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Top 10 Music Videos of 2014

By The Dance World Editor

By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa

2014 has come to an end, but what a year it was for dance in music videos! It seems the music and entertainment industry really leaned in close to the dance scene to not only garner inspiration for new projects, but to pick artists and feature companies in videos and productions. And of course, the dance scene did what it does best – amaze and inspire.

Now, it’s not like dance in music videos is new – far from it. (Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” and Beyoncé’s popular “Single Ladies” should come to mind, along with dozens of others.) In fact, dance and music videos have had a happy marriage for a long, long time. But like any relationship, it has its ups and downs. Recently, dance has reclaimed its role in the spotlight and actually stolen the show.

Here is Dance Informa’s top 10 list of music videos highlighting dance in 2014, in no particular order.

Sia’s “Chandelier”

This video helped further propel Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame into the limelight when it was released in May to great fanfare. Choreographed by Ryan Heffington, owner of the Sweat Spot in Los Angeles, “Chandelier” presents 11-year-old Ziegler in a skin-colored leotard and a platinum wig acting the part of a fully fledged mental case in a dingy, rundown house. She tilts, turns, jerks, kicks, leaps and pretty much goes crazy – all the while showing off her excellent extension and hyper flexibility.

Taylor Swift in Shake It Off
Taylor Swift as a ballerina in her “Shake It Off” music video. Photo source: Vevo.
Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”
Yet, perhaps the most popular music video of the year is Taylor Swift’s adorable and dorky “Shake It Off”, which has over 436 million (and counting!) YouTube views since the video’s release in mid-August. While an obvious choice for this list because of how much dance is featured, the real highpoint is the diversity of dance. The video cycles Swift through a variety of movement styles, everything from ballet, to hip-hop, to contemporary, to cheerleading, to tutting, to twerking. Directed by Mark Romanek, the video also had the creative input of choreographer Tyce Diorio and featured professional dancers like So You Think You Can Dance alumni Melissa Sandvig, Fik-Shun and hip-hop phenomenon Phillip Chbeeb.

Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t”
Speaking of Phillip Chbeeb, did you see him killing it in this video? Released in early August, this sinewy hip-hop dancer (also known as “PacMan”) shows off his many moves, popping, locking and high stepping in this rags-to-riches saga that was directed by Emil Nava. Perhaps you remember Chbeeb as a contestant on Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance? If not, maybe you saw him in the 2012 movie Step Up Revolution or the latest Step Up All In.
With the guidance of choreography team NappyTabs (A.K.A. Emmy Award-winners Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo), Chbeeb uses dance to convey his journey from a guy down on his luck to one literally swimming in the life of luxury. (Also, shout out to Shaping Sound dancer Justine Lutz who was featured in this video and “Shake It Off.”)

Also, while we’re appreciating English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, we can’t bypass his awesome debut into the world of ballroom in his “Thinking Out Loud” music video. This video stands out for many reasons. First off, Sheeran who usually keeps a relatively low profile not only takes centre stage, but he actually does so dancing! The video, which received 2.7 million views in less than 24 hours, was choreographed by Nappytabs as well. It features SYTYCD Season 10 alum Brittany Cherry as Sheeran’s love interest.
According to Rolling Stone, Cherry actually spent five hours per day secretly training Sheeran for the music video while she was on tour with him earlier this year. His hard work definitely paid off.

The Veronica’s “You Ruin Me”
Australian pop duo The Veronicas released their emotive song “You Ruin Me” off their third studio album in September. The music video, which was filmed on location in Los Angeles and in Sydney’s State Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre, was inspired by ballet, and more specifically, Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film Black Swan.
Directed by Matt Sharp and Tapehead, the video features ballerinas warming up in class and their dodgy instructor, played by choreographer Jason Winters, making some suspect moves on his dancers. While the scenes aren’t necessary filled with great, technically proficient dance sequences, they do bring viewers into the competitive, and sometimes dark, world of professional dance.
The Veronicas performed “You Ruin Me” on Australia’s X Factor in late September and the song was used for Dancing with the Stars on October 30.

Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water”
If Swift’s “Shake It Off” video gets the 2014 award for being the most fun and cutesy, then American Idol winner and country singer Carrie Underwood’s recent video “Something in the Water” gets the award for being the most touching.
“Something in the Water” features Underwood singing her gospel-influenced song surrounded by 12 dancers from Shaping Sound dance company. The dancers, who are outfitted in loose gray/off-white shirts and dresses, beautifully move and turn in ankle-deep water as the lyrics allude to baptism. Choreographed by none other than Travis Wall, this video will give you chills.

Sheena Grobb’s “Get Out Alive”
Another video that is sure to give you chills is this small-budget project for Canadian singer-songwriter Sheena Grobb’s heartbreaking “Get Out Alive.” Choreographed, produced and co-creatively conceptualized by Lindsay Nelko, it features SYTYCD all-stars Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan in a desperate, poignant pas de deux. Be warned that this video may make you want to curl up and eat cho
colate.

he Bynars’ “Time vs. Money”
One video that seemed to fly relatively under the radar this year was ballet-infused “Time vs. Money” by The Bynars. Combining ballet with the pop/rock sounds from this Boston-based indie band might seem a little odd and even forced at first, but once you start watching you’ll agree that this video is really quite neat.
“Time vs. Money” features dancers Kirsten Evans and Alex Lantz of Festival Ballet Providence in Rhode Island. The duo performs choreography by the 2009 Youth American Grand Prix Outstanding Choreographer, Viktor Plotnikov.
Conceived and directed by Shaun Clarke, the video’s most notable quality is its lighting. Shot in black-and-white, it uses contrasting bright light and heavy shadow to give it a classic, rock-and-roll feel. That paired with the actual choreography and the confidence with which the dancers deliver it colors it a gloriously punk moment.

OK Go’s “I Won’t Let You Down”
And the most epic music video of the year award goes to OK Go! Released on October 27, this ‘’eye-popping, retro-futuristic video” (as dubbed by Billboard) includes hi-tech scooters, umbrella-wielding dancing schoolgirls and one very large car park. And to make things even crazier, the ambitious video was shot in one continuous five-minute take by drone cameras!
Music video by The Bynars
Still from The Bynars’ “Time vs. Money” music video.
Directed by Kazuaki Seki, the video opens with the Grammy Award-winning four-piece band resting on Honda UNI-CUB scooters. The band members ride the scooters through a school and out into a car park, where all the real magic happens.
What’s most impressive about this massive dance spectacle? How choreographer Furitsukekagyou air:man ensured that each dancer’s umbrella opened, closed and twirled in perfect unison. You truly have to see it to believe it. Just wow.

Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
Lastly, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was released in November. It features two adorable, fancy-footing youngsters in place of the celebrity singers. Choreographed by Lynn Page, known for her work on London’s West End and Broadway’s La Cage Aux Folles, it has the kids dancing and flirting away in a swanky hotel as they lip-sync the lyrics. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing the names Emily Carey and Harry Collett again one day down the road. In the meantime, enjoy this fun little dance number, reminiscent of days long ago when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were hot and everyone wanted to be ballroom dancers on the silver screen.

Perpetual Motion

 

 

 

Perpetual Motion Dance Studio

Perpetual Motion Dance Studio is located in the heart of Westwood NJ and is directed by Danielle Brennan, owner and artistic director.

Danielle holds a BFA in Dance from Point Park University. After college Danielle performed with many regional ballet companies in NY, NJ, PA. While dancing, Danielle continued to teach and choreograph. In 2001, she began working for New York City Dance Alliance, 1 of the most reputable dance conventions in the US. As an NYCDA Convention Manager, she worked with dancers and choreographers from around the world. Danielle has been nominated and awarded many awards from both Helen Hayes Theatre and Papermill Playhouse for her work . She is also a certified Pilates instructor through Power Pilates in NYC and a member of Pilates Method Alliance.

Perpetual Motion offers dance classes for children and young adults across all disciplines.

http://www.perpetualmotionds.com

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Fashion Leotards Bloch & Mirella

Fashion Leotards featuring dance brands Bloch & Mirella. These leotards give that class wear basic the perfect touch a fashion. They make great pieces for class, performance, and auditions. Click… and you shall find..

By: Danielle Hernandez A Dance World’s Editor

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Cozy Winter Wishes

By: Danielle Hernandez A Dance World Editor

This week’s picks are perfect for keeping warm in class this winter. Staying warm and properly warming up is crucial during the winter months as exerting cold muscles can lead to injury.  Here is a collection of some of our favorite pieces of warm ups and knitwear to add to your collection this season.

clairkd

Shadow Stripe Wrap Sweater and Shadow Stripe High Waist Shorts by KD Dance.

These 2 pieces are the perfect addition to any dancer’s wardrobe. Wear them as featured or pair one or both over a leotard and tights.

capezioromper

 

Capezio Long Sleeve Knit Romper

Nothing says Prima Ballerina like a classic looking romper. This Capezio romper features thumb hole and dolman sleeves.

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Sansha Jumpsuit

 

 

Sansha Knit Jumpsuit

All dancers, especially ballet dancers need a great jumpsuit as part of their collection. The top can be folded over for a different look and it’s the perfect piece when warming up at the barre.

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Bloch Warm-up booties

These are a must have for any dancer- especially those taking multiple classes. These boots are incredibly warm, comfortable and can be worn alone or over your ballet and pointe shoes.

We’ve shared our favorites. Tell us which one you love! What is your go-to dance look this winter? Leave a comment.

 

Choreography by Jasmine Meakin

 

Choreography by Australian Choreographer Jasmine Meakin AKA Mega Jam.

Mega Jam was started in 1996 in Brisbane Australia by Luis Pinto and Jasmine Meakin.
The concept of Mega Jam is to learn Hip Hop dance styles and other styles of commercial street dancing, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Luis and Jasmine’s Hip Hop styles contain traces of Popping, Locking, Gliding, Krumping, Street Jazz, Breakin, lyrical hip hop and super girly, sexy hip hop!
Learn more about Mega Jam here

megajam Mega Jam- Jasmine Meakin

 

Studio Owners-5 Resolutions for the New Year

By The Dance World Editor January 18, 2015

By Paul Henderson via Dance Informa.

For your 2015 Dance Year here are some great resolutions to help your business.

1. Admit that you are a business owner.  When money and children are used in the same sentence, we become conflicted.  We tend to make the same face we make when we smell putrid broccoli that rotted in our fridge.  Why do we do this?  McDonald’s doesn’t feel conflicted about selling Happy Meals to busy mothers to feed their children, do they?  Private schools don’t feel conflicted about outrageous tuition, nor do they feel weird about badgering their student’s families with fundraiser after fundraiser to raise even more money.  Wal-mart doesn’t feel conflicted about anything at all.  Here’s why.  Businesses exist only if they earn a profit.  Otherwise, they fail to exist at all.  It’s that simple.

2. Vow to run your business like a business.  Once you’ve come to grips with #1, it’s your responsibility to actually stay in business.  Charge the correct amount of tuition based on the quality of education you are providing to your dancers.  If you’re providing a very high level of dance education, you should be charging more tuition than a nearby studio providing a lower level.  Calculating your tuition is not simply a matter of finding out what your competitors are charging.  It’s equally important to consider the overall value of the training you are providing.

Realize that your dancers and their parents are YOUR customers first and foremost.  Without you, there would be no dancer.  Here’s an example of how this works.  My studios recently presented seven holiday performances.  We did three full-length Nutcrackers with three different casts and four shows for dancers ages 2-6.  We sold over 5,000 tickets in total.  Do you know how much money the ticketing company earned in fees?  Over $13,000, that’s how much.  And those are just the fees…not the face value of the tickets.  My studio made it possible for the ticketing company to earn revenue of $13,000.  Without us, they would not have earned anything at all.  Do you know how much money the costume companies made?  Figure 500 dancers buying costumes with a retail cost averaging $75.  Let’s just put the gross profit to the costume companies at about $15,000.  The theater also earned over $10,000.  The backdrop company…about $1500.  UPS even garnered $400 – $500.   Even the bank earned over $4000 on credit card fees!  Without dance studios, there would be no dancewear industry.  There would be no costume industry.  Your studio is the gateway for so many companies to earn a profit it’s astonishing.  Being the gatekeeper means that you are incredibly important to the dance industry.  Start wielding that power today.

Attempt to earn a profit on absolutely everything that your students need.  Now, you probably just crinkled your nose in disgust, right?  Look, these dancers are going to buy this stuff anyway…from someone.  If it’s not you, go back and read item number 1 above.  Dancers will ALL buy leotards, tights, shoes, costumes, and bags.  Some will also buy costumes, jewelry, stage make-up, hair accessories like bun-kits and countless other items for performances.  They will also buy tickets to shows and some will pay convention and competition fees…which are incredibly high.  Conventions and competitions are literally getting rich off of your dancers.  Are you okay with those companies getting rich while you toll away day after day, month after month, year after year barely making ends meet?  Remember, you are the gatekeeper.  Without you, the conventions and competitions just don’t exist.  Start wielding your power today.

3. Add a performance – there are so many reasons to do this it’s not even funny.  Your dancers will get better, faster.  Your revenue will increase due to ticket sales.  Your customers will be happier.  Your instructors will be happier.  Yes, you will work harder and stress yourself out, but it will be worth it.  Here’s a link to an article that discusses one of our first Nutcracker performances.

4. Make your dress code mandatory – For reasons discussed in #2, consider making your dress code mandatory.  Here’s why.  You are a dance studio owner and probably a dance instructor.  Your job is to teach dance, but in reality you are doing something else entirely…at least in the beginning of each season.  Before you can actuallyteach that dancer, you must enroll her or him.  This means that in reality, at least in the beginning, you are sellingmemories to mothers and fathers.  When selling memories, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.  When a mother of a three or four year old envisions her daughter joining a new dance class, she has the cute vision above in mind. She does not envision kids in street clothes running around a frazzled dance teacher  who showed up late for class carrying a latte and wearing sweat pants and tennis shoes.

Hip-hop class, of course, is different.  Your argument against dress code might be that your customers won’t like paying for the items and will not enroll. I will remind you that they are not going to come to class naked.  They are going to wear something to class and you, as the gatekeeper, are going to a) tell them what to wear and b) earn a profit on the transaction that will occur with or without you anyway.  This profit will help your business flourish with outstanding, well-paid dance instructors, fresh paint on the walls, clean bathrooms, etc.  Customers love these things.  They don’t want you to be poor.  Well, some of them do, but that’s a different article.

5. Stop complaining.  We seem to be our own worst enemies.  As the gatekeeper, you have a massive responsibility to the dance industry.  Act like it.  Be above the fray.  Get out of the gossip gutter on social media and become the powerful CEO of your dance empire.  It is an empire.  After all, without you, there would be no dancer.

Paul HendersonAbout Paul Henderson

Paul Henderson is an expert on administrative technologies for the dance industry and has been around the business for almost 30 years.  He and his wife, Tiffany, currently own and operate Twinkle Star Dance™ – an online choreography and curriculum system for recreational dancers ages 2-11; eight successful dance studio locations in Northern California (www.tiffanydance.com) and one in Southern California. Tiffany’s Dance Academy’s annual enrollment of over 4,500 students caused Paul to invent ways to automate most of the day-to-day business transactions that take up so much of a studio owner/instructor’s time. Paul’s goal has always been to smooth out the business side of the dance studios so that his wife can spend more time in the studio doing what she loves…teaching. Automating online registration and monthly automatic tuition payments was achieved a decade ago but perhaps the most revolutionary invention is his web-based application – CostumeManager.com and its offspring, Storefront for full-service dress code and costume sales and distribution.

 

 

 

Excel in Motion

excel in motion       excelregister
Excel in Motion is a dance event that brings the most SYTYCD Headliners of any other convention. The goal is to have a fun, educational, and non-competitive experience for all those who participate. With ten classes from all Excel faculty members at 3 different experience levels, Excel in Motion makes sure that each convention will be memorable for all dancers, teachers and parents.

Class schedule includes tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, musical theater, contemporary and jazz fusion taught by SYTYCD headliners Alison Holker, Lauren Froderman, Molly Gray, Kent Boyd, Ellenore Scott and more.

Tour Dates for 2015 are as follow..

tourdates

How to improve your arabesque

HIP FLEXOR STRETCH TO HELP WITH YOUR ARABESQUE

By: http://www.flxbody.com/blogs/news

Adequate flexibility of the muscles crossing the hip are important for achieving the aesthetic goals of the skilled dancer and are needed for the successful execution of movements such as arabesque.

Try this stretch to stretch the front of the hip:

Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip flexor flexibility is critical for allowing proper technique when moving the leg to the back.

Weakness and tightness of the hip flexors or psoas muscle can result in mis-alignments of the lumbar spine and pelvis, which then affect the legs and stability of the spine especially when mastering movements of ballet technique.  

Cues

  • Keep the front knee directly over the front ankle.
  • Press your hips forward and down
  • Avoid bouncing, sustain the pose for 10-15 breathes. Release and repeat.
  • Actively press the back foot against the wall to intensify the stretch.
  • Press the hands on the thigh of the front leg to keep the torso upright.
  • Once you are comfortable in this position, reach your arms forward and up.

Modification

  • Lunge with the back foot remaining on the ground.
  • Hands can press into blocks on either side of the foot to maintain balance

hipflexor

Below is the explanation for another great arabesque prep exercise from Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Green Haas.

Dance Focus

Arabesque requires detailed coordination of hip extension with spinal extension. Remember to work the thigh against the resistance of uncontrolled lower-back arch and pelvic twisting. Once you have support from your core, hip extensors, and hip rotators, let that power support any pelvic rotation or anterior tilt as the leg goes higher. Feel the movement of the arabesque being initiated by the hip extensors along with the eccentric lengthening o the abdominal muscles to protect your spine. Your upper body must tilt forward slightly to correlate with the leg elevating.

The Exercise

Improve your arabesque by adding this exercise to your warm up!

Step 1:From standing position with legs hip width apart and hands flat on the floor. Move your right leg into tendu derriere.

Step 2: Move your leg from tendu to arabeque stopping at 90 degrees.

Step 3: lift your leg as high as you can while inhaling slowly focusing on your hip flexors.

Step 4: hold this position for a count of 4 and lower slowly with control for 8 counts.

ara1 ara2

Repeat this 4 times on each side turned out AND parallel 3 times a week or as part of your warm up routine.

Teachers- you can incorporate this into your  warm up to help students improve their flexibility. Let us know how you improve!

 

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