Category: Dancing

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Questions about Paddy’s Dance Life

Friends and guests at my book talks often ask me questions about my dance life. Here are a few answers. When did you start dancing?  At age 3. I continued to take lessons until I was 18 and danced off and on until I was in my 40s. I was never a professional dancer. Which dance teachers were most inspiring? I only had 3 teachers across all the years I danced. Each influenced me in big or small ways: Margaret Tapping gave me the first opportunity to perform. I was 3 and loved being on the stage with the light...

National Dance Week 0

National Dance Week

This is National Dance Week. It began in 1981 as a way to bring national attention to dance. So what are you suppose to do? I suggest you try one of these ideas: attend a dance event (local dance studio recital or professional dance group presentation of ballet or culturally themed dancing) watch a PBS special on dance watch a movie of dancers from a variety of dance genres take a lesson in ballroom, classical dance, or cultural dance (Irish, Indian, Asian, etc) turn on your favorite music and dance just for the fun of it.

FAQ About Ballet Dancers 0

FAQ About Ballet Dancers

How long does it take to become a professional ballet dancer? Most dancers start lesson by age 7 and take 1-2 classes a week. They focus on basic techniques. Young women must wait for their feet to finish growing before they step into pointe shoes. Both young men and women will also take modern dance and partner classes. By their teen years most serious dancers are in class 2-4 hours six days a week. What are pointe shoes made from and how long does a pair last?  Pointe shoes are made from several layers of fabric. The outsides are satin...

Upcoming Dance Celebrations and An Invitation to Dance 0

Upcoming Dance Celebrations and An Invitation to Dance

March 23-24  Arts Advocacy Day brings together 85 or more national arts organizations in Washington D.D. to meet with Congress to advocate for arts educations policies, charitable tax deductions and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Let’s hope they are successful. (Recently it was reported that the arts are facing deep financial cuts by the Congress.) March 31  – Dance Everywhere Day begins at noon Pacific Standard Time. It encourages everyone to join in a world-wide simultaneous pubic dancing performance. Grab your friends. Put on your dancing shoes and dance, dance, dance!!! Who??  dancers (of course), teachers, plumbers,...

My Top 6 Famous Ballet Dancers 0

My Top 6 Famous Ballet Dancers

Through history the ballet world has created many famous dancers who’ve shared their grace, beauty, charisma, and strength. Here’s my short list in no special order and why they’ve made my list. Anna Pavlova (Russian, 1881-1931) Not a typical small, compact dancer. Her world travels opened up the non-European world to classical ballet. She’s also credited with revising the pointe shoe. The role of the Dying Swan was created for her. Margot Fonteyn (English, 1919-1991) Beauty in motion who danced from 1935-1960s (but danced on occasion until age 60). I saw her dance in Seattle when I was a young...

Book Trailer for for Ballet Trilogy and Interview with Videographer Emily Hill 0

Book Trailer for for Ballet Trilogy and Interview with Videographer Emily Hill

Book Trailers are one way authors introduce readers to their books. My dear friend, Emily Hill created a lovely book trailer for my ballet-themed books: 84 Ribbons, When the Music Stops – Dance On, and Letters to Follow – A Dancer’s Adventure. She took my ideas and massaged them into this lovely tribute to ballet. After watching her work, I decided my blog followers might enjoy a peek behind the scenes of how she organized the trailer. Here’s her brief interview. Your book, The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter had an amazing book trailer. When and how did you get started making...

National Dance Day is Coming!!! 0

National Dance Day is Coming!!!

Turn on the music! Put on your dancing feet! National Dance Day is coming NEXT week on Saturday, July 30th. Save the last Saturday of every July for National Dance Day and join in the fun. It’s not often a TV program inspires a national event, but that is just what the program So You Think You Can Dance has done. The event launched in 2010 and is supported by the Dizzy Feet Foundation to encourage Americans “to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity.” A U.S. Congressional resolution introduced the event...

Ballet-Behind the Scenes 0

Ballet-Behind the Scenes

I live near Seattle and support the PNB (Pacific Northwest Ballet). That support entitles me to free admission to two dress rehearsals. This season I saw Romeo and Juliet, then “American Stories.” What I enjoy about the dress rehearsals is the opportunity to watch them perform and then watch the stager and artistic director make adjustments. They meet with the dancers from various acts, rehearse changes, change lighting, adjust the tempo of the orchestra, and all with aa thoudans or more donors sitting quietly, watching and enjoying the opportunity. Some dancers wear warm-up clothes, others near-full costume. Conversations fly around,...

Misty Copeland 0

Misty Copeland

Once every decade or so, a super talented dancer comes along and takes the ballet world by storm. Currently she’s Misty Copeland, the thirty-two year old dancer just named as a principal for the American Ballet Theatre. The fact that she is an African-American is highlighted but, her raw talent is the true measure of her success. Like every über successful performer she’s become an overnight sensation. Of course it took her nearly twenty years to attain that status! She wasn’t all dancer to the exclusion of high school like many dancers seem to be. She kept her life in...

Summer Fun on TV is Coming! 1

Summer Fun on TV is Coming!

If you love exuberant dancers, be certain to check out Fox’s SYTYCD, aka So YOU Think You Can Dance summer series. Thousands of young dancers around the US tryout to become one of the 20 finalists who strive to be named most popular dancers of the season. The choreography is all freshly created. Dancers have less than one week to learn and perform their randomly selected partnered dance genre as well as their personal solos and at least one group number (which usually opens the show). You will see modern, hip-hop, Bollywood, ballroom, Broadway and many other styles. I love...