Saturday, November 13, 2010

Colourblind-Shale Wagman

I don't know if it's because this song is beautiful in every way and touches me every time I hear it, or the fact that this nine year old boy danced amazingly. Maybe it was the innocence of the dance in having a young child perform to such a song. No matter, this piece literally brought tears to my eyes. This kid's got undeniable talent, and the choreography suited the song and showcased his abilities well. Can't wait to see more of him in the future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spotlight On Who?

         Competition dancers have one thing in common: drive to win. They go forth and are fierce, taking the stage by command and totally werking it. We all want that first place trophy, the highest award, special recognition. It's a competition after all. Thing is not everyone can be up front and featured all the time. What do you think should determine placement in a dance? What should decide who is placed in the front or in the back? Being in the back is commonly associated with rejection and having unequal skill to dancers in the front, except at times it is found that placement is not based on  ability at all. Dancers can be placed based off of height, age, maturity in their dancing, looks, race, gender, hair color, body type, etc. Is it fair to have a dancer placed in the front or in a better number because she is tall and fits in with the other dancers while the shorter dancers are placed in the back or in a not as good number as they end up with younger and/or not as talented dancers just because of their height? I don't think things one can not control like height should determine placement in a routine (except if you're a Rockette). Sure I understand if there are only two Black-American dancers in a dance you don't want them next to each other the whole time but spread out. Yes I get that you don't want all the blondes on one side and the brunettes on the other. However, generally I believe dancers should be placed in certain numbers and in certain areas on the stage based off of ability, how well they do that dance. I also believe spots should be mixed up and most should get a chance to showcase what they are good at so they aren't always in one place. What do you think?

Common Injuries For Dancers

So even though dance is an art and all (although I think it should be considered a sport as well) it is dangerous, with injuries being very common. Did you know dancers are injured yearly more than football players? Not saying it isn't totally fun to participate in and safe, but injuries do happen as they do in any physically demanding activity.
"Dancer's Fracture"
Landing badly from a jump and then experiencing difficulty walking. Typically caused by landing on an inverted foot. Immediate pain and swelling will occur and can be alleviated by elevation, icing, and limiting pressure.
Pain underneath toe, particulary when barefoot. Rest, a J-shaped pad or taping of the foot are recommended as is consultation with a physician. (BTW when it's serous or if you just want to be safe consult one in any case scenario of an injury)
"Hallux Valgus and Bunion"
Experiences pain when big toe is turned inward. Identify as early as possible and treat by strengthening, stretching, and prescription.
"Hallux Rigidus (Limitus)"
Going on full releve causes pain. Can be treated by ice, rest, ice massages, stretching into a demi-pointe position without bearing weight upon the toes
"Achilles Tendinitis"
When running or jumping the heel and lower-calf hurt as over time the Achilles can swell from overtraining. Rest, ice, stretch, strengthen, and use an overnight splint if necessary.
"Patellar tendonitis/“Jumper’s Knee”
Front of knee hurts when jumping due to inflamation and irration of the surrounding tendons and tissues caused by overuse. Don't aggravate it, ice, medicate, and consult a physician
Previous injuries, overuse, aging, and possibly genetics cause inflamation and degenerative breakdown of the joint cartilage to occur creating constant hip pain. Get a physician to confirm diagnosis. There is no cure for the condition, but it can be treated with physical therapy and if the pain becames too unbearable with replacement surgery.
"Lower back muscle strain and spasm"
When you pull something in your back treat by rest, ice, medication, and/or therapy.
When popped out of the joint go to see a doctor for assistance in placing it back in correctly if deemed necessary. Therapy is highly recommended to prevent repeated dislocation.
"Tennis Elbow/ Lateral Epicondylitis"
When the outside of your elbow hurts rest and ice to reduce swelling, but if more chronic see a physician.
"Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"
When there is pain in the base of your wrists and your fingers tingle from repetitive use than ice, rest, medicate, and if more chronic surgery might be a possibility.

Crediting for source of information. For more information on common dance injuries visit that site.

A Sight To Behold

           What institutes greatness in dance? Is it the stretch of the toe, the height of the jump, the fluidity in which you move, or the style you possess when you grace that stage taking it by command. It is all these things. Coordination, body shape and build, and internal connection being among the natural gifts. Musicality, dynamics, emotion, showmanship, intelligence, speed in which you learn and pick up choreography. Jumps, leaps, turns, legs, feet, energy. The skills of a dancer, the things we learn and improve upon all our lives as there is always room for improvement. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, things that are unique to us for just as no one is the same, every dancer is unique. What qualities do you think are essential in a dancer? What do you think makes a dancer spectacular, a sight to behold? 

credit for images to and google images

Born This Way

Some people are born to dance, simple as that.  Like in Step Up 3-D when they used the term “Born from a Boom box”: BFAB, people are just born with natural gifts. Arched feet, rotation, rhythm, hyper-extended legs, a tiny waist, Rockette legs...they come from the complex, detailed make-up job that is our genetics. Sure you could keep using that band to try to improve your feet or stretch every night. You could try your hardest to hit the beats and feel the music as you improv. You could sprinkle salt in your shoes and wish on every little star for those never ending legs, but try as you might you just weren’t born that way. Yes, you can improve and grow to have these qualities, and sometimes you even have that growth spurt or are the oddball of the family to end up super tall with "legs for days", but some people were just born that way. You can learn to dance, but some people were just born to do it. Born in the spotlight with stars in their eyes and dreams on their mind. Yet, even those of us that weren't born to dance and pursue other things in life, we have a passion for this art form, this beautiful molding and movement of body and soul as one. What we all have in common, all of us dancers, is a love for it. Fire in our eyes, determination, drive to excel. Dance is what we do. Whether we were born to do it or not. Whether we want to become dancers or something else. Whether we succeed or fail in achieving those Broadway dreams. Dance is just who we are.

With credit for images to,, and