Worth It.

We had such a beautiful show at our 5th annual Matters of the Heart this past Monday evening! The weather was lovely (albeit windy), the costuming came together nicely, the dancers were prepared and all 4 studios managed to seamlessly work together to produce a show we had not even rehearsed once with everyone in the same space at the same time. I am always amazed at what we, as human beings, are capable of!

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From a logistical perspective, Matters of the Heart is a labor-intensive show. While Zilker Hillside Theater is a wonderful performance space, and the liaisons are very professional and accommodating, we bring our own marley flooring, our own speaker systems, our own curtains and our own backdrop to this event each year. It is a lot of heavy lifting and taking things apart to put them back together. We get sweaty, we struggle to wire together all the sound equipment, we clean and re-clean the marley, and then it’s show time.

The park is always so magical as the introduction starts and the crowd begins to hush. These young, beautiful dancers wait professionally in the wings, focused and ready to tell their stories and inspire their audience. Throughout the show parents laugh and cry, friends yell for their peers from the audience, relationships are formed between dancers from different studios, and we come together for 1 hour for no other reason than to share the art of dancing together. No scoring, no ticket sales, no elaborate costumes or staging. It is my favorite event of every year.

The work is worth it.

Ready to join our studio? Summer camp and class registration is open now! See our schedules here.

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Those that Do

My husband and I are both entrepreneurial spirits. We have both started our own businesses and generally have a “yes, we can” kind of attitude. Our parents are huge factors in this confidence, but we also both grew up very active in sports and activities where we had coaches and mentors who enabled our success.

IMG_9078We have recently had a lot of discussions as we have matured in our careers and entered our 30’s about those that do versus those that don’t. It seems to us that people who are the happiest and most successful are simply those that have chosen to do. It doesn’t always mean do well, and it doesn’t always mean success. BUT, if you don’t move forward and DO things that take steps toward your larger goals, you don’t even have the opportunity to succeed (or to learn from the failure!).

While this is definitely a broad thought, and while I have had many influences in my life outside of dance that have brought about this attitude, I can’t help but think about how dance teaches this lesson. In the studio it can be scary to try something new, for fear or failure or fear of looking silly. But, I encourage every student to “just try it,” or “just do it,” so we have a jumping off point to improve and perfect whatever the skill is. It’s ok to fail, if it was a step towards succeeding, but ACTION is the only way forward. I’m hopeful that I’m contributing, even in the smallest way, towards young men and women that are eager to be people that do, not people that don’t.

Interested in starting your dance journey? Summer registration is open now!

Dancing as a Group

There is some interesting research done on dancing in synchrony with others and the health benefits it may have. This is an excerpt from an interview with Shankar Vedantam, a social science correspondent for NPR: Mini lyrical

“…here’s what the researchers think is going on. When experiences feel good, that’s usually a signal that they have served some kind of evolutionary purpose. So the brain evolved to find certain kinds of food tasty because it eating those foods had survival value for our ancestors.

As a social species, being part of a group has survival value. Evolution also may have adapted the brain to experience a sense of reward when we did things with and for other people. Dancing together, especially in the synchrony, can signal that you are actually simpatico with lots of other people. The researchers think this is why so many cultures have synchronized dancing and why it might have health benefits.”

Interested in reading the whole article? Click here!

Dancing Improves Memory

We’ve written many blog posts about the mental, physical and emotional benefits of dance, but one very specific way that dancing makes you smarter is by improving memory. todd class 1

The way that dance encourages progressive learning and memory influences both the long term and short term memory capacities. Dancers will learn a few counts, go back and repeat those counts, then go on and add a few more counts, go back and review all the counts, then be expected to remember those counts the next time they are in class in order to add on. Even at a very young age (our 3-4 year olds learn routines this way!) dancers are expected to commit movement to memory.

Beyond building those cognitive blocks in children, dance has been proven to improve memory in adults and the elderly. Research has been done comparing dancing to other aerobic exercises, and mental decline is not nearly as aggressive for those who dance (see research here!). Interested in starting your dance journey? Click here for a free trial coupon!