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Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance Interview with Dana McGuire

Team PhotoPriscilla and Dana’s School of Dance in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area, is a place to learn, grow and have fun. They provide dance instruction for dancers of all ages and abilities. According to Dana McGuire, Co-Owner of Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance, dancing and owning their own studio runs in the family especially, when you consider that Priscilla is Dana’s mom.

Dana believes that every studio is unique in its own way. She believes that P and D has an unbelievable staff.  They all love what they do, and truly want what is best for each dancer.  In addition, their dancers are very well-rounded.  One of the most common (and rewarding) compliments they get from judges is how versatile their dancers are. They excel in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater, contemporary, lyrical, and hip hop.

Since 1969, Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance has provided professional dance instruction in both recreational and competitive classes in tap, ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz and hip hop for children ages 3 and up.

They provide their dance classes in two formats – Combination Classes and Technique Young Girlclasses. All combination classes (i.e., ballet/tap/jazz) perform a routine in P and D’s annual recital. P and D’s specialized technique classes are (more…)

Tooele Valley Academy of Dance Interview with Sarah Westhora

At Tooele High SchoolTooele Valley Academy of Dance in Tooele, Utah, is 100% ballet! Established in 2009 as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, they are able to reach their mission and goals through both private and public support. Both the City of Tooele and the State of Utah have funded their programs throughout these last few years. Additionally, individuals and corporations have donated to their cause. This enables them to produce high caliber performances and gives them the opportunity to offer scholarships to those in need. They are run by a board of directors. Sarah Westhora, the Ballet Director, sits as the Vice President on the board.

Their Academy produces two full-length ballets per year. She has personally directed Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. They also created their own ballet in 2012 based off Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For each ballet they produce, they cast approximately 200 roles. They offer open auditions for the solo and demi-solo roles.

Tooele Valley also auditions a “company” of dancers for the season. These company members are encouraged to attend as many classes as they are able throughout the year and are given service and team building opportunities. They dance in every production as the corps de (more…)

Elite Dance Studio Interview with Dyan Lopez-Fiamengo

Elite Dance StudioDynamic, inspirational, motivational, impressive, nurturing, educational, technical, family feel, inviting, quaint, one on one training, personable, and energetic feel – that is how Elite Dance Studio Rolling Hills Estates, California is described.

Their instructors have worked with top industry professionals and artists! They bring a fresh perspective and top technique to every student; Whether it is the student’s first dance class or they are a seasoned young professional, everyone receives an elite education in dance and movement.

According to Dyan Lopez-Fiamengo,  Owner and Director, they are a hands-on studio. They use muscle memory techniques, resistance training, core training, and have a strong technical foundation in all of their training.  They offer instruction in a small class setting focusing on quality, not quantity, getting the maximum results in a short period of time. Dancers come to us with little or no training and in one year they are competing against the top studios in the State beating most of them.

Dyan has several proud moments like watching her students dance on Broadway, dance and choreograph for Britney Spears, Prince, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Rockettes, start their own dance teams at the local high schools, choreograph for Dancing With the Stars, Hough brother Sister team, etc. But (more…)

Colorado Conservatory of Dance Interview with Julia Wilkinson Manley

Group PhotoAccording to Julia Wilkinson Manley, CEO & Artistic Director, Colorado Conservatory of Dance (CCD) in Broomfield, Colorado, believes in a better life through dance. Colorado Conservatory of Dance serves a broad spectrum of students every year and is committed to every student regardless of age, ability, aspiration, or socio-economic status. CCD students regularly win top honors at area ballet competitions and gain entry into some of the nation’s most respected college dance programs and summer dance programs. CCD provides its students with high-quality performance experiences that include a year-end Gala performance and CCD’s annual production of The Nutcracker, which brings students together with professional dancers. The school’s Student Company gives upper level students a pre-professional company experience that includes community education performances and culminates in an annual production at the end of each school year. Additionally, CCD provides a summer dance program, which attracts students from across the nation. Additionally, CCD is a non-profit dance education organization.

The Colorado Conservatory of Dance provides the highest quality dance education in both contemporary and contemporary styles.  CCD uses dance to foster community, create positive influence and inspire the individual.

They serve more than 400 students per year and are committed to every student regardless of (more…)

July Dancer of the Month

Jamaica beachOur Dancer of the Month for the month of July is Celinne Lyons. Celinne is 17 years old and a senior in high school on Long Island, New York. Over the next few months, Celinne will be making a decision on where she will be headed after graduation. Obviously, this is a really big decision and will take a lot of thought. Celinne can be funny at times, a good friend and a good listener. She cares a lot about the people in her life and her family. She loves to travel and draw. Art is something she loves, too.

Celinne’s mom always wanted her to be an Irish dancer so she put Celine in Irish dance classes at the age of 3 1/2. Irish dancing is all she has ever known. It became her life, her passion and gave her a great base for many life skills.

According to Celinne, her proudest moment as a dancer occurred when she placed fourth 16th Bdayplace out of 78 girls at oireachtas in a traditional set competition.

Celinne also loves performing during St. Patrick’s Day (their March madness). She loves going to veterans’ homes, parades and all kinds of shows to show off her love of Irish (more…)

ProDance Academy Interview with Katrina Prodan

kidsKatrina Prodan, co-owner of ProDance in Linwood, New Jersey, describes their studio as New, Innovative with a strong emphasis on ballet technique.

In Katrina’s opinion what separates them from other dance studios is their true love for dance. It is more than just a business for them. It is about giving their students the opportunity to learn the art form and passing on their passion for the sport.

Their proudest moment was in their third year at their annual recital. One of their parents captured the moment of the entire company on stage. Watching from the wings, they had not realized how they had grown as a studio and succeeded in passing on their passion for dance to so many young students.

One of the biggest mistakes they see dancers make is focusing on tricks instead of basic technique and movement quality.  Dancers need to realize their own individual strengths and strive to be their very best – not everyone else’s best. Make sure you learn at your own pace and remember that ballet is the base of all dance forms.

Their goals for this year are to expand their business, add more styles of dance to their curriculum, and more master classes for their (more…)

Divas of Olive Branch Interview with Neva McGruder

Neva and kids

“Divine Inspired Victorious and Annointed! That is the sheer essence of a DIVA!” The Divas of Olive Branch is an award winning dance team from Mississippi that is Creative, Transformative, and Inspiring. They take a lot of time to make sure that what they present each season is entertaining for all different ages. They pride themselves in knowing how to put on a show! People wait to see what they are bringing to the stage each season. Mario Shaw, the Head Choreographer, has been part of the success and achievements of The Divas together with Neva McGruder. They have been together for a total of 12 years.

Neva McGruder, better known as “Neva The Diva,” is the Owner, Artistic Director, and Head Coach for the Divas of Olive Branch and Tate County Teams. The Divas recently expanded their team from Southhaven, Mississippi, to include Cold Water Mississippi and they are very new. Neva started as a result of the surviving breast cancer. She is a 10 years Survivor!

Neva believes that what separates her dance team from the rest is their ability to be authentic and creative and that they are able to show strong leadership while on the floor. Their choreography is trend setting and they have a great time performing it!

Neva’s proudest moments as (more…)

How to Add a Ruched Piece to A Sports Bra

Do you have an old sports bra that you want to spice up? Then, this might be the video for you. I’m going to teach you how to take a top you already have and add some mesh on it to giving it a different, unique look so you can get two tones. You can use the same color, or any other fabric besides lace. Let’s begin!

Supplies:

  1. Scissors
  2. Needle
  3. Thread
  4. Sports Bra
  5. Fabric
  6. Marker

Directions:

  1. Pin Fabric Over Top and Trace

The fabric that you will use to trace is not the actual fabric you are going to use for finished piece. You can use old fabric for this part. I will be using a piece of an old shirt in this video. I will begin by placing the fabric over the top, pinning it down and tracing around one side of the entire bra. This will be the side where you will ruche the final material.

  1. Create the Pattern

Now that you have traced the sports bra, you can remove the fabric from the person or mannequin. Cut out the shape from the fabric. You don’t have to cut right on the line, it’s better give it a seam allowance during this step. (more…)

Intempo Dance Interview with Rocio Braggiato

Team PhotoIntempo Dance in Katy (West Houston area), Texas, offfers dance styles like Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acrobatics, Musical Theatre and more. When Rocio Braggiato, Owner and Artistic Director, opened the studio about 4 years ago they wanted it to not only be a legacy, but be a family business and for their customers to not only feel at home but to feel like part of the family. They want their students to enjoy coming to dance class every day no matter what kind of dance it is.

Continuing a prestigious legacy that started in 1963 at the “Estudio de Danza Paloma Bernal” in Mexico City, Intempo Dance is proud to bring fine dance instruction to the West Houston/Katy area. The founders of Intempo have been involved in the Ballet and Dance Arts world for over 40 years with literally thousands of students. Their school is based on and accredited by the world renown Royal Academy of Dance located in London, England . They offer dance classes of all levels from classes for beginners to classes that prepare dancers for professional careers. At Intempo Dance their goal is to help students achieve their goals in dance and to give them the self-confidence to become (more…)

How to Make a Pattern For an A-Line Maxi Skirt


In this video, I’m going to show you how to make an A-line skirt pattern. It’s very simple to do. This one we are going to do in two pieces, and in later videos I will show you other versions.  An A-line is more fitted around the hip or waist depending where you want to wear it and flairs out like an A. When you make your pattern you can have a nice wide line or bring it in to have it more tapered. It just depends on the style you are going for. I like to use a patterned paper when creating the pattern, but you can always use an old sheet laying around your house. This is one of my favorite skirts to wear, it looks both short or long depending on your preference. I can’t wait to share the guide with you so you can soon know how to make your own A-Line Maxi Skirt too!

Supplies:

  1. Measuring Tape
  2. Scissors
  3. Sharpie
  4. Ruler
  5. Pattern Paper of Old Sheet

Directions:

  1. Take Measurements

The first thing that you want to do is find the measurement for your waist or your hip, wherever the line is that you want to the skirt to begin at. (more…)