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New Year’s Resolutions…contrary to popular belief, the secret isn’t willpower!

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

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Three weeks into 2011. Have you already dropped your new year’s resolution? When people fall behind on keeping up with resolutions, they quit. Done for the year! It may come back up again next January, but for now, it’s over.

Let’s face it…resolutions are hard because we pick something hard to work on. Then we hope we make it, or try to will it to happen.  But it’s not that easy, so when it doesn’t happen, we join the ranks of “quitter”.  No one wants to be a quitter.  So don’t be! Be a resolution-keeper! Resolution-keepers don’t will something to happen; they make specific plans that are possible to keep in order to change something daily; the action of choosing. It’s time to sweat; to work at it. Get up every day and ask, “What can I do today?” Once you choose the action, to quote Nike, “just do it!”

Record numbers of people are taking Butler Community School dance and fitness classes since January 1. In the past few weeks I have spoken with hundreds of people who called or came by to ask about taking a class.  And they’re coming! But will they still be coming in April, in July? I wondered if these increased numbers had something to do with resolutions, so I asked, “What is your New Year’s resolution,” and “why are you here?” The answers went something like this, “I want more energy…to have fun…lose weight…get fit…re-learn an old passion…try something new.”

Those are great, but how will these resolutions happen, and specifically, happen at the BCS? What’s the plan? Following the idea that a resolution will work if there is a daily action to get results, what if the resolution becomes something like this, “I will wake up at 6:00am, put my shoes on, and go to Ballet Austin for the Ultimate Cardio Boot Camp.” Or maybe this, “I am going to buy a Class-Card and drive to Ballet Austin after work on Thursday to take Ballet Fit,” or, “I will call a friend and invite her to take a hip hop class with me on Sunday.” Actions chosen every day that accomplish the goal of having fun, losing weight, learning something new, and so on.

Already slacking? Don’t wait until 2012 to begin working on your resolution again. Reset your 2011 resolution! Instead of relying on willpower, learn the art of choosing today.

Looking For A Little Holiday Magic?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

It starts after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, scrubbing pots from oversized meals, decorating for the holidays, entertaining family guests, and guessing the BCS rankings. It might be easy to lose any thought of ‘joy to the world’. The true holiday spirit can be all around us, yet somehow elusive as we see only what has to be bought, what has to be done.  What we have and what we don’t have.

magic267The holiday season began for me in September. I watched with fascination as over 50 performers from the Butler Community School’s Musical Theatre Workshop, written and directed by Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique, built an original holiday musical, Magic in Manhattan. It put the holiday season in perspective for me. I can’t wait to see it on stage December 11-13!

Magic in Manhattan takes place in New York City on Christmas Eve. While a dad spends Christmas in Afghanistan, a mom finds a way to bring a little joy to her three girls. The story follows them through the streets of Manhattan, where they witness the contrast between the buying and selling of luxuries at Macy’s and Saks, and the stark reality of poverty in this land of plenty. Yet, New York City becomes a place filled with the magic and the spirit of the holiday season. They only have to look for it.

Don’t get caught up in the business of this holiday season without taking the time to let the sounds of the season make your holiday a little more magical!

Click here for tickets or more information about Magic in Manhattan.

Get Out of Your Rut with Student Rush Sundays!

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Sunday afternoon naps, football, jobs, watching a movie, reading a book, doing laundry, studying, Facebook…get out of your rut! Get out of the house, apartment or dorm and have some fun this Sunday…live a little…dance a little! Being stressed or bored on a Sunday is no way to live.  Put your dancing shoes on and head down to Ballet Austin. Whether it’s Ballet Fit, Zumba® Latin Dance Fitness, Modern dance, or Contemporary Jazz, get out and get your body moving. The Butler Community School is a great place for teens and adults of all ages to have fun on a Sunday afternoon. 

University of Texas sophomore Jessica heard about BCS classes and rode her bike downtown to take a class last Sunday. “Totally amazing studio and teacher. Love it!” Students, come down and join Jessica for Student Rush Sunday at the BCS beginning any Sunday. Bring your student ID and take one class for only $10 or two classes for $15. Can’t beat that!

Yesterday I almost died…

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Today…every muscle in my body hurts. I’m active, I run, but my first Pilates class was a workout like I have never experienced before.

Let’s start at the beginning… I work at Ballet Austin, manage the Butler Community School’s programming. I see what Pilates does to people every day. And I see that they keep coming back. In fact, I see some people, like Ann Daly, in the Pilates Studio three times a week. But I had never tried it…

Well, the challenge was on. I decided to take on those machines myself. What is it about Pilates that everyone raves about? And so… my first Pilates class.

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I was a bit intimidated by the machines, but had full confidence in Vlada, Pilates Program Director at Ballet Austin. First thing…the reformer (Pilates machine that provides targeted resistance). I could give you a play by play, but there is no way to describe the full experience…doing “hundreds” for the first time; lying on my back, my hands in straps pressed down at my sides, my head and shoulders lifted, my legs extended with my toes reaching.  And the exercise hadn’t even started yet! And when it did, I not only felt muscles I never knew I had, I learned how to breathe, focus, concentrate, stay steady, and listen to my body. My body was definitely talking to me!

Vlada kept it simple, straightforward, and easy to grasp. She lead me through a balanced and challenging workout. There was one point when she said, “now you can come over and sit on the chair.” In my head I thought the workout was over. I would be able to put my feet up, drink some water… you know, the usual at the end of an exercise session. Oh, I sat down all right. But “chair” in Pilates language doesn’t mean the same thing! Then there was the barrel, the tower, balls, magic circles, and more.

By the time the hour was over, I was pretty tired, but I had made it through the workout without humiliating myself! And no joke, I honestly felt like the space between my pelvis and rib cage had lengthened. Today it is obvious that my body has received a big wake-up call; muscles I didn’t know I have are sore.

Will I be back? For sure.

I Love Eavesdropping

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I love eavesdropping as I walk through the halls of Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center. Well, not sure if it is really eavesdropping, as eavesdropping, according to Wikipedia, is “the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent.”

I wouldn’t say these conversations were private. In fact, some were pretty loud and spirited. Some people even knew I was listening because they gave their unofficial consent with an occasional glance in my direction and a smile or a wave.  I smiled back somewhat nonchalantly, choosing to remain the detached observer. It reminds me of when I drove carpool when my children were younger, sitting in the front seat with the music turned low so I could hear the backseat conversation. My driver’s seat offered one of the best views of my children’s lives. My eyes on the road, my voice silent, and my ears open…I learned a lot.

Last night in the “driver’s seat” I walked through the halls of BDEC as studios emptied after Butler Community School classes were finished. As sweat poured down faces, I overheard comments about how enjoyable it is to dance, what a blast they had, how great the teacher was. Then another comment caught my attention. “That was such an amazing and intense workout, and so much fun!” Wait! Could something so fun really count as a workout?  I know better than to ask that question…of course it could!

Infectious music, encouraging teachers, learning new choreography, and the social aspect of a dance class take the rough edges off an hour of heart pumping, muscle burning, sweat inducing exercise. I kept walking, watching, and listening as scores of adults of all ages walked out of Zumba®, Broadway Fit, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Modern with smiles on their faces. I love eavesdropping!

Ready, Set, Summer – Enter the BCS Kids Zone!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

I love to watch and listen to children. They remind me what’s important in life; how simple and easy it is to play. Kids find fun and laughter in just about anything they do. In fact, if you think about it, two things you don’t have to teach children from the time they are born, is how to play and how to dance. American poet William Stafford wrote, “Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.”

Dance and play are two ways children move naturally. They hear the music, feel the rhythm, and before they know it, they’re dancing! Kids love to move!

The BCS Kid’s Zone at Ballet Austin is a place for kids between ages 8 and12 to dance and play. When I walk through the halls I hear fun music, see active feet and crazy fun games, and hear plenty of laughter. Activities that are more “fun” than “exercise” encourage children to get moving and keep moving. Exercise isn’t exercise! Dance encourages children to develop their imagination, social skills, self-expression and coordination.

Some children are here to take a drop-in ballet class around their summer schedule. Others take musical theatre, jazz or tap with Broadway veterans Danny and Rocker. Kids are getting groovy with some funky moves in hip hop, or exploring movement in a fun modern class.

Kids in Motion, which combines fitness fun and an interactive environment, is designed to help kids get their 60 minutes of cardio a day. With all the buzz about kids and fitness these days, and the evidence of how dance benefits growth and development, what better place to bring children to hang out this summer! Summer is all about kids. Kid’s are all about fun. The BCS Kid’s Zone is the place for kids stay active and have fun this summer!

No registration required. Start any time and come when you can.

Click here for Kid’s Zone class schedule.
Click here for teen/adult dance and fitness class schedule.

Turn Exercise Into a Party with Zumba!

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Sitting in a waiting room recently, flipping through a magazine, a quote caught my eye, “We turned exercise into a party!” That was all I needed to keep reading. I actually enjoy exercise, but I talk to people every day who would consider that comment to be an oxymoron. In fact, even people who do exercise regularly approach it with a less than positive attitude, sort of like Garfield the Cat who said, “I might as well exercise, I’m in a bad mood anyway.”

So I kept reading to discover that there is a dance fitness craze sweeping the country. Now I am even more intrigued! Dance and fitness are what the BCS is all about! “Zumba®,” the article said, “has become nothing short of a revolution, spreading like wildfire, and positioning itself as the single most influential movement in the industry of fitness.” Those are some powerful words! What is this Zumba®? Soon you will be able to discover for yourself because Zumba® is coming to the BCS this summer! It is playful and energetic, and combines high energy and motivating music. It’s a workout that keeps everyone motivated by creating a party-like atmosphere.

The new summer schedule of dance and fitness classes begins June 2. Zumba® will be the featured BCS Class of the Month in June. Come give it a try for FREE! Zumba® just might be the best party in town!

To kick off all summer dance and fitness classes at the BCS we will be holding a 15% off sale on summer Class-Cards May 24 through May 29. Get a deal and then get fit and have fun at the BCS this summer!

Click here for more information on Zumba® and the BCS summer class card sale!

Broadway – It’s Closer Than You Think!

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett, even Michael Jackson, have come alive here at the Butler Dance Education Center. You can hear them when you walk through the halls. They live on through the lives of Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique. These two guys are the real deal. Straight from Broadway, having starred in such recognized productions as A Chorus Line, Chicago, and Contact, Danny and Rocker light up the lives of BCS students from age 8 to 58. Sometimes I have to marvel at the stories they tell…hanging out on stage with Michael Bennett, riding in Bob Fosse’s limo…

And then I have to marvel even more when I realize that they teach here…HERE! When it comes to Broadway and Theatre Dance classes, we have the best! And that’s probably an understatement. As I said, they are the real deal! Seriously…if you don’t believe me, come down and try a class in April. Broadway Jazz and Theatre Dance are featured as the BCS Classes of the Month. If you’ve never been, try your first class FREE, and rub shoulders with a couple of veterans.

Not only do Danny and Rocker teach classes here at the BCS, they are creators and directors of the upcoming Musical Theatre Workshop performance Broadway in May//100 Years of Broadway, to be performed on stage at the AustinVentures StudioTheater May 1 and 2. “They say the neon lights are bright on broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air.” I say the neon lights are bright on the corner of 3rd and San Antonio, and I know there’s always magic in the air.

For more information about the BCS Class of the Month for April, Broadway Jazz & Theatre Dance, click here.

For more information about Broadway in May, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Rock Out at a BCS Class of the Month

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

What does it mean to get down and get groovy? And what in the world are basic break, pop and lock, tricks, and rock out? Somehow it all has to do with dance. And anything that has to do with dance has to do with Ballet Austin.

These are all words I hear around Ballet Austin’s Butler Community School, the place to be for anyone who feels like dancing! Do you feel like dancing? When you hear music, does your body just have to move? Are you looking for a place to just dance and have fun? Do you dance in your kitchen? Dance at the club? Do you want to learn some moves you thought you could only see on music videos and dance shows? Then come down to the Butler Community School in February to try a free hip hop or street jazz class.

Hip Hop and Street Jazz at the Butler Community School are for anyone. I think you’ll have so much fun that I am giving away free classes, water bottles and t-shirts to get you in the door! That’s right…random drawings for prizes, special giveaways, and more fun than you can pack into any hour that will make you feel like a video star.

February BCS Classes of the Month include Hip Hop and Street Jazz for teens and adults, and Kid’s Hip Hop, a fun and funky class for kids ages 8-12.

See you at the BCS!

For more information about the February BCS Classes of the Month CLICK HERE!

 
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