Back to School 101: How to Choreograph Your Classes

Blog graphic.001

School is back, and that means one thing: Lots of scheduling. Between school, homework, and dance class, it can be hard to figure out how to manage your time. But don’t worry – we have some ideas for you.

1) When in doubt, write it out.

You might think you can memorize your entire schedule in your head – and maybe you can! But you don’t have to. Find a way to write down your schedule so you can glance at it quickly when you need it. Many people use their phones or email for reminders. You can also use a good, old-fashioned day planner. Write down all of your commitments – maybe even color-code them! You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain control over your hectic schedule.

2) Education over extracurriculars.

You won’t find bigger fans of dance than us. But during the school year, it’s important to prioritize your schoolwork over any extracurricular activities so you don’t fall behind. Dancing is hard work and requires a lot of practice and commitment – but so do your classes. Take the time to finish your homework and give your education the attention it deserves.

3) Veg with the veggies.

 Dancers already know the value of eating well. But this becomes especially important during the school year. The right foods will make you healthier, which will allow you to think more clearly and have the energy you need to handle school and dance. We’re not saying you can’t enjoy a little ice cream once in a while – but keep everything in moderation. Find a buddy to commit to eating healthy with you and keep each other accountable during the year and at dance class.

What do you think? How do you stay organized during the school year? Tell us below!

Advertisements

Year in Review: Platinum National Dance Competition Celebrates 10th Anniversary Season

Competition season might be over, but we have so many great memories from our 10th season that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Dozens of cities, hundreds of performances, and thousands of fans made our 2016 season one for the books.

Let’s take a moment to remember what made this year one of our favorites.

PNDC 2016

1) We hosted our first Ultimate Invitational Championship! Dancers from around the country were invited to participate in this exclusive competition. We saw some amazing talent this year and can’t wait to see what next year brings!

Invitational

2) Our annual Ultimate Viewers Choice competition was a success! We had dozens of great routines to choose from, but “Glam” from Scenic City Dance showed us what it really means to be the best. Congratulations again!

3) Last, but not least, we want to remember the hundreds of people who worked to make this season so unforgettable. Coaches, teachers, parents, dance staff, costume designers, set designers, family members – we couldn’t do this without you.

Thank you for your continued support!

So what can you look forward to next?

  • A new season! Our 2017 schedule is posted on our website, and we think you’ll love it. We’re heading to 30 cities across the country to watch the best of the best perform fresh routines, and we can’t wait to see what routines our dancers come up with next year.
  • Convention is almost here! You won’t have to wait until next year to dance with us again – join us at Convention in October! You’ll have an opportunity to learn new moves, make new friends, and prepare yourself for the upcoming season.

Check out the whole schedule on our website, and learn even more details about Convention here. Will we see you at one of our stops?

And now we want to hear from you: What will you do to pass the time until we meet again? Are you focusing on a new routine this summer? Or are you taking the time off to relax? We came up with some great ideas to make this summer a great one – take a peek at some of our other posts here, here, and here. Tell us what you’re up to on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Tis’ the season to eat healthy!

The 2016 dance season is approaching, but there are a couple of big events coming up sooner than that: the holidays are right around the corner! What does this have to do with the upcoming dance season, you might ask? You’ll want to eat healthy during the holidays in preparation for 2016! Here are 4 tips for you for healthy eating during the holidays:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 12.47.27 PM.png

If your goal at parties and family events is to choose healthy eating, you can always start with water. A study by “shape.com” tells us that that if you drink two glasses of water before your meal you will naturally eat less. Water is a good way to start your meals because it reminds you to make healthier food choices when you are already full. Staying hydrated is just as important as healthy eating!

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/how-drinking-water-helps-weight-loss.html

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 12.48.31 PM.png

One of the worst things you could do at a holiday party or family gathering is to attend on an empty stomach. If you come hungry, EVERYTHING is going to look appetizing. If you are trying to eat healthy this holiday season, make sure you come prepared. Have a small meal beforehand—try a banana, some yogurt, or peanut butter and crackers. When the food comes out, you already have something in your stomach. If you arrive hungry, it could lead to poor food choices and a loss of control.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/holiday-health/how-avoid-overeating-holiday-parties

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 12.48.54 PM.png

Everyone wants to find ways to be creative, especially when it comes to food. Why not experience new foods and new recipes by preparing them yourself? You can find healthy new recipes on Pinterest, Google, or local cooking magazines. There are so many colorful, exciting recipes out there. You can even create your favorite dishes with healthier substitutes. If you find something you are excited about making, chances are other people will love it, too.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 12.50.51 PM.png

At the beginning of holiday events, hosts usually have out the fun snacks and appetizers. However, the best—and most healthy—food might be right around the corner. When we say “the good stuff,” we mean the main dishes, the healthy options, and the fulfilling choices. This also lets you see all of the food choices before you decide. You can look at all of the options and then make the healthy decision.

 

 

We hope this helps you get better prepared for the Holidays! If you have any questions or comments, ask us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or Instagram. Happy Holidays!

 

 

How to Thrive this Dance Season

Fall is officially upon us. Everything is pumpkin flavored, scented, or shaped. The leaves are starting to change. And most importantly, a new dance season is underway! If that thought has left you feeling a bit overwhelmed, fear not. We have a few tips for you on how to not only survive this dance season, but to thrive in it!

Untitled.png pndc

We suggest doing this the night before, when you are not rushed and can think through what you need to bring. If that’s not an option, take a moment during some free time and write down a checklist, so that even if you are packing in a hurry, you’ll be sure to grab everything. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Snacks. For a few nutritious ideas, check out our Dance and Dine post.
  • Water. We vote for an environmentally friendly reusable water bottle from home.
  • Hair & Makeup Kit. Here’s a great idea for storing hair accessories!
  • Travel Sewing Kit. Just in case! You never know when you might need it.
  • Emergency Kit. A little baggie with bandaids and tape would do just fine.
  • Deodorant. Keep an extra stick in your bag so you don’t have to constantly pack and unpack it. No one wants to be known as “the smelly dancer”.
  • Notepad and Pen. Immediately after class write down any special notes your instructor gave you, questions you need to answer, or ideas for next time.

Untitled.png pndc2

We know that your days and nights fill up quickly during the fall; this is such a busy time! So be sure and mark your calendar with all class, rehearsal, and recital days, as well as any additional practical days. Whether you like the pen and paper variety or do better using your phone calendar, mark it off! You’ve got enough to worry about and remember, so take this one off that list.

When it comes to class time, we suggest arriving about fifteen minutes early. This allows plenty of time for stretching, chatting, or a quick restroom break.

Untitled.pngpndc4

This one might sound a little strange, but we believe it is the best way to thrive throughout your dance season. Let’s face it; dancers are probably the most self-critical athletes out there. [And it doesn’t help to be constantly surrounded by mirrors!]  Knowing that, we believe it’s a good idea to reward yourself along the way. You need to give yourself grace, even if it’s forced. We suggest setting small goals weekly or monthly [even if the goal is simply to make it through one class!] and giving yourself a little prize once you achieve them. By focusing on the positive instead of the negative, you’ll be able to keep those spirits high and maintain endurance to finish the season strong.

 

We hope your new dance season is off to a great start! We sure can’t wait to see what all you’ve worked on during the next competition season. Now it’s time to chime in: Do you have any secrets of your own on how to thrive during dance season? We want to know! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +!

 

The Love Language of Dance

A love language is considered a verbal or non-verbal form of communication which can improve the mental and physical well-being of a person.  The art of dance has historically been a way of expression, contributing to physical and mental fitness and even as a means of survival for ancient cultures.

 

Dance was a way of communicating and bonding in prehistoric times.  Researchers examined the DNA of a group of dancers and non-dancers and found that the dancers shared two genes associated with a predisposition for being good social communicators.  Dance has long been considered a universal language that can communicate emotions more powerfully than words.  Because of the important communication component, dance became an important tool for social interaction and bonding.  Some scientists even think the ability to dance was a way of survival during the ice age.  In fact, LiveScience reports that  humans who were rhythmic and coordinated may have had an evolutionary advantage.

 

There are many ways to express feelings and emotions; writing, visual arts or music.   Dance, however, is a way to express your unique self and connect your body to your soul.  Through dance, emotions can be expressed by all parts of the body.   Dancers know how easy it is to lose themselves in their dance and escape from the real world.  The experience allows the dancer to discard the past, forget the future and be in the moment.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 9.55.21 PM

 

You may know that dancing makes you feel good, but did you know that there are scientific reasons for that feeling?  Dance regulates levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body and can be an important way of improving emotional health by reducing stress.  Additionally, coordinated movements stimulate the brain’s reward centers.  The social implications of being a part of a community of like-minded individuals contributes to the emotional benefits of dancing as does the confidence that is gained from pursuing the activity.

 


Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 9.54.03 PM

 

Is there anyone on the planet who has ever said that they feel worse after dancing?  The synergy of mind, body and spirit brought together through movement is what makes dance the ultimate Love Language.  February is a good month to reconnect with yourself through dance.  We would like to share that bond with you.  Post a picture on our Facebook,  Twitter  or Instagram (@danceplatinumco) pages or tag us to show how dance is your ultimate LOVE language!

Why a Dance Journal Should Be Part of the Dancer’s Journey

A dancer’s journey is as personal as one’s dreams.  And tracking that journey in a dance journal allows the dancer to track where they have been and set goals for where they are wanting to go.   It is not uncommon to see the motivated and self driven dancers scribbling away in a worn looking notebook after a class or rehearsal.

Image by Walt Stoneburner (http://ow.ly/Dhp16)

Why A Dedicated Dancer Should Journal

Dancing requires both mental and physical strength over many years.  Keeping a dance journal allows the dancer to record their progress on what sometimes seems like a slow path to accomplishing goals.  When they are caught up in the daily or weekly classes it is sometimes hard to realize how much a dancer has grown.

Journaling also provides an outlet for the many emotions that a dancer experiences, such as frustration, disappointment, and elation.  Sometimes h/she can feel all of those in one class or rehearsal.  The emotional highs and lows are a journey in themselves but the journal also provides the dancer with a snapshot of their experience over the years.

Just like the art of Dance, the practice of journaling requires dedication.  Many dancers have a dedicated time that they journal.  Find the time that works best for you like right after your class or rehearsal.

What Do You Write About?

  • New combinations introduced in class
  • Choreography learned
  • Combinations that you want to try
  • Routines that you made up
  • Websites of videos and dance resources
  • Frustrations
  • Concerns
  • Accomplisments
  • Struggles
  • Teacher corrections from class
  • Dance goals; both long and short term
  • Who inspires you and why
  • What motivates you
  • What you are eating
  • Sleep habits
  • Stretches and exercises
  • Sketches or pictures that are meaningful or inspirational
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Celebrations
  • What you are currently working on
  • Favorite songs or music
  • A record of performances you have been in
  • Questions for your instructor or choreographer
  • Personal events with work, school or family
  • Personal reminders or To Do lists
  • Anything you want!

A dancer’s journal is a work in progress and will evolve as the dancer grows in his/her craft.  Its easy to forget how much effort you have put into something so tracking your progress can inspire you to keep pushing toward your goals.  You won’t realize how you have matured so its just as important to go back and reread your journal every so often.

Take The Leap

Image by Jenna Carver (http://ow.ly/Dhqnl)

Image by Jenna Carver (http://ow.ly/Dhqnl)

Find a journal that is right for you whether it is a pretty notebook or an electronic version.  Decide on the best time for you to journal so you can make it a part of your dance routine.  Finally, have fun with it and keep it locked up.  It’s personal!

Are you currently keeping a Dance Journal?  What are some of the things you record in it?  Comment below or share your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  You just might become another dancer’s inpiration.

 

 

*Check our website often @danceplatinum.com for competitions near you.

Platinum Dance Experience

Dancers, the days are closing in and one of our favorite times of the year is almost here: Dance Experience! We could not be more excited. To get everyone on the same page, we are putting together a post for all potential dancers to get all of their information about rules, regs, classes to be offered, and all the important details in one area. So here it goes:

Rules and regulations:
★ There is no limit to the number of students any one studio can bring.
★ Teachers/studio owners are responsible for categorizing dancers based on age. Special consideration may
be made to challenge the dancers in a higher level than their age. Once a level is determined, no changes
can be made. Basic guidelines for levels – Petites, ages 8 & under; Juniors ages 9-12; Seniors, ages 13 & over. If a dancer is on the
cusp of a level it is up to the teacher’s discretion as to what level that dancer should be in.
★ Teachers must register. Registration allows them to attend or observe any levels of classes.
★ Dancers may attend in more than one city.
★ There are NO REFUNDS under any circumstances.
★ All dancers, owners, teachers, and observers should
conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times.
★ All dancers must be able to provide proof of age.
★ Dancers must attend all classes in order to be
eligible for scholarship audition.
★ Teachers and dancers who earn 50% of their income in a dance-related field
are considered professionals, and are not eligible for the scholarship audition.
★ Persons with inappropriate attire will be asked to change clothes.
★ No pets are allowed in Platinum workshop venues.

Classes to be offered:
★ The following dance styles will be offered at the Platinum Dance Experience: Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop,
Contemporary, and Musical Theatre.
★ Classes for Juniors and Seniors will be an hour long; however, teachers will allow time for students to change
shoes, grab a snack, get water, etc.
★ Classes for Petites will be 45 minutes long; there will be a separate audition and we
encourage all dancers to participate.
★ Each class will have a dancer awarded an Excellence Award, chosen by the teacher
and given out at the end of the day.
★ Auditions will be held at the end of the day. Dancers must attend the workshop in its entirety to
be considered for a scholarship. All dancers are automatically entered in the audition and will receive
numbers to wear throughout the day. Teachers will not only be choosing scholarship winners from the
audition but will also consider the dancer’s aptitude throughout the day. We encourage all dancers to
participate in the audition in order to experience the process, no matter what level the dancer is. Consider it another class!

Levels and entry fees:
★ Petites, 8 & Under: $50 ($40 if registered & paid 45 days prior to event)
★ Juniors, 9-12: $100 ($90 if registered & paid 45 days prior to event)
★ Seniors, 13 & Over: $100 ($90 if registered & paid 45 days prior to event)
★ Teachers: $75 ($65 if registered & paid 45 days prior to event)
Discount: 5-10 dancers = 1 free teacher pass, 11-20 dancers = 2 free teacher passes,
21-30 dancers = 3 free teacher passes, 31+ dancers = 4 free teacher passes
★ Observers: $20

For any other question you may have, check out our Facebook (facebook.com/danceplatinumco) page or our website at danceplatinum.com!

We can’t wait to see everyone! Let us know below if we will be seeing you there!

Daily nutrition tips for the competitive dancer

When taking on the role of a competitive dancer, there are a million things you must remember to do: pack your hair accessories, maintain your outfits, memorize your routine,  and so much more. But the one thing that many forget is a nutritious diet. Dancers need a healthy and balanced diet to maintain a healthy body and achieve optimum performance in practices, performance and competition. Dance is a very physically demanding sport. Because of this, the body requires energy produced from food. Healthy -eating doesn’t mean you are limited to raw veggies but a balanced diet is very important in any dancers daily habits- Especially when it comes time for competition season!

Here are some tried and true nutrition routines that will keep the kick in your step:

1 EAT PLENTY OF COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

This is the most important food type for you as a dancer as it provides and maintains your energy levels for the high physical demands required for dance. Glycogen is the main source of fuel used by the muscles to enable you to undertake both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
This includes:
-whole-grain breads
-whole-grain pasta
-brown rice
-beans
-fruits/vegetables

2. EAT AT LEAST FIVE SERVINGS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES A DAY

Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables will provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need. Water and fat-soluble vitamins play equally important roles in chemical processes in the body while minerals (inorganic elements that occur in the body) are critical to normal functioning. The fruit and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or as a juice.

3. KEEP HYDRATED

This one may seem obvious, but in the whirlwind of activity on the morning of a competition, this can be easy to forget. Water is essential to normal body function, as the human body is made up of approximately 70% water. Aim to drink at least six generously-sized glasses of water a day. Water is also the best drink to re-hydrate you. Drink fluids before you start a physical exercise.

 

4. Changing Your Diet

As your performance or competition date draws near, try not to vary your diet too much. Don’t use this exciting time to try new foods that you are not accustomed to, as you never know when you may have an adverse reaction to a new food.
5. Trying to Lose Weight

An upcoming curtain call can cause feelings of anxiety. Last-minute tutu fittings seem to be particularly frightening. As a result, some dancers begin a crash diet in the weeks before the performance date. However, focusing on losing weight close to a performance or competition can only cause a decline in your strength and ability. Your main focus should be giving your hardworking body the fuel it needs to keep up with the required stamina.

Last but not least, here is a breakdown of guidelines for the day of your performance:

BEFORE ACTIVITY:

  • Eat approximately three hours before your class, rehearsal or performance
  • Individual preferences may vary as we all digest food at different rates
  • Eating too close to physical workout may cause stomach problems, such as nausea or stomach cramps
  • When preparing for a performance, it is not a good idea to introduce new foods and beverages into your diet

AFTER ACTIVITY:

  • Refueling immediately after exercise is essential. Eat complex, carbohydrate- rich foods to replenish and maximize your glycogen stores
  • Attempt to eat within an hour after a hard workout to facilitate recovery. Try. a banana or smoothie. This is especially important if you’re doing more than one class, rehearsal or performance a day

We know maintaining a balanced diet can get complicated. Especially in the midst of a busy school and dance schedule! We hope this guide helps keep you competition ready in your every day eating routines!

Daily nutrition dips for the competitive dancer

When taking on the role of a competitive dancer, there are a million things you to must remember to do: pack your hair accessories, maintain your outfits, memorize your routine,  and so much more. But the one thing that many forget is a nutritious diet. Dancers need a healthy and balanced diet to maintain a healthy body and achieve optimum performance in practices, performance and competition. Dance is a very physically demanding sport. Because of this, the body requires energy produced from food. Healthy -eating doesn’t mean you are limited to raw veggies but a balanced diet is very important in any dancers daily habits- Especially when it comes time for competition season!

Here are some tried and true nutrition routines that will keep the kick in your step:

1 EAT PLENTY OF COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

This is the most important food type for you as a dancer as it provides and maintains your energy levels for the high physical demands required for dance. Glycogen is the main source of fuel used by the muscles to enable you to undertake both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
This includes:
-whole-grain breads
-whole-grain pasta
-brown rice
-beans
-fruits/vegetables

2. EAT AT LEAST FIVE SERVINGS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES A DAY

Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables will provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need. Water and fat-soluble vitamins play equally important roles in chemical processes in the body while minerals (inorganic elements that occur in the body) are critical to normal functioning. The fruit and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or as a juice.

3. KEEP HYDRATED

This one may seem obvious, but in the whirlwind of activity on the morning of a competition, this can be easy to forget. Water is essential to normal body function, as the human body is made up of approximately 70% water. Aim to drink at least six generously-sized glasses of water a day. Water is also the best drink to re-hydrate you. Drink fluids before you start a physical exercise.

 

4. Changing Your Diet

As your performance or competition date draws near, try not to vary your diet too much. Don’t use this exciting time to try new foods that you are not accustomed to, as you never know when you may have an adverse reaction to a new food.
5. Trying to Lose Weight

An upcoming curtain call can cause feelings of anxiety. Last-minute tutu fittings seem to be particularly frightening. As a result, some dancers begin a crash diet in the weeks before the performance date. However, focusing on losing weight close to a performance or competition can only cause a decline in your strength and ability. Your main focus should be giving your hardworking body the fuel it needs to keep up with the required stamina.

Last but not least, here is a breakdown of guidelines for the day of your performance:

BEFORE ACTIVITY:

  • Eat approximately three hours before your class, rehearsal or performance
  • Individual preferences may vary as we all digest food at different rates
  • Eating too close to physical workout may cause stomach problems, such as nausea or stomach cramps
  • When preparing for a performance, it is not a good idea to introduce new foods and beverages into your diet

AFTER ACTIVITY:

  • Refueling immediately after exercise is essential. Eat complex, carbohydrate- rich foods to replenish and maximize your glycogen stores
  • Attempt to eat within an hour after a hard workout to facilitate recovery. Try. a banana or smoothie. This is especially important if you’re doing more than one class, rehearsal or performance a day

We know maintaining a balanced diet can get complicated. Especially in the midst of a busy school and dance schedule! We hope this guide helps keep you competition ready in your every day eating routines!

Platinum Nationals:

With our most recent competition in Houston, Texas in the books, our regional

Competition season is officially a wrap. Although it has been an amazing season, we are now in the process of getting ready for Nationals and we could not be more excited. Not only are we thrilled to see all of our competitive dancers and studio owners, but we also have a very exciting announcement to make.!

 

We are thrilled to inform all of you that MMG Talent Agency will be in attendance at our Nationals this year, and they will be holding auditions to award non-exclusive contracts to selected dancers.  They are a New York-based organization specializing in the representation of actors, actresses, dancers and models for film, television and print ads. We are excited to be working with them this year, and we are proud to offer Platinum National Dance Competition dancers this level of career opportunities. In addition, we will be offering free master classes from your Platinum judges, a chance to be in the Gala opening number and a chance to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise for 2! The competitions will be in Panama City Beach, Florida from June 17-21, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from June 24-28.

Between the agency appearance, contract opportunities, free master classes from our very own talented judges and a trip to two different beautiful beaches, you may be asking the understandable question, “What is the catch?” Well it’s really quite simple.  There are only a couple of things things that could stand between you and this life changing opportunity:

-Your studio must have attended a Platinum regional competition during the 2014 season

-Your studio must have achieved either a Platinum, Gold, or Silver award_______

Please check out our website at www.danceplatinum.com for more information on these amazing opportunities.