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Dance Nutrition LLC Interview with Emily C. Harrison

Seven years ago, Emily C. Harrison, MS, RD, LD started the Centre for Dance Nutrition at Atlanta Ballet and now runs Dancer Nutrition LLC: Nutrition for Great Performances. Emily is a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition, health, and meal planning for dancers.  She is a former professional dancer herself and has been a dance teacher for 22 years.  In addition to her dancing experience, she has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in nutrition.

It is Emily’s belief that the name “Nutrition for Great Performances” really sums up the core work and values that she has as a dietitian and dancer. She believes that good nutrition can make a tremendous difference in performance, muscle strength, balance, fatigue, and injury rates. She also believes that working with a registered dietitian who personally understands the demands of these unique performing athletes is the first step in improving performance, achieving a strong healthy weight, and reducing injuries.

In Emily’s opinion, the dance world is a competitive environment in which dancers are expected to perform at high levels of physical fitness and choreographic demands continue to increase as this art form becomes progressively more demanding. She believes that there is too much misinformation out there about nutrition (more…)

Candance Academy with Candace Szarka

Candace Szarka, the Owner and Director of Candance Academy in Mantua, Ohio, says her studio strives to put family first, to be positive role models, to have excellence, create leaders, exceed expectations, teach life lessons while giving dance lessons, give back to their community and have a “with it – dream it – do it” attitude.

In Candace’s opinion, they stand out from other dance studio because of their affiliation with More Than Just Great Dancing. At Candance Academy, they teach their kids life lessons through dance and make them not only a great dancer but also a great child, teen, and adult.

Candace’s proudest moment teaching cannot really be summed up to one specific event. However, she says she is the proudest when she sees students return year after year and make those improvements each year, set goals for themselves as a single student or a group and then watch them succeed at their goals.

The biggest mistakes she sees dancers make is not fully applying themselves. Sometimes a student does not do their best because maybe they think they are not as good as another student. Being a dancer goes above and beyond just having great technique or winning multiple awards. Being (more…)

Dance Company Ocala Interview with Brooke Loftis

According to Brooke Loftis, Owner and Artistic Director of The Dance Company of Ocala (TDC) in the heart of Ocala, Florida, they offer a comprehensive dance education for dancers 2 years old through adulthood. They have a recreational track as well as a pre-professional track for dancers to ensure they are receiving a dance education based on their individualized goals. Their staff is amazing! Their instructors have decades of collective experience as well as certifications with DEA, FDEO, ABT and advanced degrees in dance. Their faculty continually seeks out training to remain on the cutting edge of the new trends in the dance industry. They have a competition team which travels throughout the state of Florida as well as two recitals each dance year: a Christmas Show and a June Showcase. heir studio is a close-knit studio with a mission to meet the learning needs of each dancer they serve while ensuring age appropriate and progressive instruction in the art of dance.

Brooke truly believes what sets their studio apart from other studios in their area is their top-notch faculty. Their instructors have years of experience – all of them. Many studios in their area have high school students and college students (more…)

Bella Rosa Dance Academy Interview with Cydney Byron

The Bella Rosa Dance Academy in Beavercreek, Ohio, is co-owned by daughter and mother, Cydney Byron and Debbie Byron. According to Cydney, the Bella Rosa Dance Academy strives to provide dancers with a strong technical foundation and values the importance in all styles of dance.  They believe in teaching discipline, responsibility, and dance as a way of life.  Bella Rosa Dance Academy is committed to creating an atmosphere where the passion for dance is contagious and continuous. They enjoy developing the dancer as an artist by helping to build their confidence and growth from the inside out.

At Bella Rosa, they offer an array of training opportunities to students with a variety of commitment levels – Recreational, Performance, Competition, and Pre Pro.  Every dancer, starting as young as age 3, has the opportunity to learn proper technique in a structured, yet fun environment. Bella Rosa focuses on providing a well-rounded dance education, instilling a long lasting passion for the arts, and giving all of their dancers a multitude of opportunities to develop into the best dancer they can be.  They also provide their community with a professional, yet welcoming environment that encourages dancers to develop strong work ethic and positive peer support.

Cydney (more…)

New Ballet Ensemble and School Interview with Katie Smythe

Founded by Katie Smythe in 2001, New Ballet Ensemble and School (NBE) in Memphis, Tennessee, is a Community School of the Arts that provides a professional standard of dance training to children regardless of their ability to pay.  Katie, who is also their Artistic Director and CEO, tells us their instruction is based in classical ballet, but includes exploration and training in other cultural forms of dance. At their studio and in thriving after-school programs, they work with community partners to create human environments where children can learn and grow their unique talents.

In Katie’s opinion, their dance studio stands out from other dance studios because they welcome both dancers and “could be” dancers from throughout their community and work to create a conversation across cultures through dance. This gives students the ability to marry the values of their communities and their street technique with the formal training in classical ballet and other styles. When they combine ballet with hip hop, Memphis Jookin’, jazz, flamenco and African styles, amazing new dances – and dancers – come to life!

One of Katie’s proudest moments was when they were commissioned by the Kennedy Center and National Symphony Orchestra in 2014 to create a new dance to (more…)

Storytellers Dance Academy Interview with Robert Brower

Robert Brower, Owner and Director, describes Storytellers Dance Academy LLC (SDA) in Stallings, North Carolina, as a safe, fun place for all kinds of dancers to come and enjoy themselves. With every single class, they are always trying to create a fun environment for the dancers, because they feel that this truly inspires the dancers to keep pushing further. At the end of the day, SDA believes that dance should be a fun experience for the entire family. They also focus on living up to their name and telling stories with each dance they perform. They never want the audience to know quite what to expect the next time they see them out on the stage.

Robert believes their studio stands out from others because their main focus is not only on encouraging their dancers to grow, but also on creating a fun environment for both their dancers and their families. From every competition to every recital, they want to create the best possible experience for what they call their entire SDA family. They built their studio around the thought that, years down the road, their dancers will not remember exactly which trophies they won or titles they received, but they will (more…)

Fusion Dance Force Interview with Nancy Preiser

dance performanceNancy Preiser, Office Manager, describes Fusion Dance Force in Holbrook, New York, as a pre-professional dance studio for dancers 2 to 19 years of age. They offer classes in every style of dance from a recreational level to competitive teams. Their teachers are all professionals in the industry, regularly traveling across the country for master classes and setting of choreography. Their studio is a family friendly environment that creates a positive learning atmosphere for all dancers involved.

She believes that what separates their studio from others is the level of teaching offered in their studio. Their weekly faculty includes, Danny Tidwell, Destini Rogers and Billy Larson as well as their directors, Kyle Preiser and Amanda Anderson. All of their dancers are trained as a professional would be. Their students are given a core foundation based around respect and hard work while also maintaining the highest level of dance training there is.

One of her proudest moments is actually something they experience on an event to event basis. Their studio is fairly new (going into their 4th year currently) so they constantly have a bunch of new kids coming in from all different places to form this team. However, you would never know it. (more…)

Interview with Miranda Radcliff

miranda radcliffMiranda Radcliff is a 16-year old dancer and student who absolutely loves to learn new things and dance whether it be in class, for her school dance team, by herself or competitively with her dance company.  She began dancing when her mom started her in a tot-combo class at the age of four. 

She says that she has had many “happiest” moments related to dance but one of her highlights was auditioning for Joffrey Ballet School for her very first time when she was 12. She was not only accepted to attend both the Los Angeles and New York City summer programs but also won it on a scholarship. It was that summer that she also connected with a Joffery Teacher, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, winner of So You Think You Can Dance and founder of I Am Force (IAF) dance. Miranda has since been able to work with Chehon on some solo choreography and has been lucky enough to be a part of his IAF dance team. These experiences combined have changed her as a dancer and a person. It was these two events that made her realize that a small town girl could have a future in dance, too. 

miranda radcliffMiranda has a (more…)

Alma Dance School Interview with Vilma Machin

Vilma MachinAlma Dance School (ADS) in Wheaton, Illinois, is a Cuban method professional ballet training facility for young talents interested in building a strong foundation in ballet and pursuing a career in dance. ADS is owned by, and under the direction of, two Cuban principal dancers and award-winning coaches: Guillermo Leyva and Vilma Machin. Both are former professional dancers and experienced teachers who have coached many students. Under the direction of Guillermo and Vilma, students have entered the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix Competition, winning both New York finals and Midwest regionals. Alma Dance School focuses on developing dancers under the very technical, elegant and powerful Cuban method of ballet. This method allows young students to increase their self-discipline, attention, strength, flexibility and agility, not only in ballet, but in other forms of dance as well. At ADS, they have four ballet divisions that offer classes, ranging from basic ballet technique for new dancers to pre-professional classes designed for students needing the tools and techniques to pursue a career in dance. The skills taught at Alma Dance School could easily lead to a career as a professional dancer or even acceptance into a variety of college programs. The Children’s Division is coordinated (more…)

Scoil Rince Daryl Rose Interview with Daryl Goldes

Scoil Rince Daryl Rose (SRDR) is an up and coming Irish dance school with classes in Simi Valley and now in Santa Clarita, California. [Scoil, pronounced “skull” means school and Rince, pronounced “ring-kah,“ means dance.] SCRD is dedicated to preserving Irish culture through dancing. While many people are familiar with shows like Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, they are not aware of the fact that they can learn to perform that form of dance right in Simi Valley or Santa Clarita in California. Students who come through their doors learn teamwork, self-esteem, work ethic, and have a greater appreciation for Irish dancing. According to Daryl Goldes, TCRG, the owner and director, “[Y]ou don’t have to be Irish to do Irish dancing!”

The acronym TCRG ablack&whitefter Daryl’s name is the abbreviation for the Gaelic Teagascoir Choimisiuin le Rinci Gaelacha.  In order for a teacher to be qualified to place “T.C.R.G.” behind their name, they must have passed their Irish dance teacher’s examination, been certified and recognized by An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha. The acronym is usually used because most people outside of Ireland have never learned how to properly pronounce the Gaelic way of saying “certified Irish dance teacher.”

The uniqueness of Irish (more…)