Monday, July 12, 2010

Move, Create, Educate gets an Upgrade!

My Dear Readers,

After much thought, I have decided to upgrade this blog over to wordpress and combine it with my Maria's Movers website! I am really excited about it because I know you all will love it! It has been just over a year and the blog and website have been growing rapidly because of you! Yippie! It is simply easier for me to manage and update both sites together and this makes it more valuable to you as the readers! I thank you for reading and I hope that you will follow me to my new home!

You can check it out here and subscribe to my RSS feed here!

Much love,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ballet Shoes

A few days ago I purchased new ballet shoes and I just had to share them with you! My other ones kept coming up in class, as the little ones would say "Miss Maria, your ballet shoes are falling apart" (haha) I guess that means it was time to get a new pair. I got a new style that I am so excited about! Well, at least I think they are new style. Have you seen them? I have worn them to teach for the past few days, and they have been amazing. They allow the foot to breath with mesh on the bottom and sides, really allow room for the arch and just all around look super cool! The girls of course noticed I got new ones and could not wait to touch them!

On another note, does anyone ever feel like they spend their entire class tying ballet slippers? I have for the past few weeks. My friend, Dena who is also a dance teacher told me about a little trick. She told me to have them tie the string in a knot (only single) and then cut the string off so there is just a little bit left over. Then once the girls get to class and have them on, tuck them inside the shoe. No bows needed! Has anyone ever tried this trick? Or do you have another trick that you do to keep the shoes tied? I would love to hear!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Heat Wave

This week in NYC it is supposed to be 99 degrees for 3 days in a row! The rest of the days will be a cool 94 degrees. Can you believe that? Since there will be such a heat wave I have been brainstorming about places we could visit in dance class that will make us cool.

-Perhaps we could build a sun, everyone could lay down in the circle with their feet in the middle and heads pointing out. We could move our arms really sharp in air. Like rays. This could be really fun, and quite silly!

- Maybe we could visit the beach. Move like waves, build sand castles with our bodies, and fly kites. What would your kite look like?

- It is also possible we could visit the pool. Putting on our very cool sunglasses and bathing suits (pretend of course) and practicing different jumps we would do into the pool. A turning jump, a X jump could be fun, really the possibilities are endless. We could also imagine we had a sprinkler that we were dancing through. Oh, I love the pool and the sprinkler and I am pretty sure all 3's and 4's do too!

Even though I would be just as happy sitting in front of the air conditioner this week. Dance class must go on! What will you do this week to keep cool? Keep your students cool? I would love to hear!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Remembering the 4th of July Parade!

When I was in college I would venture back home to my parents house to live in the summertime. Since I live in a very small town with not much to do, I decided to keep busy by running my own summer dance program! Conveniently titled Maria's Summer Dance Explosion, kids from town would sign up to take a dance class with me once a week. I always had shirts made and for a few years we did the 4th of July parade! It was so much fun! This time of year is when I really remember the fun we had the most. I thought I would share with you some of the pictures that make me smile so big!

We decorated the float...
Traveling float...
Dancing in the street... (that's me leading a dance!)
My supportive and amazing family... (I could of never done it without them)
For 3 years we did the 4th of July parade. I can remember how tired we were putting everything together. We would all come home to collapse and finish off the celebration with a BBQ! I will never forget these fun times as we honor Independence day!

Does Independence Day bring back any specific memories for you? Have you ever been a part of a parade? I would love to hear! Happy 4th! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's my 1 year Blogoversary!

Time to celebrate! Move. Create. Educate has been in the blogosphere for 1 year today! Can you believe that? When I started this blog one year ago, I never could of imagined how happy it would make me. I look forward to writing and to my surprise it's amazingly addicting! In this post, I thought I would recount the amazing people I have met and some of the career moves I have made all over just one years time because of network I have built on this blog!

First, So many great opportunities opened up for me this year. I honestly believe it is because of this blog. In January, I was hired at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan to run all of the movement and dance programs for the young families division. It is truthfully the best job in the world! I am so grateful to have it! And, just a few days ago I was accepted onto the Young Professionals Dance/NYC Advisory Board! How exciting, right? (more to come on this later!) These are just a few of the many things that are popping out of my head right now!

Second, I have made some amazing friends online along the way and I am so happy to call them friends. Nichelle, the inspiring voice behind Dance Advantage, Suzanne, the genius behind, and Tiffany, the creative mind behind Dancing Branflakes. Also, the amazing Catherine behind 4dancers, and super talented Stacey behind Letters from Leaping Legs. I can't imagine my life without all of your ideas, generous comments, and most importantly your support! Thank you, Thank you. I can't say it enough. Thank you!

Last, I would like to thank you, my lovely readers. Thank you for all of your sweet comments and all of your support. You have no idea how much it is appreciated. I really blog from what I experience day in and day out as I am teaching. I love having a supportive place to share my ideas and be creative. I think it has given me more confidence in teaching my classes as well! Does anyone feel like blogging secures confidence? I certainly do!

Here's to another year of Moving, Creating, Educating and Blogging!

(p.s. in the coming weeks, Move. Create. Educate. will have a new look as I am combining my Maria's Movers website with this blog! The design looks fabulous so far and I can't wait for you all to see it! )

(p.p.s Do you tweet or facebook? Follow me on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook!)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Do you have twins in your dance class? Oh my goodness. This summer I have 2 sets of twins in my ballet class. It is quite the challenge for me because both sets are identical. It's hard for me to tell who's who without thinking really hard about it first and it's especially hard to tell who is who from the back! I will get the hang of it, hopefully next week I can call them out without thinking about it to much.

From what I have observed so far, twins like to stick together. Literally. Like glue. I try to say, "Miss Maria would love to see your very own dance" but it has not worked yet. I can imagine it's easy to get "stuck" to your sibling, especially if you look just like them. I can also imagine it's not easy to separate from them. I would just love the challenge of giving them some independence. Even though they are in the same class there has to be a way to separate them. Don't you think? At every new transition I always ask if one of them wants to come and sit by me. The answer, "I want to be with my sister."

Have you faced this challenge at all? I wonder if any of you fabulous teachers out there have any special tricks for getting twins to separate? Not separate like in another room, but separate as in "detach" from one another.

Oh, and if you have a trick to help with telling them apart, I would love to hear that too! Today I studied them closely and observed the detail of their features. That should help, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Egg Shakers

Usually before my ballet class starts families show up early. I try really hard to keep the dancers waiting outside the room. This way they don't get all wound up before I need to try to get them organized to start class. But this week, I had a 18-24 month ballet class (so much fun and a new experience for sure!). They just could not wait to come in and explore the room in their tiny pink tutus! So I let them in while we waited for everyone to show up. To give them something to do, I put out egg shakers. I turned on ballet music and we danced around the room with the shakers. Of course they put them in their mouth too (that's how they tell the shape of things when they are that little) but they absolutely loved them. I think I will continue to do this every week!

Do you let the students explore the room before class? Do you put something out for them to explore? Or do you let them in right when class starts? I would love to hear!