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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 hours upon hour…
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Gratitude on our journey

Written by Jenny O'Brien

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 the job…

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 system and…

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 gymnas…

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 cold. The…

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 g…

Fueling Your Dancer for Their Best Performance

By: Katie Behrens
Health Coach and Sports Nutrition Expert, DDA Instructor
Certified By: The American Council On Exercise

Let’s set the scene. It is the Friday night before competition. All of the costumes are packed and labeled, early morning alarms are set to get up to do hair and makeup. The last thing to do is create the fuel your dancer will need throughout the day so they can stay at their peak performance.

Dancers bodies are like a fine tuned machine. I actually like to compare them to a race car. You cannot show up to the Indy 500 with a Porsche, put 87 grade octane gasoline in the tank and expect to win the race. Dancers must put high-grade fuel into their bodies to be able to perform their best.

Let’s talk about what types of foods fuel an athlete like a dancer. Carbohydrates are what our bodies first look for when they look for energy. Some of my favorite portable carbohydrate snacks for quick energy absorption are:
● Grapes
● Apples
● Carrots
● Bananas
● Strawberries
● Dates, loaded …