Tagged YouTube

How to Dance in Sync for Teachers


So, this video has been making it’s way through social media and I wanted to share it with you, in case you hadn’t seen it yet. It comes from Vibe Dance competition. And if you haven’t looked at the title yet, it’s the second place winner. Yes. Second.

So, how do you get your dancers to be this together? Well, there’s a lot to take into consideration, like the dancers’ ages, years danced together and the style of dance. But one thing is for sure. Your dancers cannot be this in sync if they are not practicing together and with you, their choreographer, teacher or leader.

I can’t say with certainty how this group came together so well, but I can share some of my tips for making your dancers dance as one.

Teach your choreography to counts.
I know that it’s not everyone’s style to choreograph to counts—some like words, others beats—but it can help dancers hit movements at the same time. Even if you don’t choreograph to counts, it can be helpful for you to go back and count out the choreography. Then, when teaching, be sure to use those counts to accent your movements.

Break it down, then speed it up. (“The Game”)
I play “the game” with students of all ages. It goes like this. Teach a step slowly, to counts (see above), then repeat, this time counting slightly faster. Continue this process gradually until the dancers are performing the step full speed.

Use the mirrors.
This seems like an obvious one, but use the mirrors you (or your studio owner) have invested so much in. Break down combinations piece by piece, having dancers check their arm placement and head movements in the mirror. 

Use your hands.
If a dancer isn’t getting their arm or head or body placement just right, physically (gently) put them in the correct position so they can feel what the correct position is. Some students learn by doing and won’t get there until they can feel it.

Turn it over to the dancers.
This works best with older dancers. Pull dancers out one or two at a time and have them watch the group perform the combination or routine. If they can see the mistakes others are making as well as watch others do steps they may be doing incorrectly, they can then self-correct.

Tell me, how do you get your dancers to get together? Any crucial tips I’ve left out? Let me know in the comments.

And, in case you’re wondering who won first at Vibe Dance Competition, here’s the winners. Warning, the music has some questionable language in it.

Now Dancing to: Bang Bang by will.i.am

In honor of the Oscars this weekend, I thought I’d share a track from one of last year’s top movies, The Great Gatsby. If you haven’t checked out the soundtrack yet, do. It’s loaded with some great upbeat pieces that are perfect for class or performance. The soundtrack was nominated for a few Grammys last year, so you can’t go wrong, right?

This piece from will.i.am is perfect for a jazz dance with a little attitude, a little 20s throwback and a lot of spunk. I’m thinking some Charlestons, kicks and a lot of fierce poses. It might even make a great production number as it could work for a variety of ages.

Take a listen and let me know I’m not alone. What do you envision? I’m seeing fringe. And sequins. Duh, of course sequins. Check out “Bang Bang” on your music service of choice:

iTunes | Amazon | GooglePlay

Dance Across the Web this Week

Did you guys see this history of hip hop dance yet? (above) Jimmy Fallon has been pulling out all the stops this week for his new show and I’m loving this new video with Will Smith.

Also worth checking out are these two pieces on dancers and injuries. The first, a listing of common dance injuries. The second, a new study scientists are conducting where they map a dancer’s body as she moves to pinpoint injury hotspots. Turns out this is much more effective than an MRI because the body is in motion at the time of the scan.

And finally, a nice piece from Dance Advantage on why dance education is great for children’s brains.

How to Choose Music: Listen Outside Your Comfort Zone

Think Outside The Genre

As a dancer you hear your teacher correct the same mistakes over and over again. And as a teacher you say those same phrases over and over again.

“Point your toes.”
“Straighten your knees.”
“Stand up straight.”
“Don’t look down.”
These phrases become so much a part of our dance class that they start to go in one ear and out the other. They become a little cliche. Just like this music tip. “Think outside the genre.”

Gone are the days where we had to go to our list of “ballet music,” our stack of “tap records” or our old “jazz standards.” Once students are old enough to hear the music and keep their technique true to its style, there’s no reason to not shake things up enough. It’s easy to take a piece of music we would once stamp as a lovely instrumental ballet and turn it into an intricate rhythm tap number. Like this rendition of “Pumped Up Kicks” by the Vitamin String Quartet.

Or maybe turn an R&B piece into a funky ballet number. Like this remix of Janet Jackson’s “Someone to Call My Lover.”

Pair an offbeat track with classical movements. Or classical movements with an offbeat track. Either way, put your own spin on a not-so-traditional song and see what happens.

Dance Kelly Style on: As Seen On

DanceNobodysWatching

Dance recital videos. I watched them a million times when I was a kid. There were certain numbers that got the special Kelly treatment and got played over, and over, and over again. It’s actually surprising there’s still any video left on that tape. While that was the problem years ago, things couldn’t be more different now. It’s not that nobody’s watching. It’s that Every Single Person is watching.

Now, you can watch dance any time you want. Just “youtube it.” Record yourself on your phone and play back to correct mistakes. DVR the next episode of Dance Moms/So You Think You Can Dance/Dancing With the Stars. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it, almost immediately.

With “As Seen On”, the goal is to highlight some of those dance moments as seen on TV, the internet, movies, commercials and more. All tipsters, just get in touch.