A Season for Waiting

There are seasons in life where there is nothing left to do but wait. You’ve done your part, you have finished your project, you have sent all the information, and, now, your fate is left to someone or something else. Patience can be excruciating! Anxiety builds, you wonder if you did enough, and there is finally the deep sigh of relief when the waiting is over. IMG_1534

Auditioning teaches how to manage these times of waiting for our dancers. Our Energy Dance Company kids audition each summer to be placed in their competition pieces. They learn combinations in each style and perform them, in addition to technique progressions, in front of a panel of judges. Each small group’s audition takes about 45 minutes to complete, and then the judges may call back certain dancers who are on the edge of score breaks to see them again. Then? They wait.

Results can take 3 days to 3 weeks to come back with the casting results, which is a long time to wait for anyone, much less a kid! They must be confident that they put their best foot forward and that they were prepared. They must put their head down and continue to train through this waiting period regardless of what the outcome might be. Then, when the results come, they must celebrate with humility or move past disappointment.

In our current society, waiting is getting harder and harder. We want information immediately, and Amazon can get paper towels to our door in the same day without us leaving the house. Whether waiting to hear about a job, a prognosis, a house offer, or a pregnancy, waiting is a virtue. Hoping we are teaching that skill to our dancers year over year.

Interested in joining us? Classes and camp schedules are out now!

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A Season for Heartache

It is naive to think we will always be in a season of celebration or a season of fun. Part of life is hardship and heartache. We will lose people we love, and we will find ourselves in situations that we never imagined experiencing. It is impossible to know how we will deal with these emotions of heartache until we are deep into a season of it. rise up

At Lonestar Dance we want our dancers to pour their heartache into their art. This can come in the form of creativity. Choreographing or improvising to music that moves you can be a therapeutic and healthy way to deal with the stresses and emotions of a Season of Heartache. We have a company “rule” that you leave your baggage at the door. The stress of your home life, the bad grade you made at school, the loss of a friend or loved one, or the break up from a romantic interest. It isn’t easy to do, as these feelings tend to permeate every activity and every interaction. Sometimes we turn off the lights, play music, and literally watch kids weep as they move through music and let out their grief.

The other therapeutic part of coming to dance is how wholly engaged you must be during class. In order to focus on technique or pick up choreography you have to be 100% present. You tend to forget, just for a short time, about the other things going on in your life. It is a rest. It is a break. We want that for our kids.

Interested in joining us? Summer classes and camp schedules will be available 3/1!

A Season for Youth

Too often we expect our kiddos to grow up too fast. To have too much responsibility, to take life too seriously. From time to time we all tend to have conversations and use tones of speech that do not foster a positive experience around kids. Too easily they take on our adult stresses and lose their innocence as they listen to the adults around them. They too often learn to be cynical or petty as they hear their mentors or parents speak to other adults. Being a mentor or a parent is a tough job. We all hope to raise these kids to be kind, honest, responsible and discerning, but it is hard to remember that we once had a Season for Youth. vip mini jazz

In the dance studio, we try hard to remember that young dancers are easily influenced by what they hear, and that they are only little for a short time of their life. We want to let them be little and to build a love for Dance and a love for self-expression. While we want to hold them to a level of responsibility and hard work that is appropriate for their age or skill level, we do not set unrealistic expectations for perfection. Instead, we like to encourage a personal best.

Different mentors, teachers, parents and organizations have different thoughts about how hard to push kids to succeed. At Lonestar Dance our mission is to inspire kids to express themselves with confidence. This doesn’t always mean we are easy on them- tough love can be an integral part of pushing kids to be the best version of themselves- but at the end of the day we want them to feel appreciated, admired, and passionate about their art. We don’t want to push so hard that they resent their teachers or the world of dance. We want to respect their Season of Youth.

Interested in joining us? Summer classes and camp schedules will be published by 3/1!

A Season for Beginnings

Beginnings can be scary. Starting something new can bring about an unparalleled source of anxiety as you face the unknown. We are creatures of habit who like things the way we like them, even the adventurous among us. When starting a new job, a new class, a new project we have to trust that the experiences we carry with us will hold us up through the inevitable trial and error of a new beginning.

In the dance studio, there are seasons for beginnings as well as seasons of comfort. Each school year we find a new rhythm as kiddos settle into new classes, new pieces, new friend groups. We teach kids how to adapt to new starts again and again, and also how to appreciate the level of comfort you have as you learn what to expect from certain classes, teachers and team mates. freeday6

This is something we get less familiar with as we grow older. As school children, we had to learn how to adapt all the time. As adults, we tend to hold more tightly to our comfort zones and our routines. We are less likely to try new things or start over. I hope that the dance studio is instilling a sense of adventure and excitement around seasons of beginnings in our dancers, and I hope they carry this with them as the grow. The anxiety may never go away, but it’s all in how we harness that nervous energy and give it all we’ve got.

Interested in joining us? Registration for spring ends Friday, 2/15! Summer classes and camp schedules will be available by 3/1.

For Everything There is a Season

On March 10th Energy Dance Company, along with a few of our older recreational dancers, will be performing our 6th Annual Matters of the Heart in Zilker Park. This show took root in the spring of 2014 as a mission to marry dance with stories and feelings of self worth and seeing worth in the lives of others. This year’s theme is “Seasons.” Not seasons like Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall, but seasons of life. moh 2018

We must believe and hope that everything will happen in its own time. That the steps and actions that we take today toward our goals will bear fruit. That even failures are not steps backward, but experiences from which we will learn and grow. For everything there is a season! Seasons for youth, seasons for redemption, seasons for laughter and seasons for tears. Seasons to dance, seasons to grieve, seasons for love.

Over the next few weeks leading up to our show, we want to take some time to explore some of these seasons and how they relate to dance here on the blog. Be sure to tune in!

See more details about our show here. 

The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

One of my absolute favorite things about dance is how universal it is. Strip down all the technique and style rules that we impose in a setting like a dance studio, and, at its root, dance is inherent. Dance is natural. You see it from the time we are babies! I love to stand in a crowd at a concert, or in a bar, or at a festival and be reminded of what a basic instinct it is to move to music. parent dance 2019

I hear this comment a lot: “I bet it really bothers you when people are bad dancers.” NO! Quite the opposite. If dance is bringing you joy, whether or not you are “good” by any societal standard does not matter! If the music moves you, then move! Dance is fun, and there are no barriers to entry. As humans, I feel like we can’t even help but bob our heads or sway side to side when we hear a song we like.

Gloria Estefan is right. Whether we intend it or not, or whether it is conscious or unconscious, the rhythm is gonna get you! But, if you want to define and hone those skills, we’ve got you covered. Join us for classes this spring- check out our schedule here.

Being Put On the Spot

Our mission is to inspire confidence in our dancers using dance as a medium. We believe dance is a fun and formative way to encourage our students to be able to walk into any room and be confident. Part of this is being put on the spot. Much of dance is non-vocal, obviously, but we want our dancers to also be able to speak up and speak out when called upon. Not every dancer will feel comfortable as an actor or orator,  but, inevitably, whether they audition one day to be a drill team officer or to be a back up dancer, they will have to talk. dancers 1

During the Summer our Energy Dance Company dancers have to audition for placement for their competition pieces. During this time we make them practice “slating,” or introducing yourself and answering some basic questions. They aren’t always confident or good at it the first time, but, those who have auditioned with us for a while can speak up and assert themselves to both make a connection with their interviewer and stand out in a line up.

Our teachers also call on students throughout the dance class time much in the same way a school teacher does, often putting dancers on the spot to come up with an answer to what we are doing or why we are doing it to use their critical thinking skills. As with school, the answers aren’t always right, but we want our dancers to feel confident making an educated guess or being able to say, “I don’t know,” without embarrassment. Just another way that joining an extracurricular like dance can continue to help kids be smarter, think for themselves and gain confidence. Interested in joining us? Registration ends for our spring semester on 2/15. Check out our schedule here.

Making New Friends

Socializing is an important part of growing up. School is the main outlet for this, but extracurriculars play a huge role in finding your “people.” While the primary goal of coming to dance class is to learn the skills necessary and develop the confidence to perform a certain dance style, making new friends is a secondary goal that we hope our dancers achieve at the studio. mini bonding

When you do an activity or sport outside of school you find like-minded peers that usually have similar goals, even if you come from all different backgrounds. We are blessed to be from a diverse community where dancers of all colors, religions and family dynamics can develop trust and hone new skills together. It is always fun to watch friendships pop up in our dance classes and hear stories about play dates and sleepovers between kiddos who go to different schools or live in different suburbs that would otherwise not have met.

We see it in the parents who sit together in the hallways as well. Moms and Dads with kids of similar age and energy levels bond as they watch their dancers in the classroom. We love to watch a community unfold bound by the common interest of dance. Our registration is open through February 15th- won’t you join us? Click here for a free trial class.

New Year, Same Us

What a wonderful feeling to return to something you love after a break! The energy in the studio this week has been amazing. Not only do we have students returning from our Fall semester, but we also have new students trickling in and joining our ongoing schedule that bring a new energy to our classrooms. Teachers are rested and rejuvenated, creativity has been restored, and we are ready to tackle the spring.

pike stretchJanuary is the time for resolution and purpose.  While we always hope to be learning from our mistakes, growing as instructors and administrators, and improving our processes and facilities, we are proud to keep our foundations and missions consistent. New year, same us. We hope to continue to be the same values-based, family-friendly educational activity that continues to teach integrity, perseverance, teamwork and respect. We are resolved to continue to encourage our dancers to express themselves with confidence.

Our registration is open through February 15th. Will you join us? Download a free trial coupon here. 

What to Expect from Your Dancer’s Class

A few weeks ago we shared our video of what things you should expect from your Preschooler’s dance class, and we wanted to follow up with our video intended for older dancers! A few highlights:

“We feel it is important to mention that dancers may stay in one level for multiple years. As far as a general structure… every class will start with a warm up and stretch. We feel it is important to raise your body temperature and stretch to avoid injury.”

“Many classes will include some kind of across-the-floor movement side to side or corner to corner. If we are working towards a performance we may jump into choreography and teach formations, movements, and parts.”

“Another tool we utilize… may be going in groups where one group sits and watches another group go, and then they switch. This does a couple of things. For one, it allows you to have an audience to perform for, and it also teaches the ones sitting and watching how to be a good audience.” 

“You may also see us implement some freestyle games, or improvisation.”

“At the end of the day it’s about getting them moving, honing in on specific skills, learning choreography, learning how to freestyle, and ultimately gaining the confidence to be on stage.”

Be sure to click the image to watch the video in it’s entirety! Interested in joining us? Spring session starts January 7th. See our schedule here.

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