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Blog 55: How to Keep Class Musically Interesting When You're Burnt Out

Apr 18, 2022

Keeping ballet class fresh and exciting..

especially when it's late spring and your energy has been drained by shows, competitions, exams, and the 'vid with zoom time, is brutal.

You know I'm right! I'm feeling the burnout too; TONS of extra rehearsals, extra work, and extra busyness. I LOVE what I do but wow..these are busy times! Spring is the 'Christmas' of our industry. lol.

In March I sent out an email asking for my subscribers to hit REPLY and tell me some of the ways THEY keep ballet class and...

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Blog 54: Top 10 WORST Tips For Working With a Pianist!

Feb 15, 2022

Working with a pianist can be a real treat!

Unfortunately, it can also be frustrating at times, especially if you're uncertain how to do it well, so I've put together a tongue-in-cheek guide to ensure that your next opportunity is a delight to both you and your musician!  (I've been on the receiving end of ALL of these at some point in my 20+ year career! lol)

Enjoy! :D

Top 10 Worst Tips for Working with a Pianist

  1. First of all, do NOT talk with your pianist outside of the studio. Musicians love to...
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Blog #53 Tango for 2... or 3; Let's talk music for fondus!

Dec 21, 2021

Fondus Intrigued Me

There are few ballet movements that got me as intellectually engaged with ballet as the fondu did. 

I was so intrigued that two legs, exactly the same length, had to travel different speeds from a bent position to arrive fully stretched at the same time. How was that possible? I remember trying it out when I thought no one was looking. lol. I was really really intrigued by the difficulty of the coordination of it.

And then came the music for it.. oye.

One teacher only wanted...

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Blog #52 Music for Mixed Accent Exercises (and the Thanks Christmas Season)

Nov 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! As a Canadian who was already done thanksgiving back in October, I'm eyebrow deep in Christmas preparations already! lol. The lights are up, the tree is up and cookies are start to get stored in the freezer! (Quick question, do you wait until Thanksgiving is over to decorate?)

Speaking of Christmas, GUESS WHAT?!  I've been planning on releasing a Christmas ballet class album for years, literally.. about 10 years I kept talking about it but with 2...

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Blog #51 Music Through the Ages: Can I use any music with my dancers?

Oct 28, 2021

Classical Music and Circle K

Did you know that convenience stores often play classical music outside their entrance to discourage people from hanging around? Why? Why do you think classical music would have that kind of power?

I would speculate that the layers of rhythm, harmonies, structure, etc in classical music is just too much information for untrained (music-wise) minds to really appreciate; it's noise rather than music to them. They would likely simply say they don't like it, but my guess is that...

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Blog #50 Strong Music for Strong Dancing

Sep 27, 2021
 

Music is amazing..

I’ve travelled and played piano in 5 different countries,  on grand stages, small halls and dimly lit lounges and do you know what all those experiences had in common? People enjoying the music. Like my grandpa used to say for fun, “Hey! You can play in German!” lol 

Music is life.

Music brings joy.

Music exudes and builds emotions.

Music propels movement.

Music can drive and inspire a dancer who’s had a bad day.

Today I want to discuss STRONG music....

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Blog #49 New to Working With a Pianist?

Sep 13, 2021

Working with a pianist this year?

You’ll find this post especially helpful.

 

When it comes to working with a pianist instead of recorded music, there are a couple of things you need to realize and integrate!

What you need to know, before I go any further, is that my beginner days of accompanying ballet weren't exactly the easiest. I started playing for a professional school before ever having been to a ballet or played for a recreational class, even. It was scary. I cried. Legit. A lot! So,...

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Tempo Matters, a LOT!

Aug 08, 2021

Speed matters..all the time, not only on the highway!

Imagine you get to drive a Ferrari... 30 kms an hour. Gag, right? Or how about a farm tractor with a seeder on the back, as fast as it will go on the autobahn? Either situation sounds awful, right? It's a matter of each vehicle having an essential value and sweet spot that they're intended for and using them in other ways just makes no sense and doesn't work well; music is no different.

Each of the music types that are commonly used in ballet class...

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Blog #47 Feel, Count and Use Petit Allegro Music (Intentionally, with skill!)

Jul 22, 2021

When you are considering what music you want to use for your petit allegro, there are really only two things you need to consider, is it about the landing or the jump, AND, how high do you want the allegro to be?

 

Let me explain.

 

Let’s talk about glissades for a second. Glissades are a travelling step. They’re quick and close to the ground. Do you want to encourage your dancers to have high glissades? No!  The coordination is fast and small. In fact if you have this...

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Blog #46 Silence is Golden when Teaching Musicality

Jul 01, 2021

Congratulations! You made it! What a year, eh? You and I both know that many things were dropped from regular practice in some of your dancers' approach to ballet class. They could be summed up in the word ‘Consistency’ I think.

Consistency in attendance. (Ballet class on zoom sucks! Really any education for a child on zoom sucks. Who’s with me on that?!)

Consistency in using their turnout (when was the last time you got to actually activate a child’s turnout muscles?)

Consistency...

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