Saturday, December 30, 2006

One Semester is Over

Yes, one semester is over and it has definately taken a toll on her body. Just a few short months of not training every day and I can see a huge decline. Thankfully, she is gaining it back fast over the break. My final conclusion..... dance while your body is young, study when you're older or do an even combination of both.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dance at College

Well, the college year has started and my daughter is throwing herself into her studies. Little time to get to New York, but we'll try to get there soon. She, luckily has a very experienced ballet instructor who used to be principal in two great ballet companies and she has a new modern teacher who is giving her a great workout. Only three classes a week, she has to supplement and practice on her own a lot. Luckily, she has some great dance studios right across the street from her dorm building. So, so far she is fitting it all in.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Dance Forum

There is a new dance forum at They need new people to sign up. Go there and help out.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dancing With the Stars, Season 3, Sept 12

Celebrities Signed on for Season 3:
Tucker Carlson - MSNBC news anchor. Will dance with Elena Grinenko.

Monique Coleman - Teen Actress, star of Disney's High School Musical. Will dance with Louis Van Amstel.

Sara Evans - Country music star. Will dance with Tony Dovolani.

Willa Ford - Singing star. Will dance with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Vivica Fox - Stunning television and movie superstar. Will be partnered with Nick Kosovich.

Harry Hamlin - Star of TVs LA Law and husband of Season 2 contestant Lisa Rinna. Will be partnered with Ashly Delgrosso.

Joe "Joey" Lawrence - Teen heartthrob and actor. Will dance with Edyta Sliwinska.

Mario Lopez - Actor and TV Host. Will dance with Karina Smirnoff.

Shanna Moakler - Former Miss USA - Actress, model and reality TV star. Will dance with Jesse DeSoto.

Emmitt Smith - NFL legend. Three-time super bowl champion. Will be partnered with Cheryl Burke.

Jerry Springer - National talk show host and superstar. Will be partnered with Kym Johnson.

Get all the Dancing With the Stars Info - Click Here!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lots of Dancing in NYC

Wow, we've been to NYC at least four times in the past month. That's all to update for now. We'll be leaving again for more soon. Will update on anything interesting.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Congratulations Benji !

Benji, Congratulations on winning So you think you can dance. Everyone did a great job on the show and it was difficult to choose who would win. You did a great job and I love to watch your entertaining dance numbers. Good luck in your future adventure.

Monday, August 07, 2006

So you think you can dance FINALE!!!!

I would like to wish all the dance contestants good luck! You all are wonderful dancers in your own genres. I'm glad you all had such success. You have all won the title of greatest dancer, the only thing to be determined now is WHO GETS THE MONEY!!!! How much fun.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dance Moms Know!

Just got back from a dance week in NYC. It was nice to meet up with other dance moms and hear their evaluations of the SYTYCD dancers. It was funny, but we ALL agreed 100% on our favorites for technique and performance.

I gave and received lots of good tips on choreographers, conventions and events. It was great!

Off to unpack!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A new dance target!!! GRRRRR!

Ok, so the mean posters are still ranting and raving injustice, even tho their girl is off the show. The board is calming down, but I'm now noticing that people in general have quickly jumped on new targets. Ahhhh, the dance world can be so vicious sometimes! So, I guess, in the end, that every contestant on the show is targeted by ill-wishers up until the last one standing ... or dancing.

Last season, I didn't go on the boards at all, so I didn't really know what was going on. It was a different experience for me. This year, well, my daughter auditioned for the show this season. If she made it to the final 20, I wonder how I would feel about her being a target. Not too good I don't think. I do wonder how the parents and families of the contestants can stand it. Criticisms like, she's too fat, he's a homo, she's got no technique, she's a liar, she makes faces, he thinks he's great, she's full of herself, on and on and on...... So, no matter who you are, what you've accomplished or how you act or dance, someone hates you!

I don't think I'll look at the boards if she ever makes it. She is trained in all the dance styles and does have a good chance ... so says her mommie who loves her (that would be me), and therefore thinks she can do no wrong and is a beautiful dancer. But would I be able to stop myself? I might just end up in an asylum. It is a hard position to be in.

I must say that the picture of a fat, face making, lying homo dancer who is full of him/her self and thinks (s)he is great is an awefully scary combination. Funny how people who never met you can come up with such a caracature.

I think it's great that these 20 dancers get to experience SYTYCD. I have found something great about each and every one of them, even the one with the mean family and friends. I wish them all good luck because one thing is certain: They are all doers. They set a goal and are accomplishing their goals and whether you like them as dancers or not, they should be congratulated for taking action.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Every Dance Genre Has It's Benefits

Well, I guess getting mean on the boards just doesn't pay off. Who woulda thought?

Anyway, here are my thoughts. Being trained in just one type of dance does not make you a well-rounded dancer, or an all around dancer. It means you are simply limited to your one style. Ninety-nine percent of dance styles have required technique. Most of the technique are difficult to master in a short time, but all dance styles benefit a dancer one way or another. No one dance is better than another.

Hard core ballet must be started from a young age. If a family chooses to put a child in hard core ballet, then they usually commit at least four days a week to ballet classes plus weekends for rehearsal or repetoire. It is difficult on the body for someone young to enter other forms of dance early on.

Ballet for the normal dancer with a desire to be an all around dancer: My advice, as thedancemom, is to get as much hard core training in ballet as possible, but once it becomes impossible to keep up with the schedule, start shifting some hours to other types of dance. IMO There is no substitute for hard core ballet training. Ballet is always stressed as the foundation of dance ... all dance ... and I believe that is true. It strengthens, stretches and controls the legs and arms. Hip hop dancers will find a better control of the legs and arms, tappers, jazz dancers and modern dancers will gain balance and posture.

Looking back on my daughter's training, if my desire was for my daughter to be an all around dancer, I would have started her in hard core ballet in the early years and then started moving her to other styles around the age of 8 or 9 while still trying to maintain the ballet as much as possible. This sometimes isn't possible because hard core ballet instructors don't want to teach someone if they're only going to be in class for two of the four days of training. Everything's a tradeoff! But if you start the all around dance later than 8 or 9, it's my opinion that it will be difficult to catch up with the other kids who have been doing all around training since the age of 5.

Tap helps a child learn rhythm, foot coordination, syncopation and precision. I have seen some ballerinas who could use some tap lessons and definately some tap dancers who could use ballet.

Jazz dance adds style and diverse movement and interesting shapes. Something that I don't often see in classical ballet. Jazz style can be choreographed into both tap and ballet.

Lyrical helps bring out emotional performance. Lycial dancers learn to use their faces and body movements to express emotions (sudden contraction, soft floating arms, hard, soft movement etc). Lyrical encompasses many forms of dance ... ballet, jazz, contemporary.

Hip Hop emits power. I think that hip hop teaches expression of aloof emotion and coolness. It is the complete opposite of "good ship lollipop". It teaches the dancer to take whatever technique they know and just dance. Hip hop does require a lot of technique, but at the end of the day, it must be "danced" .... nothing held back. The technique must be so precise that when the dancer lets loose, the dance does not fall apart.

Modern/Contemporary is said to be close in technique to ballet. Modern definately teaches shapes and body alignment. Controlled emotional performance.

Ballroom Latin/Rhythm teaches some amazing hip movement and also gives the dance world some of the most appealing sensual body shapes in both the ladies and the men. Quick footwork and legwork that is completely opposite of anything you'll find in traditional dance.

Ballroom Smooth/Standard teaches controlled legwork and footwork, posture, balance, breadth of movement. This is a great remedy for traditional dancers who have trouble with footwork.

There are so many other types of dance that I could comment on. But, that's all I have time for this morning. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I hate people who are just WRONG!

I've been reading the SYTYCD boards and I'm seeing some behavior that is ....well just pretty bad. There are, by my count, two contestants families who are really cut-throat about this competition. I won't tell you who, you can find that out by going to the boards and reading the messages yourself.

Anyway, some are signing up on multiple user names, posing questions and answering themselves back on another user name. Others are doing the same thing, but among friends and family members. They are ganging up on anyone who doesn't agree that thier dancer is not the absolute best in the world. Even worse, those same people are entering the conversations with those who support other dancers and trashing the other dancers in way that makes their dancer look more appealing. If I ever get to that sorry state of being .... well, I hope that I never feel I have to be that type of underhanded, sorry human being to do that to other people.

The dancers should succeed or fail on their dancing ability and/or likability on their own. Families should not enter into a blood war to destroy those competing. How sad and wrong.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dancers sent home - I'm not surprised.

Ben and Alek went home tonight. I totally knew that Alek was going home tonight and I'm not surprised. I was surprised about Ben, though. He has some amazing technique and so much potential. I'm not thrilled with his looks, but he could be made over ... haircut and styling, cooler clothes etc. I thought Jaymz was a gonner when he fell out of his turn and did that whimpy leap ... oh yea and when he fell off the stage. I would have sent him home.

Again, I absolutely loved Dmitry! That boy has some body movement goin on! Wow!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Favorite SYTYCD couples

Wow, I had a lot of favorites tonight. I actually think I liked Heidi and Ryan the best. The dance was hot and full of energy. Primal. I also really loved Benji and Donyelle ... always in my favorites. Then Ivan and Allison. She really smoked and put on a great performance and he really surprised me. Could he have been more in charge and connected, yea sure, but he was hot. Changed my mind about him.

I think it is unfortunate for Dmitry that he is not getting strong partners. Alex does not seem very versatile and is very manic. Dmitry is beautiful to watch. What a talent! Among my daughter's many styles of dance, she dances professional ballroom, so I'll be looking to watch him at competitions.

Travis is my other favorite. He always pulls it off in my eyes, despite any criticism he's gotten so far. I think he is flawless! Love him as the all around dancer so far.

Love Musa, but he just is not as versatile as he needs to be. Steamy and handsome. He has a charisma that I love to watch. Here's hoping for him, but I don't think it's there yet. Maybe some slick chreographer will scoop him up and give him some great training in company. I think he's got the goods, but needs more classes.

As far as girls, my absolute favorite is Donyelle. Could watch her dance for days. She is great! Heidi has a ton of spirit and I like her too. However, she also is lacking in technique in traditional dance. I saw one chine leap that should have just been left out of the choreography all together. Showed her lack of technique right there. Otherwise, I like her energy.

That's it for me today! Have a great evening.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another Great Video of Polina Seminova!!!

Check out this great video of Polina Seminova en pointe!!! It's the nineth one down on the page.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My favorite dance video Sting & Alessandra Ferri en Pointe

I love all styles of dance, but his video is especially great. Check it out: Alessandra Ferri and Sting

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Top 20 So you think you can dance!

Musa Cooper, Travis Wall, Stanislav Savich, Benji Schwimmer, Ivan Koumaev, Jaymz Tuaileva, Dmitry Chaplin, Ben Susak, Ryan Rankine, Jason Williams, Donyelle Jones, Natalie Fotopoulos, Joy Spears, Allison Holker, Ashlee Nino, Jessica Fernandez, Erin Ellis, Martha Nichols, Heidi Groskreutz, Aleksandra Wojda

My favorite couples so far are Benji Schwimmer and Donyelle Jones (Benji, you really brought it! That surprised me - Nice job!) and Travis Wall and Martha Nichols. Both are great dancers individually, but I didn't like them together. Natalie Fotopoulos has a great personality and her dancing was ok, but I'll hold judgement for future shows. She is in my top 5.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rockette Audition - Important Info

Rockette Audition - Important Info for Dance Moms!!!!
Bathroom location. Look for this entrance on Rockefeller Plaza, near NBC, enter the doors and take a left, go down the stairs then take a right. The bathrooms are in the corner by UPS! The bathrooms are plenty, basically cleaner than a highway rest stop and they have potty seat covers. How much better can it get?!!! :)

Also, trash! There usually are no trash barrels in Rockefeller Plaza. Sometimes you'll find one in front of NBC, but they take that away often. There are trash cans at the same location as the bathrooms.

There is also an underground shopping area, restaurants and a food plaza through those doors. The shops include Anthropologie, J Crew, Sharper Image, Brookstone, the NBC Shop, and all the great shops on Fifth Avenue and more.

Dirty Dancing - A Reality T.V. competition!

Dirty Dancing - A Reality T.V. competition!

Women's Entertainment (WE T.V.) is taping Dirty Dancing, an original new series, this weekend, June 2nd-4th!

Dirty Dancing is an all new dance competition that combines Dancing with the Stars and the storyline of the hit movie Dirty Dancing! Six amateur female dancers are paired with six professional male dancers in a dance camp/ dinner theater based on the hit movie starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. This weekend we are taping the semi-finals and finale as we crown the Dirty Dancing champion... More at Women's Entertainment (WE T.V.)

Note: There is a rumor that Artem Chigvinsev from So You Think You Can Dance Season 1 is one of the six professionals on this show.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Everybody's in the Act JLo Chris Judd Dance Show

Jennifer Lopez & Ex-Husband To Launch Dance Shows
Jennifer Lopez and ex-husband Cris Judd will go head-to-head when they both launch television dancing shows later this year. Lopez is working with MTV on her reality series "Moves" where she will select and audition dancers, as well as act as an executive producer.

The hitmaker will use her dance training and experience to assist aspiring dancers in their careers in the fly-on-the-wall show.

Meanwhile, former dancer and choreographer Judd will host "Dirty Dancing: Living The Dream," a small-screen version of the 1987 Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey movie with a reality TV twist. The series will pair novice female dancers with experienced professionals who will train and compete for a featured role in the national cast of the upcoming Dirty Dancing musical.

Judd's series will air on Women's Entertainment (WE).

Star Pulse Blog

Monday, May 29, 2006 So you think you can dance info.

You can follow the contestants and judges on Fox's So you think you can dance at Etchings Dance. So you think you can dance .
You can get biographies, what the prizes are, songs that they use. Check it out.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

New B-Boy Dance Show by Bad Boy

MTV and Bad Boy Entertainment, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ production company, are teaming up as dance partners for an as-yet-untitled series that will center on street dance troupes across the country. Combs will executive-produce the pilot episode.

Broadcasting Cable

It seems that Sean Combs is joining the dance crowd with this new dance show focusing on street dancers. Actually, I think it's a good idea because street dancers can be AMAZING, but they often don't have the training to compete against dancers that will make the top ten on shows such as So you think you can dance. Those street dancers often don't have the money to take weekly dance classes at a studio, so good for Diddy for making that move.

Friday, May 19, 2006

America's top choreographers

America's top choreographers: Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, Shane Sparks, Mary Murphy and Ron Montez. So you think you can dance.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mary Murphy So you think you can dance judge - blog Here is the blog address for Mary Murphy's blog. She is one of the judges and choreographers on the So you think you can dance show on fox. The link is the official website
of Mary Murphy, ballroom dance champion, choreographer, accredited judge, and TV personality. I have also included this ballroom dancing link in the dance link list on the bottom left of this blog! Also, here is her profile.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ballroom Bootcamp? Is it returning?

Ballroom Bootcamp on TLC Discovery -

Does anyone know if Ballroom Bootcamp is returning. I had a lot of fun with that show too! Check it out.

....Top ballroom dance professionals Susannah Cuesta, Gocha Chertkoev and Christian Perry will attempt to give the participants the physical, mental and social tools necessary for success, and stop at nothing to transform the participants from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Ballroom Bootcamp participants will learn one of five dance styles — the cha cha, waltz, tango, jive or rhumba — and then face off against one another in an authentic, professionally adjudicated competition.

It's the ultimate fish-out-of-water story. Think plumbers, couch potatoes, football players, moms and more unusual suspects. It's a chance to test regular people in a way they've NEVER been tested before....

So you think you can dance Updated Website

The website for So you think you can dance has finally been updated. Keep watching! So You Think You Can Dance.

Also, the New York Daily News reports "Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who also will return as a judge, said there will be some tweaks, including a half-hour results show." So, we know at least one judge.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Annoyed at missing Hip Hop Dance Festival

If there is one huge thing that most dancers lack, it's marketing sense. Less than 20 minutes from my house an international hip hop festival was planned and executed over this past weekend. Did I know about it? Nope. It was a huge, groundbreaking event, yet I didn't see anything on the TV news, in the newspapers, on posters or anywhere else. Needless to say, we didn't attend the event ... which we would have attended if we had known it existed.

Ok. Here it is. For those of you who don't know .... there is something called a press release. You send it to all media organizations, TV, radio, newpapers, etc. They, in turn, print the press release (or follow up by putting a reporter on the idea), then they print the information about your event for free. Sometimes, yes, you have to do follow up calls after sending a press release, but making sure enough news organization receive it is the first step. A groundbreaking event is sure to make the news ... somewhere.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Take the Lead Movie Review

I loved it, but there was little traditional dancing in the movie. It reminded me of Dangerous Minds with Michelle Pfeiffer. Skilled civilian goes into ghetto school, teaches kids skills, saves the day and everyone lives happily ever after. However, Take the Lead is based on a true story.

It is a truely inspiring movie and I loved every minute of it! I thought that Antonio Banderas was amazing and danced very well. He is, afterall, a passionate latin man! I surprisingly loved the dancing too! It was a movie "about" dancing and what dancing can do for a person. The mix of hip hop and ballroom was great!

I travel to New York City often and when watching this movie, I felt as if I was actually in the city. Very good for atmosphere.

If you hate hip hop, less fortunate people and/or any type of dancing that strays from traditional ballroom, you may not like this movie. However, if you have an open mind and love dance, you'll have a great time. Go and see this movie!

Happy Birthday Dance Girl!

Happy Birthday Dance Girl! You are the greatest!!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

New Season So You Think You Can Dance 2006

New Season So You Think You Can Dance 2006 starts on May 25th 8/7c! Thursday on FOX!!!!! Can't wait! New host: ....Cat Deeley, one of the leading television hosts in the UK, has been named to host the second season of the hit series. Deeley has won many awards for her work on "CD: UK Live," on which she has appeared for the last six years; her three years on "SMTV: Live"; and many shows for the MTV UK, BBC and ITV networks.....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ballroom Dance

Dancing With the Stars will return for another season. Now I know for sure.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

One Last Dance

Just watched One Last Dance. Loved the dancing. Much of the choreography was done by Alonzo King and included dancers from his Lines Ballet Company (Contemporary Ballet). Lovely dancing which is worth watching the movie for. My favorite, however, is that the movie included Rasta Thomas ... a great male dancer. My daughter and I have followed his career and were really thrilled to see him in this movie. If you get the chance, check out his web site. On the negative side, the movie had way too much arguing for my taste. It was a little sad to watch because it was about older dancers at the ends of their careers. Will we buy it for the dance movie collection, absolutely. Simply for the small clips of great dancing.

.......One Last Dance - Description: Husband and wife Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi team up for the dramatic tale of redemption ONE LAST DANCE. Travis (Swayze), Chrissa (Niemi) and Max (George De La Pena) were three students of master choreographer Alex McGrath, but had a falling out many years ago over a particularly difficult piece that Alex created just for them. But upon Alex's death, the three are reunited and agree to attempt the dance piece once more to save his company, in the process reopening old emotional wounds that were never properly healed. Featuring acclaimed choreography and dance scenes, ONE LAST DANCE allows Swayze and professional dancer Niemi to showcase their skills in a film written from the experiences and struggles of performing artists.......

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance Season 2

The SYTYCD show is rumoured to be starting up around May 2006. Look out for it! It should have ballroom, hip hop, ballet and other dance types. There is a new host this year.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Take the Lead Ballroom Dance Hip Hop Movie

Here is the background story of Take the Lead:

Antonio Banderas stars in Take the Lead, a drama inspired by the true story of Pierre Dulaine, an inspirational Manhattan dance teacher and competitor who volunteers his time to teach ballroom dancing to a diverse group of New York inner-city high school students serving detention.

The students are initially skeptical of Dulaine, especially when they learn what he's there to teach them, but his unwavering commitment and dedication slowly inspire them to embrace his program. In fact, they even take it one step further and combine Dulaine's classical dance with their unique hip-hop style and music to create a high-energy, unique fusion. As Dulaine becomes a mentor for his students, many of whom haven't had much to strive towards in their lives, he inpires them to hone their craft for a prestigious city ballroom competition, and in return they share with each other valuable lessons about pride, respect and honor.

Comments from TheDanceMom: I will review this movie later. It hasn't been released yet, but I am excited to see it. I do like Antonio Banderas very much, but I am always disappointed when they cast stars in dance rolls, unless, of course, the star has years of dance training. For instance, in the movie Center Stage, Maureen, was not really a trained dancer. Why? Who knows what the thinking was! The cast was mostly trained dancers with years of performance experience, yet she was cast for star power? Doesn't make sense. She did a nice job, but dancers should be cast to play dancers in dance movies! Although the general public won't know if the star is performing the moves correctly, there are thousands of trained dancers who will know.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I have to comment on American Idol

There is no shame on being voted off of American Idol. I keep seeing these newspaper reports that say "despite being voted off ...." "even though she was voted off ...." America, please note, only a select few even made it on American Idol .... out of thousands of people who auditioned only a small number made it to the show. That is a HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT and honor to be chosen. They should all be congratulated for 1. Getting off the couch to audition in the first place, 2. Keeping it cool enough to make it through the rounds of auditions, and 3. Having the poise and presence to get up on stage in front of millions of viewers, sing, then have their singing critqued in front of the nation! Shame on anyone who trys to put down anyone who has made it that far.... it's a lot farther than most people would make it!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Links for Dancers

I've added some new links for dancers at the lower left of this page. If you know of any great dance sites, let me know. I'll check them out!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A little dancer who really loves dance.

I was watching a class with many levels of dancers in it, all ages. One girl, however, stood out. She was about 8 years old and had a good body for dance. But even better, you could tell that some day she was going to be a great dancer! She listened to the instructor intently and carefully watched the movements of the person demonstrating, mimicking every move as the instructor did it. Then she went out onto the floor, put a smile on her face and enthusiastically performed the piece. She was pretty good too! I'll be watching to see how she does in coming years. Nice job!

Friday, March 24, 2006

She's just doing it for fun!

Stop! Stop right now! I guess this month I'm just about to tear my hair out listening to people. Was sitting with this mother the other day. Her daughter was 9 years old. "Is she competitive?" I asked. "No, she just dances for fun. Nothing serious." Arrrrrrgh Can you see my face start to mutate? Ok, here's why I have such an attitude.

If competition is not for you, then ok, it's not for you. Not everyone has to compete to be successful. I haven't seen many noncompetitive dancers who have great skills, but there are a few. NYC has a lot of 'already professional' noncompetitive dancers who are amazing, but I haven't really seen it in the suburbs.

But saying she dances "just for fun" is like saying "Don't blame her if she sucks, we're just paying out all this money and wasting the classes time because we're not really serious." "She doesn't really have to pay attention, because it's just for fun." "She doesn't really have to learn safe dancing because it's just for fun." "It's ok if she goes on stage at the end of the year and embarrasses the hell out of herself because it's just for fun." "It's ok to be mediocre because it's just for fun." If it's just for fun then take her to the YMCA! Let me put it more simply. The people I hear saying "It's just for fun." usually have kids who are fat or lazy or kids who have real potential, but because they can't throw a triple pirouette in the first class their parents think they have no skill. Um .... that's why kids take lessons .... to gain skill.

Question: If you are making the effort to pay a qualified teacher to learn dance and you are making the time commitment to show up to class and purchase dance clothes and costumes and practice, why wouldn't you want to gain some skill out of the whole process? Give your kid a chance! Having skill is fun, dancing skillfully is great fun. So why not learn the skill correctly and learn what real fun is all about instead of giving the kid a great excuse to slack off and be less than great!

A child's road to success will always run into a wall. As a parent you will either be a road block or help your child climb over the wall. Making excuses for a child when a child is that young equals "road block". Encourage them to do their best and learn the skill correctly from the start. Please!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Here's a Clue for Beginner Competition Moms

I sat in the room with a bunch of moms last weekend. This was the first year their studio had entered competition. OK, so my daughter has competed for a long time and her day is over. She's moving into the professional world now. However, I engaged in conversation anyways. I asked what studios were at the competition ... they didn't know. I asked who the judges were ... they didn't know. They did know, however, that whatever studios were there were being given an unfair advantage. ARGH! Ok, it happens. However, I am very familiar with the competition they went to and very familiar with the studios that attend that competition every year. Studios that have excellent dancers, strong technique and work exceptionally hard to win what they do. I could imagine nothing unfair about those studios winning ... but wait ... maybe this studio (which I was unfamiliar with) would bring out a stellar performance ... maybe they were better than these other studios that I was familiar with .... Then I went into the classroom and watched their competitive students ........................ I have one thing to say ......

Just shut up until you know what you're talking about. Your students were not anywhere ready to compete and were sloppy, off the music, no smiles, dead arms with no enthusiasm for dance. Unfair? What IS unfair is bringing kids to competition who are not prepared. Judges look for technique (your students had none), neatness (some were neat, others not), musicality (the ability to place dance moves to the music where they belong), style (um, not even close), smiles (none), performance quality (....), oh yes, and how about an effort?

So here is what you need to do to fix it. Stop complaining about how unfair it was that they other studios got all the good medals. Learn who those studios are and what type of routine they do weekly. You'll be humbled. Start doing proper warmups and teaching the kids proper body alighnment from the beginning. Build and stretch muscles, muscle memory ... properly to avoid injuries. Start at the basics again and repeat until students have a good base from which to start. Bring the music tempo down so that students can complete their moves, gradually increasing it as they gain more skill. Stop changing choreography every two seconds for the younger students until they have a base. Prepare before class and know what you're going teach before you walk into class.

I know one of the teachers you have at that studio. She competed for years and is, not only and exceptional dancer, but she knows how to prepare for competion. Those students do not show even a small amount of the excellence that teacher is capable of sharing with your studio. Your studio needs to ask her advice before you enter competition again.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Thank God for Frank!

He's sometimes harsh, blunt, scary to some, but Frank Hatchett tells it like it is. If you can't dance, you'll know it after attending one of his classes. How? He'll tell you so and then he'll help you do it right! As my daugher puts it ..."You have to be a special kind of person to take Frank's criticism and put it to good use." In other words, if you want it bad, you'll fix yourself! I think we are both greatful for his bluntness because there are just some people who others don't want to offend for one reason or another ... and that dancer just moves through life thinking he or she really has what it takes. Bluntness lets that dancer know they have to improve themselves because the are not up to standards or it kindly pushes them to get a new day job! In the end, Frank is really a very sweet guy .... who tells it like it is. :)

One of most humbling experiences for a dancer or dance studio is to venture out into the wide world of competitive dancing where they're not faced with the best and worst of their hometown, they're faced with the best and worst of the region or nation. You learn very quickly that you and yours are NOT the best dancers in the land! For those who don't get that message .... well that's where Frank comes in ... telling it like it is. After all, he's seen a lot and has been in the dance business since before time began. I don't often get to talk with him because whenever we're in New York, other mothers swarm him for advice about their little darlings. He's always polite and often very helpful in his advice which I'm sure by now he has repeated the same advice and enormous number of times.

The dancers who he has trained are really good. Of course they must be you say ... Well not all dance teachers produce good students. Some great dancers just don't know how to teach. Every dancer that I know danced with Frank has style and can really dance.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dance is filled with a variety of personalities!

When we were at the SYTYCD auditions, there was this guy behind us in line who came to audition. He'd never taken a dance class in his life. Yet, this guy stood nervously in line with dancers who had been training since the age of three and whose parents had stood by them all the way, pushing them to be better and better dancers. This guys parents didn't like the fact that he wasted his time on dancing, and he was auditioning without their knowledge. When the time came to audition, I hear he was amazing (heard from a good source that is a very hard critic). He made the first cut! A great accomplishment for someone who never took a dance class. He didn't make the second cut, but neither did many experienced dancers. It amazes me that he chose to jump into one of the most competitive auditions for his first try. I do hope he enters his first dance class and doesn't give up on his dreams. I'll probably never know what happened to him, but I hope I'll find out that he continued.

I met another guy while I was waiting. He was the oldest guy there and had loads of experience. Dance just dripped off of this guy. I didn't see him dance, but I could tell he was good .... you know .... the stance, slightly turned out when casually walking, super posture, body lifted and tall, bright and enthusiastic attitude, confident. I didn't find out if this guy made it, so I can't wait to see the show so I can find out. He said it was his last chance before the age requirement would prevent him from entering. I thought that was great! Go for it until you can't go for it anymore!

Then there was this other guy who I know to have national and world titles. What a sad case .... very self-important and feeling special about himself. Is he really that good? Yes, I have to say he is very good, but it kills me to say it! I don't like to see people succeed and then smush it in everyone elses faces. It's one thing to be proud of your success, but really .... winning should not give one license to be pompous.

Everyone there had one thing it common. They were all out to take a chance. They were living! They weren't waiting until they were perfect dancers, they weren't sitting on the couch waiting for life to lift them up, they were taking charge of what might be.... inspiring! So if you were at that audition, whether you made it or not, congratulations for trying, for dreaming, for wishing. Don't give up! Keep on trying until something better comes along!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

So you think you can dance auditions

Well, we've been to New York twice since my last post and I'm just exhausted. My daughter went to the SYTYCD auditions and we got there at around 6 a.m. the first morning. It was FREEZING. I mean we're all lucky to still have toes. A few crazy people brought tents and camped out in the cold. They didn't start letting people in until 9 a.m. They let people in a few at a time, so my D didn't get in until 9:30. She got out of that days audition at around 2 p.m. She made it through the first day of audtions and was told to come back the next day at 8:00. We arrived at 7 a.m. and, again, they didn't let us in until 9 - 9:30. This day, parents and friends were allowed to enter the building. It was twice as cold that morning and the wind was blowing. The day was filled with excitement. People smiling and rejoicing and others, of course, feeling sad, rejected and mad. You don't really get the true atmosphere of the situation when watching it on T.V. There are cameras everywhere and multiple people conducting interviews in various parts of the building and a ton of security. We knew a good number of people in line from various competition, audition, workshops, classes, etc. The auditions were different from the norm, so it will be really interesting to see who makes it and who doesn't. I didn't sign anything stopping me from discussing what I know about the auditions, but I'm choosing not to divulge the equalities and inequalities of the process. If you're going to audition, have a great time. We met some really great and talented people. It was a lot of fun! The picture below is the line in back of us.

and this is the picture in front of us. The long sign in the middle of the picture is the front of the line:

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Off to New York City Again for Auditions

Well our next couple of weeks are full of audition travelling to New York City. Finally, some good auditions have come up. Took a long time after the holidays for us to get back in the swing of things. Can't wait to go. One day trips, mostly, but it will be fun!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

America's Ballroom Challenge

I'm having a great time learning about ballroom dance. D will go to NYC to audition for some dance shows in March, but, for now, it's all about ballroom. I watched America's Ballroom Challenge on PBS last night. It was amazing. I think I really like things that sparkle. Those dresses were amazing. The dancers were exceptionally fit and gorgeous. Yes, I think my daughter will like this type of dancing a lot.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Finally gone!

So glad that Master P has finally been voted off! Where he did have moments of looking like a good person, he definately squashed those when he started calling everyone 'haters'. Pleassssse. Just goes to show that I should not have second guessed that dance judge for being so harsh. He knew exactly what he was doing and is obviously more experienced than I. All I can say is poooor Ashley.

I am excited to see how everyone is progessing in the ballroom dancing. Jerry Rice (Who is getting a lot of exposure i.e. Miss America Judge), is actually doing a great job and has an outstanding attitude! Tia Carrere .... wow, girl that extra baby weight just dripped off you. You look great. Unfortunaly, it will take tons more training for her to get comfortable with dance, but it helped her out and that works for me. My fav is still is Drew and Cheryl. He really puts the performance into the dance and works really hard to dance technically right.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I like the mix of dance

I think it's great that Dancing With the Stars is mixing it up by including an exhibition of break dancing. CAN'T believe that Master P made it this far AGAIN!!! Well, good for him. Actually, Master P seems like a really nice guy. But, O.K. Master P, It's time to bring it! Let's see what you got! Drew and Cheryl are adorable together, but who knows who will win this season. George Hamilton is fun to watch simply because he's such a legend. Love the wrestling chic .... what long legs .... beautiful for dance. I really liked the news lady too. She was hot latin and has a great attitude! The soap star is good too, great legs and is beginning to move really well. These old ladies are inspiring me to kick it up! Haha. Actually, I did do about 30 seconds of the New York City Ballet Workout this morning. Go me!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Harsh Dance Judge

OK, the Dancing With the Stars judge was right about Master P's performance. He does need to leave the show. But, ouch! What a way to say it! ... a little harsh, if you ask me. Master P is the underdog and now I'm finding myself seeing his efforts and feeling sorry for him. He is starting to try ... a bit late ... but at least he's starting. He needs to leave the show, keep practicing with Ashley Delgrosso, who is so full of spirit and has a great attitude after getting stuck with such a problem (that would be Master P). Then they need to surprise everyone at the end of the show with a stellar performace by Master P (reentering him to the compeition, of course). That would be a good show! "Hey, Master P .... You owe it to Ashley to try harder! Oh, and you don't need a reason to be on the show. How about dancing for yourself instead of your 'people' or your 'sisters, brothers, uncles, deceased brother-in-law..... dance for yourself! Don't make excuses as to why you're on the show!" Enough already!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dancing with the stars no longer about dance!

Wow, I'm shocked that Master P is still on the show. Good for him, however, in all honesty, he didn't pull the dance off. The show has just moved from a program showcasing what beginners can do in dance, to a social statement. Not good. All I can say is that I hope he really puts in the effort this week because I think that Tatum was putting in tons more effort and it's just not fair to kick someone off who is making effort because the other person, who isn't making a great effort simply has more "people" on his side. Wrong format for me. Don't get me wrong .... I'm glad Master P has a third chance .... I really hope he shows his "people" how to make a really good effort and tries harder than ever. While doing so ... please remember the title of the show "DANCING with the stars". Not, "Gansta show and tell." ... Not, "Dancing for Flood Victims". While we all feel for the tragedies that have happened, I think that "Dancing with the stars" is an escape that we watch to relieve ourselves from the constant bombardment of death, loss, and tragedy. Not every moment needs, or should be a reminder of depression and tragedy. Sometimes our minds just need to rest and think about happy things for .... gee, mayone one hour while watching a show about ..... hmmmm, let me think ......Dance? Give it a rest Master P and let everyone escape for an hour or two!

Dancing With the Stars 2

I have to say I was pretty disgusted last week when Master P didn't even try to dance. I was delighted this week, however, when he stepped it up and actually did half way decent at the Quickstep, which I am told, is one of the hardest dances in Ballroom. Master P gave a great effort and I was very pleased to see him try "for his people" (whatever that's all about)! It was great he tried, anyway. Unfortunately, he'll have to get voted off. There isn't anyone else who was worse. Although, I recognize his effort, I'd have to vote him off too!

My other problem with him is that he won't wear ballroom shoes. The first thing that great Hip Hop Masters tell people when they ask "How can I get better at hip hop?" is "Don't dress in ballet clothes when coming to hip hop class, wear hip hop clothes. You don't wear hip hop clothes to ballet do you?" Other tips do follow ... however, you get my point. It's like playing tennis with a baseball bat. Anyway, the guy should put a pair of ballroom shoes.