Dance moms and daughters

Sharing experiences, inspiration, collaboration and motivation all because of dancing. Working together and staying in touch.
Using modern technology cross four countries for communication. Collecting information and distributing between us.
Having fun writing, making photographs, video´s and publishing articles.
Let´s do it :-)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Danceyear 2014

So long time since I have written - seemst like ages. And it is far to long ago. Well, maybe it isn´t strange. Both me and Asta have been very occupied with other things. Asta has been working hard studying and she and her mother have created her own label of clothing called Bella . At the same time she works at a fitnesscenter coaching and training.  She is tough!!

And I have been busy teaching at my school, and working with and for the Icelandic National Dancefederation. I am responsable for the Facebookpage of the Federation since I started it and I have actually quite a lot of fun. I have been surfing around on the web looking for researches on dancesport, for articles and webpages about dancesport. I have been interviewing and videotaping adult dancecouples which was quite a lot of work but very giving.  

Working in the board of the federation means meeting twice a month. At the same time I am in the board of my daughters danceschool Hvönn which also means meetings at least once a month. The school has a busy program with foreign teachers coming over on a reglura basis and right now this weekend they have one of the national coaches of Germany in Latin teaching a seminar. This is quite common in Iceland to have foreign teacher coming to hold seminar and give private lessons. And with the Icelandic National Championships in a 2 weeks  time most dancers are preparing hard for the competition and danceparents are busy getting dancecostumes ready.

Me and Asta look forward to continue blogging together, maybe not as often as we used to do. But certainly after the championships that will be on the 18th  and 19 th of January.There is also a WDSF Open in Latin held on the 19th of January. Have a look at the  homepage if you should be interested
although we know that the same weekend there is a major event - the Manhattan Amateur Classic . Maybe next year we should try to build bridges and see if we can get dancers from Iceland to go to NY and dancers from NY to come to Iceland ;-)
 
New Years light and blossom to all of you -:)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A (new) Dance dresses


Now life is getting back to normal after summer vacations and the schools are starting again. The routine, school, practice, gym feels good.
The autumn is exciting time when we start our hobby again. Then there are new competitions coming op, new places to visit and a new challenge.  It's beginning of a new dance season  and a lot of dancers are thinking of a new costumes. Many have there own dress makers but there are so many nice used dresses out there for sale. Dance is an expensive sport so if there is a way to safe money than buying a used dress is the thing. Here are some sites that sells used dresses. Many of them are on Facebook :)
changeyourdress.com

Groups on Facebook
kjoler til salg
dansbudin.is
facebook.com/dresses.forsale
 

250 Euros
300 Euros
250 Euros

If you are interested in some of these dresses please contact me 
astasig@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summertime and the livin is ...


Summertime means to some extend a different rythm for  many dancecouples. 
For some, it might mean working a lot gather money together, to pay for new dance outfits, for lessons or even training camps. You can allways learn more, you are never finished.
In this case is has been amongst other things gardening and teaching.
Summer also means simply having time to meditate and gather energy, build up force and work on your motivation. Making plans actually takes a lot of time, amazing how you can spend time in setting goals and planning for the next season. 


Some dancers work on their own outfit. 
If you are able to do that it helps a lot because it keeps the expenses down. But again you need time, you need the knowhow and certainly you cannot be afraid of putting the scissors into expensive textile. And again, it is so important to reach out for help, share and enjoy the knowledge of others. 



Doing things together is much more fun and you learn from each other.  And it encourages to continue.





 To get results you need to do as in any sport. You have to practice, to train, take lessons, and you go over and over again the same small things. You need to be good not only technically, you need to be in physical good condition, you need mental strength. A lot of work. You need assistance, good teachers, good coaches, good friends and good families to support you.






At the World Games in Cali,Colombia,  Dancesport was listed as an artistic sport. In many ways a very accurate definition. Just think about the time spend in working with interpretations, musicality, choreography, accurate technique and not to forget, getting together the outfit, thinking about hair, make-up, nails,etcetera.  
It is indeed a long process of finding exactly what suits you at every moment, and it differs according to what dress or shirt you are wearing f.ex. Time consuming.

We have though to make  the image of the dancer as a an athlete working hard to achieve his or her goals more visible. We have to lift the curtain and show what it takes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

In memory of Ellen, a dear friend and super-dancemom

Ellen august 2012

So sad and difficult to understand. Ellen, one of my best friends in Denmark just passed away,  at the same age of me, a teacher like me, as a geologist she loved the country I live in, she was an adventurer in life. A woman of big strength and courage. A stubborn one. Mother of 3 children. Since she could not get them herself she reached out for them and got them in another way, Kristina, Thomas and Kasper. She was ever so proud of all they did. Always there with and for  them. They were her priority in life. Last year Ellen got breast cancer and now we all thought it was gone. We were all so wrong. Life can be so unpredictable...
When we met, we used to laugh about the many things we had in common: Both Danish, we came to Iceland the same year, we started working at the same school the same year without knowing in advance, we got married the same year, we got some of the children around the same time, we have the same cultural and social background. My children stayed with her family and she came with her children to visit us. We borrowed her house and she was always going to come to Iceland again and borrow ours. My youngest was going to stay at her house and even practice with her youngest. She came to Copenhagen Open to see my oldest compete many years ago. And we often talked about her coming to Iceland for the RIG Dance competition in January. Our attachment to the well doing and being of our kids was much the same. She never gave up and always stood with her children, now matter what. She fought for the best solutions for her children and always in a positive way, and persisting she was -:)
Her oldest son played football and badminton and she followed him all over. Her youngest son turned out to be quite a talent in dancing and off she was to competitions, lessons, rehearsals , training camps with big names in the Danish dancing world and there suddenly we had another thing in common: We were now also both dancemoms.  Again a new subject to discuss, we could now reflect upon the dancing of our children. I asked her to read and reflect on our blog right from the start and she and answered so positively : " Finally a page about dancing with content, from a different point of view, from our side".  We obviously had the same approach to the dancing world and we agreed on so many of the same values such as f.ex. positive motivation, flexibility, honesty, fairness, persistence and the importance of communication skills as being able to listen to each other.  We shared so much, although we didn´t speak that often, when we spoke, it was about it all.
In her memory I would like to remind myself and other dance parents of those values in order to keep balance in the (dance) life of our children.


Dear Ellen RIP



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Meet Irina Posternak the dancemom - part 2

" Partnering is among the most important skills in ballroom, very often parents of dancing kids forget about it."

How would you define a good dance teacher/coach, what do you expect from him/her? 
As I said before, I am always on a lookout for the best teacher for my kids. The best to me is the one who is the most right one for my child at certain stage of his or her development. What makes a teacher the right one for me? A combination of professional and personal qualities. A good teacher, in my opinion, should be able to help my child to develop into the best dancer he or she could be by providing him the most suitable training at the moment. This assumes some degree of flexibility in the teacher as well as desire to learn and to share his or her knowledge with the child. I also appreciate such qualities as honesty and fairness. I do not see myself trusting my child's development to someone I don't respect as a person. And, while I understand that teaching is most often the main source of the teacher's income, I appreciate when it is not money that lead the way, but the child's best interests.
The best advise I received when we left the studio and started looking for the good place for our son to dance was to be as open minded as possible and try, try, try. Talk to the potential teachers, explain to them what your goals and objections are, listen to them, take a trial lesson. You will be surprised how many hidden gems you can find. There will be less pleasant interactions as well, but you live and learn.
I feel fortunate to meet many wonderful people throughout my son's dance carrier. Therefore, my advice to other parents would be not to give up and keep on looking for the best teacher for their children. Thinking about the amount of time our kids spend in the studios, don't you want them to be supported and cared for by the ones who love and respect them as wholesome persons?

How do you go about with expectations when dealing with competitions?

Well, I am afraid I am a bad sport here. I don't expect my child to win every single time he competes. All I want to do is for him to be able to show his best dance there. That involves learning how to deal with the pressure, ability to focus and set the right expectations. If my child's dance speaks to me, if I see that he was able to apply corrections, that he is progressing from one competition to another, I am happy. We have our drawer full of medals, but nobody sees them and they are soon forgotten. Dancing is such a beautiful thing that keeps you developing endlessly. Whatever your goals might be today there will others tomorrow.
My son is very competitive, but in a healthy way. He competes with himself, because his goal is to become the best dancer he can be. "Eyes on the prize" motto never worked with him. His love of dancing is the only real force that keeps him moving.


What would you say is important in the relationship with other dance parents when it comes to work together on a dance partnership between 2 children? What would you expect from them and what values do you consider important?

One of the things that makes ballroom so unique and special is that it is a couple's activity. It's hard enough to become a good and skillful ballroom dancer, it is even harder to find a partner that shares the same ideas with you. Partnering is among the most important skills in ballroom, very often parents of dancing kids forget about it. Very frequent we see couples where two dancers are dancing by themselves, not creating the whole picture. 
For parents of the ballroom kids the ideal would be a situation when the two families' goals and means in dancing align. Communication skills are a must: honesty, ability to have a dialog and to listen are very important. It is also crucial to understand that nobody is perfect (including your own child) and that everybody is different. Kids might have different ways of learning, they grow at different pace, you should be able to understand that and be patient. If possible, dance-related issues should be handled by the couple's coach and not by parents. Appreciate what you have and try to fix things before deciding to move on to the new partnership. Parents can play crucial role here by teaching the kids to respect their partners, to be supportive and understanding. It is also important to discuss things when needed. This should done, again, in the most respectful manner, always giving the other side the benefit of the doubt.
A strong and sufficient team is worth your efforts. Supporting this idea will teach your kids many valuable lessons in life. After all, dancing is only a part of it, right?



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meet the dancemom Irina Posternak -part 1.

" Dancing is such a beautiful thing that keeps you developing endlessly. Whatever your goals might be today there will be others tomorrow. " 

What does it mean, to be a dance mom and what is a "full-time" dance mom's job?

Well, I am sitting in my living room with the laptop open. There are several websites that I  check on a regular bases, among them are my Facebook page which is pretty much my son's dancing carrier's documentary as well as a few forums (American Ballet Talk for Dancers, Russian ballet forum and Russian ballroom one). My daughter has just finished practicing for her ballroom class tomorrow and stretching now. My son recently came back from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Simmer Intensive program and can't stop dancing in our small living room.

He begs us to find his a place to rehears the new variations he has learned by watching David Hallberg on YouTube at the camp, we are trying to do so rather quickly to relieve our neighbors downstairs from hearing his constant jumps and turns. His ballroom classes start tomorrow and I am setting the reminders for myself not to be late there. I am already thinking about his dance costumes for the next season (I learned to make them myself) and wondering if we will need to order more ballroom shoes (the ones he loves are made by hand in Ukraine). I am chatting with my new friend from Philadelphia, whose son is also a dancer, about how to keep the boys in touch, since there are so a few of them here, in this country. The phone rings - it's one of my kids' dance teachers who became a family friend. My "support team (aka "crying shoulder") consists of seasoned and new dance moms from Russia, England, Canada and US. I can go on and on...
Does this make me a dance mom? It probably does :). Do I qualify to be a full-time one? I do, since I am staying home with the kids until I find a job that allows me to continue taking care of my family needs.
Do  you need to do all that to be one? I am sure not. You just need to make sure that you do all in your power to make sure your kid get the proper training as a dancer, whatever it may mean for you. You need to be there for your child when he or she needs you.     Nothing major, just usual proper parenting stuff, right?
 
Back to being a dance mom though. I am not exactly comfortable with the social aspect of it. I don't feel comfortable spending hours in the studio chatting with other parents. I am hoping that I am not a crazy type of a dance mom as well, that I am not pushing my kids into something I love and not them. I actually try to stop my son from falling too much in love with dancing. I am watching my daughter carefully, supporting her other interests aside from dancing, hoping that they will eventually take over.
. Every once in a while I try to leave this all behind and do something completely different and not dance-related. It's hard and I almost never succeed. Because am I a full-time dance mom, so who am I kidding? :)

What are your priorities when thinking about your children dancing?

There a few of them, actually. First and the foremost, I always look for the best teachers I could find for my kids. "The best" doesn't always mean the most expensive or the most celebrated one, far from it, but I will be talking about it later. Another thing I always keep in mind is that I always make sure my child doesn't loose the pleasure he or she derives from dancing. Too many lessons or too much pressure could strip that main component away. To me, when I see my son stops dancing at home, it means that he needs a break or his schedule needs to be adjusted. One of the most important things for me is to be able to continue to raise my kids good people through dancing as well. This would include their contact with great and wise people, them learning to respect others, to work hard, not to give up, be proud of their achievements. Also, as involved as our family is with the kids dancing, we always make sure we take breaks from it when it's needed and that our kids have other interests and activities outside of dancing. Family and friends time is very important for us as well.



Part 2 will be published later this week ;-)