Monday, April 30, 2012

NMM: Remixes & Mash-Ups

Mash-up and remixes are always a fun way to spice up your playlist with something your students might not have heard before!  Here are a few of my current favorites:

1) Check out this remix from AX Mashup: Avicii vs. Gotye - Levels Somebody That I Used To Know (Find more mash-ups by AX on SoundCloud) - Would be good for warm-up

2) Party Ben's Mash-up of "Tightrope" & "These Boots Are Made For Walkin" - I like this fun take on this song.  I used "Tightrope" last year for my tap class, but this version is definitely "cooler"

3) Norwegian Recycling mash-up of Coldplay, Elton John, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, DJ Sammy & David Guetta - I just love how he manages to seamlessly blend six artists together... this man is gifted!

Happy listening!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April Pinspiration: Leaps & Jumps

If you're not on Pinterest - don't join, it's too addicting! If you are - add me to see all the lovely dance things I find around the web.

This week I was looking for some inspiration in the way of leaps and jumps and I found some lovely unique leaps I'd like to share so you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside too.

Now if only I could get my students to look like this...

"Rachel P."  By Eduardoizq 

Boys represent!  Look at that height... (Unknown photo source)

Gorgeous - Photo via Pointe Magazine's Pinterest

Top photo - rehearsal | Bottom photo - performance - Photo by: Gene Schiavone

Fierce!  Photo By: Peddecord Photo
Photo By: Richard Calmes

Epic C-Jump - Unknown Source
YES.   (Unknown Source)

Hopefully your day just got a little bit better by looking at these lovely leaps!  I know mine did :)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

How To Find Clean Hip Hop Music for Kids

Over the past ten years, hip hop classes at our studio have exploded in popularity. We offer hip hop starting with age six through adult.  I know it can be a struggle to find fun, age-appropriate hip hop music when the majority of the songs on the radio are about sex, drinking or profanity.

Looking over the playlist selection on this blog, I noticed that I am slacking in the hip hop department.  While I teach a variety of genres, hip hop is most definitely not one of them.  I can shim sham all day and pirouette with the best of them, but I cannot pop or lock (although it doesn't stop me from trying!).

Luckily, I have a bunch of great hip hop instructors at my studio who do try to find age-appropriate music that their students love.

Here are their suggestions for finding appropriate music for class (links open in iTunes - The Dance Buzz is a proud iTunes affiliate):

1.  Go 'Old School' for the younger classes!
To my dismay, apparently the following songs are now considered "old school" by one of my hip hop teachers (she's 20-something).  In any case - look to the past for some fun hip hop songs (although I still recommend checking out the lyrics on older tunes):
Shake It - Aaron Carter
Let's Get It Started - Black Eyed Peas
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson

2.  Look for young hip hop artists
Ke$ha and Kanye are all grown up and rapping about grown-up subjects.  Instead, look for pint-size rappers whose parent won't let them use four-letter words in their lyrics.  The Disney tween stars and starlets also fall under this category.

Suggested Artists:  Lil' Romeo, Willow Smith, China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm), Keke Palmer
Lip Gloss - Lil' Mama
My Baby - Lil' Romeo
Countdown - Victorious
We Belong to the Music (feat. Miley Cyrus) - Timbaland

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To Do List: Spring Break

The UPS delivery guy is not a fan of costume time.
With the students on Spring Break, it's time to actually get some work done at the studio!

One of these years I will actually take Spring Break off, but for this year, there is much to be done in preparation for the rest of the year.

Anyway, I figured I'd share what I was up to on my "week off".  What do you do when dancers are off from class?  Share in the comments!

On my to-do list this week:
  • Design this year's Recital T-Shirt
  • Schedule recital rehearsals
  • Work on summer schedule
  • Hang up ten classes of costumes that just arrived (see below)
  • Re-tape dance floors (one of my least favorite tasks)
  • Finishing up taxes (nothing like last minute... hah)
  • Choreograph
  • Shop for props for my modern class
  • Sew straps onto costumes
  • Order dance shoes

It is Spring Break at your studio too?  What are you up to?

Friday, April 6, 2012

April Blog Challenge: Dance Imagery

"Flip the pancake!" my ballet teacher used to say as we did our fouettes (jumps not turns).  "Pretend your pelvis is a bowl of soup... don't spill the soup!" was another one of her favorite metaphors.

This month's challenge is to share your favorite dance imagery--either sayings that you use as a dancer or teacher, or favorite visuals your teachers use.

Share a your dance sayings on your blog and then come back here and leave a comment with a link to your post so we can all share!

Blog Participants
Moira at "On My Toes" - Irish Dance perspective
The Dance Buzz - Illustrated Dance Imagery

If you don't have a blog, you can still participate!  Just leave a comment below.

Click here to see past blog challenges.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Music Mondays: Someone Un-Like You

I never thought I'd say this, but I am tired of Adele!
Hey guys!  It's a turning table!

It's mid-way through competition season for us and Adele has already won "most overplayed artist at competition" by a landslide.  I have seen "Turning Tables" as a solo, duet, small group, with a table, with twelve tables, with no tables (and my studio is guilty of using it too).  "Set Fire To The Rain", "Rumour Has It" and "Someone Like You" have also been well represented.

So if you're like me and want a change of pace, here are a few current songs I've been using in contemporary and jazz class lately that are not Adele. All links open in iTunes

Paradise - Coldplay - I love the build-up in the beginning. My senior class really get into this one when the bass comes in around 0:34.  I used it for across the floor and center combos with improv.

Night Drop - Act of Valor - The whole soundtrack is great for improv work and working on emotions - I especially like this track.

Keep Your Head Up - Ben Howard - I like this for warm-ups that start slowly and end up in big movements and small jumps (song picks up around 1:13).  Somehow the refrain of "keep your head up, keep your heart strong" keeps me going :)

Black Sheep - Gin Wigmore - couldn't find this one on iTunes - here it is on YouTube. Love this for a sassy jazz combo.  **Warning it does use the word "h-e-double-hockey-sticks word" (h*ll) in the bridge, so may not be appropriate for your classes.

Holy Moses - Washington - This is a fun one for warm-ups.  I have been using this song in tap class too.

Riverside - Agnes Obel - I love this haunting song - would work nicely for a small group. And it's in 6/8 time... bonus!

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