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Dancers: How much protein do you need?

Protein Needs of Dancers: How Much, What Kind, and When?

 By: The Dance World Editor 

DI_protein_MAINFrom Dance Informa

Do dancers need extra protein? Do they need to use powders, drinks, shakes or amino acid supplements or should they just eat more? Sadly, the misguided “low-carb” fad continues to be a contributing factor in 70% of Americans being overweight or obese. In light of current research suggesting a link between meat and dairy and risk for long-term diseases…what should you think?

How Much:

Yes, dancers have slightly higher protein needs than the average non-athletic person, particularly if they are still growing adolescents. However, it is important that we think beyond this incorrect idea that most of our food should be protein and that we should avoid carbohydrates. Adequate protein is important, but too much can be harmful. Everyone is a little different, but guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are that 12-15% of all the calories you eat throughout a whole day should be comprised of protein which are strings of amino acids joined together like a train with many cars.

Read the full article Full Protein Article!

Getting your students to perform

By: The Dance World Editor

By: By Angela D’Valda Sirico of Dance Teacher Web

DTW_perform_MAIN

With the new season just ahead of us it is important to get our students to perform for shows, competitions and in class! Students need to understand that it’s not just about the technique but to also get them to understand how to express themselves through their performance. When children are young it is relatively easy to get them to perform because they haven’t developed all the inhibitions that come along with pre-teen and teens, but once those hormones start to come to life it can be an uphill struggle to get them to just enjoy their dancing. Usually it is because they are afraid to demonstrate any emotion because they feel so unsure of themselves, but for those that have these issues they definitely need help to feel confident letting it all come out!

I don’t encourage “mirror dancers,” but very often students are afraid to really look at themselves in the mirror and to actually like what they see. This is the first hurdle that they need to get over. You know the dancers that I am talking about, the ones whose eyes are always darting from side to side giving a look of total insecurity. I encourage my dancers to get acquainted with themselves and to look in the mirror and see someone who looks fabulous and exciting instead of dull and unattractive. To find the qualities in their faces that they like and to make different expressions to see which ones they think reflect their personalities best. Of course, in the beginning they are unable to look at themselves without giggling and feeling supremely embarrassed but the more they get used to looking at their faces the more they begin to see their redeeming features. Then the key is to get them to dance to different types of music so that they can have an opportunity to express whatever feelings are appropriate.

Just as we teach technique so must we teach performance skills to our students so that they are truly able to not only express themselves but also to reach out to their audiences with something powerful and meaningful. There is so much emphasis today on how many leaps and turns dancers can do and all the other tricks that are used in choreography that the message can sometimes be very confusing to young dancers. Of course we want them to have clean, strong technique but let’s not get away from the real reason people dance, and that is as a means to express themselves. Let’s not override the beauty of movement and the feeling of being at one with the music, the pure joy and empowerment of making something memorable on stage that will leave the audiences wanting more!

I always tell my dancers that the technique is the vehicle to help them bring the most that they can to their dancing. It is extremely important to have correct technique, and the more you have the more possibilities open up for a dancer to show the world how talented they are, but technique alone does not a dancer make! There are many technically great dancers in every major city who struggle on a regular basis to find a job performing because they have become so hung up on only perfecting their technique that they have forgotten why they wanted to dance in the first place. I find this so sad because they probably didn’t have a teacher who could help them to develop their individuality and confidence to a point that they felt comfortable with themselves so that they could get out on a stage and express their feelings to their audiences. Some people are just shy and find it so difficult to come out of themselves and put their feelings on display, however if you can get them to do it as teens they will go out into the world with confidence and this will help them even if they don’t become performers because they will be well received everywhere.

Once dancers understand the whole picture and everything that is needed to make a terrific performance, they will fall in love with dance all over again! They definitely need help to arrive at this conclusion unless they just happen to have that “it” factor, but as we know, those individuals are few and far between. The more we are able to help them find themselves, the more they will be able to give to their audiences, and the better they will feel about themselves in general.

Secret Cure for Ingrown Toenails

By: The Dance World Editor

 By: Shannon Marie Rugani

As if dancing on my toes wasn’t painful enough, I suffered from ingrown toenails for years. It got to the point that I didn’t even know what a healthy toenail was supposed to look like. I saw a podiatrist who said that I should have surgery to remove part of the ingrown toenail. The recovery time would take two to three months before I would be able to dance again. I didn’t want to miss out on dancing for that long so I suffered through dancing on four ingrown toenails.

One of my colleagues told me about an old wives’ tale to get rid of ingrown toenails. I was so desperate to try anything that I gave it a try. It worked! Not only did they go away, they have never come back!

According to the old wives’ tale, you cut a V-shape into the center of the toenail. The nail gravitates toward the weakest part of the nail, so if the sides are weak, the nail will grow toward the side resulting in ingrown toenails. By cutting the V in the center of the nail, it starts growing toward the V to close the gap. The nail starts growing in rather than out. This is such a simple yet effective cure and I’ve been cutting a V into my toenails ever since.

For those of you who do not have ingrown toenails, I’ll tell you how to prevent them. Cut your toe nails straight across, then use a nail file to smooth the sharp ends of the nail. Stop somewhere around the tip of the toe before it becomes too short to prevent sensitivity. If you keep your nails square, you will be able to avoid ingrown toenails.

ingrowntoes

I am not a podiatrist, but I hope this simple trick helps you either get rid of ingrown toenails or prevent them from ever happening. Happy dancing!

For more on Shannon Marie Rugani click here

 

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.

 

 

 

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