Blending Physical Therapy & Dance

This week, we are kicking off our Careers in Dance series! This series will include interviews with people working all sorts of different jobs within the dance industry. We had this idea after talking to a few of our senior company dancers about their planned career paths, and wanted to do something to help give them insight into all the options they have to link dance with their other passions. We hope you enjoy our first interview with Long Island based dance teacher/trainer, Danielle Pinga!

Tell us about your work!
-I’m Danielle Pinga, a Personal Trainer for True Dance Potential. TDP is an elite training program that guides dancers to achieve success by educating them in technique, flexibility, strength, conditioning and most importantly injury prevention. During one on one training sessions, I evaluate the dancer based on their bio-mechanical patterns during a simple work out. During our evaluation we are able to pick apart the dancers’ strengthens and weaknesses where we then plan a program made specifically for that dancer’s needs.

What is your dance background?
-I started dancing when I was three on Long Island, NY and haven’t stopped since! After graduating high school, where I was dancing competitively I went to SUNY Oneonta as a Biology major. During my time there, I was a dancer for the Oneonta State Dance Team and a dancer, choreographer and Vice President of the Terpsichorean Dance Company. The summer after graduation, I was accepted into the training program at Broadway Dance Center where I trained for three months studying contemporary, jazz, hip hop, street jazz and ballet. Soon after, I joined a dance company, DanceWorks in Astoria, Queens. The summer after, I became a certified 200 hour Yoga Instructor and then a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. With my dance history, college education and certifications I was able to connect both science and dance together. I’m a firm believer in the fact that you are never done learning! Still today, I make sure I take class to keep myself up to pace with this wonderful dance world that continues to evolve.

What got you interested in PT/injury prevention?
-The idea of working with dancers on injury prevention started my junior year of high school. I was always one to get shin splits and I was always curious on why that was. When I started doing my research, my ballet teacher at the time told me about a facility in NYC, Westside Dance Physical Therapy, that specializes in dance injuries. Two summers later, I was accepted as an intern there where I got to shadow treatments of dancers from all over NY including the NYC Ballet and ABT. Seeing exercises executed on stage cut outs and seeing ballet barre as part of their warm ups was an eye opening experience. Dancers move very differently than a typical athlete which is why dance medicine is so important to get dancers the treatment they need.

What’s your favorite part of working in the field?
-My favorite part about working in this field is seeing the joy from all my dancers when they finally achieve a new goal. Whether they hit five turns, hold their planks for a record time or even just that moment where their technique and placement finally clicks. I love educating dancers’ on anatomy and how it’s so important to understand which muscles should be activated during certain movements. It’s very rewarding when they even remember the muscle group names and relate it to their workouts. It proves they are starting to understand their bodies which will help them prevent injuries!

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar path?
-For anyone that is looking to pursue this field, know that there are so many opportunities out there if you do your research. You can be a personal trainer, a physical therapist, a physical therapist assistant, athletic trainer, or even a yoga and pilates instructor. All these fields can relate back to dance medicine. Once you figure out which field you want to get into you then can decide your college path. I do recommend that you start your internships early so you can meet as many people in your field as you can while you're still in school!

What’s your best injury prevention tip for dancers?
-The best advice I can give to dancers about preventing injuries without an evaluation is to warm up the correct way! Dancers often will walk into rehearsals and jump straight into stretching their splits. Always make sure that you are properly warmed up before stretching. Think of a cold piece of gum, if you try to stretch it, it will snap but a warm piece is easily stretched; think of the gum as your muscles! A good warm up can consist of running in place, jacking jacks, lunges, calf raises, short kicks and squats. Before going on stage, I always recommend my dancers do their warm up in addition to ballet barre!

Thank you, Danielle, for doing this interview with us! Dancers, you can follow Danielle & her amazing work on Instagram @danielle_tdp

Do you have a dance-related career you want to hear more about? Let us know who you want us to interview next in the comments below!

How can dancers stay healthy this winter?

With the start of the new year, we can’t think about the next few cold months we are facing. This time of year is often when dancers tend to get sick, so we asked some of our nurse friends/Studio B dance moms for their best tips to stay healthy this year! :-)

Rachel Nolan, mom to Sophia P. says…
”The most important tip for all year: wash your hands often. If you start to feel under the weather vitamin C and Cold Eeze can help. “

Liz DeWitt, mom to Lucianna A. says…
”Always cover your cough/sneeze with your elbow. Wash your hands after touching ANYTHING. And remember people are contagious 3-5 days BEFORE they show signs of being sick, so remaining in your own personal space is best to not catch anything. Also if you’re on antibiotics make sure you finish the whole course, don’t just stop because you feel better. The bug is not dead just hiding. That’s how people create super bugs/drug resistant bug.”

Nicole Wood, mom to Rhian G. says…
Everyone (but especially the kids) need SLEEP! Lack in sleep and getting run down is a huge cause for our bodies defenses to be down and to let the “yuckies” in. 
Fruits and Veggies REALLY do keep the doctor away (except for romaine, I’m giving up on that completely. )
WASH YOUR HANDS and sing happy birthday at the same time. Make sure you wash your nails, in between your fingers AND your wrists!!!! (You do NOT need hot water to wash thoroughly) 
Cover your mouth and cough into your clothing/elbow. Your friends love you but they don’t want your germs!
Drink Drink Drink! Mostly water, staying hydrated is huge and also drinks with electrolytes! 

Thank you Rachel, Liz & Nicole for your awesome tips!! :-)

Stay healthy,
Miss Becky

Scholar Dancers Q1

We are so proud to say that our dancers are not only great performers, but great students. Help us in congratulating these amazing Studio B dancers who landed on their school honor rolls for Quarter 1!

Sarah Gladstone, 10th grade at Walton Central School - Honor Roll
Rylee Noone, 7th grade at Afton Central School - High Honor Roll
Tonie Ruttiewicz, 12th grade at Afton Central School - Honor Roll
Emily Baciuska, 8th grade at Afton Central School - High Honor Roll
Claire James, 5th grade at Afton Central School - High Honor Roll
Alaina Renwich, 6th grade at Unatego Middle School - High Honor Roll
Julia Renwick, 8th grade at Unatego Middle School - High Honor Roll
Ariana Cornell, 6th grade at Gilbertsville-Mount Upton - High Honor Roll
Hayley Baker, 8th grade at Bainbridge-Guilford - Principal’s Honor Roll
Macey Beers, 6th grade at Franklin Central School - Honor Roll
Brylee Beers, 4th grade at Franklin Central School - Honor Roll

Congratulations to these hard-working scholar dancers! If your child landed on honor roll this quarter and isn’t listed, email missbecky@studiobperformingarts.com and we will add them.

We are sooo proud of you all!

10 gift ideas for the dancer in your life

So your child loves to dance, huh? Maybe you’d even describe them as sliiiiightly obsessed! Then we created this gift guide for YOU! We included some helpful tips too so you can decide which gifts are perfect for them!

The extra awesome thing about this gift guide? Amazon is giving Studio B a small kickback on purchases made through these links (even though it doesn’t cost you one cent extra!) to go toward purchasing new equipment for the studio (wedge mats, conditioning tools, more barres…). So thank you for letting us be a part of your holiday shopping, and for supporting your studio!

Who’s it for:  dancers ages 3+ who love to color!  This ballet themed coloring book  ($3.28) is a great creative gift for the little dancer in your life.

Who’s it for: dancers ages 3+ who love to color!
This ballet themed coloring book ($3.28) is a great creative gift for the little dancer in your life.

Who’s it for?  dancers who work hard and get sore/tight muscles  This foam roller  ($7.99) does just the trick when you wake up feeling sore after a night of hard work in the studio!

Who’s it for? dancers who work hard and get sore/tight muscles
This foam roller ($7.99) does just the trick when you wake up feeling sore after a night of hard work in the studio!

Who’s it for:  dancers ages 8-14, especially those interested in learning about careers in ballet  This book  ($11.48) details the story of American Ballet Theater’s star ballerina, Misty Copeland, and her journey to dance fame. This version of the book has been modified specifically for young readers in grades 4-7. You can get the New York Times Best Seller memoir for teen/adult readers  here.

Who’s it for: dancers ages 8-14, especially those interested in learning about careers in ballet
This book ($11.48) details the story of American Ballet Theater’s star ballerina, Misty Copeland, and her journey to dance fame. This version of the book has been modified specifically for young readers in grades 4-7. You can get the New York Times Best Seller memoir for teen/adult readers here.

Who’s it for:  dancers ages 8+ who hope to someday dance en pointe or just strengthen their point  These resistance bands  ($11.99 for a 5 pack) are great for stretching & strengthening. Most commonly, we use these bands to strengthen the finer muscles of the feet and ankles to aid in articulation of the feet.

Who’s it for: dancers ages 8+ who hope to someday dance en pointe or just strengthen their point
These resistance bands ($11.99 for a 5 pack) are great for stretching & strengthening. Most commonly, we use these bands to strengthen the finer muscles of the feet and ankles to aid in articulation of the feet.

Who’s it for: dancers who need a spa night  This lavender epsom salt soak  ($16.90 for a 2 pack) is perfect for a relaxing spa night to treat those tired dancing feet!

Who’s it for: dancers who need a spa night
This lavender epsom salt soak ($16.90 for a 2 pack) is perfect for a relaxing spa night to treat those tired dancing feet!

Who’s it for : dancers ages 8+ who wish to improve their arches & flexibility in their feet  This foot stretcher  ($35.95) is great for dancers with limited flexibility in their arches. It’s specifically designed to support the natural shape of the foot & leg and even has storage down below (perhaps to store your stretch bands?)

Who’s it for: dancers ages 8+ who wish to improve their arches & flexibility in their feet
This foot stretcher ($35.95) is great for dancers with limited flexibility in their arches. It’s specifically designed to support the natural shape of the foot & leg and even has storage down below (perhaps to store your stretch bands?)

Who’s it for:  ballet dancers ages 8+  This adjustable ballet barre  ($88) is lightweight, portable, and easy to put together and take down. It’s great for home practice, without totally breaking the bank!

Who’s it for: ballet dancers ages 8+
This adjustable ballet barre ($88) is lightweight, portable, and easy to put together and take down. It’s great for home practice, without totally breaking the bank!

Who’s it for : dancers who are on performance teams and have several costumes in each show  This rolling duffel/garment rack  ($131.75) is comparable to the popular Dream Duffel. You can store costumes, shoes, make up and accessories inside the duffel, then pop up the garment rack part backstage for total organization.

Who’s it for: dancers who are on performance teams and have several costumes in each show
This rolling duffel/garment rack ($131.75) is comparable to the popular Dream Duffel. You can store costumes, shoes, make up and accessories inside the duffel, then pop up the garment rack part backstage for total organization.

Who’s it for:  dances of all ages who want a safe floor to practice their turns or tap skills safely  This portable marley floor  ($129.99) is the perfect floor to practice turns or tap skills. Wood, tile or laminate floors can be very slippery and dangerous (not to mention, you probably don’t want your dancer digging their tap shoes into your floor!) so this marley floor is the perfect alternative. Several sizes are available - the smaller sizes being primarily just for pirouette practice, and the larger sizes being more suitable for practicing pointe or tap skills.

Who’s it for: dances of all ages who want a safe floor to practice their turns or tap skills safely
This portable marley floor ($129.99) is the perfect floor to practice turns or tap skills. Wood, tile or laminate floors can be very slippery and dangerous (not to mention, you probably don’t want your dancer digging their tap shoes into your floor!) so this marley floor is the perfect alternative. Several sizes are available - the smaller sizes being primarily just for pirouette practice, and the larger sizes being more suitable for practicing pointe or tap skills.

Who’s it for: dancers of any age who love to tumble!  These acro mats  ($189) may be a little pricey, but the quality is worth it. The foam inside the mat is much more dense than many cheaper options, making it safer for dancers to land tricks on. There are several size and color options to find the right fit for you, too. This is something you can pass down for years and years!

Who’s it for: dancers of any age who love to tumble!
These acro mats ($189) may be a little pricey, but the quality is worth it. The foam inside the mat is much more dense than many cheaper options, making it safer for dancers to land tricks on. There are several size and color options to find the right fit for you, too. This is something you can pass down for years and years!

All about TCB

Tri County Ballet is a youth ballet company founded in 2017 by Studio B director, Rebecca Tyler. TCB is best known for its annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Did you know there’s a lot more brewing behind the scenes?

Let’s start from the beginning. TCB was founded in hopes of becoming a 501c3 non-profit organization. The mission behind TCB is to increase access and provide opportunities within the art of ballet to young dancers and aspiring dancers in the tri county (Otsego, Delaware, Chenango) area. We wanted to form TCB as a separate entity from the studio of course so it could be non-profit, but also to create something completely independent of studio ties so dancers from all of the studios across the 3 counties could come together to experience their shared passion for Ballet.

Our first production as TCB was - of course - the Nutcracker! The annual holiday tradition is one we hope to grow each and every year to continue to increase the number of young dancers we are able to impact. The Nutcracker provides families a low-budget performance opportunity for young dancers and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform with professional guest artists from NYC who perform the roles of Sugar Plum and her Cavalier. We love bringing in these guest performers to inspire our young dancers and help them see what is possible through the art form. This year’s performers, Mayu Oguri Houston and Jacob Taylor, will be performing with us at Norwich HS November 23 & 24 (tickets on sale now!).

But besides the Nutcracker, what is TCB all about? Like any new organization, we are growing slowly each year. In February, we will be hosting our first intensive (details coming super soon!). We hope to eventually grow to be able to offer scholarships for local students with financial hardship to be able to study ballet, and make master workshop classes a regular occurrence in the area.

Interested in getting involved our seeing a show? Email tricountyballet@gmail.com to learn more!

Contemporary...what even IS it?!

You know what ballet and tap are…acro and hip hop make sense too…but what the heck is Contemporary?! (Every link included goes to a video so you can see what I mean!)

Contemporary is a style of dance born out of traditional Modern dance and fused with Ballet technique. It often borrows from other styles as well, like some acro tricks, or leaps and turns from jazz. Are you totally confused yet? Let’s start from the beginning…

Modern dance is an American dance form that began in the early 1900’s. It was, in a way, a protest against the rigidity of Ballet training. There were contracted body lines, dancers performed barefoot instead of in pointe shoes, they wore loose fitting clothing rather than the traditional leotard and tights, and works were sometimes performed in non-traditional spaces, including outdoor stages. At the time, all of this seemed pretty revolutionary, but now we see it as “normal.”

In the 50’s, Modern techniques began to make their way into concert dance in a big way. The iconic Alvin Ailey received widespread popularity for his technical fusion of Modern dance techniques (Limon technique, primarily) into the popular concert dance world. Famed American ballet choreographer and director of the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine, was also very heavily influenced by Modern dance and brought the unique lines from the technique into the Ballet world.

Today, those traditional modern routes and ballet technique foundations are very present in what we call Contemporary dance. The style continues to evolve, with a trend leaning toward heightened athleticism. It has become incredibly popular in mainstream media shows like World of Dance and So You Think You Can Dance, continues to gain momentum.

Does this sound like something you’d want to try for yourself? Sign up for a Trial Class and see for yourself!

Keep dancing!
-Miss Becky

Dance Class: where's the value?

Dance classes, as you know, aren’t free. With costumes and shoes and competitions especially, it can add up. Do you ever wonder what you’re really paying for?

Confidence.
We polled a few dance families asking what they feel their child gained from dance and every single one of them said they noticed their child has become much more confident since dancing at Studio B. This was the biggest compliment we have ever received!

Organization.
Having to keep track of school, homework, family life and your dance schedule? It definitely requires some serious organization skills. Not only are our dancers great performers…they’re great students, too! Most of our high schoolers are on Honor Society, consistently on Honor Roll and taking advanced level classes, plus active members of our local community. Organization at it’s finest!

Responsibility.
We encourage our dancers (even our minis!) to take personal responsibility over remembering their shoes, tights, and hair elastics…being on time and prepared to class…and staying on top of their rehearsal schedules. We are proud to say they always rise to the occasion!

Healthy body image.
The dance industry is changing, and Studio B is proud to be on the forefront. Dance is not for just 1 body type…it’s for everyone! We teach our dancers that strong and healthy are the only things they should be aiming for. Our dancers treat their bodies with respect and love, which enables them to reach new heights in dance and in life!

Lifelong friendships!
Looking back to my years as a dance student, the friendships I made are what I am most grateful for. There were ups and down and “phases” of popularity with my school friends, but my dance friends were there for me no matter what. That’s actually how I met Miss Amber! My greatest childhood memories include dance competitions with my mom and best friends, hanging out at theaters between shows, and dance sleepovers. I will always cherish those memories, and those friendships <3

We are so proud of our dancers and the life skills they are developing here at Studio B. Have you seen any of these changes in your child yet?

Keep dancing!
-Miss Becky

Recital Tips & Tricks

Recital is only 3 weeks away...AHHHHH!!!

Recital season can be stressful, especially if it's your first time! We decided to put together some of our best tips & tricks to make things as simple & fun as possible :-)

1. Put everything in your calendar
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's a big one for reducing recital-related stress! You can find a handy-dandy date date guide in the recital packet (we uploaded it under the Current Students tab in case you lost it!) that has all of the important stuff highlighted. Pay specific attention to recital week!

2. Organize your costumes, shoes & supplies ahead of time
I know I'm not the only last-minute packer out there, right?! When it comes to recital, waiting until the last minute to organize your stuff can cause a TON of unnecessary stress! There's a list of supplies in the recital spec sheet (also under the Current Students Tab) in case you're not sure what kind of stuff you need. It's easiest if everything is all in one bag or box that's labeled with your dancer's name. A garment bag with a zipper is a great investment to keep all your costumes organized & in 1 place too!

3. Read your emails
Okay, this one kind of sounds like a no-brainer too, right? I know constantly checking your email can get annoying buttttt I would hate for you to miss out on something super important! This is our primary form of communication, so make sure you're keeping up.

4. When in doubt, check in with us
The recital packet or spec sheet making your head spin? Breathe! We got you. Stop at the front desk Monday-Thursday 4-7pm and Christine or Shelley will answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. That time doesn't work for you? Shoot me a quick email at missbecky@studiobperformingarts.com and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

I hope these little tips help make your recital experience a little easier & a lot more fun! Have you gotten your tickets yet?

Keep dancing,
Miss Becky

To compete, or not to compete...that is the question

Like most dance studios in America, we have a competition team at Studio B (we call ours "Company"). Basically, dancers have the option of being a part of the Studio Program, or choosing the more rigorous Company Program where they study all styles and compete at several events through the year. Thinking about whether competition is right for your dancer or not? You've come to the right place!

What does Company mean?
Our company dancers are a select group, ages 7+ who have auditioned to be a part of the team. They dance at the studio 3-5 days per week (depending on their age and level) and perform at 3 competitions and conventions through the season. These students LOVE dance and want to do it as much as they can! Many of them aspire to go on to professional careers (like Kamryn and Brie, who graduated and began their dance degrees in college last year!), but others just love being part of the team, getting to travel, staying active and getting to do what they love! 

Like anything in life, Company is not for everyone...which is great! We love helping dancers thrive in their desired track, no matter if that means spending 45 minutes a week in class, or 4-5 days! Here are some of the pros and cons to Company to help you decide if it's right for your dancer.

The pros...
The most obvious pro to being on Company is the high level of training these dancers receive. They work very intensely with each member of our faculty and have the opportunity to take workshops and convention classes from some of the greatest performers & educators in the industry. They also have the opportunity to do solos, duets and trios, which allows a more individualized performance experience.

We have asked some of our Company parents what they feel their child's biggest takeaway from company and the most consistent answer was: Confidence. We love that this program helps to empower and inspire these young dancers! Company dancers also learn important life skills like time management, organization, responsibility, teamwork and more through their rigorous schedules.

The cons...
Being on our Company is a pretty big commitment. Dancers will be at the studio a minimum of 3 days/week and have several mandatory performances, some of which require travel and hotel stays, throughout the season. Sometimes that makes it tough for dancers to participate in other activities, such as sports or clubs. That's why time management becomes so crucial!

There is also a financial commitment, as competitions require entry fees, travel costs, and additional costumes. Luckily for us, we have a pretty amazing Fundraising Club that helps us to offset these expenses and make it more obtainable for the average family!

If you've been considering the Company Program for your dancer, we hope that this might have helped you make your decision! Each dancer is so unique and we try to make sure they find their 

A Summer to Remember

Hi, Studio B Family! I feel like we have so much to catch up on!

This summer has been a pretty crazy one, filled with dance! There were some super exciting parts I want to share with you…we are family after all :-)

I kicked off my summer with…a wedding! My husband (!!!) Callahan and I got married in Bar Harbor, ME on June 2nd. Naturally - I had to plan the wedding date around our dance season!! Our dog, Leia, was the ring bearer and Korinne was my Maid of Honor (she is my right-hand-woman after all!) So you may notice me signing my name as “Rebecca Tyler” now…even though admittedly I still forget pretty often…old habits die hard!

wdding.jpg

After I got back into town, we kicked off Summer Session 1. We welcomed a ton of new students (of course returning students, too!) and had a blast!

Our Company dancers set up a Walking Taco stand at the Unadilla Carnival of Sales to kick off their fundraising for the year. I mean, who wouldn’t want to buy lunch from these cuties?!

walking taco.jpg

After that came Princess Camp & Acro Camp Week. Both camps were packed full of eager dancers. Miss Kamryn co-taught the camps and it was so fun having her back in the studio! We are so proud of the things she’s doing in college, but we sure do miss her!

princess.jpg

Then there was another wedding…Miss Amber’s! She looked absolutely stunning and I am SO happy for her and Ryan!

ambers wedding.jpg

Next up was Session 2! I also had the privilege of working with a lot of dancers 1-on-1 in private lessons. Privates are one of my favorite things to teach because I love getting to really individualize the lesson and focus on the dancer’s unique needs. I am so proud of the progress made in these lessons!

claire.jpg

In early August, I spent a long weekend in NYC with Christine to attend the Dance Teacher Summit. It was a jam-packed 4 days of learning! This has been my favorite event of the summer for a decade now and I am so glad I was able to attend again this year. I left feeling inspired, motivated and more excited than ever to take on the new season! Once a student, always a student.

dts18.jpg

BOOTCAMP week was our last camp of the summer. 15 dancers ages 7-17 took classes with 12 teachers over 5 days. WOW! We were so lucky to have so many incredible guest artists come to Studio B to work with our dancers including LA based commercial dancer & IMPAVID company director, Leighanna Kennett, and Staten Island based Hip Hop teacher & choreographer, Hayley Rosenfeld, along with 4 of our regular faculty members and 6 other New York based guest artists. They studied all styles of dance, plus audition techniques, acting, vocal technique, improv, dance composition, and nutrition for dancers.

bootcamp 18.jpg

The week culminated in our 3rd Annual Summer Showcase performance at General Clinton Park. We couldn’t be more proud!

summer showcase 18.jpg

Then we had two weeks “off” …but if you know me, you know I don’t do “off” very well! I re-vamped the Shop @ Studio B, installed our camera system, and made a few other small changes around the studio. We also worked a lot with our whole staff on systems to make this our best year yet! We hope you’re enjoying the upgrades :-)

shop.jpg

I also went to the State Fair to watch Mini Company member, Alexia, perform her first ever solo! She competed and qualified earlier in the summer at the Otsego County Fair in Morris and was one of the youngest competitors at the State Fair. So proud of this girl!!

alexia fair.jpg

Our final day of summer happenings arrived just 2 days prior to our fall season - our performance at Colorscape in Norwich, followed by our Company photo shoot with Farrell Photography! As always, it was a fun day full of laughter and of course great pictures…we can’t wait to see them!

farrell.jpg

After this crazy eventful summer, I am SO ready and excited for this new season of dance! What are you most excited about? Leave us a comment! :-)

Power of Dance Recap

This past weekend, our Company dancers rounded out their 2018 competition season at Power of Dance in Oneonta, NY!

IMG_8846.JPG

Our dancers were asked to choose a charity to which their prize money would be donated to. They chose the Lupus Research Alliance, in honor of Miss Mariah. Combined with other studios, this event was able to raise $2950!

IMG_8703.JPG

I would be sitting here all day if I wrote out every award that our dancers earned, but I'll give you the highlights!

"Fashion" - 1st Place Petite Small Group
"C'est Beau la Bourgoise" - Costume Award
"Atlantis" - 4th Place Tween Small Group, Judges Award for Working the Stage
"Vacation" - 3rd Place Junior Small Group, Judges Award for Fabulous and Fun
"Who You Are" - 7th Place Teen Soloist, Judges Award for Pure Emotion
"I Wanna Be A Rockette" - Judges Award for Future Rockette
"Dear Future Husband" - 2nd Place Petite Solist
"Weird People" - 1st Place Petite Duo/Trio

IMG_8891.JPG

5 of our dancers were also chosen as "Power Dancers" meaning they were invited to perform in the opening number at Nationals! Congrats to Lindsay Pierce, Rylee Noone, Josephine Porter, Alison Vermilyea and Mia Schmidt!

2 of our dancers also received full convention scholarships to SOAR! Congrats to Emily Baciuska and Hayley Baker!

We couldn't be more proud of you, dancers! Now, for recital!

Keep dancing,
Miss Becky

Safe Stretching

Dancers are often recognized for their extreme flexibility. Although it is important for dancers to stretch, there are some safety measures that need to be taken, too.

Senior Company member, Lindsay Pierce, showing off her flexibility during her solo

Senior Company member, Lindsay Pierce, showing off her flexibility during her solo

Tip 1. Always warm up first
Before doing any stretching at all, you need to make sure your muscles are warm. Stretching cold muscles can have severe consequences, such as muscle tears. A good way to warm up is to do a few minutes of jumping jacks or jogging. Once your blood is flowing to your muscles and your body temperature starts to rise, you're good to start your stretching!

Tip 2. Start small
Jumping straight into splits can be hazardous, too! Start with more simple stretches like seated pike stretches, or upward facing dog to gently stretch the large muscles before beginning more intense stretches. Go until you feel tension in your legs and hold for about 10 seconds, then release. Make sure to stretch the opposite way so your muscle has a chance to release before trying again!

Tip 3. Technique matters
As dancers, we are constantly training our muscle memory. Keeping in mind your technique is super important, especially when you're stretching at home! Things like lengthening through the spine, engaging your core, and pointing your toes are important to remember when you're practicing. Remember, practice makes permanent! 

Tip 4. Strengthen, too
Flexibility is useless without the strength to do something with it. Make sure you're not stretching so much that you forget to strengthen your muscles to keep up with your increasing flexibility. As dancers, core + leg muscles are the biggest areas we need to focus on strengthening.

Tip 5. Consistency is key
You cannot expect to have a flat straddle split on your first attempt...flexibility takes time! Taking 15 minutes a day to stretch can make a huge difference in your flexibility (and you can even stretch while you do your homework, or watch tv!)

Studio B alumni &amp; teacher, Kamryn Farrell

Studio B alumni & teacher, Kamryn Farrell

Have more questions about stretching? Ask your dance teacher for some stretches to help you reach your individual goals! We are here to help :-)

Keep dancing! <3
~Miss Becky

NYCDA Recep

This past weekend, our company dancers & families traveled to Meadowlands, NJ to participate in the NYCDA Convention & Competition. We are so proud of our team from little Sidney, NY and wanted to share a little bit about our trip!

Our weekend began before the sun on Friday when we crawled into our cars and hit the road! Our mini duo, Ali & Mia, was first on the stage! It was their first time competing (ever!!) and they handled it like total professionals! Fellow mini company dancer, Alexia, and Senior company dancer, Lindsay,  helped prep them for their performance. They rocked the stage and earned a Gold, plus a Distinguished Achievement award for Stage Presence!

NYCDA ali mia.jpg

Next up was Senior company member, Lindsay performing her contemporary solo, "Embers." She received a Gold placement as well, with a Distinguished Achievement award for Storytelling!

We wrapped up Friday evening with a couple Musical Theater classes, and then SLEEP! :-)

Saturday began at 8am sharp, with a day of classes! Dancers split into different ballrooms based on age and took classes in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary & Hip Hop. We had so much fun!!!

NYCDA sitting.jpg

After the workshop classes, it was hair and makeup time! Our first number to hit the stage was our Junior/Teen Contemporary, "Atlantis." The dancers warmed up excitedly, eager to perform but also a little nervous! Once they stepped on stage, it was ON! They exited the stage at the end of the song saying it was their best performance yet! But we didn't have much time to celebrate..."Vacation" was set to go on stage only a few numbers later!

NYCDA atlantis.jpg

All members of our company performed together in the Jazz production, "Vacation!" With a bunch of props and a mid-number costume change, our dancers handled it with professionalism and grace. We were so proud of their positive & encouraging attitudes both toward themselves, their teammates, and all of the other dancers they met backstage.

During awards, Atlantis received a Gold award with a Distinguished Achievement award for Outstanding Execution, and Vacation received a High Silver award with a Distinguished Achievement award for Energy! We couldn't be more proud!

NYCDA full co.jpg

We only had one final performance of the day - our Senior's Jazz number, "C'est Beau la Bougoise." After a quick hotel room dance party, they were ready to rock the stage!! They earned a Gold award and a Distinguished Achievement award for Energy!! This meant EVERY single one of our numbers earned a Distinguished Achievement award...what an honor!

NYCDA jazz.jpg

After a late night Saturday and a lost hour of sleep due to Daylights Savings, we were a little sleepy Sunday morning! But our dancers powered through another 6 hours of classes in all styles again with enthusiasm and professionalism. We couldn't be more proud! After a beautiful closing show, we ended our weekend of dance with lots of hugs and set out on the road home. Is it time to do it again yet?!

Keep dancing!
~Miss Becky

 

Why summer dance is important

After an action packed school year, we all feel overwhelmed. Long days, even longer weeks, and months that seem to drag on foreverrrrr. Then summer comes in like the breath of fresh air we've all been waiting for! It can be tempting to take the summer off from your dance training, but here are some reasons why training through the summer is so important!

  • Stay in shape! Dance requires a ton of muscles that we don't use as much in our daily lives. Dancers can easily lose a lot of their strength (especially in the feet & ankles) if they aren't keeping up with their classes in the summer which could result in injury come fall!
  • Flexibility is lost :-( Taking a couple days or even a couple weeks off won't set you back, but taking the summer off will definitely result in a significant loss of flexibility - especially if you're still growing! We work so hard for our flexibility...you don't want to lose it!
  • Maintain technique. A lot of dance training relies on muscle memory! When you are in class all year working on certain skills, you are training your muscles so they can start to go on "autopilot" - allowing you to add on more difficult elements, like more challenging arms or more turn rotations! Without regular class, muscle memory can be lost and you might find yourself re-learning skills you had already mastered.
  • Embrace the lack of distraction! Even though the summer is our shortest season, we often see the BIGGEST amount of growth in our students during the summer! This is because dancers have less distractions (school work, other activities, weekend rehearsals...) and are able to focus on their training in a totally stress-free manor. Camps in particular have proven to be incredible for huge growth in a super short period of time!
  • Try something new! Summer is the perfect time to try out a new style of dance without the commitment of joining a full-year class. Have you been curious about acro, tap or jazz? Now is your time! :-)

We hope to see you in the studio this summer!! Check out our summer schedule HERE and make sure to take advantage of our 20% OFF Summer Sale happening now-March 15!

All about Pointe

Something every little ballerina dreams of...the day she gets her first pair of pointe shoes!! It looks so beautiful, but do you know what goes into it?

First, let's talk about what pointe shoes are, and aren't. They are not made of wood like many people believe - they are made of layers and layers of canvas and paste, formed together to make a perfect shape and covered in satin. There are dozens and dozens of different designs of pointe shoes to accommodate for different shapes and sizes of feet. Some are harder, some are wider, some are more tapered...there are so many things to consider when finding the perfect fit! This is why dancers must go for an in-person fitting to allow an experienced pointe shoe fitter to find the right shoe to allow them to train safely "en pointe."

Typically, only female ballet dancers dance en pointe. Their training begins years before they get their first pair of pointe shoes! A minimum of 2-3 years of consistent ballet training is required, as well as a certain level of strength and technical advancement. Most studios (ours included!) have a "pointe test" to examine readiness to ensure the dancer is ready to take this big step in their dance training. Dancers must also be a minimum of 11-13 years old, to allow for their bones of their feet to safely handle the weight on their toes. 

Does your little dancer want to dance en pointe one day? Here are some tips to help them prepare!

  • Enroll in ballet class & work hard, especially at the barre!
  • Practice foot strengthening exercises at home, such as parallel & turned out releves (rising up on the balls of your feet, then back down) or flexing and pointing feet when seated (this can be done with a theraband for extra resistance!)
  • Practice good posture, always! Carriage is so important for all ballet dancers, and will make the transition into pointe much easier when the time comes.
  • Ask your child's ballet teacher what areas they should specifically be focusing on in their training to prepare for pointe. We are always happy to help! :-)

We hope you found this information helpful! Feel free to contact us at missbecky@studiobperformingarts.com if you have any other questions about ballet class or pointe! 

Maryrose Nelson, a Studio B student and Tri County Ballet member, at her first Pointe shoe fitting at Saratoga Dance, Etc.

Maryrose Nelson, a Studio B student and Tri County Ballet member, at her first Pointe shoe fitting at Saratoga Dance, Etc.

We have a blog?!

I know...we are excited too!!

We will be using this blog space to share our best tips + tricks about all things DANCE! Stay tuned for our post on Pointe shoes coming this Friday! 

Are there any topics you'd love for us to chat about here? Leave us a note in the comments! :)

Keep dancing!!
Miss Becky