Welcome to our first monthly installment of the Allegro Music Highlight! Each month we will explore articles, tips and take the opportunity to spotlight music students and faculty. This month we explore why music is important to your child’s mind. I’ll be paraphrasing an article titled “This is How Music Can Change Your Brain” written by Melissa Locker in 2014’s publication of TIME Magazine. For the full article click here to follow a link.
Learning and listening to music benefits your mind and your child’s mind in numerous ways. It is most poignantly helpful to the development of young minds (most notably to the evolution of sounds associated with speech). More importantly though, the active participation in music is crucial to optimize these developments. To back up this claim Northwestern’s Harmony Project proved the importance of musical participation by showing 93% of those high school students involved in their study going on to college (significant because these students live in areas that have a 50% or more drop-out rate). Part of their study also found that not only did the exposure to music matter, but the active participation led to significant differences to the aptitude for reading and speech. How can you help your child engage? Well, neuroscientist Nina Kraus suggests parents paying attention to the music their children listen to, ask questions about that music, find good teachers to aid your child’s journey with music, and support any learning with regards to instruments your children are interested in.
Music education has so many positive benefits! Here's to growing your mind and your musical skill. Thanks for being a part of the music department at Allegro.
We thought we would share our Ballet Evaluations recap with you in a video blog. Once again, our thanks to Miss Bev for joining us at Allegro.
Summer. It's a wonderful thing. Whoever invented summer should be congratulated. :-) It comes with great new adventures, less of a schedule and more of a free spirit. I love it! Our Allegro dancers are enjoying summer as well. Some are staying close and enjoying life at the pool mixed with some amazingly fun class at Allegro, their home studio. While others are traveling the world! Either way, summer can be a time to take a breath and relax while strengthening your body and technique. It's a prefect match!
- Some of our students are dancing with the Minnesota Conservatory of the Arts as a part of their summer intensive program.
- We had 20 students participate in our ASDM Intensive right here at Allegro. I've attached some pictures of this wonderful week. These students learned SO much choreography in just a limited amount of time and performed it beautifully and skillfully for parents and guests.
- We have 2 students dancing in Europe with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and their International Ballet program. Caroline and Eleanor are having an outstanding time. They'll be happy to share with you about their adventures when they arrive home. For now, limited electronics and many hours of dancing are what keep them busy. What an amazing opportunity! We are very proud of both of you!
- Even our youngest dancers at Allegro can get a little taste of what a summer intensive is like. Check out the very fun picture from our Polynesian Princess Dance Camp held just a couple of weeks ago. They really enjoyed dancing with Miss Allie and Miss Taryn!
- I just recently received an email from one of our students dancing with Alvin Ailey in our their summer intensive program all the way from New York City! Katrina sent you all a special note....
First, I want to say I miss home more than I'd like to admit, even though I love the city. The classes are fun and challenging, and my teachers are amazing, even though some of them have really heavy accents. I have ballet every day, Horton three days a week and Graham twice. I'm also taking a class called Gyrokinesis twice a week and West African three times a week. West African is my favorite class; the movement is so free and different, it's amazing. I'm excited to tell you more when I get back!
I miss you guys in Minnesota and I hope you're having a great summer like I am! I'm also attaching a photo my mom took on move-in day last Sunday.
See you soon!
- What are you up to this summer? Send me an email or post something on instagram #asdmsummer2017 to share it with your Allegro tribe.
We look forward to seeing you at the studio soon! Haven't registered for a summer dance class yet? It's not too late! Call us today!
InspiRED, the 5th Edition of Rochester Ensemble of Dance performed last evening. I left the studio at 10:55pm after vacuuming, putting away 91 assorted chairs, 6 tables and 10 floor pillows with the kind and generous help of many others. As I watched the light crew strike while I dust mopped the floors, many thoughts filled my head.
Those thoughts stayed and simmered and grew overnight until I found myself, this beautiful Saturday morning, with a pencil in my hand. Yes, that is correct, pencil & paper. Sorry Macbook Air. Sorry Google Docs. Sorry Rachelle :-).
RED originated as a Showcase on recital weekend to highlight and provide additional opportunity for advance dancers to perform well rehearsed Spring Dance Concert pieces. That filled the bill for a couple of years. Parents of middle and high schoolers loved the abbreviated, advanced performance. Then the Showcase separated from SDC weekend held in April rather than in June. Performance company begged to be included. Younger students also wanted the change to be a part of it. Then - in Allegro Style - I brought it to the faculty. "What is our goal with this production? How do we best serve the artistic needs of our advancing students? How do we further the Allegro mission of creating a lifelong love of the art forms? Could we possibly include the entire Rochester community in this process?"
As with many things contained in a tightly closed hand, the idea flourished once my hand opened up and others bounced to and from the idea with artistic thoughts of all sorts! But thought must commit to action in order for measurable results to occur. With dedicated faculty and my willingness to let it grow - it did.
Rochester Ensemble of Dance was born - an "evening of creativity and inspiration." RED is now comprised of original works. Many champions have graced the roles of director, producer, choreographer, student mentor, stage crew and more. Choreographers from within Allegro, guest choreographers (both local and from Minneapolis) audition, cast, rehearse, costume and produce a collegiate style performance open to dancers from age 8 and above community wide. There is also a student choreography element, adding to the educational component from choreography class, encouraging self creativity and confidence including the priceless opportunity to work with a mentor. Rochester Ensemble of Dance is perhaps one of the biggest and best little known gems in the Rochester performing art scene.
Last night, I encouraged and congratulated performers, worked with and thanked the team and volunteers, greeted guests, distributed programs, listed to the choreographer talk back and helped with the transformation of studio to stage and stage to studio. Introspectively I re-stacked the building blocks both hidden and tangible that went into our evening of creativity and inspiration. And it was good. My busy hands felt open with life and energy, community and the love of dance flowing through them, flowing through all.
brittany vukovich tom burson jesse schmitz boyd janet johnson trudy stevens elizabeth stubbs jen oniell autumn rife katie cook kennet oberly stuart pimsler dance rachelle bernard kathy chase austin meinholz melanie johnson carol engle jennifer glaws emily winn elisabeth michealson ben hain heidi oehler lauren dodds
There are only a couple more months of school until summer break! Like any other kid, I’m excited, but not because I don’t have class. This summer, I am fortunate enough to go to New York and study dance at The Ailey School in Manhattan for six weeks. The Ailey School is a primarily Modern dance school, and this will be my third summer attending. This is a big deal for me because not only is it my first year in the Professional Division, but I was granted a Level 2 Scholarship, meaning I don’t have to pay tuition. It is one of the limited numbers of scholarships awarded on the school’s audition tour, but it doesn’t include housing fees. So it isn’t full-ride, it’s full-tuition, which is still pretty amazing.
Normally, scholarships require a formal audition, which only occur twice a year in New York (April and July); I auditioned at a studio in St. Paul in February. The audition itself isn’t as scary as it seems at first—I thought it was a lot of fun. We drove up early in the morning, around 7:00, since the audition was at 9:00. We put our bags along the back wall of the studio and were assigned numbers. The auditioners gave us, I think, 15 minutes for self-warm up and stretching before starting. The audition took about two hours; the first hour was ballet and the second hour was modern. At the end, they gave us information packets, answered any questions, and told us we would get an email two weeks later.
I couldn’t believe I had been accepted into the program, much less been awarded a scholarship. I’m so honored to have this opportunity, and I’m so excited!!! I would encourage more dancers to audition for summer programs because even if you don’t get in, it’s still a fun experience to learn from. Plus if (and when) you get into a program, you get to meet so many new people, make more friends, and do new stuff, which is totally worth it!
Article written by: Katrina Manansala - Level 5 ballet, pointe and classical variations student at Allegro School of Dance and Music. Look for Katrina performing in Rochester Ensemble of Dance this month. She is a National Honor Society Member and has participated in Allegro's Pre Professional program. Pictures below are of Katrina's experience with Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive 2016. Congrats from all of us at Allegro, Katrina! We are so proud of your hard work.
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3/2/17 by Miss Katie Cook
I have two great joys in teaching Ballet 5 at Allegro. The first, of course, is the wonderful dancers. This group of incredible young women range in age from 8th through 11th grade. They are curious, inspiring, hard-working, creative, funny, talented, intelligent, unique and diverse. Many I have taught for several years. Watching them progress from their first day in Ballet 5 to where they are today is a positive and continuous journey, and I know it will continue to be as we finish our dance season in June with the Spring Dance Concert.
My second great joy in teaching Ballet 5 is our live accompanist, Mr. Tom Burson. Every Monday evening, Mr. Burson takes his place at the piano in Studio A, and we begin our plies. From start to finish, he glances, not once, at any sheet music. Every piece of music is skillfully executed from an impressive repertoire that lies deep within Tom's memory.
Live music teaches these dancers so much: musicality, rhythm, tempo, adaptability, interpretation, increased knowledge and understanding. Recently, we have been delving even deeper to learn specific musical styles and the history behind them, such as the Mazurka or the Polonaise (both of Polish origin, by the way). An often favorite game of mine is to have the dancers play "Guess the Song." Tom's vast musical knowledge includes not only classics, but some of the best songs from the Beatles to musical theater show tunes. All of this shared knowledge is great, but the true gift is the special person seated at the piano.
Two weeks ago, Tom journeyed to Florida to celebrate his mother, Dixie's, 100th birthday! Using materials from the Valentine making station in the lobby, the Ballet 5 dancers each created a one-of-a-kind 100th birthday card for Tom to deliver to Dixie. Upon his return, Tom said she loved the cards!
I often think that my passion for teaching has less to do with my love of dance, and more to do with the opportunity I have to share deep and meaningful connections with people in the studio and community at large. Sharing these cards with Dixie as Tom traveled across the country gave us a chance to think of the far-reaching, age-spanning influence that our human connections, through music and dance, can have with one another.
Mr. Tom Burson and I both agree: "These girls are so wonderful." It is fitting that for the 2017 Spring Dance Concert we will perform "Around the World." On the stage, the dancers will gracefully execute their choreography while Tom accompanies them live on piano. As for me? I'll be beaming with pride from the wings watching this artful merging of music, dance and the gift it will give to the audience!
lipstick - checklist - adrenaline - fun - expansive
organize - family fans - hydrate - volume
eye opening - quick - glitter - sensory - smiles
accomplishment - new friends - sweaty - confidence - lights
energy - trust - all the shoes - A ha!
Allegro Performance Company!
Do you ever wonder about those adorable beanie babies and colorful scarves your little one loves to dance with? They are important components in our Leap N' Learn curriculum. Our classes are welcome environments that encourage effort and creativity which bring out the most positive side of dance!
Enjoy the photos below of all the freshly laundered props hun up to dry! Did you know miss Allison helps prompt us when it's time to wash our props? We also sanitize the barres and all door knobs 2 times per week.
Interested in learning more? Just ask your child's teacher or our friendly office staff about Lean N' Learn or any other question you might have! Check out Leap N' Learn website for lots of great information at http://leapnlearn.com/for-parents.
January 4th, 2017 marks the 13th Anniversary of Allegro on Superior Drive NW.
As odd as it may sound, every day when I enter the studio, it still feels new to me. I get this amazing sense of wonder and awe about the building. Though it is quiet when I step in, I think about the life, the movement, the music, the laughter, the effort, the ease that this space holds. As I pause that extra moment, while taking off my shoes or boots , I also think about all the people who enter this building.
- I think about the littles ones, the advanced dancers and all those in between. I think of their camaraderie and enjoyment, their challenges and successes.
- I think about the many parents who devote their time to their children’s study of the arts. They run a quick errand, or wait in the lobby, watching Studio Vision, paying bills online, tending to siblings, chatting with other parents.
- I think about my staff, committed to Allegro culture and so willing to share their passion, knowledge and themselves with the students and parents.
- I think about the leadership team, humming away at the speed of light, mostly in the background, but key to everything that has, is, or potentially will, happen at Allegro.
This building, to me represents people and potential! This looks like a lot when I type it, but it isn’t. It flows through my head, like a fond and familiar prayer, each and every time I enter the studio. Thank you for being a part of Allegro School of Dance and Music!
Janet M. Johnson
Written by: Janet Johnson
I am writing this short memo during the brief interlude between Act 1 & Act 2. My appearance on stage this year as Drosselmeyer's dance partner and party guest has presented many gifts to me.
Gift 1 - A Singular Focus: Waiting in the wings to hand the Rat Queen her silver sword in a 3 second window of perfection was critical and satisfying in a way that surpasses any successful multi tasking.
Gift 2 - Renewed Patience: Being ready, in costume, in character, a tiny cog in a delightful machine of movement prohibited me from my tendency of future planning and projection. I didn't realize my inability to stop working on continuous improvement until I was placed in this moment.
Gift 3 - Role Reversal: Looking from the stage outward meant I gave up managing the front of the house, visiting the sound and light booth, troubleshooting the million tiny items that need attention and trusting others who are fully capable and happy to be doing what they are doing.
Gift 4 - Belonging to the Cast: This amazing perspective renewed my pride in the students, my colleagues, the parents and volunteers. It filled me with wonder and gratitude and reminded me of the joy in the performing arts.
Bravo Nutcracker 2016!
Thank you for the wonderful gifts!