October 2018

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to term 4, the most exciting time of the year in the dance world! We can’t wait for all of the exciting things we have lined up for our hardworking and gorgeous students.

PHOTO DAY: SATURDAY 20 + SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER

  • Please check the kit list for day and time for your child’s class.
  • If your child does multiple classes, ensure you check ALL classes that your child attends
  • Mini and Tiny parents please stay with your child on photo day to assist with dressing your child.
  • Junior, Inter and Senior parents are not required on photo day. There will not be enough space at the studio to fit you all and it is great practice for the students as we do not have parents backstage on concert day.
  • Pick up times are approximate.
  • Students must arrive to photo day and concert day with their hair and makeup done.

PHOTO/CONCERT KIT LIST HERE: MSF Kit List 2018

MAKE UP REQUIREMENTS

  • Makeup for photo day is optional and at the discretion of parents and students
  • Stage make up is compulsory for all students (including boys!) on concert day. The purpose of stage makeup is to highlight the performers’ natural features. Professional stage lighting blurs out our features on stage and on the DVD footage. It is important to wear makeup so that the audience can see your face. This means in person, your make up will appear quite “full on” but on stage it will appear natural.
  • GIRLS: Liquid foundation (usually a little darker than day wear), setting powder, red blush along the apples of the cheek, eyebrow pencil, brown eyeshadow on eyelid, white eyeshadow under eyebrows, eyeliner on top eyelid with a wing/flick, no eyeliner under eyes, mascara (or false lashes if preferred), bright red lip liner, bright red lipstick.
  • NATURAL TONES ONLY. Please no blue, purple or glitter. Thank you.
  • Here is a great tutorial put together by past MSF student and make up artist Anna Papa:https://youtu.be/3Sz-NWTgumI
  • BOYS: An earthy (not metallic/glittery) bronzer or powder all over face. Mascara. Eyeliner- no wing, a light pink blush along cheekbones, a smudge of red lipstick. (use your finger, do not apply the way mum would for a night out.)

HAIR REQUIREMENTS

  • Styling your hair for a performance is much different to styling your hair for school or a day out. Hair should not be left limp or natural. All students require lots of product (eg; gel, hairspray, moose) as well as bobby pins/hair pins.
  • Buns require hair nets.
  • Hair ties and hair pins must be the same colour as your hair
  • NO FRINGES
  • ALL MINI + TINY STUDENTS + JUNIOR BALLET students require two “pigtail buns” at the top of the head.
  • ALL JUNIOR HIP HOP + JUNIOR JAZZ students require hair to be slicked back into a tight high ponytail. Hair must be straightened to ensure neatness and uniformity.
  • ALL INTER STUDENTS require two slick braids.
  • ALL SENIOR STUDENTS require a half ponytail with styled curls.
  • ALL BOYS: Funky styled hair with gel

COSTUMES

  • Please refer to your kit list and ensure that your child has packed ALL ITEMS listed for their class.
  • We also encourage packing spare items where possible to allow for accidents etc.
  • The items on your kit list are the “base” of your outfit.
  • We provide the costume items (the glitz and glam!)
  • The costumes will be distributed to you on photo day. After that they are your responsibility and you are to bring them on concert day.
  • Please do not let your child wear or play with their costume.
  • You will bear the cost of any lost or damaged costume items that need to be replaced.
  • Some costume items are yours to keep after the concert, others will need to be returned to us on concert day. This will be made clearer when you receive them.

As you know, Main St Funk do not charge a large costume fee. A tiny portion of your class fee goes towards our costume budget. To have costumes “made to measure” is very expensive. Therefore our team creatively source and make the costumes ourselves. This means that when you receive your costume, it may not be your exact ideal size. We use clever tricks of the trade to ensure it fits you and looks suitable for a photo shoot and a performance. We work very hard to make sure you will look and feel great on stage. Each one of your costumes is carefully considered before it is allocated to you and takes months of hard work. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

CONCERT DAY REMINDER

All junior, inter and senior students are required for both concerts. Participating in both shows is compulsory and students will not be dismissed to their parents until after the second show; approx 7pm.

If you are unsure what is required of your child please ask.

We can’t wait to see you all sparkle in front of the camera and on stage! Stay tuned for some exciting and fun performance opportunities coming your way!

Kristie, Carla + Chloe xx

September 2018

Wow, can you believe we are already at the end of Term 3.
The end of the year is always the busiest and most exciting time at Main St Funk.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!….

We are excited to announce that our second storey mezzanine studio is finally “UP” and ready for our full timetable! This means:

  • ALL Friday classes will run at Epping Studio from now on (14/09/18)
  • Wednesday classes will return to its original timetable (as it was in Term 1 and 2), except Senior Jazz which will will run 6.30-7.30pm
  • See full timetable here: MSF Term 4 Timetable

Thank you so much to all of our students and families for your patience with the construction of our studio. We think you’ll agree it was worth the wait, and we are so excited to finally have the whole MSF Fam together in our new home.

TERM 4 TIMETABLE FOR SENIOR HIP HOP

To accommodate your combined routines, in Term 4 hip hop will run on Tuesdays as follows:

  • Senior B Hip Hop: 6.15-7.15pm
  • Combined Senior A + B Hip Hop: 7.15-7.45pm
  • Senior A Hip Hop: 7.45-8.45pm

Please let us know if you have any concerns or need to clarify your class times.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT END OF YEAR CONCERT DAY

Our end of year performance is just 12 weeks away and we have rightfully titled it “2018; Our Best Year Yet.” Here is some key information to help you plan for the day:

  1. As our MSF family has grown so much this year, to make sure no one misses out on a ticket, we will have TWO shows!
    • Both shows will be held on Sunday December 9th at The Magis Theatre located within Loyola College in Watsonia.
    • A 12.30pm Show (Mega Matinee!) will include ALL STUDENTS and go for about 2.5 hours
    • A 5.30pm show will feature ONLY JUNIOR, INTER AND SENIOR STUDENTS and will go for about 1.5 hours
    • All Minis and Tinies will perform only in the 12.30pm show
    • All Juniors, Inters and Seniors will dance in both shows. If participating in the concert, both shows are compulsory. You cannot perform in one show and not the other.  
  2. Don’t forget about our compulsory theatre rehearsal that will be held on Wednesday December 5th.
    • You must attend this rehearsal in order to dance in the concert
    • Specific times will be provided later
    • If you will not be participating, please let us know ASAP 
  3. What happens on the day?
    • It is a long and exciting day! Exact times and details will be provided later, but here is a rough guide to what happens on Concert Day
    • Minis and tinies should expect to be at the concert venue from approximately 10.30am to 3.30pm (the conclusion of the first show)
    • Parents do not stay with them during this time. We have a sign in/out procedure and students are fully supervised so that all parents watch the show
    • Older students will be at the venue all day
    • All students must remain in the venue at all times. Parents are not permitted backstage or in the dressing rooms at any time, including between the two shows.
    • There will be time to relax and eat between the two shows but there will not be time to leave the venue. This means students should arrive in the morning with EVERYTHING they need including a substantial meal to eat. 
  4. Ticket Sales
    • Tickets will go on-sale online on October 1 2018 at 5pm.
    • The link for ticket sales will be emailed out to you closer to the day
    • Adult tickets are $30
    • We are now introducing a $25 Child ticket for 12 years and under
    • Performers do not need a ticket.
    • Minis and Tinies who would like to watch the 5pm show can attend for free if supervised by a paying adult. These will be allocated after ticket sales and will be dependent on availability.

WOW! What a big and exciting event we have ahead of us. With all the extra seats make sure you invite all of your family and friends.

We are so humbled to have welcomed so many new families into our community this year, as well as to have so many long term, loyal students who have developed and grown with us.

As always we welcome any questions you have so please get in touch if you need to confirm anything!

Happy Dancing!
The MSF Team xx

P.S Did you know Main St Funk have a blog? Check out our latest two posts!

https://mainstfunk.com/2018/09/10/its-ok-to-make-mistakes/
https://mainstfunk.com/2018/08/28/my-dance-teacher-is-picking-on-me/

It’s OK to Make Mistakes.

As dancers and creatives we all have a little streak of perfectionism running through our DNA.

What’s that you ask? It is the act of striving for flawlessness and in small doses it can be a blessing but, it can also be a curse.

It means that we usually hold ourselves to a high standard, have a strong work ethic, an eye for detail, an insatiable drive to continue to do better and obviously, a passion for our chosen field.

But it can also mean that we often pick ourselves apart, over analyse the details, feel defeated (even after a win!). It can be so destructive that “not trying” becomes the safest option because it feels better not to try than to achieve something “less than perfectly” on the first attempt.

Who has ever kept quiet in class when the teacher has asked a question, even though you are 99.9 percent sure you know the answer? It’s much easier to be quietly right than to be so outwardly and confidently wrong.

These dancers and students will often hide behind a “I don’t care” and “I can’t be bothered” disguise until eventually, someone who was once thriving, falls behind. The pressure of catching up and of not being “the best” is too much, leading a once passionate and dedicated dancer to quit.

The reality is, nothing in life will ever be perfect, there will always be mistakes! You mustn’t them beat you. Mistakes are proof that you are trying, that you are growing and that you are human. Making mistakes teaches us to be resilient and strong. They teach us how to survive in a not so perfect world and when we are not perfect ourselves, we are more forgiving and understanding of our equally imperfect peers.

As someone who is your dance teacher, you will often hear me making corrections, telling you to work harder, encouraging you to practice and being well, a nag. I can see why you would assume  that I am perfect (I mean, look at me *flicks hair*) but the truth is I am very much NOT. Despite the perfectionist gene running hard and fast through my veins, I make mistakes, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Some, I think about for days, weeks, months after they happen. Others, I brush off, acknowledge the lesson learned and move forward.

Here are few not-so-perfect dancing moments that I have lived through and survived to tell the tale. Some of them hurt, some of them ate away at my brain (some still do!), some of them are just plain hilarious but all of them were a lesson that I needed to learn and have made me the strong, resilient, driven, creative person I am today. *flicks hair again*

  • I have forgotten my dance on stage (yes, an entire dance)
  • I have made mistakes on stage (every dance, every performance)
  • I make mistakes in every class I participate in. When I am a student and even when I am teaching!
  • During my first concert, I fell asleep in the change room and missed my last dance of the show and the finale. Side note: I was also so nervous, I threw up before I even arrived at the theatre.
  • During my second concert, I was late on stage and missed about 30 seconds of my dance.
  • I have fallen over on stage.
  • I have cried in class, on multiple occasions, out of sheer frustration.
  • I have shown up to photo day without my costumes.
  • I have shown up to rehearsals with out all of my dance shoes.
  • I have participated in competitions and not placed first. I have even participated and not placed at all.
  • I have participated in dance exams and “only just” passed.
  • I auditioned for an elite full time dance course and got sent home after the first round.
  • I auditioned for a hip hop crew that I love and admire and didn’t get a call back.
  • I have been lectured, yelled at and “told off” from teachers for not working hard enough and not practicing.
  • I have “talked back”, argued and given attitude to my teachers. Whoops. #teenagechloe
  • I have been late to class.
  • I have been removed from choreography because I didn’t know it well enough in time.
  • I have been removed from choreography even though I did know it!
  • I was once in a dance that went for 3 minutes and 25 seconds. I was only in 4 counts of 8 out of the whole dance and half of that time was standing in a pose that was facing the back!
  • I have fallen over on stage.
  • My headpiece has fallen off on stage (multiple times)
  • I have forgotten my positions and where I was travelling to on stage.
  • I have had many, MANY, costume malfunctions on stage.
  • In the year 2000 I cut my own fringe. Ok, not dancing related but I did have to perform on stage with my new “do” and my mum did still buy that year’s dancing photos. My sisters called it my “tufty bits”.
  • I have shown up to comps, rehearsals, photo days and concerts at the wrong time because I didn’t read the notice properly.
  • I have torn my dance tights right before I was supposed to enter the stage.
  • I have spilled food on my costume!
  • I once gave my mum strict instructions on where on my costume she needed to sequin, only to arrive to photo day and it was completely wrong. Sorry mum!
  • I have misplaced costume items.

The list goes on and on! And to think these are ONLY SOME of the mistakes or “failures” I have made on my dancing journey and doesn’t even include my day to day activities as a frazzled twenty-something millennial. Think; forgetting doctors appointments, somehow burning the chicken but also leaving it raw on the inside, that time I got my car stuck on a large concrete pillar – that’s a story for another day. The point is I survived or, I am surviving.

So, the next time you make a mistake or something feels less-than-perfect; take a deep breath and a step back. Was it important? Was it in your control? What have you learned from this? Are there any consequences? And instead of BEATING yourself up about it, BUILD yourself up. Congratulate yourself for taking a chance,  acknowledge your strengths, have a moment of despair and then dust yourself off.

Mistakes are proof that you are trying, that you are learning and that you are human. Remember, it’s ok to make mistakes but it’s never ok not to try. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. YOU ARE A SURVIVOR.

By Chloe Jobson – A Serial Mistake Maker.

My dance teacher is picking on me!

Uh oh… Your son or daughter, who absolutely loves dancing, has come out of class looking frustrated and upset. You ask them what’s wrong and they mutter the words no parent wants to hear…

“My teacher is picking on me!”

Your heart sinks. Your mind races and your inner mama-bear gets ready to roar and jump to your child’s defense.

Well hang on a sec, hold your horses. Let’s think logically and figure out exactly what your darling dancer means. In the playground at school, if someone is being “picked on” it generally means that another individual is going out of their way to annoy or tease or bully this person. This kind of behavior is deliberate with the intent to upset the other person.

In my years of dance teaching, I am yet to come across another teacher or principal who has taken such a dislike to a student that they would put so much time and energy into making that child upset.

A dance teacher is generally somebody who is very passionate about dance and who equally loves working with children, they may even have their own! Dance teachers are joyous, energetic people. They have taken an active interest and invested their time and energy into the growth and development of your child and the hundreds of children that they will meet in their dance teaching career. They are one of the lucky few whose passion and career came together. It would be a bit out of character if they started “picking” on children now, wouldn’t it?

What your child probably means is, they often hear the teacher say their name in class. This is actually a positive thing and great teachers make a conscious effort to say every single student’s name multiple times a lesson so they feel included in the class and important to their teacher. Your child might feel like their name is the only one being called out but that is likely because they are only tuned in to hearing their own name and not their classmates.

But why do they keep getting called upon? Here are some reasons your child might be being “picked on” by their teacher.

  1. CORRECTIONS: It doesn’t matter if your child wants a career in dance or comes to class for fun. A teacher’s job is to TEACH dance. This means correcting mistakes so that your child, the student, can LEARN. It is important the teacher corrects mistakes so that your child can progress and make improvements week to week. It also helps to reduce the risk of injury when your teacher makes a correction on your child’s technique. Often, it would not be safe for a student to continually perform something incorrectly. Sometimes these corrections can be generalized to the whole class however, often children are progressing at different rates and need and deserve individualised attention from their teacher. They also pay attention and remember corrections more when they are directed to them and not the whole class.  An example of what your child might hear is: “Stretch those feet Sally”, “Don’t forget to bend your knees before you jump Tess” OR “Mary, keep in time with the music”. If your child says they are being “picked on” they are probably just receiving corrections which is a positive thing and means they are learning. If your child’s maths teacher asked them what 2+2 is and your child answered 5, their maths teacher is going to correct them. Are they being “picked on” or is Mr. Maths doing his job?

  2. “MY TEACHER YELLS AT ME”: There is probably some truth to that. Sometimes the teacher will give their students corrections in a quiet and gentle manner. Other times they need to be firm and direct, so that the students understand the importance. Being loud or changing their tone of voice will emphasise the key points they want their students to remember. In general, dance teachers are loud and excitable people. If your dance teacher yells, it is because they are extremely passionate and they are trying to get all of the energy, excitement and joy they feel  out of their bodies and into their students! Also remember that quite often in a dance class environment, the teacher will be competing with loud music, chatty kids, the air-con or fans and even tap shoes, so they may yell or talk loudly because they want your child to hear and understand them. A dance teacher who yells is a dance teacher who cares. The important thing to remember is that they are not yelling AT your child but out towards the whole class so that everybody can hear them.

  3. POTENTIAL: Perhaps your child is progressing just that little bit faster than their classmates and has moved beyond the generalised corrections that are given to the whole class. Perhaps their teacher recognises your child’s potential and wants to give them a challenge. Your child might say “Miss Chloe keeps telling me to kick my legs higher and keep my back tall but she never tells my friend Alice!” Well Alice might not be up to that. Alice might still be focusing on stretched feet and knees and your child has already shown improvements in that area and is ready for more. If your child isn’t given corrections or being “picked on” in their words, they might become bored at dance because they don’t feel challenged.

  4. YOUR CHILD IS DISTRACTED: There is so much stimulation in the dance room; loud music, their favourite songs, their dance friends, pretty pictures on the wall, students coming and going. Your child might get caught up in a conversation with their classmates or be thinking about what’s for dinner or how much homework they have to do when they get home. A good dance teacher can always tell when a  student isn’t focused or not listening. The teacher might say your child’s name or speak to them directly to bring their focus back to the dance class.

  5. POOR BEHAVIOR: Yes, maybe your child’s behavior is not perfect all the time. This doesn’t mean that they are a bad kid, a terrible dancer or that their teacher doesn’t like them. While dancing is fun, it comes with a set of rules and disciplines. Respect needs to be shown to the teacher, the dance room and their classmates. This means being polite, not talking while the teacher is addressing the class or the music is on, not “playing” during class and wearing correct uniform. Dance class is about so much more than just learning steps and tricks. Your child will learn social skills, work ethic and the importance of teamwork. When your child misbehaves or doesn’t adhere to the classrooms set rules, their teacher will pull them up. They might say “Lisa, where is your uniform today?” “Please don’t speak while I do Matthew” or “Erin, the dance studio is not a playground, please don’t run around.” The teacher may say these gently at first but if they need to remind your child repeatedly, it may be necessary to be firm. Dance class is a structured activity that can take children a little while to adjust to. It is quite normal kids to slip up and forget the rules and get carried away having fun with their friends, so don’t stress too much if you think this might be the case. If the dance teacher believes your child’s behaviour has become too disruptive or dangerous for dance class, they will have a private conversation with you about addressing this behaviour at home. Until then, just leave it to the pros.

When I was a student, I like many others, complained that I was “picked on” by my teachers. Every class there was correction after correction, nothing was ever perfect. I viewed this as a negative thing. That was until i entered a class where I was completely ignored. Made to feel invisible for 1.5 hours a week, every week. I’m not sure if this was intentional or just negligence but now when I take class, I appreciate every correction directed to me and the whole class and I ask for more if I feel like i’m not getting enough. When I’m teaching, I attempt to make sure every student knows that I can see them and that I care by giving encouraging, constructive and individual attention to each of my students. This principle is instilled in each of the Main St Funk teachers. Without it being actively enforced, the MSF team are naturally invested into every single student that walks through our studio doors.

It is well-known that dancers are some of the most mentally strong and resilient athletes and it all starts at their very first dance class. So next time your child thinks that they are being picked on, dig a little deeper. They might just be super lucky and have an awesome dance teacher. Someone who is passionate, someone who cares and someone who believes in your child because behind every great dancer is a dance teacher who picked on them.

By Chloe Jobson.

 

How to be a Team Player at Dancing.

Dance; while the very word triggers images of solo dancers fleeting across the stage and the art of perfecting your performance and technique takes a lot of independent and individual discipline and drive, dancing is actually very much a team sport.

Producing a fabulous group performance takes equal drive, dedication and passion from every single dancer and being a great team player a part of an even greater team will soar your dancing to new heights.

Let’s think about what happens when you play a team sport.

  • You don’t get to play in the footy grand final if you haven’t been to training all year.
  • You don’t get to be in the starting 5 in the basketball game if you haven’t been pulling your weight.
  • You don’t walk down the netball court while your team mates sprint past you.
  • You don’t question your soccer uniform or get to choose your team colours. You get what you get and everyone wears their team colours with pride.
  • If you are late on game day, you don’t get to play. 

    So, here’s how to be a team player at dancing.

  • If you plan on participating in the concert you need to be prepared by coming to class.
  • If you want to stand out on stage, you need to give it your all.
  • Don’t let your class mates dance harder than you. Match their energy and drive.
  • Be proud and patriotic. Your dance uniform is important. It promotes unity and a strong work ethic. Wear it with pride.
  • Be punctual. If you are late to class, rehearsal or concert days, you miss warm ups, important information and on busy event days, you could even miss your turn to dance!! Being on time is vital to having a positive experience dancing.

    Did you know that in our code of conduct (agreed to upon enrollment) it states:

    “Main St Funk believes that a dance class should feel like a team where everyone is treated equally and works equally as hard. No one student is the star and no student is left behind.”
    This is because we endeavour to raise hard-working, team players who love to dance!
    As we settle in to preparing our performance day routines, let’s keep thinking of our dance class as our team. Let’s keep being patriotic and proud. Let’s keep encouraging and cheering on our team mates and let’s SOAR together to new dancing heights.

GO TEAM MSF!

July 2018

Term 3 is here!

And what better way to kick off the term than with an exciting performance opportunity! Diamond Valley Basketball Association has invited Main St Funk to perform at their upcoming SEABL finals.

This will be a fun opportunity to perform in an encouraging and lively environment. MSF students will learn two short flashmob style routines that will be performed throughout two basketball games.

The choreography will be taught to ALL students in the first week of term and ALL age groups are encouraged and welcome to participate.

It will be a great way to bond with your classmates and there will be other entertainment and games throughout the evening as well the basketball matches. The atmosphere should be fantastic. Please let us know if you can or cannot attend. Thank you!

WHAT: Quarter Time/Half Time/Time Out Entertainment
WHERE: Diamond Valley Fitness Centre 44 Civic Dr, Greensborough VIC 3088
WHEN: Saturday July 21st 2018
TIME: 5.30pm -9.30pm approx – we understand this is a long night. Younger students are welcome to leave after performing in the first game. We will perform multiple times throughout the night.
WEAR: Main St Funk tee, black leggings or track-pants, plain back sneakers, hair in a ponytail
COST: Free for performers and their families

A reminder that there is a temporary timetable change for weeks 1 and 2 of term 3.  All Epping Studio classes are cancelled but all are welcome to attend Wednesday and Friday for make up classes and to learn the choreography. Please see our email from Wednesday 11/07/18 for further details.

Exciting times ahead! See you soon!

The MSF Team xx

 

 

How To Practice For Your Upcoming Performance.

Teacher at the end of class: “Make sure you practice!”
Student: “Yeah, right. When?”

“Practice” – It’s a daunting word. What comes to mind when your dance teacher suggests that you practice at home? A montage of sweat and tears? A marathon of turns and leaps that never ends? Hours upon hours of hard work that leaves you feeling sore and defeated? Actually, when your teacher suggests that you practice at home, that’s not what they mean.

Most dance teachers recognize that students, just like them, have a life full of action and activities outside of dance and trying to fit in yet another responsibility in your week can be stressful. Your dance teachers are also well-educated and passionate about the benefits that can come from practicing at home. Students who practice are generally more confident in class and on stage. It means they can have a more progressive year of dancing because instead of having to “re-learn” what they learnt in the previous class, they can move forward, on to the next step or skill. They can work on refining their technique and performance skills instead of spending class time trying to remember the choreography AND the more you practice, the faster your muscle memory develops, meaning you will pick up new dances quicker and remember them more than if you weren’t practicing at all.

So, how can we fit dance practice (outside of our scheduled class time) into our weeks?

  1. TIMING:

    If you can practice every single day of the week that’s great. But, not realistic or sustainable and actually, not really beneficial as our bodies and brains would soon become burnt out and fatigued. Sit down and look at your schedule and decide on a realistic expectation that you can set for yourself. Perhaps you can practice three times a week? A Sunday afternoon when you have lots of free time, after school on a night when you don’t have to rush off to another activity and maybe one night right before bed? Remember that you don’t need to spend hours at a time practicing. Think about how much time you actually spend on your routine in class. Once you take away a warm up, technique work and skills, a cool down, that leaves about 20-30 minutes for choreography. So if you can manage three 20 minute practices a week, you are already doing an extra hour of dancing! It’s a good idea to squeeze in a quick practice right after your dance class, while the choreography is fresh in your head and right before dance class, so that you can progress on to the next block of choreography quickly.

  2. BREAK IT UP: 

    Practicing a whole routine, remembering every step and finding corrections for yourself sounds like a daunting process. Why not break your dance up into sections and practice one bit at a time? Perhaps there is a part of your dance that is particularly challenging for you, focus on that until you feel confident with it and only then, move on to the next section. You don’t even have to practice specific choreography. Perhaps there is a tricky turn, skill or just one transition that you need to work on. It’s amazing how everything can fall into place once you have jumped over one hurdle.

  3. VISUALIZE & LISTEN:

    This one is especially good for those weeks when your body is sore and exhausted from all of your other activities. Or perhaps you are run down and not well enough to exert all of your energy dancing. Pop your headphones in and listen to your song. Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing the steps. Also, imagine your classmates with you so that you can remember your choreography and formations in relation to your teammates. Visualizing yourself performing on stage in costume and under the lights is a great way to reignite your passion for a piece of choreography that might be becoming stale or “boring” as you have been working on it for a few months. Picture what you want to look like when you are on stage in front of your family and friends. What does your performance face look like? Practice this in front of a mirror! Or a friend if you are feeling brave. Just listening to your song over and over without any added distractions can help you understand the musicality better, which is important for timing and unison in a group dance. Next time you’re in class, ask your teacher for a copy of the music or the title and artist so that you can have it at home. You can listen to your song on the way to school, while you are doing chores or just in your down time.

     

  4. WRITE THINGS DOWN:

    It’s understandable if from time to time you get home from dancing and think “What did we do??”. Take a notebook into class and write down keywords or new things that you learn so that when you are practicing you can jog your memory. Make note of any corrections your teacher gives to you personally or to the whole class. Ask the teacher if there is anything specific they think you need to work on. Write it down in a way that you will understand. Write down the things that you think you are awesome at as well and practice those too!

  5. WATCH:

    So now that you can remember all of the steps to your choreography. That means there is no point to practicing right? ….Wrong! There is always something to work on. Why not film yourself performing your choreography and then sit back and watch. Sometimes dancing can look so much different than what it feels like. You might notice you aren’t fully straightening your legs and stretching your feet and ankles even though it feels like you are. Or if you’re a hip hopper, maybe it’s the opposite and you are not bending your knees and dancing into the ground as much as you thought. Make some notes about what you see. What do you do well? What can you work on? Imagine you are the teacher and you are correcting your student. What would you tell them?

  6. PRACTICE PRACTICING:

    Like any good habit, practicing will take time to work into your routine and the more you do it, the better you will get at it. Everybody has a different learning process so find the method that fits your lifestyle and learning style best. When you practice, tell people! The encouragement and good feedback you will receive, will fuel you to keep practicing AND that energy is contagious, it will encourage your teammates to practice too.

There is no right or wrong way to practice your dancing at home and your dancing can only get better if you give it a go! We challenge you all to apply these 6 tips to your practicing schedule and get ready to watch your dancing sky rocket! What have you got to lose?

By Chloe Jobson: A chronic nagger who can often be found rocking back and fourth uttering the words “please practice” over and over. 

MAY NEWSLETTER #2: Mid-Year “Sneak-Peek!” Showcase Information

PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT INFORMATION BELOW IN REGARDS TO MSF’S MID YEAR PERFORMANCE:

Due to the number of students participating in this years mid-year concert, we have to split our our mid-year SNEAK-PEEK performance into two seperate concerts to ensure that we can safely fit all students and audience members into the venue. The alternative was to move to a more expensive venue and charge audience members for tickets OR cap audience numbers. We felt neither options were suitable for the casual nature of our mid-year concert or our amazing, big group of supporters that come along every year. Please see details below.

  • Both concerts will be held on Friday the 22nd of June in the Drama Centre at Lalor Secondary College (Cnr Dalton Rd and David St Lalor) where our Wednesday and Friday classes are held.
  • There will be no regular class that evening, only the showcases.
  • There will be an early show at 5.30pm and a later show at 7pm.
  • If your child is unable to attend the showcase, please advise us by email ASAP so their teachers can be advised.
  • All Mini, Tiny, Junior and Inter students will perform in one show only
  • Senior students and crew members will perform in BOTH concerts.

WHAT TO WEAR

  • Students are to arrive wearing correct uniform and hair at their designated arrival times. (see link for kit list at bottom of page)
  • Hip hop students who do not have an MSF t shirt, please arrange to purchase one in class ASAP. $30 each. Hoodies are not permitted to perform in.
  • Minimal make up is permitted but not necessary.
  • Students who do ballet as well as other styles will keep their hair in a ballet bun for the entire show
  • Students who do hip hop and other styles are required to wear their ballet/jazz/contemporary uniform under their hip hop clothes
  • MSF Logo JoJo bows are permitted in hair but not compulsory
  • Students who need to bring a change of shoes etc for different styles are to bring them along in a small, easily recognisable bag (labelled with their name). Otherwise, please leave ALL jackets, bags, drink bottles etc. with parents. The number of bodies in the space will warm everyone up!
  • Please ensure your child has been to the toilet before dropping them off.

AUDIENCE DETAILS

  • Please park in the first carpark on Dalton Rd or on the street.
  • A reminder there is NO SMOKING ON THE SCHOOL GROUNDS permitted.
  • There will be no reserved seating and doors will open just before the show.
  • Video recording and photography during the performance are not permitted.
  • A DVD recording will be available to purchase at a cost of $14 each. This is a great keepsake and assists in practicing for the end of year performance.
  • If you would like to order a DVD please ensure you order and pay by the final week of term.
  • Each class will perform 1 dance each.
  • Family is invited to come and watch. Cost will be a gold coin donation per audience member as a fundraiser.
  • The show WILL start on time and because the doors to the drama centre lock automatically, late comers will not have access to the show. Don’t be late!
  • Seats are not allocated and audience members will not be permitted inside the building until doors open, 15 minutes before show. There is good viewing wherever you sit.
  • Audience members are welcome to wait in the gymnasium (opposite the performance centre) while the children warm up and settle in with their class.

Please organise all items outlined on your checklist prior to show week and be sure to check all of the classes that your children attend.

KIT-LIST HERE: STUDENT / CLASS KIT LIST DOCUMENT

As always, please get in touch if you have any questions. We understand we have LOTS of new parents and children this year and we are happy to help you out where we can.

Happy Dancing!

The MSF Team xx

10 Life Hacks To Stay Motivated During Winter (For Dance Kids and Parents!)

Winter is here! Tis the season for hot chocolates by the fireplace, early nights in, flannelette pajamas and electric blankets. Tis’ also the season when typically our enthusiasm for dance class, exercise and commitments in general begin to falter.  To ensure you get the most out of your dancing this year it is important to stay on top of things, even when a night in under the heater with mum’s best soup recipe is calling your name.

Here are 10 simple and easy life hacks to help dance students and dance parents stay motivated about coming to class during winter.

  1. CAR POOL: Just like having a gym buddy, if you’ve got a friend relying on you and keeping you accountable you’re less likely to be tempted to stay home under the blankets. Take it in turns with your trusted dance parent friend so that every second week you get the night off but your dancer still makes it to class.
  2. DON’T GO HOME: Pack all of your dancing clothes and shoes in the morning and leave them in the car. Head straight to dancing after school. This cuts out some travel time too!
  3. HOT FOOD: Snacks before and after dancing (or during if you’ve got a long night of classes) are important to fuel our bodies. Hot food like steamed veggies and soup are great ways to warm you up from the inside out and are super healthy. Cook up a big batch, label it “dancing food” and pop in the freezer, ready to heat up each dancing night. This is great for students and parents and siblings that might be waiting around at the studio.
  4. HOT DRINKS: Probably not suitable for during class but great for before and after. Herbal tea or hot water with lemon will warm you up, keep you hydrated and give you a natural energy boost before class. Mums and dads who wait around, treat yourself to a take away coffee or hot chocolate, fill up a thermos from home OR help yourself to the tea and coffee at the studio. Re-fills are encouraged!!!
  5. LAYERS: You can wear lots of layers and still be dressed appropriately for dance class. Fitted is best for ballet, contemporary and jazz AND it being close-fitting to your body, is actually warmer. EG: ballet stockings, leotard (long sleeve leo if you can!) leggings, ballet crossover or fitted long sleeve top, woolly ballet shrug, leg warmers! You can always remove layers as you warm up in class AND why not wear your track pants, ug boots and Main St Funk hoodie over the top for to and from class!? Little people, could even bring their pajamas to pop on after class. Then you can jump straight into your nice warm bed when you get home.
  6. BLANKETS: Dance studios are typically pretty cold if you are not the one dancing and working up a sweat. Mums, dads and kids that wait around, leave a little blanket or rug in the car to pop over your knees while you’re sitting at dancing.
  7. HOT SHOWERS: Yes, before class!! It will refresh your body and mind after a long day at school or work and warm and relax your muscles. Put your dancing gear on as soon as you get out of the shower.
  8. HEAT PACKS/WATER BOTTLES: Keep your hands, feet or wherever warm with a heat pack or hot water bottle while you are sitting around the studio. These are also great for relieving sore muscles and joints.
  9. DON’T BE LATE, BE EARLY!: Warming up at the start of class is always important but particularly during winter when our muscles have tightened in the cold and our bodies take a little  longer to warm up. If you can get to class early, start your own warm up. Star jumps and jogging on the spot are great ways to get to the blood pumping and spinal rolls to mobilise the spine.
  10. THINK AHEAD: Think about what missing a class might mean for you and your team. Typically, when a dance student starts to fall behind on choreography or work they start to become even less motivated to come to class and eventually it all becomes too much to try to catch up. Dancing is a team sport!!! Encourage each other, hold each other accountable and be a team player that your team mates can count on. We are all in this (crazy Melbourne weather) together! 

Looking forward to seeing you all in class, dancing away the winter blues. Do you have a life hack that keeps you motivated during winter? We would love to hear it and I’m sure our dancing family would too! 

By Chloe Jobson – Chronically “feels the cold” but has danced through many winters.