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How to increase productivity at practice

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Here’s some tips about how to get the best out of practice in the least time.

Tip 1: Make sure that you’re not overpracticing. If you practice 24/7, you’ll just be tired, not motivated, and you may actually retrogress because of this. In general, practice for three days a week and two hours each session sounds about right. Don’t go crazy about practice. When I was on the drill team, one of our rivals at competition used to practice in the morning before competitions, and eight hours on Saturdays. That’s just overworking it. It’s unnecessary to do that to your team–and to yourself!

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How to Curl Hair

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A normal curling iron isn’t going to do the trick when you’re going to competition! Here’s some tips on doing curls.

1. Make sure that hair is oily. It’s gross, but don’t wash your hair for two days before you’re getting it curled. When you take a shower, just remember not to use shampoo (rinsing with water is OK). The natural oil that you’ll develop will help hold the curls.

2. Find curlers. The foam curlers work well (they look like this). Usually the largest size (pink) work best. If you have thick hair, you’ll need to buy several packs (about 50 curlers total or more). If you have thinner hair, you may only need 20.

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Endurance is important–but how important?

Here’s a thing about endurance that dancers should understand: you only need a certain amount of it, and any extra endurance won’t help you much.

If Susie can perform the routine once and not be out of breath, that’s great! If Barbara can perform it ten times in a row and still not be out of breath, that’s great as well. But who will do better in the actual performance? They will both perform the same. Why? Because they only perform the routine once (in a row) in the actual performance. So, now you know–you don’t need to have super levels of endurance to be a great dancer. … (come read the rest of the article at the new site! )

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How to improve your kicks

(Check out this post on the new site:

A reader has requested that I create a routine for kicks similar to the one I created for the splits. So here it is . . .

As I said for the splits, it’s important that you follow the routine so that you can get the kicks that you want in the time that you want. This will take three weeks of strong commitment and dedication. Good luck!

Read the bottom (*) for information about getting high kicks.

To start off . . . See how flexible you are. If you can do the splits or are very close, that’s great! If not, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you are simultaneously developing your kicks and flexibility (see this post for lots of helpful stretches and a good, 3-week stretching routine). Continue Reading »

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New articles will be added there. All the old articles from this site are there as well. Enjoy! 🙂

How to smile bright, but natural

Lots of us can smile bright, and likewise, lots of us can smile naturally. But, the main problem is merging the two so that we can have bright, natural smiles when we dance.

Here’s some common problems:

1. Trying too hard: basically, if you try too hard, you look like you’re forcing the smile; thus, it doesn’t look natural.

2. Biggest doesn’t mean best. However, brightest and most natural does mean best. You don’t have to have the biggest smile; in fact, it’s sometimes bad when you try too hard to make your smile big because then, again, you risk making it look unnatural. Don’t focus on getting your smile big. The first step is to achieve naturalness.

3. Staring and trying to smile usually doesn’t work. We usually get sick of that spot that we’re staring at and then the smile fades.

4. Misconception: look away from the audience. Never look away from them, because they are the people that should be cheering you on and causing your smile! Look at people, not a spot on the ceiling or wall. Remember, you are a performer, and you’re supposed to be entertaining your audience while you receive support. If you get nervous, that’s a different story. In this case, try to get rid of your nervousness by simply not thinking about it. If you think about being nervous, then you’ll get nervous. Just take a deep breath and perform. After all, there is nothing to be scared of.

5. Fling your teeth out at the audience. This method just looks unnatural. Never try to open your mouth big, unless it looks natural. Remember that naturalness is more important than anything. Who wants to watch a dancer with a fake smile?

Here’s some tips and steps to get that smile:

1. Natural. Be natural, as I’ve said before. No one wants to watch a dancer with a fake smile, and you don’t want to be that dancer. Even if your natural smile is small, it is much more effective and pleasing than a bright, big, and feigned smile. Your natural smile is the one that you, well, naturally use! Look in the mirror and smile without trying to. A natural smile is evident in your eyes and is contagious. As the saying goes, one smile can generate a hundred more smiles. Just be natural and don’t think too hard about smiling. Be happy. When you’re happy, the smile is almost always real. When you dance, be happy, and that will generate your natural smile.

2. Bright. A bright smile is one that displays happiness and, in a way, passes it out to the audience. Again, this should be natural. Being happy when you dance will always help you smile bright.

3. Contagian. Try to “infect” the audience with your smile (now, this doesn’t mean smile really big). To do this, try to make the audience smile by showing the your happiness. Think about it like this–when you’re walking down the street and you smile at someone, they (usually)  smile back. Your smile had a contagious effect. Try to apply this to dance. When you a dancer smiles at an audience member, he/she smiles back. Your smile will only be contagious, however, if you make it that way. That means being natural, bright, and drawing. You need to look your audience in the eye and pass on your smile. I’ve experienced this as an audience member several times before and it is a truly amazing feeling. Trying to pass this onto your judges is a plus! But, remember that your judges are judging how well your routine is to the audience as well. Don’t focus too much on them, because the people who came to watch you (and weren’t paid for it!) are your audience.

I hope this helps you with smiles, because I know that it seems easy but can be a very difficult thing to do. Comment and tell me if this article has helped you.

New Years

So, there’s about three weeks left until the new year. Why not make a resolution to finally get those splits down? Read Flexibility to the Max if you are interested–I’m sure that everyone would love to have beautiful splits for the new year. Go ahead and try it; there is really nothing to lose. Lots of breaks are coming up and holiday shopping is too hectic, so you will be able to stay home and get some stretching done. Be sure to comment and report your results!

This marks about the half-year point for I hope that everyone likes the site and finds it helpful; if you would like to give me feedback, just leave a comment on any post–I will read them (I get emailed everytime I get a comment, so don’t worry).

If anyone has personal questions that they do not want posted publicly on this site, the email is Feel free to email any questions. Though I cannot promise I will get to every question that you ask, you might as well try, right?

I wish everyone a happy new year (though it would be happier if you got those splits down!). Keep dancing 🙂


*NOTE*: 1/16/07–this site has moved to
This article and new articles are posted there!

Here is the link to this article on the new site:


A lot of people have told me that they have one split but not the other, or are very close to their splits but just can’t get there. Also people have told me that they stretch all the time with no improvement.

If your splits are not improving, it may be because you are stretching incorrectly. Remember that you should warm up your muscles before you stretch. You should actually be warm and sweaty before you begin stretching. This requires at least a ten minute jog, if not more. Warming up is not just walking a lap or running a few yards. When you are warm, you can feel the stretch much better.

Remember also that you should be stretching consistently (stretch both legs, for instance, not just one side of your body). Touching your toe for two seconds is not stretching either. Feel the stretch, the longer the better. A couple of minutes per stretch is excellent.

Lastly, splits require flexibility in more than one area. Stretch everywhere, and make sure you sit in your splits (or as close as you can get to your splits) for a few minutes after stretching.

If you are still having problems, feel free to leave a comment and tell me about it.

There has been an unusual influx of traffic on this site today, but I’m glad! I want to thank everyone for their comments–these help me become a better writer and inspire me to continue blogging. To all those that my blog has helped–I congratulate you. Thanks for reading my posts!

Leana & Alexus: Thanks for your comments; I’m glad that I’ve helped!

Nicole: Thanks for the comment. First, I’d suggest that you run (or swim or do some other type of exercise) daily to lose the weight that you want to lose. Running in the mornings (right before you go to school, work, etc.) is really helpful because there aren’t any complaints–you can’t say “but . . . I have to do this and that” at such an early time. It’s also really relaxing because you get that “good work out” feeling early in the morning and you’re awake. As for the splits, I’d suggest that you read Flexibility to the Max and try the splits/stretching routine that I’ve posted there. Keep me updated on how you’re doing!

I really do appreciate all of you who read my blog! If you have any questions or things to say, comment and I will try to reply ASAP. 🙂

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