Who is FiRED Up Dance Team???

Who is FiRED Up Dance Team, you ask? Red Door’s version of a competitive drill team that is rewarding, challenging and so much fun! Read on to hear about this amazing program at Red Door.

 

FiRED Up currently has 2 teams: Intermediates and Juniors, who have a common goal of making their school’s drill team one day or want to get drill experience at a private studio to further their dance and performing journey with us. The program is set up to mimic the atmosphere of school drill team so our dancers find the most success possible throughout the tryout process and the many seasons in a drill team year. 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know what a typical year looks like for Fired Up Dancers? 

We start the year with our preparations in the summer. Our dancers are required to take dance classes over the summer to stay in competition ready dance condition. They can take class in a variety of styles including jazz, ballet and leaps and turns. We prepared not only the dancers and their technique, but schedules and practice attire too (everyone loves a good team jacket!) At the end of summer, just before school starts, the first big team event happens- Choreography Camp! The goal of this camp is to learn as much choreography as possible! This allows us to start the year off ahead of the game. This year at Choreography Camp the Intermediate Team and Junior Team learned their entire jazz dances in just two days!! Pretty impressive if you ask me! At the end of the long camp we celebrated with some team bonding and cookies. Then the school year begins. While we have a big chunk of our choreography completed, the teams must continue to learn and work memory and technique to complete the rest of their routines. This year the Intermediate Team learned three competition dances- Jazz, Pom and Hip Hop while the Junior team learned Jazz,

Intermediate Team

Pom and Contemporary. As the year grows we, the routines grow stronger through lots of repetition, cleaning and drilling specific skills. This is the life of a dancer! Partially through the year we host a Technique Workshop that both teams attend to focus on the specific skills in their routines and spend a longer amount of time fine tuning some technique. By November, all dances are finished! What an accomplishment for just a few short months! This year, our FiRED Up dancers met up for a team Thanksgiving dinner for a little out of studio bonding time. The food was delicious and the girls had a lot of fun. In December, both teams performed in the Wylie East Sapphires Winter Showcase in December, a great performance experience before our competitions get here. We always love seeing our

Junior Team

girls on stage! By January, we are heading into competition season with full force.  January consists of an all day competition rehearsal. This is very much like something dancers will see on a high school team and one of my favorite events of the year. So much progress is made during this one rehearsal really showing off the talent these girls have and bringing everything together. Going into February, it is time to buckle down! Practices are still full of laughter but it’s ‘go time’! Dress rehearsal happens in February, shortly followed by the first competition. We close out the year with our annual Spring Show, Red Door’s Recital and an end of the year banquet, all in April, May & June. 

 

The work of a dancer is never completed and can be challenging, but being a part of a team like this you have so many wonderful personalities, friendships and memories. I’m telling you, these girls are so much fun! They keep us on our toes! I can’t wait to spend the rest of the year with them and watch all of their hard work pay off on the performance floor!

 

Why Warm Up in Dance Class?

Why Warm Up in Dance Class?

I’ve heard it many times before. 

“Why do we spend so much time warming up?” 

“Why does every class have a different warm up?” 

“I’m naturally flexible so I don’t need to warm up.” 

 

I hear you and I understand wanting to just plop down into the splits for five minutes and then get to dancing. We live in a fast-paced world these days and waiting for anything is hard! For dancers wanting the maximum results from the slow discipline of dance, the importance of a proper stretch and conditioning routine is essential to a healthy and long dance experience. At Red Door, this is a priority for us and a healthy dance experience is top of mind.

 

Stretching enables a dancer to loosen necessary muscles and better prepare their whole body for a dance class or performance. More importantly, the warmer and stronger the muscles, the less energy and strain is being put on the joints and ligaments which helps avoid injury. Participating in a routine that prepares your body for class, also prepares your mind and helps grow healthy dancers- physically and mentally. Even the most flexible of students needs to engage in a proper warm up. So, what does that mean to me as a dancer, why is it important, and what should it look like?


  • Stretching is the key to improving your overall dance ability- but it’s not about aesthetics! 

As a mUvMethod Level 1 certified dance instructor, one of the main things I was taught is that the most impressive looking stretches aren’t always the most effective. We have to make sure that both large and small muscle groups are being worked as well as the fascia and deep 6 external rotators of the hip. Most stretches I hold in class don’t look like they are doing much, but I can assure you that my dancers are feeling it and benefiting from them. While it is tempting, the dance community has since learned the dangers of “overstretching” (pushing muscles past the point of safety) and has shifted into stretching in positions that target specific muscle groups and training the central nervous system to release tension for maximum flexibility. It may look fun and impressive, but “overstretching” is never a good idea and can actually hinder your potential, so think twice before propping up your legs in those splits!

 

  • Flexibility is important to physical fitness, mental and physical relaxation, and, most importantly, injury prevention. 

In order to increase flexibility, stretching and warm ups must be done multiple times a week. Each style of dance has a beneficial style of warming up which actually trains the body to be adaptable and well rounded. In jazz you will likely get a more aerobic warm up with a lot of dynamic stretching while in contemporary you might see a mixture of a dynamic and static style. It’s important to intentionally participate in a warm up routine so that both sides of a joint are getting attention in order to avoid imbalance and reduce risk of injury. A proper warm up consists of a light aerobic routine, dynamic stretches targeting specific muscles, deep breathing exercises, and strength and conditioning. Static stretching is best utilized after a class when the muscles are sufficiently warm and mobile. 

  •  A proper warm up helps train our Central Nervous System (CNS) and takes our flexibility further.

Did you know your muscles might not just be “tight?” Our body has a system to protect itself and when you are stretching a muscle your body goes into “fight” mode to ensure that you don’t pull too hard by contracting that muscle to prevent injury. Consistent and safe stretching and warm ups help communicate to our CNS that we are in control and that these “alien” stretches are good. When we stretch the same “big” muscle consistently without paying attention to the supportive muscles and fascia, we are running the risk of getting hyper mobile areas with loose range of motion that don’t have the strength to support that flexibility and we become prone to injury. This is why your CNS tries to protect you. When stretches are combined with deep breathing and strength and conditioning, we have better control over our range of motion and muscles so our CNS is happy and feels safe and will eventually release that tension, allowing us to become more flexible. With repetitive, safe, and effective warm ups we train the CNS to accept the stretch which allows us to move into a new level of flexibility. 

Conditioning and stretching is essential to a dancer and while it might seem tedious or redundant to engage in a warm up for every class, it is the key to the overall health and success of our students. Even our most mobile and flexible dancers benefit from the breathing exercises that not only get lots of oxygen to our hard-working muscles, but help focus thoughts and prepare the mind for class. It’s good to slow down in our fast-paced world, so enjoy your warm ups dancers! You are putting in the work as soon as you step foot into class. Red Door Dance prides itself on creating a safe environment for all of our dancers and knowing the science behind the stretches you are doing and why you are doing them is crucial to that safety. We like to work together with dancers (and parents) to help our dancers reach their full potential, reach their goals, all while keeping their healthy and safety as our top priority

 

3 Ways Dance Can Ease Kids Back Into the Classroom

Regardless of how your children spend their summers, heading back to the classroom in the fall is a major transition. Since kids thrive on routine, it can take some time to settle into their new schedules and maximize their academic potential. Thankfully, you can make matters easier for them by enrolling them in dance classes. Here are some of the biggest ways dance will help your children start the school year off right. 

How Dance Classes Can Ease Your Children’s Transition Back to School

1. Boosts Cognitive Function 

Physical activity contributes to brain health in many ways. For example, exercise can improve plasticity—which is essentially the brain’s ability to learn new skills—by stimulating connections between neurons. Exercise can also prevent neurodegeneration and boost mood, which will make kids more cooperative in the classroom. While they can reap these benefits from any physical activity, dance is both fun and engaging, so it doesn’t feel like exercise in the traditional sense. 

2. Enhances Focus 

Being able to focus on the task at hand for at least a little while is the cornerstone of academic excellence. The neural connections that result from dance can make it easier to achieve the necessary concentration for succeeding. Dance requires children to listen to their instructors to learn the next move. What’s more, they have to pay close attention to the music once they’re performing each combination on their own. All of this is great practice for listening to their teachers. 

3. Provides a Creative Outlet 

All children have a creative side and learn to express that side. Dance provides the perfect vehicle for doing that. Once they learn a few basic moves, children can make up their own choreography, which gives them their own freedom of expression and a creative outlet that helps combat the anxiety and big feelings that kids face.

4 Reasons Boys Should Take Dance Classes

What Are the Most Common Types of Dance Lessons?

1. Tap

Tap is a fusion of African dance, English clogging, and Irish step dance, which explains this style’s prominent display of rhythmic footwork. Dancers wear special shoes with metal plates affixed to the balls and heels. These plates make loud, percussive sounds when they hit the floor, producing beats that go along with the music. This lively form allows kids to make some noise and have fun while learning different dance maneuvers, such as shuffling, ball changes, and heel clicks.

 

2. Ballet

Ballet is a form of classical dance that dates back to 15th-century Italy. Ballet dancers use precise poses and graceful movements to interpret music and tell a story. Practicing ballet can teach kids discipline, as they must follow specific instructions while learning how to balance, hold symmetrical positions, and execute flowing turns. This is an involved form of dance that is extremely expressive, allowing your child to show off their creativity and style.

 

3. Jazz

Though influenced by ballet, jazz borrows from African American and Caribbean styles. From stylized walking to leaps and high kicks, this upbeat and energetic form can help kids get more exercise and burn energy. Since it involves the use of natural body movements and encourages improvisation, children may adapt to this style quickly while taking dance lessons. This is perfect if you have a little one that never seems to run out of energy, as they can experiment with the movements.

 

4. Hip Hop

Hip hop combines street dance techniques, such as popping and locking, with more traditional jazz, ballet, and tap styles. While popping, dancers make short and rapid movements, and while locking, they abruptly stop and hold positions before resuming movement. Hip hop also incorporates elements of break dancing, including acrobatic body movements, stylized footwork, and spins. Often performed to hip hop, R&B, and funk music, this eclectic style is one of the most popular at dance schools.