Our Schedule Saved Me

This year has been pure havoc…amiright? Everything…and I mean EVERYTHING…has been affected in our lives. We have all had a lesson in flexibility and patience and fortitude…I could go on. But, for me, there has been a shining light that has kept me steady many-a-day through these “unprecedented times:” my Dance Schedule.

 

I have been lucky enough to have a safe haven at Red Door Dance Academy during the last 11 months that has been key in keeping me from going over the edge at least half a dozen times. In a world that changes constantly, sometimes several times a day, my schedule at work with all my dancer babies has anchored me. 

 

I truly believe that my mental health has benefitted from having my daily rituals for teaching and movement to keep me accountable, organized and happy.  Humans crave schedules and community. 

 

We all need people that depend on us to show up-especially during covid (I refuse to capitalize it because it doesn’t deserve it) when literally nothing is certain but uncertainty.  Red Door has risen to the challenge by keeping us on a routine and building a thriving community of #reddoorstrong families that depend on each other for our mental health.  

 

Knowing that I have somewhere to be at a certain time with a group of kids, on Zoom at first, and now in person, has been my metaphorical helmet that protects me against crashing into the chaos that covid creates. Yes, some days are hard-really hard-but I know I will feel better once I log in/walk in for classes and talk to my dance students and I always do.

 

We get to share this experience and help each other through it. And my dancers definitely do help ME through it because they expect me to be in classes WITH them! 

 

That has been the greatest gift I could ever have hoped for in a situation I never imagined would be reality. Reliability. Community. Family. Thank you to all my Red Door Family for getting me through this insanity!

 

From The Inside Looking Out…

I love working at the front desk watching the dancers arrive, but Covid has brought big changes to dance. Days at the studio now have, for the most part, an empty lobby. Most dancers enter the studio directly from outside, so I see so few of them this year, but the same magic of dance class is happening inside those dance rooms.

 

Let me think back to “The Golden Years”, before March, 2020. Our studio lobby is full of dancers. Buns bobbing everywhere, boys in black ballet shoes and white shirts. Some dancers are serious, some are laughing and joking with others, some are just trying not to be late and a few are really shy and not sure they want to go into the room. New dancers arriving in August are sometimes shy, maybe a little scared, and unsure of themselves. As the weeks go on, these dancers get more confident and sure of themselves. Most will participate in the end of year recital and my goodness! I am backstage at the recitals and the dancers leaving the stage have a glow and excitement that is priceless. They have learned that all their commitment and hard work has paid off. They have performed as a team and what a joy they feel in their accomplishments.

 

Most will want to come back next year.  A few will decide that dance is not their biggest interest and may move on, but every dancer that leaves here knows more about themselves than they did when they started. I mean look at our more experienced dancers! They have such confidence! The poise a dancer carries on the dance floor will stay with them their entire life. The friendships they develop will also stay with them for life.

 

Then there are the parents.

 

I really love the parents, too. You parents are a big part of the dancer’s success. They succeed because you support them. You get them here, you get them home. You adjust meal times and sometimes bedtimes around dance activities.  You may think all you do is chauffeur them around, but the biggest thing you do for them is … support them. They enter the dance classroom alone without you, they learn and grow and try and learn some more. They alone will decide whether to continue dance for years or let other activities take priority. Your support lets them decide who they are. They make their own decision about how much to practice, whether they want to be good or GREAT, which you really can’t change that much. But you CAN, and you mostly do, let them grow up. 

 

It’s pretty hard sometimes. My daughter started dance when she was very young.  She loved everything about dance. We had to rearrange schedules to be sure we could get her to the many classes she wanted to participate in. In the beginning, we weren’t sure how serious she would be about dance.  But she loved it and dropped some other activities to allow for it, but we never knew it would end up a career for her. We were just there for her and she made her own decisions. Your daughter or son (or all of them) will too. So just give them some space and allow them to make their own decisions.

 

Oh, and be sure to try on that costume AS SOON AS YOU GET IT.  But I digress.

I can’t wait for the lobbies to open again. Come see me sometime! (or Call. Covid, you know.)

Get Back Up!

This topic is really for everyone, not just dancers, but since dance is our language here at Red Door Dance we will gear this towards our dancers.

This video is a great one for students to watch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkXWrQ_m7ZE
We will ALL have phases of life or days where we feel discouraged, the task at hand seems too hard, or we feel like we should give up.

  • Failure is not the end- think of failure or setbacks as part of your journey to success. We all have setbacks at different times. Work on rolling with it and learning from it rather than feeling defeated by it.
  • Failure does not define you- it refines you!
  • Most importantly, no matter WHAT you do- you are NOT a failure. Get back up again and you are NOT a failure.

For all our dancers out there- we want you to know that we KNOW failure will happen: in the dance studio, on the stage, in a rehearsal. It does not make us love you less- it makes us want to push you harder. As dance teachers we are here to support, love and encourage our students along each dancer’s journey, as unique as it may be!

Red Door is YPAD Certified

It is with great pride and excitement that I announce that Red Door Dance is now a certified YPAD studio- one of only 2 in Texas!

YPAD, Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, is an organization dedicated to keeping dance students happy, healthy and safe in all dance environments.

Being a YPAD certified studio means that all core faculty and staff are:
  • Background checked
  • CPR certified
  • Mandated Reporters and trained in prevention of abuse
  • Trained in emotional health, physical safety, and psychology of injury prevention
  • Have an understanding of nutrition and eating disorders
  • Positive role models of body image and social media presence
  • Are committed to age appropriate choices in music, costumes, movement and concepts

I have always been proud of our family friendly environment and approach to everything we do here at Red Door and believe the dance studio should be a safe place for all our dancers. I made the decision to join the YPAD community because it mirrors what I set out to create here at our studio and I believe continued education and training is so important!

Learn More!

YPAD Page for Parents
YPAD FAQs

We are excited about the added benefits and knowledge this will bring to our studio as a whole!

As always we hope at Red Door your children will Get InspiRED!

-Marisa Mailhes, Owner

Let’s Be Thankful


Fall has arrived! Have you had a pumpkin spice latte yet? Or visited the pumpkin patch? Maybe you are just enjoying the cooler weather and the excitement in the air as we approach the holiday season. The month of November is typically a month where we think and talk more about what we are thankful for. While thanksgiving and gratitude are something we should all work to display year-round, we want to take the opportunity this November to get our dance family talking about gratitude!

Stop by the front desk to grab a thankful card- write what you are thankful for and we will display them on the “Thankful Wall” at the studio. Help us fill up our thankful wall and all month long we can see HOW MUCH there is to be thankful for!

We wanted to get it started with a few reasons we are thankful for DANCE!

  • DANCE IS FUN
    This is not just important for young children and teens- this is important for everyone! We all need joy every day and what better way to have fun than to move, shake and jump. Whether you are a trained dancer or not, dancing puts you in a good mood so put some music on and get moving!
  • DANCE KEEPS US STRONG AND HEALTHY
    We love that dance is teaching our children how to live a healthy lifestyle, how to stay active and gives them an avenue to gain strength and flexibility. Whether your dancer takes ballet, tap, jazz, acro, contemporary or hip hop dance classes, they are regularly improving their overall health by doing so!
  • DANCE BUILDS CONFIDENCE
    In dance class we are always setting goals and working to achieve those goals. When dancers learn new skills and then master those skills their confidence goes up! Dancers learn they can achieve so much through hard work. The performance aspect of dance is also a huge confidence builder. We see kids that are very shy, learn a dance routine and gain the confidence to go out on stage and perform in front of hundreds of people. How amazing is that!?
  • OUR DANCE FAMILY
    Here are Red Door we often talk about our dance family. Dancers form very close friendships with their fellow classmates as they learn side by side, cheer each other on and learn to support each other. We work hard to create an environment that is a safe, nurturing and supportive environment for kids and their families. As a result, everyone that enters our studio- kids, parents, grandmas, grandpas, become part of our dance family. We are very proud of this dance family and know many of the relationships formed here will last a very long time. We are SO thankful for our dance friends!

So, please! Come tell us what you are thankful for!

 

Influential Dancers

Have you wondered about the meaning behind our studio names? Each of our four dance rooms are named after famous dancers that made an impact in the world of dance. KEEP READING to learn more about these amazing dancers and why they are so great!

 

Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland endured a difficult home life as she dealt with verbal and physical abuse from her mom’s fourth husband. However, she didn’t let this keep her down! Copeland would perform dance routines at home to the songs of another icon, Mariah Carey, and eventually was chosen to be the captain of her drill team at her middle school. The teacher who ran the team thought Copeland should take ballet classes at the Boys and Girls Club she already attended. Copeland eventually did so under the tutelage of Cynthia “Cindy” Bradley, who realized that the youngster was a prodigy, able to see and perform choreographed movement immediately and dance en pointe after a very short period of ballet training. As her home life continued to spiral, her mom ultimately decided to allow the 13-year-old dancer to move in with her teacher’s family. Copeland was thus able to continue her training while also entering the public spotlight as a promising up-and-coming performer, featured at special performances such as a charity event with actress Angela Bassett. Around this time Copeland also had a lead role in the Debbie Allen production The Chocolate Nutcracker. Copeland continued on to join the studio company of American Ballet Theatre in 2000, becoming a soloist several years later and starring in an array of productions such as The Nutcracker and Firebird. An icon whose star shines beyond the world of classical dance, in late June 2015 Copeland became the first African-American performer to be appointed as an ABT principal dancer in the company’s decades long history.

 

Bob Fosse
Bob Fosse is a choreographer and screenwriter known for his work on “Cabaret” (1972), “All That Jazz” (1979) and “Lenny” (1974). In most of his choreographed sequences, you will see him or his proteges wearing a hat or gloves. Fosse received three Emmy Awards in 1973 for Producing, Directing and Choreographing the television special “Liza with a Z” (1972) starring Liza Minnelli. He has also received an Academy Award for “Cabaret” and a Tony Award for “Pippin” making him the only director to win all three major industry prizes in a single year.

 

Martha Graham
As a child, Martha Graham was influenced by her father, a doctor who used physical movement to remedy nervous disorders. Throughout her teens, Graham studied dance in Los Angeles at Denishawn. Graham left Denishawn in 1923 to take a job with the Greenwich Village Follies. Two years later, she left the Follies to broaden her career. She took teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music and Theater in Rochester, New York, and the John Murray Anderson School in New York City to support herself. In 1926, she established her own dance company in New York City and developed an innovative, non-traditional technique that spoke to more taboo forms of movement and emotional expression. She danced well into her 70s and choreographed until her death in 1991, leaving the dance world forever changed.

 

Gregory Hines
Gregory Hines was an American tap dancer, actor, and choreographer who was a major figure in the revitalization of tap dancing in the late 20th century. When Hines was six, he and his older brother performed at the Apollo Theater in New York and 2 years later made his debut on Broadway. He has performed in The Girls in Pink Tights (1954), Eubie!, Comin’ Uptown (1979), and Sophisticated Ladies (1981). Hines received a Tony Award nomination, as well as other nominations for his performances. He later performed the role of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in the television film Bojangles (2001).

Family Friendly Dance Movies

We love movies. We love dance. What do we love even more? You guessed it, DANCE MOVIES! Instead of providing you with a list of classic dance movies (like Grease, Dirty Dancing, & Footloose) we opted to switch it up and give you a list of not so classic dance movies to inspire your little Wylie dancers to move it! What’s even better? They’re all available on Netflix or Amazon prime video! That’s right, movie night just got easier! Click the movie titles below to view the trailers.

Leap!
Available now on Netflix
Why we were inspired: This movie’s adventurous vibes are perfect for girls and boys. Siblings of your little prima ballerinas are sure to enjoy it as well!

Barbie in the Pink Shoes
Available on prime video
Why we were inspired: The theme song for this movie says “Dance is who I am,” so naturally, we were hooked from the get go! This cute movie is about knowing who you are and experiencing magic!

Hope Dances
Available on prime video
Why we were inspired: Softball & dance? This flick is all about decision making, multitasking, and being comfortable in your own skin.

You Can TuTu
Available on Netflix
Why we were inspired: The main character moves to a new town with her dad and has to work hard to find her place in her new ballet school.

Backstage
Available on Netflix
Why we were inspired: This Netflix series is perfect for your tween/teen dancers that want an inside look at dancers who attend performing arts schools. An age appropriate story line includes some real issues that dancers face when seeking to become professionals!

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Available on Netflix
Why we were inspired: Obviously, a favorite of every dancer! This “movie” gives your dancer the experience of a real ballet in its original art form. Plus, it will give you moms a break from all the kiddy music. Enjoy the classical Tchaikovsky music while the kiddos are watching a movie and you’re cooking a holiday meal!

Whether your dancer takes ballet classes, tap classes, hip hop classes or jazz classes, we hope you dance along with these great movies!

Back to Dance!

Our school year season of dance and acro classes start back up in ONE WEEK (classes start September 4) and we are SO excited to welcome back our returning dancers and meet lots of new ones! We have some tips and tricks for you to get the Red Door Dance season off to a great start!

  1. Get Motivated!
    Make a list of goals for your dance year. Maybe this year you are ready to focus on your flexibility or the height of your jumps. Maybe you want to work on picking up new choreography faster or you want to improve your turnout. Making a list of your specific goals is a great way to stay motivated to reach your goals.
  2. Get Organized!
    We know school just started and along with dance many school activities are also in full swing. Get a calendar or a planner to keep track of all your commitments, homework assignments and class times. Find the Red Door full year calendar with important dates on our website here.
  3. Get Prepared!
    Be sure to check out the dress code for each of your classes (can be found here) and practice those bun making skills! We have bun tutorials as well (HERE) if you need some help in this area. Look your best when you come to class!
  4. Get Inspired!
    At Red Door Dance our goal is to get our dancers and the community inspiRED! Find your own inspiration before classes start! Watch some dance videos, get together with some dance friends or browse for cool dance pictures. We can’t wait for YOU to come inspire US!