How To Get A Dancer’s Body

Dancers are known for their long, lean, and muscular bodies. A lifetime of dancing and proper nutrition might get you there but what can non-dancers do to achieve similar results without years of technical training?

For posture and mobility, yoga and Pilates are excellent. For musculature, resistance training is ideal. For low body fat, a solid nutritional strategy is a better choice than exercise, but walking a lot helps, too.

Creating the look of a dancer is one thing, but a dancer’s body is also characterized by fitness. Should dancers rely on aerobic training or “cardio” for conditioning? Let’s consider the nature of a highly athletic form of dancing to determine whether aerobic exercise should be part of your approach to developing the body of a dancer.

Read full article here http://www.joelminden.com/how-to-get-a-dancers-body/

Salsa Basic Step

I thought this was good enough to share for beginners.

Salsa Basic Figure – 8 counts – 6 Steps

Notice that the basic Salsa figure only has 6 steps but it’s an 8 beat count.

  1. Step forward with the left foot
  2. Step back (same place) with the right foot
  3. Bring left foot together next to right foot (you are now in the same place where you started)
  4. Pause – enjoy the beat and don’t step
  5. Step back with the right foot
  6. Step forward (same place) with the left foot
  7. Bring right foot together next to left foot (you are now in the same place again)
  8. Pause – enjoy the beat and repeat (go back to step 1)

Think of your feet together as home base and you only step out of it on the 1st (forward with the left foot) and on the 5th step (back with the right foot). 2nd+3rd and 6th+7th are stepped in place (home base).

Dance Advantage Best Dance Blog 2013

Source: http://dancingwithstefanie.com/2013/01/14/dance-advantage-best-dance-blog-2013/
So a little over a year ago I started dancing with this crazy Bulgarian named Ivan.  And a little over a year ago, I had so much to say about it to my husband that his eyes would glaze over.  I discovered another outlet and I began writing this blog.

One of my first posts very surprisingly went semi-viral and it convinced me to stick with this blog thing, that maybe, just maybe, I had something valuable to say and share about my dancing life experiences.

A little known fact is that, shortly after I began the blog, I also discovered this amazing website called Dance Advantage.  Around that time I saw that they had a dance blog contest and I think, though I could be mistaken, that it was through this contest that I discovered this entertaining, funny blog called Adult Beginner that had won the contest.  Well, I’ve continued to follow AB because it is seriously hilarious, but back then I vowed to myself that I’d put in for this contest in the following year 1) because it was so cool and 2) because it led me to other great dance blogs that I still continue to enjoy and 3) it hooked me up to DA which has all sorts of great dance-related info and I follow on Twitter.

So, not wanting to make bad on my promise to myself, here is me entering the contest.

The deal is this, I need comments on THIS blog post to even be considered for the second round.  The blogs with the most comments get to move forward.  There are many categories – I’m entering under “Recreational Dancer.”

But you know me, and I can’t write a blog post this short so I thought I’d kind of reflect on where I was a year ago, seeing as it is the new year and all.  It also seems apropos since it was a year ago that I thought about entering this contest.

So I looked up the post on my blog that was almost exactly a year from today.  It turns out, the post was mostly about confidence – probably one of the main themes I’ve broached on this blog o’mine.  In it, Ivan was doing what he does best, pulling out the part of me that wants to express myself, the part of me that I choke and hide, the part of me that makes me a performer.  A particular portion stood out for me, though.  Ivan had asked me how soon it would be until we were able to do that famous lift from “Dirty Dancing,” which, in my mind, the answer is, like, never….but anyways…..

He’s  [Ivan] fearless, though, and doesn’t have my particular flavor of mental baggage that creates limitations in my mind.  I’ve seen him toss around a 70-year-old woman, one of his students, in the Hustle.

And don’t get me wrong, I have big dreams when it comes to dancing. In my head I have all sorts of fantasies about how I’m going to look, that I’m going to win some scholarship competitions, that I’m going to eventually get to dance in open heats in the night sessions when the lights are low and the ballroom is buzzing. But all that feels like a fairy tale – things I generally do not talk about for fear that others will think me mad but that are in my heart and that I desire greatly.

But today is not the day to attempt this particular trick.  Just standing still and preparing to move have been a challenge.  But ultimately I feel encouraged by Ivan’s belief in me.  Sometimes I think he believes in me more than  I do.  That’s why he endlessly crams my brain full of details.  That’s why he has me do the same thing over and over and over.

And one day I’m going to believe in myself this much.  One day, if I stick with it, and work hard, and practice, and sweat, then one day I will get to maybe play out in real life some of those fantasies in my head.  And what an amazing feeling that will be.

But here’s the thing.  Looking back from where I was to where I am, though I may not be where I’d ultimately like to be, I do believe that I’ve gained some confidence and belief in myself.  I do believe that what I deeply desire is, in fact, possible for me…and that, in and of itself, is a huge win.  I believe that I could dance in open heats in night sessions, and I have already danced in two scholarship rounds.  Though I earned poor results, entering those scholarships was the first step to actually placing well in one.  I do now begin to believe that I will get to play out in real life these fantasies in my head…they are becoming more of a reality with each practice and lesson, with each day I stick to my diet, with each coaching or dance camp and competition I attend.

Maybe I haven’t realized these things just yet (or ever), and maybe I still struggle with believing in myself, but truthfully I feel that I’m closer today than I was a year ago.  And, I’m committed.  Like damn skippy!

 

When it comes down to it, I’m proud of myself for the advances I have made, and I’m ready to dig in and work to improve my shortcomings.  I’m motivated, and boy does that feel good.  It’s funny because at the end of the post from a year ago I included a link to a video about pushing that extra bit to make the difference between good and great and now, in a year’s time, I find myself once again motivated by a quote to push myself harder and more profoundly (as in my last post).

Well, anyways, I felt confident enough to share this photo with the Facebook world and that’s a pretty good thing, I’d say.

ala

Like, I still see the imperfections (oh, trust me, I do!)…but I’m still willing to put it out there anyways and say, “This is me. Here I am.”  That makes me feel like I am a courageous person, and a person with courage like that can go far in this world….they could probably even dance in open heats at night and place well in scholarships.  They could probably even shed 100 pounds.

So here’s to me believing in myself and what is possible in the coming year.

 

What’s possible for you?

And now, since this is my entry into the Dance Advantage contest and all, here is is where I ask (*beg*) you to please make a comment on THIS post so that I might possibly move forward to the next round of competition.  Please consider sharing a link to this post so I might accrue more comments if you’ve been moved by what you’ve found here, or have gained any value from the blog.  I have until January 22nd to garner as much support (i.e. comments) as possible.

As always, I’m grateful.  Thanks for your support, whatever it looks like!

-Stef

13 Ways to Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet

Source: http://www.dancespirit.com/2013/01/13-ways-to-make-2013-your-best-year-yet/

What’s your dance goal for 2013? Whether it’s finally nailing a quadruple pirouette, making your studio’s senior competition team or booking your dream job, DS is determined to help you get there. So we asked a few of our favorite industry insiders, “What can dancers do to have the best year ever?” Here’s what they had to say.

Amanda Lea LaVergne as Sandy with Derek Keeling as Danny Zuko in the Broadway revival of Grease

1. “Be fearless. I spent years terrified I’d make a mistake. But I didn’t realize I was boxing myself in. You will mess up—that’s life. Take a chance. Be ‘strong and wrong’ instead of sticking to what’s safe.” —Amanda Lea LaVergne, dancer in Annie the Musical

2. “See everything you can. Art exhibits, concerts, movies—they give you food for your mind. Then, share what inspires you. That’s how art evolves.” —Caroline Fermin, Gallim Dance

3. “Be versatile now to work more later. Dancers do steps; true artists rock people’s souls. You can make a beautiful black and white painting, but adding color makes it a masterpiece. Add new colors to your palette by learning every style you can. Eventually you’ll have a rainbow of choices to pull from.” —William Wingfield, “So You Think You Can Dance”

4. “Nourish your body with good foods, quench it with water, test it to its limits and rest it when it asks for it. Your body is your greatest asset, but it can be your biggest weakness if you don’t treat it kindly. Take care of it.” —AL

5. “Make a plan of action. Carve out a road map with your agent to achieve your goals in 2013. If you’re not represented, ask an established dancer to share his or her path with you. That will give you insight into what steps to take.” —JC Gutierrez, dance and on-camera director at McDonald Selznick Associates

Keenan Kampa (Gene Schiavone)

6. “Present yourself well in class and rehearsal. Be clean, smell nice and be comfortable in what you’re wearing. It makes such a difference.” —Keenan Kampa, Maryinsky Ballet

7. “Incorporate a yoga class into your schedule. You’ll feel balanced and connected to your breath.” —Tyce Diorio, choreographer

8. “Read the news. Keep your mind sharp and stimulated. Knowing what’s happening all over the world puts everything in perspective.” —KK

Zoey Anderson (Vanessa Millecam Photography)

9. “Don’t worry about other dancers. If you keep working on yourself and stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll progress faster. Plus, you’ll have more fun!” —Zoey Anderson, dance major at Marymount Manhattan College

10. “Research dance history. Look up dancers from film, Broadway, etc., and study what made them great. That was helpful for me as a teenager, and I still do it today.” —TD

11. “Find something besides dance that brings you joy. Every experience you have furthers who you are as an artist.” —Ryan Steele, Specs in Newsies on Broadway

12. “Try new, crazy things. Go to that audition, learn that difficult move or take that Bollywood class. Sitting back, waiting and wishing will get you nowhere.” —ZA

13. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, but it’s important to take some time to have fun.” —JG