Saturday, March 12, 2011

Recital Thoughts!

We are getting closer to the actual recital date!! We have enough dads for
the annual Dad Dance Performance during the recital, all of our dancers are
getting their respective dances down, and the final touches of the rectial
lineup are proving this is going to be an unforgetable


Avalon Dance is currently enrolling for our FIRST EVER Spring Break Dance Camp!!

Days: March 28, 2011 until April 01, 2011.
Time: 9AM-6PM.
Tuition: $135 for the week, $150 for early drop-off (8AM).
Dance Styles: Ballet, Jazz, and Hip-Hop.

For More Information: 407.380.3444

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Dancer’s Hip

By William G. Hamilton, MD

How’s your turnout? Wish you had more? Most dancers do, so let’s take a look at the dancer’s hip.

First the anatomy

As you probably know, the hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball is the uppermost part of the thighbone, or femur, and the socket is the acetabulum (Latin for vinegar dish). This arrangement allows motion in all planes:

Rotation: Internal, or toeing in, vs. external, or toeing out. Adduction: toward the midline, e.g., when crossing your legs in fifth position. Abduction: away from the midline, e.g., second position. Forward motion: flexion, as in tendu or battement to the front. When you sit, the hip is flexed. Backward motion is extension.

Can you improve your turnout?

Not much. The extent of this motion is limited by the alignment and architecture of the ball and socket joint itself. Still, the range of motion varies considerably from one person to another and from one hip to the other in the same individual.

The normal hip has roughly an equal amount of internal and external rotation. If you are born “pigeon-toed” you will have more turn-in than turnout. The opposite type of hip, “duck-footed,” is naturally turned out and perfect for ballet. How much your natural turnout can be improved by early training is controversial. The orthopedic literature suggests that turnout, or anteversion in medical parlance, is mostly determined by age 12. It can be slightly improved by early training and stretching, but not dramatically. The rotation you have at age 12–13 is pretty much what you are stuck with.

Turning out below the hip

The second component of turnout is the knee, or actually the tibia, or shinbone below the knee, which is normally rotated outward 10–15 degrees. This rotation has a fancy name. It is called external tibial torsion, and this also varies. Some dancers with good turnout in the hip can lose some of it below the knee, while others with mediocre rotation in the hip can gain it below.

The third component is the foot and ankle. But, as all well-trained dancers know, you should not get your turnout by twisting either your knee or your foot out and rolling in—the cardinal sin of ballet.

It is OK to “nudge” your hip to get all of the turnout that is present, but forcing it too hard can injure it. There is a cartilaginous rim that runs around the edge of the socket called the labrum (lip). When the rotation is pushed too far this lip can actually be torn loose from its attachment. The torn labrum can cause a lot of trouble and sometimes requires arthroscopic surgery to fix it. (More on this later.)

Special circumstances

Hypermobile dancers, whose joints are too loose, are especially prone to labral tears and damage to the joint. By forcing their turnout, they can actually slip the hip partly out of joint. That’s called subluxation. Hypermobility comes in various degrees from mild to severe— as in the Indian Rubber Man in the circus who can tie himself into knots, or contortionists. There is no cure for this, but hypermobile dancers need to become extra strong with physical therapy exercises to control their looseness. They also need to be very careful with their technique.

Acetabular dysplasia. Some dancers are born with a hip socket that is too shallow. They usually have a very good range of motion— sometimes too good. This type of hip is very prone to labral tears and early arthritis and should not be turned out at all. This condition can be picked up on a MRI study. Acetabular dysplasia is not common, but when it is present it is a relative contraindication to ballet or turning out because this can easily rotate the hip partly out of a socket that is already too shallow. These dancers should dance parallel to protect their hips.

Labral tears are characterized by sudden pains in the groin that often occur with certain motions like moving sideways, or develop√© √† la second. There is a specific test for labial tears during the physical exam: With the patient lying down on her back (supine), the affected hip is flexed first straight up toward the chest with the knee bent. This is usually not painful. But when the knee is brought up in the same motion but more toward the midline (adducted) it will cause pain in the hip if a labral tear is present. That’s “the flexion-adduction sign.” It is not 100 percent accurate, but is highly suggestive and is usually an indication for getting a special MRI. Some labial tears are not very painful, so a physician will just keep an eye on it over time. If it gets worse, the dancer may need arthroscopic surgery to fix the problem.

Dancers who turn out may be prone to arthritis of the hip later in life, but this is not known for sure because the condition often occurs even in non-dancers. Symptomatic arthritis is the usual indication for a hip replacement.

Remember that with turnout, like many things in dance, it is important to know your limitations and to work within them. “Forcing the envelope” can lead to injuries. Merde!

William G. Hamilton, MD is an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in New York City. He is the orthopedic consultant for the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the School of American Ballet, and the JKO School of Ballet at ABT. He specializes in foot and ankle injuries in dancers and athletes. He is past president of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hip-Hop History

Hip-hop dance refers to dance styles primarily danced to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. This includes a wide range of styles notably breaking, locking, and popping which were developed in the 1970s by Black and Latino Americans. What separates hip-hop dance from other forms of dance is that it is often freestyle (improvisational) in nature and hip-hop dancers frequently engage in battles—formal or informal freestyle dance competitions. Informal freestyle sessions and battles are usually performed in a cipher, "a circular dance space that forms naturally once the dancing begins."[1] These three elements—freestyling, battles, and ciphers—are key components of hip-hop dance.
More than 30 years old, hip-hop dance became widely known after the first professional breaking, locking, and popping crews formed in the 1970s. The most influential groups are the Rock Steady Crew, The Lockers, and the Electric Boogaloos who are responsible for the spread of breaking, locking, and popping respectively. Parallel with the evolution of hip-hop music, hip-hop dancing evolved from breaking and the funk styles into different forms: moves such as the "running man" and the "cabbage patch" hit the mainstream and became fad dances. The dance industry in particular responded with a studio based version of hip-hop—sometimes called new style— and jazz funk. These styles were developed by technically trained dancers who wanted to create choreography for hip-hop music from the hip-hop dances they saw being performed on the street. Because of this development, hip-hop dance is now practiced at both studios and outside spaces.
Internationally, hip-hop dance has had a particularly strong influence in France and South Korea. France is the birthplace of Tecktonik, a style of house dance from Paris that borrows heavily from popping and breaking. France is also the home of Juste Debout, an international hip-hop dance competition. South Korea is home to the international breaking competition R16 which is sponsored by the government and broadcast every year live on Korean television. The country consistently produces such skillful b-boys that the South Korean government has designated the Gamblerz and Rivers b-boy crews official ambassadors of Korean culture.[2]
To some, hip-hop dance may only be a form of entertainment or a hobby. To others it has become a lifestyle: a way to be active in physical fitness or competitive dance and a way to make a living by dancing professionally.

source: wikipedia

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A little more about Modern Dance.

Article found on

Modern Dance is an evolution from Classical Ballet. It breaks the rules of Classical Ballet and creates new ones of its own. It therefore has fewer restrictions, and can be seen as a fusion of many dances.

So, in one single Modern Contemporary Dance class, you may get to try out lots of different dances. You could find yourself dancing a routine that has elements of African dance, Tango, Salsa, Jazz, Ballet and so on. You name it, you’ll probably find it in a Modern Dance class.
In its sophistication it has developed many styles and techniques. The beauty of it is that it allows a freer dance, which can be initiated by music or by an internal theme or inspiration.

Often in a contemporary dance class, the teacher will work on self awareness. This will enable you to harmonize your mind and body, regardless of your age or dancing ability. It is suitable for anybody and everybody.

There are countless benefits...
It allows you to express yourself, to be aware of and use your body's movement capabilities.
It will improve flexibility and fitness levels, it will tone the body, improve co-ordination, and sharpen your musicality skills.
It can be intensely physical, enhancing strength and stamina. Or it can be lyrical and calm, inspiring suppleness and fluidity.
It can both relax and exhilarate you.
What more could you want?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Update on the Recital!

Students are currently working on their recital pieces! They are working so hard!! We cannot wait until they are finished learning their choreography!


Tips for Beginner Jazz Dancers

Written by a Yahoo! Contributor.

Jazz is one of most popular dance styles of today. It's fun, energetic and consists of fancy footwork, big leaps and quick turns. So as a dancer with 15 years of experience, here are some tips that every beginning jazz dancer should know.

1) Take A Ballet Class First It is important that beginning jazz dancers have a good sense of balance and grace before starting. The best way to achieve these things, is by having a strong background in ballet. Before learning jazz, I took ballet lessons for several years. So once I took jazz, I already had some of the basic skills and techniques needed to excel in class. So that is why I would suggest enrolling in a ballet class before starting or even taking the two dance forms simultaneously.

2) Jazz Clothing Is Important As a beginner jazz dancer, it is important that you wear the right clothing. Form-fitting tank tops, t-shirts or leotards are typical jazz clothes. As for pants, I would recommend wearing flared jazz pants, as tight pants will only restrict ankle movement. When it comes to picking buying jazz shoes, consult with your dance teacher for preferences or recommendations. Most importantly don't wear baggy clothes. As a beginning jazz dancer, you may be feeling a little self conscious and feel more comfortable in loose clothing. However, your body lines need to be visible, which cannot be achieved with baggy clothes.

3) Maintain a healthy lifestyleHaving a healthy lifestyle is important part of being a successful jazz dancer. Eating right and not drinking or smoking, will give you more energy and help your overall health. Jazz dancing is a wonderful form of exercise that will make you feel good and look good.

4) Practice Makes Perfect Another important tip that beginning jazz dancers need to know, is that practice makes perfect. The more I practice the jazz steps I learned in class, the better I got. So practice at home and before you know it will notice improvement.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

7 Highly Effective Habits In Ballet Training

By Dianne M. Buxton

A key area of dancing for females is pointe work, and a key area for males is jumping. In early training, regardless of age, there are 7 highly effective habits that will contribute to excellence in both these areas. This analysis can apply to other areas of dance in the same way also, I'm choosing this one for the sake of discussion.

***First, education as to specific physical attributes and shortcomings. Every dancer would like to have long and stretchy Achilles tendons, and flexible ankles. These 2 advantages provide the biggest movement between the bottom of a demi-plie and the take-off point of a releve or jump. One of the dancers in my class at the National Ballet School of Canada had a very shallow demi-plie. Yet, she had very flexible ankles and a high arch, and this gave her the thrust to jump very high.

***Second, technical education . Regardless of physical advantages, understanding of the ideal movements and resulting positions can be obtained from an educated teacher, books, and the many DVD's available to all through internet stores. There is no restriction on our access to information.

***Third, a teacher who not only has decent credentials, but who has the required habit of demanding correctness in class. This is a variable, and inexperienced teachers do not realize how often they are going to repeat the same old correction over the years of training, to the same students.... in a million different imaginative ways, and with appreciation for your own uniqueness too.

***Fourth, knowing that there is cross-training that will help you compensate for your physical shortcomings. If you are less flexible than you would like to be, there is Pilates, massage, or Yoga. If you are flexible but weak in some areas, Pilates, and weight training will help.

***Fifth, knowing where more details count - if your habit is curiosity, that's a huge asset. If it's not, adopt it. Studying anatomy and kinesiology is a plus. (I know you already have homework or a job, or family obligations, but hey, if you are serious about dance, all this is just more fun, right?)

***Sixth, coordinating your knowledge of your physiology, and how you might be compensating detrimentally to get the deepest demi-plie and best take-off that you can, and instead compensate more with cross-training and less with bad habits. It's only a life-long process, don't get discouraged.

***Seven, a truly habitual appreciation of your own uniqueness, talents, intelligence, and determination. There will always be an invitation to doubt yourself, envy others' real or imagined superiority, and waste time thinking negative thoughts. Proper rest and good nutrition have a lot to do with #7. Body and brain fatigue, and nutritional deficiencies are directly related to mood. Please be curious and get the information you need. These 7 highly effective habits are just the tip of the icebergs, but they are a great guide to go with until you develop your own uniqueness in training priorities. About the Author: Dianne M. Buxton is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada. She continued dance training at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and Toronto Dance Theatre. She taught at, and choreographed for The National Ballet School, York University, and George Brown College, in Canada, and taught at Harvard University in the U.S. recommends The Ballet Bible - a concise package of textual and visual education for a dance student.

Source: Permanent Link:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine's Day is just around the corner!!

Here at Avalon Dance we offer PERFECT Valentine's Day gift certificates!!
Classes we offer:
Belly Dancing
+ More!
Show your significant other a great time by taking one of our dance classes!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

10 Amazing Dance Facts

10. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest ballet class involved 989 participants in an event organized by Andrew Warth in Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, on August 24, 2008.

9. A prima ballerina can complete 32 fouette turns, while staying in the exact same spot on the floor. After performing the turns, the tip of her pointe shoe will be hot to the touch!

8. The seven movements of dance are: Bending, Gliding, Turning, Stretching, Jumping, Rising and Darting.

7. A Physiotherapist is a doctor who’s specialty is to treat dancer’s injuries.

6. All dancers have to take at least 2 to 3 years of ballet class or they must be at least 12 years of age before they may go en Pointe. This is because at a young age toe bones are still soft and the dancers could be badly injured.

5. Modern dance was developed in the 20th Century.

4. One tutu requires 60-90 hours of labor and over 100 yards of ruffle.

3. On May 24th, 1998, the greatest ever number of tap dancers gathered for a single routine at the Stuttgart City Square in Germany. Choreographed by Ray Lynch, the 6,952 dancers tapped away for 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

2. An hour of vigorous dancing (think quickstep, not waltz) can burn up to 500 to 700 calories depending on your height, weight and fitness level. And it's a lot more fun than trudging along on the treadmill.

1. A male dancer lifts about 1 1/2 tons of ballerinas, in performance only, during his career.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Year, New You, New Adult Class Schedule!

Tired of the same old routine on the treadmill, elliptical, and track? How about trying dance to burn off those extra calories?

We offer a great variety of Adult Dance Classes for a great start on your New Year's Resolution!

The schedule is as follows:
  • Mondays at 7:30pm- Belly Dancing
  • Tuesdays at 6:30pm- PIYO
  • Wednesdays at 6:30pm- Modern
  • Thursdays at 7:30pm- Zumba
  • Fridays at 6:30pm- Hip Hop

Below are a list of class descriptions:

  • Belly Dancing-a Middle Eastern dance in which the dancer makes sensuous movements of the hips and abdomen.
  • PIYO-the perfect blend of Pilates, Yoga, sports stretch, dance stretch, and athletics that will help you burn calories and build muscle!
  • Modern-a style of theatrical dancing that is not as restricted as classical ballet; movements are expressive of feelings.
  • Zumba-the only Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music, created by Grammy Award-winning producers, and contagious steps to form a "fitness-party" that is downright addictive.
  • Hip Hop-social or choreographed dance styles primarily danced to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Welcome Back Students!!

We would like to welcome all of our old and new students to this spring semester of dance!! We are super excited about this new semester and especially excited about the Spring Recital/ Performance.

We revealed the theme of this year's recital- A Night at the Oscars. It's going to be an AMAZING SHOW! We have already started preparing for it. All of the songs and costumes have been picked out. Come into the studio to see what your dancer's class song and costume is!

We are very happy to see so many new faces and we are looking forward to an amazing semester!

1st blog of 2011!!

Hello all :) and welcome to Avalon Dance's Blog!

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Try a dance class today, you will love it!