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All about DSD’s Vaganova Ballet Program

From the desk of DSD’s Ballet Director, Miss Amy Trayers:

I am very excited to start the year with all of your students, and share with you some fabulous new additions to our ballet program curriculum. Here at DSD, we are committed to providing your students excellence in their dance education, and the foundation of this starts with their ballet technique training. This past July, I attended a teacher training intensive with highly-sought after coach and Vaganova pedagogy expert Carol Roderick. With this information in mind, we are working on implementing a studio-wide ballet technique syllabus that will be used among all of our staff, to provide consistency in how we are training our dancers from their first class to their graduating performance.

 

“DSD often talks about the Vaganova method. What does this mean?”

Throughout classical ballet, there are many different styles of training. The Vaganova method is the Russian method of training, founded by a woman named Agrippina Vaganova in the 1940’s. There are several different methods of ballet training, with the Vaganova method (aka Russian method) being one of the most highly sought-after training methods in classical ballet. This is because the training system is designed to give attention to every part of the body within executing movements and allows dancers to focus on the fine details of their technique. This approach allows for dancers a full awareness of their body, and thus allowing them the opportunity to execute their movements with precise technique, fluidity, and expression.

“Why is my DSDPC dancer required to take ballet technique, and why is it important?”

Ballet is the basis for all forms of dance, and crosses over in every style a dancer performs. For example, dancers know that they start every class with a demi plié and a tendu. In jazz, every jump starts and lands in a plié. Every battement must be done with straight knees and pointed toes, which are taught in the fundamental tendu exercise in ballet. Not only this, but ballet technique enforces the same pelvic alignment, posture, balance, and details in the feet, legs, and arms that are needed in contemporary, lyrical, jazz, hip-hop, and every other style of dance. Through ballet technique, dancers are able to develop an awareness of their body so that they can correct themselves when they make a mistake without having to be reminded by the teacher. This allows for faster improvement in their dance training, and ultimately makes the difference between a good dancer and a great dancer.

 

“What if I have a child who doesn’t enjoy ballet as much as their other styles, or thinks it is boring? How can I encourage them to keep working in ballet technique?”

Ballet technique moves at a more deliberate pace than other styles, and this often can be frustrating for dancers that are eager to try more advanced movements. However, I often compare ballet to learning how to walk. You don’t go from crawling to sprinting; there is a deliberate process that you go through to learn how to stand, then walk, then run, etc. The basic mechanics of holding turnout, maintaining good posture and placement, coordinating the arms with the legs, etc., are crucial to be able to execute harder skills. Sure, you could teach a non-dancer to do a saute de chat (aka, a leap), and they could probably do it. However, can they do it with straightened knees and pointed toes? Can they do it with proper posture and arm placement? Can they jump high enough and have the flexibility to achieve a full split in the air? Probably not. These are all things that ballet technique focuses on, which is why we have to move at a methodical pace. This can be frustrating for dancers, because ballet technique is hard! There is always something more that can be improved within one’s own technique, even in a professional ballet dancer. However, with deliberate focus and work in ballet technique, dancers will start to see improvement in their other styles of dance, and in their own ballet technique. For dancers that think ballet technique is “boring,” I would encourage them to reframe their negative thoughts towards ballet as, “I don’t like this style of dance because I need more practice and am not where I want to be yet.” And with practice, this will come.

We are incredibly excited to be implementing our Vaganova-based program at DSD, and are eager to share it with your dancers!

 

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{Free Class!} Wiggle Wednesdays!

WIGGLE WEDNESDAYS!

Join your little one for an exploration of music, dance and creative play the first Wednesday of each month at Diamond School of Dance!

The class is FREE and open to the community. Class space is limited. Invite a friend!

Connect with other moms, engage in fun activities exploring music and movement and create lasting friendships!

Ages 18 months and up. Enroll online to reserve YOUR place at www.DiamondSchoolOfDance.com “2018 Special Classes & Events”.

Share with a friend with a little one who would LOVE this fun class!

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DSD’s 2019 Performances to be held at the Pablo Center!

WE CAN’T CONTAIN OUR EXCITEMENT….

BREAKING NEWS… DSD’s Spring Performances to be held at the Pablo Center at the Confluence!

DSD’s 2019 Spring Performance’s will be held at Eau Claire’s premier, brand NEW state of the art performing arts theater, Pablo Center at the Confluence!!! We couldn’t be more thrilled to represent the arts in our community as the first dance studio in the region to grace the stage of the Pablo Center. It will be an experience you and your dancer will never forget!

Mark your calendar for June 8-9, 2019 for DSD’s Spring Performances and be sure to invite grandma, grandpa and your entire family and friends to experience DSD’s professionally staged performances starring YOUR dancer!

Check your email or visit DiamondSchoolOfDance.com to view your dancer’s performance date and time! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our staff team is happy to help!

WHAT: DSD’s 2019 Spring Performances “RISE UP”
LOCATION: Pablo Center at the Confluence
Dates: June 8-9 at 1:00 & 6:00

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Five Benefits of Dance

Five Benefits of Dance

At Diamond School of Dance, we believe that learning how to dance should be an encouraging and positive experience for children at any age! And while the dance steps themselves are an important element to every class, the benefits of dance go far beyond pliés and pirouettes.

Here are our five favorite benefits of dance:

1) Dance requires perseverance
In today’s world of instant gratification, dance is different because it teaches children how to work hard over days, weeks, months, and years! Consistent, developmentally-appropriate practice is the way to achieve progress.

2) There are opportunities everywhere
Every class is a chance to learn something new or grow in a new way. Whether it’s getting better at a step you already know or trying a new skill, the chance to try and try again is always there!

3) Forever friendships are formed
There’s something pretty special about the friends you dance with … you share laughs, work together as a team, push each other to do your best, and support each other’s dreams.

4) Dance prepares kids for life in the “real world”
The dance classroom is full of life lessons: from our preschoolers learning how to take turns with each other to our teenagers understanding how to prepare for an audition, everyone is developing the discipline and patience they’ll need in life outside the classroom.

5) The “comfort zone” is challenged
Trying new steps. Performing in front of an audience. Reaching for a goal. All of these things help children grow outside their comfort zones! A shy dancer can learn how to love the stage; an enthusiastic one can learn how to harness her energy.

As you may already have observed in your child, the immediate joy of dancing comes from the thrill of movement and music! What follows is another type of joy; one that comes from the long-term, deeply-rooted character qualities instilled during dance class.

These five benefits aren’t the only positives of course, but they are certainly some of the best! We hope you see them develop in your child as they discover their love for dance.