And the winners are......
Two Private Dance Lessons - Teresa C.
Two Hour Rental - Jen C.
Group Class Punch Card - Mary K.
Move The Beat T-Shirt - Sally C.
And what a success! We had an amazing turn out for our Grand Opening Celebration on the 28th. Old students, current students, and new students came out in droves; along with our amazing family and friends, making this a truly joyous occasion. Because words cannot describe the amount of love & gratitude I feel, I hope these pictures will do it some justice.
Time to reflect on 2016 and set some new goals for 2017!
This was an AMAZING year for Move The Beat! We continued to grow through a lot of hard work and with the unwavering love and encouragement from our amazing support system. Our goals in 2016 were to invest in our instructors, expand our adult program, and open our very own brick-and-mortar. Proud to say - we slayed all three!
Move The Beat strengthened it's relationship with North Shore Dance Society, and is excited to participate in NSDS's first Extravaganza Dancesport Showcase in 2017. We are also thrilled to announce the very talented Krystal Velez will be joining the team in January enhancing the wonderful resources available to our students. We enlarged our adult dance program by offering two new group classes this year, and a third Latin, begins in a few weeks! Last, but certainly not least, we opened our own studio doors this November and are gearing up to celebrate with a fabulous party January 28th!
As I sit back and take this all in, it is difficult not to get emotional. When your lifelong dream becomes a reality, it feels a bit like falling in love. You are filled with so much happiness, passion, hope, and pride and yet a dash of fear that you might lose it all. I know hard work and dedication will propel us forward, strengthen our brand, and help us conquer our goals for 2017.
Now that we have our own space to call home, our first goal for the year will be to focus on and invest in the management of our finances. We also look to keep the momentum of our youth program going by starting 2017 with our MTB Combo Class and strengthening our enrollment throughout this next year. Finally, we will continue to grow our amazing staff to take Move The Beat to the next level in 2017!
Don't delay on making your New Year's Goals, and if learning to dance, getting in shape, meeting new people, or doing something for yourself is on your list - Give us a call!!!
Everyday we check something off the To-Do List, and everyday we add something to it. While this never ending cycle has been the most stressful thing I have yet to conquer, it has also been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me. The help and encouragement I have received has been overwhelming, and I am unbelievable grateful for the opportunity to share what I love to do with the people around me.
Please stop in and enjoy the process with us! We are open for business, and will be celebrating with our Grand Opening on Saturday, January 28th!!!
You may have heard ye olde phrase "practice makes perfect," but try this on for size: "practice makes permanent". Think about it. You can practice or rehearse something until you are blue in the face, but if you practice incorrectly you may have just set yourself back.
Like your homework, it is important to practice your dancing outside of studio time. Rehearsing on your own helps you internalize and solidify movement, allow you to reach your goals faster, and gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities.
Here are some tips and tricks to help insure you are practicing correctly.
Ask your instructor for specific tasks to do on your own. I guarantee you they will be tickled pink by such a request! Instructors are always working on their lesson plans to help you reach your goals, and just like a four-tiered cake there may be some layers you can take home and work on yourself.
Take notes throughout your lesson, or even better, take a short video of new concepts, techniques, or steps you have just learned so you have a reference once at home. Carrying a small dance notebook is always a good idea, and most of us have a camera on our phones to make video-note taking a breeze!
Set aside specific rehearsal time. Whether you are practicing on your own or with a partner, your life's schedule will demand other items for your daily To-Do List so it is crucial you schedule in specific dance time for yourself and/or your partner to practice.
Steer clear of online videos for learning. Although it may seem like a great idea to get a jump start and learn your next move from your favorite YouTube dancer, it usually leads to disaster. Most videos are difficult to follow and you do not want to unintentionally pick up a bad habit to bring back to your studio.
Bring in your favorite music playlists and dance videos onto your next lesson. Collaborate with your instructor on the best suited songs to dance to at home, and which videos can be used as great guides and inspiration!
Keep in mind, the studio is your safe place to practice. Private and group dance lessons are specifically designed to give you time to rehearse with your instructor's guidance. Never feel pressured by outside factors when it comes to your learning. Everyone is on their own unique dance journey, and it is never too late to start!
Let us start from the beginning...
This is something I've been dreaming about since 1998, planning since 2013, and searching for since January. As you can imagine, there are few words to describe what I'm feeling right now, but let's try: excited, nervous, anxious, hopeful, relieved, and elated! With all of these emotions, I thought 'venting' in a blog and pulling you in on updates would be both therapeutic and intriguing!
Being rented for the first time, 691 Lee Street in Des Plaines is the future home of Move The Beat! When we found the space, first impressions were a little scary. Unfinished plumbing, electric, drywall, with materials strewn about, but full of potential. My overactive imagination got to work, and I fell in love with it immediately!
We are currently in Phase One, finishing the skeleton of the suite. Finishing the skeleton includes: obtaining permits, completing the electrical, finishing the plumbing, installing lighting, completing the ventilation, finishing the drywall, adjusting the sprinkler system, and passing inspection.
Phase One is a little scary, but we are getting there! Fingers crossed, we will pass inspection by late August and breeze through Phase Two and Phase Three! Phase Two will include: painting the walls, installing the floor, mounting the mirrors & ballet barres, re-doing bathroom fixtures, and receiving our occupancy from the city. Check back for updates, new projects, and more pictures!
I am asked all the time, "Natalie, where can we go dancing?", and I always answer, "Anywhere you like!"; because it's true! You can dance at our practice parties, in your kitchen, at the next family wedding, or dozens of restaurants and clubs in the Chicagoland area.
One of the wonderful things about dancing is it requires no equipment and no planning! You do not need balls, bats, uniforms, or a tournament schedule. You can bust-out in spontaneous dance whenever and wherever the mood strikes! Here are a few spots to get you started:
Carnivale Willowbrook Ballroom
702 W Fulton Market 8900 Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60661 Willow Springs, IL 60480
(312) 850-5005 (708) 839-1000
Alhambra Palace Indigo Bar & Lounge
1240 W.Randolph St. 1710 Orrington Ave.
Chicago, IL 60607 Evanston, IL 60201
(312) 666-9555 (847) 866-8700
Big City Swing Saddle Up Saloon
1012 W. Randolph Street 4440 W. Ogden Ave.
(312) 243-0700 (630) 585-8600
Nacional 27 Dylan’s Tavern and Grill
325 W.Huron St. 118 S. Clinton St.
Chicago, IL 60654 Chicago
(312) 664-2727 (312) 876-2008
The Cubby Bear Fizz
1059 W. Addison St. 3220 N. Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60613 Chicago
(773) 327-1662 (773) 348-6088
Patron’s Hacienda Green Mill Jazz Club
316 W. Erie St. 4802 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654 Chicago, IL 60640
(312) 642-2400 (773) 878-5552
Chevy Case Country Club
1000 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wheeling, IL 60090
I always recommend calling ahead of time to confirm dance schedule at listed venues. Another great source for dance events in the area is http://www.ballroomchicago.com/. And of course, don't forget to check back for updates to Move The Beat’s groups, practice parties, and special events!
Happy Dancing Everyone!!!
One of my favorite styles of dance of all times is Hip Hop. I love the free-flowing movement coupled with sharp angels and 'hits' to fun, upbeat music. The precision and synchronicity that is needed to execute show-stopping hip hop is super impressive and something I constantly strive to teach and reach for myself.
One style of Hip Hop is Tutting or King Tutting, inspired by the Great Ancient Egyptian himself! It is moving your upper body ~ arms, hands, fingers, etc. ~ in sharp, geometric shapes. In all fairness, The Bangles did bring light upon this style in the '80s, but tutting has come a long way since then.
Here is a fun yet simple combination anyone can do!
Have fun and Happy Friday!
I cannot count how many times a woman has told me, "I wish my mom had kept me in dance class. Maybe I wouldn't be so clumsy." Or the numerous men that tell me, "I wish my parents would have put me in a dance class when I was younger so I could move on the dance floor today."
The truth is, most adults were once enrolled in some type of creative movement/gymboree/dance class when they were younger, but somehow circumstances changed and they or their parents lost interest, they outgrew the program, moved away, et cetera. Now, I know I am a little biased because I eat, sleep, and breathe dance, but I truly believe that obtaining those skills at a young age has an amazingly positive impact on a child's development.
Through dance a child learns, among other things, balance, how to move through time and space, gains poise and patience, skills involving teamwork, flexibility, and learns to express themselves. And let us not forget that a weekly dance class gives them an outlet for all of that energy we adults envy!
If you are a parent, I encourage you to let your child experience a dance class! Many studios have a drop in or trial classes to allow you to sample before you commit your child to an entire session. An added benefit - you get to let your hair down for that hour your child is blissfully occupied ;-)
If you are a dance instructor, teaching the baby ballerinas will be the most fun you will have that week! Begin a Creative Movement class at your studio or sign up to teach the next session. This is your opportunity to be creative, silly, and instill what you are so passionate about into their eager little hearts. I love finding new ways to keep my baby ballerina classes fun, engaging, and pumped full of knowledge.
As we know, songs and activities always help with memorization of positions while having some fun. I picked up this poem from one of my first teaching jobs at the Carol Stream Park District. The kids love it, and it helps set some ground rules for ballet barre time.
Ballet Barre Promise:
I promise that I won't
Hang on you
Sit on you
Or treat you like a monkey
Because I am a Dancer
I promise to hold you softly and gently
Let me start off by saying, I do not like making resolutions. I feel that they are superficial dreams which hold no accountability for the resolution maker, and they are often bent or broken by March.
Wait, let's ask Wikipedia: a New Year's resolution is "a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year's Day."
...Well that's just delightful...
I like making New Year's goals. According to my website of choice today (yup, Wikipedia again) a goal is "an objective that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve."
...Now that's what I'm talking about! This year, let's make some New Year's Goals!!! But first, let us reflect on 2015.
2015 was a great year for Move The Beat! We accomplished a lot of our goals for the year and hit some new business milestones. Move The Beat grew by almost 300%, partnered with a new recreational community, and widened its electronic footprint with new search engines and leads generators. We were able to offer new services to our students like; dance competitions, an expanded Youth Program, bringing in outside coaches, and a custom name-brand clothing line!
2016 is going to be our best year yet! We plan on making greater investments in our staff, expanding our Adult Program, and drum roll please - our big goal is to open our own studio doors by the end of the year!!!
Now those are some pretty lofty goals, and we have constructed a plan on how to obtain them in the upcoming year; and I encourage you to do the same! No goal is worth your time or energy without it being specific, realistic and relevant, timely, and having some type of accountability. Write it down, and set up a step by step plan on how to get there.
Even something as simple as 'opening up doors for people' needs a plan! Be specific: are these all types of doors, which types of establishments, which types of people, what are the exceptions if any? It needs to be realistic and relevant: 'this will make me a more conscious and courteous person as well as brighten someone's day'. It needs to be timely: the goal is to open up doors for 50% of the people I come into contact with for January til April and improve that to 100% from May til December. It needs to have accountability: I'm going to tell my friends and family about my New Year's Goal and ask them to follow up with my progress.
Remember, your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change. Let's set some goals, and have a happy and healthy new year!!!
So, I haven't written anything in a while, and I want to say it is because I have been super busy, but I know that is no excuse. Thankfully, I have been really busy operating my first business, and things are going very well! I thought I would share some of the valuable tidbits I have picked up so far.
1. Make The Time
Those of us who thrive on a 'full plate schedule' know that those three words can be more difficult than they appear, but making time while running a business takes more patience and sacrifice than I anticipated. Working a traditional eight to five, teaching from six to ten, and trying to maintain a resemblance of a life has been a huge learning curve for me. I have learned I have to schedule myself bookkeeping time, choreography time, marketing time, family time, even laundry time! I confess the whole cooking/cleaning aspect of being an adult has taken a hit this past year....needless to say, I'm still learning.
2. It Is Okay To Say No
I found that saying "no" being a new business owner was surprisingly difficult for me. Aside from the fact I'm a bit of a people-pleaser, when I was presented with an opportunity, I felt like I had no choice but to take it. "How can I be picky when I'm starting from the ground up?" "I can't afford to turn down any opportunity to work." "It's okay; this one pro bono performance will be great publicity." The truth is, I have no choice but to be picky and turn down some opportunities because I am a new business owner. I had to face the fact that I have limited resources and there are only 24 hours in a day. I have to pick and choose which jobs will give me the greatest results based on the amount of time and money I have to invest into them.
3. A Strong Support System
While I do not have a huge staff I can lean on at this point, I have learned that my friends, family, and fellow teachers and dancers are an amazing support system! When the bumps in the road happen (and they will happen) I may have given up if I didn't have teachers bringing me new projects and workshops, my sister/roommate helping me maintain the house, my boyfriend being super patient and flexible with our schedules, my mom checking in and sending me encouragement from thousands of miles away, and my fabulous students constantly exceeding my expectations that challenge me to become a better teacher everyday. It is okay to lean on these people to help you carry what can feel like the world.