. Whether you are starting the leap with a glissade, chasse or a step – there should be a large amount of energy expanded into the preparatory step. Pushing through the floor with a strong core and body alignment is sure to start you off on the right path for a strong leap. Articulating the foot before AND after the jump is vital to success.
Effort – The definition is a vigorous or determined attempt.
How can we instill qualities in students to ensure they are putting forth their best efforts with a growth mindset?
Below are examples taken directly from class room and stage experiences. Utilizing these qualities in the class room will guarantee your students are on the way to becoming a dancer that can see their growth potential and use hard work to reach their goals.
Giving students opportunities to identify patterns in daily class work is imperative. During ballet barre, incorporate specific patterns that replicate those same patterns that will be seen later in center work. Mention the intention and purpose for the use of the pattern given. Give as many examples as possible.
This will allow the dancer to retain the information, and memorize it more efficiently. Comprehension of patterns will increase speed, coordination and help with reversing the movement in different directions.
Spatial awareness can be incorporated in the very beginning of dance training at a young age. Dancers as young as 3 learn about spatial awareness as they are required to stand on their designated spot, follow the leader with out bumping other dancers and how to stand in line with out squishing their neighbor.
As they progress, they learn to stand in windows and take turns across the floor with a partner. All of these things requiring spatial awareness.
Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in the space around you. Knowing the body positions and stage directions to travel freely while dancing and moving is the ultimate goal. As students progress in their training, this concept is imperative when performing or auditioning.
The famous quote, “dance now, think later” couldn’t be further from the truth. Dancers spend most of their young dance life thinking. And thinking some more.
Dance technique and body alignment are concepts that start with your thought process. Learning the correct muscles to use and even visualization exercises to help try to achieve the right look of a dancer.
Anticipation is the act of thinking ahead of oneself. When a dancer is performing ballet barre exercises, the brain must be faster than the pace of the music to relay the message to the body.
Dance is intellectual.
You are not only thinking of the steps, you are thinking of the technique behind the steps that will enable you to execute them correctly. When preparing for rehearsals and auditions; anticipating trouble spots will help you think on your toes and be ahead of the game when under stressful situations.
Understanding Different Techniques
A strong foundation in Ballet and Tap is a great start for young dancers! At 8 years old, the dancer is physically and mentally ready to introduce additional styles of dance to their training. Dance Classes in jazz, contemporary, hip hop and other dance techniques are highly encouraged to be the most well rounded dancer.
It is important that dancers educate themselves on the history that has impacted dance and paved the path as we know it today. Studying as many styles of dance will get you out of your comfort zone and give the knowledge needed to perform your best in class, on stage or at an audition.
Learning to be an effort oriented dancer takes time and constant training inside and outside of the studio, you too can achieve this if you put in the effort!
Pageant Dance Choreography is a common talent choice among contestants in pageantry. Choreography can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the age of the performer, audience and judges observing the routine. Some dancers have very competitive, stylish and entertaining routines and others are more classical and technical with their performances.Continue reading
Part of being a dancer is learning choreography quickly and accurately. Some dancers will pick up choreography naturally and it will seem almost effortless. While others
have to work at it more. If you are lacking this gift, learning new movement in your dance class or at an audition can be very frustrating.
You are in luck! Below are my 7 Tips to Improve Learning Choreography Quickly.
Spinal roll downs are one of the first movements performed in contemporary dance class to get the body warmed up. Not only is this a popular warm up for dancers, but is a favorite for actors and vocalists too.
Why? The spinal roll down helps to release tension in the entire body and increase blood flow. Check out some pointers below to ensure you are warming up your spine safely.
How to do a Spinal Roll Down
Start in a parallel, neutral stance. Be sure the spine is aligned and your weight is balanced. The head will initiate the roll down by dropping forward with your chin toward the chest. Imagine the top of your head is leading each vertebrae to curve over one at a time. The shoulders, upper and middle back will follow the curve over. As your head is lowering toward the ground, soften the knees and plié – being sure to hollow out the abdominal muscles and elongate the tailbone toward the floor. You can stay there and stretch or recover immediately. As the plié recovers, roll back up the spine reversing the roll down and pressing the abdominal muscles in. The head will be the last thing that lands back up right.
Tension- Dancers new to this movement will most likely carry tension in their neck, arms, and bottom half. To help get the tension out, have them bounce like a rag doll to get the body to relax before starting roll downs. Imagine there is sand that is pouring from your body starting at your hands, fingertips, the top of your head- creating tiny little piles of sand in front of your feet and between your toes. as you recover, imagine the sand is being sucked back up the exact way it went down. Again, the end finishes the movement.
Relaxed Core- It is super important that a roll down has support from the core. If you are not using your core to anchor the movement it can contribute to the tension in other body parts. Engaging the core takes a lot of practice and is the meat of many movements in all styles of dance. Imagine you are scooping out the abdominal muscles and hollowing out the curve, dropping the tailbone toward the floor to release lower back tension to complete the curve.
Weight Shifting- Often times dancers have their weight too far over the heels. This is due to the pelvis shifting backward. If this is the situation it can help to imagine there is a wall close behind you (not directly behind) to help you to counterbalance your weight into the right place. In class you may hear your teacher say “weight over the balls of your feet dancers.” But, if you push your weight too far over the balls of your feet it can cause you to grip your toes that can cause tension and injury to the sole or arch of the foot.
Releasing Hips too Soon- The pelvis should stay where it started for as long as possible during a roll down. A common mistake is dancers will activate the hip flexor muscles as the upper body bends forward. This creates a flat lower back with little to no curve in the lower spine. Think of elongating the tailbone through the floor and scooping out the tension to create a smooth connected roll.
The spinal roll down is an important part of dance technique, but sometimes it is seen as beginner step and is not approached or practiced with care or technique. This step is often done BEFORE plies if that tells you how important it is. Incorporating roll downs into dance technique classes will help students to warm up properly, engage numerous muscles and enhance their body mechanics to improve their dancing.