On this latest episode of Dance Teachers Academy, José and Aimée interview the unmistakable voice of the Master of Ceremonies John DePalma. The sound of his engaging voice has been an important part of the dancesport experience. There is no denying why he is known as the “Voice of Ballroom Dancing.”
During the interview, they also explore all the “backstage” challenges of a dance competition and discuss his upcoming dance competition Capital Dancesport Championships August 21-24th, 2019 at Hilton at Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
Dancing is more than the action of combining a series of steps and moving to music. Dance is a form of expression and communication. It is a way to worship. For dancer and “Transformational” Coach, Jean Dorff, dance was a way to heal. In his internationally best selling book Broken Silence: Living with Passion and Purpose after Sexual Abuse, A Dancer’s Story, he shares how dance helped him heal and find his inner strength and passion.
4-time British Open to the World Professional Latin Champions,Jukka Haapalainen and Sirpa Suutari describe his book as “A brave and touchingly honest account on this silenced, harrowing topic. This subject must no longer remain hidden, anything to give a voice to too many of those broken ones.”
Support and coaching – To overcome the trauma of sexual abuse and help them to lead a thriving life instead of just surviving
Raising awareness – In society through speaking events, social media outreach, and building a community of dancers and people who care for this cause, either within or outside the nonprofit.
Education and empowerment – Women, men, especially young adults. A Dancer’s Movement to Stop Sexual Abuse has developed specific workshops and trainings to educate people about this topic.
The foundation firmly believe that through these focus areas, the silence and isolation from sexual abuse can be broken and replaced with awareness and the ability to take empowering action. This will result in a lower number of sexual abuse victims, and better lives for those struggling with past traumas.
“It’s my goal to inspire people to discover and use their unlimited potential to empower them and to create a life of purpose, passion, health and abundance, leading to their destiny, despite or perhaps because of what they have been through.”
Dance Teachers Academy recently sat down with Jean Dorff to discuss the sexual abuse he endured as a child and how his passion for dance helped him to overcome his ordeals. Jean reads a powerful excerpt from his book.
Do you love dancing, but hate the fact that you have to see the chiropractor after every competition? Are you unable to get your head in the position your teacher wants it or if you do manage to, you just can’t maintain it? Do you ever wonder why this is happening to you, why is this so hard, and what can you do to fix it?
As we all know, posture is extremely important in dancing, not only for aesthetics, but also for our health. If we do not have optimal posture, our body compensates in various ways which often manifests itself as pain. Optimal posture is the state that our bodies are in when all of our bones are lined up properly, allowing us to have perfect balance and also giving us the ability to release all tension and stress from our muscles and joints. Optimal posture gives us the ability to move freely and naturally.
Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology
Maria Hansen, like many dancers, has suffered injuries. By the time she retired, she couldn’t get out of bed without assistance. Her neck couldn’t support her head. In healing her own body, she found correcting some muscle imbalances with a personal trainer extremely helpful. He was a graduate of the CHEK Institute in California. CHEK (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) practitioners focus first and foremost, on postural correction and then implement a functional training program geared toward the sport that you do. She decided to study at the institute and learn more about the function of the body from a different perspective.
On this episode of Dance Teacher Academy, Maria discusses how you can create the correct dance posture and look without being in pain.
Maria Hansen is a 7 Time United States Ballroom Finalist and has been a representative for the United States in the World Ballroom Championships. She was also the United States Vice Ballroom Champion and a Former North American Showdance Champion. Maria is the co-organizer of Vegas Open Dance Challenge. In addition to coaching, Maria is a Check Practitioner.
José and Aimée of Dance Teachers Academy sat down with Carolina Orlovsky and discussed how she pursued her dream of becoming a dancer.
At age 5, Carolina asked for dance lessons after watching the movie “My Fair Lady.” Her parents saw her love for movement, so they enrolled her in dance class… and she was awful.
Nobody starts off good, nobody does. I started off awful.
Most of the girls had already taken dance classes and were older than me, so I felt very out of place. I had this abundance of… I call it boy energy. Really active jumping and running. Kind of a daredevil. I wanted to push my limits. I didn’t separate like girls or princesses and behave this way. I didn’t have that association with dance. It’s athletic, you get to move and jump and fly and roll and spin and become something outside of a normal human and I wanted to be that.
A trip to Cuba in her senior year as a dance cultural exchange changed her life. Transformed by the people of Cuba who were rich in dancing, she auditioned and was accepted to the Alvin Ailey independent study program. Instead of working towards a college education she moved to New York City to pursue her dream of become a professional dancer.
Watch the full interview below
3-Times World Professional Rhythm Vice-Champion
3 Times U.S. Professional Rhythm Vice-Champion
9-Times U.S. Professional Rhythm Finalist
World Mambo Champion
2-Times U.S. Mambo Champion
World Professional American Rhythm Showdance Champion
“Far and way the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
One of our favorite things about this interview is the emphasis that Forrest Vance has on positivity. Positivity allows you to view yourself with potential. It’s a form of visualization. You see yourself having a chance at success.
Of course, positive thinking does not come easily to most people. For most, it’s the opposite of their instinct. It is so easy, particularly as a new dancer, to become overwhelmed and want to quit. So how does one change a mindset from a negative to a positive way of thinking?
There’s never one answer that works for everyone, of course. One thing that successful people have in common is to work with pleasure toward their goals. Realize that what you want to do is worthwhile, important, and fun, and that it will continue even if you do not continue with it. Furthermore, by studying it, you become even more worthwhile, important, and fun (well, more so than you already are!).
This is not meant to discourage. In fact, it should urge you to chase after what you want before it slips from your fingers! There is so much to learn, so many techniques, so many people who love dancing just as much as you do. What good does it do anyone to stop before you even begin?
Do you allow dancing to encourage or discourage you? Do you feel like you’re getting a chance to be part of something you love, getting a chance to be good at something fulfilling?
“What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don’t, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test.” – David Bayles
In addition to this wonderful interview of Toni Redpath by Dance Teachers Academy Podcasts, we thought we would throw in a few extra notes for our dancers – whether a beginner who is learning how to present themselves, or an experienced dancer struggling with their confidence.
When you see your role model doing what you wish you could, you have three options on how to view that person in relation to yourself:
The most popular reaction is, “I’ll never be able to do that!” This view provides low sense of capability for yourself and an untouchable and unattainable talent toward your role model. This viewpoint provides nothing but paralysis and harmful self-criticism.
Looking at the role model and saying “I’m better than him/her, he/she just doesn’t know it yet.” This fist-shaking view provides a superiority complex bred of insecurity for you, and dismissal of true value and skill of your role model. While this viewpoint does not lack confidence that is needed to be successful, you will likely feel above learning the building blocks of skills that will allow you to be technically correct in dance. This can cause you to have the reputation of a know-it-all with, realistically, very little knowledge.
The healthiest view, which is “How can I do that?” Not only does it give you an honest view of yourself, of all your successes and your shortcomings, it gives you a realistic goal to meet.
Only with the “How can I do that?” view can you improve. We know, it sounds cheesy. Are you surrounded with knowledgeable, kind people who are honest with you? Do they build you up when you do something correct and offer you solutions when you’re wrong? Do you recognize your mistakes and congratulate yourself on your success? If you find yourself unable to view yourself as successful, consider what kind of criticism you’re accepting. Be kind to yourself and choose your company carefully. Dancing is supposed to be technically correct, but also FUN!