Archive for December 2nd, 2009

50’s Dance Steps to Teach Your Students

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Looking for an idea for your next dance recital? Do a fifties theme and have a lot of fun with your students! There are many different dance styles during the 50s, but here we list our top favorites.

The Swing- Students will have a lot of fun with swing dancing. Although swing originated from the 1920s, the Lindy Hop was still a popular dance in the 1950s. Swing dancing features the combinations or triple steps and a delayed approach to rhytmic timing.

The Bop – The Bop, also known as boppin’, is normally a solo dance step, though it can work to incorporate more for a recital. Boppin’ uses a lot on heel and toe tapping, and normally is danced with blues or rockabilly music from the 50s. Your dancers can alternate between dancing and tapping. Be sure to get the right 50’s poodle skirts to complete the dance.

The Stroll- This popular line dance is another good 50s hit. Have your dancers face each other and move with the music, doing more elaborate dances in between the rows of dancing. A good song to use would be “The Stroll” by The Diamonds.

The Hand Jive – This 50s dance works well with rock and roll or the rhythm and blues music of the 1950s. This style involves a lot of hand moves and claps, as well as sometimes imitating the percussion instruments of the movies. This dance is sure to be fun for dancing students due to the fun thigh slapping, fist pounding, and elbow touching moves. If you are looking for inspiration for your choreography, check out the movie Grease’s musical display of the song “Born to Hand Jive“.

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Common Costume Mistakes

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Dancers rely on their costumes to set the mood of their dancing pieces. Costumes are very important to dancers during their dance recitals. The ideal costume will enhance the dancer and his or her dance performance, but there are some costumes that end up hindering it more than helping.

Costume malfunctions are a dancer’s nightmare. They happen more frequently than we would like, and are usually due to a lack of proper preparation. That is why trial runs are usually required before major performances.

Unfortunately, even after careful preparation and dress rehearsals, costume mishaps still can occur. Costume blunders can be embarrassing, not only for the dancer, but for her comrades who are dancing with her. Here are some costume mistakes to watch out for.

When dancing with an object on your head, there is a much higher chance of something going wrong. The object can fall on the ground or get stuck in your hair. Either act takes attention away from the dancer, so be certain to have all objects on your head properly secured so this doesn’t happen.

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The Many Different Types of Dancing Shoes

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

With a variety of dancing styles, it is not a surprise that there are a wide range of dancing shoes available now. Each specific style of dance shoe is meant to work flawlessly with the dancer. Dance shoes enable her to dance safely and efficiently through her dance routines.

A main factor with dance shoes is that they are not meant for everyday wear and tear. They are performance shoes and should be used for practice and recitals. Here are a few examples of dancing shoes that are available at this time.

ballet-slippersBallet slippers
– Ballet shoes are easily the most recognizable dancing shoes. Beginning to moderate ballet dancers most commonly use ballet slippers, which help protect the ballerina’s feet and ankles. Ballet slippers come in full sole styles, which easily coincide with the type of stylepointe shoes have, or they are split soled to work best with a dancer’s arch of her foot.

Pointe shoes
– Pointe shoes are ballet slippers for the advanced ballerinas. They are called pointe shoes because the front of the shoe has a place called a toe box, which tightly fits your toes together so that your body weight can be supported once you are on the tips of your toes. The still insole allows the extra help to support the feet from underneath the arch.

Jazz shoes
– Jazz dancing is different than ballet, though the shoes are very similar. The major difference between the two shoes are that jazz shoes have a small heel to support the dancer. Jazz shoes are full or split soled, depending on the style, and should be very flexible.

tapshoesTap shoes – These shoes are what make tap dancing possible. Tap is a fun form of dance wear the dancers wear special shoes that have metal taps on the bottom of the shoes. Tap shoes use their shoes like drums to create a pattern and timely beat.

Hip Hop and Lyrical Shoes
– Unlike modern dancing where most of the dancing is done barefoot, hip hop and lyrical dancing prefer shoes to be worn to allow more fluid movement. Hip Hop is one of the few dance styles that allows a lot of room for the variety of shoes that can be worn. The most common type, however, are tennis shoes or a flexible dance sneaker.

Latin and Ballroom Shoes – Latin and Ballroom shoes are normally pumps or sandals with at least a 2 or 3 inch heel. Suede soles, for both men and women, are best because they provide the best grip and slide needed for this type of dancing. When looking for this dancing shoe, remember to find ones that are both lightweight and flexible.