Fostering Your Child’s Passion For Dance

Fostering your child's passion for dance can be tough! This is great advice on HOW to do it when dance may not be your thing!

If your child won’t stop making up dances, performing for friends and family, or is constantly practicing steps in their room, they may have caught the dance “bug.” Don’t panic hehe! Although this may be a little unfamiliar to you, this “bug” can be an AMAZING thing! Finding a passion for dance is exciting and will do great things for them now and in the future. They will learn how to work hard, set and achieve goals, and have an emotional outlet when things get tough. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t! Dance can do all of those things for your child and much much more so it is time to join them in this excitement! You may be wondering how to support your dancer in this new journey and make sure you are truly fostering your child’s passion for dance, and we are here to help!

The first thing to consider is that every child is unique. Not every child is going to want the same type of support. Some will want to share every moment along the way with you and others will want you to wait outside while they rock it out in dance class. Luckily, you know your child better than anyone so try to respect their “style” and give them the space they need to flourish.

The second way you can foster your child’s passion is by finding a program that they can connect with. Really try to identify your child’s goals. Do they want to just have fun with their friends? Do they want to become a professional ballerina? Do they want to master their hip hop skills? How many hours at the studio can they handle? What sort of environment is good for their personality?  Find a program that compliments who they are and one that will help get them where they want to go. At Prestige, we try to identify what ignites each dancer’s passion and tailor our program to match, you can learn more about our program here.

Another great way to support your dancer is to be positive. Be excited when they share a new mastered step with you. Make a big deal when they perform or sign up for a new class. Even if you are not personally into the dance thing, be happy that is THEIR thing. Think about it, isn’t it so much better when you can share your passion with the people you love? Don’t let them figure out that you would rather have them doing what YOU are into. Instead, be happy they are into an amazing activity that will help them grow and prosper.

We may be a little biased but dance is a pretty great thing to get into and we are so happy your little dancer has chosen to share their passion with us! We know that with your support, they will grow into not only talented dancers but well rounded young adults!

Need help finding the perfect class schedule for your dancer?? Let us know! We would love to help get your dancer off on the right foot this Fall!

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Your Musical Guide For This Summer

Your musical guide for dancers in Cedar Rapids, IA

With summer comes some very well deserved time OFF. We think you should spend that time relaxing, trying something new, and of course devoting more time to doing what you love! We are PRETTY sure you and your dancer LOVE dance (hehe) so why not spend your summer catching up on a little art and culture in the form of musicals. We have rounded up a few ideas to get your musical exposure on. If you take us up on some of these ideas, let us know! We always love to hear opinions and experiences when it comes to dance and the performing arts. Have an exciting event already planned that isn’t on our list? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

Enjoy from your couch

  • The World Of Dance– Ok, this is not a musical BUT with a panel of AMAZING judges, this show is definitely building some hype! Dancers from all over the world compete to be named the best. We love that there are all different styles, there will be something for everyone in this show! We can’t wait to catch the premiere (May 30th, 9:00pm)!

In Cedar Rapids

  • Peter Pan- Perfect for all ages, this show is taking place at the Theatre Cedar Rapids from June 3-4
  • Billy Elliot The Musical – This show is for an older dancer (13+) but is a great story about following your dreams! Also hosted at the Theatre Cedar Rapids from June 30-July 22

In Des Moines

  • An American In Paris– The dancing in this musical is just amazing! Check it out at the Des Moines Civic Center from July 18-23

In Chicago

  • Disney’s Aladdin – Who doesn’t love a good Disney musical? Well worth the drive, this show is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre until September 10
  • Hamilton– I’m sure you have heard of this one by now, catch it at The PrivateBank Theatre before it leaves Chicago!
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I – The costumes in this show are so beautiful! It is taking place at the Oriental Theatre from June 14-July 2

We hope this list gets you excited to go experience a performance or two this summer! Make a trip out of it or just a fun night. We can’t wait to hear all about it!

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3 Things to Add to Your Summer Schedule

Summer Dance Classes at Prestige Dance Studio

We are in the final countdown to our Annual Recital! We are so excited to see our dancers on stage doing what they love. We know that you are focused on finishing the school year strong… but we can’t help but think ahead to all the fun we are going to have at Prestige Dance Studio in our summer dance classes and camps!

Have you had a chance to check out our exciting line-up of summer camps and classes? Spots are going quick! We highly recommend registering quickly to ensure a spot. Summer is a great time to try something new, reach specific dance goals, and have fun without the stress of the school year. Unfortunately, dancing is NOT like riding a bike. You have to continue training in order to continue to improve. We recommend a summer dance class or camp to all of our dancers. Today we are offering a few additional recommendations for your dancer this summer. Make sure these things are on your schedule and help your dancer to be his or her best when our school year classes resume!

  1. Rest. OK we DO want your dancer in class, but we also understand the positive benefits of rest or taking a little time off. For our competitive dancers, this could be a weekend with no dance. Or a week long vacation with family. Or even a morning spent at home. Time without a schedule or places to be can be rejuvenating for both dancers and their families. Make sure you have periods blocked out for unstructured fun! A little time away can make sure they are ready physically and mentally to jump back in.
  2. Stay Active. If your dancer is taking a little lighter load this summer in terms of their dance training, make sure they are staying active! Swimming, running, climbing, playing… all great ways to make sure they are ready for the demands of their dance classes.
  3. Cross Train. Cross-training is a great way to address specific areas of your dancer’s technique. Help your dancer to make improvements outside of the dance studio. Do they need to work on their flexibility? Take a yoga class! Core strength? Pilates! Do they want to leap higher? Safely incorporate some resistance training! Cross training can be a great way to keep things interesting.

 

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Great Ways To Remember This Year’s Recital!

Memories for dance recitals are so important! Make sure you remember this years!

Is anyone else completely blown away that recital is just a few weeks away?! Our teachers and staff are busy perfecting dances, finalizing lighting, and working hard to make sure the day goes off without a hitch. All the while, your dancers are busy remembering notes and perfecting their recital looks! With it being such a busy time of year (not only at the studio but also in your personal life), I’m sure it feels like you are going at 60 miles an hour just to get through it all. We want to make sure that when it comes to recital you are able to slow down and really enjoy the moment with your dancers.

Don’t get us wrong, it is still going to go fast but we hope there are a few precious moments in there that you will really remember. Maybe you will remember helping your dancer get ready or seeing them shine during their favorite number on stage.  Or maybe when you got to meet them after the performance to finally tell them how amazing they were. Whatever moment sticks for you, hold on to that! Write it down in a journal and tell your friends, you’ll want to remember that for years to come!

Another great way to hold on to those memories is to make a keepsake from this year’s recital. We found a few great ideas that you can start this year! A great one for first-time recital dancers is to make a shadow box filled with a recital photo, shoes from this year, ticket stubs, program, and maybe even a dried flower from the show. For those long-time dancers, we love the idea to keep a ballet/tap/jazz shoe from every year and create a display with yearly pictures for your dancer’s room. We think this one is adorable! Make sure to write the year, recital theme, and the name of their favorite dance in each shoe. Finally, for those dancers with a TON of old costumes, make a quilt! What a great way to remember all those years of dance at Prestige Dance Studio! This would make an amazing gift for those seniors going off to college. Queue the water works, right?!

However you decide to commemorate this year’s recital, we are so excited to show you all that your dancers have accomplished this year. We know you will be beaming with pride and will have a blast!

Check here for more recital information, we can’t wait to see you there!

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Getting To Know Addy!

One of the things that sets Prestige Dance Studio apart from other dance studios is our AMAZING staff. Our staff does their best to provide outstanding customer service and it shows! I’m sure at this point in the year, you have met Addy but we just wanted to give her a little shout out because we just love having her on our team. Addy is our full-time office manager and assistant to Miss Jess. She is a great person to contact for any questions or concerns you have while Miss Jess is with her students.

Addy A Few Fun Facts

Favorite TV Show: Teen Wolf

Favorite Movie: Harry Potter

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Restaurant: Zeppelins (She is a regular hehe!)

Favorite Season: Fall

Hobbies: Long-boarding, Surfing, Traveling, Attending Music Festivals, Graphic Design

We sat down with Addy and asked her a few more questions about her background and dance memories. Interested in learning more? Be sure to catch Addy at the studio. She loves getting to know all of the wonderful dance families at Prestige Dance Studio!

Where did you grow up? Cedar Rapids – I graduated from Prairie High School.

Where did you go to school and what did you study? Iowa State University for Biochemistry and Business Management and The University of Iowa for Entrepreneurial Management

What has been your most rewarding dance experience? Competition weekends with our Prestige Competition Teams are my favorite. I get to step out from behind the desk and help make sure the kids are where they need to be and prepared for their performance/s. I was a competitive gymnast growing up, competitive dancer through high school and coached Junior Olympic Gymnasts during college so the high energy, fast paced atmosphere makes me nostalgic.

What was your most embarrassing Prestige moment? One time I went tanning before coming into work. At the end of the night, I walked into the studio and saw my lobster-red face staring back at me in the mirror. I had talked to clients ALL night with a bright red face.

Why do you like working at Prestige Dance Studio? I love watching the students develop their talents and reach their goals. Getting to know the dance families and share excitement in their successes is the most rewarding feeling.

Thanks for all you do Addy!

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5 Things To Throw In Your Recital Bag

What to pack in your recital bag! Love these unique items!

Can you believe it is almost May?! For us here at Prestige that just means we are getting closer and closer to recital and we cannot wait! With dress rehearsal and recital just around the corner, we thought you may be starting to think about what exactly you should pack in your dancer’s recital bag. I’m sure you have already thought of the usual (shoes, tights, hair and makeup supplies, costumes and accessories, undergarments, and snacks just to name a few) but have you thought to bring these next 5 things?!

  1. Clear Nail Polish– Of course, we suggest bringing an extra pair of tights for the day of recital but sometimes even that isn’t enough! Clear nail polish is the perfect thing to stop a RUN in your tights dead in its tracks. As soon as you notice a tear, dab the polish on the end.
  2.  Sewing Kit– Like we hinted at before, sometimes the unexpected can happen during the big day. A rip or tear to a costume could be devastating if you cannot repair it quickly. Make sure to throw in a handful of safety pins along with your needle and thread!
  3. Dryer Sheets– For some reason, costumes LOVE static cling on a performance day! Simply rubbing the inside with a dryer sheet can completely eliminate the cling and your dancer’s costume will lay like it should.
  4. First Aid Kit– Throwing in some bandaids, antibacterial ointment, and ibuprofen can save the day in a pinch. Don’t worry though, if you forget- you can always find a PDS staff member during the performance, we will be well stocked!
  5. Tennis Ball– During performances, cramped and tight muscles happen! A tennis ball can bring a world of relief to a sore dancer in between numbers.

So, how did you do? Were these things already on your list to be packed? Do you have any favorite unconventional items that weren’t on our list? Let us know so we can share!

Check here for more information on recital events and schedules. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

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Career Options for Dancers

Career options for dancers

While we don’t like to dwell on it, eventually our students at Prestige Dance Studio are going to graduate from high school. They will have to navigate college, careers, and figuring out the role dance will play in their lives. We want our dancers to be aware of all the career options available for dancers. Even if they decide not to pursue dance professionally, there are MANY ways to incorporate dance into your life after you leave Prestige!

A few ideas to get your wheels turning:

  1. Professional Dancer– Perhaps the most obvious option, also the most difficult! Requires setting specific goals and lots of tenacity! In the path to landing a professional job, dancers will be required to continue to take dance classes, audition, and find ways to support themselves financially throughout the process.
  2. Dance Teacher– Spreading dance throughout the community and sharing it with students is an extremely rewarding path. Consider seeking out a dance teacher mentor or taking early education classes. Job opportunities can be found at private studios, public schools, and colleges.
  3. Dance Studio Owner– Combine dance, business, and education! Be prepared to wear lots of hats! Shape exactly the type of environment that you desire for your students.
  4. Choreographer– Work with dancers, dance studios, companies, or teams to create dance pieces. It may require a little time to build a portfolio. Most choreographers have a background as dance performers and teachers.
  5. Company Director– Start your own dance company! Similar to running a dance studio, this career path will require a mix of business skills and dance knowledge.  You will also need to raise money for your company and be confident managing a group of people. There are dance companies of ALL sizes and with a wide range of annual budgets.

Less obvious options:

  1. Arts Administrator– Dance organizations and companies need a team of professionals to keep everything running smoothly.
  2. Physical Therapist- Work specifically with dancers or athletes. Many major dance companies have a physical therapist on staff!
  3. Marketing Expert– Marketing is a broad term that includes graphic design, public relations, branding, web design, and anything else that helps to communicate a message.  All dance companies, organizations, and studios need marketing!
  4. Photographer or Videographer– It may be possible to build a career solely focusing on working with dancers or dance companies. Capture moments on stage or in the studio!
  5. Yoga or Pilates Instructor– Dancers need to cross train! Being a certified teacher is also a great career path for dancers pursuing a professional dance career. The hours can be complimentary.
  6. Lighting Designer– Lighting is so crucial to the final product. Help design lighting that showcases dancers and highlights choreography.
  7. Massage Therapist– Again, many professional dance companies have a massage therapist on staff.
  8. Costume Designer– Help dancers to look their best on stage and work with choreographers to create their vision.

Anything sound enticing? We recently came across this article from Dance Magazine. It’s worth a read! More than offering career ideas, it provides confirmation that the skills our students are learning in the dance studio will be extremely valuable as they enter the workforce both in and outside of the dance world. More and more, employers are requiring creativity, resiliency, and strong communication skills. A dance class is the perfect setting to gain experience in these areas. Dancers are forced to find creative solutions, deal with setbacks, and work with their peers daily!

We encourage all of our high school students (and their families!) to start thinking about what happens after their years at Prestige Dance Studio.  We hope that dance and their years at Prestige help to set them up for success in whatever path they take!

 

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Is your Child Ready for a Dance or Tumbling Class?

Ready for Dance Class

 

Spring is a BUSY time at Prestige Dance Studio. Dancers are in the midst of their competition season, we are prepping for our annual recital, and (believe it or not!) we are already thinking ahead to summer and fall 2017! If you have a little one, you may be thinking about signing them up for their FIRST dance or tumbling class. Which is super exciting!!! We have several options during the school year for our little ones. Below we’ve included our current offerings for students under six and some helpful suggestions for figuring out exactly HOW you know your child is ready for a formal class.

Baby and Me: This parent and tot class is the perfect introduction to dance and tumbling for students 6 months- 36 months. Parents will help their dancer to gain confidence, use their imagination, and gain coordination. A great opportunity to bond with your baby and meet other families!

Is your dancer ready? Do they love music and movement? Do you think they would benefit from being around other children? Would you like to get some fresh ideas for ways you can interact and play with your little one? Then YES!!! This class is a perfect match for students that love to move but aren’t quite ready for an independent class (without a parent).  

Tippy Toes: Tippy Toes 1-4 is our progressive combined ballet and tap technique class for kids ages 2-6. Classes are separated by age and focus on introducing and building coordination, strength and motor skills without the accompaniment of a parent. Students will build a foundation for continued ballet and tap instruction while interacting with other dancers their age in a focused environment.

Teenie Tumble: Introductory tumbling skills are taught in this class to young dancers ages 3-6. This class focuses on the coordination and strength used when tumbling.

Hippity Hop: This 30-minute class is an upbeat introduction to hip hop for our 3-6-year-olds. This high energy class will focus on coordination, strength and learning combinations to current and age-appropriate music. Hippity Hop will encourage students to step outside of the box by bringing their own individual style and personality to the movements.

Is your dancer ready? Our Tippy Toes, Teenie Tumble, and Hippity Hop are all independent classes, which means parents are not in the classroom. Think about how your child does away from you. Can they handle 30-60 minutes away? How quickly do they adjust to new situations? We do NOT expect any two or three-year-old to be perfect:) But, within a few weeks of starting a new class, they should be able to walk into the studio independently without tears. Another thing to consider is your child’s ability to follow simple instructions. We expect our youngest dancers to be able to sit when asked, make a circle with their friends, and generally stay with their classmates. Again, this can be a work in progress- but within a few weeks, they should have a good feel of the expectations.

Your child’s first dance class should be exciting! By doing a quick check-in to make sure they are ready, you are setting them up for an AWESOME experience. We do offer FREE trials at Prestige Dance Studio and would encourage all parents of students ages 1-6 to take advantage. Trials can be a great way to test the waters a bit, let your child SEE and experience the studio, and make sure it is a good match. Keeps things positive, and be patient:) We can’t tell you how many times we have seen a timid, shy child walk in the door and leave after their class with a smile ear to ear. That new found confidence and joy is priceless. We look forward to seeing your child in class!

PS. We also have several exciting summer camps for this age group- be sure to check out our offerings!

 

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Best Of The Web PERFORMANCE HACKS

Best of the web performance

As some of our dancers are busy attending competitions and community performances, others are gearing up for recital. Where ever your dancer is in their performance season, it is never too early to start planning for a smooth, stress-free event. From quick changes to event safety, we have collected the best dance performance hacks from the web so you can breathe easy. At Prestige, our best advice is to plan ahead and go through the big day with your dancer so they know what to expect and you are both on the same page. Who is helping them change? When and where can they eat? When can they relax for a bit? Dancers generally will feel more prepared and less frazzled when there is a plan in place and as a dance parent, you will feel better too!

  • Labeling Garment Bags For Dance Competitions and Recitals – This article tells you exactly how to label and organize your costumes. Quick changes will be a breeze and lost costumes will be a thing of the past if you follow this method.

  • Dance Bag Organization – We think using a reusable wine/beverage bag from a grocery store does an AMAZING job at creating little compartments within your dance bag. The dancer in the article uses the bag alone but it would fit inside of your normal bag too. You could even use more than one! It would make finding shoes and accessories SO much easier!

  • How to Clean Practically Anything Dance Related – Dirty shoes, dancewear, or costumes, this article has got you covered!

  • A Snack Plan– This is an easy idea to keep all your dancer’s snacks organized. We all know it takes a lot of fuel perform at your best so make sure your dancer is well stocked with healthy options!

  • Event Safety – We love this article and video on how to keep your dancers safe during performances. Although we do our best to make sure every event runs as smoothly and safely as possible, sometimes things happen. Having a first aid kit on hand as a simple way to ease your mind during a very busy day.

We love seeing our Prestige dancers perform on stage! With these simple hacks, you will be able to relax and enjoy the show!

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Stay Healthy & Injury Free This Year!

Healthy and Injury Free

We are well into our performance season here at Prestige. Between competitions, community performances, and recital, our dancers are dancing more than ever! Staying healthy and injury free during this time of the year is not only important but also harder than the first half of the year. We thought it would be a great time to go over some helpful tips and give you a few useful articles so you can give your dancer a leg up in this department!

  1. Stay hydrated- The number one thing in every dancer’s bag should be their water bottle! Get a sturdy reusable one that they can fill up over and over. Make sure to talk to your dancer about actually using it too! At performances, things get crazy so it can be really easy to forget. Help them out and have an extra ready for them every time you touch base. They will be happy to see it after dancing full out on stage!
  2. Eat mindfully- What we put into our bodies has a HUGE impact on how we feel. Eating foods high in nutrients will reduce our chances of getting sick. They also give us the energy we need to pull off really busy weekends and AMAZING performances. Check here for ideas on what to eat during those long performance days!
  3. Know when to rest- One of the most important parts of staying injury free is knowing the difference between sore muscles and PAIN. It is really tough for dancers to figure out the difference. We love this article explaining it all. For many dancers, resting is NOT something they want to do. They think if they just push through, the pain will go away. However, if they ignore the pain and forego rest, it can turn into a much bigger problem, requiring even MORE time off.
  4. Stretch and Strengthen- Take the time to warm up before running on stage. Try doing jumping jacks or planks backstage while waiting. Dancing full out on cold muscles can lead to injuries. Also, stretching and rolling out after a long day of dance can have a huge impact on reducing soreness. During off weeks keep up with strengthening exercises like these.

We know that with these 4 tips, you are setting your dancer up for success through the busiest time of the year! We can’t wait to see the amazing results!

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