Did You Know…?

Dancing has been around since the beginning of time, so it really is no surprise to us that there are some really crazy facts about it out there! Here are a few we find really interesting and fun!

  1. First archaeological proof of dance comes from the 9 thousand year old cave paintings in India.

  2. Roughly 30 thousand people are employed by the UK’s dance industry today, maintaining around 200 dance companies!

  3. Today, professional dancers are regarded as elite athletes.

  4. Our so beloved tap-dance can be tracked down to the tribal dances of African slaves, who after arriving in North America presented it to the Westerners.

  5. Dance marathon competitions started as early as the 14th century!

  6. Breakdancing was first created as a “less lethal” form of fighting between warring Afican-American streets gangs in the 70s, in New York.

  7. Big shot movie stars like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelley used tap-dancing to capture worldwide audiences in their films.

  8. Ancient Egyptians used dance as both a form of entertainment and religion.

  9. The first ballerina to wear pointe shoes was Marie Taglioni in 1832 in a ballet called “La Sylphide”

  10. Dancing is considered great physical exercise for all ages, and has been safely practiced from the ages of 2 to 102!

(Source: Dance Facts)

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While surfing the internet and visiting some of our favorite dance websites, we found a video of Heaven, a three-year-old girl dancing with her mother on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show. Only a minute into the video we were already in love with this adorable little girl and her amazing choreography to Beyoncé’s “End of Time.” When asked by Ellen if she wanted to be a dancer when she grew up, Heaven simply answered “I already am one!” Heaven’s passion for dancing really just sums up how we feel about it too! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Heaven, but we do assure her she has a place at A Step in Time if she wants it!

The Beautiful Work of Pina Bausch Comes to Life in Movie

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We recently just watched a 3D documentary on contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch and were completely blown out the water! “Pina” has received stellar reviews, some who named it the best use of 3D since “Avatar.” And as you can imagine, we liked this a lot better than “Avatar…”

“Pina” has been in the makings for 20 years, and after years of labor and conceptualizing it has finally come to life. The documentary is able to capture how Pina saw things through different eyes and choreographed movements human body didn’t seem capable of doing. Her passion towards the art really shows off in German director Wim Wender’s product.

Unfortunately Pina was unable to see the finished product herself. She unexpectedly passed away in 2009, just two days before rehearsals for the film started. Wenders was devastated and almost ended the project, however Pina’s dancers convinced him to continue.

“Pina” is available for instant stream on Netflix, but we really recommend seeing it in 3D!

Featured Dance Instructor Marie-France Levesque

 

Born in Montreal, Canada, Marie-France began her ballet training at the age 7. In 1982, she joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, performing lead roles for 3 years. She received grants from the Canada Council of the Arts and from the Government of Quebec to study in New York and Bulgaria. In 1985, Marie danced the lead role in The Garden of the Heart, which was broadcast live on CBS National TV. That same year, Marie was recruited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre, where she danced for 11 years. Her repertoire includes several featured roles, many PBS specials on dance, and a host of guest-artist credits across the U.S. and Canada. Since moving to L.A. in 1996 Marie has been providing the highest level of professional instruction at studios such as West Side Academy of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy, and CSU Long Beach.

Featured Dance Instructor Jenny Mullaney

Jennifer was fortunate enough to meet the love of her life very early when she started dancing at 4 in San Diego. She trained in hip hop, tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical. As a teen she started competing, winning top honors at regional and national competitions. She was also involved as a choreographer for her high school dance program. She went on to UC Berkeley while dancing for Culture Shock Oakland and furthering her modern and contemporary repertoire through the UC Berkeley dance department and local studios. Happy to return to southern california and pursue a commercial dance career as well as acting, Jennifer trains with top teachers in the industry at EDGE PAC. She feels honored to have had the opportunity to work with AKON, Emminem, Unwritten Law, and Nikkole. Her most recent role is a “bikini assassin” the film Samurai Avenger. She is thrilled to be teaching at A Step in Time and hopes her own passion for dance inspires her students to keep dancing towards their dreams. Get more information on Jenny at A Step In Time School of Dance

Featured Instructor Samantha Lee

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Samantha graduated from Oklahoma City University with a B.A. in Performing Arts. She has performed for the American Music Awards, Up Close and Personal Tour for Brian McKnight, as well as Beyonce’s Dancer for the NBA All Star Game. She danced in Snow White at Disneyland and has appeared in many commercials. Samantha teaches ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop. We are pleased to have her as an addition to A Step In Time!

Featured Faculty Member Marie France Levesque

Born in Montreal, Canada, Marie-France began her ballet training at the age 7. In 1982, she joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, performing lead roles for 3 years. She received grants from the Canada Council of the Arts and from the Government of Quebec to study in New York and Bulgaria. In 1985, Marie danced the lead role in The Garden of the Heart, which was broadcast live on CBS National TV. That same year, Marie was recruited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre, where she danced for 11 years. Her repertoire includes several featured roles, many PBS specials on dance, and a host of guest-artist credits across the U.S. and Canada. Since moving to L.A. in 1996 Marie has been providing the highest level of professional instruction at studios such as West Side Academy of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy, and CSU Long Beach.