May Playlist

click here to play the full songs... and dance!  ...more

Dance Theatre of Harlem and Why Ballet Isn't Just for White Girls

When I was a kid, like so many little girls, I took ballet lessons.  Every Saturday morning I packed up my pink ballet box, slipped on my leotard and trailed my mother downtown to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for class. I was the only black girl in the class but I didn’t care.  More formidable was the ballet master barking instructions, making me jump as I moved tentatively across the polished floor.  I don’t know that I was very good, but I do know that I loved to dance....more
@GloriaMalone So glad to hear from you!  I love that your daughter is pursuing something she ...more

Uwaki Woman

  Here is one of the Uwaki women who dance and song and drum at the worship services in Tanzania. I met her when I visited the village where a man I had taught when we came to Tanzania in 2010 was the pastor. She was in one of three choirs that danced that day. Here is a bigger picture of an Uwaki group from the last post. ...more
@Barbarahughes  thank you for sharing!more

Women in Tanzania

 Here are women dancing after the worship service in a villege we visited. They are members of Uwaki, the women of the village who drum and sing and dance. One time when we visited a villege I was there to preach, which I really enjoyed, having them act out the bible story. More about Africa to come....more

the face of joy

Last night, big sister was working on her solo ballet routine. In the last five minutes of the lesson, I am always called in to be the audience. Normally, her teacher has me film the performance as a learning tool.Don't film this time, just watch. Tell us if you notice anything different. I wasn't sure I would be able to see what they wanted me to, I have no training in dance. And my eyes are often blurred by tears....more

Creating A Story Ballet

At the dance school where I am currently teaching, as in most area dance schools, there is a performance at the end of every year that includes all the styles of dance we teach at the school. The ballet classes are a bit separate from the other classes in the performance, where as, all the ballet classes from Novice level on up are part of a story ballet. This is one my favorite things about teaching there. After I present my thoughts and ideas to the studio director, I am given full control over my creativity....more

Chistmas At A Country Dance School

  Christmas At A Country Dance School Christmas is on the way. It is on the way everywhere! For us at L A Dance Academy it has been on its way since June. You see, many of the dancers and dedicated parents and all of the teachers, have been very busy, working hard, to produce a benefit Christmas show. A show to benefit the people of Edmeston and generally the surrounding area, to have just a little better Christmas....more

Assessing the Dancer - The Knee

Assessing Dancers…the Knee Normally at the beginning of the dance season the teacher makes a mental assessment of each the dancers in her class. This assessment helps the teacher to see what areas the dancers will need the most help in future classes. This pre assessment becomes the basis for the teacher’s mental image of the each dancer in the class....more

Plie, More Than Bendig

Plie - (plee-AY) Bent, bending. A bending of the knee or knees…..Oh but it is so much more. The plie makes the joints and muscles soft and pliable and the tendons flexible and elastic and develops a sense of balance. At the beginning of class, during the barre exercises, plies accomplish so much for the dancer. They begin to warm up the joints of the feet, ankles, knees and hips. They help in the development of flexibility of the muscles in the lower body and bring an awareness of the turn-out in the hip sockets....more

Foot Play

     As I was attempting my run this morning with legs of lead, I noticed a little bird flitting through the bushes as I made my way down the trail leading to several sets of stairs.  A few years ago this steep ravine was transformed into Eagle Landing Park.  This park is a lovely little get-away a mere half mile from my house and can transport me back to a time when the land was all trees, birds and critters making their way down to the Puget Sound.  Of course, there weren’t the 270 metal stairs that can cause pain when used as a workout tool.  So this li...more