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Posts Tagged ‘competitive dancers’

5 Benefits of Dance Competitions

For many dancers, competitions are an extra perk alongside their training.

Dance competitions provide a boost that can help take children from talented dancers to certified artists. However, it’s not just the dance themselves or being on the stage that makes the difference.

Dance competitions can provide dancers with high-level skill work, clinics, industry seminars, and networking opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about the five benefits of dance competitions.

Develops skills.

All those long hours spent in the studio perfecting technique and preparing for competitions helps sharpen a completely different skill – performance.

The ultimate objective is to take all those steps you’ve rehearsed and muscle memory you created and tell a captivating story through your body and the choreography. The purpose is to connect with an audience. While judges may seem intimidating, they offer the perfect suggestions to help dancers develop those skills and improve poise and showmanship.

Teaches the ability to apply constructive criticism.

One of the most valuable aspects of dance competitions is hearing what trained and experienced judges think of your performance.

While they are “judging” you, it can be an excellent thing if you approach it with the proper perspective. The ability to take their feedback as inspiration and as fuel to improve and work harder will serve you well as you dance and well into your professional future no matter what route it may be.

They help expand your circle.

You are at a dance competition to compete against other dancers. Still, any major dance event will provide a great chance to form valuable connections and friendships that can last a lifetime.

They’re also a fantastic chance for positive exposure. Dancers are more likely to meet professionals who could serve as mentors or provide advice to put you on the path to achieving your dance goals!

[Want to know what it’s like to be a competitive dancer? Click here!]

Takes your skill to a new level.

The atmosphere at dance competitions is very different from what a dancer will experience in the studio.

While that brings a special set of challenges, the uniqueness and level of emotion at a competition will inspire dancers to excel. Preparing for competition and being on a big stage in front of many viewers is excellent motivation.

Helps build resilience.

Dance competitions are about much more than wins and losses. It’s about learning beneficial lessons that you can use to improve as a dancer and as a person.

Competition teaches character and to come back when things don’t go your way. If you have that courage to compete and leave it all on the stage, you will be successful wherever you go in life.

At Evolution Dance Complex, we love everything about competitive dance and the positive effects on our dancers. We strive to provide our dancers with the tools they need to feel confident on stage and connect with their audiences.

Explore the genres, classes, and company teams we offer to take you or your child’s performance to the next level!

6 Tips for Managing Time Outside of the Dance Studio

Most dancers spend a significant amount of time per week in the dance studio.

While they are doing what they love, this can cause some stress in other areas of life. Sometimes the demands of school, socializing, work, community service, and everyday life can be overwhelming.

As a dancer, it can be challenging to balance all those requirements on top of your many hours at dance, but it’s not unattainable! Keep reading for six tips on managing time and balancing dance with the other essential aspects of your life.

Stay organized.

As a dancer, it’s crucial that you take responsibility for staying organized. Invest in a calendar application on your phone or an agenda book and use them regularly. People struggling to manage their time aren’t short on time, they just aren’t planning ahead.

Set yourself up for success with a calendar or journal that will allow you to see the commitments and responsibilities that lie ahead. This will enable you to set your priorities and get the most pressing items done first. Staying on top of these everyday tasks and keeping them organized will minimize your stress, allowing you to focus on those long-term goals.

Focus on prioritizing. 

We get it, dancers want to spend every second of their free time dancing, but to succeed in life, you must put other things first from time to time.

If you have a school project due and need to practice some steps, think about which is more important. Getting your project out of the way will give you more time to focus on dance, as you won’t have the schoolwork lurking in the back of your mind.

Set goals. 

Set SMART goals to understand where dance fits in in your life. Finding time is just as much about staying motivated and focused as creating free time.

This is where setting goals for dance is critical. However, these cannot be just any random goals or desires; they need to be SMART goals, which means:

  • Specific – you need to give yourself as much information as possible about exactly what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable – the goal needs to be quantifiable. For example, apply an extra 30 minutes to practice, learn two new steps, etc.
  • Achievable – something that you can realistically achieve.
  • Relevant – ensure the goal applies to you at this particular time in your life.
  • Time – the goal needs to have a time target. If the plan does not have a time target, how do you know when to achieve it?

Learn to multitask. 

Multitasking is one of the best ways to use your time efficiently. This means checking numerous things off your to-do list at once, and it’s a great way to create some free time in your week.

However, everybody is different, and some people require full attention on a task to get it done correctly. Chances are, if you’re a dancer, you are used to thinking about one hundred things at a time. An excellent example of multitasking is stretching while studying for an upcoming exam. Just ensure that you’re stretching safely and aren’t holding single stretches for extended periods while distracted by other things.

Stay clutter-free.

Another great way to get organized is to keep your space tidy. This can include your locker, bedroom, desk, dance bag, and school bag.

Keeping things organized and clutter-free will help you manage your time more effectively by ensuring that you aren’t wasting time searching for lost items or digging around your room for your dance costume last minute!

Pencil in some downtime. 

Allowing some downtime is a vital part of time management. It’s also good for your body and your brain. On Sunday, think about your week ahead and pencil in some quality time for yourself. It’ll help keep you centered and balanced during the week, especially when things get chaotic.

[Did you schedule a little TOO much downtime during the holiday break? Click here to get back on track!]

As dancers, our schedules can be overwhelming and prone to changes. Rehearsals get moved and schedules can shift. Exploring time management and being aware of your schedule can help you grow as a dancer and as a person.

We hope these tips have you ready for the week ahead and help you manage your time a little more efficiently! For more information and tricks, check out our informative blog.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Dance Technique During the Holiday Break

The holidays are quickly approaching, and we are all in need of some downtime this season!

While it is essential that you use this time to relax and regroup, it’s also crucial to keep those skills that you’ve worked so hard to achieve throughout the year.

This blog post will give you some tips on staying active while still improving during the holidays. Keep reading for five tips for keeping your dance technique during the holiday break.

Create a plan with realistic goals. 

Your goal may be to maintain your dance technique and skill, or it may be to improve a trick you have been working so hard to get.

Whatever it may be, come up with an action plan to achieve these goals. This may be as simple as stretching three times a week to help improve flexibility or committing to short but daily dance workouts. Just make sure whatever you’re doing gets you closer to achieving your goal.

[Need some gift ideas for the dancer in your life? Click here!]

Check out YouTube.

You will probably be told to go easy on social media this holiday season. However, YouTube is a great place to find out some essential dance tips and tricks.

Start by searching for a dance video that teaches you a new style, technique, or combination. There are even some great workout videos for dancers.

Stay active. 

Research some local places where you can participate in some healthy exercise classes. Pilates and yoga are great for dancers because they help with flexibility, core work, and mindset – all critical for solid dance techniques!

The highly qualified teachers at Evolution Healing Arts have some great options to keep your mind and body in shape this holiday season. They use the fundamentals of Yoga and Ayurveda to connect their students to their crafts; arts, fitness, education, and mindfulness practices are all offered and customized to meet each student’s needs.

Seek out some workshops or camps.

You may be able to find some workshops, camps, or private lessons this season to help keep your dance technique fresh.

These dance workshops or camps are great opportunities to try new styles and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Don’t forget to rest and relax!

You have worked hard all year, be sure to take some time for yourself outside of dance. Things will feel more manageable if you tend to your needs first.

Pamper yourself a little; you earned it. Some things you can do to pamper yourself include:

  • Get a massage.
  • Turn your bedroom into a retreat and binge-watch your favorite shows.
  • Get some essentials for a spa night with you and your favorite dance besties.
  • Crank up the music and dance to music that makes you feel good. Be sure you are doing it because it makes you happy.

Your mind and your body will thank you!

Remember, holiday breaks are also designed to give your body a rest, so you should include a few days of downtime to let your body relax and heal while you have the time. While it’s important to keep up your dance technique, it’s also important to find a healthy balance.

Be sure to enjoy your friends and family this Christmas, and contact us if you need some assistance in keeping up your technique during the holiday season. Happy holidays from Evolution Dance Complex.

 

The Importance of Sleep for Dancers

Quality sleep is essential for everyone. However, it is critical for athletes and performers, especially dancers.

Dancers need sleep for physical recovery and to achieve peak performance. Quality and consistent sleep is a vital element in overall conditioning and having it helps dancers meet the physical and mental demands of their art. Physical and mental performance can be negatively affected when a dancer doesn’t get enough sleep or the right sleep quality.

While dance can seem effortless and graceful, it is an athletic and very competitive activity that requires intense practice. Every day, dancers work hard to condition their bodies to perform the skills, which require stamina. Whether you take part in private lessons, go to long competitions, or attend group classes, getting proper sleep is necessary to restore the body and mind and set the stage for optimal performance.

How sleep affects dancers. 

Sleep has a significant effect on performance, rest, and recovery. It also plays a part in the following:

  • Focus
  • Memory and learning
  • Motor function
  • Injury risk
  • Motivation
  • Muscle recovery

The physical effects of lack of sleep.

Research shows that when athletes and dancers aren’t getting adequate sleep, coordination and balance suffer, leading to an increased potential for injury. In addition, your immune system is weakened, making it more likely that you get sick.

In a recent study, lack of sleep was shown to adversely affect reaction time and the ability to make quick decisions.

How lack of sleep affects dancers mentally.

As a dancer, inadequate sleep can affect your memory and, therefore, the ability to remember new choreography. In addition, the following things are affected:

  • Your focus and the ability to pay attention.
  • Your problem-solving skills, mental flexibility, and processing can all be diminished.
  • Without proper sleep, you are more likely to exhibit mental errors while dancing.
  • A lack of sleep can increase irritability and the risk for anxiety and depression.

The metabolic effects of sleep deprivation.

Sleep deficiency will affect your body on a cellular level and impact how your body burns calories. Several studies have shown that people who get less sleep now will put on more weight.

According to WebMD, when you are overtired, “your brain’s reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good. So, while you might be able to squash comfort food cravings when you’re well-rested, your sleep-deprived brain may have trouble saying no to the second slice of cake.”

[Need some healthy snack ideas? Click here!]

Tips for getting quality sleep. 

It can be challenging to get adequate amounts of sleep as a busy dancer. Especially when working around a rigorous training and competition schedule. Some ways dancers can improve sleep quality include:

  • Optimize your sleep environment – Your bedroom should be a peaceful sanctuary, especially after a long day of school and dance. Keep it uncluttered and ensure it’s dark and cool; studies show optimal sleep temperatures are between 62 and 68 degrees.
  • Avoid caffeine before bed – Caffeine is a stimulant, and its purpose is to make the body feel alert. Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine after 2 pm.
  • Stick to a schedule – Maintaining a consistent agenda can be challenging for dancers who have competitive schedules. However, finding some consistency in sleep times can lead to a better night’s sleep.
  • Create a relaxing nighttime routine – A soothing bedtime routine can help you relax and prepare your body and mind for sleep. Some things you can do include meditation-style breathing techniques, reading, journaling, or soaking in a warm bath.
  • Limit electronics – Electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops emit blue light, interfering with our natural circadian rhythm. Avoiding screens before bed can help busy dancers fall asleep faster and rest deeper.

At Evolution Dance Complex, we know about the physical requirements involved in dancing. Our staff has extensive experience and accomplishments in various forms of dance styles and instruction techniques. In addition to improving our students’ dancing, we are dedicated to offering each student a solid technical foundation within a safe, nurturing learning environment.

We are proud to promote a positive learning atmosphere where dancers are encouraged to excel and challenged to reach their full potential. Keeping our dancers mentally and physically healthy is extremely important to us at EDC. For more dance tips and essential class information, be sure to follow our informative blog and on social media.

6 Critical Skills Gained from Dance

Dance teaches you more than how to plié, pirouette, or do a front walkover.

In addition to improving flexibility, building strength, and increasing balance, it can improve things outside of the studio as well.

The qualities you take on as a dancer don’t just help you on the stage. From self-confidence to spatial awareness, here are six critical skills you gain from dance that may help you succeed at everything you do.

Increased strength and health.

Dancing is exercise, so, naturally, it will assist in strengthening your bones and muscles. As your strength increases, you will have more energy to continue dancing.

Your increased level of physical activity and exercise can help prevent illnesses.

Boosts memory.

When you exercise, the levels of chemicals in your brain that encourage nerve cells to grow are increased. Since dancing requires you to remember various steps and sequences, your brainpower is boosted, which helps to improve your memory.

[Need some tips for improving your choreography memory? Click here!]

Improve flexibility.

Stretching before and after dance is essential to getting the most out of your movements and avoiding injury. As you continue dancing, you will stretch more consistently and will notice how each stretch will become easier.

As the stretches become more manageable, you will be able to go farther into each stretch, creating longer lines as you permanently lengthen your muscles and become more and more flexible. With this increased flexibility, you will notice you have a broader range of motion, and your dancing will become much easier.

Better balance.

To execute each move and sequence correctly, you will need to maintain a strong center of gravity.

As you learn each movement and begin to gain increased flexibility and strength, your posture, balance, and spatial awareness will naturally start to improve, making each step more accessible for you to complete.

Increases social skills & confidence.

Everybody enjoys meeting new people and dancing provides a fun environment to meet people who have the same interest as you- they want to dance! This type of environment is perfect to either utilize your social skills if you are outgoing or to help strengthen your social skills if you have a quiet personality.

Dancing is a great way to meet new friends and improves your social outlook while in an atmosphere where you can feel safe and comfortable.

Enhanced spatial awareness.

The more you dance, you will discover that you become more aware of your center of gravity. Your posture will improve, and you’ll become more physically confident and more graceful.

All of this combines to help you improve your spatial awareness, so it’s less likely that you’ll run into other people, trip over small bumps, or even bump into corners.

If you think dance classes are suitable for you or your child, keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your time in class.

If you’d like to learn to dance and you’re in the Wilmington, NC area, please get in touch with our expert staff at Evolution Dance Complex. We’d love to share the joy of dance with you!

6 Tips for Improving Your Dance Jumps

While jumping is essential for many athletes, dancers are among the select few that make it look graceful.

Adding gracefulness and increasing the heights of your jumps isn’t something that just comes naturally. These things are earned during late-night practices, early morning lessons, and countless hours of warm-ups. Dancers are constantly striving to achieve the look of effortlessness in their jumps; however, it can only be taught and maintained through countless hours of practice.

Luckily jumps are one of those things that we can always work to improve. Keep reading for six tips for improving your dance jumps.

Stretch properly.

Like any rigorous physical activity, start with warm-ups and stretches. Stretch every day to make sure your leg muscles are ready for the intensive work to follow. The second stage of your stretching action is stretching for a split. What you would do mid-air one day, try and work on it while you are on the ground.

Flexibility is crucial, but there is more to it. You need strength and lots of control, too. Good core strength and alignment are critical.

In addition to stretching and warming up the muscles, it is important that you do not overstretch before jumping and leaping. You want to stretch just enough to get the blood circulating through the muscles. We like to add strengthening exercises to our warm-up to help wake the body up and then re-stretch at the end of a class. Deep stretching is most productive when done at the end of a rigorous dance class.

Visualize.

While stretching, envision how you want your leaps to look. Having a mental picture of your jump will allow you to calibrate the energy you need to execute it.

Believe it or not, positive imagery and positive self-talk do wonders for performance. Find a relaxing place and close your eyes. Envision yourself leaping through the air—concentrate on your take-off, arm and leg position, and of course, the landing.

Videotape yourself.

Use today’s modern technology to your advantage! Dancers can benefit significantly from things such as slow-motion videos. Before you start working on increasing the height of your jumps, take time to videotape yourself.

When going over the video, focus on your take-off and the position of your torso. Once reviewing the video, determine the part of the leap you would like to focus your energy on.

Involve your whole body.

It is essential to recognize that leaps and jumps require more than just leg strength. While leaping, focus on where your eye focus is. Instead of looking straight-forward, slightly angle your head and focus upward. In addition, you must utilize your core. Also, be conscious of your arm position.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your arms straight?
  • Are your shoulders relaxed and pulled down?
  • Is your torso upright?
  • Are your toes pointed?

The more you focus on these things during warm-ups and practices, the more they will become second nature for you during your actual performances.

Focus on a deep plié.

A deep plié is critical for achieving the height you need to execute a leap properly. A plié is simply a deep knee bend and is the last step you take before leaving the ground. The deeper the plié, the more power you will have in your legs to push off.

No matter how many steps you take to prepare for the leap, make sure to bend your knees to obtain as much power as you need to get high into the air and try not to lean forward.

Stick your landing.

A beautiful leap is not complete until it is landed safely. Your goal for the landing will be to hit the floor as softly and quietly as possible. Never come out of a leap with straight knees, as doing so will almost always cause an injury.

You should begin thinking about your landing as soon as your feet leave the ground. Mentally preparing your legs to absorb your weight will really make a tremendous difference.

Whether a dancer wants to deepen a plié, perfect a front walkover, or bring their jumps to new heights, we have all the tools to ensure you reach your goals!

We consistently work with our dancers through conditioning and technique classes to encourage optimal dance success! Contact the dance experts at Evolution Dance Complex today to find out more!

Photo Feature: Mia Snyder (Dancer/Model)

Why Muscle Cramps Happen During Dance and How to Avoid Them

When dance students push themselves too hard, their bodies will sometimes fight back.

Muscle cramps, especially those in the feet, legs, and back, are painful and can be crippling to dancers, so it’s essential to understand muscle cramps and know how to treat them.

What are these cramps?

Muscle cramps or spasms are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. They often happen without warning and can be caused by a variety of factors.

A sustained muscle spasm, one that lasts longer than a few seconds, is a muscle cramp. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can temporarily make it impossible to use the affected muscle and cause pain to the area.

However, as any trained dancer knows you’ve got to quickly push through these cramps as the show must go on. Here are some tips to help you stay in those dance shoes and into the studio.

What are the causes?

There are several things that can result in muscle cramps. These can include:

  • Nutrient deficiency – Experiencing muscle cramps indicates that your body lacks magnesium or other important vitamins and minerals. Dark, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, beans, lentils, and bananas are all examples of magnesium-rich foods.
  • Dehydration – Dehydration cramps occur from participating in rigorous physical activities such as dance, resulting in fluid loss from sweating or overexertion. Excessive depletion of bodily fluids, combined with low fluid intake, rids the body of vital electrolytes and water. Healthy muscle tissue requires adequate water, sodium, and more to stay strong and allow for quality muscle contraction.
  • Tight muscles – Tight muscles can result from overexertion, not warming up appropriately, or holding a position for an extended period. When we have tight muscles, there’s a depletion of oxygen to that muscle because of reduced blood flow.
  • Injury – Like tight muscles, injuries decrease the blood flow and oxygen supply leading to muscle cramps.

How can we prevent cramps?

Depending on the cause of the cramp, there are a few solutions you can try to help alleviate the discomfort.

  • Warm-up properly – A guaranteed way to get a muscle cramp is to avoid warming up before your next rehearsal or performance. Often the best way to warm-up is with dynamic and static stretches. This will adequately prepare all your major muscles for the intensity of your dance class by enabling more blood to flow and reduce the chance of a muscle spasm or cramp.
  • Take things slowly – Even after a good warm-up, don’t jump right into an intense dance routine. Make sure you slowly ease into your dancing. When you progress at a respectable pace, your muscles will have the time they need to adjust.
  • Stay hydrated – It is crucial to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day and take regular breaks to hydrate during your dance class. If you have a heavy clinic or intense competition coming up, be sure to focus on hydrating all week long. Keep in mind that sometimes water is not enough. You may need a sports drink to replenish your body and replace lost electrolytes.
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods – Beyond keeping yourself hydrated, it’s also essential to make sure you’re eating the right foods. Dancers must eat a balanced diet overall, but more than that, dancers need foods that are rich in electrolytes. These include bananas, spinach, beans, almonds, coconut, watermelon, and avocado. A diet high in essential vitamins and minerals can help ward off those often debilitating cramps and spasms.
  • Relax – Stretching out a cramp will help release the muscle. Instinctively dancers want to avoid putting weight on a leg or foot that is cramping but taking a walk around the room is one of the best ways to transition the muscle from its contracted position. A self-massage with the hands or a foam roller helps as well.
  • Self-care – Self-care is essential to prevent muscle cramps and ensure your body can perform at its peak capacity. This includes cooling down after dancing, stretching, and rolling out muscles on a foam roller to alleviate tightness. The use of ice or heat packs or a hot Epsom salt bath after a long day can also help. In addition, seeking out expert professional help is another great way to keep your body in peak condition.

As a dancer, muscle cramps and spasms are a part of life and they won’t always have a definitive cause. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep our bodies in top shape to reduce these incidents. A dancer’s body is their instrument, so it’s important to implement these tips so you can avoid anything cramping your style!

Keeping our dancers healthy is extremely important to us at EDC.

For more dance tips and essential class information, be sure to follow our informative blog and on social media

Photo Feature: Addison Kelly (Dancer/Model)

Ten-year-old Addison Kelly avoids muscle cramps with a customized stretching routine, a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and warming up properly.

A Dancer’s Ultimate Snack List Guide

Dancers are artistic athletes who use their bodies to tell a story and express their art through movement.

So, it’s crucial that they keep this essential tool in top shape by eating the right foods. Dance uses up a lot of energy and burns many calories, making what your dancers eat imperative in helping them master their art.

Certain foods give dancers’ bodies the nutrients they need at specific times. These foods help them perform at the highest levels and will help them recover from an intense class or a long day at a competition. Dancers must have the nutrition they need to perform their best, both in class and on stage. Want to make sure your dancer is snacking smart? Keep reading for the dancer’s ultimate snack list.

Hydration is key.

Hydration is just as important as healthy food choices! Dancers need to stay hydrated to help them push through classes or tough competitions and keep their muscles lubricated and bodies flexible. Dancers need to drink plenty of water before, during, and after dancing.

EDC dancer Lexi Deffinbaugh explains more, “The foods I eat are super important for a competition weekend and really for my entire dance week. I start drinking extra water two days before a competition to make sure I am really hydrated. That is a big thing for me. As for snacks and food, I eat a lot of nuts, yogurt, eggs, and fruit. Fruit is my favorite! Most of the time, I eat fruit for dessert instead of sweets. Sometimes sugar hurts my stomach, so I don’t eat a lot of it. My food makes a big difference to me. I can feel it easily if I don’t eat right, and it doesn’t feel good. So, I try hard to eat healthy foods.”

Plenty of water paired with healthy snacks will set dancers up for success!

Timing is everything.

Dancers often know what foods are healthy and best for fueling their busy day, but many struggle with timing, especially with snacks. When a dancer eats can be just as important as what they eat. Going for long periods without fueling properly can affect performance and energy levels and increase a dancer’s susceptibility to injury.

Dancers should keep a few snacks in their dance bag. Being prepared for mid-day classes or a long day of rehearsal is a great way to make sure they are dancing their best and simultaneously taking care of their bodies.

[Want to know what’s in some of the top-performing dancers’ bags? Click here!]

Before class snacks. 

Dancers should never work on an empty stomach, so if snack time falls within 30-60 minutes before dancing, then consider an easily digestible carbohydrate to maintain your physical stamina. These snacks should be lower in fiber. Pretzels and fresh fruit are examples of smaller, easily digestible carbs that won’t leave your dancer feeling sluggish. Some other examples include:

  • Dried or fresh fruit.
  • Applesauce or a fruit smoothie pack.
  • Homemade protein-packed “energy balls.”
  • Apple and peanut butter.
  • A fruit-based snack bar.

During class snacks. 

If your dancer needs a snack in the middle of a long practice, rehearsal, or competition day. Here is a list of low-calorie snacks that are great for your dancers to keep in their dance bag:

  • Mini pretzels.
  • Seedless grapes.
  • Low-fat yogurt.
  • Graham crackers.
  • String cheese.
  • A small amount of microwave popcorn.
  • Red pepper slices with some hummus.
  • Carrots with ranch for dipping.
  • Almonds or peanuts.

If there is little time between school and dance class, for example, getting an energy boost from snacks such as low-fat yogurt, peanut butter, granola bars, fresh fruit, or cheese are simple options. Something is better than nothing!

After class snacks. 

Snacks after class should be rich in protein. Once dancers leave the studio, they need to start to rebuild and replenish muscle. To aid in the recovery process, implement a quality strategy of protein to carbohydrate ratio. The protein will help rebuild the muscle tissue that was damaged while dancing and the carbs replace the energy used during class.

The after-class snack should be timed anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour after class ends. Muscle recovery is significant for dancers who are taking classes multiple days during the week. Here are some snack ideas for dancers to have after class:

  • Peanut butter on a rice cake.
  • A fruit and protein smoothie.
  • Cottage cheese with some whole-grain cereal.
  • A peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • An apple and a few sticks of string cheese.

[Need more tips on keeping your dancers’ body in shape? Click here!]

Just like warming up or taking lessons, proper nutrition is key to mastering your craft. Educating our dancers on how nutrition can improve their skills and longevity will set everyone up for success!

Keeping our dancers mentally and physically healthy is extremely important to us at EDC. For more dance tips and essential class information, be sure to follow our informative blog and on social media.

Photo Feature: Lexi Deffinbaugh (Dancer/Model)

With a proper balance of eating well, hydrating often, and conditioning daily, our EDC dance athletes are able to perform above and beyond!

Is dancing in the classroom just like dancing on stage?

All the classroom is a stage, or is it the other way around?

The hours of sweat and tears while training in the studio helps dancers perfect their technical skills and style, while also teaching them valuable skills in preparing for the “real” world. Dancing in the studio and dancing on stage are great ways to prepare yourself for future success, inside the world of dance and beyond.

Keep reading for six ways that being on stage prepares you for the future.

Inspires confidence and poise.

Dancing on stage can be an overwhelming experience. Stepping onto a stage and performing in front of an audience requires a tremendous amount of confidence and self-esteem, as you’re presenting your talent. In these situations, it’s natural to feel some nerves, but as a professional performer, you need to harness and use these nerves to better your performance.

A confident and poised attitude will help you stand out in job interviews and when securing work experience.

Instills improvisation techniques.

Success on the stage requires the ability to respond to unexpected developments. Maybe the music cuts off, your partner is off, or you have a costume issue. The ability to respond quickly in these situations is valuable; as the saying goes, the show must go on.

Bringing that attitude to the business world means that you will be highly adaptable and able to overcome problems. Stage performers know how to expand when the situation calls for it.

Teaches resiliency.

Due to the industry’s competitive and highly skilled nature, dancers will likely experience rejection and criticism at some point.

To cope with these challenges, resilience, and tenacity are essential traits. You need to use these experiences to hone and develop your craft and bounce back better than before.

Helps with communication skills.

On stage, you are in full view of the audience and your fellow performers. The ability to stand in front of people and deliver value is crucial. Once you build up your foundation of confidence, you can develop the other habits of highly effective communicators.

As a performer, you quickly learn that presentation and communication are about the art, not you, and conveying the story to the audience is part of your job.

[Want to know more about the world of competitive dance? Click here!] 

Reiterates the importance of marketing yourself.

Many times, in dance, you will have to audition to secure a part, so it’s vital that you’re able to sell and market yourself and your abilities. This essential skill will come in handy when applying for college or for a new position in the career world.

To get your name recognized and help secure work, you’ll need to employ your networking skills learned in dance and work to make those important connections.

Teaches the importance of hard work.

As you work to improve and perfect your dance for the stage, long hours are needed. The mindset to keep working to reach a result is priceless when preparing to be on stage. It also makes a substantial difference in the professional world. The ability to put in long hours to achieve a goal is a vital success trait.

Being on the stage can be a rewarding experience for the dancer and their parents when they notice the positive changes and growth. The excitement of stage competition and the sense of accomplishment is a fantastic thing to experience.

Are you ready to take your child’s dance to another level with competition dance? Contact the expert and high-trained staff at Evolution Dance Complex today!

Photo Feature- Emily Dorman  (Dancer/Model)

6 Steps to a Front Walkover

A well-rounded dancer must perform a wide array of athletic tricks that can take choreography to another level.

These can include cartwheels, back walkovers, ariels, needles, back tucks, and more. One elemental maneuver that should be in every dancer’s toolbox is the front walkover.

If you are ready to add this move to your repertoire, keep reading for six steps to mastering a front walkover.

What is a front walkover?

To learn how to perform a front walkover, it’s important to fully understand what it is. A front walkover is an acrobatic maneuver that involves lifting a leg above the torso in a back-bridge position. The legs then fully rotate so the dancer both starts and finishes in an upright standing position.

The front walkover resembles a fusion of a cartwheel, a handstand, and a round-off. But it is definitely its own unique maneuver that utilizes a comprehensive set of skills.

Work on your flexibility. 

Before beginning to master this new move, ensure you are working to improve flexibility. Doing a front walkover requires a lot of flexibility in your back, legs, and core. If you improve your whole body’s strength and flexibility, you will have an easier time completing this exercise.

Stretch properly.

Movements like the front walkover can put a lot of strain on your shoulders, wrists, and back, so it’s a good idea to stretch before beginning. Following a light warm-up, loosen up those muscles and joints. Some examples of good stretch’s include:

  • Raise both arms high, then reach across your body as you lean from side to side at the waist.
  • Lie face down on the floor and push your torso up and back to limber up your lower back. Flex both wrists to get them ready to hold you up.
  • Sit on the floor with your back straight and centered. Extend your legs outward as wide as you can. Carefully rotate your torso towards the right then move your torso over your right leg. Remember to breathe and go slow.

Never neglect your warm-up and stretching routine. You’re at a much higher risk of injury if you force your body to perform intricate movements before it’s ready.

Ensure to follow safety procedures. 

Set up a private lesson with a dance instructor, to be your spotter, as you work on any challenging new skills. A spotter can support your weight and help guide you as you run through the movements, which lets you focus on your technique.

In addition to a spotter, grab some padded mats. Mats and protective surfaces will help prevent injury in case you land incorrectly. They will also take away some fear, which might be holding you back. Once you get more comfortable with the skill, you can slowly build up the courage to do it without pads, or a spotter.

Break it down.

You can break the front walkover down into other more straightforward exercises that you can master before trying the full skill. They include:

  • A well-controlled handstand is a setup for the front walkover. So, it will be beneficial to make sure you have it down first.
  • The bridge and backbend translate perfectly to the second part of the walkover. Lying on your back with your hands and feet planted firmly on the ground beneath you, press up so that your body forms an arch. Support yourself by keeping your arms and legs straight and strong. 
  • Master your cartwheel to get used to the action of kicking up to your hands, which will carry you over when doing the walkover. Set your hands down on the floor one after the other as you swing your back leg up. Drive through with your kicking leg to lift yourself into an inverted position, then rotate around and set it back down, followed by your opposite leg.

Get into position. 

To do a front walkover, you need to stand as if you are going into a handstand. Put your legs in a split position. Start with whichever leg is more natural for you.

Then kick your back leg up into the air. As your first leg is approaching a vertical position, kick your other leg up into the air. Move your weight to your arms and shoulders.

[Want to know more about what’s it’s like to be a competitive dancer? Click here!]

Stick the landing.

Shift your weight back to your leading leg as it touches down. Then, push off the ground with your hands. You should end in the same position you started in. Make sure that you plant your feet as you land. Keep your arms flexed as you stick that landing.

Make sure you stay using the proper form throughout the whole movement. You should press your hips forward and ensure that you don’t stand up too fast.

Other important tips.

  • Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t inhibit your movement.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Improve your conditioning and overcome your fear of being upside down by spending a little bit longer in your handstand and bridge each time.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you’re not progressing as fast as you’d like. A positive mind frame is a huge part of being a strong dancer.
  • After you perfect your front walkover, use your understanding of the technique to start working on more difficult skills.

Most importantly, don’t overthink it, be patient, and have fun! Want to master the front walkover and other essential dance tricks? Take your talent to the next level with Evolution Dance Complex. Contact us today about our company teams or recreational dance classes!

 

Photo Feature- Noel Gockerell (Dancer/Model)

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