Tag Archives: dance classes

What Makes Hip-Hop Dance Great for Youth?

Hip-Hop Dance for youth is proven to be the most effective when it comes to physical activity and exercise. Recent studies have shown that youth hip-hop dance classes take first place in moderate to physical activity within a one-hour dance class. This is the recommended amount of physical activity for children during the day.

The US has a general problem of obesity among adults and youth alike, due to lack of healthy physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.

Check out my newest Hip-Hop Dance for Youth classes at BMDS…hip-hop dance for youth with Carl Alleyne

Hip-Hop dance dates back to the 1960’s, it originated on the streets of the US among young people looking for self-expression through art and movement. It is a form of Street Dance, but these days, hip-hop is not just a type of dance but a culture of its own.

Here we’re not going to go into detail about the history, the different moves and the culture of hip-hop, as that would be off topic. But we’re going to take a look at the beneficial elements which make hip-hop dance a good choice of dance style for youth.

Get your kids some extra physical activity with hip-hop dance

Vigorous Movements in Hip-Hop Dance for Youth

Most movements during a youth hip-hop dance class are energetic, that provides the intense interval of activity which directs a child’s energy in a constructive manner and provides for a healthy physical activity.

hip hop dance
Image courtesy of Flickr

Hip-Hop Teaches Rhythm

Hip-hop music is made up of rhythms and beats which dominate the soundtracks. This makes the hip-hop dance for youth classes rhythm-centric, allowing the students to learn to listen and follow the rhythm while moving and dancing.

kids dancing hip hop
Kids and hip hop dance, Image courtesy of Flickr

Artistic Expression in Hip-Hop Dance

As I mentioned before, hip-hop is a culture of its own. This is because it transcends music, dance, style, and art. Students who take part in the hip-hop dance for youth classes learn to express through these moves and through the music finding their own way of artistic expression.

Hip Hop Culture and Art
Hip Hop Culture and Art, Image courtesy of Flickr

Hip-Hop Dance for Youth Encourages Confidence

As the youth hip-hop dance classes are taken in groups, children are taught to work in unity. By working and following a rhythm together they learn to connect with others and to find their own place within the group, this is crucial for the self-confidence of a child.

Youth Hip Hop Dance Group
Hip Hop Dance Group, Image courtesy of Flickr

Personal Style in Hip-Hop Dance for Youth

The core of the establishment of hip-hop so many years back is the fact that it gave young people a sense of identity. Nowadays, young people continue to find their place within that culture through music and dance which gives them the opportunity to develop and create their own style of moves in hip-hop dance.

Youth Hip Hop Worldwide
Youth Hip Hop Worldwide, Image courtesy of Flickr

Any thoughts on Hip-Hop Dance for youth? Share them with us!

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QUIZ YOURSELF: Do you have the Heart of a Dancer

Are you a dancer at heart or not?

 
Or are you more of an artsy type who loves to explore creativity and arts?
 
Or…
 
Are you still searching for your true inner self?
 
Take this fun assessment quiz, which will show you what your tendencies say about you as a dancer or none dancer…
 
Fun and useful, this assessment can help you decide your next moves on your creative journey of life.
 
Enjoy, and share with your friends!
 

What is dance therapy?

What is dance therapy? by Carl Alleyne

For thousands of years, humankind has been dancing and moving to a rhythm to express different emotions and states.

Although dancing is mostly considered an art form, history and evidence show that it is much more than that.

ancient dancing
Ancient Dancing Gif

In many countries and tribes worldwide, dance and movement have been the main part of rituals for healing illnesses, in rituals for birth and death, for worship, and celebration or mourning.

Since the history of humankind can be traced and until this day, dance is used to support the emotional, mental and physical functions of the human body.

Dance is more than an art form, it is a form of self-expression and communication.

This is why I like to talk so much about the Move Creatively Philosophy and why I repeat, time and time again, that dance really did change my life.

The Establishment of Dance Therapy

The philosophy that speaks of dance transcending art form was being developed during the 1930’s and 1940’s. But, dance as therapy was officially established in the 1950’s. To begin with, DMT was established in the US, but soon enough it spread out to Europe (especially United Kingdom) and Australia. 

The founder of what today is known as Dance/Movement Therapy or DMT in the US was Marian Chace; a pioneer and legend of dance therapy.

The ADTA (American Dance Therapy Association) was established in 1966, with Marian Chace as the first president. In Australia, the DTAA and in Europe the EADMT were officially established in 1994.

In the UK, DMT is known as DMP or Dance Movement Psychotherapy. DMT programs are done in sessions, usually in surroundings such as schools and clinics.

Dance Therapy can treat a variety of psychological and physical disorders. Recent research studies are showing more and more proof of this. A number of these studies can be found in the “American Journal of Dance Therapy”.

Dance as therapy for children

Dance therapy promotes physical and mental well-being, especially in young children. Dance should be an integral part of a healthy child development program because it teaches children to express their emotions, develop emotional regulation, learn self-expression, gain self-awareness, learn social skills and empathy, and much more.

You can also check out my post on benefits of dance for children where I talk about the experiences that I’ve found through my work and research as a dance and movement coach.

dancing girl
Ted Shawn Dance Quote

A good number of schools in Greater Boston have realized the value and the therapeutic effects dance has on children. This is why Boston Mobile Dance Studio is present at schools such as the Lexington Montessori School and the Adams Montessori School.

BMDS is highly respected for the dance and movement teaching approach to children.  Would you like Boston Mobile Dance Studio to come to your school?

What does dance therapy look like?

A DMT session, as practiced in the US, and approved by the ADTA, consists of 4 stages. These are:

  1. preparation,
  2. incubation,
  3. illumination,
  4. and evaluation.

Dance therapy sessions are carried out by DMT, certified professionals (Dance/Movement Therapists) who have studied this field in depth. A DMT is qualified not only in dance but also in psychotherapeutic aspects.

DMT looks at the interconnection of the mind and body because when one part of an individual is neglected or abused, imbalances and psychological disorders start to occur.

Individuals are encouraged to express their inner states through a DMT session and the therapist is there to guide and help realize and define behavioral patterns. The end result being self-awareness, clarity, emotional release, and self-confidence.

Effects of dance on the overall well-being

DMT is carried out by professionals in the field, especially in cases of psychological disorders.

But dance as a form of activity, without the psychotherapeutic part in the process, is also extremely useful for the overall well-being of any individual.

Taking part in social dancing and dance classes has a number of positive effects on an individual. In fact, I carried out some research and I interviewed members of the BMDS creative community. Then, my team and I wrote a case study on the move creatively philosophy. The results were very encouraging.

power of dance
Agnes de Mille Dance Quote

Besides being an emotional and distressing outlet, we found a growing trend of people who look at dance as a tool in self-development. This was a really exciting find for me, as this is what my vision of the Boston Mobile Dance Studio is about. Moving creatively, to live a creative and fulfilled life.

Boston Mobile Dance Studio encourages everyone to Move Creatively. Would you like to start moving creatively?

How to boost productivity when you’re all over the place

As someone who sometimes wishes a day would last longer than 24 hours, I have to continually keep finding ways of maximizing my time during the day.

Thing is, I’m an entrepreneur and an artist. I’ve got my business, Boston Mobile Dance Studio where I also teach, I have my band the Beantown and I’m the founder of the BeanTown Lockers.

Additionally, I’m a proud father of 3 awesome little munchkins. So, all in all, using my time productively during the day is crucial for me. I’m always looking for ways to boost productivity, and every little tip really helps.

I’m always looking for ways to boost productivity, and every little tip really helps.

First of all, I’m going to guide you through the tactics and habits that I use to boost productivity and make my day more productive.

But let me tell you something before going further. The biggest change I’ve experienced in my productivity is after reading the book “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod.

Getting up early in the morning and implementing my Miracle Morning routine has helped me organize my day better. It’s helped me clear my mind and find clarity for the rest of the day and the upcoming tasks.

Don’t sit down all the time

When working at my desk, I don’t sit down. I’ve placed my laptop on a high desk shelf so that I’m standing while working in front of the screen. I’ve found that this helps me keep my energy flow moving and the strain on my back is minimized.

Define time blocks of working

Some people find that working in 90-minute blocks makes them most productive. After these 90 minutes, you should take a 15-minute break. But this brake needs to be something useful, not surfing the web, scrolling through Facebook or something not so useful.

These 15 minutes should be used for a useful activity such as going for a walk, doing some exercise, meditating or having a healthy snack.

I usually work in 2-hour blocks during which I time myself. I time every 10 minutes in which I drink 30 sips of water.

Hydrating with water is crucial for the whole body and for the brain. It also helps in reducing stress, keeping the body balanced and energized. I also make 10-minute breaks to do some exercises such as neck rolls, push ups, etc.

You can always try the Pomodoro Technique to boost productivity, which has been proven as very effective.

pomodoro boost productivity
Pomodoro Technique for boosting productivity

Having a healthy sleep pattern

It’s important to have a healthy sleep pattern. Sleep is crucial for the brain. Lack of sleep causes lowered concentration levels, increases stress, and causes burn out.

Although it may not be possible to go to bed early in some situations, I try to make it my goal to go to bed by 11 pm. This way I can get enough sleep to be able to get up at 4:00 am.

When I gig with my band, I get home very late so I don’t go to bed before 2 am, in these cases I sleep in unless it’s necessary to get up early. I also try to take power naps during the day if I didn’t get enough sleep during the night.

sleep and boost productivity
Sleep well and boost productivity

Balancing work and life

I’m a family man. So even though I have a day full of projects and responsibilities, I do my best to take time off. I spend my evenings with my family, I take time off to go out with my wife and my kids. I love going to the movies because it really helps me detach from the fast paced and sometimes very stressful work situations. Spending simple moments with my wife, laughing and joking around helps me remember that life should be enjoyed and not taken so seriously.

Balancing work and life is really important for boosting productivity. Failing to balance these two will not only cause decreased productivity, but it will also eventually cause burnout.

Continuous learning

As someone with many roles and responsibilities, I’ve truly experienced the importance of learning. You should never believe that you’ve learned everything you need to know.

Failing to develop and expand your knowledge and skills will make you unproductive in all areas of your life. There’s always something to learn.

For me, I’m always looking to learn more as an entrepreneur and as an artist. I love listening to audio books, especially while driving my car. I drive a lot, so I try to use this time constructively.

I love the way Brian Tracy puts it:

The second part of continuous learning is for you to listen to audio programs in your car. Audio learning has been described as the most important advance in education since the invention of the printing press.

Boost productivity by listening to music

Music can enhance all areas of our work and life. But it’s important to choose this music carefully.

Different genres and frequencies have different effects on the brain. Energetic and fast music with fast beats or lyrics should be avoided during mental activities.

As a performer and a natural introvert, being too hyped up tires me emotionally and mentally. So, I prefer to listen to classical music during mental work, it helps me relax and focus.

Whereas during active work such as rehearsals, dance classes and workouts I listen to energetic music. This helps me maintain my energy, motivation, and creativity.

And that would be that from me, my dear friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed this read and that it will help you boost your productivity.

Try some of these things and tell me how it goes, I’d love to hear your opinions.

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7 Motivational Secrets Every Leader Should Know

As a leader and entrepreneur, I’ve been able to communicate with many different types of individuals. I can say that each and every one is a blessing for me, because I’ve learned something from all of them.

These experiences have taught me a lot about communication and leadership. I believe in positive leadership. I believe in empowering, as to commanding. I believe in encouraging as to criticizing. And I believe in motivating, as to pressuring.

And I can honestly say; for me, it’s working out amazingly. So based on that, I thought I’d share with you, my 7 motivational secrets -when it comes to my employees and team members.

I believe in positive leadership, I believe in empowering… says @Carl_Alleyne at @BMDanceStudio

Motivation in the workplace has been a subject of research for quite some time.

Initially, it was considered a Pandora ’s Box, due to the fact that every individual has different aspirations and goals at work and in life.

Brain science has shed some light on factors that motivate individuals on a personal and professional level.

For a long time, it was believed that rewards were the best motivators, but recent studies show that’s not the case. Have a look at this interesting TED talk by Dan Pink on The Puzzle Motivation.

Although it may seem obvious, every leader should be interested in motivating their team in the best way possible. But, research shows that this actually is not the case.

Based on the most recent research, employees and managers at large corporations, exhibit low levels of trust within the company teams. Logically, where there’s no trust, there’s little to none motivation.

But inspired by positive leadership, as we do it here at Boston Mobile Dance Studio, I thought I’d share the motivational secrets that I and other positive leaders believe to be crucial for team success.

My Motivational Secrets

Lead by example

Just like the saying “treat others the way you want to be treated”, leading by example for me assumes that I treat my team members in a way that I want everyone treating each other within the team.

The positive attitude towards our work and towards each other creates a company culture with a fertile ground for motivation, productivity, and creativity.

I don’t like to have limits imposed on me, so I don’t impose limits on my team members. This in return generates extremely creative ideas and productive work.

Another thing is, I don’t like to stagnate, and my team knows this. So rather than getting stuck on a certain problem, we move on to the next task in the plan to keep the momentum moving.

Team enthusiasm is something I have to keep alive in order to achieve our goals and nurture the company culture.

Once you have the momentum, you have to keep the momentum moving Says @Carl_Alleyne at @BMDanceStudio

Motivational Secrets

Socializing

When I say socializing, I don’t mean only team get-togethers and events. These are great, but I believe it’s important to know each other on a personal level. My team members and I are open about our personal lives. We share each other’s personal experiences and conversations.

Now I’m not saying that we all have to be best friends. I respect the fact that it’s important to separate professional lives from personal lives. But in any case, it’s better to get on and be friends to a certain degree, rather than being explicitly focused on serious professionality.

Positive feedback

Feedback is crucial. Whether positive or negative. But one can choose the right words when sharing negative feedback.

I’ve found that certain individuals don’t respond well to blunt and direct negative criticism. Often these individuals are people with great skills and capacity. So why allow the loss of a great team member for the sake of being crude!?

I try to choose my words with care and approach a team member in the way that I’d want someone to approach me too.

On the other side, when it comes to good work and results, even the smallest bits, I take care to thank and show appreciation for the hard work and awesome results. This is something that a leader must do, because it has an amazingly positive motivational effect on people.

Honesty

As well as being honest with my opinions, I’ve found that it is important to be honest about internal business information.

Transparency builds trust. If we’re in a situation that certain business goals aren’t going in the desired direction, I share that with my team.

If something isn’t working out as expected it will affect all areas of the business, and team members need to know that.

This also opens the possibility of individuals not even working within the problematic department to come up with an innovative solution, which in the end helps us all move forward.

Know your employee

It’s important to show your employees that you care about them and that you’re interested in their personal stuff that may be affecting them even on a professional level.

It is a human fundamental need to be accepted and appreciated. People are much more motivated when they know that they’re respected for what they are and what they do.

We take care to nurture this need as a part of our company culture. I emphasize this to my existing and new team members and employees. Because it is the core of this company.

Opportunities

As well as being an entrepreneur, I’m also an artist and a parent. As a typical artist, you’re always looking for new inspiration and action. I believe that this is something that can help everyone get more motivated.

Looking for new possibilities and opportunities gives you the drive to do more and give more of your abilities. When I say opportunities, I’m not just talking about promotions in the company. I’m talking about the possibilities to learn new things, to do work other than the work someone is specialized in. As Jason Demers puts in in his article the 6 motivation secrets to inspire your employees, even the most ambitious people get demotivated when there are no changes happening.

People may be working in one particular field, but they also have other knowledge and skills that they would like to show or improve.

Giving people these kinds of possibilities is twofold. They get the chance to show what they’ve got and to grow, and you get specific work done within the team without having to hire outside help.

Freedom

I mentioned this in the beginning. But I just can’t stress the importance of freedom enough. Direction is important, and certain company rules and regulations need to be adhered to, in order to maintain productivity and an efficient workflow.

I’m convinced that employees need to be given as much freedom as possible, even if it means letting them make mistakes (as long as these mistakes don’t cause financial loss).

Giving the freedom to explore, you’re opening the doors to innovative ideas and solutions.

The world of business has been extremely focused on accustomed ways of doing things in the past times. But now we’re living in the times of transition. More and more professionals are switching to a more creative approach to work, and creativity assumes freedom. 

Boston Mobile Dance Studio is a creative company, which logically means that creativity comes first when it comes to business operations and management. I’ve found that giving my team members the freedom they need, more creative ideas are born. This results in original ideas that can minimize the financial costs of a task which would usually require greater financial investment.

And that would be that dear friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re a leader yourself, please share your motivational secrets with us. Because there’s always room for improvement for all of us. Thank you for reading and feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues.

For more interesting reads about motivation, have a look at our bite-sized creative pieces. Take a look our Get motivated in 10 minutes INFOGRAPHIC and also stay tuned for the next one: The 5 things your employees need to hear you say INFOGRAPHIC.

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