This list is meant to highlight some of the awesome college dance programs throughout the United States and in no way is meant to be a comprehensive list. We here at BDancewear.com think that if you are a dance program teaching people to dance you are doing something amazing and deserve recognition! This is a small list of some of the dance programs that we think are going above and beyond. However if your program isn’t on this list and you think it should be feel free to leave a comment or email Brittany@BDancewear.com and we would love to write an article about your dance program.
Initially, I believed that all dance blogs were pretty much the same. What I found was that although they have things in common, the majority are very different in why they were created, what their mission is and their format.
- Dance Advantage
Dance Advantage was started in 2008 by Nichelle Suzanne. Nichelle began dance lessons at a local studio and “fell almost instantly in love” with dance. In time, she began to feel that she wanted to share so much more than just technique and training with her students. Armed with her BA in dance, 17 years experience as a dance instructor and her desire to share so much more than technique and training with her students. She wished to share her knowledge of dance history, choreography, dance artists, kinesiology/anatomy and even life lessons she had learned through dance. But, unfortunately, she found she just didn’t have the time to do that during her classes. She then decided to look online for resources for her students. Regrettably, little was found in the way of quality resources. In 2008, as a new mother she discovered blogging and believed that may be her answer. As a result, Dance Advantage was born. According to Nichelle, Dance Advantage is a “work in progress.” Her goal is to increase the amount and caliber of the content and to reach out to dance students, teachers and parents. She wants a place where they can connect and share their experiences, that provides inspiration, motivation and sparks new ideas. She considers herself a participant rather than an authority.
- 4 Dancers
Billed as a blog for dancers, dance teachers and others interested in dance, 4 Dancers started out as an experiment. Catherine was a full time writer on another blog and wanted to learn more about the “behind the scenes” of a blog – creating pages, formatting posts, adding photographs, etc. Catherine has a ballet background so it made sense to start a “little dance blog” on which she could practice. Surprisingly, the “little dance blog” began to get a foothold. She was surprised to see that people were reading her posts. Not only was the traffic steady, it was increasing each month. In no time her “training ground post” became a “real” post with followers, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. Over time she found specialists she wanted to contribute to her blog and her list of contributors has grown. She now has specialists of all kinds contributing on a regular basis – i.e., a dance photographer, a dance medicine specialist, a conductor and many others in the dance world. When she started this blog in late 2009, she had no way of knowing how it would transform her life. 4 Dancers went from being a small side project to becoming her main focus. Catherine is proud to serve the dance community providing information about auditions, careers in dance, dance wellness, and more.
- Setting the Barre
Setting the Barre is a blog that chronicles Kirsten’s life as a professional ballet dancer (plus other mischief she gets involved in along the way.). She describes herself as a “Professional ballet dancer, amateur writer, voracious traveler and avid tea drinker.” She describes her blogs as the written rambling of her conscience as she attempts to chronicle her adventures, both onstage and off. Kirsten offers to the readers, “From the tights and tiaras to the blisters and bunions…read, explore and enjoy.” In the opinion of this writer, this blog is different from most of the other dance blogs that I have read because it is centered around the life of a professional ballerina and rather than being informative to dancers, teachers, and others interested in dance. This blog seems to be one more for entertainment purposes than educational purposes. Although, Kisten does answer questions and gives some advice. Even the more serious topics, such as Injuries and Injury Prevention is very general in nature. Nevertheless, it has many followers that really enjoy the posts.
- Beautiful Girl in the Ballroom
This is another blog that consists mostly of following someone’s journey as she progresses through the world of dance. However, this time it is Ballroom Dancing. The subject of the blog, Stephanie, is an overweight dancer who receives the byproduct of dancing – losing weight. Stephanie started dancing in the typical fashion when at the age of five her mother enrolled her at the local studio. There were the typical recitals with the typical family pictures. Sometime later, she “discovered” was that her body was bigger than the other girls. She didn’t learn much about technique, but “danced my way through junior high and high school.” Realizing that she did not have the traditional dancer’s body and that she was not good enough to be a professional, she gave up dancing – temporarily. Twelve years after her last dance lesson, she saw ballroom lessons given at her gym and thought “Why not?” She needed to lose weight and thought it had to be better than the dreaded gym workout. A few lessons later, she was hooked. She worked her way up to dancing in heels, dancing 4 lessons a week, and even doing a competition – all at over 250 pounds. She was really enjoying herself – until her teacher disappeared. After a break, she recently returned to dancing and loves it. She has lost 40 pounds and has had fun doing it! This blog is entertaining and inspiring at the same time.
- Dancing Branflakes
Tiffany Kadani, the creator of this blog, is an alumnus of Brigham Young University where she majored in dance and is presently an instructor at the School of Washington Ballet. Tiffany is a dancer and dance instructor who loves to write, travel, photograph, eat, cook, run, and read. Although the basic purpose of Dancing Branflakes is to promote healthy body image, it also has many posts on dancing, dinner parties, recipes and her photography. Glamour appreciates the fact that his blog is mainly about body image and has featured it on Glamour.com. Due to the response that this blog has received, Tiffany was a speaker at the 2012 Dance/USA Conference about blogging in the dance world. As far as her body issues, Tiffany has really grown. Two years ago, she would not have allowed anyone to take her picture while wearing glasses but now one of her favorite pictures shows her wearing glasses. She considers that progress. It’s been cathartic for her to talk and to blog about her body issues and believes this blog has helped her sort through her feelings. She says she will always encourage people to have a healthy body image, even if she struggles with hers.
- Inside Ballet Technique
Inside Ballet Technique is geared for both teachers and dancers. Teachers will find, and like, lots of ballet combinations, Ballet combinations (Barre Combos and Center Combos), posts about teaching different levels of class, information about how to make ballet combinations fun and how to construct them. Dancers will find, and like, information on improving your technique; how to think about eight and managing pain; find out 10 ways to make performance butterflies work for you; interviews with professional dancers. Inside Ballet Technique was created by Tammy Rhoades. After spending most of her life in the Midwest (Indiana and Kentucky), she moved to North Carolina in 2000. While in Kentucky. She danced with the Lexington Ballet and opened and managed a dancewear store called Dance Essentials, Inc. Although after 10 years Tammy sold the store, she found it to be a neat experience. Her “day” job is unrelated to dance. Due to physical problems, she has been unable to teach but she is hopeful that with continued medical care she will be able to teach again. Until then, she has this website where she can stay involved in dance by offering combinations that she used when she was teaching. Knowing that she is helping other dancers and teachers is how she can stay connected to her passion, which will always be ballet.
- My Son Can Dance
The creator of this blog, Nina Amir, is a journalist and author who hopes to write a book meant to encourage young boys (age 10-17) who dream of becoming professional dancers. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle her struggles and what she has learned from her experiences with her son in the hope that she can help other parents with young boys who want to dance. Her son, Julian, has been dancing since he was three years old. At 14, he spent six to seven days a week in the dance studio. Julian’s senior year in high school, he moved to New York City to attend the School of American Ballet. From there, he went on to live his dream and is now a corps member at SemperOper Ballett in Dresden German. Early on in Julian’s career, Nina realized how difficult it was for young male dancers. In an effort to help young male dancers, she interviews some of the top male dancers and asks for their advice, their worst experiences and their tips for surviving the tough early years. Her goal is to give them the strength, inspiration and tools to do so.
- Ballet Strength
The blog Ballet Skills has moved! Now you can get all of their helpful free blog tips as well as their products that offer solutions to the most common ballet problems in one place – Ballet Strength! They will still check back at Ballet Skills but their most recent and up to date blog posts and products will be posted to our their blog at http://www.balletstrength.com. In addition to the tips and information provided on the blog, Ballet Strength promotes a stronger body through their exercise DVDs, online videos, online training programs, digital books and online coaching. In addition to being a former professional ballet dancer, Nikol Klein (the creator of this blog) is an Author, Mentor, Certified Personal Trainer, and Nutrition Specialist whose Ballet Strength method has reached dancers from all over the world. Her unique experience as a fitness expert and as a professional dancer helps to create the perfect programs for dancers. Ms. Klein’s professional career began in 1999 where she performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for two years and another year with Ballet Austin. Following a year long injury rehabilitation hiatus, Ms. Klein joined Ballet Oklahoma (currently Oklahoma City Ballet).
- Dance Anywhere
This is definitely not your typical blog. Dance Anywhere is the name of both the group that promotes the yearly event and the blog. Dance Anywhere, the group, encourages people all over the world to gather together and dance at a specific date and specific time. This group picks a specific day of the year and specific time, and then publishes that information online encouraging everyone to hold a dance event, large or small, on that date and time. Then people write articles about their event and post it on the blog. This year it was on March 27th at noon and events occurred on 7 continents, in 66 countries and in more than 714 participated. It is really cool to know that thousands and thousands of people are dancing at the same time. Maybe next time you and I can be involved. Check the site periodically to find the date and time for the next Dance Anywhere.
- Art Intercepts
Art Intercepts is a blog and online resource for dancers, teachers, and dance enthusiasts. Initially, Lauren Warneke’s goal in starting this site was geared around filling the gap between the dance community and the scientific community. As a graduate student in Kinesiology, Lauren found dancers don’t understand the scientific research that is being done for the field and scientists don’t always understand the needs of the community. But, it is more than a dance blog. It is a place that creates opportunities to engage the dance community and its audience in discussion and research to better the field. They actively promote the use of evidence-based practices and tangible discussion online and off to improve artistry, dance education, and the dancer’s career. As dance evolves, so do the demands placed on dancers. Former professional dancer, trainer, and doctoral student Lauren Warnecke uses scientifically supported methods to train dancers as the athletes they are. By doing so, she and her co-workers in the scientific community hope to improve performance, reduce the rate and severity of injury, decrease time away from work, reduce pain, and decrease the amount of pressure and stress that revolving around injury.
- Married to the Dance
The writer of Married to the Dance is “a Flamenco novice who tries to stay in compἀs” – a lady in Los Angeles who is currently committed to flamenco and wedded to no one — hence, married to the dance. The purpose of this blog is so that she can share her passion with everyone. She has been studying flamenco dance with Rina Orellana since September 2008 and has been writing about it since April 2010. She uses this space to ramble on and on about flamenco so that her friends and family are no longer forced to listen to her talk about it incessantly. Now they can come to this site and read all about it only if they want to know more and not as a captive audience. Good idea, right?
- Adult Ballerina Project
Like many other little girls, the creator of this blog had a dream about being a ballerina and took ballet classes as a little girl for about three years before moving on to soccer, tee-ball, gymnastics, swimming, etc. You name it, she probably tried it as a little kid. About two years ago, after trying out one of their hip hop classes, she decided to take a ballet class randomly at Philly Dance Fitness. To her surprise, I fell in love with ballet. This site details with her journey as well as the journey of others through original posts and links to other blogs. Anyone interested in sharing their story is invited to join them by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org! The writer says that starting (or returning) to ballet as an adult can be a terrifying adventure. The Adult Ballerina Project is designed to create a community for beginner adult ballerinas to come and learn about ballet as well as find other dancers who are “late bloomers.” She does not claim to be the best adult ballerina, but just hopes that by sharing their journeys hopefully they will inspire each other.
- The Ballet Blog
This blog is dedicated to dancers, dance instructors and parents, giving them all of the tools and information they need to prevent and recover from injuries as well as accelerate their technique to enable them to become the best dancer they can possible. Lisa Howell, the creator of this blog, is a qualified physiotherapist who has been working with dancers for over 13 years and is also the owner of Perfect Form Physiotherapy, a clinic for dancers of all disciplines located in Sydney, Australia. However, she wanted an online portal to be able to help dancers worldwide and as a result, The Ballet Blog was born! Lisa adds new articles each week where she addresses the issues that concern the modern dance world. For instance, issues like flexibility, the dangers of overstretching and overtraining, prevention and care of dance injuries, dance conventions, training workshops, what to expect of students striving to become professionals. Many dance teachers, concerned parents and health professionals are struggling with what they see going on in the dance world, especially online. Every day they see troubling images online. For instance, images of stretches that are obviously+ unsafe. More and more frequently, Lisa is asked for a post that teachers can point out to parents and students that explains+ why the dancer must be careful when training. Whether it has to do with stretching, overtraining or any of the other topics on+ her blog, Lisa has tried to focus on the positive rather than criticize anyone else’s training. However, she has become very concerned about some of the things she has recently seen on line.
- Mom’s New Stage
Keesha, the creator of this blog, was once a dancer and she is now a dance teacher with two beautiful kids who have rechoreographed her life and made every dance an improvisation. Keisha loathes the TV show Dance Moms for the way they portray the mothers or the art form. As a result, she is inviting dancers of all kinds – students, professionals, currently performing or retired, to write a tribute to the mothers who supported them during their student days – back and forth to classes, rehearsals and auditions. She is inviting them to thank the mom “who served as the wind beneath their wings through crises of confidence, injuries, and of course, triumphs.” Additionally, Keesha invites moms who want to write about their role in their son or daughter’s training. She wants to hear everyone’s story. Once upon a time she was a dancer with days filled with classes, rehearsing and teaching dance. Dance was what she did and who she was. Now she is a mommy of two that are 18 months apart. Although she loves these magical beans with all her heart, she misses dance. Teaching part-time and this blog fill her “dance” need for now.
- The T.D.O.T. Blog
T. D.O.T. is an acronym for The Dancers of Toronto. The mission of T.D.O.T is to Recognize, Showcase and Nurture the dancers and choreographers in the Toronto Dance community. Nikki, created this blog to recognize and showcase dancers in her community. She has had the pleasure to work with and know many talented and amazing dancers and choreographers. As a result, she felt the desire to target all the dancers in Toronto, even those she doesn’t personally know. The response was amazing and the blog started to become an online resource for dancers in Toronto. The blog created unbelievable opportunities for Nikki and she soon found herself being contacted to book dancers for jobs and to teach classes. She found herself applying for the means and training to start her own business. She is currently trying to expand The Dancers of Toronto’s services ranging from artistically directing and booking professional experienced dancers and choreographers for small to large scale events, promotions and more. Nikki has recently been named Dance Ambassador by the Canadian Dance Assembly for their I Love Dance/J’aime La Danse 6 year campaign. She has found her true passion and calling and that is to “Recognize, Showcase and Nurture, The Dancers and Choreographers of Toronto.”
- The Dance Blog
The Dance Blog is a blog dedicated to inspiring and helping other dancers around the world. Reagan, the creator of this blog, invites anyone and everyone to feel free to ask any questions for tips and also to visit some of the other links she has listed. Regan is 19 years old, from Phoenix Arizona and presently attends University of Arizona with a photography major. Although she is only 19 years old, she has been dancing and competing for several years now, training in all styles. She is presently focusing on ballet and choreography, hoping to teach and choreograph in the near future! She created this blog to inspire herself and other dancers. Due to her training and experience, she obviously has much to share. Reagan is always available in to answer questions, give tips and just to talk. Visit some of the links listed in her blog to see some of the dancing, photography or to learn a bit more about her.
- The Healthy Dancer
The purpose of The Healthy Dancer blog is “to aid the development of intelligent, thinking, healthy dancers and to draw attention to ways that dancers can improve their technique through cross-training, better nutrition and body awareness.” The creator of this blog, Diana Dart Harris, holds a B.A. in Dance Education and an M.S. in Exercise Science. She spent 20 years as a dance instructor and a choreographer for community theater since 1989 and is a Reiki Practitioner. She has held other positions in prestigious dance schools. In 2012 she was granted a grant to develop and implement a curriculum that used dance to teach geometry to second graders and has directed a dance outreach program for fourth graders. Her interests lie in educating the whole dancer, and she has developed a curriculum to educate dancers and teachers about eating disorders. Diana believes that all dancers should be healthy ones and that dance can benefit everyone. Dance educators praise The Healthy Dancer. They were impressed with the blog; believed their students could benefit from the information particularly those regarding eating disorders; appreciated the stand on “old wives tales;” and much more. Educators thanked Diana for providing them with a “great tool” for them to educate their dancers and parents.
- Rogue Ballerina
Billed as the new and improved Rogue Ballerina site, it is described as “dishing on dance diva-style.”It is a blog that highlights – via interviews and firsthand experience – dancers, choreographers, artistic directors, upcoming performance previews, the occasional review and anything dance-related Vicki Crain, the creator of the site, comes across that is interesting. Vicki started the blog after in her opinion the best parts of an assigned article she wrote was left out of the published article. After two years of blogging about the Chicago dance scene, Vicki decided to upgrade the site. Rogue Ballerina is still the place to find interviews, previews/reviews, profiles and general commentary on the brilliant artists in the Chicago area. Vicki will be expanding to occasionally write about the dance scene and artists in other cities, although her main focus will still be Companies and artists local to Chicago. Vicki is a free lance writer, mainly arts and culture, in Chicago and a former professional dancer and dance teacher. She danced with a semi-professional regional ballet company in Central Illinois for over ten years, where she also taught at the affiliated dance school.
- Pointe til You Drop
The creator of Pointe Til You Drop is written by a Finnish ballerina named Johanna who lives in Helsinki, Finland. (She also has a sister blog that is written in Finnish.) Joanna was a late starter as a dancer starting at the age of 21. That was some 18 plus years ago. She didn’t take her first pointe class until August 2010. Ballet has been hard work for Johanna and pointe even harder, but it continues to make her happy. She says that ballet is not her profession but her hobby – her passion! She believes that some people translate that as non-dancers) world call her a “ballet-geek” and they would be absolutely right. Johanna finds it fortunate that there is no retirement age for the adult recreational dancer! According to Johanna, as the title says, she will pointe until she drops = and have the best time while she is at it. In addition to Johanna’s posts and contributor’s posts, this site has posts on the Finnish Ballet and unusual posts like instructions on how to sew pointe shoes.
- The Dance Journal
Published under the auspices of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, The Dance Journal seeks to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the greater Philadelphia region. The primary goal of The Dance Journal is to develop new audiences for dance, strengthen existing ones, and provide a flow of information on key topics such as education and advocacy that effect dance and the performing arts. Since its inception in 2006, The Dance Journal has grown to reach regional, national and even international audiences with over 35,000 unique visitors per month. They publish reviews, features, interviews, press releases and critical thinking pieces that are of interest not only to the dance community but the general public as well. Contributors to The Dance Journal include professional journalists, full time bloggers, members of the dance community, students looking to develop their journalistic craft and even non-dancers who want to try their hand at writing. As part of its core philosophy, The Dance Journal encourages the submission of original material as a way to energize audiences and create a public forum for dance in the greater Philadelphia region.