Archive for October, 2010

High Five Stuff

Friday, October 8th, 2010
Ready soon….Show DVDs are now being produced so we hope they’ll be ready for you soon!   

Show Handbook in Production! I’m putting together a show handbook as a guide for what to expect, what you need to do and what you can expect of us in the run up to the annual show.  Th idea is that it will become a one-stop shop for helping you through the show – especially if it’s your first one.  If you have any suggestions for what should be included, what would have been useful to know, what you know now you’ve done a show that would have been useful to know before etc, then please let me know

Show Focus Group  

 I’d also like to run a show focus group – a get together to chat about what worked well, what went wrong and how we can make sure Dancewise shows keep getting better and better.  This would be a one-off, not an ongoing commitment (unless you want it to be!).  I’d love to be able to chat things over with anyone who was involved in the show – as a parent, audience member, senior student, member of staff, backstage crew or front of house staff… me to get involved!

Adult Fees Options!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Check out the new adult rec options!

The succesful pay as you go system will continue:

£5.50 per 3/4 hour class           £6 per hour class


But by popular demand, we now also have 4 weekly option to get some of the benefits of paying in advance but more flexibility:              


£5 per 3/4 hour class                £5.50 per hour class

The cheapest option is still paying termly in advance.
Ask Jan or your teacher for more information.

Choreography Guide

Friday, October 8th, 2010

With this year’s choreography competition only round the corner, here is your essential guide for making your dance a winner!

Choreography Competition – Sunday 7th November, 2.00 pm, Manor School

This years adjudicator has performed in Oklahoma (National Tour) and with the Royal Ballet – don’t miss out on your chance to  participate!

Choreography Guide – join our mailing list for a downloadable copy 


The music you choose to choreograph to is really important.  It needs to suit the type of dance you would like to do.

Classical Ballet – must use classical musical so no drum beat, chanting/singing or electronic sound.  Try to avoid music from the big classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty etc.  Try composers such as Rachmaninov, Debussy, Bach, Beethoven, Elgar, Holst, Maher and Mozart.

Tap/Jazz/Modern/Street Dance – pop songs, electronic/synthesiser music, percussive music, movie or TV themes, songs from musicals, children’s songs, virtually anything!  Be careful with pop songs, which can be repetitive.  It can be good to use music with a change of rhythm or tempo so that you don’t end up doing the same movements all the way through.

Lyrical – love songs, slow tempo modern music, pan pipes, instrumentals etc.  If your music has words, decide whether you are going to dance the story of the song or ignore it and just dance to the tune.  You can use a variety of both ballet and modern steps.  Lyrical is usually danced barefoot.

Contemporary – anything a bit quirky or unusual – drums, chanting, music with periods of silence etc.  Contemporary dance quite often uses ‘motifs’ which are repeated during the dance with different variations.

Character Ballet – classical music, children’s songs, Disney – really anything except pop music.  The music needs to help create your character or the story you are telling.  You can be either a person or a creature (cat, butterfly, bird etc).  Your steps should be based on ballet steps but you can adapt them to suit your character e.g. flexing you feet.

Cutting your music

If a dance is too long, it can become really boring, even if the choreography is good so here are some time guidelines to help.

Junior Solo – 1 min 30 secs                                Duets – 2 mins                      Trios/Quartets – 2 mins     

Senior Solo – up to 2 mins                                 Groups 2 – 5 mins depending on size of group

Listen carefully to your music and pick out the interesting bits – try to cut out repeats and long introductions.  For modern/lyrical, is acceptable to fade the music out at the end.  If you get stuck, ask me for help.


 Listening to your music and improvisation

Listen to your piece of music over and over again until you know it really well and know all of the special moments and highlights in it.  Then start to improvise – dance around until you get a good feel for the sort of steps that go really well with it.

Choosing steps

Choose steps that your dancers can perform well, fit the rhythm of the music, link together well and if possible, that are original and interesting.

Floor Pattern

When you are choreographing, make sure that you use every part of the stage at some point.  Check for hotspots and coldspots.  It is a good idea to start and end on a hotspot.  If there are any dramatic moments in your dance, these should also be on a hotspot.

You may also want to think about costumes, props, scenery, special effects etc for your project.

Dancewise Choreography Competition

The 2010 competition will take place on Sunday 7th November at Manor School.   The winner will be invited to perform their choreography at the 2011 show at The Nuffield in July 2010.  And don’t forget the improvisation section – turn up on the day and dance!  The competition will be open to all registered Dancewise students.  Entry forms are available from Miss Alison or Jan.

Days Of Dance 2010 Review

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Wow – this year Days of Dance was amazing!  You’ve told us that you particularly enjoyed Street, Strictyl Come Dancewise and Comtemporary Rocks – and that you’d like more of the same next year!  If you have any classes you’d like us to include as part of DOD 2011, email Miss Alison

The party was also great fun (thank you Kirsten and Gemma)

DOD 2010 was the biggest and the best so far – what will 2011 hold?!

Provisional dates: 1st – 3rd August 2011 (to be confirmed)

Pro Street Class Starting!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

We are looking at starting a professional level street class in addition to the popular adult class.  If you are interested, please email by 25th October aswe are hoping to start the class on Wednesday 4th November.  Please note – this class will be pay in advance as per the other pro classes at Dancewise.


Friday, October 8th, 2010

We have a very exciting announcement to make – the 2011 show will take place at a professional theatre – The Nuffield Theatre, Southampton!
This venue will give us scope for a much more exciting production and it has better facilities backstage for the dancers and front of house for the audience!  Show forms and handbooks will come out in the New Year so get signed up early as you won’t want to miss out on this amazing experience.
Dress Rehearsal – Sunday 19th June
Dress Rehearsal – Sunday 26th June
Technical Rehearsal (at the Theatre) – Sunday 10th July
Early Evening Performance – Sunday 10th July
All information correct at time of writing

All of these dates are compulsory, without exception. We do need more volunteers than ever as Dancewise grows and so that you can see which area you can help in, we will be including a volunteer slip with the permission slip.

Dancewise shows give students the chance to show off all they have learnt during the year. We also take this opportunity to present awards to students who have achieved an outstanding amount – think West End show meets The Oscars! We pride ourselves on our shows being of an exceptionally high standard and are a brilliant night’s entertainment with some dazzling performances as well as the little ones having the chance to try their hand at performing with the inevitable “aah factor!!” Check out our show reviews for more info!

Diary Dates

Friday, October 8th, 2010

13th October – Open evening

Have a one to one with Miss A to chat about anything you’d like to – careers, classes, qualifications, exams, festival, any concerns or queries you may have.  Just ask Jan to book a slot.

25th October – 29th October – Half Term

7thNovember – Choreography Competition

Choreograph any style you like, any music for just yourself, just a friend or a duet, trio or even a group!  New section for this year – improvisation!  So if you’d like to take part but don’t have time to choreograph something, enter the impro section.  Miss Sarah W will be presenting a prize for the winner of this section.  As always, the overall winner will be presented with the beautiful choreography cup, donated by Lorraine and Alan McElevey and will also get to perform their choreography in the 2011 show.  We are also hoping to welcome Kate Bickford to talk to us about some dance-inspired products that I’m sure would appeal to some of our older students – heat lotion for aching muscles and MSM gel for soft tissue injuries….I can’t wait!

15th November – 19th November  – Free class week 

See separate blog for details!

28th November – Mock gradings for Irish and Mock exams for Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern

18th December – Students Christmas Party and and end of term

Free Class Week!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

A weeks worth of free classes – treat yourself!

15th  November – 19th November inclusive

Special offer – for current Dancewise Students only!  Come along and try any classes you don’t already do, free of charge, for a whole week!  Try something different, have fun, make new friends and maybe discover a hidden talent!

Simply turn up at any class you fancy!  If you’d like guidance to help you pick the right level for you, just ask Jan or Miss Alison.

October/November news

Friday, October 8th, 2010

So, autumn is here, the summer seems like a distant memory – but there are loads of exciting things going on at Dancewise this term!

There are a few changes to the timetable so do just check that your classes haven’t changed.

I’ll post my ‘hints and tips’ article about choreography and younger readers can check out the e-newsletter for a wordsearch featuring some of the best loved ballets of all time!

There’s also info about show DVDs and BREAKING NEWS – DATES AND VENUE FOR SHOW 2011! The show theme will be announced after February half term.

Check out the performance team post for news about some really exciting opportunities – starting after half term.

If you’d like to get in touch with comments, testimonials, concerns or anything else –  I’d love to hear from you.  Why not share or ‘like’ the newsletter on Facebook?   And don’t forget, you can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!