Dance benefits:

Just to clarify, I do not dance just because of the religious side of it, there are other reasons, and if you are debating if you want to start dancing, here are a couple benefits that dance has!

1. Muscles and controlling weight: as you dance, you gain muscles as well as strength, and it forces you to be in a specific weight range. It is perfect if you are the type of person who tends to overeat like myself.

2. Destress: Going and doing something you love makes you forget about that pile of laundry in the corner of your room or all of the homework that you forgot to do.

3. bone health: By using a ligament repetitively, you are strengthening it and preventing osteoporosis (decrease of bone density as you age)

5. Mental: I associate dance with positivity even though it takes up a lot of energy, my smile on stage used to be forced, but now it is a genuine smile because I am with people that a love and doing what I enjoy.

 

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Summer Plans

Well, summer is right around the corner! Some people are going on vacation, having guests, getting their life together, or like me, all of the above. I absolutely love summer because that means that our annual recital is coming soon and we finish one more dance exam. As good as summer may seem, there are some cons. For example, all of the students are not on the same page because we are all going on vacation at different times. Another bad side of it is that there are exam stresses because as you go to the higher levels, the exams are taken more seriously. Anyways, hope you all are doing okay in the last few weeks of chaos!

 

 

Picture:http://www.squashmoncton.com/w/blog/summer-box-leagues

 

Commitment

As we all know, any sport is time consuming. In May, everything piles up; tests, sols, AP exams, sport season championships, upcoming job opportunity interviews, and all other crazy things. However, it is still important to go for practice so that you are caught up and have one less thing to stress about. In the ideal world, we would have time to do everything and still have time to sleep and be with friends, but that does not always happen. Most of the time, you would choose one or the other. My guideline is simple: if there is no game or peformance, go and have fun! Happy May!

 

 

 

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Performance chaos

I guess you could say that the chaos mentioned before performances are funny to some people, and to others its just chaos. Throughout all of the scrambling, you learn a few things on what to do to make it a more successful performance.

  • Start getting ready early– get ready about an 90 minutes before reporting time. If there are any problems with the make up or the costume you can buy it before. I have learnt that in order to avoid smugding lipstick, put it about ten minutes before you step foot on the stage.
  • Have a designated backpack for the performance– Do not carry one hundred tiny little packets, put everything in one big backpack so that everything stays organized and you do not lose things. In your backpack, there should be things like lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow,  bobby pins, hair spray, safety pins,  makeup remover, your wallet, a comb, and extra clothes.
  • Extra clothes– Now imagine this, you have just finished a performance, and you are sweating and you are in the mood for having a dinner out with your dance friends, if you want to avoid drawing attention to yourself, bring some clothes which you can afford to get makeup stains on (avoid wearing white shirts). I also recommend that you wear something that is comfortable, maybe not a sweatshirt, but like a sweater or a nice shirt.
  • Reporting time- The reporting time is not an extra cushion, there is no cushion. Usually reporting time is an hour before the performance so that you can see the stage and practice and have last minute costume changes, etc.

Competition

March is the time to start studying for upcoming exams and SOLS. For people who play year-round sport, it is time for championship. For dance, it is the same way, we start preparing for our Annual Recital which is usually during late summer, but this year our instructor has signed us up for our first competition. Since December, we have been taught a dance for both the recital and the competition. It is a lot more complex compared to the choreography that we have done for last year’s annual recital. Due to my health, my doctor has told me that I can’t take on a lot of pressure from school and dance and that I have to commit to one until I can give my 100% to dance. However, I am really proud of the team who will be dancing, I know that it won’t be possible to get 1st place because it is our very first competitive performance, but we will improve!

 

Steps to teach and choreograph

Now, we are all procrastinators in some way. It may be from school work or simply just getting out of bed in the morning. For my dance group and I, it is choreographing a dance and making it look presentable. During practice, I admit, we are a mess, but on stage we are collected.

  1. Have a reasonable deadline- if the song is four minutes long, do not expect it to be done within a week if you spend five minutes a day doing it and then constantly change the steps. It is important to give you and your group time to review and learn.
  2. Take it slow- Not all of your group will get the steps immedietly. You must take it slow and teach it carefully and correctly, because if you get frustrated, your dance will not be performed the way you imagined.
  3. Be open to opinions and ideas- You must remember to take input from everyone. If one person in the group states that they do not like a step, you should ask them if they have another option and once you agree with a choreography, you should be fine.
  4. Communicate with the instructor- if you have an issue about the dancers or a step, talk to your dance teacher for her opinions and her options. You must get their approval before you proceed. As mentioned in step one, setting a deadline is important, but you should plan out everything before continuing.
  5. Persist- work hard and make this dance worth it!

It is also good to know that things change, last minute things come up. Do not get frustrated because one day that person might be you.

I hope everyone has a great day!

4th of July Celebration

I wanted to throw it back to last summer where my friends and I had the best team bonding. According to the title, you probably assumed that this was on July 4th. Not entirely correct , it was actually July 3rd. My friend lives in South Riding which means that it is a 40 minute drive to get to her house, so my friend and I carpooled. It was a little party and a sleepover.We started the party by attempting to take aesthetic pictures at the local park using the golden hour to our advantage.  I wish I could tell you that the pictures were decent, but unfortunately they were not, we did not have that natural glow that you would expect for a golden hour post. No, we looked like carrots in red, white, and blue.

But there is a first time for everything! Am I right?Anyways, we headed back and cooled off and ate delicious food consisting of two different types of pasta and garlic bread and a lot more food.We went back outside and took pictures with sparklers and the pictures were amazing. It was about 10 pm, so we used the flashlight from our phone to make sure everybodies face and hair was visible. After that we watched the best bollywood movie called Chennai Express. It is a really funny movie especially the facial expressions of the lead actor.At three in the morning, we ate dessert which was a cookie cake. And we also encountered a spider, I will spare you the details.We fell asleep at four and went back home the next day.

In five years, I want to remember that there was a day where I was free and had the time of my life. It was better than homecoming  and the beach blast combined. Once college starts, we will not be able to meet up that often, but these memories will always be there. I decided to write about this because as a rising junior you start stressing about college or what you want to do with your life. Just remember to still have fun and cherish the time you spend with your friends and family.

 

SECRET SANTA 2018

I have mentioned this in many of my posts, but I wanted to describe one time where we truly bonded as a team. About three weeks ago, we had a dance class. We started to get obsessed with aesthetics and doing things together. This year, we took the challenge of organizing a secret santa.

You are probably wondering, why would it be a challenge?

Our dance group consisted of people from two different counties and states. Yes, I said states.

One of the dancers in our group lives in West Virginia. It is about a 90 minute drive to the dance class.

Anyways, it was a week after we decided that we wanted to do secret santa. We procrastinated till the next week to finally draw out names. All of us were scrambling to get our gifts for our friends, but it went successful. We all spent another hour after class eating fresh brownies and laughing about our struggles in finding a gift.

It is worth doing things with your friends who do not go to the same school as you. It is a group that I will never forget.

I hope everyone has an amazing winter break and spends time with family to enjoy the holidays!

Annual Dance Recital at Stone Bridge High School 2018

 

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PERFORMANCE STRESS

This year was the 10th Annual Recital for Arpan Dance Academy, we were stressed out and it resulted in a very successful performance.

For us, at least. On stage, we are calm and collected, but backstage parents are scrambling to get makeup on kids,performers are practicing, kids are running around,props are lost, costumes are all over the place as well as shoes, parents are trying to shush their kids.

In other words, it is chaos.

Before the performance everyone is quiet and anxious. Our hands are sweaty from gripping our friend’s hands. We peek our heads from the side of the curtains to see any familiar faces. As they announce our names to perform, we smile at each other and it is almost as if we are saying “good luck”, but the words are unspoken.

 

All the stress has left our bodies as we enter the stage and make a promise to ourselves that this will be a good show.

 

Annual Recital at Broad Run High School 2017

DANCE FRIENDS

We have all dealt with the situation where you are with a group of people who you barely know. You have three options: pretend to not notice them and go on your phone, make an excuse to leave the room, or you could just simply try to interact with them. It seems hard at first, but talking and getting to know your group helps you enjoy the activity more.

For me, I had two friends in my class and we all went to the same school, but one of my friends and

In dance, there are scenarios where you have to work together to choreograph song. That choreography done between friends will be a lot better than choreography done by strangers. Since preschool, our teachers always stressed the importance of team work.

It is not a school skill. It is a life skill.

 

Anacostia Arts Center