Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer Classes

If your looking to take some dance classes over the summer, there are tons of places to do it, especially if your in or close to the city! Most of the big studios like Alvin Ailey (http://www.alvinailey.org/), Steps (http://www.stepsnyc.com/) or Peridance (http://peridance.com/), give different classes like ballet, modern, hip-hop, and jazz. For more specified forms of dance, the best thing to do is just "google" it and a studio will come up with information. Taking open classes in the city is a good experience for everyone. Especially for young dancers who are trying to make it into the professional dance world because most of the studios have big names giving master classes and a lot of teachers and company members take open classes when either the company is not in season or they are just looking for something a little different. I have been in a class at StepsNYC, and seen many professional dancers that were taking the same class as me. I was young and to see and watch the professionals dance and how they act during class gave me an idea of professionalism and how it is different from the classes given to middle and high schoolers. My dance teachers before college have also brought me to open classes in the city in order to prepare for an audition. It is a good way to keep up technique over the summer because most dancers take the summer off unless they are in season. And its a fun way to meet other members of the dancing world outside of your studio!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Looking for Something to do?

This summer, New York City Ballet is performing an Architecture of Dance Festival that is getting a lot of attention. Click here!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Watch my Video!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Going for the Gold!

During break, the dance company that I intern for opened their tenth season in New York City. The performances took place at the Alvin Ailey studios on West 55th Street. They had three new world premieres; one of them inspired me to write this post. It was called "Going for the Gold!" and it was a dance choreographed inspired by the Olympics. This fifteen minute(!) piece was a high-energy, comical, three-part dance that went through the Olympic games like swimming, gymnastics, and of course the medal ceremonies. During the first part, dancers pretended as though they were swimming with the arm strokes. And other dancers were carried across the stage so they could actually stroke and kick. It was great. The gymnastics part was exactly how you would expect it to be with exaggerated poses and expressions. The medal ceremony was funny because they all wore gold headbands and were making fun of each other although they all got gold. It was a crazy piece!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Non-major Dance Classes

I am a junior at SUNY Purchase and ever since I've been attending this school, I have been taking the non-major dance classes available to everyone. My first semester, I asked about Introduction to Ballet since I had been dancing ballet for 15 years at that point. I was told it was a good class to start off with and you will be able to learn the basics. I knew the basics but I thought maybe it would be okay and I would learn some new things as well. What a joke! Lesson learned - if you know ballet or if you have taken it before in your life, this class will be a bore. For me, this was a very slow moving class and because I had taken 15 years of it before, my teacher used me more as an assistant then a student. If she was stuck in traffic on the way there, she would call me and ask me to start class. It was definitely a good learning experience because I learned how to work with the pianist and make combinations for everyone abilities. I loved the class because at least I was dancing but it was hardly an exercise and wasn't worth getting up early for. BUT if you have never taken ballet or you did when you were very small and don't remember anything really, this is the class to take. They take it slow and show how to do each step until everyone in the class gets it.
After that, I tried Intermediate Ballet. This was what I was looking for when I took Intro. Although, I still find this class a little slow and easy, the professors usually give the more advanced students a harder version of a combination or add in extra steps to make it more difficult. This semester I am taking Intermediate for the second time, and I have had two different teachers. Both classes I like and even though it has been almost 18 years that I have been dancing, I am still learning new things from each teacher. I get a workout from this class. Both times I've taken it, there had been students who have never taken ballet or did when they were very small and they still can keep up with everyone else in the class. If I had to offer this class to a group of students, I would say it is definitely a good idea to know some kind of dance before taking this class because you will have more fun and not feel as though you are confused.
I have also taken Introduction to Modern Dance. I loved taking this class because I had also taken modern dance while I was growing up. For those of you who don't know what modern dance is, it is a more contemporary form of ballet but without the classical techniques and structure that comes along with ballet. In this class, you don't wear shoes, we learned cartwheels and handstands, how to roll on the ground without hurting yourself, and fun jumps that you would never see in a classical ballet piece. This class can be taken by anyone really. Its fun and can fit anyone's abilities even if you have never taken dance. It helps if you have some experience but it might be even more fun as a first dance class.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Time in the Spotlight

After high school when I stopped performing dance and just continued taking classes at Purchase, I thought that would be my time to step down from the spotlight and just enjoy the ride. Recently, a journalist from my home town newspaper contacted and said that she would like to write an article about me and my dancing. I was so excited but curious why all of a sudden they had contacted me out of blue. I'm still looking for an answer to that question but really honored to still be in the spotlight :)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Other Dance Blogs

When I was making this blog for my viral marketing class, I really had no idea what to write about. Of course, I knew I could write about dance in general, but I didn't know if I would have trouble finding things to write about. Should I write about just ballet, or about professional companies, or certain steps? This week, our homework for class was to do some "blog reconnaissance" or find some blogs outside of Purchase College to follow and at some point comment on. I found a lot of blogs about dance that are both similar and different from mine. The first one I found interesting was a blog about ballet shoes and pointe shoes. It's obviously about ballet but it's also about steps, improving, healthy eating and where to take classes. The author of this blog made it very interesting and has a lot of categories such as links to ballet companies and exercises you can do to help your technique. She has been blogging since 2007 and I am now following it.

Another blog I found is about blog about reviews of performances and what is happening in the dance world. The writer doesn't have as much links and helpful websites as the first blog, but the information in each post is very interesting. She mostly writes about performances or shows she is in, but also related dance world happenings. Each place she goes she has a live blog where you can read basically a conversation between her and others about the audition that is happening.

Dance Advantage is I guess considered a blog but I feel it's more of an information station. There are different parts of the site where teachers can go, students, and parents also. It's a good site because all the information is very helpful. I personally want to get my Masters in Dance Education and this blog is about the education of students and studio owners. For me, I will definitely keep checking up on this site even if it is not exactly the stereotypical definition of a blog.

I've always been more involved in ballet and modern even though I have been trained in tap, hip-hop, and other types of dance. This next blog is pretty much all about hip-hop but it's awesome. The blogger has made it very attractive and knows how to get the interest of lots of dancers. There is information about upcoming summer intensives with the flyers posted so anyone who reads the blog can get the information. In 2009, DanceManila was nominated for the Philippine Blog Awards, which means people from all over the country are reading this blog.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dancers Now!

Click here to see some rehearsals!

Hannah Katz is one of my best friends who I've known for what seems like forever. She is currently a junior Dance major at UMASS/Amherst. Hannah and I danced together at the same studio and were basically never separated along with the other girls in our class. Even when it came to some pretty important performances, we split roles because our teachers couldn't decide who they wanted. Now she's a Dance major doing amazing performances with famous choreographers such as Paul Dennis (Limon Company), Chuck Davis, and Reggie Wilson and also members of Mark Morris Company and Ron K Brown's Company. In this video, she is the one in the white shirt. This dance is a senior project at UMASS and is actually performed "en pointe," which means that the dancers wear pointe shoes during the dance.

"Dancing used to be just a hobby but now it's a lifestyle." - Hannah Katz

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Males and Ballet

For the guys that would never imagine putting on dancer belts (male thongs), tights, and ballet slippers, here is a video you should all watch:

Okay, it's not really like that but it's not that far from the truth. Of course, you shouldn't sign up for a dance class just to check out girls but dance is good for guys too. A lot of football players, wrestlers, and other athletes take ballet classes. It helps them maintain flexibility, stamina, and fast foot movements while being graceful. In ballet, petite allegro is a part of class where the dancers work on small, quick jumps. The more advanced a class is, the harder and faster the jumps are. This helps athletes because the jumps train you to move fast and not trip while doing crazy things with your feet. It would not be good if a football player was running to the end zone and tripped while trying to fake out another player. Dancers also stretch a lot because if they don't they can get hurt while dancing, same with athletes. Wrestlers get into crazy positions where flexibility is key. It could be the deciding factor on who wins the match. So for all you guys who think ballet is for wimpy males, think again!

Monday, February 22, 2010


This semester, I'm lucky enough to have an internship with a dance company in New York City. It is called Amy Marshall Dance Company. This weekend, they held auditions for their new season which will start in March. Being a dancer myself, I know how nerve-wracking it is to audition. Being on the accepting side of the audition is definitely a different experience. There were times at my past jobs and the studio where I danced at, where I held auditions, but this time was very different. In one way, it was professional in the sense that these people are auditioning as a way of getting an income where as at my studio for example, the girls were auditioning for a part in a production they are just doing for fun. Also at my studio, I know almost all the girls who are auditioning. Over the weekend, I didn't know any of the dancers and I knew if they didn't get accepted today, I would probably never see them again in my life.

So when the first couple of dancers showed up, they had to check in with me and then fill out a sheet agreeing to be able to work certain days if they were accepted. They also needed a head shot and resume. There were 3 different auditions and after those, there was the call-back period where the directors would like to see you again if called back. Like I said before, being the dancer in an audition is very scary especially if you really want the role. It's as if they are watching every single movement you make and making sure that it is perfect. And when they call out the names/numbers that they would like to see again, it seems as if they are never going to call you. If they do, its not over yet and if they don't, it over and see you later! So when I saw some people walking out of the audition room, looking so sad, I sympathized because I have been in that position before. But when it finally got cut down to the last 12 dancers, Amy and her husband Chad, told them that they were looking for only six dancers so half of them had to leave. They always mention how hard is it for them to choose when it gets down to only 12 out of 140 dancers, but that never seems like the truth when you are the only getting cut. But when you are the only who makes it and gets accepted, it is one of the best moments of your life. So as they were calling out the numbers that were assigned to certain people, I felt the butterflies in my stomach for the dancers I was looking at. It made me realize that it never changes depending on age. It is just as scary auditioning as an adult then a child or teen.

Check out Amy Marshall Dance Company


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New York City Ballet

One of my favorite ballerinas is Sofiane Sylve. She has been in different professional ballet companies including San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and New York City Ballet. I only saw her perform while in NYCB but she was amazing. She performed one of the lead roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Lincoln Center and it made me fall in love with her dancing. There are videos on youtube.com of her doing nine pirouettes (turns on one foot) in a row, its great.

New York City Ballet is one of my favorite ballet companies as well. Not only is it easy to see them because I live close to the city but its always been amazing! At the end of this month, New York City is performing an awesome piece called "Jewels." There are three different parts of this show, Rubies, Emeralds, and Diamonds and all the costumes are red, green and white. Student Rush tickets are $12 and it is totally worth seeing!