Dancers Are the Best People EVER and Here’s Why.

Dancers Are the Best People EVER and Here’s Why.

Are dancers insanely talented people? Yes. Do they show endless amounts of passion and dedication to their craft? You bet. But, those aren’t the only reasons why dancers are the best people in the world. Here are some great reasons why you should consider having one or two dancers in your friend group!

1. They’re Always Willing to Save You a Seat!

When you and your friends go out on the town, there’s a small chance that you may end up somewhere with a waiting list and little to no sitting room. Now, imagine that a few seats miraculously open up but, you suddenly need to run to the ladies room.

“Hey, do you mind saving a few seats until i get back?” you ask.

“No problem!” your friend replies.

BAM! She breaks out into the splits which shocks and amazes everyone there. Your group is now the talk of the night and all because you’re friends with a dancer who can make simple favors extraordinary!

2. They’re Committed No Matter What!

And this doesn’t just apply to going to dance class or recitals. When a dancer says they’ll do something, they do it. You’ll quickly learn that being friends with someone who dances means being friends with someone who will have your back day in and day out.

Need help with homework? If they say they can help, they will.

Don’t want to go to an appointment alone? If they agree to go with, they’ll go with.

No matter what, once they’ve made a commitment to your friendship, they’ll see it through. It might be tough at times with rehearsals, classes, recitals and competitions getting between you from time to time. But, rest assured that you’re friends with one of the most sensitive, kind and compassionate kinds of people in the world. Dancers are artists; which means that they feel emotions very strongly. And that includes the love that they have for your friendship.

3. They’re Always Full of Surprises!

When you two first become friends, you may have some preconceived notions or assumptions about the life and mannerisms of a dancer. But, after some time and getting to know them better, you’ll soon see that dancers are just the same as everyone else. Do dancers always stick to a perfectly healthy diet? Do we always get adequate sleep? Is a daily workout outside of class even a thing?

Dancers are not superhuman beings unable to make a mistake or slack-off a little like the average joe. In fact, dancers are among those who will jump at the chance to sit around all day. That’s probably because they’re literally on their feet all day, everyday.

So, when she plops down next to you at the lunch table with an overly-filled food tray and says that there’s no class tonight, applaud them and allow them to indulge. Because chances are, they don’t get to gorge themselves very often.

Bon Appetit!

4. They Can Entertain You With The Song of Their People…

Just ignore the fact that this photo is for gymnasts because this 199% applies to dancers as well. Dancers have the strange, intriguing and shocking ability to snap, crackle and pop all of their joints at a moment’s notice. Watch passersby gasp with amazement and disgust at the sounds that their bodies can make!

One perk of having a dancer for a friend is the countless pranks that you two can play on people with those noises! Maybe pretend to not hear it or act like it really did hurt; use your imaginations! Needless to say, this is only one many talents your dancer buddy will show you.

5. Every Task is a Show!

No explanation necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. They Can and WILL Tell Off the Dumb Jocks!

And to wrap up what only touches the surface of why dancers are the best, we leave you with this:

Dance Movies to Watch on a Rainy Day!

Dance Movies to Watch on a Rainy Day!

Fall or Autumn, however you choose to refer to it, is the #2 favourite season according to numerous online polls. Why? Could it be the leaves changing color? Maybe it’s the fashion such as boots, jackets and scarves! It might even be the popular craze of making EVERYTHING pumpkin spice flavored. For most people, it’s simply the change in weather. And with good reason, too! This change in weather usually includes gloomier, cloudier days or rainy days. Sometimes, when it’s raining outside, all you want to do is grab a warm blanket and watch a movie. When we see this kind of weather coming, we’ve got a particular selection of movies that are reserved for days like this. These are what are commonly referred to Rainy Day Movies. But, wait, this is a blog all about ballet and dance! So, what do you think the theme of today’s movie list is going to be? Dance, of course! This list will be in order of most recently released to the old classics.

So, grab your favorite fuzzy blanket, pour yourself your favorite warm tea, dim the lights and enjoy these amazing movies for a perfect rainy day!

A Ballerina’s Tale

What dancer doesn’t love Misty Copeland?

This documentary, made in 2015, introduced the world to the ballerina who would soon take the world by storm. With her fame already rising by the time the film came out, Misty Copeland is now a household name for those privy to the world of ballet. For those unaware of her story, this documentary takes you along on her journey through triumphs and obstacles such as race and injury.

If you’re stuck inside while the rain comes down and you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, watching anything that has to do with Misty Copeland will put an extra pep in your step. This film, in particular though, will give you hope for your wildest dreams and motivation to see them through.

Watch the trailer here! –> A Ballerina’s Tale

Back Swan

This suspenseful film from 2010 was the one to take Academy Award season by storm. This film is rated R, so viewer discretion is advised.

The film follows Nina who wishes to portray the roles of Odette and Odile in Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet, Swan Lake. Unable to portray the darker of the two, Odile, Nina struggles to find her footing in the company. With another dancer beginning to seem like strong competition, Nina spirals out of control and begins to lose grip with reality.

That’s as much as can be said without giving away the ending. But, if you’re age-appropriate, this is definitely an intriguing and fascinating story to watch unfold.

Watch the trailer here! –> Black Swan

 

Hairspray

2007’s summer hit, Hairspray, took the box office by storm and made the idea of the movie musical cool again! The story follow Tracy Turnblad who lives in Baltimore and rushes home everyday after school with her best friend, Penny Pingleton, to watch the Corny Collins Show, a popular local dance show. The teens on the show are the most popular kids in town and have the after school job that everyone dreams of having, dancing on television!

Tracy dreams of dancing on the show someday but is body shamed by the mean girls at the audition. Determined to make everyone feel beautiful and to bring to segregation in Baltimore to an end, she rallies with her friends to fight for justice. Doesn’t sound like much of a dance flick, huh? Well, you’d be surprised! Known as one of the most dance-heavy shows on Broadway, this film adaptation is no different!

Watch a movie clip here! –> Hairspray Movie Clip

Billy Elliot

After years on the Broadway stage, the inspirational story of Billy Elliot was brought to the big screen in 2007. Raised by a tough-as-nails father who’s facing a strike as a miner in 1984’s England, Billy is enrolled in boxing lessons (which he has no interest in) just like his brothers and his father before him. One day, Billy accidentally wanders his way into a neighboring studio where a ballet class is in session. Unexpectedly, he finds a love for the art and hopes to make it his life’s work. Surrounded by naysayers, especially his own father, Billy must rise above all those who would oppose his dreams.

Gritty and heart-wrenching at times, this is one film that will have you rooting for the underdog and inspire you to dream big.

Watch the trailer here! –> Billy Elliot

 

 

Dirty Dancing

“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

Who hasn’t seen this movie or said that line before?

Dirty Dancing came out in 1987 to critical acclaim as a smash hit. Today, it’s still revered as a classic dance flick. The story follows Baby, the daughter in a wealthy family who makes their summer trip to a prestigious country club. Appearing as a pretty sheltered young lady, Baby meets Johnny who works at the club and teaches dancing lessons to the women there. After some time, Baby finds her way into the staff hangout where, you guessed it, they’re “dirty” dancing, a.k.a. basically any dance that would shock the old fogies.

Johnny begins to give private lessons to Baby and the sparks start to fly between them.

Watch the trailer here! –> Dirty Dancing trailer

West Side Story

An absolute classic for any dancer, 1961’s West Side Story, which stars Natalie Wood at the height of her career, is the story of Maria and Tony, two star-crossed lovers from the two rivaling sides of town. The Jets hate the Sharks and the Sharks hate the Jets. Tony and Maria accidentally meet and fall in love despite their communities. Considered the 60’s remake of Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story is filled with amazing dances and timeless songs such as  Tonight, Tonight and I Feel Pretty. With themes like social and racial prejudices, and street violence, this film has remained a favorite passed on through generations.

So which team are you on? Are you a Jet or a Shark?

Watch the trailer here! –> West Side Story trailer

 

 

 

Singin’ In The Rain

You see the irony in this choice, right?

If you’ve never seen the classic 1952 movie musical Singin’ in the Rain, then congratulations on finally coming out from under that rock you’ve been living in.

This movie stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor who sing and dance their way into your hearts. Set during the introduction of “talking pictures”, a.k.a. movies with sound, a movie studio struggles and begins teaching their top stars how to act for this new development in cinematic technology. This movie is jam-packed with songs that everybody knows such as Good Mornin’, Make ‘Em Laugh, and of course Singin’ in the Rain!

Considered one of the greatest, possibly the greatest, movie musicals of all time, this movie is still one of the best selling films even on the digital market! For dancers in particular who are looking to be amazed, watch out for the song and dance called Moses Supposes. This, too, is considered one of the greatest tap numbers ever performed. And, amazingly, it was all shot in one take!

Watch the trailer here! –> Singin’ in the Rain trailer

Here Are Some Honorable Mentions (All Old Classics)

Baby Take a Bow from 1934’s Stand Up and Cheer starring Shirley Temple –> WATCH HERE!

I Like Myself from 1955’s It’s Always Fair Weather starring Gene Kelly –> WATCH HERE!

At the Codfish Ball from Captain January starring Shirley Temple –> WATCH HERE!

You’re All The World To Me from Royal Wedding starring Fred Astaire –> WATCH HERE!

You’re Gonna Dance With ME from Living It Up starring Jerry Lewis –> WATCH HERE!

The Dance of the Dead!

The Dance of the Dead!

It’s October! And you know what that means!

HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

And with all of the excitement surrounding this holiday, it’s a wonderful time to showcase your talents as a dancer by creating routines to some truly haunting music! Here’s our list of our favourite spooky tunes! We’re going to cover everything from classical compositions to horror movies to creepy songs that everyone knows and loves!

Classical... 

  1. Toccata and Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. Funeral March by Chopin
  3. Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

Horror Films...

  1. theme from Dead Silence
  2. opening theme from Psycho
  3. theme from The Shining
  4. theme from Nightmare on Elm Street
  5. theme from The Exorcist
  6. This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Songs Everyone Knows...

  1. Thriller by Michael Jackson
  2. I Put A Spell On You by Jay Hawkins

 

A quick search on YouTube will give you all the help you’ll need!

Happy Choreographing!!

Costumes So On Pointe, It’s Scary!

Costumes So On Pointe, It’s Scary!

Quick History Lesson

As many already know, Halloween was originally a pagan holiday called All Hallow’s Eve; a night in which the spirits of the dead could walk amongst the living. People of the time would dress as ghouls themselves to trick the spirits into leaving them alone and out of harm’s way. The tradition of trick-or-treating began as a peace offering from the living to the dead. Leaving out treats for the spirits and offering treats to those dressed as spirits would show a sign of peace among the two worlds, the world of the living and the world of the dead.

Now for the fun!

To this day, we keep up the tradition of dressing up, although the motivation behind the tradition has changed over the years.

As dancers, we have an ability that most others don’t. We have the ability to move swiftly, gracefully, almost gliding past others with our movements. Some might say that a ballet dancer sometimes looks like they’re floating on air rather than dancing. So, why not take this opportunity to relive the past and really celebrate Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, the way it was intended. Here are some costume ideas that are so on pointe, it’s scary!

The Lady in White

If you’re a fan of ghost hunting shows like Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, etc., then you’ve heard countless stories about places being haunted by a lady in white. And no, it’s not the same lady. There ladies in white haunting buildings and sites all over the world. Usually they’re quiet, polite and mostly seen roaming the halls or appearing in doorways or balconies. While many ghosts are known to be scary or spooky, the lady in white is mostly intriguing and mysterious.

With some tulle or other sheer white/off-white fabrics, nude pointe shoes and and some sort of prop (recommended: a candlestick, candelabra or a lantern), you can float around and catch the eye of everyone around you. For some extra effects, use a pale foundation for a “lifeless” face and gray powder for dull, dead eyes. If you’re going to a Halloween party, it’s an even better opportunity to surprise your friends by disappearing around the corners!

The Bride of the Dead

This is another excellent choice if you want to go for something more creepy and mysterious than full-on scary. The bride of the dead, or the black bride is yet another figure in the paranormal that has been seen in many different haunted locations. Sometimes evil, sometimes broken-hearted, the bride of the dead is another character who floats amongst the living and disappears into thin air. Anyone can rock this costume but, especially dancers because of their grace.

Using a long black dress, maybe spray paint an old prom dress you don’t care so much about, black gloves and a black veil to cover your face. If you want to go the extra mile, you can dust some black powder and use any other black makeup to hide your face further. Talk about a dark spirit!

The Grim Reaper

What’s scarier than death itself? Talk about the ultimate creeping, looming figure.

The grim reaper instills fear in everyone it passes, especially on Halloween. This costume is perfect to creep out your friends, fellow party-goers and passerby. The key is to move as smoothly as possible and remain absolutely silent. The one thing the grim reaper is known for is silence, mystery and intimidation. Never answer anyone’s questions and always hover. And when people ask you who’s hiding in that costume (because they definitely will) you will give them no answer. BOOM! Instant fear!

Find a large/over-sized black or gray hooded cloak at a costume shoppe, or creating one on your own, that’s basically your entire costume! For extra spook factor, dust it with a light application of baby powder to give it an aged look. I mean, think about it, have you ever seen an old haunted mansion that isn’t covered in dust? I think not. The final step is to cover your face with dark makeup or find a dark mask to wear. Get a lantern or candelabra or (FAKE) reaper to carry and spook your friends.

And Now, The SCARY One…

The Undead Ballerina!

What’s the perfect costume for a ballerina? A ballerina of course! But, this is Halloween, a time for the dead to walk among the living. So, an undead or zombie ballerina is obviously a perfect fit!

Find some of your old costumes that you don’t use anymore and are allowed to mess up for this costume. Add some dirt, tear it up a little, splash it with fake blood and you’re off to scare the pants off of those trick-or-treaters!  If you can stand wearing costume contact lenses like the ones in this picture, then more power to ya! This is a costume that’s guaranteed to shock friends, disgust family and give party-goers the heeby-geebies!

Well, those are our costume recommendations for you! Do you have any that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a comment! Which one of ours is your favourite? If you’re unsure what to be this year, we hope this helped!

Meet Extensions Dance Company!

Meet Extensions Dance Company!

It’s time, once again, to meet yet another incredibly talented group that will be performing in the Chicago International Dance Forum in TWO DAYS!

Meet the Extensions Dance Company!

Beginning their journey in 2005, Extensions Dance Company has committed themselves to training young dancers to follow their passions, perfect their techniques and tell a story through the art of dance. Their dedicated training has led some of their students to go on to study at some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country.

“The Mission of Extensions Dance Company is to provide a loving and encouraging environment, where young dancers can train fearlessly, discover their potential and through their art, give back to the community.” ~ ExtensionsDance.org

Known for their jaw-dropping performances regardless of the genre, Extensions Dance Company is a must-see at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum. To learn more about them, follow the link to their website above!

Meet Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater!

Meet Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater!

The 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum is THIS WEEKEND! Who’s excited?! Well, get ready to meet yet another incredible dance team that’s sure to stun at the performances!

Meet the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater!

In 1976, Dame Libby founded the company which today comprises of 40+ dancers, singers, musicians and guests artists from the U.S. and Spain. The company dedicates their work to celebrating Spain in America and bringing the tow cultures together through their art. Not only familiar to the stage, Ensemble Espanol has also appeared on television, opera, festivals, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and many more venues.

“The Company’s mission is the presentation, preservation and promotion of the classical, folkloric, flamenco and contemporary dance and music traditions of Spain.” ~EnsembleEspanol.org

With so much experience and culture behind them, there is no doubt that the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum is in for a spectacular performance! To learn more about the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, visit their website (linked above) or follow them on Twitter!

Meet the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts!

Meet the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts!

The 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum is almost here! Are you ready to meet the next group performing?

Meet the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts!

“Bharatanatyam is an ancient dance form of India that is thousands of years old, and is preserved as a living tradition.” ~Bharatham.org

Founded by Vanitha Veeravalli, the academy in Naperville teaches this dance which serves as a form of story telling. Bharatham shares their art through performances at various forums including annual showcases, corporate shows, creative workshops, cultural events, and community outreach programs in and around Chicago.

With numerous performances on their resume, the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts is sure to give a performance that the Chicago International Dance Forum will cherish for years to come.

We can’t wait to see!

Meet the Peruvian Folk Dance Center!

Meet the Peruvian Folk Dance Center!

Yes, it’s time to meet yet another amazing group that will perform at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum!

Meet the Peruvian Folk Dance Center!

Beginning their journey in 2009, the PFDC began with the mission to help Peruvian-Americans connect and maintain a strong relationship with their Peruvian roots. Through music and dance, they share stories and history of the Peruvian culture. Open to people of all backgrounds, the PFDC has classes and workshops, as well as private lessons, to teach the dances and allow others to understand more about the history and culture of Peru.

Having participated in more than 200 cultural events, they are performing this year at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum. There’s no doubt that their performance is going to be spectacular! To learn more about them, you can visit their website by clicking on the picture to the left, or you can follow them on Twitter!

Meet Mexican Dance Ensemble!

Meet Mexican Dance Ensemble!

We are very excited to introduce yet another incredible dance group who will perform in the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum! Meet the Mexican Dance Ensemble!

In November 2001, the Mexican Dance Ensemble was founded in Chicago, IL. M.D.E.’s mission is to expose the bright and beautiful traditions of the Mexican culture through the art of dance. Intent on preserving the beauty of Mexican heritage, M.D.E. strives to enrich it with their particular point of view so that they may spread the essence of this magnificent and varied heritage. With a growing audience and fan-base, M.D.E. has performed nationally as well as internationally in such countries as France, Spain, Portugal, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of China, Greece and Turkey!

“Our main objective is to serve as a liaison of Mexican Culture and to offer a Mexican performing platform for emerging artists while expanding the importance and values of the arts and the artist community.” MDEChicago.org

To learn more about the Mexican Dance Ensemble, check out their website linked above or follow them on Twitter!

Meet Movement Revolution Dance Crew!

Meet Movement Revolution Dance Crew!

Who’s ready to meet another group performing at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum?

Meet the Movement Revolution Dance Crew!

M.R.D.C. was founded by Monternez Rezell in 2010 as a way to integrate street culture into concert dance. Inspired by elements of jazz, lyrical, contemporary and African dance, M.R.D.C. pulls everything together to push the limits of dance, pay tribute to the founders and originators of hip hop, and reach beyond the endless possibilities that dance provides.

Our motto is “Dance is our ART, Movement is our paint brush and the World is our Canvas!” ~MovementRevolutionDanceCrew.com

To learn more about this amazing dance crew, you can visit their website (linked above), or follow them on twitter: @moverevolution2