Latest Articles - Classes

A History Of Tap (as Told by a Mad Lib)

Posted on: 11 May 2016
Print and share with your friends! Tap dance as we know it today was (1)__________(past tense verb) out of other European percussive (2)__________(noun) styles like clogging and Irish stepdance. Tap dance began to evolve as a (3)__________(adjective) style all its own in the early 1900s as part of vaudeville acts. People like John “(4)__________(nickname)” Sublett and Bill “(5)__________(fast food restaurant)” Robinson popularized the rising new tap style. Robinson ...

A History Of Hip Hop (as Told by a Mad Lib)

Posted on: 16 Mar 2016
Print and share with your friends! Unlike other styles that have their (1)__________(plural noun) in dance studios and performance settings, hip hop came from (2)__________(adjective) dancers who hadn’t been formally trained. Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, people (3)__________(preposition) both the east coast and the west coast began to experiment with (4)__________(adjective) styles of dance. Hip hop is really many different styles, including break dancing, ...

Types of Ballet Shoes

Posted on: 03 Feb 2016
Did you know there are different kinds of ballet shoes? When the average person on the street thinks “Ballet,” the first thing in mind is usually a pair of pointe shoes, but as any ballet mom knows, there is so much more. So here’s your primer on the three different kinds of ballet shoes. Split Sole Shoes Any ballerina not on pointe will be wearing ballet slippers of some kind, but the first question is whether to get full sole or split sole shoes. So what is a split sole...

A History Of Jazz (as Told by a Mad Lib)

Posted on: 13 Jan 2016
Print and share with your friends! Have you ever watched a (1)__________(proper noun) musical? There’s a good chance the (2)__________(plural noun) were doing some kind of jazz dance during the (3)__________(adjective) numbers. But jazz has been around much longer than Broadway. Like the music that (4)___________(verb ending in “s”) its name, jazz dance has its roots in African American slave culture. Traditional steps blended with technique brought to America by ...

Where the Piano Comes From

Posted on: 06 Jan 2016
Did you ever wonder how someone came up with the idea of the piano? It’s such an odd instrument, when you compare it to others. Strings which are struck by pressing keys, so big it can’t be carried. The piano didn’t spring from the imagination of a single inventor fully formed. Instead, it was the brainchild of many different innovators, built to address the issues of some of the instruments which came before it. By the 17th century, keyboard instruments were already fairly ...

Origins of the Violin

Posted on: 18 Nov 2015
Instruments like the violin which are played with a bow have their origins in the Byzantine lira and Islamic rabab, dating back as far as the 9th century. These types of instruments often had very boxy bodies, and spread throughout Europe in the subsequent centuries before the first true violins began to emerge in Italy in the 16th century. Violins quickly eclipsed previously favored cello-like instruments in popularity, and were in high demand. Violins proliferated through the 17th and 18th ...

A History Of Ballet (as Told by a Mad Lib)

Posted on: 11 Nov 2015
Print and share with your friends! Ballet began in Italy in the 15th century as part of (1)__________(noun) celebrations. By the 16th century, it had moved to (2)__________(place) where it began to grow more formalized, and by the 17th century, King (3)__________(name) XIV of France, a dancer himself, fully standardized the art form and helped (4)__________(verb) it into a professional craft rather than an (5)__________(adjective) dance style. Opera ballets flourished until the ...

Crazy Facts About Musical Styles that May Surprise You

Posted on: 21 Oct 2015
We’ve all heard them before. Classical music will make you smarter. Rock music is bad for kids. There are a million preconceptions out there about which kinds of music will do what to your brain. So, time for a little investigation. Classical Music Classical music really has been shown to be good for your health – especially when it comes to managing stress. In an experiment, researchers subjected participants to a stressful environment and then measured their blood pressure...

The Origins of the Guitar

Posted on: 14 Oct 2015
Stringed “ancestor” instruments to the guitar have been around for thousands of years, but the first modern guitars appeared in Spain around the 16th century. They were transplants from Mesopotamia – the Moors who had conquered (and were eventually forced out) of the Iberian peninsula (what is Spain and Portugal today) brought with them stringed instruments from the rapidly expanding Arab world. The first modern guitars actually sported four pairs of strings rather than six ...

Music Makes You Smarter

Posted on: 30 Sep 2015
“Play Mozart for toddlers, it’s good for them.” Raise your hand if you’ve heard that before. While it’s definitely not a bad idea, the links between brain development and listening to music are generally pretty minor. What’s definitely worth your attention, though, are the links between learning to play music and developing a brain that’s smarter and more capable. Check this out:             ...

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