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Archive for Cyndi Marziani

The Studio, Inc., Interview with Amanda Fedor

Amanda Fedor, the Owner/Director/Instructor of The Studio, Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri, describes their dance school as a wholesome environment that focuses on technique and the love of dance as an art form, as well as helping to nurture great people, not just great dancers.

Amanda has been teaching dance in the St. Louis area for 15 years and taught 2 years in Los Angeles. Additionally, she has been studying dance for over 25 years. She played the part of ‘Toni,’ a lead orphan in Annie, and ‘Charlie’ in Oliver,” and has appeared in multiple television commercials. She was also a featured dancer in the movie, Solo. Amanda has studied dance in both Los Angeles and St. Louis. In addition to learning from her mother as a child, she received dance training from many master instructors including Ourania Simms, Lisa Nicholas, Gus Giordano, Van Porter, Lathaniel Cooper, Professor Robert L. Reed, Joe Tremaine, among many others. She also has trained at the prestigious “Performing Arts Center” in Los Angeles. Amanda truly takes care and patience with each and every student.

In Amanda’s opinion what separates her dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that they have a family atmosphere, and offer (more…)

Kent Boyd

Kent Boyd, a professional dancer and choreographer, describes himself as energetic and passionate about life. He will never say “no” to a group game or activity. Kent loves expressing himself in many different ways and making people feel comfortable is important to him. In his opinion, his cat is the best cuddle partner in the world, but he is a dog person. 

In Kent’s opinion what separates his teaching style from others is the fact that his Musical Theatre class is more of a commercial style dance but takes a step further into character development. He loves creating “a moment” before the dance and setting a loose structure at the beginning, middle, and end. Kent encourages students to fill it in with how they would actually react to the story in their own life, which is extremely enjoyable because he gets to watch different variations of his choreography. It’s like a bunch of mini movies. 

According to Kent, his proudest moment teaching dance is just the feeling he gets when he allows a space for kids to be weird and a space for himself to be weird. He feels a big responsibility to lead these kids in a genuine, authentic way; (more…)

Winter Dance Company Interview with Winter D. McCray

Winter D. McCray, Artistic Director of Winter Dance Company (WDC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, they provide quality and affordable dance instruction for students three years old to adult. Their goal is for each dancer to experience the elements of dance including creativity, performance quality, style, and musicality in a positive and fun-filled atmosphere. Their trained staff focuses on the overall improvement of the dancer through training, dance education, and performance opportunities.

Winter Dance Company instills positive self-esteem, motivation, discipline, and commitment. Students will have a positive influence within the community through participation and performance opportunities with non-profit and community-based programs and organizations. Whether a student is dancing for fun or recreation, or to enter dance on a professional level, Winter Dance Company is a great foundation and guide along the way.

Winter Dance Company is dedicated to bringing the fun and challenge of dancing to Baton Rouge and surrounding areas at an affordable cost. They offer private and group instruction in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, liturgical, mime, cheernastics, lyrical, and fitness. WDC also provide a place for dancers to utilize and showcase their skills through an annual dance recital, community programs events, productions, and performances. Additionally, WDC offers its students a variety of (more…)

TNT Spirit Explosion Cheer, Dance and Tumble Interview with Nikki Taylor-Guidroz

According to Nikki Taylor-Guidroz, CEO/Director and Coach of TNT Spirit Explosion Cheer, Dance and Tumble in Hammond, Louisiana, there organization is family based and was created to give all athletes an equal opportunity to showcase their skills, talents and abilities. They believe that no child should be left behind. TNT has a team available for all athletes and on the off chance that there is not a team available, they will create one so that everyone is placed according to their skill level. At TNT, they cheer, they dance, they twirl, and they tumble.

In Nikki’s opinion, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is their dedication to being a blessing to those who wish to participate but cannot afford to. Their commitment to making sure their athletes get the best training without charging extra. Their concerns include making sure their athletes make great grades in school before extracurricular activities.

Nikki’s proudest moments coaching occurred when they were 3 months into the dance world and won grand champion at a competition with all new dancers and also seeing all the athletes she trains tryout for cheer and dance at school and make the team for which they tried out.

The biggest mistakes (more…)

The Greater Boston School of Dance Interview with Kerrin Michaels

Kerrin Michaels is Owner and Director of the Greater Boston School of Dance (GBSD) in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio prides itself on is being a place for students that want to take their dancing to a new level. The staff is dedicated to making students stand out from the crowd. They are passionate about teaching proper technique, but even more passionate about good sportsmanship, kindness and while at competitions appreciation and support of other studios!

Having a strong musical theatre background, Kerrin knows how important it is for dancers to be “triple threats.” Every year, the dancers have to sing in at least one routine. This year they competed with a Musical Theatre Tap routine to “Anything Goes” where they had a lead singer and the team sang chorus. GBSD tries to push their dancers out of their comfort zone and do something that will make them better, stronger dancers in the long run.

Kerrin’s proudest moments as a coach occurred during their competitions this year. Not only did their team take home multiple first place trophies locally and nationally, but their studio was awarded “kindness” and “backstage awards” at several competitions this season. It was those awards that they celebrated the most. (more…)

Starstruck Dance Academy Interview with Emily Suing

According to Emily Suing, the owner and director of Starstruck Dance Academy, in Lincoln, Nebraska, their studio mission statement is “Dance should be about bringing out the best in every dancer, having fun, and helping dancers feel good about themselves.” They want their dancers to feel empowered in a positive learning environment.

In Emily’s opinion, what separates her dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that they have a staff that genuinely cares about their dancers. They like to keep their class sizes small for personal attention. Their classes are for all ages, two years old to adult, and they have something for everyone – from the recreational dancer to the competitive dancer.

Emily loves watching her dancers grow in their dance skills and seeing those moments when things click and they finally get something hard they have been working on. She also loves when her dancers become her assistant teachers and then later begin teaching for her. That is very rewarding for me.

Emily believes that dance is a sport and an art where you are always learning. She thinks it is important to remember to continue working hard even if you think a class is “too easy.” There is always (more…)

Leigh Purtill Ballet Interview with Leigh Purtill

Leigh Purtill of Leigh Purtill Ballet in the Pasadena/Los Angeles, California, area teaches beginner through advance ballet, including pointe. In Leigh’s words, she puts her dancers on stage! They perform at least twice a year – a spring show and Nutcracker.

She also has an amateur ballet company, Leigh Purtill Ballet Company, which is for adults only. In the past, the Company has performed small sections of Leigh’s original ballet, Sweet Sorrow, at venues such as the popular horror convention, Scare LA, in Pasadena and at the ARTNight Pasadena. They will be producing the full length version in October as the first full ballet of their repertory.

Leigh is always looking for performance opportunities for her students so they can experience dancing on a stage in front of an audience, learn choreography and costume design, and in some cases, fulfill lifelong dreams. She loves hearing from students that their dreams have come true when they finish a Nutcracker or other story ballet she has produced.

Leigh’s proudest moments as a teacher occur when she sees beginner students who have never performed in front of an audience or on a stage, who have never played a character or danced choreography, really blossom on stage. Then (more…)

How To Sew On Buttons


We are now going to show you how to sew buttons onto a garment. It is a really great skill to learn. It can create a dramatic impact and completely change the look of a costume. Plus you never know when you are going to need to sew on a button that has fallen off.

Supplies:

  1. Dance garment
    Buttons of your choice
    Thread to match garment
    Needles
    Scissors
    Tailor’s chalk or a bar of soap

Directions:

Choosing Your Materials
There are two types of buttons from which to choose. There are buttons with a loop, or a shank, in the back and then there are buttons that have a single row of two holes in the button (we will call them “singles”) or a double row of two holes in the button (we will call them “doubles”). With the single row of two holes, you would obviously just sew in one button hole in the button and come out the other hole. With the single row of holes in the button, you could place the row of holes in the button in a horizontal direction or a vertical direction. It is best to have the row of holes in the button in the same direction as the buttonholes. For the (more…)

How To Sew On A Applique


Sewing appliqués on garments is very easy to do and we are going to show you how. For our demonstration, we will use a top. However, you could also sew an appliqué on a skirt, dress, shorts or briefs. When you are done sewing the appliqué to your garment, you will be astonished at how simple it is and how elegant that garment looks.

Supplies:

  1. Dance garment
  2. Thread to match appliqué
  3. Straight Pins
  4. Safety Pins
  5. Needle
  6. Scissors

Directions:

Choosing Your Materials

When you choose an appliqué, your first consideration is the size of the appliqué that you will need. You will also need to consider the design of the garment and the design of the appliqué. You need to choose an appliqué that is conducive to the look you are trying to achieve.

For our demonstration, we are going to sew appliqués a bra. The key to sewing appliqués on a bra is to open the bra up so that it is laying flat on the table.

When sewing an appliqué onto a bra, it is important to consider how the bra fits. If the top of the bra has any gaps in the fit, this is where you can correct them. There are two ways to (more…)

How To Sew Down Straps on A Top


In this lesson, I am going to show you how to take a halter bra and sew down the straps. You can use it in other ways also but this is one way to take a halter bra that you have bought from us or somewhere else and sew the straps down in the back rather than just tying around the neck. You can also use this technique to just sew off the top so that you do not have straps hanging down after it is tied.

What I have done is pinned it while the girl is wearing it, I have pinned the straps to the back of the bra where the straps will be sewn down. You will want to use safety pins so that the pins will not come out or stick the girl when she takes it off. Once it has been pinned and the girl has taken it off, fold the bra in half to find the center back. Then check to make sure that the straps are both an equal distance from that center back. That way you can ensure that the straps are not too far to the left or the right. Now, since you (more…)