Dance Teacher Magazine!

photo 1-8Do you get Dance Teacher Magazine? If so, you might see a familiar face this month! :)

Thank you to Dance Teacher Magazine for writing such a wonderful feature. I am so grateful for this honor! xo


Library As Incubator Project: Here Are My Hands

One of my favorite places is the library or the bookstore! So, when I was asked to write for The Library As Incubator Project I was so excited! This month I wrote about the book “Here Are My Hands.” It’s a very sweet book I have been using with my toddlers to teach them about their body parts.

You can read the post here!

And there are a ton of books in the project shared by talented movement specialist! Check them all out! 

Above is a song I found to go with the book, it’s super cute! :)

It’s My 5 Year Blogoversary!!

IMG_6162Today marks 5 years of writing this blog! Every year I write an blogoversary post, and this year is no different! In 5 years this blog has brought me opportunities I couldn’t have gotten otherwise; it has brought me jobs and friends, and so much happiness!

Even though I am preparing to have my first little one, I feel as if this blog was my very first baby! I am thankful for you all reading and being a part of this community! It wouldn’t be what it is without you! :)

Here’s to 5 years, and 5 more! xo

p.s. A look back at the last 4 years! : 1, 2, 3, and 4!

Like A Girl

I know this video has been surfing around on social media but I thought it was an important message to talk about here. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the watch.

“Like a girl” is a phrase I heard so much growing up. You too? I have never thought about this phrase, but after watching this it took on a whole new meaning.

Since the majority of us teach young girls (and even young boys too) it makes me wonder if you have ever experienced this phrase in any of your classes? Have you ever said it? Or had it said to you? Or heard your students use it?

Like we have talked so many times before, it’s our job to teach girls confidence and strength. But it really struck me that the young kids in this video seem to have a different perspective on the phrase then the older kids did.

I feel like with the right class of students, this could be a really great lesson. It’s just an idea, but I wonder if we showed a group of 10 year old students this video and then did the same compare and contrast they did in the video. Or I wonder if showing them the idea at all would put a negative idea of what “like a girl” means.

What is your take on the video? I would love to hear! xo

Flora and The Flamingo

9781452110066_flora-and-the-flamingo_large_1Have you seen this book? Flora The Flamingo by Molly Idle It is the cutest! I had heard about it and finally ordered it. In June I did a workshop for my 6 year olds where each week we explored different ways to create dances. One week we did pathway maps and one week we used this book. (I will write about what we did the other weeks soon!)

I thought it was important for them to have the tools to create dances, it doesn’t always have to be choreography, although that is important too. I just want them to think creatively and this is one tool they can use forever!

Here is how we used the book:

The book is wordless. No words at all! So I showed the students the book all the way through. We talked about the pictures, and laughed too! It’s a funny and sweet book! Then I told them we were going to make a story, narrative to go along with the book. Put words to it.

They started to call out words that described the pictures in the book and what was happening. I wrote them down, and once we got all the way through the book, we started to make up movement to the words. We still looked at the photos for inspiration but they made up the coolest dance ever inspired by the pictures!

We did it all together, but if you have a bigger class you could ask them to do it in partners or even 2 groups.  It’s also fun to video the dance and then watch it back. My students love to do that!

Would you ever try this with your students? Have you ever tried something like this? I would love to hear! :)

p.s. Kerry has a great post about this book too!

Camp Themes

IMG_5854How is your summer going, friends? Have you been starting up your camps and summer classes? I was doing dishes today, and was thinking that it might be fun to share here the camp themes you are using this year.

I don’t run camps, only classes so I’m not much help in the theme department. But, I would love to hear what you have been cooking up this summer. I am sure it’s the most creative and I can’t wait to hear! Secretly, I just want to know how many teachers are using Frozen. ;) haha!

Maybe you are still looking for ideas for one more week of camp, or maybe you will inspired   for next year! Please share your ideas, we would all love to hear! xo

p.s. Thank you for all of your wonderful comments on this post. What a community this is! :)

Big (Little) Announcement!

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Dear Readers,

The day has come for me to announce that my husband and I are expecting a baby in November! We are over the moon excited! Above is the bump!

Now how many of you have taught dance pregnant? I feel overwhelmed by the idea of getting up and down off the floor a bajillion times a day, but that’s my job, so I will have to make it work. I think as time goes on, I will have to physically do less in class, which is really hard for me to do! Probably for most of you too. One thing I know for sure is dance teachers are hard workers!

Do you have advice for me? One reader told me that her friend had to stop wearing dance clothes to teach class to remind herself to slow down. Real people clothes? What are those? ;)

I have been getting really good at teaching in dresses and because of the timing, I think I can pull that off for most of the months!

I would love to know what worked for you, what you changed and how you changed it. Modifications? Tricks of the Trade? As of now, I plan to teach the whole way to November. What is/was your story of teaching dance pregnant? I would love to hear!

p.s. This article really helped me!

Do You Write A Blog?

IMG_6172Lately, a few readers have been sending me links to their blogs that they have recently started writing! I love to read them! It got me thinking, I bet a ton of my readers have blogs that I don’t even know about!

So, in the comments I’m inviting you to leave a link to your blog (if you have one) so we can all have a library of blogs to explore. I would love to have them all in one place. Once I have collected a bunch of them I will post them, so they are easier to find!

Do you write a blog about teaching dance or littles related? I really look forward to reading it! :)

Inspiration

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I just spent a few hours exploring Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lakeshore Learning websites. Yes, a few hours! It’s my most favorite activity when I feel like I need something new to get inspired. New picture books, props, and music get me so excited and I feel like the summer is the perfect time to gather new ideas! Don’t you?

I ordered a bunch of new toys and books (I had a ton of gift cards from the year), so I’m excited to share some new ideas with you soon!

What do you do to get inspired? How do you gather new ideas? I would love to hear! xo

Peacock Feathers

photo 3-6A few weeks ago, I needed a prop… and fast! It was the last few weeks of the semester and I wanted to use something new and different. So I made a trip to the craft store and looked around. Here’s what I came up with:

Peacock Feathers!

I used them with my 2-4 year olds. It was super fun and very creative! I had no agenda with them and the littles seemed to just come up with a lesson on their own.

We tickled our body parts. Feet, knees, bellies, arms, cheeks, forehead, elbows. So silly!
We threw them up in the air and watched them float to the ground. And then tried it in our bodies.
We tried blowing them up in the air with our breath.
We danced with them close to our bodies and then far away from our bodies.
And last we made an arabesque tunnel with the feathers at the top.

I put on some instrumental music and we just explored. Try it!

I plan to try some other types of feathers sometime soon. I’m so interested in using these with my littles!

Have you ever used feathers with your young dancers? I would love to hear how it worked out! xo