The other day I was thinking about how much I just used to hate when people said, “Break a leg.” It’s literally the worst thing that can happen to a performance artist. We never wish upon a truck driver to lose their cargo, or tell a plumber, “Hey, I hope you totally ruin my house insulation while installing that tankless water heater!” But, that was until I found out how the saying came to be and was subsequently popularized. So, today I decided to share that with you guys, as I’m sure most of you would love to find out.

Of course, I had already known that the expression meant “good luck”, but I never really understood how it came about. Now, there’s a lot of speculation on this matter, but each version of how the saying came to be is stranger than the last.

For example, the first documented instance when it was said was in regards to horse racing. Horse racing aficionados deemed it bad luck to wish someone luck, so they opted for something negative and insulting instead, such as “break a leg”.


Another possible source of this saying is the German “Hals und beinbruch”. The translated meaning is “land safely” in English, but the literal translation is “break all your bones”. German pilots used this saying to salute each other and wish for a safe flight.

Since we tend to associate bad events with the circumstances and events that led up to them, most of these speculations are deeply rooted in superstition. But, there’s another version to this story that dates back to the Georgian era, actually related to theater. During a performance of Shakespeare’s historical play, Richard III, a professional actor by the name of David Garrick is said to have broken a leg during the play, but due to him being so spellbound by the role and the atmosphere on stage, he kept on with the show and barely even noticed the severe injury. From thereon out, it’s assumed that the phrase “break a leg” started circulating among actors as a wish for good performance.

Whichever version of the story you prefer to believe is completely up to you as there’s no consensus whatsoever. I still get slightly annoyed when someone tells me to break a leg before going out on stage, but at least I can have a chuckle to myself knowing the absurd stories about how people started saying it.

I go to a lot of dance concerts and am usually pleased with what I see. I know the local groups and don’t miss the traveling companies. While there is so much creativity going on in all spheres of the performing arts, I just saw something so unusual that I must blog about it. It was done in the community center theater on a large stage complete with professional lighting and stage sets. That much was normal, but it was the subject matter of one piece that caught my complete attention. I will never again say that “I have seen it all.”

At first one dancer at a time entered the stage in simple costumes. They likely represented ordinary citizens. After a while, additional dancers appeared carrying protest signs. Some were about the president, some about abortion, and yet others about police brutality. They paraded about the stage forming interesting configurations. Shortly after, the protest figures started to move about violently. It seemed to turn into a melee of sorts. Quick as a flash, another group of dancers emerged carrying retractable batons. I suppose they represented the police responding to the attacks about their profession. After marching about in a military manner, the batons were activated and raised to the ceiling. It was an awesome and terrifying spectacle. They were so threatening and their movements intense.

The dancers carrying signs backed off and the “normal” citizens came out in front waving their arms and pointing fingers. Whose side were they on? It was very symbolic. The unrest of the sign holders escalated and the “police” thrust their self defense weapons in front of them as they approached the mob. It was a long episode of unrest that moved me emotionally. A few of the officers lightly tapped the dancers on the arms and legs. They recoiled in horror. Everything was now in motion. Dancers were whirling about and forming pairs as they fended off the “attack.” The people being attacked by the signs – the police – became the aggressors.

At the end of the fifteen-minute dance, everyone dropped to the ground and formed two large piles: the two sides were clearly distinct. There was no merging of minds shown. That would have been an interesting conclusion—a kind of truce or peace. Instead, it left you with a feeling of unresolved tension. This was the source of the dance’s power. It was some of the most interesting choreography I have ever seen.

Dance is an amazingly effective source of human expression. It tells a story without words. The movements and facial features become activated by the music. It can be about forms and patters; but it can also be a commentary on current affairs. It can tackle any subject with profundity or humor. The choreographer is in control. Dancers can be pawns for personal issues that plague society and have moved the creator. Sometimes it fails and other times it works wonders. I give accolades to the police protest dance.

Theatrical performers, whether actors or dancers, dress for the part. They have costumes and facial makeup requirements as dictated by the director. When you are on stage, you must stand out. I have seen some “natural” costumes that are simple and bare; but for the most part I like to experience a personal transformation of some kind. The attire and makeup add to the magical environment that is the theater. It sometimes takes hours to apply makeup, including eyelash extensions that all dancers where, and hours to take it all off. You want to go home after the show as you are very tired. You want to eat something and chat with your friends who have attended your event. But you must wait. It takes so long just to get the lashes off that you are ready for bed.

There must be an easier way to get eyelash extensions off than just tugging at their ends. After all, the glue, also called adhesive, must stick well and last the entire performance. As a result, you need special removers designed for just this purpose, like the ones here. Normal face makeup remover doesn’t always work. You want an oil-based product that is safe for the eyes with no toxic ingredients. You don’t want it to burn if your hand slips. Read the label when you buy any makeup remover to make sure it is hypoallergenic and made for sensitive skin. Eyelashes are not skin, but your solution will be applied to the eyelid. Products for this purpose must be tested and approved. You don’t want to get an eye irritation, or worse yet an infection. You control what you put on your face.

I love the way eyelashes look. They give women those wonderful “doe eyes.” Even if you are sitting in the last row of a big theater, you can see their effects. The eyes are enhanced to look larger and more compelling. You can focus on a dancer or actor’s eyes and see into their soul like the lead in Swan Lake. Facial expression is so important to a stage character. It is all part of a total impression comprised of makeup, clothing, and what is worn on the feet. If you are a veteran of the theater, you have no doubt been many personas. Much of the enjoyment for performers is their ability to take on different characters. Musicians are only themselves. I therefore would prefer to dance, for example, than just stand on a stage gyrating.

Once you know how to get all that makeup off so you can become yourself again, you feel fresh and clean. It all takes a toll on your skin and can cause it to break out. Eyelash extensions, if left on too long, can cause irritation. The glue alone can produce redness. Thus, performers never like to go home with makeup on. It is easier to remove in the theater as you sit before a well-lighted mirror. Actors and dancers share products so you can choose what works best.

There is something the novice can never know. Professional dance as a field of artistic endeavor is really tough. It takes hours of practice and more than 100% dedication. You think you know, but it is beyond what you could possibly imagine. It is exhausting and also exhilarating, and there is nothing like it for complete and absolute physical fitness.

Dancers are supreme athletes, the most trained and the most disciplined of them all. Their stamina is exceptional. A performance of two hours burns thousands of calories. This is fitness to the max. And why not? Every single element of the body has been addressed, plus grace, flexibility, and artistry are layered on top of skill. It is multi-dimensional and all-encompassing, and watching performing practitioners is among the greatest experiences of them all.

To be dance fit is to be in tip top form, with a body shape to match. Dancers are being to envy. You might have noticed that various types of dancers exhibit particular physiques as a general rule. Ballet dancers have long slender limbs and torsos. Modern dancers can be more grounded with heavier legs. Tap dancers can be anywhere in between. Gene Kelley and Fred Astaire were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Nowadays, dancing is a glamor sport with ballroom competitions and TV shows like Dancing with the Stars; but don’t kid yourself. Athleticism is at the top of the priority list, and that means physically fit. A comprehensive gym system including pull up bars, trampolines and weighted vests should all be part of the dancer’s routine. I would add that this goes for non-performing street dance as well. Hip hop, funk, contemporary styles and salsa are pretty rigorous.

Getting dance fit a takes daily routine usually encompassing a gym workout and a barre program as preparation for a routine (a piece of choreography). Ballet is the essence and the beginning of most choreography of any real merit. It is like classical drawing to abstract painters. They have to get through that first basic hurdle to shine in a new and more personal mode of expression. The dancer is a live paintbrush, a human performer who enters another realm when on stage. The work that goes into creating a moving illusion is dissolved in the artistry and is part and parcel of it. The dancer’s body is his craft. He must protect it and take care of it at all times.

Most people could not stand the rigor of true dance training to become “dance fit.” They might take a cardio barre class at the gym which is a diluted form of the dancer’s fitness program. They might stretch on the floor. When it comes to the real thing, it is beyond the pale. There is not an ounce of fat anywhere on the professional’s body. See for yourself. You will know as we see it in its barest form. Costumes emphasize the line and form of the body, its essential and perfect shape. As displayers of lithe energy and refined elegance, dancers are magnificent specimens of everything we admire in humankind. Don’t miss the next performance in your neighborhood!

I love big events. They are festive and full of joy and wonder. It takes away any lingering bad mood of attendees and instigates a barrage of mental pleasure. It could be a wedding, a party, a cultural event, or a massive family picnic. It could be a sports play off, an art opening, or a parade. I don’t care as long as there are lots of people, food and beverage, and entertainment galore. You look forward to these rare treats and maybe even buy a special outfit or two in anticipation.

These occasions, however, have been known to become marred by rain, traffic delays, arguments, and even insects. Yes, insects. I recall a family friend’s story about his daughter’s wedding. It was a beautiful day in a lovely locale, and the bride was exquisite. The groom didn’t look so bad himself and the guests were in great spirits bedecked in their best finery. After a simple ceremony, a feast was to take place, along with some orchestral music and dancing. Along with the ubiquitous arrangements of white ribboned flowers, you couldn’t ask for a better formula for success. And that formula does not include ants.

These little devils love sweets and somehow word got out that there was a frothy cake a mile high within range. They didn’t ask if it is chocolate, vanilla, or marble. They came in droves and weren’t disappointed one bit. They marched with glee around each tasty tier, reaching the top in triumph. A few nestled, sated, in the little candy bride and groom. The first of the black menace matched the tuxedo quite well and went incognito for a brief moment. It was a sight to behold. People were too stunned to take action – and even if they had the required items, getting rid of ants isn’t a quick task that can be accomplished in 5 minutes. It takes some time for the treatment to be effective. Anyway, back to the story, not a word was heard, until….the bride screamed in anguish. Here elegant dessert was ruined, and also the rest of the day. No one wanted to dance, even with ants in their pants, no matter how great the music.

You can’t really plan for something like this and I have yet to hear a similar account. Maybe people are too ashamed to admit the invasion as if they had done something wrong. Rain will bring out the whole ant farm, but you never would expect a cake to have the honors. After all, how many outdoors events have we attended without espying even one? I imagine it could even happen indoors or under a tent. You have to go with the flow at such times and make do. Needless to say, the photographs of the cake cutting ceremony were quite humorous.

While you can’t carry a can of Raid around with you, even in a portable size, you can, on warm days, keep the sweets in the cooler until the last minute. You need to sweep up spills of sugary soda and wipe away the first ant pioneers so the rest are duly warned. Don’t let them find safe harbor anywhere in your vicinity!

Dancing is fun and what makes it even more fun is the unusual dances that have been popular through the years. Finding out how they got started is amusing too.

Have you ever done “The Bump”?  Chances are if you were alive back in the 70’s, you have done it at least a time or two.  The dance was invented by a guy named Johnny Spruce, but no one cared about that really.  Lightly bumping hips to every other beat of the music was the object of the dance with bumps to the derriere, shoulders and most every other body part being done in-between.  The dance was a huge fad and even those who did not usually dance often took part in “The Bump” moves.

The “Funky Chicken” was another craze dance.  It is Swiss in origin but became quite the thing in the Western World.  In the dance, the dancer makes moves…yep, just like a chicken, with flapping wings and the whole nine yards.  It was also called the “Duck Dance” and was a hit in the early 1970’s and even came back for an encore in the 80’s.

“The Twist” was a fun dance that took the nation by a storm.  It was done in 1959 to the song by the same name performed by Chubby Checker.  The song and the dance were loved by young and old alike and still remains a well-known classic.

The “Electric Slide” got everyone on their feet in 1976.  It was a four wall line dance meaning that people lined up in rows of four deep to participate in it.  There have been a lot of other popular line dances through the years too like the Country Western “Cotton-Eye Joe”.  Line dances are fun to do at weddings, birthday parties and practically any other time a group is together having fun.

Latin based dances were the big deal in the 60’s with the Mambo, Samba and Rumba.  The “Cha-Cha-Cha” was huge too.  These were fun dances that are unique and well-defined.  Many are still done on dance floors today,, especially in dance competitions.

Years ago, people were still crazy for crazy dances.  The Jitterbug was one such dance that was popular in the 1920’s.  The Charleston was another during that same era.  The most popular of that time period though was the Tango which is still done to this day on dancefloor across America.

“The Snake”, “The Swim”, the “Hitch-Hike” are all really fun, unusual and quirky dances that have come and gone.  “The Frug” is yet another.  There has even been one endearingly called the “Mashed Potatoe”.  The motions that accompany these songs are pretty much just as you would picture them being.

Dances come and go, they always have and they always will.  And as the fads do pass through, leaving their stamp on the generation, some will always stand out as we recall the era.  The funkier, the more memorable it seems.  I mean, why should dancing just be fun when you can make it…even more fun?

BalletDance

Ballet is one of the most beautiful displays of art in existence.  It is an expression done with the body, a very limber and graceful one, I might add.

Ballet dancing has been around a long, long time, originating in the 15th Century in Italy, and spreading on over to France, Russia and then all around the globe.  The word “ballet” is French but it is taken from the Italian word, “balletto”.  So, ultimately, the word is French in origin.

Classical ballet as we know it actually got its start royally.  As a young boy, Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great, King of France from 1643 until his death seventy-five years later, was a ballet dancer.  His love for it led way to classical French ballet.

There’s a lot more to ballet than meets the eyes although what does meet the eyes is exquisite.  It has what is called technique and vocabulary.  Technique, when speaking of ballet, is the basic principal of moving the body in precise ways during ballet dancing.  The way in which the movement is done is quite important in the ballet style of dance and they many vary greatly between the various styles.

Vocabulary is the list of terms used in ballet which is very extensive and somewhat complicated.  A good bit of the terminology is French in nature so that makes it a little more difficult for non-French dancers to learn.  It is imperative that a ballet dancer know the lingo because it constitutes the moves that will be made and determines how they will be done.  There are glossary books which can be referred to and the information is available online as well.

All ballet pieces fall under one of two categories: story ballets or plotless.  Then there are the particular styles of ballet like contemporary, classical and neo-classical.  There are also shoots off of the styles like in jazz based ballet.

Contemporary ballet is basically modern in nature.  It is untraditional and often includes a good bit of floor work and non-conforming measures such as barefoot dancing.  It is generally done at a fairly fast pace.

Classical follows the rules of old and is very balanced, graceful and smooth.  It is done with the legs turned out whereas some contemporary moves are done the legs turned out instead.  Classical often times follows a story line and boasts glamorous and elaborate costumes.

Neo-classical ballet is a mix of both classical and contemporary.  It is basically classical done at a faster pace, without everything being balanced and the same.  It doesn’t usually follow a plot and is often done as a one-scene production.  It is, if you will, classical with a bit of rebellion.

Ballet dancing is a passion of many.  There are those who adore watching it, those who study or teach it…and those who gracefully and skillfully perform it.  Ballet is an art that spills from the soul of the dancer to the heart of those who watch with wonder.

A Look At Dancing

Dancing is a lot like music.  Over the years it has changed yet it remains timeless as well.  It has been around probably as long as humans have been and, possibly before.  When it comes to dance, although much has changed, nothing has changed.

Most every culture throughout the ages has had dance in their history.  Dance is used for many reasons like celebrations, religious expressions, rituals, healing and just for fun.  Paintings of dancing date all the way back to 3300 BC on Egyptian tombs.  It is mentioned countless times in the Bible as well.

There have been times through the ages that dancing was considered a bad thing.  The English ruling over India banned it at one time and called it sinful.  That was in in the early 1900’s but by 1947, dancing was back and the country celebrated…with dancing.

For the most part though, dancing has been a symbol of joy in cultures.  It is hard to say if dancing reflects the era or if the era reflects the dancing.  Even generations are often described by the music they listened to and the dances that were popular like the disco era and swing years.

There are many types of dancing.  Tap, jazz, ballet, disco, country, modern dance and slow dancing are among the many forms there are.  Some people like them all but most of us have our favorites.  Usually, the type of dance one likes is often linked to the kind of music they like.  One who loves Country and Western music is generally fond of two-stepping and the Cotton-Eye Joe.

Are some people born with rhythm while others are plagued with two left feet?  Sad to say, it seems to be true although anyone can dance, some shouldn’t.  It’s hard to say if it’s the lack of rhythm or coordination or if those poor souls perhaps think too much about it or lack the confidence to do it.  Never the less, dancing is not a respecter of persons.  Even those who aren’t great at doing so can join in the fun because that is what dancing is…fun!

Besides, there seems to be something built inside most of us that makes us want to move to the music.  It is just something that takes over, regardless of if we are master dancers or not.

Dancing is not only good exercise, it is good for the soul too.  It has been proven to lift depression and to stimulate endorphins.  Generally, if you are dancing, you aren’t moping around and rolling around in your misery.  It’s a good social tool too.  It’s one of the number one ways that people meet each other and become romantic or at least hit off a great friendship.

Dancing…it has been around since the beginning of time.  It has been celebrated and banned and has gone through many changes.  It lifts your spirits and keeps you in shape.  Dancing is good medicine for life, it always has been and it is looking like it always will be.

In the theater business I am in, you meet a lot of very creative people, from writers and directors, to actors and choreographers. Where do they get it all from? What is their source? Their heads must be bursting all of the time. As spectators, we love to get a whiff of such inspiration in live performance. Aficionados know there is nothing comparable in life.

I know that when I need to be creative, I need quiet time alone, away from the routine hubbub of the world. The stereotype of the artist in the garret makes sense to me. He or she is above the fray in another world, on a higher plane. I fancy that some artists in any given medium live in their subconscious minds or a fantasy world populated with imagery and poetic words. Who knows? They don’t like to talk about it, they just like to hear what you think of the final product. I have been able to get some insight, however, after a bit of prying. They like to get away whether it be to the country or the sea for a change of scene whenever possible. After a bit of hiking or water recreation, they are ready to dig into the depths of their being for that illusive, magical thing called inspiration.

Poets need to see in terms of word imagery, painters in terms of light and shade. Sculptors work with volume and texture, architects with space. Dancers relish movement and flight while actors embody characters and moods. It is like a displacement of oneself in a sense. Being in nature helps clear the air and ventilate the brain cells I am told. I can well believe it. This works for normal people who need to vent stress and anxiety. Water in particular seems to have a special role such that spas and resorts near a lake or the sea are favorite retreats.

Even a Jacuzzi can do it for those who are too busy to literally get away. Sometimes life’s obligations rear their ugly heads. Water is therapeutic and cleansing of the mind and body. You don’t have to be water skiing or paddling around in an inflatable kayak to feel renewed. But when you are in the midst of various kinds of water sports activities, you do stop thinking of almost anything else. That is the beauty of recreational exercise—complete mental and physical submersion.

Creativity thus is a bit of a mystery to me and maybe to you unless you are in it feet first at the moment. Sitting before a computer screen waiting for words to emerge is a joy and a curse, let me tell you. Maybe if I just look at some photos of crashing waves or rippling brooks I will get inspired. That would be the modern digital version of escaping to another locale. Whatever works and I’m going to try!

A performance is a magical experience. We have stereotypes of what goes on in the theater and it is all true! All the rehearsals—acting and technical—create a new, seamless experience. It can be perfection in the right hands, especially at the most professional level, but any time really. No one knows how much effort was exerted by so many when you are sitting in the dark enrapt. The theater is a world of light and sound but it can’t happen without expertise, planning, talent, and creativity. At the most advanced level, it is a complicated world of electronics utilizing expensive equipment and requiring a trained staff. Music and lighting are no longer accessed manually, not even the opening of the curtain. A computer on a timer does it all, even though a smart human mind has to create the master plan.

It’s a wonder it all works so well most of the time with so few mishaps. We are used to everything going like clockwork as a rule and we really notice it when it fails. It is rather disturbing. When something from the real world intrudes during a performance, it breaks that transparent curtain between stage and audience. That’s why coughing and unwrapping candy is taboo. We don’t want to pierce the veil or dismantle the “suspension of disbelief” which constitutes art.

Thinking about this kind of thing, I recall being in the great Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles during an earthquake last year. The epicenter was only five miles away and the tremors were quite apparent. It shook the place to the rafters. Of course, as luck would have it, the lights went off, and the theater owned a top rated standby generator which switched itself on. It was amazing. The actors did not skip a beat. The conductor looked a bit nonplussed but kept the baton in motion. I wonder if all theaters have these backup units. I would guess not. Those in major urban centers no doubt do, but certainly not all the little local venues that seat 100-400 at best.

The moral of the story is get a generator if you are in charge of your community theater as your venue no doubt is fairly basic and skimps on unnecessary expenditures. I hope it hasn’t been depending upon candles! Raise money for it with a raffle or bake sale. Ask local businesses for a donation. Whatever it takes for the show to go on. You never know what nature has in store from a raging storm to quivering earthquake. Power outages are common enough and they can happen at night or on weekends during a matinee. No one wants to miss the closing scene—not one bit of dialogue, not one line of a song.

The size and cost of a generator varies a great deal. If you are talking about an auditorium, you need a pretty large contraption. A small space might do with a portable job. The point is that without one, the direction and other powers that be might be in for a disappointing evening.

A trip to the theatre is indeed a treat as most people don’t do it often enough. They leave it for a special occasion and it becomes a big night out. Before TV, it was a staple of leisure existence. Nevertheless, from major blockbuster musicals to little theatre in the round, it is all a wonderful thespian experience in all its incarnations. Every town and city in the country has something to offer to the public. People never tire of live performance, although the audience seems to be on the older side.

I love community theatre. Joe who owns the hardware store is often the lead against Molly the baker. The community center or local high school gym are often the loci of choice. From ancient Greek stone open-air ampitheatres to the fabulous Royal Court Theatre in England, the time spent viewing an illuminated stage will be an escape into another dimension, another time, another place.

Sometimes you go to the opera in a tux or a gown, especially if you are in Milan, and sometimes you go to the local 100-seat mini hall in jeans. Ring a bell? It doesn’t matter. You are there, captivated hopefully by the talented cast and superior direction. Some theatres are spectacles in themselves and throwbacks to another era. They are ornate, luxurious, and reek of history. They may also reek a little body odor if they are not air-conditioned, and some of the older ones are not! Spectators have to make do with less than first rate fans or nothing at all. Since many theatres are marvels of architectural bliss, they are allowed to endure as is. A few open windows is all the ventilation provided. Maybe a window unit or two in the dressing rooms.

That said, knowing the state of the next theatre you are likely to visit, dress accordingly. If it is during the summer season, keep the sweater and jacket at home. Bring your own portable mini fan if you must so as not to pass out from the close proximity of the audience. It will certainly disrupt the action on stage. God help the cast when the temperature soars! I wonder how they keep their cool, literally and figuratively, at such times. I guess they move slowly…but surely.

In spite of less than ideal conditions, attending a play or opera in an old venue is great fun. There is much to look at what with painted ceilings and frescoed walls. In Los Angeles, the Old Orpheum downtown is simply stunning, replete with rococo decorations wall to wall. It isn’t odd that a rock band might perform there. We are used to such oddities indeed. Europe has even older theatres, some refurbished, some not. You learn to adapt and try to put yourself in the place of a former onlooker. He or she was able to survive, why not you!

So enjoy theatre by all means and go prepared. You won’t regret a second of most offerings, but you can check out the reviews to find out. Watch for any mention of an “overheated room” or “stifling surroundings.”

Dance To The Music

If you are really into dancing, and are really, really good at it, you just might find yourself with a career in the field.  While many little girls want to be a ballerina when they grow up, for some, it’s not just a dream.  What is involved in becoming a professional dancer and where do they work?  Great questions!

There is a nice size market for dancers these days.  They work as teachers in dance studios or in colleges and also on television commercials and shows, in movies, and in other performances as well.  Sometimes they work as showgirls or even in cabarets.

The life of a dancer is not as glamorous as it might look.  There’s lots of blood, sweat and tears that goes into the choreographed body movements.  It may look easy but that is part of the art, making it look smooth and simple.  Trust me though…it’s not.

Dancers not only spend grueling hours exercising and practicing, they also must be careful what they eat and how much they eat.  They need foods that supply energy and health but also, they don’t want to put on a lot of extra pounds as it is usually part of the job, that they be and look fit.

Dancing for a living may require more than just discipline, physical training and talent.  It also very well may require relocating or travel.  Many dancing jobs are in Las Vegas or Hollywood, or possibly even New York City.  If you are considering the part of dancing for a living, be sure that you are willing to go wherever the job might take you.

The skills needed to launch a career in dance are many.  Of course, you need to be able to dance well.  You will also need to be a team player as you will be working with others.  If you plan to teach, you will need leadership skills.  Creativity is huge in dance.  You are performing for others and it will show if you are really speaking through your moves or just going through the motions.  Persistence and perseverance are on the “must have” list as well.

For many dance jobs, a degree is not required.  It is however, desirable and is a good thing to have.  A bachelor’s degree will give you knowledge in subjects such as dance trends, choreography, rhythm and dynamics and it will also school you on careers that are available in the field and what they entail.  You can also go on to get your Master’s if you are so inclined.

It’s pretty much a given that if you dance as your livelihood, you will encounter such things as occasional flops and injuries too.  Hopefully neither are very bad and you will get right back up on your feet again.  If either would devastate you, you may want to second think your decision.

Dance is a beautiful thing.  Some are content to do it or watch it now and then.  Others have it in their blood and those who do may find great joy as well as success making it their life as well as their life career.

If your little darling is begging to take dance classes, there are a few things you should know about tot classes.  There are a multitude of types of classes, ways in which the classes are taught and very importantly, who the classes are taught by.  All these things are good to be carefully considered before signing your child up for lessons.

Dance comes in all forms.  So do the classes.  Classic dance, modern dance, jazz, tap, and ballet are among the choices you will have.  One way to decide is, of course, to see where your child’s interests lay.  If your youngster hates ballet, it is doubtful she (or he) will excel in it.  On the other hand, if he or she has a passion for modern dance, by all means pick it.

Next is location, location, location.  It is a good idea to pick a class that is convenient to get to.  Keep in mind where you will be coming from as well.  If class will be right after school and you will be picking up another child afterwards, choosing one near the school or next to the second stop might be better than one that is by your house.  It’s all about the itinerary.  Keep in mind that if it stresses you out to get your child to the class, your child will be a stressed mess as well so keep it simple.

Another option is that there are often times classes that are offered at daycare if your child goes to daycare or preschool.  Sometimes classes are even offered at school as well.  It’s certainly worth checking into.

Who is teaching your child is of upmost concern. Especially if you will not be staying for the lesson, be sure to get references on the teacher.  That may sound a bit extreme but when it comes to our children, we should be these days.

Something that is often overlooked is the level of the class.  Some classes are more serious than others.  If your child is one that is very focused and wants to excel, an advanced teaching class might be just the thing for him or her but for one who is content just to have gone to class and participated, somewhat, the intensity of a more advanced class may turn him or her off.

Speaking of “him or her”, don’t rule out letting your little man take a dance class.  Many football players and martial arts enthusiasts take dance.  It is only for sissies if you make it that way.

When you sign your child up for class, be aware that you are signing yourself up too.  You will most likely be attending recitals, purchasing dance gear and most of all, encouraging your child to bloom

Dance is good exercise.  It is also great for the mind, for self-esteem and for overall coordination.  It teaches discipline too.  Dance is a great activity and with a little thought and planning, your child should be in for an awesome experience.

All about Dance/music/performing arts. Can talk about getting started in dance & performing arts, starting your kids young (ballet, tap, jazz etc), careers in dance/performing arts, places to see the arts etc…