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!


3 Quick Tips to Look Like a Better Dancer – Fast

Secrets to Improve Your Dance Technique A dance teacher can help you become a better dancer

If you are trying out a new dance class, or you just want to look like a better dancer fast, here are a few tips to keep in mind…

1. Stand Up Straight.

This can do wonders for your overall appearance. But instead of thinking about sucking in your stomach and pulling your shoulders back, think about a string running through your body and pulling your head up. This way, your body will go into a natural alignment. And this means you will have better balance and look more confident.

2. Watch a Better Dancer in Class.

Figure out who the best dancer is in the class and then stand near that person. This way, you can shadow what they are doing. Look at their arms and feet and watch their technique. Obviously, you want to be subtle when you follow them, but this will really help you improve your dancing – and help you figure out what you should be doing!

3. Breathe.

It can be very easy to hold your breathe when you are nervous or focusing on a dance step. When this happens, your body tenses up, and it’s impossible to move freely. While it may sound simple, try to focus on your breath during dance class. Take a breath with every move. This will not only help you calm down, but it will also help you look more relaxed too.

A Few Simple Things Can Make You a Better Dancer

Starting a new dance class or working with a new dance teacher can be nerve-wracking. But don’t let it get to you. We all have to start somewhere!

Fight your nerves by focusing on just a few things. That may be improving your posture, following a dancer who knows what he or she is doing or just breathing. Each class will get a little easier, but these tips will help you get through the first few so you can move on.

How do you deal with nerves when taking a new dance class? Please share your thoughts below.

For more dance tips, click here.




What To Wear to a New Dance Class Without Spending a Lot of Money

What to Wear to Dance Class Find out what kind of dance apparel and dance shoes to wear to your first dance class here.

Feel confident as a dancer

The summer is coming to a close, and it’s time to look at your dance schedule for the fall. If you are new to dance, you are probably excited about your future training… and a little bit nervous.

How can you deal with this excitement and nervousness?

Figure out what you are going to wear to dance class in advance.

This will remove one of your stressors and help you feel more confident in class. Plus, you won’t have to worry about what you’re wearing, and you can concentrate on your training. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Call the studio.

Simple. Call the studio and ask the instructor what students wear to class. They may have a specific dress code so be sure to find out. And if you need something that you can’t afford, ask if they know of any students who have used shoes or used clothes you can have. They may even have some items for you in the lost and found!

2. Visit the studio or go online.

If you really want a good idea of what the students where to the dance classes you are going to take, visit the studio and look at what the dancers are wearing. Most studios have a waiting area where you can watch the classes. Not only will you be able to see the dance techniques you’ll be taught, but you can also see first-hand what the other students are wearing.

Also go to the dance studio’s website. Many times, the studios will post videos of their studio and dancers. In the videos, you’ll be able to see what the other students are wearing.

3. Visit a thrift shop, look online or call other studios.

If you know you need a certain outfit for dance class but have limited funds, visit your local thrift shops. Many times, you’ll find used dance shoes and almost new, workout clothes. The best part is, you won’t pay much, and it doesn’t really matter because you’ll just be working out in the clothes and shoes anyway!

Another way to find used dance shoes and clothing is to look online. Search for the kind of shoes and clothing you need on eBay or Amazon and see if you can’t find used or almost new clothes and shoes in your size and within your budget. If that doesn’t work, call all of the dance studios in your area and ask if they have any used dance shoes you can buy. Also ask if they have recommendations about where you can get affordable, dance clothes.

Cool Dance Clothes and Shoes are Waiting For You

Starting a new dance class can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. To cut down on your nerves, prepare what you are going to wear in advance. Also, look for clothes and shoes you can afford. Make the effort to contact the dance studio and look online for bargains. This way, you’ll find some great outfits and dance shoes to wear to class without ruining your budget. And most important, you’ll fee more confident as you start your new dance classes.

What do you wear to dance class that you love? Share your thoughts below.

And for more help on this topic, see “What to Wear to Dance Class” here.



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.


Exclusive Interview with Susan Rizzo of the Andrea Rizzo Foundation

Recently, I caught up with Susan Rizzo, president of The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, for a brief, online interview. Here’s what Susan had to say:

Tell us about The Andrea Rizzo Foundation and why it is important to dancers.

This is the only 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization in the United States that provides grants that fund dance therapy programming exclusively for children with cancer and special needs.

Programs are led by trained Dance/Movement Therapists registered with the American Dance Therapy Association. In addition, the Foundation funds expressive movement programs for the same pediatric population that are directed by dance professionals of the highest caliber.

Dance Across America is our fundraising initiative that offers dancers the opportunity to support our cause while combining compassion with their love of dance. Dancers understand the power of dance and have a chance to make a difference in the lives of children in hospitals and schools nationwide by holding dance events, dance-a-thons, and benefit performances. Keep it simple – Keep it meaningful and… Let your heart move your feet®.

You also wrote the book, “Drea’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance.” Please tell us about this book and why you wrote it.

It was my daughter’s (Andréa) idea to write the book. She knew that our journey through her childhood cancer at 18 months old and subsequent, learning disabilities proved that if you have a dream – you can achieve it – no matter what the obstacles.

Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance, tells the inspiring story of a mother’s and daughter’s indomitable journey of triumph over childhood cancer and disabilities, only to face the ultimate challenge of unexpected loss. The book also shares practical lessons learned about surviving the unthinkable and brings to light the power of dance to heal.

Actress Jane Seymour honored me through her Open Hearts Foundation and wrote the foreword and here is an excerpt:

“Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance will empower parents facing the devastating news of their child’s cancer diagnosis as well as parents of any child facing disabilities. In addition, it offers inspiration to dancers, who know firsthand the therapeutic value of dance as a healing modality and to anyone who is looking for an inspiring story of a mother’s and daughter’s everlasting bond. For parents who have actually lost a child, this book provides a guiding light and offers help to find a reason to go on when such tragedy strikes.” – Jane Seymour, Actress, Artist, Philanthropist

What was the biggest challenge you faced in starting your non-profit and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge has always been that I don’t like to ask for money. When you run a non-profit, you must come up with creative ways to do so, and at the same time, make sure that all donors feel appreciated. I am so grateful for their support and try my hardest to thank them over and again!

What has been the greatest joy you’ve experienced in starting The Andrea Rizzo Foundation?The Andrea Rizzo Foundation

It was uniting dancers for a worthy cause that speaks to their hearts. When we began our Dance Across America fundraising initiative, I found that young dancers willingly and whole-heartedly wanted to find ways to raise funds for children with cancer and special needs.

They understood the impact that dance would have on these fragile children. I find great joy in brainstorming with young dancers for creative ways to raise funds for a cause they feel united with.

I also find great joy in knowing that my only child’s dream lives on.

Do you have any tips for other mothers out there who have children who want to be dancers?

Parents should encourage dance as a form of self expression and nurture talent – but also enlighten their children about career paths such as dance therapy as an additional choice. Performing can be very competitive.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just THANK YOU to EVERY dancer, nationwide, who has helped us to bring dance therapy to children with cancer and special needs.

How can other dancers get involved and learn more about you, your book and your organization?

They can visit and They can also see the acceptance speech of Jane Seymour’s Open Hearts Foundation gala at

Thanks so much Susan. We wish you all the best with your organization and book!