This season at Modern Motion, I added a new offering called "Me & My Guy" for dancers to learn and perform a dance with their father, grandfather, or other special adult male in their life. Each monthly rehearsal has been an absolute joy for me! Sure, we've learned the steps, practiced timing, fixed glitches, but what I get out of each rehearsal is pure joy! It's absolutely wonderful seeing the men putting in the time and effort to learn something new and bond with their dancers. It warms the heart of the folks in the waiting room to see the magic that happens. At the end of each rehearsal, I tell the dancers to thank their guys for being there - for doing something so special.
So many thoughts go through my mind as I watch the Me & My Guy dancers. I think of how I would have liked to do something like this with my own father when I was a child - so much so that I selected the song my father and I have loved for years, the song we danced to at my wedding, the song that my family will surely recognize at the show. I think about what beautiful memories are being created, the funny stories, the practices at home, the upcoming show and for these girls to be able to share their excitement and even fears about performing with the special guy in their life. What's so cute is seeing the little ones squeal and giggle every time we practice the lifts - it never gets old for them. It's adorable watching the older girls twirl around with their guy holding their hand. I even love watching one of our teachers dancing with her dad as part of the group too!
It's these kind of special family moments that make us all feel good, that remind us that time spent together is so precious. We've got something really neat going on, something worth repeating and sharing. I absolutely love working with all the guys of Me & My Guy, I know our audience on June 17th will love seeing the final product too. I'm so filled with joy!
Written by Ginger Haithcox
At Modern Motion we do more than teach dance steps, we boost confidence and nurture creativity. Our teachers help children grow in positive ways. Dancers and parents have expressed how they were able to overcome their fear of performing in front of others, how they learned to try new things, how they have come out of their shell and aren’t too shy to make new friends, they learn how to tackle new challenges and step out of their comfort zones. While our primary purpose is teaching dance, we also value the importance of encouraging children to have strong character.
In the spring of 2016, we introduced Character Cards., Our five Character Cards represent the values that we believe are important: Confidence, Creativity, Caring, Cooperation and Commitment. We’ve found that by highlighting dancers for their character and encouraging positive behaviors, children really thrive - they look forward to collecting the cards and knowing that Teachers notice and value them for more than their dance ability.
Here’s how it works: Teachers give out the cards to dancers when they demonstrate one of these great characteristics in the classroom, and they are not based solely on their dance performance or technique. When the card is given, a small note is included to explain why the dancer earned their card. While most students will not go on to become professional dancers, the values, confidence, and creativity learned through dance can help them prepare for careers in any field.
Written by Kate Raymond and Ginger Haithcox
SOMERSET, NJ. - Modern Motion Dance School will present ‘Scrooge - All Jazzed Up’ this holiday season on Saturday, December 17, 2016, from 2:00-3:00PM at Franklin Middle School, 415 Francis St, Somerset.
The show features students ranging in age from 3 to 15, performing ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop to portray Ebenezer Scrooge and his life-altering journey one Christmas Eve night. The story of Scrooge follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy businessman, and his transformation into a gentler, kinder man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
“I’m really looking forward to this year’s holiday show” said Ginger Haithcox, Executive Director. “We are expanding the dance student’s horizons by offering acting opportunities, and the audience will get to enjoy this timeless classic based on “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.” Each class of the Dance School will be performing in this production, as well as special solo and duet dances and actors comprised of friends and family of the Dance School.
Reserved seating tickets for Scrooge are $14 each in advance and $18 at the door and can be purchased online at: www.modernmotion.org/Scrooge. For additional information, or to learn about classes at Modern Motion, contact the school by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 732-658-0301.
Modern Motion’s mission is to boost confidence and nurture creativity through dance education and performance. Modern Motion is a 501c3 non-profit that builds confidence and creativity! Every student is given opportunities to explore and create movement, expand their worldview of dance and culture, and to perform for an audience.
Every parent wants to see their child sparkle in the spotlight, here's some quick tips:
Contemporary dance allows for the dancer to explore their feelings, emotions and thoughts through the widest variety of movement.
Contemporary dance has become one of the most popular dance forms over the past century. However, there is a lot of confusion about what this new popular form of dance actually is. The roots of this technique come from many different styles of dance. This is what causes much of the confusion about the technique. Stemming from ballet, modern, jazz and even African dance techniques, contemporary is a fun fusion of different aspects of many styles of dance. Taking the control and strength of the body rooted in a classical ballet training and morphing it with the freedom and fluidity of other dance techniques allows the dancer to push the boundaries of their own movement.
The contemporary technique is often geared towards growing not only the physical capacities of the dancer but also the creative mind. The technique allows for a lot of variety in movement. Since the body is the artistic medium of the performer, there needs to be a heightened connection of the mind and body. This connection is often built through improvisation within the technique. Contemporary dance allows for the dancer to explore their feelings, emotions and thoughts through the widest variety of movement. This form of dance is one of very few techniques that really has no limitation within the exploration of movement.
Typically set to modern music and often pushing the limits of the musical accompaniment, contemporary dance allows the artist to truly explore the possibility of the moving body. From endless turns seen in ballet to creative floor work of modern dance to intricate rhythmic patterns of African dance, the contemporary technique generates well rounded dancers. It fosters creative growth within the individuals mind and full capability to execute movement within the dancers body.
Read Hannah's Bio Here
Ever wonder how professional tappers make it look so easy? Fred Astaire, Doris Day, and even the recent winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Gaby Diaz, seem like they could tap all day long, effortlessly and beautifully! Here are a few tips that can help YOU be little bit more like them when you are tappin’ the day away:
Modern Motion is pleased to announce its newest class offering for youngsters aged 2-3 years old. From the creative mind of our own Hannah Sego, we proudly share the following introduction and background for the class.
Dance With Me gives our tiniest dancers the opportunity to dance with their adults. Focused on creative movement with hints of ballet technique, this half hour class is fun and full of exercise. Starting off with slow floor work and working our way up to running and spinning, the class is a great bonding experience for young dancers and their adults. The whole curriculum is arranged so that every moment is interactive and movement filled.
Entering the dance studio can be a very intimidating experience for younger dancers. The large empty room, new adults and a bunch of new kids can be scary for little ones. This class gives those students, who may be timid to participate on their own, the opportunity to experience dance with the comfort of a familiar face. Through the class, the dancers will gain independence within the dance setting and learn basic skills that will help them progress into the next level of dance. Having an adult per student in the classroom also allows the students to master the dance material very quickly. This allows for a large variety of subject matter to be covered within the class.
In addition to benefiting the young dancers, this class is great aerobic exercise for the participating adult. Starting with a slow warm up and working our way up to constant running, spinning and jumping, the class will definitely cause you to break a sweat. It also aids in furthering flexibility and coordination. Dance With Me is a fun filled class for both the adult and young dancer.
Read Hannah's bio here.
As 2015 winds down, I had a the awesome pleasure of taking my nephew out to play while he and his family came to NJ to visit for Christmas. While watching Zach on the playground with other kids, I was so delighted to sit, relax with my cup of java and just unplug and enjoy seeing kids play and make friends.
And then I looked around. . . parents, grandparents, babysitters, they were all there, but on some sort of phone or tablet. I often say something about how I wish folks would enjoy life vs. trying to capture pictures of it -but not even that was happening - they were completely plugged into whatever was on their device. This post isn't meant to judge adults for the decisions they make to use their phone when they get a quiet moment while the kids are otherwise engaged, but rather call out an opportunity to just enjoy life - to sit in silence and not feel the need to "do something" but to just be. To be still and watch kids running around with big smiles, to be present enough that when a child calls your name to look and see what they can do - you can actually see it.
It reminds me of a child in dance class last year, parents were invited to come in and see choreography and one girl was so upset because her mom was there- but outside and visible from the window. She was on her phone, possibly on an important call, or making plans for her daughter's playdate, or something else. But in that moment, the girl just felt like all she wanted was her mom to be there -to be present, and in that moment of emotions she blurted out "She's always on her phone." It felt like a dagger to me - because I thought of times when it seems that I'm so busy that I don't engage either.
We adults spend time talking about what we have to do, what needs to get done, where we have to drive. I think the greatest gift we can give to ourselves, to children and families, is to simply be present. Put down the phone, shut off notifications for a bit, be present. Choose to look up and see what the child wants you to see, engage in that conversation with your spouse, call your dad, make some memories.
I'm going to give it a go. I enjoyed watching Zachary play. I felt really flippin awesome that when he wanted to show off for me, I was already looking - I was smiling and waving to him - filling his heart and mind with the knowledge that his aunt loves him. I'm going to start with 5 minutes a day - to be totally present for someone else, and in turn, I think I'll find myself happier and more relaxed. If it's not 5 minutes a day, it's okay, it's the effort made to make a difference. What will you do to make 2016 great? Will you be present?
Modern Motion Dance School will present its 6th annual dance show entitled "Stars of Tomorrow" on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 2PM at Franklin Middle School. The show will feature children ages 3-18 performing dances in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz and tap dance styles. This year's show will be the first time the school includes hip hop in their performance; the school's hip hop program began in September 2014.
As a special treat, beginner level hip hop dancers will be performing to "The Wizard In Me" a song by local Franklin rapper Substance. Substance, most known for her anti-bullying program, was delighted to share her music with the children of Modern Motion. The song, "The Wizard in Me" is an anti-bully hip-hop anthem written by Substance and performed by her and onstage partner, Ryan "B-Boy Loose Goose" Armstrong of Princeton, both of whom said they were bullied when they were in middle school. Their mutual experiences led to the transformation of "The Wizard in Me" from a video to an interactive assembly program. You can read more about The Wizard in Me assembly program here.
"The theme "Stars of Tomorrow" represents our long term goals for all the students in our program" says Ginger Haithcox, the school's director. "While only 1% of most dance students go on to professional dance careers, the values, discipline, hard work, team collaboration, and focus prepare children to be successful in whatever career they choose down the road." "My wish for all of our wonderful dancers is that they take what they've learned here and translate it to other areas of life: from trying out new and challenging choreography to learning to try new things and learning that hard work and repetition can yield great results if you stay the course and don't give up."
Tickets for the show are $13 in advance and $16 at the door. Call the school at 732-658-0301 for more information.
Modern Motion Dance School is a 501c3 non-profit corporation dedicated to enriching lives with dance as an artistic, cultural, and spiritual art form through excellence in dance performance and education. The school offers classes in ballet, hip hop, jazz and tap for ages 3-18 and has been serving the central Jersey community since 2010. They are currently enrolling for their summer 2015 programs, visit them online at www.modernmotion.org or stop by the studio at 1 Railroad Avenue, Somerset, NJ 08873.
Some dancers have asked us why some children have a different color leotard, and when they'll get to wear a different color. This presents a great teachable moment about dance class uniforms.
We at Modern Motion follow a classical tradition of assigning a dress code for our classes. By dressing proper dancewear, teachers can see the dancer's body and make corrections to technique and alignment. When it comes to assigning colors for groups of classes, we do so by level.
Our youngest dancers start in pink, then progress to light blue at age 5 - the beginning of our Primary level classes. Once a children completes our Primary level, they progress to Level 1 which will be approximately around 1st grade in school. Level 1 dancers wear black until they complete all the skills of their beginner curriculum, then move onto burgundy at the beginner/intermediate level.
After completing the skills for Level 2 and 3, a dancer is ready to move up to Level 4 and begin independent study, perform a classical ballet variation, and begin pre-pointe training. Lastly, our Level 5 dancers in navy are able to dance on pointe, execute advanced leaps, turns, and extended combinations across the floor.
We also limit which "extras" a child may wear in class. Younger dancers may not wear skirts or tutus in class because skirts are a distraction to youngsters and costume tutus are not proper class attire. A female dancer may wear fitted dance shorts or a ballet skirt when reaching our teen Level 3 classes or higher.
We believe that dress codes promote:
We'll end with this great visual representation of what we're talking about. Compare the pictures of dancers and you'll see a clear difference. Photo courtesy of Revolution Dancewear.
Ginger and the Modern Motion team.
Modern Motion Dance School