How can you be a ‘mindful’ dancer?

Have you ever thought about being a more “mindful” dancer? How might one go about doing that? Why might one want to do so, in the first place? Being mindful involves staying attuned to the present moment, and remaining fully engaged in the task at hand. Given dance’s real-time physical and mental demands, it seems evident enough as to why remaining mindful would be advantageous for dancers.

Here, we speak with Stephen Ursprung, assistant professor of Dance Studies at Dean College; and Danielle Davidson, dance artist and assistant professor in Dance at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, to learn more about the what, why and how of mindfulness and dance training.

Broadway Dance Center runs to help fight AIDS

Dancers tend to have big hearts. On the other hand, they don’t always find ways to serve others outside of the dance world. In contrast, to its true credit, Broadway Dance Center (BDC) – as an organization and as a community – has consistently found ways to give back. A clear example is its involvement with Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA) and Broadway Runs through the upcoming New York City Marathon. A group of BDC community members have joined up with Broadway Runs, within a DRA sub-group under the larger Broadway Runs organizational umbrella. This group will run the last five kilometers of the NYC Marathon route, through the wonderfully scenic westside portion of Central Park, on November 3, the day before the marathon.

This is the first year that BDC has been involved with DRA through Broadway Runs, to partake in the NYC Marathon in this way. Dancer-runners will reach out to friends and family for sponsorship and will wear “Broadway Runs” t-shirts. It’s all part of BDC’s efforts to be involved in the local community, as well as a positive force in important issues that reach far beyond the dance world, explains April Cook, BDC public relations director. This effort joins BDC’s involvement with the NYC Walk for Breast Cancer and Dance for Kindness in that goal. Learn more about these efforts here. “It’s important to empower people with multiple ways to give back (with charitable runs),” Cook says. “If they can’t donate, they can run or walk.”

Broadway Dance Center walks in New York City’s Walk for Breast Cancer

For so many women, being diagnosed with breast cancer is the most terrifying thing they’ll ever experience. Treatment can be just as difficult. It is one of the most common forms of cancer around today. Yet every year, during National Breast Cancer Month (October), hundreds of people walk in solidarity with breast cancer patients and survivors – and in an effort to raise money for research toward a cure. A group of dancers from Broadway Dance Center (BDC) has joined these walkers every year since 2006 – this year, on October 14.

A troupe of dancers from BDC will also perform for and cheer on walkers, helping to lighten the mood of what can be a very heavy and emotional experience for many involved with the walk. All will wear “Team BDC” t-shirts. Dancers will start the day at 7:45am, and walkers at 9am. On October 10 and 11, all may meet at the studio to make signs for the walk. Go here to learn more about the event and get registered for the walk. One can also donate at that link – a way to contribute to the cause if walking on that day isn’t possible.

How to make the most of your drop-in classes

Studios like Broadway Dance Center are amazing – they offer hundreds of classes a week, are rich in every dance style imaginable, and have something for dancers of all ages and levels. There is so much to choose from! You can literally drop in at any time of the day and find yourself in a class surrounded by dancers from all over the globe, Broadway stars, professional ballet dancers, up-and-coming choreographers and those who take class simply for fun.

That said, you may be in a class packed to capacity, with a teacher you may not know and a style you may not be the most comfortable in. But all of those challenges are good for you and can fuel some serious inspiration! So how can you make the most of your drop-in classes at BDC?

Foods to Fight Inflammation

5 foods for recovery and inflammation

It’s no surprise that some of our top inflammation fighting foods are all plants. While there are individual nutrients we could add to this list like vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids and protein from beans, the synergistic effects of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and beta-carotene with phytonutrients like flavonoids, anthocyanins and lentinan work like a team of support for overworked muscles and the cardiovascular system, and they’re easily available at your grocery store.

Food is a powerful ally in a dancer’s recovery toolbox. Make sure you eat a veggie-heavy meal with a protein source within one hour after dance, and don’t forget to hydrate. You don’t have to break the bank with expensive superfoods or supplements to feel results. Simple foods like sweet potatoes, greens and black beans are cheap and nutritious. These five listed below are only a starting point but have the research to back up some of the health claims. The bottom line is: eat more plants. 

Planning your group visit to BDC

Do you live outside of NYC but wish that you and your students could dance all day at a studio like Broadway Dance Center, where there are over 350 classes in all styles each week? Well, dreams can come true!

BDC welcomes groups year-round and offers discounted rates for arranged group visits. So even if you live across the country, you can still partake in all the exciting classes that BDC has to offer! And BDC’s Group Services staff will work closely with you when planning your visit, as they know that each dancer in your group may have different needs and expectations, so your stay can be completely customized.

The Ortega Twins bring Pro Action Dance to BDC  

The arena for entertainment is one that spreads across many planes. More specifically for dance, that arena can span anywhere from a one-room studio to some of the biggest stages in the world. One aspect of dance entertainment that has stood the test of time is sports entertainment. As spectators watch a football or basketball game, it is the entertainment quality at halftime that keeps them hyped and ready for the rest of the game. There is no denying that both pro and college sports teams are not only known for the great players but also for their team dancers and cheerleaders.

How do these pro and college dance teams end up with such great crowd-pleasing routines that keep everyone entertained in the stadium or while you watch at home? Here, the Ortega twins, Marina and Mina, tell us about their innovative approach to sports entertainment and choreography with Pro Action Dance.

BDC holds Dance Teacher Workshop

Get ready for another undeniably inspirational weekend! Broadway Dance Center is gearing up for this year’s annual Dance Teacher Workshop, coming up July 31 to August 2. For the second year in a row, BDC will be holding this amazing weekend in Gibney Dance’s beautiful studios at historic 890 Broadway in NYC, giving participants lots of room to move, learn and network.

Take a look at the packed schedule. There are a multitude of classes open only to workshop attendees that are led by BDC’s esteemed faculty. These aren’t your typical classes; each one is geared specifically toward helping dance educators gain insight into the teaching process as specific to student age, level and style.