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What is the difference between a jazz and ballet pirouette?

  What is the difference between a jazz pirouette and a ballet pirouette?   Written by Miss Geneva and Miss Jenny   One of the hardest transitions between jazz and ballet are the pirouettes. There are many differences, and teachers often find themselves giving corrections in class....over and over...and over....that are related to this! Read on to learn more:   The prep and "take off" Even the prep to take off has several differences. The little steps leading into the pirouette are different to begin with but we will save that for another time! For the actual position to turn from in jazz, the feet are in a parallel 4th position with the back heel up. In ballet, the feet are in a turned out 4th position with both heels down. In ballet you can also do a pirouette from 5th position. However, all of them you have to use a plié to take off from.    P.S. - Use your plie! How many times do you hear your teacher say that?   The turn Basic pirouettes use a passé position an
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When the silence is deafening...

Written by Jenny O'Brien, Owner/Director of Dreams Dance Academy The silence is deafening...when you walk through the doors of a place you've worked your entire life to build. Every little piece of it. But there is nothing but silence. Six weeks of silence. Silence in a building that normally boasts hundreds of dancers and parents, hallways with kids running down them, music blasting from four different rooms, tap shoes clickity clacking, and the front door opening and closing a thousand times a night. Since I was 16 years old, I've worked my tail off. I always loved working. Truly. In high school I loved working so much....that my senior year, I was part of a business program that allowed me to leave school at 10:30am and work the rest of the day. The only things I ever enjoyed about school were the social part and electives (classes like cooking and graphic design). And of course gym because I got to take dance. I hated the rest. I would have to study for

Gratitude on our journey

Written by Jenny O'Brien Owner/Director This post has nothing to do with the studio, and everything to do with using my platform on social media and my position as a business owner in St. Charles…to recognize a woman who was so instrumental in the St. Charles community for 20+ years. Kathy Loubsky. Kathy passed away in November, and was my boss at the St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau (which is sadly no longer as of last year). She was the Executive Director of the CVB for around 20+ years (my memory isn’t as good as it used to be since so much has filled my brain since then – but something like that!)   She hired me in 2006 and truly changed my life as far as my career goes. I was a few years out of college and wasn’t happy in the job I had been in for the 2 1/2 years after college as it didn’t fulfil my career goals. I still remember clear as day coming home from my interview and thinking how badly I wanted that job! If I remember correctly, she called to offer me

From the Judges Table

Written by Jory Bowling DDA Instructor, bio here This year I embarked on my 20th season of judging dance competitions! Wow time flies! I’ve gotten to see so many of our cities and states, do a lot of sight-seeing, rack up airline miles and make many close friends. Some years traveling as much as 13 regional weekends and a few Nationals over Summer. I started my career with Starpower and judged for them for many years as well as branching out to their sister companies Nexstar and Revolution. I eventually moved on to working for Starquest, where I’m in my 12th year and the new judges trainer, as well as Bravo and Applause for many years where I’m a “head” judge. All of these companies have given me the years of experience to give parents and dancers some insight on what happens “behind the scenes." First, it is important that everyone knows and understands; no two competitions are run exactly the same. They all have their own scoring syst

Why Do Gymnasts & Ice Skaters Take Dance Classes? By Ms. Geneva

Throughout my 12 years of teaching in different parts of the country, I have had serious gymnasts and ice skaters in my dance classes at every single studio I have taught. I find it extremely fascinating how dance can provide a deeper level of training for them and help them perform better in their field. In Texas, I taught at a studio across the street from a gym that trained Olympic gymnasts such as Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin. Having young students in my ballet class train across the street, all the other days of the week, made me wonder if one day one of my ballerinas would be an Olympian. I've also had ice skaters who would practice at 5am every day before school and then take dance a few nights a week tell me how ballet helped them in their competition routines. I love being motivated by my own students! Here at Dreams Dance Academy we have quite a few gymnasts and ice skaters take our classes. Ballet, lyrical, jazz, you name it! There are many key elements that gym

How to make your dancer’s dance bag less of a horror story. By Katie Behrens

What could be scarier than Halloween in the month of October? Well quite possibly the smell of your dancers dance bag. Have you ever wondered to yourself, “how could such pretty little feet make that smell ?”...... Here are some tried and true tricks to keep your dancers dance bag smelling fresh in between classes. Should be obvious, but take out dirty leotards and tights and wash them. Smelly shoes the problem? You can make shoe dehumidifiers by using old worn out tights. Simply cut off the feet of the tights, fill with dry rice, you can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to the rice. The rice will absorb moisture and the peppermint will leave a pleasant smell. Place dance shoes in a Ziploc bag and freeze them overnight. Freezing the shoes will kill the bacteria therefore, destroy the odor. Once a month take everything out of the dance bag and wash it in the washing machine. Canvas ballet shoes and canvas lyrical shoes can be washed in the washing machine on

Dancing Improves Posture! by Geneva Aboites

A student once told me, “I have to remember 500 things all at once to not look like a floppy fish while dancing, Ms. Geneva!” I responded, “It sure seems like it, right?! But don’t worry, soon you won’t have to think as much about all those things and friends at school will ask you if you are a dancer just because of the way you sit and stand!” Control, grace, holding balances, turning, landing from jumps, extensions, and looking elegant all comes from having beautiful posture that works individually for your body as a dancer. I say ‘individually’ because some students have medical issues with their spine, abdominals, and collar bone, etc. so teachers have to gauge what works best for each student. Pulling the belly button towards the spine, engaging the abdominals, lifting up out of the lower back, pulling the shoulder blades down, lifting up the back of the neck while keeping the neck long and high, is just the start of everything to think about! Once your body gets used to having go