Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Have You Heard The News?

There is a New Place For Dance In Port Orange

The Legacy Dance Studio!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tip of The Day: The Importance of Flexibility in Dance

Q:  Why is it important for dancers to build flexibility?

Choreographer, Dance Instructor Shannon Thomas
A: Flexibility is an important part of overall health.  Dancing requires a large amount of flexibility in the major muscles groups to create a broader range of motion.  Most dance classes start with a warm up of cardio and stretching to prepare the muscles for movement.  Flexibility is in order to even be able to attempt certain techniques or moves.  It is important that dancers work to achieve overall flexibility in the torso, back, neck, shoulders, legs and feet.  Having a broad range of motion allows dancers to jump high into the air and lift the legs effortlessly as if they were moving in water.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tip of the Day: How to strengthen abdominal muscles on younger dancers?

Q:  How to strengthen abdominal muscles on younger dancers?

A: When working on strength for younger dancers in dance class, it is important that you don't bombard them with crunches and the go-to ab work outs for older dancers.  Younger dancer's muscles are smaller and developing still, so it is important to do exercises that benefit their abdominal muscles but do not overwhelm their muscles either.

For my dancers ages 5 and 6,  I encourage them to take a Hip Hop/Acro class where they do a little bit of tumbling the last half of the class.  The tumbling portion is the strengthening portion.  For their abdominal muscles, I start them with tuck rolls.  At the beginning of the year, usually none of them can do it.  Once they get stronger, I have them lift their rear off of the ground and reach forward.  Then, eventually stand all the way up every time.  That usually happens at the end of the year. ;)

I do the following exercise with my 7 to 9 year old dancers.  I like to do bicycles with them and go on different "Trips."  Start by having them lay on their backs on their elbows and lift the legs into the air as low to the floor as possible, while pressing the belly button in.  Start by peddling forward and declaring "we are going on a trip, where would you guys like to go?"  Let the dancers call out different places they would like to go, and as a class we all keep peddling until we have made all of our stops/  Maybe we go to a concert or a theme park or to the ballet. Then make the trip back by reversing the bicycle movements until you end up back home to the dance studio.  Increase the length of the "trips" as the dancers get stronger and you start to see results.  This is a fun way to help younger dancers build strength and use their imaginations in a fun way.

Written by Shannon Thomas

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tip of the Day: Benefits of Hip Hop Dance For Technical Dancers

Dancers at Daytona Dance Studio, Amanda's Dance Center
Q: How does taking hip-hop class benefit a technical dancer?

A:  Hip hop dance class utilizes high impact and low impact footwork, isolations, and musicality.  It can help to improve overall general movement, free range of motion, body control and awareness, musicality, and most importantly a fun healthy workout.  This type of grounded movement can give a dancer a sense of freedom that can sometimes get lost in classical disciplines of dance. Studying various forms of dance can benefit the dancer to be as well rounded as possible and more employable.  Especially when training for a dancing career or teaching and choreography career.

Written by Shannon Thomas

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tip of the Day: Dance Technique and Alignment, How to Fix Open Ribcage

Q:  How do I get my  students to start keeping their ribcage closed when working on body alignment and dance technique? 

A: An open rib cage is a common dance technique problem many dancers face when learning advanced and more mature movement.  Here are 2 tips that will hopefully get your dancer on the track to improvement

1.  Alignment Exercises: Have your dancer lay on the ground, face down with legs straight and together.  Let the fore-head rest on the hands while looking straight into the floor, keeping the natural alignment of the spine.  To start the exercise, have the dancer relax and just let her body lay in a natural state.  Next have the dancer rotate the hips from the glutes and inner thighs, while scooping out the abdominal muscles to create space between the floor and their stomach. Also, have them think about pulling up the front of the hips.   Hold this exercise for about 10 seconds at a time and repeat many times to get the feeling of total alignment.

2.  Simple Corrections: Sometimes the problem can be fixed by simple corrections.  One of my favorite and common corrections I give is to concentrate on holding the arms from your back by keeping them slightly in front of you, especially when in 2nd or 5th position.  Keep the shoulders down and open by engaging the abdominal muscles. I imagine as if I have wings in the back of my shoulders and I am trying to show the audience the wings from the front.  "Show me your back."

I hope these tips give you and your dancer ideas to work towards improvement and body alignment to enhance dance technique.

Written by Shannon Thomas

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tip of the Day: How to relieve sore muscles from dance class

Q: My hamstring muscles are really sore from dance class, what advice to you give to relieve the pain of sore muscles or tendons?

A:  I always stick to the RICE Method. RICE= Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  Rest to prevent any further injury to the sore muscle.  Ice provides short term pain relief and wards off swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area.  Compression also helps limit and reduce swelling.  Lastly, Elevation can also help control swelling.  Click here for more information.