Sunday, March 31, 2013

Helpful (dance) Handouts

I'm still working on my George Mason review, so that'll be up next weekend, along with some more surprises (I hope).
A couple weeks ago, I told you that I would put up the links and pdf's of what I have in my dance folder. Well, I completely forgot, but here they are.

The first thing is a (very nice) blog topic organizer courtesy of Perideau Designs. It even has a wonderful explanation to go with it. You can find this free printable here.

The second is this fabulous picture from the February 2013 issue of Dance Spirit Magazine. 

Oh La La is right. I LOVE french twists, and this great picture gives you several variations.

The last two things are mostly health related, but helpful resources for ALL dancers. The Center for Dance Nutrition has some great resources. I believe I have the snack ideas pdf in my folder. I also have a few handouts from The Harkness Center for dance Injuries, which has great information on everything from shin splints to trigger toe.

I also have a laminated checklist of everything I keep in my dance bag and makeup case, along with hair and makeup options and instructions. I'm not very tech savvy, so I don't really know how to make that available to you yet, but when I figure it out, I'll let you know.   :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break (And Other News)

I’m guessing that by now, a few of you are on spring break. Me too, finally. I needed a break. A nice long relaxing trip to the beach with my family, eating whatever I want, not forcing my body to stand in 5th position everyday… wait a minute…. dancers don’t get breaks.
I’ve been spending my spring break helping out at my studio and teaching the little kids. Not really relaxing, but very entertaining. Little kids say the strangest things. Yesterday they had a very controversial conversation about Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, and introduced me to the Tube-Fairy (2 of the girls had had tubes in their ears when they were younger).  Not to mention, they’re all really cute.
Courtesy of Pinterest

Anyway, that was a learning experience. Three, four, even five-year-olds are difficult sometimes. They get tired very quickly and have short attention spans. Whenever one raises their hand because they “needagopotty,” five more decide they need to go, too. At that age, you can’t just tell them to hold it, so the whole class has to take-5. 

I decided to keep in shape by taking class with some of the younger intensive students. Most of them were in my company anyway, so we were used to dancing together. Sometimes I forget how young these girls are. I’m the oldest at 16 and the youngest is 8 or 9. That’s a pretty wide range, especially when you consider talent and ability, but most of these girls are polite, mature hard workers. We've had very few issues where someone couldn't perform what they were given.
I've been tempted to switch to larger studio several times before, but I really love the girls I dance with. I would miss them too much if I left.
Courtesy of Pinterest

Which brings me to my news: My friend and I are working on starting our own business-type-thing with dance related products. That’s not really much information, but I can tell you more once we've got everything set up. I’m also working on a YouTube channel (that will probably also feature my friend) for tutorials and tips, so I’ll have more news on that soon, too.
I know it’s already really late in the week, but this weekend I’ll have review of the George Mason Dance Program’s Spring Gala up for you to read. I went to see it last weekend, and it was beyond amazing.  I couldn't find any video, but I’ll try to describe it as best I can.

Again, sorry for the late post. No need to worry, as long as you keep coming back to read, I’ll keep coming back to write.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More on the Makeup Case (How I store it.)

Since yesterday's post was pretty long, I decided to save some other details for today. I spent this morning doing homework and getting all my pictures together, so I would be ready for a post by noon. Since I'm a little early, I'm going to work on next week's post later.   :)

Here's what i keep in my makeup case when I go to a performance:

  • my dance folder (I'll put up links to what I have in there later this week)
  • a small hanging organizer (with all of my make up)
  • a medium cosmetic bag (with brushes, applicators, and an eye shadow palette)
  • my hair stuff in its organizer
  • hair gel
This is how I do it:
 My hair gel (Garnier Fructis Style Curl Shaping Gel) goes in one of the pockets on the right side of the case.

Then I put in my hair organizer. One of the straps came off last weekend, but you get the idea.
After I strap that in, I add my dance folder, which is a pink binder/folder. It has brads on the inside so that you can hole-punch papers and put them in.
My cosmetic bag and hanging organizer are both Vera Bradley (a must for most dancers) in Very Berry Paisley.

They get layered in on top of my folder, to add cushion to the mirror(just in case).
And then I close it up.
At home, I leave out my dance folder and hair stuff, and keep those in my dance bag. I haven't decorated my makeup case yet(and it still looks like an old suitcase), but when I do I'll show you how I do it. I'm thinking rhinestones and spray paint.  :)  Let me know if you try this, how it works for you, what you think, how you decorated it.

Vera Bradley unfortunately doesn't carry the hanging organizer anymore, but you can find a very similar (slightly larger) one here.

My cosmetic bag can be found here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

D.I.Y. Makeup Case (that WILL hold everything)

Whenever I go with my studio to performance venues (my studio doesn't compete, but we perform at various events 2-3 times a month), our company waltzes in carrying about 50 duffels, backpacks, garment bags, and makeup cases. For the most part, my teachers have not bothered to organize this chaos; they focus on the performance itself, rather than the preparation. A couple weeks ago, I saw this picture on Pinterest.
From what I can tell, it's a vintage suitcase with a mirror, some light bulbs, and a shelf. It looked to me a bit like a vanity-type-thing, and I thought, "Why not make something like this that can be carried from place to place?" I knew I had a performance coming up the next weekend so I decided to try my luck and see what would happen.

When I was little, my mom used to buy antiques from a local junk store, and for whatever reason, an old Samsonite suitcase was one of the few things from that store that we still have around.
After cleaning it out and disinfecting it, I removed some of the more rotten fabric and lining. It had two straps on one side to hold in clothing, and I removed the fabric, but kept the hardware.
I did have to purchase a few items, but the total was somewhere around $18, and I found everything I needed at Micheal's. I went out and bought a a 6 by 6 inch craft mirror, 3 yards of 1 inch ribbon, heavy duty stick on Velcro patches, and a bead organizer with removable dividers(the equivalent of a tackle-box).

The first thing I did was measure and sew the ribbon. I had to be long enough to not only span one side of the suitcase, but to hold a rather bulky object as well.

Because the two pieces of ribbon joined together, individually they didn't have to be quite as long. I used a regular stapler to attach the ribbon to the suitcase lining, but one of the straps came off while I was packing everything up after the performance, so I will update you on what I figure out. I had my dad help me get the mirror even, we but Velcro all on the edges of the mirror(with the other side attached) and stuck it to the suitcase. It is very strong, and has held up very well.

I also added a hook to the underside of one of the pouches in the suitcase to stand up my hanging organizer.

For the tackle box, I wrote my name on the outside in permanent marker, and organized my hair stuff inside it.

This is what the finished product looks like, I have more pictures and tips on how to store it that would just make this post too long, so I'll put those up later.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

(Belated) New Year's Resolutions

                 So, New Year's resolutions... This is a bit late, but it will still serve it's purpose. (Especially if you've already given up or fallen behind on your resolutions.) New Year's resolutions are the promises that we love to make, but rarely ever keep. Well, I'm not really a big fan of the "I'll never ______ again" resolutions. Those are way too easy to forget, or make excuses about, or just give up on. So instead, I make a list of the things that I want try to do or achieve before the new year ends. So I'll go through my list and maybe give you all some ideas about how you want to do yours.

  1. Fight procrastination- On school work, dance projects, cleaning my room, whatever.
  2. Plan ahead more often- Yes, sometimes spontaneous is good, but it always helps to be prepared. this is one of the things I neglected to do when I first attempted to start this blog last year. It takes more time and effort than I thought it would.
  3. Eat healthier- More salads, less cookies, less skipping breakfast, more protein and calcium. As a dancer, my body is an instrument, and I need to make sure I take good care of it.
  4. Get my full middle split- Sometimes it's as simple as having a goal.
  5. Start networking- meet new people, travel more, work at my studio, talk to dance instructors and choreographers, start put my name out and performing more.
  6. Design(and create) a costume- Just for fun.  :)
  7. Polish my left double pirouette- It needs to be done.
  8. Donate something to charity- Nuff said.
  9. Clean my room!
  10. Write a short story- I had a really cool idea while I was dreaming a month or so ago. It could be cool to write about it just for fun.
                               These are my goals. Dance Spirit has some great tips, too, you should go check them out:  Dance Spirit: How to Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet .   The new year is a great time to set goals, but if you would rather you can make this list on your birthday, in the fall before the dance season starts, or any other time. I have a friend who does this once a month, and she crosses off the goals that she's achieved and moves on to her next set of priorities. It's really just the principle of the thing. 
                            My biggest resolution is really just about this blog. I want it to be a real thing, a place where people can actually go if they want advice, or funny stories about dance class. So I'm going to try to post at least once a week, regularly, on Saturday evenings. If I can get enough people interested, I will do more than that. So like, follow, share, visit, whatever you want to do, and I'll be back here next week to share something else.  :)