The Power of Friendship in Dance, Drama & Music

I’m sure we can all look back on our childhood and remember those friends that were always there by our side. Whether they lived down the street, sat next to us in school, or played with us on a team, they became an important part of the years we spent growing up. Another great place for children to make lasting friendships is in dance, drama and music classes. The bonds formed at the barre, learning lines and memorizing notes help kids and young people through the best and worst times. Keep reading for a few more reasons why we believe in the power of friendships formed in the studio. 

A Shared Love of Dance, Music and Drama
There is nothing more fun than finding someone who loves the same things that you do. For a kid who loves all things ballet, how excited are they to meet someone else who is focused on her turns and counts the day she gets her pointe shoes as important as the day she gets her driver’s license. Or, a drama kid who finds friends who love working on new characters, and the way they feel when they step out on stage. Finding your tribe is important at every stage of life, and it begins in childhood. Participating in dance, music and drama classes gives your creative child the chance to meet others and to make friends who see and experience the world as they do. That is a powerful thing. 

Do you Remember When?
A lot of things can change as a child grows up, which makes a studio filled with friends and teachers that they can count on very important. While some activities last for a season or semester, studio friends can perform and grow together for years. They may start as wobbly little girls in tutus waving to their parents from the stage, and then grow into graceful and poised young ladies who hit their mark and point their toes every time. Students who take a little extra time to find the notes in “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” will grow into confident musicians tackling difficult pieces of music with ease.  Friends who face these ups and downs together, will play a positive role in the lives of their friends. The friendships that are forged across these years through many practices, dress rehearsals, and performances will last because of the many memories and life events that they encompass.

Working Together
Working together to attain a goal is exciting and empowering. A friend by your side is so helpful when you’re trying to learn a new step, or memorize all of your lines. Good friends can also push one another to do their best in ways that parents and teachers cannot. Studies have shown the powerful bonds that develop between dancers as they perform the same steps together, and the synchronicity that it brings to them both on stage and off.

Accountability
Sometimes we’re all tempted to slack off a bit, or just do the minimum to get by. Of course, as parents we want our children to work hard no matter how they feel, and to learn to push themselves even when they just don’t want to. Good friends are a great motivator who can encourage each other to do their best even on the days when they would prefer to lie on the couch. Moreover, knowing that your fellow musicians, dancers and actors are counting on you to perform your best is a great motivation to do your best in every class and lesson.

We’re thankful for the friendships that we see every day between our students at Dance Pointe PAC. And, we’re happy to provide a place where they can grow and flourish in both their pursuits and their friendships. If you know someone who would love to find their studio home, please invite to join us for Bring A Friend Week, Monday, October 1st through Saturday, October 6th. New friends can try out classes for free all week! Stop by the front desk to pick up a postcard to invite them to join us. Also, share and tag them in a Dance Pointe Bring a Friend Week post on Facebook or Twitter. We can’t wait to meet them!

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What’s in your Dance Bag? – Getting Your Child Ready for a New Season of Dance

As we prepare for the upcoming 2018-2019 dance season at Dance Pointe, we want your child to have everything they need to start off the dance year right. To help with that, here is a list of the items they will need in their dance bag.

Dance Apparel
It’s important for your child to have the correct attire for each dance class. These clothes allow for flexibility and movement, which is necessary for participation in dance class. Check out the list below for guidelines on what to wear in each class.

Twinkle Babies and Stars

Twinkle Tutu Dress and Matching Bear

  • Twinkle Babies Creative Movement Ages 2 to 3 – Pink Tutu Dress and Matching Bear
  • Twinkle Stars Combo I Ages 3 to 4- Purple Tutu Dress and Matching Bear
  • Twinkle Stars Combo II Ages 5 to 8- Blue Tutu Dress and Matching Bear

Ballet, Tap Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Acro and Pointe Classes

Girls:

  • A Black Leotard can be a Tank, Short, or Long Sleeves
  • A Black Dance Short or Dance Skirt (Optional)
  • Dance Shorts for Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Acro Classes (Optional)
  • A Black or Pink Biketard for Acro Classes

Boys:

  • Fitted White, Short-sleeved T-Shirt
  • Black Dance Pants

Hip Hop Classes

  • Fitted T-Shirt or Tank
  • Leggings, Loose Dance Pants

Dance Shoes
If you’re new to dance class, you may not know that different styles of shoes are required for different types of dance. Here’s a breakdown of the types of shoes each class requires:

Twinkle Star and Ballet:
Girls:

  • Pink Leather or Canvas Full Sole or Split Sole Ballet Slippers and Tan Tap Shoes

Boys:

  • White Leather or Canvas Full or Split Sole Ballet Shoes with White Ankle Socks

Tap: Black Tap Shoes
Jazz: Tan Jazz Shoes
Lyrical: Tan Lyrical Thongs/Sandals
Acro: Bare Feet
Pointe: – Pointe Shoes
Hip Hop: Dance Sneakers

Our online Dress Code Class Lists will help you find the correct leotard, body-wear and shoes for class, visit our online storehttps://www.shopnimbly.com/Dancepointepac . Simply use the drop down menu to find your child’s dress code based on the class(es) registered for, and you will be taken to a list of items for each class that you can purchase online in just a few minutes. Use the Size Chart Guides for accuracy, and feel free to contact us via email or Facebook if you have specific sizing questions.

3. Extra Hair Ties and Hair Pins
It’s important for your child to have their hair pulled back for each class. A small bag with a brush, extra hair ties and hair pins will help them keep their hair up and off of their face.
4. Tights
Tights are required for most dance classes. It’s helpful to keep an extra pair of tights in their dance bag should something happen to their other pair.
5. Water Bottle and Healthy Snacks
A refillable water bottle and healthy snacks can keep your child feeling strong throughout their classes. Try to include snacks that are easy to eat, and don’t make a mess. Make sure your child knows the studio guidelines on where and when it’s acceptable for them to eat and drink.

What not to include?

Your child needs to be focused when they attend dance class, and keeping a few things out of their dance bag will help them to pay better attention. Make sure they leave all cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices with you. These cause a big distraction during and in-between classes, and take away from their interactions with friends and teachers.

A dance bag can also be a great way for your child to take responsibility for their classes, and to teach them the importance of preparing ahead of time. Ask them to empty out their dance bag after class, place their dirty clothes in the laundry, and throw out any trash. Then, work with them to replace the items they will need for their next class including clothes, shoes, water and snacks. Keeping their shoes in their dance bag is a great way for them to keep track of them in-between classes. Developing a routine around their dance bag will help them to learn to be prepared for class, and will take some of the work off of your already full plate!

All of the teachers and staff at Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center cannot wait to welcome you and your child back to the studio for fall classes. If you have any questions regarding attire, shoes, sizing, or other studio guidelines please contact us or stop by the front desk.

More than Just Music: The Benefits of Learning an Instrument

Summer will be here soon, and it could be a great time for your child to start taking music lessons. There are numerous benefits that come along with learning to play an instrument, but did you know that it goes beyond reading music and finding the rhythm? There are also cognitive, social, and physical skills that children acquire as they practice their instrument.

  1. Further Develop Fine Motor Skills
    We don’t often think of music as physical, but playing an instrument requires coordinated movements, proper breathing, and endurance. For example, percussion instruments require specific movements of the hands, arms and feet. This type of instrument is great for high-energy kids who focus and learn via movement. String and keyboard instruments require the right and left hand to perform different movements simultaneously, which helps develop ambidexterity, and enhances coordination and timing. Further development in these physical skills can help your child in other activities including dance and athletics.
  2. Encourages Discipline and Patience
    It takes time to figure out how to make music with an instrument. The first few weeks and months can be filled with plenty of wrong notes, weird sounds and long pauses. When a young musician perseveres through the initial struggle, they will be excited when they see progress in their music. Moreover, they’ll learn quickly that practicing and putting effort into their music will also help them to see results.
  3. Boosts Brain Connectivity
    Numerous studies have detailed the benefits that playing music has on cognitive development. For example, scientists have found that in musicians’ brains the two hemispheres of the brain work together more effectively. This means that the creative right side of the brain is more connected to the left side of the brain responsible for logic, language and more. Harnessing the power of both their creative and logical sides, can help children to become better thinkers and problem solvers.

Check out the infographic below for more great benefits of music education. For more information on instrument and voice lessons at Dance Pointe, please visit our website.

the benefits of music lessons for kids infographic
Thanks to http://www.musiciansbyte.com/ for this graphic.

Get Your Dancer Reading with These Inspiring Books

Need a few good book ideas to spark your dancer’s interest in reading? There are a number of intriguing biographies and engaging fictional books that will delight young readers. Whether they’re reading on their own, or with you at bed time, these books have empowering stories of dancers overcoming adversity, pursuing their passion, and finding true friends and family along the way.

Michaela DePrince was a young girl in Sierra Leone when civil war broke out. After losing both of her parents, she was sold to an orphanage where she endured terrible conditions and abuse before escaping to a refugee camp. Her story changes when she is adopted by an American family, and brought to the US along with her best friend, Mia. While still in Sierra Leone, she discovered an old magazine cover with a ballerina on the cover, and this beautiful image sparked her desire to pursue ballet. Through hard work and determination, she overcame prejudice to become a professional ballerina who has danced with prestigious companies around the world. Her story will inspire young dancers to work hard to overcome obstacles and to achieve their dreams.

Michaela’s story is available in a variety of formats for both young and more mature readers. The versions for older readers deal with some mature subject matter involving violence and death during Michaela’s childhood in Sierra Leone. Parents may want to read along with younger readers, or choose one of the books for younger readers. These versions tell her story without the detail of the books for older readers.

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina – Grades 6 and Up
Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Ballerina Grades 1-3

Misty Copeland began ballet at the age of 13, which was much later than most who wish to pursue a professional career in dance. However, her hard work and amazing natural talent, led her to become the first African American Principle Dancer with the renowned American Ballet Theater. Misty didn’t fit into the mold of a traditional ballerina, but she never let the negativity of others stop her from pursuing her dreams and sharing her gift with the world. Readers of all ages will be inspired by the beauty of Misty’s dancing and the strength of her spirit.

You Should Meet: Misty Copeland Grades 2-3
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Young Readers Edition Grades 4-7

Fans of Dance Moms and So You Think You Can Dance will be familiar with Maddie Ziegler. This young lady has made a name for herself through her dance routines and bubbly personality. She has also added writing to her list of accomplishments with a book for young readers called The Audition. This book tells the story of 12 year-old Harper who must join a new studio and dance team when she moves to Florida. She finds her first class at the new studio harder than she expected, and realizes she must work hard if she is going to prove to the other dancers and to herself that she deserves a spot on the team. Once she befriends another newbie at the studio, the girls work together to sharpen their skills and find places for themselves in the new studio.

The Audition by: Maddie Ziegler Grades 4-6

Is Musical Theater Right for your Kid?

While the snowflakes outside right now make me think that winter may stay forever, I know that soon spring will arrive, and summer will not be far behind. Hats and gloves will be replaced with sunglasses and sunscreen, and kids everywhere will rejoice as they finish their last day of the school year.

As a parent, you’re probably beginning to plan your summer schedule, and look for classes and camps for your child. This year, Dance Pointe will offer a variety of classes and camps including a Musical Theater Camp. This camp will give kids and teens the chance to explore the stage through singing, dancing and acting. Not sure if it’s right for your kid? Check out our list below for just a few of the benefits of participating in musical theater.

    1. Encourages Their Love of Performing
      “Mommy, watch me!” Many kids are born with a love of performing, and what starts in your living room can carry on to the stage. With fun songs, costumes and dance steps, children can learn to love sharing their talents in front of others. In addition, a successful performance now can give them something to look back on when those adolescent nerves start to kick in.
    2. Lets Them Get Lost in the Story
      Many of us have gotten caught up in a great musical. Whether it’s Hamilton, Shrek the Musical, or Finding Neverland, the intriguing stories and emotion-filled songs take you on a journey from beginning to end. Participating in musical theater lets a child immerse themselves in a whole new world, which expands their imagination. By participating in a story that is different from their own, they learn about other people and their experiences, which broadens their perspective and promotes understanding.
    3. Encourages Life in the Moment – Not on the Screen
      We all love our screens, and the information and entertainment that they provide. But, it’s also good to break free of the virtual world, and focus on being in the moment. In musical theater, kids are moving, expressing, and thinking up on stage rather than simply sitting and watching. They are creating rather than consuming, while also communicating with their fellow actors and an audience.
    4. Gives Kids a Chance to Learn in Different Styles
      Musical theater includes at least five of the seven distinct learning styles. Visual, aural, verbal, physical, and social learners can all find themselves and their own way of learning in musical theater. It’s also a great way for kids to discover new ways to learn and process information, which they can take with them to the classroom and beyond.
    5. Challenges Kids to Try New Things
      With singing, dancing and drama, musical theater provides a lot of challenges and opportunities. Your child may have experience in dance, but what happens when they need to sing and dance at the same time? How will they tackle memorizing lines as well as dance steps? Musical theater is a great way for kids and teens to add to their existing skill set, and to challenge themselves in new and exciting ways.

Would you like to learn more about Dance Pointe’s 2018 Musical Theater Camp?
Click here to visit our website for more information. Once you’re there, you can also register and pay online, which checks one more thing off of your to-do list! Don’t wait, space is limited!

More than Poms: Life Skills Learned Through Cheer

Whether you have a teenager who is looking to join her school’s cheer squad, or a preschooler with a lot of energy, cheerleading is a great way for kids of all ages to master a variety of physical and mental skills. Check out the list below for a few of the beneficial life skills that cheer can teach!

  1. Mental Focus
    It takes a lot to master jumps, dance moves, and complicated routines. Students must pay close attention to their coach as they’re teaching, and while practicing the skill on their own. In our fast-paced world full of distractions, a focused mind that can block out distractions will help kids and teens in all areas of life.
  2. Working Until You Succeed
    No one succeeds the first time they attempt a toe touch, or a back handspring. It takes time for the body and mind to learn how to make a tumbling pass or a dance combination really work. As they practice, kids are given a safe place to try something new, and then try it a thousand more times until they get it. We focus not only on their final success when they master the skill, but also celebrate their willingness to continue trying even if it takes time to succeed.
  3. The Show Must Go On
    In a recent cheer competition, I watched as one of the cheerleaders stumbled coming out of her tumbling pass. She had so much momentum that she couldn’t stop herself, and we all watched as she continued to fall forward for what felt like minutes, but I know was just a few seconds. Ugh, I felt so bad for her. I imagined the hours of practice that she had devoted, and how many times it had gone right, only for it to go wrong when it mattered. But, she recovered, and caught back up with her squad. She could have run off of the court, frustrated and upset, but, instead, she re-focused and kept on going. The ability to fail and move on is vital because success is born out of failure and endurance.
  4. Hard Work
    Cheerleaders are exciting to watch. The intricate dance moves, jumps, and tumbling passes full of tucks and back handsprings always bring cheers and applause from the audience. It’s natural to want to be a part of that. However, those who want to be successful have to put in hours of practice and conditioning to wow the crowd for just a few minutes. This commitment to hard work is something that I know we all want our kids to have, and cheer is a great way to work on that skill.
  5. Teamwork
    The power of a girl squad is hard to beat. When young women work together to perfect a routine, they also develop strong bonds that extend way beyond practice. Teammates learn to work hard not just for themselves, but also for their entire team. They know that their team’s success depends on how well they perform, which will drive them to work even when they might not feel like doing it for themselves.
  6. Skills for Mini Poms
    In addition to the larger life skills that older children can learn, cheer is also a great way for younger children to develop physical skills including balance, movement, motor skills and tumbling basics. Little ones can also improve their listening skills and focus while they pay attention to their coach’s instructions. They will also develop flexibility and coordination all while making new friends and having a great time!

This summer Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center will host cheer camps for girls ages
3-18. Each camp is designed to fit the needs of its age group with skills including tumbling, jumps, cheer motions are more. For more information, visit the
Cheerleading Camps page on our website. Registration for July and August sessions is open now.

5 Ways to Care for Yourself on Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Valentine’s Day is a great time to let our kids, spouses, best friends, pets, teachers and more know how much we love them. But, couldn’t you use a little treat, too? After all, we are in our 18th consecutive month of winter, and you’ve treated plenty of colds, made lots of dinners, and driven your children to more activities than you can remember. Check out the winter self-care tips below for a few ways to treat yourself today and every day.

  1. Stay Hydrated
    We have all heard the benefits of drinking water millions of times, but how many of us are actually getting the amount we need each day? Why not find a reusable water bottle in a beautiful color or pattern that makes it easy to remember your water? A fun water bottle that travels with you throughout the day will keep you hydrated and feeling great as you keep up with all that the day asks of you.
  2. Try a New Face Mask
    While you’re on that Target run for milk and diapers, why not take a moment to grab a face mask in the beauty aisle? Skincare is a great way to relax, and who doesn’t feel great when their skin is glowing? Lock the bathroom door, and grab 15 minutes to indulge in a treat for your face.
  3. Go to Bed Early
    Once you get everyone else settled into bed, why not tuck yourself in just a little bit early? Yes, there are chores you could do, emails to return, and projects to work on, but those can wait. Focus on good sleep tonight, and wake up ready to tackle your to-do list tomorrow.
  4. Breathe and Stretch
    Our muscles get stressed and tired throughout the day. That stress from work might be sitting between your shoulder blades, or all that time in the car may have led to tightness in your hips and legs. Find a few moments in your day to breathe deeply and stretch those muscles. Check out a yoga video on YouTube (Yoga with Adriene is great!). This will help open up your muscles, and leave you relaxed and energized.
  5. Write Down Your Ta-Done List
    A “Ta-Done” list is a list of all that you have accomplished during the day. In our busy lives, it’s easy to rush from one task to another. At the end of the day, all of the uncompleted tasks on your to-do list can be quite discouraging. However, how many tasks and projects did you complete that never even made it onto the list? Did you help tackle that difficult homework assignment? Remembered to buy toilet paper while there was still a spare roll in the house? Cuddled your kiddo until they drifted off to sleep? Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments, and you’re less likely to feel discouraged about what didn’t get done.

Happy Valentine’s Day from everyone at Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center. We hope you have an amazing day with your families, and also find a few moments to care for yourself.