Inspiration

Videos, articles, and a little food for the soul.

Meet Mark.

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In 2005, I met a man who forever changed me. We all have a Mark. Here's mine...
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Do You Really Want To Get Paid To Dance?

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Do what you love and the money will follow.

Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

 This is our era, and it hasn't always been this way. Most of us remember a time where almost every American had the same life plan template:

Graduate high school

Go to college

Get a stable job with health benefits

Retire and play with grandchildren.

In our era, people are getting paid money to eat loudly and closely into a microphone. One young boy has completely funded himself for life by unpacking toys on video. Miranda sings puts on really awful clothes and makeup and acts a total fool, just the way we used to with our friends, except she's making millions for it.

Cool. Also, there's nothing wrong with our parent's era either.

For every magical thing we can say about breaking the 9-5 and paving our own way, it had its own set of benefits and drawbacks well, statistically, people were a lot of happier then.

The idea about monetizing what you do has become a...

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Your Creative Calling: Get Crackin!

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It's the 15th-Century Italian renaissance and the noblemen and women are entering the king's court for yet another lavish event, one that is sure to have an elaborate spectacle of music and dance.

King Henry the ll of France has taken an Italian noblewoman, Catherine de Medici, as his wife. de Medici used her aristocracy to bring ballet into the French courts. A passionate dancer himself, King Henry performed in multiple notable shows, elevating ballet until it was in the eyes of the public, revered by all as a regal art, fit for royalty, an art form only to be enjoyed in the royal courts until almost a century later when it took it's leap onto stages.

In the mid-1900s the vibrancy of jazz music gave birth to a new era of movement. Inspired by the dynamic music, styles like Jitterbug and Lindy Hop began to emerge with pioneers such a Catherine Dunham bringing in Caribbean traditional dance influences and breaking performing arts boundaries.

Bob Fosse emerged on the scene causing...

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Reality Check: My Life Behind The Curtain

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I was scrolling the gram recently and saw a friend post this fabulous story of him at a coffee shop in yet another exotic land. We are not close, and all of my perception of his current life is through IG stories, which are fabulous. The two themes of his life seem to be travel and coffee---not bad.

Throw in a little dancing, a dog or two, and you're basically looking at my retirement plan.

I responded to him, and I'm not even sure what I said any more, but what I remember is the conversation that ensued. He laughed at my comment and said his life was incredibly unglamorous. It got me thinking about our perceptions of people's lives through social media. We know they're off. We know reality is messy...but come on, do we really? When facing highlight
after highlight over and over again, at some point, it's fair to assume our perception will no longer be grounded in reality because we don't even really witness it anymore.

Anyhow, I posted a question on my own story as a result of this...

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Don’t ask dancers to “leave it at the door”. 

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This month I have been tagged in this specific article over and over. The article is titled "Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain". Every day for a week, I was tagged in this article, and I am not complaining, because it sure beats those times when well-meaning friends and family tag me in any dance-related video. 

Any. dance. related. video. 

I love it when these kinds of articles go viral. They are not surprising. No revelations here- I am certain most dancers would agree that the link between dance and a healthy mind are like peanut butter and jelly. 

When we pair these two things up, dance and mental health, we are opening a pandora's box that has so much nuance and such a widespread ripple effect that we could spend tons of episodes diving in and probably never hit the bottom. My goal today is to touch on some of the most magical ways dance and mental health are linked, what dance has to do with trauma recovery, what it's like to dance with anxiety...

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Muscle Memory Madness

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Hi, it's April. Welcome to Dancer's Called to Action. The place to be for the dancer looking for confidence, knowledge, and tools for moving forward.

Nary a class that goes by without hearing the words, muscle memory. Funny how obsessed we are with this thing that isn't even completely real. Muscle memory is defined as a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition, which is definitely a thing, but there's no memory in the muscle. Instead, we're only talking about the brain. These changes that occur in the brain, during, let's say a dance class, the way we memorize, alters the information that the brain sends out to the muscles, thereby changing the movements that are produced. So it's best to consider the term, muscle memory, as a nickname for our process and not take it literally. Anyhow, this concept of muscle memory, it's at the top of most answers; Priority list: muscle memory, remembering faster, picking up...

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Build Your Own Home Studio.

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Hi, it's April. Welcome to Dancers Call-to-Action. The place to be for the dancer looking for confidence, knowledge and tools for moving forward.

Happy Wednesday, Dancers. Today we are getting super practical. No mindset stuff, no theory. Today we're talking about how to build your own dance studio or dance space at home. To be Frank, this is not a subject I ever planned on talking about. It just didn't cross my radar, which is obviously because my job is at a studio. So sadly, it just never occurred to me to talk about this. But, one of the modules that we go through in Unify has to do with how the heck you train, maintain and excel your skills at home, when you have those seasons where you just can't get to a studio or don't live near one. Having a space to move around is priceless, and today I'm going to give you the basics and hopefully cover most budgets. Now I often think about one of my first apartments and how if I could go back to an earlier time where I had less...

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Body Awareness Changes Everything.

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Hi, it's April. Welcome to Dancers call-to action. The place to be for the dancer looking for confidence, knowledge and tools for moving forward.

Dancers! We're back. The team and I took a few weeks off at the launch of Unify Dance Network, but we have reconvened and planned out a year of episodes based on your feedback. We have a ridiculous amount of exciting subjects in the works and dancers. They are all about making you a more confident and well-informed dancer because the happier and more knowledgeable you are, the more dancing you do, the happier you'll be.

The more dancing you'll do, the happier you'll be.

The more dancing.

Today we're going to talk about body awareness. What does that even mean? How do you develop it and why does its importance extend far, far beyond simply performing better?

Think for a second about the ways that dance reinforces the idea of isolations in the body; both directly and indirectly. We do isolations in our warmup. We teach by breaking down...

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Please Stop Asking Dance Artists to Perform "in Exchange for Exposure"

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Jennifer Stahl recently wrote a great, succinct article over on Dance Magazine about asking dancers to perform for free.

I also face this issue regularly, and not so much in the form of being asked to dance for free, but more often receiving calls wanting me to refer to them to other dancers. I feel almost guilty at times, as when there is no budget, I simply stop the conversation. I don't offer the chance to dancers, some of which may be ok with dancing for free.

As someone in leadership in the dance community, I just don't feel comfortable passing these offers along and perpetuating a lack of respect for dancer's time and training.

Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that the event eventually does find a free performer, and that performer usually isn't as skilled or experienced, so the audience confirms that dance is not worth paying for, and the cycle continues...


Earlier this week, a friend of a friend reached out to me seeking recommendations for a...

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A Dance Chat with Danyel Moulton

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Danyel is a force to be reckoned with. She came through the studio to teach a class and I grabbed a camera. We weren't doing a formal interview, so forgive the lower quality, but what she shared is pretty valuable, so enjoy!

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