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Abc for dance's Blog (45)

Dancing in Heels

Dancing in heels is nothing new.  Throughout the history of many dance styles heels seem to come in and out of fashion.  Historical pictures have documented dancers in heels going back as far as the middle ages for both male and female dancers for social dances, but it's only been recently where I've seen classes actually being promoted simply as "Heels".  



Added by abc for dance on January 3, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

Convert Your Leotard - Handy Upcycle Project

What to do when it's 4 degrees out and you have only a pile of camisole leotards?  Convert a camisole leotard into a long sleeve leo by upcycling a sweater that has a pull or run in it.

1.  FInd a sweater you are no longer using as a sweater due to a pull or run in the body (or other reason, like lots of holiday designs on the front).

2.  Carfully remove the sleeve along the seam line at the shoulder.  This works best with a sweater that has normal inset sleeves (the sleeve…


Added by abc for dance on January 7, 2014 at 10:20pm — No Comments

Shoe Deodorizers - Craft Project

A simple craft that will help absorb odors and moisture from your shoes while helping the shoes to retain their shape.  Please note that a mesh fabric was used for demonstration purposes only.  To avoid dust in your shoes, use a slightly tighter weave fabric - muslin would be a good choice.


1.  Cut a rectangle of fabric that is as wide as the inside of your shoe and twice as long as the area you want to cover.  To be effective you want to cover at least the front half of the…


Added by abc for dance on January 5, 2014 at 10:13am — No Comments

Hip Helpers - A Quick Conditioning Series

The ability to move your thigh freely in your hip socket is crucial for all style of dance.   To be able to do this without pain, popping or crunchy sounds is even better.  This quick series of exercises targets the muscles all around the hip socket to help keep…


Added by abc for dance on December 26, 2013 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Wall Barre Alignment Strengthener

Use your break between classes to improve your alignment and strength with this short workout -


Lay on your side with your bottom and shoulders against a wall.  Most people will not have their back all of the way against the wall.  Bend your bottom elbow and allow your head to rest on your arm to help create proper neck alignment.  Take your bottom leg…


Added by abc for dance on December 22, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Snowflake Ballet - Craft Project

A fun and easy craft for any dancer old enough to use scissors.

You will need 1 paper ballerina for each project.  Here is a link to the drawing that I used for my ballerina base arabesque.docx

An additional sheet of paper and a pair of scissors is also needed to complete the project.

1.  If using the file above, print the page (please note the file is in…


Added by abc for dance on December 20, 2013 at 10:19pm — No Comments

Easy Bun Cover - Craft Project

You will need an 8 inch piece of fabric - sheer works well, a fabric marker or pen, scissors, a 2.25 inch metal barrette, hair elastic, needle and thread, a 7 - 7.5 inch circle to use as a pattern and optional items to decorate the finished bun cover.

1. Trace around your circular object to draw the shape on the wrong side of your fabric (I used a small plate for my…


Added by abc for dance on December 20, 2013 at 12:12am — No Comments

Tribute to Ron Field

Dancer's Over 40 presented their tribute to choreographer / director Ron Field this evening at the St. Luke's Theatre in NYC.  It was an incredible slice of dance and theatre history that left me sad for a generation of dancers who probably aren't aware of the amazing body of work created by Mr. Field and the dancers who brought his visions to life.

As a dancer, Ron Field appeared in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Kismet and The Boy Friend.  Switching over to choreography his debut was…


Added by abc for dance on October 22, 2013 at 12:35am — No Comments

In Houston? Check out this neat exhibit

The University Museum at Texas Southern University is hosting an exhibit called "Dance Theatre of Harlem - 40 Years of Firsts".  The exhibit runs through April 28th and includes photos, costumes and more.  In conjunction with this exhibit, the following special events are also planned -

Tuesday April 2nd - Serious Dancers Workshop with Laura Anderson and Dwight Baxter

Saturday April 6th - African Americans in Classic Ballet with Dwight Baxter and Lauren Anderson



Added by abc for dance on March 28, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Costume Season

As many schools, studios and companies gear up towards spring performances, the air becomes heavy with sequins, rhinestones and fabric.  As fun as it can be to flip through a costume catalog or two, looking at the artwork of historical dance costumes is much more inspiring.

Enjoy this armchair tour of some wonderful dance costume collections -

  • Ballet Russe - Leon Baskt and Pablo Picasso were two of the designers.  This link takes you to a collection of pieces by Baskt,…

Added by abc for dance on March 18, 2013 at 11:50pm — No Comments

Ballet Combinations to Popular Music

One of my teens asked if we could do something fun for her birthday during class.  I decided to do a center barre class to popular music.  Thought I'd share a couple of the combinations in case anyone else might want to do this.

Plie' Combination

Eyes Open by Taylor Swift from the Hunger Games

Hold until the percussion kicks in

2 Demi plie' (2 cts down and 2 cts up)

2 Grand plie' (4 cts down and 4 cts up)

2 Eleve' (2 cts up and 2 cts down)



Added by abc for dance on October 13, 2012 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Teaching Night Lasagne

For those nights when you want to come home to a nutritious hot dinner, try this slow cooker / crock pot recipe.  The recipe below works well in a 4-6 QT cooker.

10 oz frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained

2 cups veggies chopped small (or meat if you want meat sauce)

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup grated cheese (I usually use whole foods 3 cheese blend with asiago, romano and fontina)

24 oz pasta sauce - or use the Eat Your Veggies pasta sauce from an earlier blog…


Added by abc for dance on October 7, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Expand Your Dance Library

When my mother passed away in June she left a house full of memories.  As a former dancer and teacher and librarian, one of her passions was collecting books on dance and dancers.  While I am fortunate to grow my collection with additions from her library, there are well over a hundred more books that are in need of a new home.  The majority of the books are out of print, some dating back to the early 1900's.  Additionally there are copies of Dance Magazine ranging from the 1960's to mid… Continue

Added by abc for dance on October 20, 2011 at 10:47am — No Comments

Eat Your Veggies Pasta Sauce

Need a way to get more veggies in your diet?  Try this pasta sauce recipe that is adapted from the roasted vegetable sauce from The Essential Pasta Cookbook.  I make big batches when the veggies are in season (or on sale) and freeze them. 



4 large red bell peppers (orange works too - green works but looks way less appetizing in the end product)

1lb roma tomatos

3 sweet yellow onions

1 small eggplant (1…


Added by abc for dance on May 5, 2011 at 12:45pm — 1 Comment

Performance Checklist

As many studios and schools begin wrapping up the dance year, concerts, recitals and other end of year performances abound.  Here's a quick checklist for you during this hectic time of the year.



Touch base with the administration and make sure that everyone has the same dates / times reserved. When weather has been crazy, sometimes school functions will be booked over outside events and people doing the booking don't always remember to call…


Added by abc for dance on April 26, 2011 at 9:03am — No Comments

Knee Hyperextension - Training students to find "straight"

Many dancers have the ability to hyperextend their knees.  The position of hyperextension feels straight to the dancer and breaking this alignment habit is hard to do. If you aren't familiar with the differences between hyperextension and straight, look at the pictures below.  The same student appears in both pictures, in the one on the left she is standing in what she considers her natural stance (hyperextended), the picture on the right is where she constantly corrects to now that she…


Added by abc for dance on April 23, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Increasing Your Students' Ballet Classes

One question I get a lot from other teachers is "how do you get your students to take more ballet classes"?  My first question back is "why do you want them to take more ballet?"  Mind you, I'm not trying to talk anyone out of additional ballet classes, I just like hearing the answers.   The post that follows are some of the reasons I get in response and suggestions on how…


Added by abc for dance on March 27, 2011 at 12:30am — 2 Comments

Barre Stretch Combination

Have some time (about 12 minutes)?  Try this barre stretch series after you've already done some large full body movements for at least 5-10 minutes to get the blood moving through your system and your core temperature warmed up. 

Remember proper alignment is crucial for the effectiveness of any stretch or strengthening routine.  To gain the most benefit, never sit and hold the stretch but always feel like you are moving the 2 ends of the body away from each other.

I use a 3/4…


Added by abc for dance on March 1, 2011 at 11:01am — No Comments

Save Some Time - Make Some Money

As recitals get closer and competition season starts to heat, many teachers and choreographers find themselves spending time to burn cd's of music for their students to practice to.

Here's an idea that can bring in a little income and save you some time (another way of bringing in more income).  Best yet it doesn't involve breaking the law like burning and distributing cds does (even if you don't charge them, it's still unauthorized distribution…

Added by abc for dance on February 21, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

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