Building Confidence As A Dancer

Building Confidence As A Dancer

Dance is an art. Art takes dedication, concentration and attention to detail. No matter the amount of passion you put into your work, it’s still work. There are times when you may feel that you’ve done all you can and you can’t climb any higher than where you already are. When you’ve come to this point in your craft, there are only two ways to deal with it. 1.) You can give up and climb back down or 2.) You can keep climbing. So many people choose option one because it seems like the easier choice. But, the easier choice isn’t always the one worth choosing. You’ll find that choosing to continue despite the struggles and hardships that may follow is often more rewarding.

If you haven’t figured it out, today’s topic is confidence. More accurately, how to develop confidence as a dancer and carrying that over into all aspects of your life.

In more cases than you can probably count, you’ve compared yourself to others. “Am I as smart as them?”, “Am I as talented as them?”, “Do I work as hard as them?”, “Why can’t I be as good as them?”

We all do it; it’s human nature. Here’s the problem with that: no two people are ever going to be in the exact same position in their journey through life. We have a tendency to only give ourselves praise if we out-perform others. The only reason that we should praise ourselves is when we out-perform ourselves. As a dancer, we are constantly reminded of the talents of those around us. Remember to focus on yourself and measure your progress based on what you do. You are your only competition.

Mistakes. We all make them. We can either choose to learn from them or let them dictate our next moves. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been your own worst critic. Everyone should have a hand in the air.

Making mistakes is just another part of the learning experience. As dancers, we fall, we stumble and we miss a few steps here and there. Does that mean that we should hang up our pointe shoes and step away from the barre for good? Of course not! When we make these mistakes, use them to shape your performance. Use your falls as lessons and remind yourself that a good performance doesn’t just happen. It’s something you work for.

Persistence, persistence, persistence. This is what makes a great dancer. Heck, this is what makes a great anything! Without constant persistence and self assurance, where would any of us be? In order to achieve the impossible, you must go out on a limb and do it. When it seems like you’re not going to get as far as you want, stop, readjust your perspective, plan your next move and take action. You’re never going to improve if you give up. You are where you are because you worked for it. Believe in all of the amazing things that you are. Know how special you are and how lucky you are to be able to express yourself in such a beautiful art form.

Keep your head held high, keep your eye on your goals, and clear your mind of any outside noise (i.e. haters, competition, self doubt, negativity, shaming, etc.). Here’s your challenge:

1.) At the beginning of the day, look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself all of the things you love about your body. You muscles, the color of your hair, the dimple in your chin. Then, tell yourself all of the things you’re going to work on improving today. 2.) At the end of the day, go back to the mirror. Tell yourself about all of your triumphs today. Then, without being self-deprecating, tell yourself what you will do better tomorrow.

My dear dancer, you are more talented than you could possibly know. You work harder than most and have more patience than most. Be as kind and understanding to yourself as you are with others. When you stop doubting yourself, you’ll start shining brighter.

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

10 Signs That Your Friend Is A Dancer!

10 Signs That Your Friend Is A Dancer!

Are you not a dancer? How’d you find our little corner of paradise here? Well, however you did it, WELCOME!! Chances are, you found your way to our site by searching for something having to do with your friend who happens to be a dancer! Am I right? You’ve found yourself reading quite a funny post if I do say so myself, which I do, because I wrote it.

So your friend’s a dancer, huh? Well, you a re one lucky person. Dancers are passionate, kind and very fun to be around. But, you already knew that! This list is a way for you to gain a little insight into the strange little world of dance that your friend lives in. These are some things that’ll sound familiar and some things will finally make some sense to you. Here are:

10 Signs Your Friend Is A Dancer.

1. Even when they’re “not flexible”, they’re SCARY flexible!

Sometimes you’re worried that they’ll snap into pieces from how weirdly they can contort their body! You’ve probably asked yourself: “Are they made of rubber or elastic?”,  “Are we really sure they even have bones?”. Or thought: “Feet belong on the ground and not behind their ear.”, “That’s just not natural”, “That can’t feel good!”. Fear not, friend. They’ve been training for a long time and know how to prevent from hurting themselves. You’re such a good friend for being so concerned.

2. “I can’t, I have rehearsal, class, a recital, a show, etc.”

You feel like you see them all the time but, at the same time, you NEVER get to see them because of their dancing. Of course you want them to skip it and hang out with you but, you know that they’re doing what they love. And what kind of friend would stand in the way of that? Good for you! You definitely cherish whatever time you do get to hang out.

3. From a friend, to a dancer, to a critic.

When was the last time that you two sat and watched a music video or dance number without your friend giving a very detailed explanation about everything wrong with what you just watched? Can’t remember? Yeah, that’s because they can’t help but watch any type of dance routine as anything other than a dancer or choreographer. It’s basically impossible for them to watch any kind of dance as a plain jane (or john) like everyone else. But admit it, you kind of get a kick out of how worked up they get over the tiniest detail that no one else would ever notice. And that’s one of the many things about them that you can’t help but love. Awww…

4.  There’s a dance routine for everything.

… and you’re thinking, “MAKE IT STOP!!”. They always feel the need to learn a dance routine you’ve just watched or create a routine to a song you two like. And God forbid a song comes on that they’ve danced to in the past. If you’re anywhere nearby, you better believe that you’re going to be dragged into learning that routine. And what’s the funniest thing about this situation? The thousands of inside jokes that come from the incorrect moves and hilarious “rehearsals” between you two will become lasting memories that’ll keep you two laughing for years. Here’s another thing to admit: You totally mess up on purpose sometimes just to get a rise out of them, don’t you? I thought so.

5. Sandals? No, thank you.

It sounds silly but, I’m sure you been there the many times that your friend has refused to put on a pair of sandals even when it’s blazing outside. And why is that so? It’s because of a little thing called “dancer’s feet”. Those of you who know what that is, congratulations and our condolences. Dancer’s are on their feet more than the average human really should be. But, they do it for art! So, don’t make them feel silly if they don’t want to show off their battle scars. If they’re proud of them, more power to them! Either way, no sandals shaming!

6. The body bruise suit.

“Ummm… What the heck happened to you?”, you’ve asked this more than a few times after seeing a nasty bruise, haven’t you? Well, that’s another glamorous thing a dancer has to deal with on a daily basis. Funny thing about bruises, you’d think that you’d be able to pinpoint where each one comes from. Most of the time though, your friend won’t even be able to guess when or where they could’ve gotten it. Here’s a fun idea: when their birthday is coming up, get them a scarf or a blouse that’s either, black, purple or blue! That way, their “rehearsal polka dots” will blend right in!

7. Their internet history.

Have you ever seized the opportunity to snatch your friend’s phone and take a quick look through it? Most people will take friend’s phone to post a weird Facebook status or Instagram photo. But, you’re playing in a completely different ballgame if the phone belongs to a dancer.

If you have, you’ve probably found some weird things. For one thing, most of their YouTube watch and search histories are all ballets and other dances. Their Pinterest is covered in photos of dancers, inspirational quotes and pre/post workout snack hacks. And that’s not even the weird stuff like the stretching hacks or the aches and pains healing tips. Despite seeing the depths of their strange little world, you’re still there. Good for you.

8. “I’m SO hungry!” *eats the entire pizza and then wants to drive-thru”.

How is it even possible for them to eat 3x their weight and stay thinner than a flagpole?! What you don’t get to see is how much physical labor they go through in a day. All of that exercise is going to lead to a hearty appetite. Just because they have a large appetite, doesn’t mean that they’re not eat nutritiously. They take very good care of themselves but, they won’t hesitate to cheat every once in a while. So, beware. If you offer a bite, they WILL take it. As scary as it may be to eat at the same table as them, it’s a hilarious trait that you can’t help but smile about.

9. Snap, crackle, pop.

No, we’re not talking about Rice Krispies cereal. Snap, crackle and pop are the noises that your friend’s joints like to make on an uncomfortably regular basis. You two could be at a coffee house, out for dinner, at each other’s houses or at the movies when it happens. When you first met them and this happened, you probably said something along the lines of, “Oh jeez! What was that?! Are you okay?!” to which they laughed. And over time, you’ve gotten used to this little circus trick. But, when a new friend comes into the group, you revel in the surprise on their face when it happens to them for the first time. It could actually be a great way to initiate new friends into your group!

And Finally…

10. Dance like nobody’s watching.

Whenever you go over to their house, you’re silently begging and praying that you’ll walk in on them dancing like a goofball and then turn around surprised to that you’ve just witnessed all of it. It may have happened once or twice but, you’re always up for another good laugh. And you hope that once you’ve caught them, everything will turn into the teen summer movie aesthetic with you joining in, dancing with your best friend until the screen fades to black and the credits roll. Seeing your friend goof off is reassuring that they’re not pushing themselves too hard. They still love what they do and, with you there, they’re not afraid to show it.

Being friends with a dancer is a one in a million experience. You’re there for the good times, the missteps and the triumphs. You’re the friend waiting in the lobby to give a big congratulatory hug after the recital. You may not know the ins and outs of the dance world but, you know something special when you see it. You’re a very, very good friend.

Pinterest: A Dancer’s Best Friend

Pinterest: A Dancer’s Best Friend

Here We Go with the Internet Again…

If you haven’t gotten on board with Pinterest yet, what are you waiting for?! Pinterest is single-handedly THE website that can help you with pretty much anything you can think of. For those whose passions focus in the arts, Pinterest has all sorts of tips to help you hone your craft in an easier way. With DIYs (“do it yourself”), home remedies for various ailments, and other helpful suggestions, dancers have taken Pinterest to a whole new level.

Side Note:

If you haven’t started following us on Pinterest, you should be! We’re always posting new, fun and inspiring pins to all of our amazing boards!

Anyway…

Being a dance academy always seeking to find helpful tips for our students, we’ve done quite a lot of searching on the site. Here are some of our favourite searches you should try:

  1. Ballet Dance Bag

    Feel like your dance bag is lacking the necessities? Do this search and get all sorts of dance bag inspo. that will blow you away!

  2. Ballet (or) Dance Memes

    “Only dancers will get this…” “You have to be a dancer to understand…” That’s pretty much the kind of humour you’ll find under this one!

  3. Food for Dancers

    What are the best possible choices for pre-workout and post-workout? What should dinner be when you get home from a long rehearsal? Begin your search now!

  4. Gifts for Dancers

    Not only will you find great gifts for friends but, you’ll find some great items and shops for yourself too!

  5. Ballet Backstage

    Artists are inspired by the work and lives of other artists. The same goes for dancers. The images you see in this search will inspire you as you visualize the pulse and the energy flowing backstage, behind the curtain.

Utilize what Pinterest has to offer! Join the world of dance on Pinterest!

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

How to Treat Your Dancing Feet!

How to Treat Your Dancing Feet!

They call them Twinkle Toes but, really…

Dancers are tough on their feet. This is no secret; this is no surprise. All of this rehearsal and constant exercise can really wear down your feet. Dancer’s feet or, as dancers love to refer to them, ugly feet are a constant topic for jokes. Every dancer has their own tricks to take care of their feet but, there are some that our readers may not know about! So today, we’ve gathered a list of some great tips for preventing damage and repairing damage you may experience during your dance career. Some are pretty well-known while others might surprise you. You’ll thank us later!

1. Barre Balm

This aromatherapy stick balm is a sensation in the dance community! After a long day of rehearsal, use this balm by applying it to the bottoms of your feet and putting on a pair of socks. Get off your feet and relax as the balm cools and soothes your aching feet.

2. Tennis Ball

This one is more well-known but, it never hurts to remind people about it!

A favourite for just about everyone, rolling a tennis ball along the bottoms of your feet is one of the most effective ways of working out any small, tight kinks and knots you may have worked up during a rehearsal or performance.

3. Frozen Water Bottle

A similar concept to the tennis ball, rolling a frozen water bottle along the bottoms of your feet is extremely soothing to feet that need a little extra TLC. If you’ve pulled a muscle or feel a bit too sensitive to work out the kinks with a tennis ball, do this. The cold temperature will help soothe some of the pain and relax your muscles for a bit.

4.  Foot Alignment Socks

During rehearsals, your feet are constricted in very tight shoes which decreases circulation! Oh no! Well, have no fear! Alignment socks are here! Foot alignment socks are made with toe separators which will help increase circulation and improve the overall health of your feet. Poor foot health can effect not only your feet but your knees, hips, back AND neck! So, wearing these for a minimum of 15 minutes after rehearsal will help keep your feet in great shape.

5. Legs Up!

Laying on your back with your legs straight up against the wall is a great way to come down after an intense dance session. After being on your feet all day, putting your legs up like this help increase circulation and lowers your blood pressure! Not only is this a great way to get off your feet but, the lower blood pressure helps you wind down and relax for the night. Who can say no to that?

Remember that dance is not only about giving it your all, it’s about being the best you can by treating yourself in the best ways possible. So, take good care of yourself.

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

5 Phone Apps for Ballet Dancers!

5 Phone Apps for Ballet Dancers!

Is There Anything Our Phones Can’t Do?

Thanks to this age of modern technology, students have the opportunity to study to their heart’s desires even outside of the classroom. For dance students, however, it can be a bit difficult to find the abundance of resources that other may have available.

Take a look at your phone. Most likely, you’re looking at a smart phone with the abilities to not only make calls and send text messages, but it can also access the internet, play videos, music and download several apps. Which brings us to the point of today’s blog!

We’ve decided to share with you our favourite 5 phone apps for ballet dancers! These apps were carefully chosen based on their reliability and accuracy. Click on the app names below which includes the link you can follow to download them where you’ll also see a brief description of the app itself! So, without further ado, here they are!

1. 8Counts

If you need someplace to store your 8 count sheets along with notes for your routines, the 8Counts app is exactly what you’re looking for. One great perk to using this app is that you have the ability to e-mail any sheets you store with your other dancers, teachers or students!

2. Playbook.Dance

This app is a fantastic way to keep track of your team’s formations throughout your routines. It’s a great way to keep track of starting positions without flipping through endless pads on your clipboard by keeping it all in your phone!

3. Coach’s Eye

Trying to figure out what’s keeping you from nailing that move you’ve been working on for the last month? Well, Coach’s Eye can help you with that by recording your rehearsal and allowing you to slow down the video to slow-mo or frame by frame. This is a great way to examine your technique and improve your work.

4. Spotify

Bet you thought Spotify was just for car rides and house parties. Well, many people use it to help with their work in the creative arts! Writers use it for background music as they work on their great American Novel. Singers use the countless vocal exercise tracks to warm up. Dancers use it for it’s vast library of music to dance to. You name it, Spotify’s got it.

5. SeeDance

And lastly, this one is more for the dancer on-the-go who forgot to bring their tights on a road trip. This app allows you to locate dancewear locations, dance schools, and dance competitions near you! It’s very handy if you’re moving to a new city or on the road for competition.

What matters most is that you’re taking advantage of all of the resources available to you. Do your best, work hard and love what you do.

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

Pre-Performance Traditions

Pre-Performance Traditions

Tonight’s the Summer Showcase!

Performances begin at 7pm!

With the energy and excitement that’s overwhelmed our academy in waiting for tonight’s performance, there are many things to do like setting up the stage, position the lights, queue up the tracks for different numbers, check costumes, etc. There is one thing, however, that happens before each performance that remains sacred and secretive amogst the performers.

Pre-Performance Traditions

Every sport has their set of traditions. Hockey players avoid the number 13, basketball players don’t wash their socks, swimmers tuck a lucky charm into the suits. Well, dancers have their own set of traditions which can vary from dancer to dancer. But, what is the point of these rituals? Performers and athletes are very superstitious by nature. Sometimes, a superstition is based on an event of pure coincidence: Susan ate a banana before the show and had the performance of her life! It looks like Susan’s going to be eating a banana before each show from now on! Or a superstition has been passed down for countless years: Stage actors believe that saying the name Hamlet will bring bad luck upon the theatre and doom the show forever unless someone stands outside the theatre and names three other Shakespeare plays.

Sure, performance traditions may seem silly. But, the idea of special rituals before a performance is a time honoured tradition. So to our dancers going on tonight, revel in your traditions. Know how special you and your traditions are. And…

Break a Leg!!

The Summer Showcase Is Tomorrow!

The Summer Showcase Is Tomorrow!

It’s Finally Here!!!

As many of you know, this summer has been quite a busy one with our various summer classes and the ever intimidating summer intensives. Our students learn and rehearse all summer long to perfect their techniques, learn new routines and grow in their study of dance. Now that the summer’s finally coming to it’s end, it’s finally time for all of their hard work to hit the stage! That’s right! It’s time for the 2017 Summer Showcase! Our students decided to spend their entire summer studying with us, which took time, energy, focus and passion to learn all that they have this summer. The Summer Showcase is a time to celebrate their dedication and to witness their determination firsthand. Watch in excitement as our students perform excerpts from the Paquita ballet, and Contemporary, Ballroom, Hip Hop, Jazz, Character and Variations. There’s something for everyone!

Come support and congratulate our performers. Encouragement helps fuel passion.

The performance begins at 7PM tomorrow, Friday August 11th. We will be located in the Plainfield Dance Academy’s Blackbox Theatre

13717 S Route 30, Suite 117A

Plainfield, IL 60544

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

You Know You’re A Dancer If…

You Know You’re A Dancer If…

It’s no surprise that dancers, no matter the genre, live in a special world separate from the rest of us! They have their own style, lingo and memories that the rest of us can’t really begin to understand. It’s kind of like going away to summer camp and then trying to retell stories to your friends from home. Everything seems to be have a “you had to be there” vibe. So, it’s only natural that some of the best moments are shared among other dancers.

If you’re a fan of YouTube, and who isn’t, then there are more than a few awesome videos with dancers being their key audience. Buzzfeed absolutely killed it with their video 13 Weird Things Former Dancers Do and Refinery29 shows us some cringe-worthy moves with Lucie Fink Trains Like A Professional Ballerina. There is, however, a different kind of video meant specifically for dancers that are more relatable than any other more professionally polished video out there. Yes, we’re talking about the S**t People Say trend from 2012.

This trend took YouTube by storm in early 2012, giving audiences a peek into the lives and inside jokes of different lifestyles, ethnicities and interests of people around the world. All videos were done in humor and good faith and the most popular seemed to be those focusing on those involved in various sports. So, of course, OUR favorites are all of the s**t people say videos made by dancers. Here’s one that we just can’t stop laughing at! S**t Dancers NEVER Say!

We hope you laugh as hard as we did!

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

Plainfield Dance Academy is on Pinterest!

Plainfield Dance Academy is on Pinterest!

In this social media driven world, you’re nobody until you’re being followed on all of the top social media sites! So, it makes sense that Plainfield Dance Academy is wrapped up in the fantastic world that is Pinterest!

Why Follow Us On Pinterest?

We add new pins to our 14 amazing boards ranging in topics all having to do with ballet and dance and, of course, Plainfield Dance!

What Kind Of Boards Do We Have?

We’ve got all kinds of boards covering topics such as Health & Nutrition, Life Beyond The Curtain, how to Shop Like A Dancer, and SO many more!

We add new pins to our boards daily and follow back as many of our followers as we possibly can because we want to see what interests you, too! Check out any of the links within this post and we’ll see you on the boards soon!

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry

How to Fight the (Stage)Fright!

How to Fight the (Stage)Fright!

Even the most seasoned performers get a case of the jitters now and then. And everyone has their own way of coping with their nerves.

Whether you’re preparing for a show or waiting in the wings during one, here are a few small tips to help you remain calm and focused in order to perform to your best potential!

Keep Yourself Limber

One way to keep your nerves in check is by paying attention to your body, your muscles, and making sure that they’re in performing condition. By paying close attention to your body, you’re distracting yourself from feeling apprehensive.

Not only is this a great way to stay relaxed and focused, it’s also a phenomenal way for your body to release endorphins. If you didn’t know, endorphins are a natural compound in the human body which provides us with energy and the feeling of happiness. This one small act will do so much more for you than you might’ve thought!

Essential Oils

These fragrant oils aren’t just for your house! There are actually quite a few essential oils that are known to help  with nausea, headache and anxiety just by applying a small dab to the wrist or the temples. Here are the most popular oils used for anxiety:

  • Lavender

  • Eucalyptus

  • Jasmine

Breathe…

Take a moment to be alone with yourself.

Close yourself into your own private place to empty your mind and to breathe. Whether you choose to do this before or during a show, this small exercise can do wonders for the body and mind. Personally, I prefer to listen to some calming instrumentals as I do this. Think to yourself, I am strong, I am smart, I am capable. No matter what I do, I will do my best.

Use this time alone to reflect on how far you’ve come in your craft and to be proud of yourself. Enjoy the moment your are living in and remind yourself of why you love to dance.

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry