Being a dancer is not a very easy occupation. You are away most of the time at lessons or competitions and there are moments when you’re under a lot of stress. The essential element for you to succeed (besides your willpower) is your dance family.
Each and every one of them has a different role in helping you grow into the dancer that you dream of becoming.
Nothing would’ve been possible without the support from your mom and dad!
We all know this is a sport that is quite expensive and those private lessons, competitions, and costumes don’t pay themselves. But your parents really stepped in and made an effort for you to do what you love the most.
Besides the financial support, just remember all those times they were there for you: cheering for you at competitions or comforting you when you didn’t get the result you wanted. They were there with you on the road, driving you to all those competitions (even to different countries) or in backstage, helping you with hair and make-up.
Your brother or sister
Who can be there next to you when you have doubts better than a sister or a brother?
They are the people you go to when no one else understands you. A sister will be there to tell you what looks good on you and what doesn’t. A brother will always encourage you and be by your side. This also includes all your brothers and sisters from another mother.
They are there to offer you the most sincere advice!
They are definitely the ones that will cheer their hearts out for you at the competition.
Your dance colleagues are the people with whom you go through ups and downs. From really tough training camps to fun memories from the road to comps, you learn how to be responsible together.
They will be the ones who will come to the rescue when you forget your hairspray or fake tan at home and the ones with whom you create some of the most cherished memories.
Your significant other
Dancing is such a beautiful art form because it recreates through body actions the feelings love and passion that two people have for each other.
More than often, your partner is just your dance partner and not your lover. That might be an issue sometimes if you do have a significant other (yes, I am talking about jealousy). We know it is very difficult to see your loved one holding hands and dancing romantically with someone else – it’s a natural feeling. But a genuinely supportive boyfriend or girlfriend will understand that your relationship with your dance partner is purely professional and artistic.
If you get that sort of unconditional understanding from them, then their support will matter the most in your career!
Your dance teacher
Your teacher is the figure that guides you in your career and that you look up to.
Besides the valuable information that they share with you, they will tell you what competitions to go to and what dresses to wear. They will give you advice on life in general and will be there to help you solve any problems you might have.
A teacher will scold you and will encourage you. They will know what buttons to push to help you move forward.
They are basically your dance parents – they teach you how to walk, don’t they ?!
The bond you have with your dance partner is truly a special one. The meaning of the word “partner” itself represents a link with another person with whom you share experiences.
Your dance partner understands and knows every little gesture of yours. They know how you react in so many situations: happiness, stress, sadness, fury, and so on. Dancing is all about communication and for that, you both need to learn how to discuss and make compromises.
They are the people with whom you share the love for dancing and with whom you go through good and bad. They make us feel grateful to have them in our lives.
To all of YOU – our dance family – a BIG THANK YOU!
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Teaching To Children: When To Be Soft and When To Be Tough
Teaching to children – a huge responsibility
Being a teacher is not an easy job, especially when you have in front of you very young students. Not only you have the possibility to educate and grow a new generation of dancers, but if you’re teaching to children you also have in your hands their future in dancing.
The way you give them information, the way you prepare them to be competitors and how you teach them to face victory or defeat will influence them. Will they love or hate dancesport?
Every child is unique
Unfortunately (or not), there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, especially when teaching to children. There is no overall, general truth that can work in every circumstance, on every student. The teacher’s role is to analyze each case individually, adapting his approach as needed.
When you’re part of a kid’s everyday life, you understand their reactions and know how to guide them. When teaching to children you come to realize how they act under pressure, when they lose concentration, you know when to push them further and when they need to be motivated.
Put yourself in their shoes
We’re biased because we see things only from our own perspective. The same can happen when we’re teaching. We usually tend to have a selective view of what’s going on and what should be done only based on our own experience and perception. What if just for a moment we stop and think “how does my student feel right now?”.
Sometimes, even without realizing it, we create a situation of stress and anxiety in the student’s mind. Like when a kid can’t answer a question, and the more we keep asking, the more he feels blocked and trapped.
Also, students keep mistaking a step over and over again simply because we don’t give them enough time to realize what is happening. Sometimes we should just let them solve the problem by themselves. The truth is that children don’t realize when to ask for more time to understand the information that they have just received. It’s up to the teacher to catch those signals and to adapt the speed and the pressure of the teaching process.
Predict the student’s reaction
An approach that can be useful in many different cases is to know ahead what reaction we want from our student and modify the way we teach in order to get exactly what we need.
It may sound cynic, but a good trainer always knows what’s the best path for his or her couples and what should be done in order to get to the destination in the most efficient way. So, we shouldn’t be afraid to adapt our teaching method, based on what our kids need the most in that specific moment.
If in one week they are going to compete at an important event and they need to be ready to show their best performance, we can’t work in the same way like we do when we’re just giving them technical information about a group of steps. The teacher has to fill the experience gap that differentiates a young dancer from an adult until they are able to manage every situation by themselves.
When to be soft and when to be tough
The more you teach, the more you can tell exactly what your student needs in a specific situation and you can predict their behavior. That, together with the goals you need to reach, will guide your teaching approach.
Here I will try to give some examples of methods you may want to use in different kind of situations:
- Completely newbie children that are starting to have their first classes or private lessons: be always positive, don’t focus too much on mistakes and if sometimes they get stuck in some steps, try to keep going and work on something else.
- Partners of different levels: if the boy is a beginner and starts dancing with a girl that is more advanced, or the other way round, be patient and be careful not to frustrate the less experienced partner. If needed, take him or her alone on private lessons so they can catch up. Motivate them and keep giving information fast enough, because being in a partnership with a more experienced dancer will make the other one improve much faster.
- One month before an important competition, it’s needed to improve the overall performance level: be tough, don’t go over mistakes, keep them focused, shape the strong competitive mindset. Don’t worry, they will not break under pressure because they see the goal, they know it’s for a reason.
- During stamina training: no excuses here…Be tough, don’t give them any possibility to complain about uncomfortable steps or any mistakes. Make sure they are always focused, ready to give their maximum. With children, many times you can get very good results by just bringing up their “adrenaline” level.
- The last lesson before a competition: the main word is “positive”. Everything should be fine, there is no time now to start working on difficult movements or get them to take in difficult concepts. Do a quick check on every dance and let them be sure and confident of themselves.
After all, only through your instinct and your experience you can react as needed in any circumstance. Teaching to children, one of the best feelings that you can get is when you are able to bring a kid from zero to success. Nevertheless, teaching to children is also one of the most challenging aspects of dancesport, yet one of the most beautiful and rewarding.
If you want to find out more about what to keep in mind when starting a dance lesson you can click here.
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Top 10 Dancesport Competitions To Watch Out For in 2019
Dancesport competitions – art, sport, and glamour
Both WDC and WDSF have some great competitions that have managed to put themselves in dancesport history. This happened as a result of the exquisite organization, great music & atmosphere, renowned judge panels, and world-class competitors.
In this article, I will discuss why are these some of the most famous comps.
Note: I will leave out the World and European Championships for both federations as it is clear that they are a must for every dancer
1. Crystal Ball
The first top-notch competition of the year will be on 19-20 January in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The organizers are Evgeny Smagin & Polina Kazachenko and Andrei Golovin & Alenda Vaganova.
Crystal Ball is coated in a veil of pure elegance and luxury with an aura of mystery – it really lives up to its name.
The judging panel is not less incredible. Here are some of the names: Gaynor Fairweather MBE, Maurizio Vescovo, Karina Smirnoff, or Sergey Ryupin.
Hurry-up! The online registration closes 14th of January! Register here.
2. British Open Championship (a.k.a. Blackpool Dance Festival)
Blackpool Dance Festival is, without any doubt, one of the most famous dancesport competitions. It has a huge history behind it, being one of the oldest competitions – the first edition took place in 1920 during Easter week.
Besides the live, classy music that the Empress Orchestra prepares for the competitors every year, the crowd is always fabulous. The spectators are putting on their best clothes and are expecting to see great performances on the stunning Winter Gardens floor.
Oh, and not to mention that you see all your idols roaming around…
This year the Festival will take place starting with 19th of May until 31st of May.
If you want to hear about our experience at the previous Blackpool Dance Festival, click here – it was life-changing.
3. Blackpool Festival China
The dancesport industry in Asia is booming: great teachers, amazing dance studios and fierce competitors. Asian dancers have always proudly represented their countries at European competitions, but always traveling to Europe is not very easy. This lead to an increased number of competitions that are taking place in China or Japan for example.
It was just about time for Blackpool Dance Festival to pack its bags and go overseas to Shanghai. The first edition of Blackpool Festival China was in 2015 and it was a success. This dancesport competition is perfect for you if you are living in Asia and you don’t get the chance to travel to Blackpool. Don’t miss the opportunity experience great quality from world class dancers right there, next to you!
This year’s the event is scheduled for August 15-20.
4. Embassy Ballroom Championships
The Embassy Ball is one of the coolest dancesport competitions in America. It has a rich history of over 30 years. Founded in 1980 by former Ballroom Champions Brian and Christine McDonald, The Embassy has grown to become one of the top dance competitions in the United States.
If you want to experience the American style of ballroom and latin competitions this is a perfect choice. Dance next to the World Champions at the Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center between August 28th – September 1st.
Official website: http://www.embassyball.com/
5. Fred Astaire – Disneyland Dance Festival
Donnie Burns MBE and Sammy Stopford are one of the biggest legends in the industry of ballroom and latin. They are known for their unique styles of dancing, approach to teaching aaaand for organizing the glamorous dancesport competition Fred Astaire – Disneyland Dance Festival. This year, the event is scheduled for December 6-8.
The competition is truly inspiring as the dancing is always at its highest level. What I find the most appealing at this competition are the shows. Top professional couples are putting on their best routines to create emotional moments. My personal favorite is Yulia and Riccardo’s paso doble:
1. DanceMasters – Bucharest GrandSlam
This year, DanceMasters is proudly going to represent the first GrandSlam of the year. It is also a first for Romania, as it has never hosted a GrandSlam before. Congratulations to the Romanian Dancesport Federation and to the organizers! We are looking forward to seeing how the event will turn out.
If you want to find out more about the previous edition of DanceMasters check out our other article.
Make sure you are present on the 16th and 17th of March in Bucharest and be part of dancesport history.
2. GrandSlam Rimini
Rimini is the third stop on the GrandSlam Series tour and it will take place on July 13-14 in Rimini, Italy. As all GrandSlam competitions, Rimini represents a must for top couples. The dancers are letting themselves inspired by the Italian vibe and show amazing passion on the dance floor.
3. German Open Championship
When you think about spectacular dancing with show-stopping moves, GOC is one of the first names that come into your mind. For all WDSF athletes is a dream come true to participate at this amazing competition. The energy is at its highest peak thanks to the cheering audience from the three competition halls: Alte Reithalle, Hegelsaal, and Beethovensaal.
The 1st German Open Championships took place in 1987 over the space of three days. Since then, it is one of the main events for dancers all over the world. This year the event is between August 13th and 17th.
4. Russian Open Championship
If you want to test your power, mindset, and technique there is no better dancesport competition to go to than the Russian Open Championship. The event is organized by the All Russian Federation of DanceSport, this year between October 25-26 in Moscow, Russia.
This GrandSlam will truly prepare you for the high standards of this beautiful sport. Have a look at this beautiful waltz and you will realize the level that this competition promotes:
5. Grand Slam Shanghai
The 2019 GrandSlam Series final stop is on December 7-8 in Shanghai, China.
There, you can witness the crème de la crème of the world of dancesport. Incredible athletes that worked so hard during the year just to arrive at this point now get to show the world what they can do.
And guess what? It’s your chance to feel like a true Hollywood movie star because they have a Walk of Fame laid out for you:
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GREAT WINTER TRAINING CAMP ROYAL DANCE: KARINA RUBIO: 2-5 JANUARY 2019 SPAIN
It has been held from January 2-5, 2019, one of the most famous Trainings International Camps, organized by the Top Trainer KARINA RUBIO: WINTER TRAINING CAMP ROYAL DANCE.
With the attendance of about 60 international couples of high level, where couples like the Estonian couple of the World championed 10 adult dances Konstantin Gorodilov and Dominika Bergannova.
Also Malthe Brinch & Sandra Sorensen from Denmark. World Ranking Adult position 13.
Another outstanding couple is formed by Marts Smolko & Tina Bazikyna from Latvia, Professional Adult Position 2.
And of course the best Spanish couple of all time from Royal Dance club, Guillem Pascual & Rosa Carné, current position 9 of the Latin world ranking.
Panel of International Trainers was:
The training lasted from 10 in the morning until after 9 pm with classes programmed with topics and very interesting focuses in the magnificent dance halls that the Royal Dance Club has.
Classes of Latin and standard classes were given, as well as a complete program full of private classes every day.
Karina, Alex and the Royal Dance Academy have organized these international Camps for several years with 2 annual appointments: in winter and summer. The Royal Dance Academy is located in Manresa, near Barcelona, Spain.