There’s rhythm and motion all around us…
My boy on the beach a couple of days ago, see the joy in his face! x
There’s rhythm and motion all around us…
My boy on the beach a couple of days ago, see the joy in his face! x
Well here we are then, the end of the month, so the end of my dance challenge! I must admit I have really enjoyed collecting all my favourite pieces of dance, each one of them having a personal meaning to me. I hope for those of you that are interested in dance have enjoyed my choices.
Now what next? What shall I do for April? because now I’m in the habit of posting everyday, I may as well carry on. I have noticed you get more response from photos, than videos, I suppose because it is a bit of an effort watching a whole video, unless you have a great interest in it. So I could go back to posting a photo, or I did think about posting a favourite piece of music of mine everyday, I’m not sure, what do you think?
Anyway, I started the month with my favourite ballet, and I shall end the month with my favourite ballet, this is the entrance of the swans, the corps de ballet. I love the togetherness, the symmetry of the lines and circles, all moving as one, beautiful! I gave this a go once as part as the corps de ballet in London, it’s harder than you think keeping absolutely perfectly together, took a lot of practise!
I look forward to your April challenge ideas! X
Staying with musicals, this is the Cell Block Tango from Chicago!
Sexy, strong, powerful, dynamic!
Happy birthday OH, this one is for you! Love you tuppence xx
Another musical number, this time from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Me Ole Bamboo.
All I can say is it energetic, exciting, technically tricky, just a good old fashioned musical number! X
This video I think is perfect for a Friday night!
I love this song and the dance Madonna does is a perfect seventies style. It reminds me of prancing around a studio, dancing like no one is watching you!
Enjoy, get your leotard, leg warmers on and strut your stuff x
This is an extraordinary piece of dance! It is by a company called DV8, and the lead dancer has no legs. He has a beautiful, flowing quality to his movement and the choreography is great!
You must watch this, it’s amazing! X
Here we have a Charleston from Strictly Come Dancing.
This one I particular like because these two dancers are brilliant, and you would find it hard to guess which one is not the professional. It is great characterisation, energy and technic! I love dancing Charleston.
See you tomorrow! X
The ease, grace, poise, and just pure brilliance of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing Cheek to Cheek, need I say more! (And coping with all those feathers)
Just take a moment and enjoy! X
This clip is from a great old musical, 42nd Street! We’re in the money!
The reason I have chose this is because it always reminds me of me doing it. I performed this musical a few times, when I was young, on big silver dollars and everything, in a professional production, and as a teacher with my adult tap class, again we danced on big round wooden sheets.
It’s all tap springs, tap step ball changes, and time steps!
So get your tap shoes out! 5 6 7 8
Back to my favourite ballet, and a best dance line up could not be complete without the Pas De Quatre from Swan Lake, danced by the Bolshol ballet.
The ease and togetherness of the dancers make it look easy when actually this is a really tricky dance to dance, especially as you are attached to someone, so if they go slightly out then that pushes you off balance!
So enjoy x
Today we travel to Russia!
When I was young and competing in dance festivals, I loved national dancing. This is where you dance in the style and costume of different countries. And I loved Russian dancing the best, probably because I was quite good at it and the costumes where pretty too!
This video is a great example of Russian dance, the strength and togetherness of the dancers is perfection and uplifting music!
Probably not the most technically piece of dance I’ve seen, but I do like this video and I like the style of it. Wouldn’t mind giving it a go.
So a little bit of pump it for your Friday evening! Xx
Today dancing wonder is from the British So You Think You Can Dance!
This piece I particularly enjoyed because I thought the choreography was great, by Rafael Bonachela, a Spanish choreographer. And the music Speechless by Lady Gaga is a lovely song. The dancers aren’t that bad either!
Try and find some time to watch! It’s great! X
Now this isn’t a classic bit of dancing, but I just love this whole song and dance.
Singing In The Rain is a great film and the original dance by Gene Kelly is magic, but this version by Morecambe and Wise is lovely!
Back to the ballet today!
This footage is just mesmerising!
It of the great Natalia Makarova dancing the dying swan from my favourite ballet Swan Lake. The fluidity of her arms, how she effortlessly glides across the stage, the emotion she puts into the steps, is just wonderful!
Please enjoy! ….. If you are into that kinda thing! X
This piece of dance is well worth a look! You might not have seen this before. This dance is from the film The Band Wagon staring Fred Astaire.
Now this dance was the inspiration to Michael Jackson’s video Smooth criminal, you can definitely see the similarity. Michael got many of his moves, videos and styles from the old films. Also the choreographer Fossy who style is very distinct from the musical Chicago, again got inspiration from this film.
Today’s dance delight is an old one with a modern twist!
Being a Family Guy fan, and a Gene Kelly fan, this is just great. This is Stewie dancing Jerry Mouses part in the film Anchors Aweigh. Now I love the film and I remember watching this as a child. And of cause Gene Kelly’s dancing is faultless!
So a bit of fun for our Sunday evening after spending the day gardening in the sun, just have to add a picture of me and the boy having a rest after mowing the lawn.
Till tomorrow! X
Now for a master class in dancing and technique. This is a piece from Alvin Alley Revelations, Fix Me Jesus. Now it took me a while to decide with one of the great dances to show you from this master piece but I chose this one just because it is so beautiful. I went to see Revelations a few years ago and was just blown away with it perfection.
It was first brought to New York in 1960, and it tells the story of African Americans faith and their rise from slavery to freedom. The gospel music is great. When I saw their technique, I recognised the movements because away at ballet school the syllabus we used was influenced by Alvin.
So I hope you find a moment to actually watch it and enjoy! X
Come on babe, why don’t we paint the town….
This musical, Chicago, is my favourite stage musical, I’ve seen it at least four times, and this song I just love. Now if I was granted a wish to choose a musical to star in, this would be the one! It’s funny, sexy, stylish and has all the razzle dazzle! ….. Just like me! Hehe!
So have a little all that jazz for your Friday evening!
Today a dance from one of my most favourite old films, Daddy Long Legs, with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. I used to spend many Saturday afternoons watching a black and white movie, I watched all the old musicals, I was mesmerised by them, that’s what I call real dancing, and I think that’s where the styles now all originate from! This dance is typical of this time, I think I was born in the wrong time, it should have been the 50’s.
Right back in time today with a clip of good old fashioned tap dancing! I love tap, I taught it for 17 years! As a child I was rubbish at it, just couldn’t get it, but then as an adult it just clicked, and I ended up being quite good at it. I think teaching it helped, because I really had to break it down to teach so I really became to understand it.
So I hope you enjoy this clip because this is how dancing should be! X
Here is todays dance, back to the ballet!
This dance is the clog dance from La Fille Mal Gardee.
This ballet was the one and only ballet I have managed to get OH to come and watch with me. We watched it in Boston, America. It is quite a good one to start with if you haven’t seen a ballet yet, it is light hearted, not to heavy. OH really liked this dance, and the music is great.
Till we meet tomorrow! x
A big contrast from yesterday, this is the great Michael Jackson in a live show, singing, They Don’t Care About us.
The reason I have chose this is because I just love the style the dancing, his sharpness of the isolated movements, how it fits perfectly with the music, yet another dance I would love to learn. Really it wouldn’t be that difficult, but I bet they rehearsed this over and over to get it altogether! And he sings on top of the movements too! Effortless!
I hope you enjoy it as much as me!
Back to the ballet today!
This is the Pas de Deux from the Nutcracker.
Now this is a beautiful dance, but the music has a special place in my heart, because this music is what I walked in with my OH at our wedding. So now when I hear it I don’t just only think of the steps, but I now remember my very special day.
Back to film today! This, as a child, was one of the most exciting dances I saw! It is Step in Time from Mary Poppins.
It is fast and energetic, it was a dance that I used to watch over and over again and try and copy all the steps!
On other news, hasn’t it been lovely and sunny in good old England! Had a lovely walk with the dog on Dartmoor today! Just thought I would share that.
Till tomorrow, be good! X
Now time for something a little bit more modern, because I also love up to date dancing, in fact I need to keep up to date so I know what the kids are talking about and what interests them.
Saying all of that though this is quite old now but I do like this video. This is Fat Boy Slim, Weapon of Choice. The reason I like it so much is because of the ease and the naturalness of Christopher Walkens dancing. The beginning bit being the best part.
Hope you enjoy! X
I have cheated a little bit because this isn’t a proper dance video, but I wanted to celebrate the character I dressed up as today for World Book Day.
The great Judy Garland was an all round performer, she could sing, dance and act, so it is not to far off the mark. I liked this video because you are listening to my favourite song from the film, but also watching the highlights of the film.
This film always brings back memories of Christmas time as a child. It seemed to be on every year in the seventies and I would watch it every time, I loved it! A little scared of the wicked witch though, and I think this film was an introduction for me to the world of musicals and my love of performing.
The picture of me below is what I looked like at school today, as you do! I am afraid that the only Dorothy dress I could get hold of was a little short, but be assured I covered myself up underneath well, with four layers, of two pairs of knickers and two pairs of tights. Not quite sure why I am explaining all of this, probably because I was self conscious, and it didn’t help that on the playground dismissing the children, one of the parents came up to me and said, ‘got your dress from Ann Summers did you!’, whistled and walked away! Great! X
Today’s dance delight is an Argentine tango, from Strictly Come Dancing. The dancers Vincent and Flavia are the one of the best couples I’ve seen dancing this style. Ballroom and Latin are styles that I haven’t studied. I would love to give this a go. It is a very sensuous dance and I love the music.
I’ve been busy today sorting out my costume for World Book Day tomorrow, so I will be posting a picture and a video tomorrow, I think. I will try and find a dance that is associated with my character.
Till tomorrow! X
Today’s dance spectacular is a must in a list of great dances!
This is Good Morning from Singing in the Rain.
Gene Kelly is without doubt one of my most favourite dancers. He set the standard, founded the style to many other dances. The grace and ease of all three of these dancers is wonderful, they make it look so easy, but in fact what they are doing is technically difficult. I would love to learn this dance properly just to see if I could do it!
And if you need cheering up this is the song and dance that will lift you! Enjoy x
As I said yesterday, I am going to be posting all sorts of different styles of dance from everywhere. I had great fun last night choosing all the videos, in fact I could carry this challenge on for another month there are so many pieces of dance I love! And all the pieces hold something special for me, like today’s.
This is the original footage from the Eurovision contest in 1994, where in the interval the world was blown away by this new kind of Irish stroke tap style. I was just glued to the TV.
It is also special to me because for sixteen years I ran a adults tap class, and I taught them this dance and they performed it with pride and excitement in front of a theatre audience. It’s the dance that everyone wants to have a go at, so I have taught it many times. I love dancing it because the music is so exhilarating and it’s a real cardio workout, you don’t need to go to the gym if you do this dance once a day!
So I hope you enjoy it as much as I do X
I have this months blog theme…. March Dance Challenge!
Thanks to bemuzin who suggested I blog about what I know best and that is dancing.
I just had to start with the best piece of ballet the pax de deux (French for dance for two) from the best ballet Swan Lake with my favourite dance company The Bolshoi Ballet.
Now it isn’t going to be ballet everyday, I’m going to chose my favourite dances from film, music, theatre, and TV, all different styles, to hopefully suit everyone. So I hope you enjoy me sharing them, and for you non dance fans, I’m sorry, but I will try and write as normal, and dip into my life experiences. The reason I love this ballet so much is explained in a post I wrote a few days ago here
I suggest you listen to this piece of ballet with a good pair of headphones on to get the full effect of the emotion of the music!
I hope it all works ok, because this is the first time I have posted a video off my ipad! X
Daily Prompt: Let’s Dance
After reading today’s daily prompt, I just had to join in today. The question they ask is,
What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?
As a few of you know, but if you don’t dance has been the main factor in my life. It consumed my childhood and I’m still dancing now. So for the last 42 years I have been dancing.
The question above I think is in two parts, first the earliest memory, which for me was at the age of two and a half. That was my first stage appearance. I was performing in a pantomime, Jack and The Beanstalk, and I was the mini jack who popped out of a pie that jack had been put in and he had shrunk, so my part was to hide in the pie side stage, then the giant pie got wheeled onto stage and out I popped. I did a twirl and a curtesy and then ran off stage being chased by widow Twankie. I remember this in so much detail. So that is my earliest dance and stage performance.
Now fondest will be harder to answer, baring in mind I was going to ballet from the age of two, dancing classes every night whilst at primary age, then off to ballet school at the age of eleven, then off to performing arts college at sixteen, then becoming a performer, then a dance teacher and still a dance teacher till this day. So as you can imagine in the last forty years I have done hundreds of performances, exams and classes, in all sorts of different places, in fields, in theatres, in residential homes, in studios, in village halls, in schools, on floats to name but a few. So to choose the fondest is very difficult.
But then if you look at the question, it says the fondest memory ‘of’ dance, so my fondest memory, that sticks with me, is when I was a child, I don’t know what age, I was taken to see the ballet Swan Lake at the big top. I remember the emotion I felt as I was watching the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I was mesmerized, glued to the ballerinas, watching their feet, their extended legs, the mens high jumps and the music just swept me away. Still now when I watch it I could cry all the way through because it is so beautiful, in fact there is a lump in my throat now just typing this. It’s amazing how something can touch you like that, and for someone else they feel nothing.
Have you ever seen the film ‘Stepping Out’? Well if you have I’m living that reality! If you haven’t it needs a bit of explanation.
Fifteen years ago I was at the stage of my life where I had not stepped into a dance studio for years, I had produced two sprogglets, gone through personal illness, first child had a rough start to life, and just given birth to number two. I was missing my dancing, which I had been doing since the age of three, and went to professional ballet school, here my childhood dance teacher said ‘why don’t you get back into it and start-up a tap class’. Well that was an idea, and I managed to get a teaching slot at the local leisure centre.
So I turned up to the very first lesson with my tape recorder, tap shoes in hand and was very nervous! There were about thirty adults there, all shapes and sizes, some looking very professional in their spandex and leg warmers others looking more nervous than me. I managed to get through the lesson, considering I was in this huge echoing sports hall that had a curtain across the middle, dividing it into two and on the other side of the curtain they were holding a netball game. My poor little tape recorder struggled to keep up over the noise. Also some of the participants or as I call them ‘victims’ came to a tap dance lesson without the vital equipment, tap shoes. (That’s like going to swimming without your costume!) I’m guessing it’s not quite as satisfying doing tap in silence in a pair of trainers.
Many events have happened in and around the tap lessons over the years, these are some of the ones that stick in my mind the most. Not long after I had started the lessons, my little blossom number two was about fourteen months and had learnt to walk at a young age. On the afternoon before tap I was sitting in the lounge and heard a sudden scream from the kitchen. He had managed to take his small stool, put it up against the worktop and pull a freshly made pot of tea over himself. As you can imagine it was panic stations, under shower, call the ambulance, go to hospital, dress his burns and sent home. I don’t know why and how I did it but I still managed to teach tap in the evening.
We have been in four halls over the years, after the sports hall we moved into the town hall but we had to move from the town hall because they said we were leaving scratch marks on the wooden floor. They did suggest that we not wear our tap shoes or bring boards to tap on, helpful. I didn’t take them up of their offer, but I did ring the papers and get our picture taken with ‘sad faces’ outside the councillors’ shop that complained about us. We were front page with our story of ‘where do we go’ because we have been thrown out. Luckily from this we got offers from several halls, so we moved to our next home which was the ambulance hall.
We have performed at several events over the years, such as, the local secondary school at their annual dance festival. The first year was, as we call it the ‘blue dresses ‘year. We had these horrendous blue dresses that made they made us all look like fat grapes. We danced to The Entertainer and ladies had only been learning tap for a term, so the variety in steps was limited to a shuffle here, a tap spring there and lots of swaying. It was pretty dire, but we did it and the ladies felt a sense of achievement that they had had the guts to do it. For some of the ladies it had been a childhood dream to tap dance on a stage and they were overwhelmed with excitement. I was very proud of them.
Another very proud event that not only am I proud of my tappers for doing, but I was pretty chuffed with myself, was after a couple of years with them now having done a couple of performances at the dance festival, I wanted to give us a real challenge and learn the ‘Riverdance’. Now if any of you have seen it on the telly then you know how fast and complicated it is. So I spent a few days, in-between being a mum, having a part-time job and coming to the realisation that I was in an unhappy marriage (but that’s another story) watching the video of Riverdance, sussing out that I could double press on the remote control and watch it in slow motion, I worked out the intricate steps ready to teach. I got the music slowed down for practise and off I went into class to break the news of my idea. Well a few were a bit apprehensive, but most were keen to give it a go. We practiced and practiced, week after week, I tell you what you don’t need to go to a gym when you are doing the Riverdance every week ,the weight dropped off me, we all became super fit. Then came the moment of truth, the performance, after all that practice, for four minutes of fame. Baring in mind the dance festival was all teenage children performing contemporary dance, we were the only adults and it was not contemporary, to say I was nervous was an understatement. On we went we tapped our socks off, no one made a mistake, we finish, and we got a standing ovation.
The class has is not only a tap lesson, but a ‘bit of a do’ as well. We have a Christmas meal every year, we have been on theatre trips, have summer BBQ’s, end of term and birthday ‘drinks and nibbles’, so any excuse really. There have been people who have come and gone, some leaving more of an impression than others, some thinking they could take over and some thinking they knew it all. But there have been the ones that have stuck with it through thick and thin. Through illness, divorce, children growing up, moving halls, moving houses, menopause, exams and putting up with me. I have realised that this simple hour and a half tap lesson has led to all the things I hold so dear and brought me to this point in my life now. If I hadn’t started the tap lessons I would not have been asked to play in and choreograph the stage production of ‘Stepping Out’, which in doing this lead to me meeting my love of my life, which lead to us starting our own production company, which lead to me working in schools, which lead to my current job. Not bad for a couple of shuffle hop step ball changes.
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