Archive for June, 2014

How best to learn to dance? A dance class in Hythe, Southampton or the whole world?!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Everyone give me a woop woop if you love the internet! The t’interweb! The information superhighway!

Woop woop!

Yes me too – and where would we be without it? You can find out everything from what colour clothes you’ll look best in to what questions you’ll get asked at your first job interview.

And there’s a guide or youtube tutorial that will teach you just about anything – I once had lots of fun trying to copy a professional chef preparing a whole crab but that’s another blog post!

Here at Dancewise we love dancing, we love learning and we love teaching – in fact we love everything about being in a dance class! So here’s our run down of the pros and cons for learning to dance off youtube!

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So – what’s my verdict? I think youtube has it’s place and can have massive value. I think in addition to a real dance class it can be very useful.

But I don’t think it could replace coming to a class.

You won’t get the same results learning off a youtube video than you can get from attending classes at a regular, professionally run dance studio.

But that’s just my opinion – what do you think? I’d love to hear your comments in the box below.

 

If you’d like more information about our classes, email me principal@dancewisestudios.com or call our friendly team on 023 8001 9845 – we’d love to help you achieve your dance goals!  Or check how to book our summer intensives – a whole 4 days packed of awesome dance class action – whether you love street, ballet, tap, irish, jazz, contemporary, singing, acting and more, we have the perfect dance or performing arts intensive for YOU!

 

Irish Dance Tips – Bonus Content!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

So we promised you 10 top tips…..but we like to under-promise and over-deliver here at Dancewise so we have some bonus tips for you as well!

1 – When you’re working really hard on improving your technique, your concentration might make you forget to let go and just dance.   Irish Dance was first and foremost a social dance – remember to enjoy it

2 – Irish dance is supposed to be fun, so while you’re working hard on perfecting your technique, make sure you give yourself a chance to enjoy it – find the right class for YOU full of like-minded people who are as positive, passionate and dedicated as you are.

3 – Make sure you’re getting enough performance experience – dance is a performing art so get out there and show off what you can do! If you’re in Hampshire or Dorset, why not get involved with Dancewises’s annual show in a professional theatre?!

4 – Check your teacher’s credentials – Dancewsise Director and Irish Dance teacher, Alison Jones is an ex-professional Irish dancer who toured in the 2003 Irish Dance Show Celtic Dreams. She is qualified to teach multiple dance styles and can give you the value of over 15 years teaching experience.  Wherever you choose to learn, talk to your teacher so you’re sure they have the experience and qualifications that you deserve!  Any good teacher will be happy to set your mind at rest.

5 – Check your studios credentials – Dancewise has been running our unique and very popular Irish Dance classes since 2005 and have taught thousands of people to dance in that time.  Make sure the studio you’re learning from has a proven track record so you know you’ll be getting a great Irish Dance experience!

6 – What next? If you’d like advice on places to learn, do contact us – we’ll be happy to help if we can!  If you live in Hampshire or Dorset and you’re not already enrolled in a Dancewise Irish Dance class, contact us at on 023 8001 9845 and we’ll arrange for you to have a FREE class!

7- Is it for me? Yes! Irish Dance is great for kids, teens & adults from beginners to advanced dancers – Dancewise currently offers Irish classes for 4 year olds up to 104 year olds and we have classes aimed at complete beginners and very experienced Irish dancers.  Come and join the Dancewise fam – we’d love to meet you!

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Irish Dance Tips 3

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

So if you’ve been following the blog, and using our top 10 Irish Dance tips you should be seeing massive improvements in your Irish Dancing! Check out tips 7 – 10 to help you become the best irish dancer you can be!  But hey, we like to under-promise and over-deliver here at Dancewise so read to the bottom for some bonus content!

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Read on for Dancewise Director, Alison’s tips to help you become a great Irish Dancer!

7 ~ Stay High On Your Toes

Irish dancers should be as high on their toes as possible, in soft AND hard shoe.  Imagine there are oranges or even grapefruits under your heels. If your heel comes down, you’ll squash the fruit. Don’t squash the orange!   We’re talking right up on ¾ pointe here – make sure you warm up and mobilize your toe joints before you dance.  If you need help on exercises to warm up safely, just comment below and we’ll answer your questions!

8 ~ Imaginary Tightrope

You should always imagine a tightrope in front you. Every step, lift and leap should be danced on that tightrope. This keeps your dance tight and your moves right in front of you, which will give your Irish dance precision and a ‘wow’ factor.

9 ~ Travel

Move your dance!  Really traveling adds excitement, speed and energy to the performance.

10 ~ Make It Look Easy
Irish dancers have to be masters of making what they do look easy.

Keep in mind, once you start working hard on improving your technique, the intense concentration might cause you to forget to let go and just dance. Technique is extremely important, but it’s not everything. The way you feel when you dance has a huge effect on your performance. Don’t forget why you started dancing in the first place. Irish dance is supposed to be fun, so while you’re working hard on perfecting your technique, make sure you give yourself a chance to enjoy it!

Which of these tips has helped you the most?  We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments box below!

Check back soon for your bonus blog post of extra tips!

Irish Dance Tips 2

Friday, June 13th, 2014

We hope you found our first set of Irish Dance tips really useful!  Here’s the second set for you to use when you’re practicing!

Read on for Dancewise Director, Alison’s tips to help you become a great Irish Dancer!

4 ~ Keep Your Knees Crossed

It may sound easy, but keeping one knee in front of the other knee at all times is very difficult. Since the leg in front switches from right to left constantly, a dancer must keep their knees as close together as possible when they switch. Think about crossing your thighs over – this will really help you.

5 ~ Great Posture

A great Irish dancer always keeps their shoulders back and chest open. Keeping your arms straight is not enough – it has to be combined with great posture. Think about having helium balloons attached to your head and an anchor hanging off your tailbone to give you a great feeling of 2-way stretch through your spine. Now imagine pinning your tummy button through to the wall behind you!

6 ~ Head Up – Eyes Up

You should always have your head up and eyes up. Looking at your audience instead of at the ground adds confidence to your performance. It’s more challenging that you think it would be! Dance is a performing art – doing the steps is not enough! Having said that, Irish Dance wasn’t created in a dance studio – it was one of the original social dances so it needs to have a party feel and interaction between friends! Over the years it’s been refined into what we now as good Irish dance technique and was then overhauled by one of the greatest showmen of all time – Michael Flatley – and you don’t see him looking down!!  We always encourage our dancers to bring the party!

Which of these tips has worked for you?  We’d love to hear how you’re getting on in the comments box below!

Irish Dance Tips 2

Friday, June 13th, 2014

We hope you found our first set of Irish Dance tips really useful!  Here’s the second set for you to use when you’re practicing!

Read on for Dancewise Director, Alison’s tips to help you become a great Irish Dancer!

4 ~ Keep Your Knees Crossed

It may sound easy, but keeping one knee in front of the other knee at all times is very difficult. Since the leg in front switches from right to left constantly, a dancer must keep their knees as close together as possible when they switch. Think about crossing your thighs over – this will really help you.

5 ~ Great Posture

A great Irish dancer always keeps their shoulders back and chest open. Keeping your arms straight is not enough – it has to be combined with great posture. Think about having helium balloons attached to your head and an anchor hanging off your tailbone to give you a great feeling of 2-way stretch through your spine. Now imagine pinning your tummy button through to the wall behind you!

6 ~ Head Up – Eyes Up

You should always have your head up and eyes up. Looking at your audience instead of at the ground adds confidence to your performance. It’s more challenging that you think it would be! Dance is a performing art – doing the steps is not enough! Having said that, Irish Dance wasn’t created in a dance studio – it was one of the original social dances so it needs to have a party feel and interaction between friends! Over the years it’s been refined into what we now as good Irish dance technique and was then overhauled by one of the greatest showmen of all time – Michael Flatley – and you don’t see him looking down!!  We always encourage our dancers to bring the party!

Which of these tips has worked for you?  We’d love to hear how you’re getting on in the comments box below!

Irish Dance Tips 1

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

So you love Irish Dancing?

Or maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to try?

Are you serious about becoming the best you can be?

In that case, CONGRATULATIONS!  You’ve found 10 in depth Irish Dance tips that will help you achieve all your Irish Dancing goals – and more!

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Read on for Dancewise Director, Alison’s, top 10 in depth tips that you need to help you become a great Irish Dancer!

1 ~ Turn Out Your Legs

Stand in front of a mirror with your feet crossed and your whole leg turned out from your hips. If your legs are turned out properly, you should be able to see a diamond shaped space between your legs and ankles. Make sure you are turning out your legs not just your feet – this is called ‘forcing turnout’ and can cause injury which we definitely don’t want!

2 ~ Keep Your Arms Straight & In The Correct Position

This is something most people notice about Irish dancers right away. It’s a huge element that makes Irish dance unique.  Tuck your thumbs in then fold your fingers down over the top. Keeping your arms nice and straight, find the ‘dimple’ in each of your glutes (bottom cheeks – sorry we tried to be polite…!) and that’s where your arms should stay. The shape of your torso and arms will determine the exact placement of your correct arm line so make sure you invest in good Irish dance classes where your teacher can give you individual attention.

3 ~ Stretch Your Feet

This seems simple enough, but a really great Irish dancer points their toes every time they lift their feet off the ground, kick their bottom, or move through the air.  Pointing your toes should actually read ‘stretch your entire foot and leg’ – extension comes from your hips not merely your toes. Golden nugget alert – this something the majority of teachers won’t tell you!

Which of these tips have you tried?  We’d love to hear your success stories in the comments box below!