Monday, October 28, 2019

Not all costumes are scary...

Time to dust off your coolest costume!

In the spirit Halloween, we want to share with you some iconic dance costumes that are guaranteed competition winners.
Court Ballet

Ballet became a codified technique with formal training in the royal courts of France. Ornate costumes were worn to take the audience out of the bounds of 'reality' and to add a mysticism to the performance, effectively creating a world of its own.
Martha Graham used her costume to contribute meaning to her work

Martha Graham's masterpiece solo Lamentation features a dancer, who remains mostly seated, dancing encased in a purple tube of jersey fabric. Graham selected this costume for the piece to evoke the essence of grief. The costume serves to dehumanize the dancer and allow the audience to see a living, moving emotion.

The tutu is too too cool

How can we talk about costumes without paying homage to the beautiful tutu! The tutu comes in many shapes, colors, and styles depending on the era/ theme of a work. Pictured here is the Romantic tutu as used in Jules Perrot's Giselle. The romantic tutu is soft and long. It flies as the dancer spins, creating an ethereal, non human look. Perfect for a ballet about ghosts!
Pablo Picasso: designer extraordinaire!

Yes, you read that right! Pablo Picasso spent many of his 'cubist' years in collaboration with the Ballets Russes. Below is a costume he designed for Leonide Massine's Parade. Not only do the costumes give this work a unique look, but the funky set (also designed by Picasso) adds yet another piece to the puzzle, painting a multi medium picture for audiences to marvel at!
Merce Cunningham: leave it up to chance

Merce Cunningham, an icon in the modern dance world, was known for leaving several elements of his productions up to chance. This includes pieces performed on a given night, dancers performing, and even sometimes music, all decided at the roll of a dice. His costumes, colorful and often formed to showcase the body, were usually not decided based on chance due to fitting requirements. However their uniqueness and fantastical nature helped set the tone for his loosely planned approach.
What will you wear this year?!

Sometimes picking the perfect costume can be daunting. Maybe this year is the year to dress as a Royal Court dancer or to put together a Picasso inspired cubist look of your own! You'll be front and center as people marvel at how clever your costume is!

School Matters

We are so excited to have our studios full with our students again! Studying an art form can actually benefit a student's performance in school. How, you ask? Keep reading to find out!
Foreign Language

Tombe, pas de bourre, glissade, jete!

Does that mean anything to you? Our ballet students are learning French terminology that pairs with specific codified movements within ballet technique!

How does art relate to dance?

Dance IS art. Imagine your favorite painting. Are the brush strokes heavy and abstract? or are they well organized and precise? Dance can emulate all of these qualities! A dancers movements act as the brush strokes and the stage is the canvas!

History/ Social Studies

Dance isn't just about learning movement, discipline, and technique. Dance has a rich history that we love to teach our students. Having historical context makes dancing in modern day even more special!

We spend our entire dance class counting. Although we only count to 8, consider the mental speed required to stack multiple eight counts on top of each other. And remember them!

Dancing exposes students to diverse sounds, rhythms, and musical compositions. Dancers learn to express music through the vehicle of the body which builds a strong creative connection to music.

How can we use gravity to our advantage? How does the physics of weight shift affect the way we move? These are all things we think about and learn in dance technique.

Class is in session!

Dance supplements our school work in many ways, but it also goes further! Dance inspires our students to go above and beyond. To challenge themselves to be great. Dance builds confidence, social skills and helps the brain develop as students build coordination, rhythmic ability and sensitivity to music. So what are you doing? Get back in class!!

How to Nail your Next Auditions

Auditions, Auditions, Auditions! We've got some of our BEST tips here so that YOU can shine at your next audition. Keep reading for all of the best audition tips and for more details about audition opportunities!
Tip: Dress to impress

It is always wise to dress nicely in order to leave a good impression and yes, this applies to dance auditions! Look your best from head to toe and you will WOW the audition teachers.
Make sure your shoes are laced with the laces tucked in, form fitting leotard and tights, and your hair is neatly pulled back into a ballet bun.
A professional look will draw attention and help land you an awesome role!
How to Make the Perfect Ballet Bun
Check out this ballet bun tutorial!
Tip: Use your best
listening ears

A big skill that audition teachers look for is ability to listen and take corrections. If you are focused and take directions from your teacher well, you are more likely to get cast in that role you've always wanted!

Tip: Rest up, eat well!

Make sure you get a good night's sleep the night before your audition and eat foods that will energize your body! While sugar provides an instant energy rush, it doesn't last long and usually ends in a crash. Try eating foods that will energize you for longer like bananas or oatmeal. Foods high in complex carbohydrates and protein will keep you on your tip toes for the whole audition!
Tip: Take ten minutes to brush up on your terminology

If you haven't been dancing all summer or even if you have, it wouldn't hurt to take ten minutes to review vocabulary and terminology. This way you will be able to focus on dancing at the audition rather than remembering what a balancé means!
Learn Basic Ballet Vocab with Demonstration for Beginners I @MissAuti

Tip: Be yourself!

We get it. Auditioning can be nerve wracking! But don't stress, be yourself! We love to see our students for who they are and what they can bring to our production that is unique. So no need to come in and pretend that you're Misty Copeland!
Be you!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hit The Splits This New Year: Here's How to Get Started

As we enter 2019 and are setting our sights high, we want to give you a couple ideas on how to keep your dancing en pointe!
Here are a couple of stretches to do every day.
Aim to do something this new year that will bring you to the next level!
Why is stretching important?
  1. Keeping a limber body helps prevent us from injuring ourselves.
  2. As we gain strength, our muscles shorten which can prevent proper use. We need to stretch them in order to maintain their proper function.
  3. Ever see a ballerina lift her leg over her head? She couldn't just do that overnight! She had to work on her stretching every day just like you do!
12 Stretches to Bring that Leg up a Little Higher!
It's cold outside! And when it gets cold, our muscles shorten and ache. Challenge yourself! Try a new stretch every day and keep practicing the old ones from previous days.
Tag us on social media and use the hashtag #musichousestretchchallenge and we just might feature your daily stretch!
Ready, set, stretch!

Day 1: Touch your Toes
  • Start sitting with your legs out in front of you straight with flexed feet
  • Reach up high to the sky and fold from the waist reaching for your calves, ankles or feet
  • Hold for 30 seconds

Day 2: Spine Twist
  • Start lying on your back
  • Bend your right leg and hug it in to your chest
  • Twist so that your bent right leg goes to the left and keep your right hand on the floor
  • Hold for 20 seconds and switch to the other side

Day 3: Hamstring Stretch
  • Start lying on your back
  • Bring your right leg up as high as you can while keeping your knee straight. Use a towel if you need to to ensure that your leg stays straight.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs
Day 4: Shoulder Stretch
  • Keep those shoulders down and back just like we learn to do in class!
  • Start by lying on your tummy with your arms out so that you are making a T shape
  • Roll your body to the right, keeping your arms in place. Roll as far as you can before the stretch starts to hurt.
  • You should feel a nice stretch in the front of your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Day 5: Stretch in Second Position
  • Start sitting on the ground with your legs stretched out as far as they can go
  • Fold forward at your waist, reaching as far forward as you can while keeping your knees pointed to the ceiling.
  • Hold for 1 minute

Day 6: Foot Stretch
  • Start sitting on your knees
  • Roll forward and adjust your feet so that your toes are bending backwards as if you are up on releve
  • Sit back so that your weight is over your feet
  • This one can feel very intense! To make it a bit easier, put a pillow or towel between your bottom and your feet or under your knees
  • Hold for one minute
We're half way there, keep up the good work!
Day 7: Lunge Stretch
  • Start kneeling on one knee with the other leg planted on the ground in front of you
  • Without lifting your back knee, shift your weight forward over your front knee
  • You want to make sure your front knee stays over the ankle, so you may need to adjust yourself accordingly
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides
Day 9: Seated Cross Legged Stretch
  • Start sitting with your legs crossed in front of you
  • Lift your right leg so that it sits on top of your left leg.
  • If this is intense enough for you, hold here. If you want a deeper stretch, fold forward over your legs.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides
Day 10: Neck Stretch
  • Start sitting on your knees
  • Take both of your hands to the back of your neck and gently press your chin to your chest. Hold for 20 seconds
  • Bring your right ear over your right shoulder. Take your right hand and gently apply pressure. Hold for 20 seconds.
  • Bring your left ear to your left shoulder. Take your left hand and gently apply pressure. Hold for 20 seconds.

Day 8: Half Pigeon stretch
  • Start with your right leg in a figure 4 shape in front of you and your left leg extended behind you
  • Fold over your front leg putting your elbows or forehead on the floor
  • Hold for 40 seconds and switch sides

Day 11: Figure 4 stretch
  • Start lying on your back
  • Bring both legs up and adjust your right leg so that it is making a figure 4 shape over your left leg
  • Thread your hands through the gaps and hold on to the back of your left leg
  • Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides
Day 12: Child's Pose Stretch
  • Celebrate all of your hard work over the past 11 days with this restorative stretch
  • Start on your hands and knees
  • Sink your hips back so that you are sitting on your feet and stretch your arms forward
  • Hold for 1 minute and feel the nice stretch in your low back
High Five, Stretchers!

Not all costumes are scary...

Time to dust off your coolest costume! In the spirit Halloween, we want to share with you some iconic dance costumes that are guara...