Tips to Reduce Stress During Dance Recital Season

Well, it’s that time of the year again! Can you guess what I’m talking about? I’ll give you a hint, I’m suffering from PRS. You’ve never heard of PRS?! Well,  PRS stands for pre-recital syndrome. Now, do you know what time of the year it is? Yep, you guessed it, it’s recital time! Within the next few months dance studios everywhere are going to be having their annual recital. It is so exciting, but at the same time, so stressful! So here are a few tips to help you reduce the stress and hopefully you won’t suffer from PRS!

Make sure to lay out everything you may need the day before if not earlier. Don’t wait until the last minute to get all your stuff together. This is how people forget items they may need. Remember to pack your costumes, shoes, tights, hair accessories, makeup, jewelry, water, and anything else you may need. Ask your teacher a week or so before to double check and make sure you have everything. Your teacher might think of something you need that you would not have thought of yourself.

Try to pack extra of everything if you can. Pack those extra bobby pins, hair ties, extra water. Extra everything is the way to go! I even bring my old worn out dance shoes, just in case. You never know when they might come in handy. After all, better to be safe than sorry.

If you can, bring a mini first aid kit. You never know when something might happen. It can be small but bring something so you have it if you need it. Make sure to eat food before you perform, you don’t want to pass out. However, don’t eat less than 2 hours before you go on stage you don’t want to feel too full while dancing. And never, never eat in costume. Also, never drink anything other than water in costume.

While backstage it is only natural for you to start getting anxious and feeling nervous. Try to relax. Don’t worry about messing up. One of the best pieces of advice one of my teachers told me is that; something is always going to go wrong. You can practice all you want and you can do everything right a million times before you perform but when it comes time to actually performing, something will always go wrong, so just enjoy the moment. After all, isn’t the saying dance like nobody’s watching? That is what you have to do. Take deep breaths, inhale, exhale, breathe and everything will be alright.

It’s recital season! Ready or not here it comes, so be ready and don’t have PRS!

Happy Recital Season!!!

Ritmo Sensual

Our last performance from the CT Salsa Festival is our beautiful ladies, Ritmo Sensual! These ladies had such a fun time performing Memorial Day Weekend!! Check out their performance below!

 

Rhythmology Kids

 

Our Rhythmology Kids also had the opportunity to perform at the CT Salsa Festival! With Carolina as their coach these kids did fantastic!! Check it out below, and come back tomorrow to see what other performances we have for you!

 

Rhythmology Dancers

The Rhythmology Dancers also came to the CT Salsa Festival with us!! These amazing dancers have been working so hard and did a great job performing their routine!

Check out their performance below and come back tomorrow to see even more!!

 

Next Generation

Our teenagers, Next Generation, came with us to the CT Salsa Festival!! Their coach Bryan gave them some awesome choreography and they had an amazing time performing! Check it out below! Make sure to keep coming back for more performances!

 

 

CT Salsa Festival

Rhythmology just came back from the CT Salsa Festival this past Memorial Day Weekend! It was a weekend filled with fun and excitement! Our very own Alfred & Aleksandra had so much fun giving classes as well as performing. Check out the video below of their performance!

 

Make sure you keep coming back to this page to see a new performance everyday!!!

 

 

 

Dance/Movement Therapy: The History of DMT

According to the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA), dance/movement therapy is “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration of the individual.”  Dance/movement therapy takes the idea that the mind, body, and spirit are connected, and it uses this premise to enhance the lives of individuals who are suffering in some way.

This sounds like a complicated idea.  How can movement influence emotions?  Aren’t my feelings and body separate?

To understand the true theory behind DMT, it’s helpful to look further into its roots.  One of the most important individuals to the development of DMT is Marian Chace.  A dancer, choreographer, and concert dance performer first, Chace studied with modern dance pioneers Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn at their school, Denishawn.


chace

Eventually, Chace opened her own dance school in Washington D.C., and it was here that she discovered the positive effects movement was having on her students in the 1940s.  The medical community began to take note of her students’ reported feelings of well-being after dancing, and Chace was eventually invited to work at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in D.C in 1942.  She became the first full-time dance therapist in 1947.  Fast forward to 1966, Chace went on to become the first president of the American Dance Therapy Association.


The mission of ADTA is as follows:
1. Define, promote and support the highest standards of education, credentialing, ethical practice and professional identity of dance/movement therapists
2. Increase professional opportunities for the membership by advocating for the inclusion of dance/movement therapy in healthcare, legislative, educational and research systems
3. Support internal communication among members, between the ADTA and the membership, and external communication nationally and internationally
4. Create opportunities for skill development, networking, community, and fund-raising by producing an annual conference
5. Support the growth of the ADTA and the profession by recruiting new members and responding to current membership needs

adta

Stay tuned for the next post in our series to read more about some theory and practice of DMT!

 

 

Introduction: Dance/Movement Therapy Blog Series

Welcome to the upcoming blog series about Dance/Movement Therapy!

In a series of five blog posts, we will be discussing:

  • A brief history of Dance/Movement Therapy
  • Some DMT theory and practices
  • Where DMT is used
  • Benefits of DMT
  • A brief overview of other creative arts therapies

Dance therapy is an excellent career path for dancers looking for opportunities outside of performance and teaching.  Stay tuned to learn more about this field!

DMT amanda

Make A Mid-Year Resolution Today!

We all make new year’s resolutions, but we don’t all stick with them throughout the year. I know I haven’t been. I will admit there was a brief time period where I stopped working out and eating right. Then one day I woke up and remembered that I had made a promise to myself and since then I have been back on track! How about you? Have you been sticking to your new year’s resolution? Did you already complete your resolution and don’t know what to do now? It’s ok, we can get back on track together and work on our mid-year resolution!

What can we as dancers choose for our mid-year resolution? How about you try a new dance style? Maybe there was some style you always wanted to try but never had the courage to do it? Well, I am challenging you to go out and try it! Trying won’t hurt anybody. You can only benefit from broadening your horizons. It will give you an extra challenge. Which can lead to another resolution. Go out and challenge yourself! Maybe you have a clean double pirouette, well why not go for that triple? You never know what you are able to achieve until you try it! As dancers we need to constantly challenge ourselves, it is the only way we can improve.

Remember it is never too late to start something new. Maybe you did stop but get back into it! We are doing this together! Most importantly relax after all summer is just around the corner! If you can’t make a mid-year resolution then don’t worry, 2017 will be here before you know it! For the rest of you….I’ll be checking in on you!

The Deadly Sins…of Dance

     Most people know the 7 deadly sins; pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, greed, and sloth. These 7 deadly sins, or habits, are said to prevent people from progressing in their life. Well, what I bet you don’t realize is that there are deadly sins in dance too. Much like the 7 deadly sins of everyday life, these deadly sins of dance are habits that most people probably do every time they dance. These habits do not help you progress as a dancer. Depending on how often and how bad you do them they can actually cause you to regress as a dancer. Meet the 5 deadly sins of dance…

     The first one is having sickled feet. What does this mean? Well, this is probably one of the ugliest things a dancer could possibly do. When somebody says that your feet are sickled, it means that your feet are turned in instead of turning them out. When you have both feet sickled your toes would be pointing toward each other. This is not what we want. We want our feet to turn out, so they would be pointing away from each other. This can be related to the sin sloth. Sloth means you are being lazy, and usually when dancers sickle their feet, it usually means they are being lazy. 

The girl in color is demonstrating a sickled foot, and the girls in black and white are demonstrating a turned out foot.

   

The next sin of dance is misalignment. Having misalignment can lead to a variety of problems. If you want to have longevity as a dancer you need to make sure you have proper alignment. You might have noticed that people stand with their butt sticking out, for various reasons. Being a dancer, this is not good for us. Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins, however when you dance you want to dance with pride. If you have misalignment it won’t make you look tall and proud. When dancers stand with their butt sticking out this does damage to their spine. It crunches the lower bones in the spine. This also leads to other techniques being off. When dances don’t have the proper alignment they don’t engage their core, they’re letting their ribs and shoulders go which leads to their balance being off. You also want to make sure your hips are always in line with one another. When I teach I tell my students to think of their hips as headlights on a car. You want them always the same level and you always want them facing the front. Have proper alignment, and have pride when you dance. 

This is an example of misalignment.

     Wrath means to be angry, and is one of the 7 deadly sins. Usually people who are angry tend to carry a lot of tension with them. Tension happens to be one of the 5 deadly dance sins. Carrying too much tension is never a good thing. However, in dance it is even worse. Dancers need to look graceful and elegant, even when they might not be feeling that way. If you are too stiff you won’t be able to jump as high or stay on your toes as long. Tension is never a good thing, so just breath, relax, and have fun. Along, with tension is the next deadly sin; clenching your toes. When people are first starting out they see pointed toes and think they know exactly what to do. So what do they do? They clench their toes. This is not, I repeat this is NOT pointing your toes. Pointing your toes comes from the ankles and not from your toes. Clenching your toes just creates more tension throughout your body because you are unable to do everything your body wants you to do.

     And the last deadly sin of dance is hyperextension. Hyperextension is when a joint can move more than it should be able to. Usually in dancers this happens with the knees. Although this is not something that can be controlled, as a dancer you should be aware of your body. This means knowing when you are hyperextending your knees. You should be able to tell the difference and know when to not do that to yourself. Do not lock your knees, this can cause serious damage to you one day. This is just something you need to be aware of. 

This image shows a hyperextended knee on the left and a non hyperextended knee on the right.

     These 5 sins are all habits that can be worked on and broken if we choose. Breaking these habits will help to make us become better dancers.