“Stop Comparing Yourself to Others”


Agnes DeMille

No matter how much things change is how much things stay the same.  This is a great article that is encouraging to us all….plus a bit of history

“Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others” by James Clear



How to Celebrate National Dance Week at Your Studio by Maureen Gelchion NDWF Representative and Owner Astoria Dance Centre, Queens NY

ndw - headerHow to Celebrate National Dance Week at Your Studio

You love dance, you know its benefits and you want others to share in your joy. 23 years ago I thought NDW is the perfect way to share my joy.  The hard part for me was to get everyone else on board. I was quite surprised to find out how many dancers and teachers were not even aware that National Dance Week existed.  I first remember reading about it in one of the trade magazines back in the late 80’s and quite possibly hearing about it at one of the first UDMA’s at the Millennium Hotel in NYC.


That what’s we do, right?  So why not about National Dance Week.  I decided to educate within my own studio and celebrate.

How it all began:  A big sign stating that it was National Dance Week, balloons and borrow a book about dance table set up in our waiting area.  All the books were lent by faculty and myself.  Next year the same as above plus an Annual Student Choreography Showcase in honor of NDW flyer distributed to students and faculty.  I am proud to say that we have just celebrated our 23rd Annual Student Choreography Showcase which is always held during NDW.  Much to my surprise I have had several young students who are now brilliant choreographers one of which majored in choreography at SUNY Purchase and the others are dance teachers. Students who don’t want to choreograph can sign up to be a dancer in a student piece, create the program cover or usher at our annual NDW event.  Other ideas to share the joy is to offer what dance means to me essay contest and a dance poster contest.

Getting your Faculty on Board

Brainstorm with your faculty. Once they hear about your love of dance ask them what they would like to do to help celebrate NDW within your studio.  You will be surprised at some of their suggestions.  One of my favorite ideas of theirs was to switch teachers for National Dance Week.  Collaborating and meeting with your faculty is a great way to spread your enthusiasm.

Getting your Community Involved

Connecting with a local dancewear store.  Propose a local merchant to donate a pair of dance shoes to a dancer and bring your dancer to the store, take a photo with the dance wear store owner and send it along with a press release to all of the local papers in your area.  Spread the word and share the joy.

Start small, share your enthusiasm and check the nationaldanceweek.org for other great ideas to celebrate National Dance Week

Maureen Gelchion

NDWF Representative

Owner Astoria Dance Centre, Queens NY


Dancing Through the Holidays by Anneliese Wilson ABC For Dance and NDWF Vice Chair

Holidays are stressful times for many people.  Very often those in the dance industry find them even more stressful due to the pressures of family, work, holiday performances, disrupted routines and parties and celebrations.  Whether you are a dancer, teacher, studio owner, parent or just someone who enjoys the art of dance, there are some techniques you can incorporate to help you dance your way through the season.

  1. Create a special holiday season calendar
    1. Write any “must do at a specific day/time” events in permanent marker
    2. Write any “would like to do, but can be flexible about” events in pencil
    3. Allow yourself to adjust the pencil events as needed without guilt or stress
    4. If you notice overlapping must do events, start to plan how to delegate now
  2. Use this time to network with people who can compliment your skills and relieve pressure off of you
    1. If you are a studio owner or company director, bring in a special speaker or presenter for your group, instead of doing individual gifts some ideas might be –
      1. A nutritionist or dietician who can provide information on healthy eating
      2. A pilates, yoga, body rolling or gyrokinesis instructor to teach a workshop on self care for dancers
  • A makeup artist to help your dancers create special looks for stage or a fun night out
  1. A hair stylist to teach updos to your dancers
  1. Dancers treat yourself to a service that will help you to stay healthy and uninjured
    1. A bodywork session to relieve muscular strain or help balance overuse of certain muscles
    2. A personal training, pilates, yoga, gyrotonics or kinesis session to cross train
  • Some prepared healthy meal choices to keep fueled well while in performance mode
  1. Take care of yourself
    1. Eat healthy foods and carry healthy snacks with you so you aren’t caught in a pinch
    2. Stay hydrated
    3. Sleep
    4. Get some physical activity every day – even if it’s not dance

My Story by Nancy Stone – NDWF Chairman and Art Stone the Competitor

A long time member and supporter of National Dance Week, I was asked, in 2002 to be NDWF logothe National Spokesperson for NDW—what an honor!  So many things have happened to in the past 12 years. Our recognition nationwide has grown by leaps and bounds.  We have increased our delegates and more events are taking place than ever before.  We became a 501c3 in 2011 and appointed our first board of directors. We have launched several national projects that have been very successful.  Our DANCE MOB movement, now in its third year, had more dancers than ever before and ourKICK IT FOR KINDNESS anti bullying campaign is going into the second year with more celebrations planed.  We have once again started our poster and essay contest.  Our celebrations that take place during NDW have grown in size and in number of events.  Our long time National Director, Patti Goulding retired due to poor health and we passed that torch on to our present National Director, Cathy Graziano.  NDWF is execited about our growth and our success—we see a bright and shining future ahead.

Nancy Stone

Chairman of the Board



Giving Back – Drea’s Dream

It was my privilege to have the opportunity to spend some time with Susan Rizzo at the Dance Life Teacher Conference in Scottsdale AZ.  I would like to introduce to everyone who already doesn’t know her – the foundation she created in the memory of her daughter.  The Andréa Rizzo Foundation raises funds to help children with cancer and special needs, fostering Andréa’s dreams of providing dance therapy to children with cancer and special education needs. A non-profit corporation, the Foundation is dedicated to the growth and success of Dréa’s Dream, a dance therapy/expressive movement program for pediatric and young adult populations in hospitals, special education classrooms and medical settings throughout the country. Please take the time to learn more about them. – www.dreasdream.org

Rhee's picture

2013 DanceLife Studio Conference – Scottsdale AZ

We are actually sitting next to one another in the picture.  It was a wonderful conference and I am looking forward to it again in 2015.



Making a Difference – by Christy Lane

Sometimes you wonder if you make a difference. You wonder if others understand  the passion you have for making this a better world  through music and movement.

So yesterday I hopped a plane to the National Dance Educators Organization Conference in Chicago. This is what I experienced:

I am taking a shuttle from  the airport to my hotel  when  women and I started chatting.  She mentioned she recognized me from a video I was in.  “I can’t believe it’s you Christy! I taught those dances to students for years!”.

That made me feel good.

I woke up the next morning and walked into the convention site to set up my Dare to Dance booth.  “Christy Lane!” exclaims Susie Greevy, the Executive Director. As we exchanged hugs, I reminisced how I attended her school as an Artist in Residence about 15 years ago.  I remember how these “street” kids were so expressive and excited to dance and perform. A thank you letter from her months later informed me my choreographic piece received a standing ovation from the audience.

That made me feel good.

As I put my product on the table the gal in the booth next to me, a graduate of NYU looked at my multicultural product and exclaimed “Oh you are the one that produced that product!  It’s fabulous and  we had so much fun doing the dances in my school. I am going to buy another one for my new school I am at!”

Another feel good moment.

So I stopped by the photo booth and sent a selfie with a piece sign to everyone back home letting them know all is good. Still making a difference.  Feeling good. :)



Free To Be – Isadora Duncan

Today so much is made about the right to express ourselves – a true pioneer is Isadora Duncan. She is an integral and important part of dance history. Learning about her life dancers today will find they have more in common with Isadora then they think.  By today’s standards she would still be considered a trendsetter and outspoken.  When studying dance at Glassboro College in NJ (now call Rowan) I first became acquainted with Isadora and my love of scarfs began.  Learn more and see what you identify with – because as the saying goes…..the more things change the more they stay the same.


Angela Isadora Duncan

Angela Isadora Duncan

Born    May 27, 1877  San Francisco, California, United States

Died    September 14, 1927 (aged 50)  Nice, France

National   American, Russian

Known for  Dance & choreography

Movement – Modern/Contemporary dance


Celebrities Who Can Dance

This is an article I enjoyed from DanceInfoma.com

10 Celebrities Who Can Dance

10 Celebrities Who Can Dance

By Stephanie Wolf of Dance Informa.

These celebrities have found their stardom on the big screen and radio airwaves. But before they were famous, these actors and singers spent a lot of time in the dance studio.

Hugh Jackman

It’s no longer a surprise that Australian actor Hugh Jackman is a great dancer. While he gained a lot of recognition for his appearances in blockbuster movies likeX-Men and Wolverine, Jackman began his performance career in musical theater and trained at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at the Edith Cowan University. He won a Tony for his role in the 2003 Broadway musical The Boy from Oz and received great acclaim for his 2011 concert Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway.

Emily VanCamp

Emily VanCamp, star of ABC’s Revenge, seemed poised for a career in ballet as a promising pupil at the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’ training program in Montreal. After visiting her sister on set of a 1999 movie calledLadies Room, VanCamp was bitten by the acting bug and enrolled in classes — the rest is history.

Vanessa Carlton

Before her hit single “A Thousand Miles,” Vanessa Carlton was actually a budding ballet dancer at the School of American Ballet. In interviews, Carlton is often quoted about how challenging it was leave the dance world, but she struggled with the level of discipline required to pursue it professionally and followed her affinity for music instead.

Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago

Catherine Zeta-Jones

A trained dancer and singer, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones first got her start in musical theater, appearing as the lead in the British revival of the musical 42nd Street at 15. She got to show off her dancing skills again in the 2002 movie musical Chicago.

Jenna Elfman

Golden Globe Award-winning actress Jenna Elfman, best known for her role on the ABC hit series Dharma and Greg, is a classically trained ballet dancer. She switched to acting in her 20s after battling several bad injuries, but continues to be a public advocate of dance — she has made several appearances as a guest judge on FOX Network’s So You Think You Can Dance.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Funny man Jesse Tyler Ferguson has become a household name for his role at Mitch Pritchett in the ABC sitcom Modern Family. But Ferguson, a graduate of theAmerican Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City, got his start in musical theater. And, early in his career, worked as a singer and dancer at Cliff’s Amusement Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze grew us dancing. His mother, Patsy Swayze, owned a dance school in Houston, where he trained. Patrick then trained at the Harkness and Joffrey ballet schools in New York City and, eventually, married dancer/actress Lisa Niemi, who he danced with at his mother’s dance studio.

Christopher Walken

Before finding his fame in movies, actor, director, and screenwriter Christopher Walken’s theatrical training had a major dance emphasis. He studied musical theater at Washington Dance Studio and later at Hofstra University in upstate New York. Walken actually still likes to squeeze in a step or two for his cinematic appearances and busted a move in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” music video in the early 2000s.

Amy Adams

Add Amy Adams to the list of aspiring ballerinas turned actresses. Born in Italy and raised in Castle Rock, Colorado, Adams studied dance at a local dance school in Castle Rock and got her first professional gig as a dancer with the Boulder Dinner Theater. She then moved to Minnesota to further her musical theater ambitions with the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. An injury eventually sidelined her dancing dreams, but an appearance in the 1999 mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous propelled her acting career.

Neve Campbell

Actress Neve Campbell (Scream, Party of Five) trained for eight months with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago in order to take on the role of Ry in director Robert Altman’s 2003 movie, The Company. But her dancing roots go back much farther than the film. Campbell trained for a bit at the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto, but never pursued a career in dance due to an influx of injuries. However, her passion for the art form did lead her to co-write and star in The Company.

Photo (top): Amy Adams dances with Jason Segel in a seen from The Muppets movie. Source: http://theotherdani.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/fashion-inspiration-amy-adams-in.html



Dance Diversity in the Public Schools by Christy Lane

It appears to be a divide between dance educators in the public school sector.  There are the physical educators that are trained in fitness and sport disciplines and offer  beginning level recreational styles of dance (line dances, ballroom, etc) to their students. Then there are the dance educators who have their degrees in dance offering classes in the performing arts styles of dance (ballet, jazz, etc). Unless it is a performing arts school or a charter school, both types of educators are faced in their classes with students who have no prior dance experience or students who have trained in dance studios for years.  How do they tackle the diversity of dance ability levels in their classrooms and which styles of dance would be most beneficial for students today?

Many of the dance education degrees do not address this problem. I have observed many university dance degree programs that “fight” over where dance should be located in their curriculum. Should the dance classes be in the Physical Education Department or the Performing Arts Department? I’ve personally seen this debate played out at a university where their conclusion was “If you want to become a teacher, get the Physical Education degree, but if you want to become a performer, go to the Performing Arts Department and get that degree.”  Hmmmmm. I wonder.

Throughout the many years I have been teaching, I’ve watched various organizations try to implement a Curriculum or Syllabus to eliminate this problem.  But just as with art, whose curriculum is the best?  Maybe with all the cyberspace out there, something will be created soon. Is there anyone out there that has seen a worthwhile curriculum that addresses these concerns?



Smile to support NDWF

I received an email the other day from Jason Neuwirth at 42st Tours telling me he wanted to choose NDWF as his charitable organization when ordering from Amazon.  I was so excited – I didn’t even know the program existed for non profits.  We quickly looked into it and signed up National Dance Week Foundation.  Thank you Amazon and thank you Jason for thinking of NDWF.  Here is some info about the program…..when choosing an organization just enter National Dance Week Foundation.  Thank you in advance for your support

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