Finding your inner dancer and brining it out

DSC05889Unless you were born with beautiful hyperextended long legs and arms, a small head and beautifully high arched feet, its much harder to imagine yourself into a beautiful ballerina. Especially now more so with the influence of social media, as an owner of a dance brand and a dance teacher, I can see how people react when they see girls with beautiful lines as compared to those who don’t. I myself guilty, get excited when I see someone who is talented, but as a teacher I also want them to understand that being talented comes with responsibility too.

Some teachers might tellyou straight up, “look you’re not cut out to be a dancer”. Which is what I was told when I was 13 years old. Despite having long legs, I was far from a perfect ballerina, bad knees, not so good arched feet, but the only good attribute I saw in myself was having long arms and legs also I knew I had really good musicality, and not saying this to brag but I could jump really high. But if you lived in a country, where majority of the dancers average height would be 5’3 and you were 5’7 by the age of 15. You can only imagine how much criticism I had to deal with, before learning to accept what I had and to develop the strengths, rather than focus on my weaknesses.

Despite all the physical limitations I had, from watching plenty of ballets, I slowly learned that our physical attributes alone is not what makes you a memorable artist. I learned that, even physicalimperfections can look beautiful too. This is what makes ballet so subjective, not everyone will really like what I say too. Some people will really just say, its just not for everyone, but this is also what makes ballet an art and not a sport.

Of course not to disregard good technique and improving yourself. You will still have to put in more hours than those who are gifted with those beautiful lines, but discovering who I was as an artist was far more exciting than focusing on my weaknesses. I slowly had to learn to work hard everyday, double of those dancers who already “had it” and worked on cleaning my technique.

  1. Learn what your strengths are

It takes a while to find out what you are good at, but I’m sure there is something you are bestat that you can use to your advantage. For example, I knew I was really good in Jumps, that was what I was so good at, I knew I would get noticed for my good jumps. But of course a variation cannot just be jumping, there are other things involved. I still had to focus on my technique, but Jumping was my most favorite, and those were the variations that I got.

I remember coming into the dance studio, not even knowing how to do proper fouettes. I cried every time I could not do something. But I had to tell myself everyday, that It was going to happen, this is when i put my visualization into practice, I imagined being able to do them perfectly, I videoed myself so I could correct myself when I got home and I practiced to get them right.

  1. Practice

I remember someone telling me once that sports and anything that require practice is 1% theory and 99% practice. I still believe this, I may read plenty of books on dance every month, but thats just to add to my knowledge. Remember to feed your brain too, not just your muscles. My mom used to say, “Beautiful dancers are smart dancers”, What she meant was if you have nothing in your brain you will dance like you have nothing in your brain too. But if you don’t practice, you will also dance like you do not practice, and smart dancers do BOTH.

I still love scrolling around the internet, looking for every dance related article I can get my hands on to learn at. But what good is reading if I cannot apply everything that I am learning? Every story, every dance learning and non dance biography i read, can teach you something that you can apply in your dancing.

So keep on practicing, even if it means not going out with your friends sometimes, or sacrificing family time for your dance practice. If dance is something you love, you will get that family time and the break you need in the future. Later on, you will face other problems, but while you are young and your obligations aren’t so tough yet, practice with every chance you have. Your parents and your family should be happy for you and your new found focus for your passions.

  1. Observe what’s around you and experience things

Besides practicing everyday, of course sometimes you will need a break too. So if you are going through a phase where you feel stuck, go out, experience life. It is what will make your dancing  beautiful. What good is dancing if it makes you sad? Dancing is supposed to give a spark into you.

  1. Don’t forget to do everything with a smile

Many of us forget that, dance being our passion, we are supposed to be doing it because we love it, not because we had no other option to our lives. We choose how we live our lives, and although the current trend seems to come from a lot of hate. It should not be what defines our personality and our thoughts.

The next time you think about another one of your insecurities, take a breath, and remember why you started dancing in the first place. I would suggest writing this down on a notebook, give it some time and some thought. I myself always ask my students to keep writing down their corrections, their dreams on a notebook. This way you can read back to them, so you are always inspired to continue. And if it doesn’t inspire you anymore, keep on writing anyway. There is always something new to learn and something to be happy about.

Remember, dance is life, but not your whole life. A lot of things make up your life, its good to have dance in life, but don’t get carried away to the point it gets you crazy. Have friends, in and out of your dance life and your dancing will come out very beautiful too.

Mission Rome

It took a long time for me to write this, I actually travelled to Rome last October and I still remember all of my favourite sights. What surprised me though was the rich history and culture that it had. Also the secret tours and tunnels that we were able to experience, thanks to my mom. Rome has a lot to offer for those who are really interested in its rich history, its aqueducts and the cool excavation tours.

I was finally able to summarise the first half of my experience through my Vlog, I will probably just write down in my next blog, about the ballet classes I was able to take and experience in Rome. It was a really good vacation for me, and I hope to do something like this again, if my budget permits.

Its been so long since I’ve actually written on my blog, because of my crazy schedule. Compared to last year, I have a lot more pressure riding on me. Such as my soon to come board exam on October, which has been putting a lot of stress on me. I hope I find the strength and the will to keep on going and studying. While trying to keep my spirit alive by dancing.

Hoping to find time to write more again,
CIAO!

6 steps on how I prepare for my ballet recital

So for some dancers who have been asking me to make a video about this, here is the blog version and you can visit the youtube link for the video version! This would be the perfect time to make this as it is our recital this coming Sunday. So for your reference, here are a few tips and lists you may follow:

1. Make a list
Its really important to make a short list of all your dances and make sure that you have all your costumes and headdresses that you need for that dance. Check if your costumes are clean and make sure that you have everything that you need.

2. Bring extras of everything
Extra hairpins, extra leotards, extra tights, extra warmers, extras of everything is really important. Ballet shoes, pointe shoes, sewing kit, ribbons and garters. Its really better to prepared for every kind of situation than to regret it later on. Of course don’t forget your make up!

3. Preparing the day before the show
Rest yourself well and eat well the day before the show. I like to eat less greasy foods before the day of the show.

4. Double check everything
I always double check everything that i need before the show and for the day of the recital. Sometimes you just leave things by accident and you just have to be very careful about it.

5. Don’t forget your snacks, water and get to the theatre before your call time.
These things are important because you’re going to be waiting for a long time. You can bring a book or an i pod with your music then some light snacks are good too.

6. HAVE FUN!
This is the collation of everything you’ve been working on for months and months. By this time your body already knows the feeling of dancing even in your sleep. Don’t forget to smile and to bring your heart with you!

Hope this helps you dancers, on some tips you can take to prepare for your up and coming recitals.

WHAT I THINK MAKES A GOOD DANCE TEACHER, THE KIND I ASPIRE TO BE:


Anyone can be a dancer but not everyone has the skills to be an effective and good dance teacher. It takes so much skill and patience for a teacher to be able to mold a beginner into what they visualise someday for their dancers. Theres so much more to teaching than a lot of people think of it, even more than just choreographing steps, its an art.
We all of course differ in our opinions of what makes a good dance teacher. Some would prefer a more relaxed and happy teacher as others might prefer a more strict teacher. I don’t think theres just one way of teaching, each teacher has something to offer. But regardless of that I think there are certain qualities that A eacher should possess.

1. Professionalism:  A good teacher respects her students. I think a teacher should be someone you will respect no matter what situation. They can handle situations effectively, in the way they speak, talk and dress. Its really important that the teacher for me interacts well with students.

2. Experience and Reputation: Although i don’t believe that a dance teachers educational background matters or is directly related to their way of teaching, as I have had plenty of amazing dance teachers who didn’t even take dance as a course. I think reputation and experience speaks for them. Plenty of dancers, even without any certification such as retired professionals can be amazing dance teachers. I think its important to consider how long they have been teaching and observe their class before enrolling too.

3. Patience and Organisation: A good teacher, knows how to organise his or her lessons. And and effective teacher knows that it takes time to master a step and choreography. A good teacher puts emphasis on the simple steps, rather than jumping straight to the difficult ones.

4. Punctuality: A good dance teacher is always a good example. Being Punctual means he or is a responsible teacher, if your teacher is more than 10 mins late to class with no apparent reason all the time then i think you should consider changing your school.

5. Dedication: A good teacher is completely dedicated to teaching you the best things they know.

6. Constantly learning: A good teacher is also someone who constantly strives to be better, and to give you the best dance education.

7. Passion: And finally a good dance teacher is passionate about what she or he does. Good dance teachers, inspire and they share. They are constantly giving and learning for you. A teacher is also a student, A teacher learns new things and adapts them for you in class. This is what i aim to be, to generate dancers who want to dance and to inspire them to aspire to become the best in an artistic and technical way.

if you have a teacher like this then good for you! REMEMBER: At the end say that a good teacher deserves an equally good student, so do your best and do them justice. Tag your favourite dance teachers and tell them how much you love them. ❤

That’s d pointe dance shop, Manila

Hello Dancers and Dance lovers,

As you are now well aware of, I’ve been fixing my website and sharing YouTube videos revolving around my life and ballet. Today I want to feature another ballet store in the Philippines called, thats d’ pointe dance shop. This shop owned by Ms. Charmaine, is located in Metrowalk, Ortigas ave. and in Fisher mall, Quezon City. The Shop is very much complete with the basic things and they have an ample amount of stocks, of course if you need special sizes you may also request that with them. They are very accommodating. I will be attaching our new video blog to this post.

If you are ever in need of dancewear, you may visit them today, and you can also check out their online store on this link, That’s d pointe dance shop

TUTU DANCE STORE, TAIWAN


DANCE STORES IN TAIWAN: TUTU DANCE, TAIWAN
Welcome to Taiwan! Besides my VLOG which i posted on my new youtube page, I’ll be writing more about Tutu dance, in Taipei Taiwan.
HOW TO GET THERE: 
From the main station, or from any train station. Take the train to Zhongshan Elementary school ( TAKE EXIT C ) or you can also take the bus. Cross underneath the big highway and go straight, about a 2 min walk until you see the 7-11 to your right, turn right to the small street.
You will see an entrance to your right as you can see in the video and go up to the 7th floor, you will find TUTU DANCE showroom.
ABOUT TUTU DANCE STORE:
What I love about Tutu Dance store, is that it is probably one of the most complete dance stores that I’ve been to. Even compared to Chacott in Japan, i really love their selection of leotards, shoes and warmers. They have all kinds of selections, styles and all brands! Including online shops such as myself. In terms of shoes and pointe shoes, they also have all selections of sizes, including the new kinds of fits and the rare to find styles and sizes.
They even require all their staff to take ballet once or twice a week, which is why I love them because all their staff are knowledgeable on what to recommend and they are also very quick to follow in new trends. They are a very hands on shop and they definitely know how to take care of their dancers.
If you’re ever in Taipei, go check them out! I’ll leave you their address here under this blog and a map to their store. Enjoy Dancers!
TuTu Map.jpg

VLOG #1: The Backpacking Ballerina

 

HELLO DANCERS! 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸
I decided to start a video blog about Dance by Lina and I would love it if you could follow our new YOUTUBE PAGE, I’ll be including our videos from our deliveries, some from the dancing and the teaching workshops that I take around the world from Japan, US and our soon in LATVIA! 
Our blog page is also mainly focused on ballet and tips on ballet shops around the globe. I hope i could get some new ideas from all of you! LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO LEARN OR HEAR  I’m also looking into featuring special people of ballet. I would really love your help dancers.


This link leads to our current youtube channel link, so i hope you could give us a follow! Besides my blog, I’ll be doing a LIVE streming video on “The art of ballet” on MAY 6, stay tuned for more information. 

https://youtu.be/3yNqLVObx70

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

SHOP AND BLOG: 
dancebylina.com 
thebackpackingballerina.com