Dancing Through the Holidays
By Sarah Schneeweis
With this year finally coming to an end, and with so much to look forward to in 2021, dancers are showing their resilience and pushing themselves more than ever. Usually the holidays are a chance to let the body rest and let the kids take a break. But when almost the entire year of 2020 has felt like an already extended break from their normal training, some dancers are taking this time as an opportunity to come out strong in 2021!
Here’s what you can do as a dance mom or dad to help encourage your dancer to prepare for 2021, and what will hopefully soon be a full competition season ahead!
Our friends at CLI Studios continue to provide the #1 virtual dance training on the market. Their endless library of classes is more than inspiring and offers training in all genres and levels from the industry’s top choreographers. Dancers can stream classes anywhere on any device, making it super convenient and easy to access. CLI Studios provides a free trial, and only $8.25 per month after that! Talk about an incredible gift to your dancer! This is a year-round opportunity to stay current, stay strong, and stay inspired.
Some of our industry’s favorite conventions are now offering virtual workshop and competition entries. If you have a soloist at home, they can get incredible feedback by entering their solo into the competition virtually. The faculty at conventions such as Jump, 24Seven Dance, Monsters of Hip Hop, and Hollywood Vibe are all offering a virtual competition experience where you get direct feedback from your performance. Groups can enter too! The workshop classes and scholarship auditions are also available for streaming, and even offer a playback feature hours after classes are over (to account for different time zones). This is such a great option for dancers who want to keep competing right now. My son and many of my students have registered for these events, and we are really enjoying them! If you don’t have a routine ready to enter this month, take this time to work on one and be ready to start virtually competing in 2021!
Make a short film or create a music video!
Dancers are goal-oriented people and love a good project. It’s never been a better time to take advantage of the virtual world of dance! Encourage your dancer to come up with a concept video to one of their favorite songs. If they can gather safely with any fellow dance friends (wearing masks, of course), or even do it alone, have them choreograph a virtual routine to be filmed. If you know someone who is good with videography, ask them to join in on the project! If not, your iPhone will work almost just as well. Your dancer can use iMovie or another app to edit the video and create this cool new way of sharing their performance and choreography. Put it on social media and share your passion! We created a 45-minute movie at my studio based on our annual holiday show, and aired it at the local drive-in movie theater! It was so much fun to create, kept the dancers performing, and the community loved it. It may be the first time your dancer has done something like this…and what a perfect time to try something new!
Turn up the volume in your house!
Music is a workout for the brain. It engages our creative side, boosts our mood, and brings the whole family together. Studies have even shown that having background music on at home can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality and mental alertness. In our house, we like to listen to different genres of music daily! I love hearing jazz music in the background when I’m cooking, my husband loves a good old-school hip hop vibe, holiday tunes are always playing while we have our family dinners, and we blast Stevie Wonder radio in the garage during our family ping-pong tournaments! It keeps us all moving! Music makes everyone smile and can bring everyone together in a fun way.
Dancers have quite the list of options over the holidays! Sometimes they have to self-start and be self-motivated to make things happen right now. And, that loving encouragement and push from mom or dad can really help get the ball rolling. It’s time to enjoy new opportunities, and to prepare your dancer for the upcoming year and season of dance that lies ahead in 2021! Come out stronger and stay active during this time!
Happy Holidays Everyone!