Saturday, September 26, 2015

At Desert Star Dance, our belief is that children are precious and need to be nurtured and guided in a positive direction. It's not about getting Instagram famous or becoming a YouTube sensation. It's about a happy and healthy childhood. Often the message to our youth is that success is only found in fame on the internet or television. The culture of instant celebrity is not always a beneficial one for children.
Kids need a safe place to grow, learn, and have fun. We want to teach kids the value of movement and dance for personal growth and self confidence. We focus on the child and help them develop coordination and confidence in a truly family friendly environment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why I Teach Dance

Enjoying a Happy Moment with Students
For me, there is nothing more rewarding then teaching. I have been teaching dance for over 25 years and have enjoyed watching children grow up from a unique perspective. I realize the responsibility I have in working with children, and I do my best to have a positive influence in their life. I have taught some kids from the time they were in preschool and now have the privilege of knowing them as adults. I take it very seriously and I find great joy in my students and their accomplishments. People that I teach have a great deal of impact on me as well. Even the students that I only spend a short time with, often leave an impression on me. They all are unique and have their own set of talents and challenges. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a shy and timid student gradually transform. Even the most apprehensive can soon be arriving at dance class with enthusiasm and standing at the barre or strapping on their tap shoes with confidence - knowing exactly what to do. 
I do not teach dance with the goal of creating professional dancers, although I have taught many who have gone on to careers in dance, entertainment or arts education. It is most certainly gratifying to see a former student succeed on a professional level. However, I teach dance to help kids with their confidence and grace. I teach dance to help a student develop their personality and improve their social skills. I teach dance to help people feel less awkward or be able to loosen up and have fun. I teach dance because I know how much positive impact it can have on any person.  
I know my fellow dance instructors would agree that there is something wonderful about seeing a student achieve their goal - whether it be to become a professional dancer, get on their high school dance team, or to just be able to do a shuffle ball change or a pirouette. 
Miss Lisa
Dance classes are such an excellent choice for coordination development in children and young adults. Dance can have a big influence on a persons' overall confidence. It is also an excellent way to improve athletic agility. However the most wonderful thing about dancing is the personal growth that can be achieved. It can contribute to the overall success of any person, and best of all - it's fun! I love seeing that more than anything else as a dance instructor.
I am so thankful to have had a wonderful teachers myself. From the woman who taught me combo classes as a young girl, to the teacher who mentored and nurtured me through my teens, to the dynamic teachers who taught me in LA... I am so very thankful to them. It is amazing to have been given the gift of passion for my craft and also the talent of communication to pass my knowledge on to the next generation. There is nothing more rewarding to me and I feel so blessed to have found my calling! I always love that saying... "Pay It Forward", and I aim to do it everyday. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Power of Visualization for Dancers

I've been reading "The Law of Attraction". It is a very simple book with a simple point. Whatever you want in life, you must first identify what it is. Then you can focus your energy on attracting it in to your life. It's basically the power of positive thinking and visualization.

As I thought more about this and started practicing this to improve my life, I realized something important. Visualization can be a powerful tool in dance too. It can most certainly help a young dancer in their quest for improvement as well as enhance self esteem.There is nothing more powerful than the human mind! It can greatly affect our physical world.
Some people find this simple and others just can't stop the barrage of negative thoughts. It's not necessarily easy, but with practice (as with anything) we can get better at it.
Every day I encounter an array of different types of personalities in my dance classes. Some kids are instinctively positive and confident, while others are less sure of themselves. I do my best to convey this important principle to all of my students: In order to achieve a goal, we must first BELIEVE that we can do it. The next step is to set our minds on it and visualize success. The more a dancer is able to imagine themselves accomplishing things, the quicker they improve and achieve. Apparently I have been including these visualization principles in my dance classes for many years but just never realized that I was encouraging the "Law of Attraction". (Hmmm.. could I finally be growing up?)

There are times when a dance student is able to master the steps while following the teacher (with a "visual" in front of them) but when the teacher steps away, they are unable to remember the movement. The learning comes when the dancer can visualize the steps in their mind. I always encourage students to mentally rehearse the dance movements in order to truly know them. Visualization is a key component to success. We must identify what we want. It's seems it is easier to identify what we don't want. However, once we figure out what we do want and put that firmly in our sites, there's no telling how far we can go!