Being a Dance Teacher

I truly believe we all have a purpose in life whether its to become a doctor, nurse, teacher, or singer- my purpose was to teach dance.


From an early age, I always showed signs that I wanted to dance, but my dad had made a deal with me when I was 3 years old to wait till I started kindergarten to start taking dance classes. The second I started kindergarten, my mom went to register me into a dance class to take once a week. I was that rare 5 year old, who actually danced throughout the whole class and wasn't afraid to go on stage to perform. I have been hooked on dance ever since. 


I was very lucky to have the dance teachers I had growing up to mold me into the best dancer I could be, but what I truly gained was how to be a teacher. I started to assist in other dance classes when I was 13 learning responsibility and being able to handle several students at a time. Most importantly, I learned how to have patience that leads me to talk about teaching today. 


I teach mainly ballet to girls as young as 18 months old to 18 years old about to graduate high school. I love all ages because each class and age group is a different experience. You can definitely not approach each class the same. I think I do have advantage of being seen as the "younger" teacher because I connect to my students with more than just the love of dance. I want to be the best version of myself and share my experiences with my students to let them know I have been in their shoes. 


The best feeling in the world is when I have students smiling, laughing, and giving me a big hug at the end of class knowing they are leaving the studio in a positive mind set because maybe they didn't do well on a test that day or maybe they have family issues at home, but when they come to dance I want them to feel free. 


"Dancing....is like dreaming with your feet"

Favorite Dance Brands

Mirella

Leotards have definitely changed over time with designs and colors available, but I always went to Mirella leotards for my dance classes. I love their ballet cut leg so you are given great lines and were always super comfortable while dancing. 

Body Wrappers

Tights were always a pain sometimes especially when they were uncomfortable. The minute I tried Body Wrappers Tights I was hooked. I been wearing their tights since I was 10 years old and never looked back. 

Sansha

Sansha has always been my go-to for ballet shoes! They worked the best for my feet being narrow footed which gave my difficulty when finding ballet shoes that molded my feet perfectly. 

Covet Dance

I absolutely love this dancewear brand. They have the best dance references on their tops that can be used day to day or for dance class. Everything is super affordable and they always have great deals going on!

Jo and Jax

I recently got introduced to this brand and let me tell you, I LOVE IT! I absolutely love their rompers and jumpsuits that they offer in different colors. They are beyond comfortable, plus I can wear them during the day running errands before I head to the studio to teach! 

Sugar and Bruno

What a fun, fun, brand for dancers! They have the cutest merchandised with quotes and sayings relating to dance. I also enjoy their accessories you can purchase that would be great for gift giving.

March 31, 2017: Royal Academy of Dance

I have had the privilege of training in ballet using the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus since the age of five. I fell in love with this program because of the discipline, set exercises, and being able to dance to live piano music. My favorite memories included taking ballet classes multiple times a week for 6 months, memorizing steps, and really enjoying myself as I danced. When exam season came in the Spring, I loved having our proper uniforms, hair glued back that no hair could get away, we get our ribbon color (where you would stand in line) and be anxiously waiting outside the door to go in. I had to go in by myself with three other girls and no teacher. It was just us and the examiner plus the wonderful pianist. It can be very intimidating, but I took it as a performance but more challenging because I was being graded based off my technique, musical performance, and body placement. There was so many things to think about, but several years later, I get to be on the other side of this experience now that I'm a RAD Licensed Teacher. I know get to , train them for months, warm up my students, and watch them go into the room with examiner. I can feel myself being anxious for them, but it brings me such joy to see their faces when they come out. Their smiles say everything and I tell them before they enter is to dance for themselves first and dance for the examiner second. 

RAD has brought so much to the ballet world nationally. This program is nationally recognized in 79 countries and it takes dedication to complete. Some might just do it for fun, but like me I took it seriously by taking all my exams up to vocational levels and pursued the teaching program. It took me two years to complete. It was basically ballet college style! It was worth the long hours of assignments and teaching plus I got to travel and meet other upcoming RAD teachers. It's amazing way to network and share the love of dance with others. 

What's in my Dance Bag?

Sansha Ballet Shoes

Of course I need my ballet shoes and my favorite brand to use when teaching are the Sansha Pro in light pink!

RAD Syllabus Books

Being a RAD Teacher, I always have my bag full of syllabus books and CDs ready for my classes!

Planner

I love to stay organized with my schedule and knowing when my extra lessons are and I love using my Kate Spade planner!

Snacks

I'm always hungry and you'll always see a stash of snacks in my bag for those long days of teaching!

Lotion

I always carry around a lotion bottle to make sure my hands and legs are always moisturized and plus the great smell is always a bonus! Aveeno is my friend!

Makeup Bag

I never leave my house without a little makeup bag full of my favorite things! You never know when you need a touch up or just a little pop of lip color!

January 30, 2017: Photos for Auditions

Hi readers, it's a new week and I can't believe we will be welcoming February already in just a few days! Since, I have been talking about how to find summer dance programs best for you, what to wear for auditions, and now I would like to discuss how to capture the best photos for audition submissions. It all depends on what kind of program you're doing, but it's more common for photos to be requested for a ballet audition. The photos that are normally required are in certain positions including 1st arabesque, tendu in a la seconde, and a headshot. I suggest to maybe have one of your dance teacher's assist with your photos to make sure you have the best positions and body placement for the required photo submissions. Having an extra eye is always a great idea! It's important that your photos are clear and should be taking in a blank background. Normally, in a dance studio would provide the proper background. I think having photographs taken professionally is best, but you could get away with informal photos as long as they look professional and you follow the application instructions. Always do your research because each company or program that you are auditioning for vary in application requirements. I wish you all the best this audition season and keep dancing!

Lauren xo

January 17, 2017: Summer Dance Programs

Hello! Happy Tuesday to everyone! I can't believe how fast this month is going. This time of year is for dancers to start auditioning for summer dance programs. Some of my favorite moments when I was dancing was traveling to new places, meeting new people, and taking classes I wouldn't normally take. Finding a summer dance program is hard because there's so many options out there now. The best suggestion I can give you is to RESEARCH! I used to subscribe to a few dance magazines, which would have advertisements of several dance programs listed from all over the world. The magazines would give little information about location of auditions, time of auditions, and the deadlines for application materials. From there, I would go to the websites of the programs that I was interested in to see what their program offers, how long it lasts, and of course cost is a huge factor, too. As a teacher, I encourage dancers to go outside the box to get the most dance experience they can get. You make connections at these summer dance programs and sometimes develop friendships you wouldn't even think of. Do the research and you'll find the program that best suits you! Stay tune for next week's post which will be all about application processes and taking the best dance pictures for audition submissions.

Keep Dancing,

Lauren xo 

January 11, 2017: Importance of Taking Outside Dance Classes

As a dancer, I think it's important to branch out of your comfort zone taking classes you wouldn't normally take or take classes from another teacher you never had before. Sometimes, hearing another voice helps you understand corrections you been getting from your regular teacher, plus they never seen you before so they might catch you doing something that hasn't been brought to your attention. Growing up, I always tried to go to other local dance classes to take musical theater to get me out of my shell and to be more confident with my stage performance. Also, I would go take an open ballet class at a dance company to get a new environment and different style of ballet. Dancers  tend to get caught in a daily routine of stretching, conditioning, ballet, jazz, tap, but forget that there's so much more out there. The more you're expose to, the more you'll learn as a dancer. 

Everyone comes from different backgrounds so by allowing yourself to get out of your box,  you are able to experience dance in another way. Even by going to dance conventions that brings in guest teachers and choreographers, who are well known in the dance world, allows you to learn from someone new and learn a new style of dance. I always want to encourage my students to never settle and to never be afraid to try something new. Dance is always changing and we have to be apart of that change. 


Keep Dancing,

Lauren xo