Don’t Let Being a Great Dancer Go to Your Head!

How is your dance training going so far this year?

Well, I have an interesting story to tell you.

A few days ago, I was in a basic ballet class working on my technique. Since I had quite a bit more experience that many of the other dancers in class, I ended up being in the front most of the time.

At one point, we were doing a very simple step across-the-floor. When I finished, one of the other dancers (who was a real beginner) came up to me and said:

“You were using this foot instead of the other one. We were supposed to use this foot.”

I was a little surprised at first, apologized and said I was concentrating on getting my foot into first position as the instructor told us to do. (Actually, I was doing the step correctly and was just trying to be nice.)

I didn’t really think anything of it. But then the instructor came over to us and said,

“Well, Melanie, you dance professionally, don’t you?”

I said, “Yes.”

Then, the instructor told the other dancer that many dancers do steps differently.

Basically, in the nicest way possible, she let the other dancer know that she shouldn’t give corrections, and I knew what I was doing!

At that point, I realized that the instructor was sticking up for me, and she wasn’t going to have any negativity in class.

I have to say…

It was awesome!

Obviously, the other dancer stopped talking and went to the back of class – a little embarrassed.

So the point of this whole story is…

No matter how good you think you are, don’t let it go to your head!

You should not give corrections to another dancer unless you are an instructor, or your dance teacher has suggested you do so.

This also goes for giving directions when you are in rehearsals, doing a performance or at an audition.

Don’t do it!

This is not your job, and it’s unprofessional. It can also be super annoying to a fellow dancer, and you’ll create enemies. Plus, it can show your insecurities.

When you are in a dance class or rehearsal, you should be working on your own movements.

If you are a really good dancer, you will be so focused on your own technique that you won’t have time to critique others!

With this in mind, what dance technique are you going to focus on today?

For more dance tips, click here.


Turn Those Resolutions Into Dance Goals

Learn to be more flexibleBe a more successful dancer this year!

Now that 2014 is in full gear, what does that mean to you as a dancer?

Yes, you know all about resolutions and how most people break them by February each year. With this in mind, why not make goals instead of resolutions?

Here are a few tips to start your year off the right way and accomplish more with your dance career:

1. Define your future.

What do you really want to accomplish as a dancer?

It’s one thing to dream about being on Broadway, dancing in a film or television show or opening your own studio. It’s another thing to write down exactly what you want and actually take action on it. Your dreams may be big, but don’t let that stand in your way.

Figure out each step you need to take to get closer to your dream. Write down goals for this week, this month, this year, and the next five years.

Set timelines and try to finish each step by each deadline. You’ll be amazed at how your dreams will start to materialize!

2. Work hard.

Well, I hate to say it, but even if you think you’re a good dancer, there is always someone better out there. Being a professional dancer is a lot of work.

You need to take dance classes, practice and study your dance technique EVERY DAY. Just dancing around your house or with friends does not count.

Don’t kid yourself. If you really want to be a dancer, you’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of you. But if you reach your goals, it’s completely worth it!

3. Go for it!

With all the work involved in becoming a dancer, or opening your own studio, the process can be overwhelming. Plus, many naysayers will tell you that you can’t do it.

If you really want to have a career in dance, don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. Focus on your goals and stay positive!

Being a dancer is a lot of work, and you’ve got to expect many hours of frustration, physical and mental exhaustion, pain, and negativity from others. It’s a very difficult career, but if you really want to be part of it, all of your hard work will pay off!

Now, go dance and work to be one step closer to your dreams!

For more dance tips, click here.


Reduce Stress with a Simple Word

Well, the year is winding down, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Many people in the U.S. love this holiday because they get time off from work to spend with friends and family, eat lots of good food and get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping.

I love Thanksgiving because of all these reasons, but there’s more to it for me.

Usually, things are crazy at work this time of year, and I spend long hours in front of my computer.

By the time Thanksgiving comes around, I’m usually VERY ready for a break (you can probably relate!). Thanksgiving gives me a time to reflect — and what else? — be thankful.

This may sound hokey, but it really inspires me to move forward with my goals. I note all of the things I’m thankful for in my life, and the stress melts away.

In fact, this works so well that I use this process throughout the year.

Being Thankful Can Help You More Ways Than You Know.

When I start to feel overwhelmed and stressed, I stop and think of ten things I’m thankful for. It helps me focus on what is truly important in my life.

Try it. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your mindset changes.

Suddenly, the frustration in dance class, looming tax payments, big meetings, and more seem less intimidating.

Thanksgiving is a time to thank those in your life who have helped you become the person you are today. It’s also a time to reflect on what’s important in life and all of the things you can be thankful for – and this is a wonderful thing.

So wonderful, in fact, that I think it’s wise to think about Thanksgiving every day. Thank the people around you and be grateful for what you have whenever possible.

This process will help you focus on what’s truly important in your life, help reduce stress, and show others that you appreciate their kindness!

With this in mind, I’d like to thank you for reading this blog.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


Your Dance Jobs Will Get Better

Keep Dancing For The Future

By Melanie Rembrandt

If you hang out at enough dance studios and auditions, you’re bound to hear dancers complain about their current situation. They are either working at a bad job to afford their lessons and have time to audition, or they are working on a show with long rehearsals, bad costumes and props and tiny budgets.

Yes, on top of working on your technique for hours and hours and years and years, you need to deal with people, shows and circumstances that just plain stink. But hang in there and know that this situation will not last forever. There are….

3 Things To Look Forward To As a Professional Dancer

1. Getting Respect.

Once you start working professionally, you will be covered by the unions of SAG-AFTRA and/or Equity. This means that you will only work a certain number of hours without a break or sleep, food is available on the set, auditions are run a certain way to waste less time, costumes are made specifically for you, travel arrangements meet a certain standard, and much more.

Basically, you get treated with respect as a performer.

2. Getting Paid.

Yes, it may seem a long way off or a dream right now, but once you start doing professional, dance productions, you will get paid for your dancing. And if you work overtime, work in unsafe conditions and/or use your own props, you will get paid more.

Plus, union representatives at each show make sure you are paid on time and in the right amount. And if you dance on television or in film, plan on getting a residual check in the mail whenever that performance airs!

3. Getting To Do What You Love To Do For a Living.

Do you have any idea how many people out there would love to be professional dancers, but they chose other life options, or just plain didn’t have the talent?

If you become a professional dancer who gets paid to dance, you are doing what many consider a dream profession. You’ve worked hard your entire life, and given up many things, to be a dancer. This will be your time to shine and enjoy every minute of life doing what you love to do!

If Things Stink In Your Dance Life Now….

Don’t worry. If you are focused, working on your dance technique every day and have the passion to be a dancer, things will get better in the future. Being a dancer takes a lot of physical and mental strength, but over time, all of your hard work will pay off.

And even if you do not obtain the dance career you want, at least you spent your time pursuing something that you love. You never have to say, “What if?” And there are way too many people out there saying that right now.

What one thing are you going to do today to start making your dance dreams a reality?

For help, check out the dance articles here.


Get Psyched for the New, Fall Dance Season!

Are you Ready to Dance?!

Are you into the groove of your fall, dance-training schedule yet? While you may have been working on your technique all summer and are ready to show off your new moves, there is something else to think about – your attitude!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, being a dancer takes more than just knowing technique. You have to have the right mindset to be truly successful. With this in mind, here are some things to think about before you step onto the dance floor.

10 Tips to Get your Mind Ready for Dance

  1. Think Positive.
    You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
  2. Be Thankful.
    Do you know how many people out there wish they could dance?
  3. Focus.
    Dont let negative people or gossip get in the way of your training.
  4. Set Goals.
    What do you want to accomplish today?
  5. Listen.
    What is the teacher or choreographer asking you to do?
  6. Make Notes.
    What did you learn today? Write it down so you can remember.
  7. Ask Questions.
    Not sure about a certain move? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
  8. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.
    Remember… this is dance – not rocket science or surgery!
  9. Breathe.
    Don’t forget to breathe when you dance… we all forget at times!
  10. Enjoy yourself!
    You’re dancing – one of the things you love most in life. Don’t forget to have fun!

Dance uses your entire body, including your mind. When things start to get stressful, and you’re not enjoying the art of dance any longer, take a moment to yourself and go over this list.

If you feel positively about what you are doing, you’ll be able to let go of some stress, relax and learn. More important, you’ll enjoy dancing even more… and isn’t that why you dance in the first place?

For more dance tips, click here.