Your dancer has missed being in the studio like they missed their phone last time they lost it!
Here are the 7 things your dancer is most excited about when we go back to the studios on 17th August!
Seeing their Dancewise Family!
They’ve missed their friends! They’ve missed their teachers! They’ve missed the camaraderie, the in jokes and the easiness of together with their Dancewise Family. The excitement in your dancer is FIZZING at the idea of being back together with their dancing family!
Connecting with the music and each other
That feeling of connecting with the music live and feeling the connection with everyone around them. The feeling that art is being created. The feeling of everyone working together to achieve a common goal – bringing the music to life!
We know your dancer loves a challenge – and we know that they are pumped and ready to achieve more than they ever thought possible! The new challenges that the Dancewise Dream Team have planned for your dancer will fill them with joy and excitement – we can’t WAIT!
The enjoyment they only get in the studio
Making new memories, trying new things, and that FEELING of moving through space. The studio is a very special place and there is a certain kind of enjoyment that can only be found there. Who’s ready?!
The positive vibes!
Dancewise is famous for its passion and positivity – and we took that responsibility incredibly seriously during lockdown. But, when we see your dancer in person? That’s when the positive vibes get SUPERSIZED! And they know it!
No really! There is a unique smell that goes with a dance studio. A heady cocktail of sweaty shoes, Impulse/Lynx, rosin and love for dance! It might not be everyone’s scent of choice (!) – but we bet it’s a smell your dancer has missed!
Lots of dancers have been excelling online – we’ve seen ridiculous increases in technique, strength and artistry. But we know your dancer can’t wait to have lots of space to show us what they’ve got! That progress will grow wings when your dancer is back in the studio!
And here’s the thing that YOU will have missed
Remember asking your dancer how their school day was?
I bet YOU miss conversations about dancing where you ask them how class was and you can see in their face and hear in their voice how inspired and excited they are by everything they did and what is yet to come.
It’s not long now til your dancer gets all of these things (and more!) at our #GetStudioReady Masterclasses. We can’t wait – and neither can your dancer!
Not yet part of the Dancewise Family? We’d love to welcome you!
The Summer holidays are here and on top of all the normal challenges they bring, this year there’s social distancing and a global pandemic to contend with too!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for the best summer activities for kids that will be fun for them, and stress free for you!
Bookmark, screenshot, and save this list to your desktop because we promise it will come in handy during your summer and as you think ahead to next school year!
1. Marwell Zoo
Marwell is ready to welcome you back! This one is great because it’s a chance to get your kids outdoors! Kids love seeing the giraffes, tigers and penguins – and much more! On top of enjoying seeing all the animals, you and your kids will also get some exercise and some fresh air! And if you can’t wait til you get there, you can check out the webcams!
2. Calshot Beach
At Dancewise, we love the beach! Our favourite is Calshot where you can paddle and enjoy an ice cream! You can also enjoy great views of the ships on Southampton Water! Plus it’s the home to Calshot Activities Centre which is now open for watersports tuition and kayak hire. Have a 4 legged friend? Calshot is dog friendly and your pup can enjoy splashing in the sea or following the sniffs around the salt marsh which is home to lots of birds and other wildlife.
3. Rock Up
Need to burn off some of their energy? Ready to see them reach new heights?! Rock Up, Whiteley has amazing climbing walls, towering over 8m! Rock Up the Twister, walk up up the Stairway to Heaven or set a new record on running up the Speed Climbing wall. There’s so much more to enjoy and achieve each time you visit. Sure to leave them tired and you with a few moments quiet – you’re welcome!
4. Made for Making Family Workshops
At Dancewise, we LOVE finding other local activities that get kids’ creative side working! The whole family can join Made for Making activities at Eastleigh Museum. Try making a balloon powered vehicle or wind powered weather vane out of materials from the scrap store! Memories in the making! The best thing about these workshops? They are FREE! (And indoors – in case we’re treated to a traditional English summer!)
We hope this helps creating some fantastic summer fun super easy for you! Do you have something we should add to the list? We would love to hear from you! We are always looking for new kids activities near Hythe and Whiteley!
The best thing about this list is that it takes the pressure off YOU to create summer fun for your child. At Dancewise, we see how much our parents do for their kids. We KNOW you deserve a break! Hopefully, this list makes your job just a little bit easier!
5. Summer Stars virtual dance camp
Now we know we are a little biased, but we couldn’t leave ourselves off this list!
Our one of a kind virtual dance camp is designed to give kids massive confidence, make them feel energised and excited, plus by the end of the camp they will perform like a star! Your child will connect with other grown ups who really care about them, make new friends for life, learn awesome dance skills and get the chance to perform in our end of camp virtual showcase. Dancers at our Summer Stars virtual camp also receive a professionally edited video of their performance with their friends, some surprise treats AND VIP Priority Enrolment for September!
Your Summer Star will enjoy theatre dance sessions, street dance sessions and Surprise Box Sessions – you never know what will come out next – exciting surprise sessions for every day of the week! Summer Stars runs 10th – 14th August 2020, 9am – 1pm each day. All sessions are recorded so if any of the days aren’t convenient, your child won’t miss out! The early bird price is just £124 – book now!
We are also thinking ahead to the 2020/2021 school year and already taking enrolments! We have classes for ALL ages and levels. Need a little extra help choosing a class? Take our free quiz here to find the perfect class! We’d love to welcome you into the Dancewise Family.
Alison Jones is a dance education expert, writer and founder of Dancewise Studios. If you’re ready for your child to try a virtual dance camp or would like to enrol for September, click here for more information https://bit.ly/MissAsBlog
“I’m never going back to ballet Mummy! Ever!” sobbed the little 3 year old as they walked away from her first ballet class.
A lot of people think that your child must start dancing as soon as possible – otherwise they will be ‘too old” to master it. Others think that there’s no way their child will be able to step into a studio without them and therefore their child is “too young’.
As with many things, there is no ‘one size fit’s all” answer to when is the best age for your child to start dancing. But this handy guide will give you an outline of what to expect at some significant developmental stages.
3 year olds
Classes for 3 year olds should be primarily based on creative movement – exploring movement through play, imagination and story-telling. There should be some dance vocabulary in there too – but it should be just another set of movements that are explored, rather than anything that feels technical or structured.
3 is a very common age for children to start dance classes – there are “ballet clubs” all over the world that welcome little ones to take their first dance steps at this age. There’s a lot to be said for this logic – your 3 year old probably can run, jump, walk on tip-toes and can balance on one foot, all of which are foundational movements that a lot of dance styles draw on.
Your little one will be learning to count which will be helped enormously by the numbered repetition of movements in class and will also benefit by having the opportunity to learn alongside other little ones
On the flip side, your 3 year old may still need to have their emotional security encouraged. Separating from you for a class may be the little challenge they need to realise that they’re ok. Or it might be a bit too much too soon. Understand that whichever it is, your child is perfectly normal and just go with the flow. If they find it tricky, try again 2 more weeks and see what happens. They may soon overcome their worries because they so want to join in the fun! But if not, that’s fine too – praise them for trying something new and do something else together. They can always try again when they’re older (and I promise it won’t be “too late”!)
7 year olds
Once your child is 7, they are ready for “big school” and the same logic applies for dancing. Developmentally, your 7 year old is ready for a “proper” dance class. Your child can probably concentrate for longer, knows their right from the left and understands the concept of numbers.
Most 7 year olds LOVE to copy adults – so the format of a slightly more structured dance class will be something they really enjoy. Developmentally this is a really great time to get your child involved in new hobbies, especially physical activity, so dance can be a great option.
Your 7 year old won’t have “missed out” if they haven’t danced before. Highly technical dance training shouldn’t be given to children younger than this so classes won’t differentiate between those children that did ballet as 3 year olds and those who didn’t. There should still be a really strong element of fun and creativity in these classes, but the foundations of dance technique will be taught and your child’s dance education has really begun!
14 year olds
This is probably the age where most parents come to us saying “She’s never danced before – is she too old?”
All young teens are going to be experiencing growth spurts – and for everyone that wreaks havoc with your balance and coordination! So although your 14 year old doesn’t have the knowledge of dance techniques that some of their peers may have, they aren’t also having to “re-learn” how all those movements feel and how to make them work again!
The more mature approach your teen has to learning means that they will find it far easier to absorb and understand new concepts than younger dancers so they will often simply “catch up” what they’ve missed.
Your 14 year old seeks independence from you and will start wanting to set goals. Beginning dance education can be a great way to achieve both of these things in a really safe and constructive way.
They may also be experiencing lots of emotions they’ve not faced before – and something creative like dance can provide a beautiful way for them to express this without feeling judged or vulnerable.
You can help your teen’s social development by encouraging them to take on new challenges, and to practice discipline. Dance education gives both of these things in a way that feels exciting and fun rather than daunting or restrictive.
The other thing your teen really needs is to have a trusted adult they can share thoughts, problems or concerns with. Often this person will be you. But sometimes they need someone else on hand – and their dance teacher can be the perfect choice. Someone you both know, like and trust. Someone with lots of experience of teen problems over the years. Someone who will know when to keep your child’s worries confidential – and will also identify things you need to know!
21 (and the rest!)
Let’s not forget about you! Dance can be brilliant for adults too. Many dance studios offer adult classes so you can be with other grown up beginners and you won’t have to dance with the 7 year olds! In short – you’re NEVER too old to start your dance journey!
Whatever happened to that little girl who was so upset after her first ballet class? I’m happy to say, she had a lovely childhood, and tried lots of other activities. At the age of 11, she stepped back into a ballet studio and that was the start of a lifelong love affair with dance. That little girl has taught thousands of other people to dance and now writes on the subject. I am that little girl. I guess for me, 3 was not the best age to start ballet! But turns out, 11 was just PERFECT!
Alison Jones is a dance education expert, writer and founder of Dancewise Studios. Book a free, high quality online dance class for your child here.
They DON’T need you to be an amazing homeschool teacher!
They DON’T need a typical school day replicated in your lounge!
And they DEFINITELY don’t need you to be ALL the things.
The top 3 things your child needs right now are straight-forward and achievable for most people.
1 – Connection
Connection with their friends, connection with their teachers, connection with their extended family, connection with other grown ups who care…..and these things can all be achieved through an app such as Zoom. Is it the same as interacting in person? No. Will it keep them feeling connected? Yes!
2 – Routine
This doesn’t need to be perfect! Just getting up and dressed at about the same time each day and eating meals at roughly the same time is enough. You might notice your child does better with their school work in the morning or the afternoon….go with it! If there’s a time that it’s easier, gently work to that in their routine.
3 – Normality
As much as you reasonably can. There is something very reassuring about “normal” in a time when the world is anything but. Like putting on a comfy cardi! If your child has hobbies that are continuing online, the normality of keeping these going will pay dividends. (And take the heat off you for an hour or so!) Lots of children’s’ activities have created online classes to keep providing for the families they love. Check in with your child’s dance school, martial arts dojo, music teacher….you’ll be surprised at how many now offer virtual classes and how beneficial these can be. They also have the bonus of giving your child all three of the things they need right now — connection, routine and normality.
To not have to conform? To do what’s in their heart?
Here at Dancewise, we UNDERSTAND how important that is!
Yes, we teach excellent technique.
Yes, we teach students how to access the incredible performance skills they have within them.
But we also understand the VALUE that needs to be placed on a student dancing how THEY want to.Putting something together that THEY think is good.Expressing themselves through THEIR choice of music and steps.
We’re the experts in our field.
But we wouldn’t be arrogant enough to think we know it all – we learn SO MUCH from seeing the students just “doing them”.
It’s truly heartwarming.
And they always come up with something beautiful and unexpected.
With this in mind, we wanted to give you guys a heads up to save the date for Choreo 2018!
14th October, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Hanger Farm Arts Centre
Whether you haven’t yet joined the #dancewisefamily, or if you’ve been part of the fam for years, come along and feel the buzz around this incredibly beautiful event.
Want to enter?Click here and just fill in the form
Or for someone to give them a totally enriching year full of beautiful experiences? AND to teach them to dance!
We’re so excited to welcome you to Dancewise – and we have some beautiful experiences lined up for your child. We can’t WAIT to share them with you and your family!
We believe in teaching children to love dance first. THEN teaching them an authentic range of beautiful techniques and then MOST IMPORTANTLY, teaching them how to unpackage those techniques into their foundational elements.
This enables them to take what they’ve learned in class and then use it to be able to create for themselves. What a gift.
We even have a very special event where students get to do exactly that – create, play, experiment, unpackage what they’ve been taught in class and have the chance to show who they really are in their souls! Look out for Choreo 2018!
Next up is our Halloween Spooktacular – if you’ve never experienced a Dancewise Halloween before, you need to feel the magic, be part of the connection and enjoy a whole week of the most spooktacular classes on the planet! Halloween Spooktacular week gives children who are a little shy a fantastic excuse to literally pretend to be someone else for the day! And year in, year out, we see their confidence grow and grow. Sometimes the right environment, the right people and a silly mask or costume is all a child needs to give them a loving nudge in the right direction!
And NEW for this year, we have a beautiful Christmas event – our brand new Crimble Mingle. This family-orientated event encourages students of all ages, and their families, to mingle, dance, play, explore, build connections together and celebrate the festive season with their Dancewise family. Just gorgeous!
Due to demand, these special events are only open to enrolled students – and our classes fill fast – here are the latest updates on classes that are either sold out, or only a few spots remaining:
Starchaser Street – SOLD OUT
Singing – SOLD OUT
Starchaser Ballet – 1 spot left
Starchaser Irish – 1 spot left
Pilates – 1 spot left
Dreamcatcher Ballet – 3 spots left
Stargazer Boys – 3 spots left
Dreamchaser Modern – 3 spots left
Starcatcher Acro – 3 spots left
As you can see, our classes fill up really quickly – so sign your child up now & hold their spot.
You can always change your child’s classes if you’d like to. Join us!
Here at Dancewise Studios we are devoted to changing lives through passion and positivity.
We are known for our ability to take children who are nervous, or shy, or maybe don’t thrive in a traditional learning environment and turn them into incredible, confident, positive people who are also amazing performers!
We believe in everyone being valued equally and no-one being “the star”.
We put more emphasis on everyone having an amazing time than most studios do – everyone having a passionate and positive experience is our highest priority.
We’re not about everyone standing in lines – we’re about finding a million different ways to practice something so that the students get to perfect steps without even realising that’s what they’re doing.
If you’re a parent who really values the quality of the experience, the quality of the environment that students spend their time in and the quality of the tuition,we’re the studio for you.
We would so love to be able to nurture your child, get to know them and what they’re passionate about exploring in their Dancewise journey.
Our classes start for the 2018/19 season on 25th August 2018.They fill up quickly so sign your child up now & hold their spot.
You can always change your child’s classes if you’d like to.
Are you looking for a studio
• that does a major show EVERY YEAR?
• where EVERYONE is involved in the show, regardless of their ability?
• where the programme of training is so beautifully evolved that EVERY student is given the confidence throughout the year so even the shyest student takes part?
• where the support backstage is such that no student has EVER backed out of going onstage at the last minute?
You’ve found us!
We’re the studio that where everyone participating in our show is what we’re ALL about…..and you might have missed it this year.
But don’t worry, it’s all good!
You can be the FIRST to see it on the BIG SCREEN at our premiere of
this years show DVD!
Just put the 2nd September 2018 in your diary now and watch this space for more info!
Having checked the weather forecast, as well as the decisions of schools and other businesses, we’ve decided it’s best if we remain closed in ALL LOCATIONS until at least Saturday morning.
If you have a free trial class booked for any of our classes, we’ll get in touch as soon as we are able to get back into the office and reschedule with you. Unless it doesn’t work for you, we can just postpone your free trial until next week.
We’ve just been notified that Meadowside are closed with immediate effect, until at least Saturday morning.
Therefore we will be unable to run any of the following classes tomorrow:
Intro to Street (4:30pm)
Level 1 Street (5:15pm)
Teen adult tap level 1/2 (6:15pm)
If you have a free trial class booked for any of these sessions, we’ll get in touch as soon as we are able to get back into the office and reschedule with you. Unless it doesn’t work for you, we can just postpone your free trial until next week.
With all the talk of severe weather conditions heading our way over the coming weeks, we wanted to ensure everyone is aware of MISS A’S BLOG on our website and our student Facebook page – https://m.facebook.com/groups/160151744580668?tsid=0.11167022225832657&source=result
This is where we will post updates in the event that any classes need to be cancelled due to severe weather.
Whether a class can go ahead is ultimately the decision of the venue where the class takes place.
If a venue decides to close their site for Health & Safety reasons we will not be permitted by them to run our classes.
However, even if a site is open, we have to ensure our Class Instructor can get there safely and some of them have quite long distances to travel to classes.
In the event of severe weather, we will notify any class changes on our Facebook group and on MISS A’S BLOG.
If you’ve taken one of my classes before you will have heard me say, “imagine the floor is like a bouncy castle or a big marshmallow!” Whether you’re performing a standing phrase or one on the floor, the more you can relax into the movement and release into the floor the more the movement will just flow!
And then you can really begin to put your own stamp on it!
So get rid of the unnecessary tension and just let go!
As we spread the Contemporary Dance love with our TWO new Contemporary courses starting this week in Whiteley, keep your eyes peeled for some helpful hints and tips that will boost your Contemporary dance technique!
“Dancing makes me a lot happier and is my hobby away from school. I’m always really excited to come to dancing. It just makes me happy and I don’t think about anything else, I just think about dance.
If I hadn’t started classes at Dancewise I definitely wouldn’t be as confident as I am today. I’ve made friends for life and everyone just welcomed me in. Dancing is my own little bubble, it just makes me happier and more confident. If something bad happens I use it in my dance – if Im angry about something I can take it out on the floor.
The more classes I come to the more confident I feel.
I think my greatest moment was when I did my first performance when I was 5, I was really scared before I went on but I did it and then felt really proud of myself.
Since being at Dancewise I’ve had some amazing opportunities including the chance to work with Fran Dunne who has danced the lead in Lord of the Dance and got lots of tips from her.
“If you are thinking about your child starting dancing I would definitely say sign them up. They will just have a really enjoyable time. Have them try something different, thats what I did, step out of your comfort zone – that’s where the best things in life are. They’ll be happy with themselves and have had a really good time and they’ll want to keep irish dancing. “
Zoe also said before she spend time with the Dancewise family, she didn’t even want to set foot on a stage – the second photo is her at Southampton Airport having danced for the inaugural flight in from Ireland!
What lovely comments from one of our Dancewise Mums
“….Dancewise is no ordinary dance school they are also an extended family with a big heart and care so much for their students. The teaching styles are superb offering authentic street. Its great that the students are given the opportunity to choreograph some of the routines and their input is valued. They always feel listened to, supported and helped by the teachers to become the great people they are.”
Jan & Clive Foster were told their little baby, Alison, would never walk, after she suffered brain bruising at birth in October 1981. 35 years on and Alison spends her time teaching dance to thousands of people at branches of Dancewise Studios across the South.
Thanks to her parents, who spent hours doing physio at home with her, Alison did learn to walk against all the odds. She then learnt to dance, to the amazement of her doctors, before creating Dancewise in 2005 to “change lives through passion and positivity”.
Dancewise has now expanded with branches in Whiteley, Abshot, Fair Oak and at Pixies Day Nursery in Locks Heath as well as in it’s flagship studios in Hythe. Alison says “me and my team are committed to welcoming everyone to the Dancewise Family, and to supporting them in order to make their dancing dreams come true.”
Dancewise offers classes for kids, teens and adults in Authentic Street Dance, Irish, Ballet, Tap, Modern, Acro, Contemporary, Pilates and Singing and also offers a unique boys only training programme. If you think you know someone who would benefit from being part of the Dancewise fam, you can book a free class by clinking on the BOOK NOW button or by calling 023 8001 9845.
So after lots of hard work, raising funds, and carrying the flooring upstairs, we’re delighted to announce that sprung flooring is now installed in studio 1! Just the tap vinyl to go down tomorrow and this ones ready to roll! Then we’re moving straight on to fit studio 2 on Wednesday!
Exciting times! Our Dancewise family deserves great flooring to dance on!
And just realised how poignant it is……the sprung flooring goes in at Dancewise HQ 11 years to the day after we opened!
Interested? You need to be doing at least 3 hours of training per week at Dancewise so you are of a high technical standard yourself then just email firstname.lastname@example.org with “TA 2016/17” in the subject line.
Just write why you’d like to be a TA for the coming year AND why you’d be a great choice. Really sell yourself!
We think this year we’ll have more applications than classes that need TAs so make sure you get your email in soon!
Read on for my final set of choreo tips that will help ANYONE produce great quality choreography quickly, effortlessly and with amazing results!
Change the world! No really! Go at your choreo thinking really big! My most recent piece of choreo aims to make a powerful statement about our studios ethos on bullying. It doesn’t aim to fill 4 minutes of music and maybe win a competition or two. All it Takes 2008 was created to make dance more accessible to guys in our region. We now have a ridiculously high percentage of male dancers in our studio. We didn’t choreograph it to win awards (although it did that too!). Think big! You may have to compromise at some point in the process, but begin with the thought of changing the world! Even if you don’t succeed that’s fine – your choreo will be a million times better for aiming high!
Dance more think less. This should be a mantra for life, not just choreography! Students (and teachers) I’ve worked with over the years who consistently produce interesting, musical choreography (and freestyles/improv) really get this. Put on your music. Just dance. The end. If something great comes out of your feet, great – that goes in your choreo. If not, put on your music, just dance……..and so on! Just keep dancing more, thinking less, until you have enough great stuff to put together to create your piece. (Now you see why I asked you to pick music you love, cos you’ll be hearing it a LOT!)
Students always ask how long a dance can be. We can give you guidelines of course but the only real answer is “short enough that it’s still entertaining”. If your piece is longer than three minutes try using the Golden Mean. Create a major contrast 60 to 70 percent through your choreo and just see the effect it has on your audience!
Consider your costume. It shouldn’t matter. But it does. Dance is a visual art form so we can’t help but view the whole package. Costume can enhance your choreo in so many ways – maybe the colours highlight the emotions or characters in a piece. (Think about the two teams in All it Takes 2015 – would the division of who was on which team be as clear for the audience if the sleeves of the costumes hadn’t been different colours?) Maybe the costume will affect the movements you create – think about the phantoms! The costume covered their eyes to aid them moving in a ‘sightless’ way. Even if your piece doesn’t have a strong concept, you’ll perform better if you wear something you feel like a million bucks in. Try filming yourself performing your choreo first in your pyjamas, then your dance kit, then your costume/clothes you love if you don’t believe it’ll make a difference to how well you dance!
Feeling inspired? Tomorrow we’re holding Dancewise Studios annual choreography competition at Hanger Farm in Totton. It’s not too late to enter! Email us or call 023 8001 9845 for more info or to enter.
Read on for my second set of choreo tips that will help ANYONE produce great quality choreography quickly, effortlessly and with amazing results!
Use the space! Make sure you use all of the space on the stage. Particularly strong points are centre stage (downstage centre, dead centre and upstage centre) and the four corners (downstage left, upstage left, downstage right, upstage right). So if you have special moments in your dance, or for a starting or finishing position, make sure you do it on one of these hotspots. It will be way more effective (your audience won’t know why it hits them harder but it will!! Ninja skills!). I hate to say it, but if you plan to die in your piece (!) do it upstage centre – this is known as the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ position – THE most powerful space to die onstage. Ever! If you’re working in a duet, trio or group, make sure you have lots of transitions and formation changes to keep changing it up for your audience. This will keep them interested.
Take a chance! Got stuck? Don’t be! Try chance choreography. This method was devised by Merce Cunningham, one of the most influential choreographers and teachers of the 20th century. It uses chance to help generate the choreography which means you often come up with stuff that’s much more exciting and unexpected than your regular choreo. There are lots of ways to do this but for example, try allocating movements/movement concepts/spatial concepts to the six numbers on a dice then roll the dice to build sequences. Interested? click here
Keep. Making. Decisions. Just keep going! Survival specialist Bear Grylls says just keep making decisions. And the same is true for choreography. Don’t second guess it, don’t review, don’t over-analyse – just keep making decisions until you finish your piece. THEN if you want to review and improve it, go for it but ONLY once the piece is finished. Otherwise you may never get past the first phrase. I always say “run it up the flagpole, see if anyone salutes!”. In other words, have a bash, see what happens, if it’s not effective then by all means change it, but don’t pursue perfection until you have something to perfect. Done is better than perfect!
Check back soon for the next round of tips!
Feeling inspired? This coming Saturday we’re holding Dancewise Studios annual choreography competition at Hanger Farm in Totton. It’s not too late to enter! Email us or call 023 8001 9845 for more info or to enter.
Read on for how ANYONE can produce great quality choreography quickly, effortlessly and with amazing results!
Do something that inspires you! If you love a piece of music, have a favourite dance style, love a particular costume, want to explore working with a certain prop………DO THAT! It sounds obvious but so many people get tied up in what other people will think – your choreo is your chance to do what YOU want – so do it! (And if you find you keep getting ‘stuck’ on your choreo, try changing music/style/prop etc and I guarantee it’ll start to flow.
Have a hook! No I don’t mean instead of a hand – I mean try and do something with a concept, story or theme. Being brutally honest, if you try and do just great choreo for the sake of it, you’re going to have to REALLY go some to be remembered. Think about the dances you remember from last years show – for me, Mr Ts Lockerdile routine and Miss A’s Irish dancing liquorice allsorts come to mind. But why? Because they had a hook, a concept, something that made them more than a locking routine or an Irish dance. This made them memorable.
Choose things you/your dancers can do well. No-one cares if you can ‘nearly walkover’ – just use stuff you know you can do brilliantly. Do it musically, do it with style, do it with your own flava but simple done well will ALWAYS look better than something complex that you almost pull off.
Check back soon for the next round of tips!
Feeling inspired? This coming Saturday we’re holding Dancewise Studios annual choreography competition at Hanger Farm in Totton. It’s not too late to enter! Email email@example.com
or call 023 8001 9845 for more info or to enter.
You’re brand new to the street dance world and want to start with some legit knowledge
You’re already involved in street dance and want to push yourself to get deeper understanding of the dance, the music and the culture
You’re a teacher who knows they don’t have the knowledge they need to teach street dance and are ready to do something to improve your understanding
Whichever of these is you, if you’re serious about really improving your street dance and getting a much deeper understanding of street dance culture, you’ll love what’s coming next!
You know that amazing feeling you get when you find some super dope knowledge online? Well I’ve found FIVE awesome YouTube videos to help you massively increase your street dance knowledge! You’re welcome!
DISCLAIMER: These videos are the real deal so do feature some profanity, please do not watch if you find this offensive.
Still with me? Great! I’m about to help you take your street dance knowledge to the next level! Ready? Let’s go!
Best for understanding street dance culture – The Freshest Kids
Best for learning old school hip hop foundations and variations
Best for maximum knowledge bombs in a short clip
Best ambassador for all dance styles
Best for popting knowledge
I hope you enjoyed the videos and found them useful. I loved bringing them together for you and got a buzz from watching some old stuff again and some new stuff for the first time. If you enjoyed this post, why not share it with your friends. Or better still, post a clip showing your awesome street dance skills in action! Want to learn more about authentic street dance in person? Click here for your Free class!
This seems to be a hot topic at the moment! On the face of it, we have pretty strong feelings on this one it at Dancewise HQ – but it’s come up so often in the last few weeks (everything from parents chatting in the lobby to students arguing the for and against in debate teams at school) that we thought it would be worth going into in more depth.
Those for might argue that when they shout at a student they see an instant improvement in the behaviour. I think this is probably true – but for me the more interesting part is why the behaviour improves. Isn’t this similar to a bully in the playground who achieves what they want through intimidation and fear?
Those in favour might also say that shouting establishes a sense of authority and hierarchy within the studio or classroom. But if a teacher is confident, charismatic and enthusiastic about their subject, you’ll get short term buy-in from your students. From there if you show you genuinely care about your students and their progress, show a real interest in them and build rapport with them you might just find that they want to behave well for you.
But dance is a discipline! What about discipline?! I think that if your rules are concise, clear and few in number (we only have 3 rules and even our 4 year olds can recite them) your students will follow them for the most part because they a) know what the expectations are, b) they respond brilliantly to having clear boundaries and c) they want to behave for you because they like you and enjoy the bond you have. This isn’t to say we should be overly-familiar with our students – to maintain a great student-teacher relationship we say that we should be friendly with our students, not friends with them.
What about getting great results? Old school dance teachers (notably those with their own reality show – pyramid, anyone?) are famous for getting high standards from their students. Doesn’t the end justify the means? Well I believe you can achieve results that are just as good, if not better through the use of rapport and mutual respect. (I wonder if the ‘shouty’ teachers have ever stopped to consider that if they didn’t have students they couldn’t be teachers?!) The respect definitely needs to go both ways. Students perform better when they are happy, relaxed and feel free to make mistakes. And never mind learning your subject, won’t this make for better people who go out into the world living the values of acceptance, passion and positivity? Now that is surely a case for the ends justifying the means!
I also wonder what kind of students ‘shouty’ teachers are working with! Touch wood, we’ve never, in our nearly 40 years combined teaching experience, never come across an unteachable student. We always say that there are no such thing as bad kids, only bad behaviour and that there are no such things as bad classes, only bad teachers. So maybe the “shouty ones”, need to look within themselves for the teaching skills that they can improve and develop rather than taking the easy route of attempting to manage behaviour through fear.
So, having said all that, are there any circumstances where I feel justified in shouting at a student?
When I see a student behaving in a way where they could hurt themselves or someone else, I will occasionally raise my voice to cause an immediate stop to the behaviour.
Note: this only works because I virtually never raise my voice. If I shouted all the time it would go in one ear and out the other. But because of the shock value of “wow Miss A just shouted” students tend to stop in their tracks.
Second note: this is always followed with a calm, caring “do you understand why I shouted at you?” so that the student a) understands why the behaviour wasn’t unacceptable and b) so they know that the shout came from a position of love and concern for their well-being, not some power-trip, not because of lack of control and not because we have no other way of communicating.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your comments below!
Would you or your child benefit from being taught the Dancewise way? Contact us for a free trial to give us chance to show you!
Are you a teacher that would like to learn the ninja communication skills that make shouting unnecessary? Contact us about the exciting training opportunities we’re planning to make ‘shouty teachers’ a thing of the past!
Or maybe you are a teacher that buys into the Dancewise style of teaching and think you might like to work with us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and availability.
We hope you all enjoyed taking advantage of the amazing Groupon deal we’ve been running! Sadly it has now expired – but keep checking our Facebook page and the local press for other exciting deals coming soon!
Learn foundations, variations and choreography in Popping, Locking, Breaking, Hip-hop & house
Learn to freestyle authentically by the end of day 1 – with no fear?!
Make new friends who love authentic street dance?
Learn from the top 5% of Street Dance teachers in the UK?
Take masterclasses with UK experts who choreograph music videos, sell out arena tours and study with street dance pioneers?
A complete beginner to dance?
A dancer experienced in other dance styles but completely new to street dance?
An experienced advanced street dancer?
A dance teacher that would like to learn more about authentic street dance?
Then this course is perfect for YOU!
4 Day Street Dance Intensive – 12th – 15th August 2015
Only £169 and ALREADY 50% SOLD OUT!
Places for our popular Street Dance Intensive are strictly limited to ensure quality tuition so don’t miss out!
How do I book?
New customers can book online by clicking here https://app.jackrabbitclass.com/reg.asp?id=509954 – use the simple online form and then enrol yourself in the Street Dance Intensive. One of our friendly team will then contact you to process your payment and finalise your booking.
Existing customer? You can simply book on to the event on your customer portal.
Or we LOVE to chat to you so alternatively simply call our lovely office peeps on 023 8001 9845 and we’ll take your booking and payment over the phone!
What if I find out I can’t make it?
We’ll refund you in full as long as it’s more than 7 days prior to the start of the intensive!
PS This event is always extremely popular and we expect to sell out EARLY so if you’re serious about taking your dance to the next level BOOK NOW!
Why not book a place at our popular Fairytale Dance Camps?
Students will love:
Doing not 1, not 2 but 3 Dance Classes!
Creating 2 themed craft projects
Playing party games
Taking home an exclusive special free gift!
Parents will love:
Knowing their child is safe and happy
Having the gift of time to themselves!
Knowing that their child is learning, growing, socialising and getting the most out of their Summer holidays!
Fairytale Camp details:
Monday 3rd August 10am – 1pm Cinderella £27.99
Monday 10th August 10am – 1pm Frozen Fever £27.99
But book before 28th February and GET BOTH DANCE CAMPS FOR JUST £39.99! A SAVING OF £15.99 – A MASSIVE 29% SAVING!
3 hours of fun, giggles, dance and themed crafts at Dancewise Studios, Hythe!
Places for the each Fairytale Dance Camp will be strictly limited to ensure quality tuition so don’t miss out on the chance to take advantage of your priority booking opportunity and £15.99 discount!
How do I book?
New customers can book online by clicking here https://app.jackrabbitclass.com/reg.asp?id=509954 – use the simple online form and then enrol yourself in the camp(s) you’d like to do. One of our friendly team will then contact you to process your payment and finalise your booking.
Existing customer? You can simply book on to the event on your customer portal.
Or we LOVE to chat to you so alternatively simply call our lovely office peeps on 023 8001 9845 and we’ll take your booking and payment over the phone!
Last years Frozen Fairytale Dance Camp sold out and we expect these will sell out too!
Make sure you don’t miss out – book today to reserve your place and claim your 29% discount!
What if I find out I can’t make it?
We’ll refund you in full as long as it’s more than 7 days prior to the fairytale dance camp date!
Just to let you know that Dancewise Studios Limited will be unable to process cheque payments after 1st December 2014.
We are still able to take payment in the following ways:
• by card payment over the telephone
• by cash payment in the office
• by card payment in the office
• by online by faster payment through your bank
We are also in the process of setting up the facility for direct debit which we hope to be able to launch in the near future.
11th October Choreography competition including Macmillan coffee fundraiser
2nd November Dancewise Dance rehearsal
December, exact date tbc Exam session
5th December Dancewise dancing at Wembley Stadium
6th December Performance at Fawley Christmas Fayre
20th December Last day of classes before Christmas
3rd January First day of classes for 2015!
16th February Mini dance camp for 3 – 6 year olds
20th February Andy Instone Street Dance Workshop 7 years to adult
May, exact date tbc Dancewise dance exchange to Ibiza
Summer, exact date tbc Summer performances
3rd July Show rehearsal 1 (compulsory)
17th July Show rehearsal 2 (compulsory)
23rd July Last day of classes before summer break
24th July Final preparations for the show at the studio – any help gratefully received!
25th – 26th July Technical Rehearsal and show(s)
27th July Dancewise office closed
28th July Dancewise office re-opens
30th July Ballet & Contemporary Workshop 7 years to adult
31st July Irish & Tap Workshop 7 years to adult
3rd August Fairy Tale Dance Camp for 3 – 6 years
10th August Fairy Tale Dance Camp for 3 – 6 years
12th – 15th August Street Dance Intensive (Weds to Sat incl)
16th – 23rd August Dancewise office closed
24th August First day of classes of 2015/16 – our 11th season!
With the exception of Christmas, New Year and the above August closed dates, Dancewise classes will run as normal on all bank holidays. The office will also be open on bank holidays for the duration of timetabled classes.
As a dancer our body is our tool – and if our body isn’t in good nick, it’s not going to do the cool things we want it to! We’ve got to keep our dancing body’s healthy! So here’s Miss A’s run down on how to keep your dancer’s body firing on all cylinders!
Hydration, hydration, hydration – check out what to drink, how much & how often!
Give your body the right fuel – super tasty treat recipes that will give your body everything it needs!
Catch some zzzzs – find out why sleep is so important and what happens to your dancing if you don’t get enough of it!
Warm up and cool down properly – every time! Dancewise dancers are trained to know how to warm up & cool down properly but we’ve put together some handy tips to keep it fresh in your head!
Injury prevention – If you’ve followed steps 1 – 4 you’re already minimising your risk of injury so well done! We all know that prevention is better than cure so check out our cheat sheet to injury prevention!
Check back soon to get the lowdown on Step 1 – Hydration!
Here it is, a major date in the Dancewise Studios diary. The opportunity that has the potential to change your life. The Dancewise Studios Irish Dance Troupe auditions.
If you want to be part of an elite team, to push yourself and develop your dancing and take it to the next level then the Troupe could be for you.
Full information about the auditions and the troupe are below. If you are interested in attending the audition on 13th September from 2:30pm, please read the information below and then email us to book your audition.
Here’s a reminder of our class dates together with all the other EXCITING dates you need this summer! We still have a few VERY LIMITED places available on our Fairy Tale Dance Camps and Street Intensive but we do expect to sell out so call 023 8001 9845 if you don’t want to miss out! And if you’re an Irish dancer or Street dancer check out the AUDITION DATES to be part of the elite Dancewise Street Crew and NEW Irish Dance Troupe!
Dates for your diary!
Drama cancelled – make up class to be advised
Dancewise students performing at Applemore college – arrive at 2pm for performance at 2:30pm
28th July – 2nd August
Last week of classes before short summer break
Thom’s classes cancelled – to be made up on 23rd August. Alison’s classes running as normal.
Fairy Tale Dance Camp – FROZEN
Fairy Tale Dance Camp – TINKERBELL & THE PIRATE FAIRY
12th – 15th August
Street Dance Intensive – FEATURING JP OMARI AND GRAFFITTI WORKSHOP
Auditions for Dancewise Street Crew!
Fairy Tale Dance Camp – MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
Classes back to normal but running on EXCITING NEW timetable! Watch this space for details!
Auditions for Dancewise Irish Dance Troupe
Fresh back from seeing the opening night of The Lion King at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton!
The show chronicles the life of a pride of Lions focussing on the relationship between Mufasa – the king – and his son Simba. We see Simba go on an epic journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Pridelands – a stirring and timeless story which also tells of his friendship with Nala, his evil Uncle Scar, the hilarious Timon & Pumba and how those we love never really leave us.
The opening number – The Circle of Life – is hands down the best opening to a show that I have ever seen. The costumes throughout are breathtakingly good and they enable you to believe in the performers as animals from the moment you first see them. The set is extremely effective even though it’s often simple.
There were several tear-jerking moments as well as a lot of laugh-out-loud funny ones. The audience was behind the cast the whole way and I’ve never had been part of a theatrical atmosphere like it.
I couldn’t really name a star of the show – as in any truly great production the show was the star. If there was a weak link I’d say the adult Simba although he was still excellent but playing alongside outstandingly strong talent.
The lighting added to the different moods that were created – especially for They Live in You – but was also used in place of set at times to show different locations. The live musicians were fantastic, some of whom were visible throughout as they were playing in the boxes.
To sum up – the best show I have ever seen – get tickets now!
If you’d like more information on learning to sing, act or dance, contact us via the contact form or call 023 8001 9845.
Everyone give me a woop woop if you love the internet! The t’interweb! The information superhighway!
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!
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 email@example.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!
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!
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!
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!
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!