September 13, 2017
Please set a few goals for yourself to work toward this year. Write them down! Share them with me verbally or on paper.
A few examples: I would like to gain more confidence and style so my dancing can be more expressive. Or.... I plan to work hard at improving my techniques for better turns this year. or.... I hope to keep my focus on dancing for the Lord and using the gifts He gave me to the best of my ability. or.... I want to increase my body strength and flexibility, specifically my splits.
September 20, 2017
Please work on your core strength at least twice this week. Hold your plank position for at least 30 seconds (like you are getting ready to do pushups but on your forearms). Do 10 push ups and 40 crunches minimum. Think about proper technique and alignment. Lunges: right and left side, hold each for 30 seconds. (make sure your knee is right on top of your heel, if needed slide your back leg farther back so your knee is NOT over your toes. Keep your back leg straight).
September 27, 2017
Here are some great exercises for strengthening the core. Core strength is very important to keep dancers / athletes safe, as well as to greatly improve performance. I recommend doing these exercises at least 2-3 times per week. Be sure to use music to make it more enjoyable!
October 4, 2017
October 11, 2017
Here is a great tap tutorial to use for home practice! stop at 4:15 this week. The second half will be for next week)
October 18, 2017
Ballet provides a great foundation for gymnastics and many dance forms! Dance and Acro students: Practice these ballet barre exercises at home to improve your strength, flexibility, and grace. You can use the back of a chair, or counter top to hold for balance. I recommend doing these exercises at least once a week.
(Tap students are also encouraged but not required to do this. Ballet will improve your turns and posture etc).
October 25, 2017
Mark your calandars for May 10th, 2018. Many of my classes will perform at this Quest Connects show at Via Elegante Assisted Living facility. I will announce which classes will be performing once I know the size and surface type of the performance area. (stretch / strength class will not perform).
This is a "your choice" week. You may practice some steps or combinations, or just continue stretching and conditioning your body. Choose one of the videos previously posted this year for help and inspiration.
November 1, 2017
Please come to the office and get some Fall Gala fliers this week and hand them out to your friends and family! This is your homework for the week :)
Watch a Christmas show! An important part of your dance education is seeing quality, professional level performances. I highly recommend "The Spirit of Christmas" put on by Tucson Dance Academy. The TDA owners are Christian and many of the dances in the show are a beautiful artistic expression of God's love. My son, my assistant Sophia, and the Chelpka kids will be in the show. Two weekends: Dec. 2nd at Centennial Hall and Dec. 9th at Saddlebrook. Tickets are already selling fast, so don't wait too long. (Saddlebrook tickets are less expensive than the Centennial Hall show).
November 8, 2017
Now that you have written down your goals for the year, please write down your plan of action to work toward those goals. (examples: coming to class regularly, working hard w/ a positive attitude, practicing at home a certain number of minutes or hours each week, checking email and yellow box assignments. ...etc). If you would like, you may share this with me verbally or on paper during the next 2 weeks. :)
November 15, 2017
Please remember to pay your costume deposits this month. $35 / dancer per class. (or $25 for rhythmic gym. students)
Homework this week: please research your options and chose one (or more) dance movies to view and / or dance concerts to attend. Please watch a dance movie or see a concert sometime before March 2018. For extra credit, please write a paragraph or two about the show. You can write about the choreography, costuming, dance technique / style / stage presence, lighting, staging etc.
Movies I recommend: Gene Kelly movies (especially "Singing in the Rain", "An American in Paris" and "Anchors Aweigh"), Fred Astaire movies (especially "White Christmas"), and "First Position" (ballet). Or, you can watch a couple episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" TV competition (parents should pre-view these first. Some of the hip hop and other choreography might be too mature for your child. The one for younger kids might be safer, "SYTYCD Next Generation")
I highly recommend the following dance concerts at Centennial Hall:
- Premium Blend- this weekend!
- Spirit of Christmas - Dec 2nd
- Momix- Jan. 18th
- Stomp (tap) Feb 2nd and 3rd
you can purchase tickets at UAPresents.com
Spirit of Christmas will also be at Saddlebrook on Dec. 9th. This is one of the only professional level shows in Arizona that includes praise dancing to glorify God.
Please remember to email me if you would like to set up a parent - teacher conference. I'm happy to meet in person or discuss your child's progress via email or phone if that is easier for you.
Happy Thanksgiving! no classes next week.
November 29, 2017
Thank you to those students who have shared with me their goals and plans of action. Its important to write these things down or share them verbally w/ someone who can help hold you accountable. :) If you have not yet completed this assignment, please do so this week. Keep practicing and stretching / conditioning too!
December 6, 2017
December 13, 2017
Please continue stretching and exercising over the break! Merry Christmas! :)
January 10, 2017
Please set at least 1 goal for this semester for each dance or acro class you take. Share this goal with me verbally or on paper. Happy New Year! (and as always, continue to stretch and exercise at home!!!)
January 17, 2017
Please practice the steps and / or choreography we have been working on in class. If you or your parent has a smart phone please record the material during the last 3-4 minutes of class each week or every other week. I will post more detailed notes and / or videos later. (I'm sorry I can't do that this week as our family is going through a tough time. Our dog Daisy died on Sunday and we are recovering from some illnesses too. A visit to the ER and another to Urgent Care in the past 2 weeks)
January 24, 2017
I would like you all to sit down with your planner and schedule at least 30 minutes each week for dedicated dance practice. (or stretch / exercise for acro students). This can be accomplished in just 10 - 15 minutes on 2 or 3 days per week. Consistent practice is essential this semester.
This weeks homework: Put serious thought into when and where you will practice, write it down, and tell your parents. Starting next week, I will give more detailed practice instructions. As always, remember to at least stretch / exercise 2 or 3 days each week, outside your dance or acro class. Refer back to the youtube videos I shared last semester if you need ideas and inspiration.
January 31, 2017
February 7, 2017
February 14, 2018
February 28, 2018
March 7, 2018
March 14, 2018
March 21, 2018
March 28, 2018
April 4, 2018
By now you all should have all or most of the steps memorized. Keep working to improve the technique / execution of each step, and please work on counting the music so your TIMING is correct. I will also begin recording the students each week, or every other week, so you can watch yourselves and use this as a learning tool. Once your technique and timing is good, begin working on your expression and stage presence.
April 11, 2018
This week I recommend you practice improvisation. Put music on and just dance! This can be hard for many people, but it is a valuable skill (and an essential skill if you want to go far with dance). Be sure to also practice the choreography for the show, and STRETCH and exercise too :)
April 18, 2018
This week please double check and gather all your dance (or acro) costume parts. Try the costume on, and if alterations need to be done, find a seamstress NOW, not the week of the show. This is your responsibility. Make sure you have all the accessories, including the proper color of socks or tights, shoes, belts, hair pieces etc. Keep it all together and label everything w/ your name.
Also, don't forget to bring a water bottle to each class. We need to make good use of every last minute and minimize water break time.
Continue practicing at home with and without music (to slow down and focus on technique). Practice your stage presence and expression.
Hair style for "Do Life Big" (tumbling / acro dance in the BLUE costume): low ponytail on the right side. Use plenty of hairspray so you won't have fly aways. This dance will be toward the beginning of the show and then you will change into the "yakety Yak" costume.
Hair for "Yakety Yak": Bella, Naomi, and Kiersen: pig tails.
Julia, Lilly, Abigail, and Maia: anything that looks like a hard working house wife. Bandanas look great and there are you tube videos that teach how to tie them in a vintage looking way. Curlers would also be great.
show make up:
stage lights can wash you our if you don't wear any make up. I recommend wearing foundation, red or pink lipstick, blush, natural colored eye shadow, and mascara. fill in eyebrows if needed.
Tan colored tights are optional. I have some stirrup tights for sale for just $5 each. first come first served.
Feel free to record the dance on your phone next week because my phone is acting up. Maybe have a friend record you, and then return the favor for them. its a great learning tool to see yourself.
Please refer to past videos for practice ideas, and complete any assignments you might have skipped this year.
April 25, 2018
May 2, 2018