Dance To EvOLvE Blog

Dance Themed Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas

Posted by Brittany, Dance To EvOLvE on Nov 16, 2012 1:21:00 PM

What do people do during any big celebration across all cultures and time periods? DANCE! Not to mention, what's a better way to start a party?! When you are searching for birthday party entertainment for your child's special day, consider a dance theme. Dance themed birthdays aren't just for girls either! Boys like to boogie too! Check out these different ideas:

1. Royalty of Fairyland: Create an enchanted land of dancing princes and princesses in a land far away. Incorporate crowns, magic wands, swords, glitter, bubble machines, and dress-up costumes. Bring in a dance teacher to lead the kids into a magical land full of imagery, movement, dancing, and games. This theme is great for kids between the ages of 2 and 6. Click here to learn how to make fairies in a jar!

2. Kids on the Move: Hire a hip hop teacher to teach a fun, high energy class that includes hip hop moves, tumbling, dance games, and props (tunnels, parachutes, dancing ribbons, etc.) Make a playlist of the birthday girl or boy's favorite songs to play. Have the kids show off their new moves for parents at the end! This theme is great for kids between the ages of 2 and 6. _kids_hiphop_dance_classes.jpg

3. Hip Hop Crew: Find a great, high energy hip hop teacher to come in and teach a fun class that will have your guests thinking of your party every time they hear their song. The teacher can choreograph a customized routine to the birthday girl or boy's favorite song for a mini performance at the end. Invite parents to come for their big debut at the end, ask guests to dress in hip hop gear, take pictures of kids in dance poses, and film the show to give as a party favor! With the right teacher, your birthday party entertainment should be off the hook! This theme is great for kids ages 6 and up.

4. Lights, Camera, Action: This unique party lets your guests be the choreographers! Dancers can work in small groups to choose their own songs and then work together to create a dance to perform at the end for other groups and parents (be sure to put show time on invitation.) If you hire a dance teacher, work out the sound systems (various CD/iPod players) and music playlists to ensure each group has their own music to choose from and work with. The dance teacher should be able to help each group choreograph and work together. You could even set up a costume accessory box for kids to dress up with or offer them props to use in their dance. This theme is great for kids ages 6 and up.

The great thing about dance themed birthday party entertainment is it can be totally catered to your child and guests to ensure everything is age appropriate and fun. You can also offer your party in multiple different settings like a home, backyard, park, recreation center or community room, pool house, or dance studio. Know that the more enclosed the area, the easier it will be for the kids to focus, but obviously you also want to consider space so the kids have enough room to bust a move. 

The best thing to do to find a teacher is research your local dance studios who offer birthday parties. Compare pricing, their reputations, and chat with other parents who may have some experience. If your birthday girl or boy already takes dance lessons, try asking their teacher if they would come out for you. No matter what, this teacher should be comfortable working with large groups of kids, high energy, and charismatic. Not all of your guests will be dancers so it is the teacher's job to catch their attention and make them feel comfortable enough to participate. To help with the success of your dance birthday party, have the teacher come before cake time in a space separate from any play areas/jungle gyms. The more distractions that can be cut out, the easier it is for kids to focus. 

Have a great party!

 

Tags: Dance Studios, children activities, dance

What To Eat/Drink Before and After A Dance Class?

Posted by Brittany White on Nov 13, 2012 11:08:00 AM

Most dance classes (all ages) require a ton of energy, focus, and strength. Dancers and teachers need to be fueling their bodies in a healthy way to bust a move! Having a good snack before and after can really help with muscle soreness, cramps, energy levels, attention span, and comfort. You may want to adjust how much or little is consumed depending on how many classes are taken in a row and how physically demanding they are. This applies to little ones taking dance class as well!HealthyDance.jpg

What to avoid before dance class: 
-Candy: Sugar highs or crashes make focusing very difficult on anyone. (Be nice to your dance teacher too!) 
-Processed Foods: Food that is difficult to digest and low in protein sucks up energy.
-Big Meals: When dancers are too full it can make them lethargic, nauseous, or cramp easily.
-Soda: Soda is just bad in general because it can cause dehydration and add unnecessary sugar to the body.
-Fried/Fast Foods: These types of foods can easily cause an upset stomach, bloating, or gas while dancing.
-Not eating at all: Feeling hungry in the middle of dance class is distracting, hard on the body, and can cause fatigue. You want your dancer to pay attention in class to get your money's worth, right?
-Cigarettes: Do we need to say more? Smoking or second hand smoke makes it that much more difficult to breathe properly and is terrible for dancers in general. Ones endurance and overall health will suffer greatly from smoking or being exposed to it regularly. 

*Be careful with energy drinks, sports bars, and sport drinks. There is a huge stereotype that these are needed for exercise but they are completely overused and not usually necessary. Many of them are highly processed, difficult for the body to digest, and loaded with sugar. Check the nutrition labels to find the healthy and natural options.

What dancers should eat or drink before dance class:
-Protein: Protein provides the body with energy that it needs and can be filling in small amounts without making the dancer feel too full. 
-Fruits/Veggies: These can be light, healthy snacks to give you just what you need to get through dance class. Try mixing them with a little dairy or protein for more energy.
-Whole Grains: Good carbs help fuel the body for long periods of time.
- Water: Drink plain old water before, during, and after class to avoid dehydration and fatigue. 
-Potassium: Potassium can help with cramping and muscle soreness if the dancer is really pushing their body hard. 

*Great Examples: peanut butter and banana, apple with cheese, half of a tuna sandwich, veggies with a yogurt dip, avocado on wheat toast, a small smoothie...

What to eat or drink after dance class:
-Water: Hydrating after class flushes out toxins, helps with muscle soreness, and prevents dehydration.
-Fruits: Fresh fruits are good to eat after you dance because your body uses so much glucose during high levels of exercise. Fresh fruit will help replace that and aid in muscle development. Not to mention, fresh fruit juice is refreshing, light, and yummy!
-Potassium: Avoid muscle cramping and soreness with foods or drinks high in potassium. (Raisins, potatoes, bananas, tomato products, cooked spinach, yogurt)
-Protein: Refuel the body after expending so much energy. (Meats, nuts, cheese, beans) 

If we treat our bodies right, we can expect better results during dance class. It is important to encourage healthy eating habits in dancers so we help prevent harmful eating disorders. When dancers are unhealthy, they are more prone to injury, fatigue, soreness, stress, and stagnation with their development. If you see unhealthy habits at your studio, please speak up to the director. Stay fit, focused, and strong the healthy way and feel much better while you're at it!

To find more frequently asked questions, visit our Q&A pages:

 

Tags: Dance Class Preparation, Dance Bag

11 Things To Get You Hired At Dance Studios

Posted by Brittany White on Nov 10, 2012 7:03:00 PM

To be a good dance teacher, one needs a ton of experience in a few different areas. When dance studios hire, they are looking for someone who will create a following of students who continue to enroll in more dance classes. So how do you get started?

1. First and foremost, you need to become an expert in the style of dance you teach. Take classes and/or observe other teaching styles from as many different instructors as you can. This research will open your mind to various teaching techniques, new inspiration, and what is appropriate for students of different ages and levels of experience. dance jobs

2. Try getting in a program where you can be a dance teacher's assistant or co-choreographer. Working with someone else and getting their feedback will not only improve your teaching skills, but also introduce you to the world of teaching in a gentle way. Many dance studios will focus on nurturing their assistants into teachers as they see improvement and dedication progress.

3. Figure out which age group you are most comfortable with. It is common for people to interview with dance studios and say something like, "I work with all ages!" While this may be true, different age groups require different skills and knowledge from their teacher. To be a truly successful teacher, you must have a deep understanding of how your voice, energy, manner, language, and attire all adjust based on the ages you work with. That skill of knowing what is appropriate comes with experience.

4. Understand what kind of dance studios you'd like to work for. Is your specialty competition choreography, creative movement, fitness based classes, classical technique? Just because you are a good fit for one kind of studio does not mean you are a good fit for all of them. The more specific you can be about your talents, the easier it will be for you to find employment you can be successful with. 

5. A good teacher is also a good learner. If you get critiques from students, parents, or employers, listen! Sometimes little changes in your teaching habits can make a huge difference. The music volume, pace of your class, verbage you use, and how clearly you cue are all very easy things to fix. You'd be surprised how many times students get turned off by minor issues. If you don't take the time to listen and adjust, registration will suffer. Being a good dance teacher is an ongoing journey.

6. Network, network, network! Make dance friends of all shapes and sizes. Word of mouth in the dance world goes a long way. If people know you have a teaching talent in a specific area, they are more likey to recommend you for new jobs or suggest new students take your class. 

7. In the beginning, you should take any sub or teaching opportunity you can. Do not expect to get chunks of classes back to back your first year or two. You may be driving to teach an hour here and an hour there for a bit until you build your resume and can afford to be more picky.

8. Use social media like facebook and twitter to let people know where and what time you are teaching. You will gain confidence knowing you have the support of friends and family... and confidence is imperative for a dance teacher. The studio you teach at will also appreciate your help in growing their classes. 

dance teacher

9. If you know of any dance teacher trainings or seminars to help with your class management, check them out. Read articles or books about what you are teaching or how to be a better teacher. There are so many tricks and tools out there to use for your advantage.

10. Get passionate about what you are teaching. If you come from a genuine place of excitement, that feeds off on your students and makes your class addictive. The best teachers are the ones who absolutely love what they teach and share that love with everyone around them. 

11. Take the extra time to bond with your students. Let them know you notice them. Chat a little before and after class. Give positive reinforcement. Keep your class playful and fun. No one wants to go to a class where they don't get attention. People like to feel special and recognized.

The best of the best teachers are knowledgable, likeable, creative, and experienced. Use all of the tools you can to develop yourself. There are tons of resources out there, just not enough people taking advantage of them. 

Tags: Dance Studios, Dance Classes Quality, Dance Class Preparation