Miss Zoe knows what it takes to be #PURPLE

IMG_7588What has been your favorite Dance Exploration School to Teach at? Why?
My favorite school to teach at is Crestmoor Early Learning Center. Not only are the group of girls adorable, but they are always keeping me on my toes ūüôā
If you met someone on the street that never heard of Dance Exploration, what would you tell them about our company? I usually explain to people that Dance Exploration is an enrichment program that specializes in dance. I also tell people what makes us unique is that our goal is to get affordable dance into as many schools as possible so that as many children as possible can have the chance to learn the wonderful art. We also use dance as a fun learning tool by incorporating day to day/academic themes into our curriculum.
When you aren’t teaching and working with Dance Exploration, what are you doing? When I’m not working with Dance Exploration, I spend my own time practicing ballet, tap, and jazz as well as working as a Guest Experience Captain at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Which letter in the SPARKLE system is most beneficial to you? Why? (Systems, Pledges, Ambitions, Regiments, Knowledge, Leadership, Expressions) Ambitions, in my opinion, are the most beneficial to me because my goals are what keeps me motivated. My hopes and dreams are the reasons why I keep challenging myself to become a better teacher/dancer/person in general.

Miss Zoe is our current teacher of the month! She shows everyday how to be #PURPLE by sharing her Passion, Unique Talents, Reliability, Professionalism, Love of Kids and Educated knowledge of dance techniques and our ‘Dance to Learn!’‚ĄĘ Curriculum.

Miss Meg #Sparkles!

It’s no surprise Miss Meg is the teacher of the month this month! She’s sassy, spunky and Sparkly! She knows how to captivate a room, and teaches really fun dances to boot!
We asked her a couple questions about teaching and working with Dance Exploration.
In the #PURPLE acronym which letter means the most to you and why? (Passionate, Uniquely Talented, Reliable, Professional, Love Kids, Educated)?
For the acronym #PURPLE the letter that means the most to me is Passionate. I feel that dance is a huge part of who I am as an individual. I am extremely passionate when the music starts to play and the world fades away, and all that is left is a complete sense of self. I hope that in my career as a dance teacher that I can build this self confidence in my students so that they become just as passionate as I am about dance.
What’s your favorite teaching memory with Dance Exploration? Why?
My favorite teaching memory with Dance Exploration is when my students preformed at the Nuggets Game back in November. Not only was it super cool to be behind the scenes at the Pepsi center and on the court with over 100 people watching. But it was so fulfilling to see the girls faces light up when they preformed in front of that big of an audience. The little ones were mesmerized by the jumbo-trons, but still confident enough to hit all their choreography! I look forward to doing more events like that in the future.
If you could share one tip for other dance teachers, what would it be?
My tip for dance teachers is to be the type of teacher that your students need. That means putting aside things that happened outside dance class, and coming in to class prepared to be energetic and optimistic about the class. Moreover, this can sometimes mean putting away your love for the students and desire for them to like you, in order to be firm in demanding their respect. All in all, a good dance teacher can always read their students needs and adjust their curriculum and tone to give the best dance class possible.
We’ve noticed that you wear lots and lots and lots of Sparkly clothes and shoes. Is there one item in your wardrobe that sparkles and shines above the rest?

My favorite Sparkly item in my closet is my formal dress. It’s a white sequences dress with a silver tiger pattern. Although this one can’t be worn to class, it is my favorite because when I put it on I feel fierce like a tiger and confident! This dress makes me feel like I outshine the rest!

Teacher of the Month- Miss Zoe

Each month, Dance Exploration elects a Sparkling Teacher to showcase as our Teacher of the Month! These teachers exhibit great passion to their art, and strive to provide the best in quality dance classes for our students!

Our Teacher of the Month for October is Miss Zoe! Take a moment to read our interview with Miss Zoe:

1) How do you ensure that you Sparkle each day as a teacher?
I ensure that I Sparkle each day as a teacher by always looking for self improvement. Part of a career that sparkles is having ambitions and knowledge. Every day I look to achieve my goals and I love spending time on my own educating myself in teaching and dance.
2) What do you love about being a Dance Exploration teacher?
My favorite thing about being a Dance Exploration teacher is being able to provide kids a dance education by going around to different schools. I love that I can introduce dance into children’s lives and hopefully I can pass on my passion for dance to my students.
3) What is a fun activity you do each class that the kids love?
For my hip hop classes, most weeks I usually have them do a dance circle where each student gets to dance in the middle of it. Everyone loves it because they can show of their dance moves and add their own personality to it.
4) If you could give dance teachers a bit of advice for a smooth class, what would it be?
I think for a smooth class, it is very important to maintain a positive and calm attitude. I find that doing so will help create a better controlled environment.
Miss Zoe demonstrates a breakdance move at her Hip Hop class at High Plains Elementary.

Miss Zoe demonstrates a breakdance move at her Hip Hop class at High Plains Elementary.

Sparkling Teacher of the Month: Miss Meg

Congratulations to Miss Meg! She was awarded our first Teacher of the Month award for the 2014/2015 school year! She had a wonderful month of September!
meg oneill
1) How do you ensure that you Sparkle each day as a teacher?
As a teacher I make sure that I SPARKLE each day by always coming to class with confidence and a plan! I like to make sure that each of my students are getting my complete attention so that they can become the best dancers they can be! I also like to make sure I’m always in communication with the parents, my fellow teachers, and my director so that our operation at Dance Exploration is running smoothly.
2) What do you love about being a Dance Exploration teacher?
I absolutely love being a Dance Exploration teacher because I get to see the excited faces of my students each day when they feel like they have finally gotten down a move or dance. It’s amazing how much dance can build a child’s confidence and I love leading by example.
3) What is a fun activity you do each class that the kids love?
My student’s favorite fun activity we do is Little Sally Walker because each student gets the opportunity to show off their own personal style of dance, while also teaching another student how to do the move. I believe this is important because it builds strong leaders and acceptance of all personalities in a classroom.
4) If you could give dance teachers a bit of advice for a smooth class, what would it be?
I’d advise all teachers to come in with a plan. Kids especially can tell when you are not prepared and will take advantage of the time you are trying to “think on your feet” by fooling around and becoming distracted. I always try to prepare for my classes the week before so that I utilize all my time to the fullest.

Catch a Magic Fairy

Catch a Magic Fairy

Catch a Magic Fairy is a perfect technique for children in a preschool aged dance class. Children at this age so often need to often be reminded of keeping their hands off of things. How many times have you caught yourself saying any one of the following:

‘Don’t touch the mirror!’

‘Keep your hands to yourself!’

‘Stop hanging on the barre!’

 

Probably to the point of sounding like a broken record and not to much avail. Plus, saying ‘no don’t touch that’ every class is not allowing the positive ‘Yes’ Environment that is needed in a dance studio to foster and encourage a child’s creativity.

Miss Jessica recently discovered this little trick- Catch a Magic Fairy! How does it work?

When you know children will be by the mirror, barre, or perhaps standing next to their peers have them catch a magic fairy (hands up clasp the fairy in your palms) and put it in their pocket (sit criss-cross applesauce or keep your hands together so the fairy doesn’t fly away). Anytime you see a child touching something or someone they shouldn’t let them know their fairy has escaped and to hurry and catch it again before it flies away!

Let us know how this technique works in your dance class! Do you have a favorite classroom management technique for keeping hands under control? Please share by leaving a comment!

Teacher of the Month: Miss Stephanie!

Dance Exploration takes pride in our teachers! We hand pick instructors that have great knowledge and skill in dance pedagogy and once we train them in our ‘Dance to Learn!’ curriculum, we have a win win! Miss Stephanie is the cream of the crop and is excited to be awarded the Teacher of the Month for the second time in a row for the month of March. Now is your chance to get to know Stephanie a little better as a Teacher!

How does it feel to be awarded Teacher of the month for the second time in a row?
“I’m very happy, it means a lot to me to be appreciated for the work I do!”
What is your favorite Dance Exploration class to teach and why?
“I enjoy¬†teaching¬†cheer/pom classes because it is¬†fulfilling to see students grow and learn a new and interesting dance style.”
How do you create unique ‘Dance to Learn!’ activities to keep your students excited and interested in Dance class?¬†
“To keep students excited I enjoy coming up with new activities that are fun and educational for¬†the¬†class. To do this I keep myself informed about new and excited things happening in our dance community.”
Is there a teacher that inspires you? Who? And Why? 
“My first dance¬†teacher, Miss Beth, just opened her own dance studio in Washington state recently, she inspires me to follow my dreams in dance and to work hard to make them come true.”
Miss Stephanie teaches warm ups a the Belle's and Beau's at Rampart Location.

Miss Stephanie teaches warm ups a the Belle’s and Beau’s at Rampart Location.

Miss Stephanie has recently been promoted to Dance Exploration’s Administrative Assistant!

Why Do We “Dance to Learn”? Our Inclusion of Terpsichore Literacy Program in Class!

Did you know our preschool programs include so much more than dance instruction?

The Terpsichore Literacy Program, which Dance Exploration LLC uses daily in our classrooms, aims to strengthen your child’s reading and communication skills alongside superior dance instruction. Each class time your child is read a book, often a fairy tale or a fun story book that applies to the day’s dance lesson. Then the book’s theme, characters, and story are used throughout the class.

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For example: Maybe the day’s dance class is all about learning how to help others. The teacher might read the fairy tale “Cinderella” to the class as the first activity. Then, they will discuss the characters and themes with their students (“How did the little birds help Cinderella when they saw she was sad?”). After that the dance fun begins.

The teacher might lead the class in a couple dance combinations that allow them to express their creativity through being Cinderella’s helpers (birds, mice, etc). They might “fly” across the room to pick up a blanket that’s fallen off the table, or “scamper” low to the ground like a mouse to help Cinderella sew her dress for the ball!

These¬†activities integrating the Terpsichore Literacy Progarm, all done within one class, helps your child’s language learning skills through the medium of story and active dance! Now that’s a winning combination!