How to Make Dance Class Count this Year

Gone are the old days of ‘and 5, 6, 7,8!’ with the teacher standing out front, shouting instructions and then a melodramatic ‘no, no NO! Start again!’, leaving the participants scratching their head in wonderment at how they can get perhaps just an ounce of the eccentric creative juices the teacher is exuding, whilst also wondering what exactly is meant by ‘no, no NO!’ as they fruitlessly rehearse over and over, never to get the moves right. Like everybody else, dance teachers must continually learn in order to stand out from the pack, and survive.
Here are 6 ways you can re-invent your dance teaching this year: Continue reading How to Make Dance Class Count this Year

Why dance fitness is more than just ‘Strength & Flex’

I’ve been involved in dance long enough now to see some trends come and go.

In recent years, the explosion of dance talent shows and the Web 2.0 has exposed more people to dance than ever. Dance is a growing sport/art and we have mainstream media to largely thank for it! What it has meant, however, is that the regular everyday person or dancer is exposed to the ‘wow’ factors like gravity-defying acrobatics, bodies stretched to the extreme and youngsters performing moves most could never dream of achieving at their peak.

As a result, we are entering a concerning territory where people think they need to stretch to the extreme and force their bodies into doing things it is not capable of on a physical, technical or even anatomical level. Whilst I know it will fall on deaf ears to say that it is not necessary to aim for these extremes, I hope it does not fall on deaf ears to say that Flexibility is not the be all and end all of Dance! Especially when it is to the exclusion of all other Dance Fitness Components.

Some genres of dance such as calisthenics, cheerleading and acrobatics (and others I am sure) are providing an increased focus on the development of adequate strength to perform advanced movements, and this is a great start.

However, there is much more to ‘dance fitness’ than strength and flexibility. There are a number of other fitness components, such as:

Continue reading “Why dance fitness is more than just ‘Strength & Flex’”

How to teach a backbend safely

Any parent who has ever asked me how they can help their child learn a backbend at home has always done so nervously. “I’m scared she’ll hurt herself. I tell her to wait until class, but she won’t. Is there something I can do to help, because I can’t hold her back!?”. Sure, there is a lot you can do to help a child learn safely. Continue reading How to teach a backbend safely