Personal Best

The Olympics are in full-swing!

Take inspiration from the Olympic athletes this week

and work for a personal best in class. ūüôā

http://victoriousdancersbyravin-com.webs.com/

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Partners & Friends

Are you doing your part…

…to contribute¬†to the positive, supportive environment of your dance class?

Do you encourage your fellow dancers when they struggle?

Do you celebrate with them when they succeed?

Or do you spend your time constantly comparing yourself to them and being jealous? Do you compete with them for space at the barre, the best place in the center, your teacher’s attention?

While there will always be a competitive aspect to dance, when you think about it, you realize that the other dancers in your class are people who have the same passion for dance as you do. ¬†These are the very people, maybe the only ones, who understand you, the dancer. ¬†Many times your friends and co-workers and even your family members don’t appreciate your love for dance and why you put so much time into it.

But your fellow dancers…. They understand. ¬†

They understand your love of all things dance, how you feel when you dance, the joy of it. ¬†They understand dance shoes and costumes, difficulties with pirouettes, the attention to detail, the simultaneous desire for and dread of corrections. ¬†They are the only ones who could talk about pointe shoes and feet for hours…. just like you.

Other dancers are KINDRED SPIRITS

There will always be dancers who are better than you and those who are not as far along as you.  Learn to appreciate them all, consider them your team, your compatriots.  Oftentimes dancers spend so much time in the studio that they see their fellow dancers more than their own relatives.  This makes you a sort of  family Рa dance family.  And just like any family, its members give you opportunities to practice the art of getting along with others, and a chance to be your better self.

Appreciate your fellow classmates, dancers just like you!

© Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Spin, Whirl, Twirl

There are so many things to think about when practicing turns in dance class. ¬†Alignment and force, spotting and arms, turn out, centering and pulling up, etc., etc. ¬†But there is one word that should be on that list that usually isn’t:

 ENJOY

Stop struggling through your turns and enjoy turning!  Smile and relax a little Рit will make ALL the difference.  Try it Рand let me know how it works for you!

Photo credit: http://www.artsjournal.com/tobias/2011/05/abt_gala_touting_the_coming_at.html

 

 

© Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hydrangea

 

 

 

Spring Inspiration

Been a while since I’ve posted! ¬†That’s because I’ve been hard at work preparing for our Spring Recital in June:

The storyboard of this recital is filled with beautiful flowers. ¬†I have matched a flower to each costume. ¬†As you look through the images below, think about how this costume worn for performance is so much more than just an ‘outfit’. ¬†Can you see the close connection between the blooms and the character that the dancer should take on? ¬†Let’s start with this gorgeous black and white tutu:

And here are the flowers chosen as inspiration:  Anemones:

Anemones have tall stems and move beautifully in the breeze.  Can you imagine moving like that in that beautiful tutu?  Even if you do not perform, take note of your dancewear for class РWhat color is your skirt, your leotard and tights?  Is the skirt long or short?  Does it have a pattern?  Are you wearing leg warmers?  Does that change the way your legs feel and move?  Does your leotard have an open back, an interesting cut?  How can you use the design in your clothing to inspire your movements?

I’ll be posting more costumes and their inspirational flowers this month, so stay tuned for some beautiful Spring imagery!

photo credits: tutu- http://www.revolutiondance.com/ bouquet-http://www.bouquetweddingflower.com/category/types-of-flowers/anemone

© Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Take a Walk

I spend a lot of time thinking about how my body moves during every day tasks.  Reaching down into the dishwasher, bending to to pick up a dropped item off the floor, twisting to look into the back seat of the car (not while driving, lol!).  We execute these types of movements countless times throughout the day.

When we get into the studio, the way we move completely changes.  We begin to purposely and purposefully place and arrange and move ourselves with the utmost care and thought.  We expend an enormous amount of focused energy to organize our bodies into demonstrative movement.

And while this is an essential process, we can take it too far. ¬†The easiest way to illustrate over-thinking is to ask a group of students to walk across the floor. ¬†Easy. ¬†Done. ¬†Then I’ll start to explain to them how to walk. ¬†I’ll break it down into as many steps as possible:

Standing with feet parallel, transfer your weight into the right foot.  

At the same time lift the left leg off the floor very slightly and swing the leg forward.  

At the same time swing the right arm forward.  

Now lower the heel of the left leg and begin to transfer your weight onto it…………

Do you see how something so simple and natural, something we do without thinking has now become a complicated maneuver?  Whenever I do this exercise with my students they freeze and can barely move at first and when they get going the walk is not natural at all.

It is a useful exercise to approach movement with a relaxed ease, without overthinking.  I do not mean that you should forget to attend to your technique and let effort fly out the window!  But approaching movement with a natural momentum, calm and without overly engaging the thought process, can completely transform your dancing.

Why not take a walk today and remind yourself how easily your body is able to move?

 

 

© Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Don’t Forget to Remember

When you walk into the dance studio don’t forget who you are in the ‘real’ world. ¬†The accomplished person who works hard, solves problems, and takes care of business. ¬†The competent person on whom others rely.

You have placed yourself in a dance class to challenge yourself and to grow.  It will be difficult at times which is why it is essential to remember that you are a capable person.

Leave the day’s problems behind when you walk into class but bring your confidence in with you. ¬†Make sure that behind every movement you make is a strong sense of self. ¬†Don’t forget to remember who you are!

© Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.