A Red Door Nutcracker 2022

By: Noelle Porterfield

Our Red Door Nutcracker was a huge success, and we want to thank everyone who attended! All 3 shows were sold out and we love that we had so many people excited to watch the show and support our dancers. 352 dancers participated in this year’s shows, and we are so proud of each and every one of them. Nutcracker is a beneficial experience for dancers of all ages and levels because it boosts confidence, enhances intelligence, and is such a fun and rewarding experience.

The Nutcracker experience allows dancers time on stage, raising their self-confidence. When dancers perform alongside peers of different ages and levels, they are encouraged in their own ability. Nutcracker also enhances intelligence by pushing dancers’ out of their comfort zones. Dance is a great exercise for both the mind and body. Because Nutcracker dances are learned in a relatively short amount of time, the experience forces dancers to push the boundaries of their learning abilities in a fun and immersive environment. We challenge dancers’ memories and ability to pick up choreography quickly. 

Aside from how much our dancers learn during the process, Nutcracker is simply a good time. Dancers love both the process of learning and practicing a routine, as well as being able to perform it on stage for a live audience. The backstage experience at a professional theater and the thrill of the stage truly is unique, and we love seeing dancers of all ages enjoy that time. 

Once again, thank you to all who attended and supported our 2022 Nutcracker. We couldn’t have done it without you!

 

 

 

A Red Door Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is possibly the most well-known and most-performed ballet in the dance world. It is a time honored tradition that began in 1892 and has gained much popularity through the centuries. Why should your dancer participate in A Red Door Nutcracker? Aside from the fact that dance is a performance art and we dancers absolutely LIVE and LOVE to be on stage?

Arabian

This performance is an opportunity to enrich your dancer’s education by becoming part of the history of ballet! The Nutcracker is a tradition that intertwines so many dancers all over the world. It is a shared experience, and one that offers the opportunity to grow and create memories year after year. As dancers graduate to new classes at Red Door, they can progress their way through the entire story of The Nutcracker, dancing different roles that are earned through hard work and dedication. If a student joins us at 3 years of age, they can possibly dance every role from a Mouse and Soldier all the way to the Sugar Plum Fairy! A Red Door Nutcracker is entirely made up of our fabulous dancers, showcasing their talent and progress in an adaptation of a full length ballet.

Performing in A Red Door Nutcracker is different from our year-end recital in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious is that it is similar to a professional ballet company experience in that dancers learn their choreography and perform in a much shorter period of time-often as few as 9 weeks! This is so impressive and teaches our dancers that they can achieve difficult goals by focusing on hard work and dedication.

 

A Red Door Nutcracker also gives our dancers the opportunity to share their progress with family and friends each year during the holiday season. It is an uplifting show where the older and younger dancers support each other backstage and during rehearsals. This is truly an experience like no other! Performing in front of a live audience builds confidence, poise under pressure and encourages the expression of emotions through movement.  Watching your dancer learn that they can do hard things is such an invaluable and invigorating experience. We wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

 

So please join us for our fourth annual production of A Red Door Nutcracker.  We can’t wait to see what your beautiful dancers achieve!

Mice2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe on Social Media

 

 

1. Help them set up their accounts with the right privacy settings.

Private is best! This is the easiest way to keep their posts/ information secure and prevents bots/ spammers/ predators from being able to follow them.

2. Friend/follow them on every platform. Make this a rule..if they want to have social media, they have to let you follow them (make sure they haven’t blocked you).

You’ll be able to tell if they blocked you if you type their username into the search bar and it says “user not found”.

3. Encourage open communication/ check in with them.

By not making social media a taboo subject in your household, your kids will be more likely to come to you for advice or when something happens. Try not to make social media a negative subject. 

4. Monitor what media they are consuming by looking at the profiles they follow. You can see this under “following”.

5. Turn post notifications on so that every time they post you can check in on the content. 

 

The most important thing is that you talk to them! If you have any questions regarding your child’s social media safety, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] I’m happy to answer any questions!

 

Dance Costumes Galore!

For several years I have been the Red Door Dance Costume Manager. I was excited to take on this fun and important job! Imagine buying costumes with someone else’s money, and outfitting every dancer I see on a weekly basis in sparkly, fun costumes! This was going to be the best job ever! I knew I could do this- I’ve clothed an entire family for … well, lots of years.

It turns out there’s a lot more than buying costumes to the role of Costume Manager. For starters, did you know that there are more students at Red Door Dance Academy than there are in the average elementary school in Wylie? This year we will outfit our students with over 1200 costumes for recitals, competitions, and The Nutcracker. This fall we measured over 600 dancers for recitals and competitions. We then select unique costumes for every dance. This year we have over 150 different costume styles, each with its own tights and accessories.  Then we order the costumes early enough that they can be made and shipped to us well before they are needed for the many events our dancers participate in.

I start wielding my magic wand at this point in hopes of getting costumes as quickly as possible, managing exchanges and dealing with ever changing delivery dates.  This year has been an especially interesting year to find, order and receive costumes. The disruption of the global supply chain (I am a logistics coordinator as well) has been broken for the last year. It sometimes affects our ability to get costumes that we,and our suppliers, expect to be here in plenty of time.

   

Sometimes our orders end up like a disaster movie plot. This is a true story – last October we ordered costumes for one of our competitive teams. The manufacturer notified both us and the costume company that the costumes were on their way from the factory.  But, a month later I got a notice that these costumes were no longer available. What happened?! It’s very dramatic. A cargo ship hit a patch of very rough weather in the Pacific Ocean causing 40-foot swells to send some containers overboard. Then—if you can believe it—some of the remaining containers caught fire. (The crew was safe.) You can’t make this stuff up. 

Then we get to do a particularly fun task.  We individually unpack every costume, check it out and hang it with written instructions in its own costume bag. Over Christmas break, we packaged about 750 of those costumes with the help of our amazing STAR dancers (our teen assistants). 

My job is not done though until every dancer has their costume and is happy. 

We love costume season and I love making it happen for your dancers!

 

 

Healthy Habits from More Than Just Great Dancing

At Red Door, we strive to provide our dancers with information and tools that they can use to live a healthy and happy life! Red Door is a proud More Than Just Great Dancing affiliated studio, which means we can pass on advanced tools and resources to our students and families! 

 

As health is a top priority for our families, students, and staff, we wanted to share some healthy habits that can be implemented in everyday life! 

 

  1. Spend more time outdoors- instead of watching tv or on your tablet, consider going for a walk, or playing at the park with your friends

 

 

 

2. Fuel your body with nutritious foods- try incorporating one fruit or vegetable into your meals this week

3. Stay hydrated- increase your water intake this month. Instead of juices, sodas, and sugary averages, choose water instead

4. Set a goal for yourself- maybe you want to read 1 book this month or get your middle splits! How will you achieve this goal? Write down a game plan. 

 

 

Our Dance Curriculum | The Importance of Dance Curriculum

At Red Door, we know the importance of having continuity between our classes and teachers and across our programs as a whole. It is so important to us that no matter what class a dancer enrolls in, they are getting high-quality instruction in dance technique and classroom activities.  We also place a great deal of importance on fueling their bodies and brains with positive, uplifting feedback and, above all, safe dance instruction.

One of the ways we ensure that dancers will always receive these foundational aspects in all of our classes is by using a curriculum. We have a proprietary dance class curriculum that was developed by our Program Directors to fit the needs of our specific dance studio. Through this curriculum, we are able to tailor our program to meet our dancers where they are in terms of dance technique and classroom needs. Our curriculum is what we like to refer to as a “living document” in that it is revised and updated every year based on how our students progressed in our classes. Our Dance Program Directors visit classrooms and make notes of our progress throughout the year so that we can be sure to customize our classes accordingly. This “real-time feedback” is what makes our curriculum so uniquely ours.

 

Another benefit of having this curriculum is that we are able to ensure that our dancers all learn the same concepts, skills, and technique regardless of the class they choose to take. We know that dance is not the only activity going on in your houses. This means we need to offer multiple times for people to take Jazz I or Tap III for example. It is so important to us, as a studio and educational institution, that no matter the day or time you take a class, your dancer will receive quality dance instruction and will be able to progress through our programs. We have seen tremendous success with our curriculum and the benefits it brings to all of our students.

 

We love seeing growth and progress in our dancers! We are fully invested in and committed to their dance journey with us. Dare I say, we are exceedingly passionate about it! (Yes, I do dare!) Our staff is building a dance studio; a place to grow up with friends; a place that we want our own children to thrive in; a family. We use our dance curriculum to ensure that that same culture and those high standards are a common thread that runs through our establishment. We are proud to be Red Door Strong in so many ways.

 

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