Archive for hahakseth@gmail.com

Thriller Dance Time!

‘Tis the season to Dance to

THRILLER!

What: THRILLER DANCE CLASS
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 7:45pm – 8:45pm
Where: Kanopy Dance (341 State Street, 2nd Floor), Studio B
Cost: $5.00 per person (cash or check or charge)
Who: EVERYONE!

Aside from the moonwalk, Thriller is usually the Michael Jackson dance people most ask to learn so we’re busting it out just in time for Halloween. Class is open to all, including those with no prior dance experience.

**Kanopy Studio Info**

Enter Between Ragstock and The Gap Stores – Many doors on the corner are labeled 341 State Street, but only this door has access into the dance studio.

No Street Shoes – What does that mean? It means you need to bring a pair of clean soled shoes to change into at the studio. You can wear dance shoes, sneakers, whatever. You just may not wear the same shoes you wore outside walking to class on the dance floor. It tracks in too much grimey stuff! When you enter, you’ll go up a flight of stairs. At the top are shoe racks where you can leave your shoes during class.

Go into Studio B – At the top of the stairs, you’ll see a door that says “Pull” over the knob. Just pull (don’t rotate the knob as that doesn’t do any good), and come on in. There will be a ballet class in progress when you arrive. DON’T PANIC! Just quietly walk through to sit on the folding chairs on the other side. We’ll start as soon as the ballet kids are done.

There Are Restrooms, Drinking Fountains, and Changing Rooms If You Need Them – You’ll need to go into Studio B to access them.

 

MJ Dance – Dangerous

Everyone loves dancing to Michael Jackson! Come learn some iconic choreography from his Dangerous performance. All are welcome! 

What: Dangerous dance class
When: Wednesday 9/27/17
Time: 7:45pm-8:45pm
Where: 341 State St (Kanopy Dance studio)
Who: YOU! All ages & levels of dance experience (including no experience) are welcome!
Cost: Only $5.00 per person!

ATTIRE
Dress comfortably for movement and perspiration, like you would for yoga, the gym, or other dances classes you take. Please, NO STREET SHOES on the dance floor. What does that mean? You cannot wear shoes in from off the street onto the dance floor. It tracks in too much sand, gum, and other gross stuff. You need to bring a separate pair of shoes (any kind, dance shoes or sneakers) with clean soles to change into, or dance in your socks.

THE KANOPY STUDIO
Enter from State Street between Ragstock and The Gap stores. The whole corner is labeled 341 State, but only that door has access to the 2nd floor dance studio.

When you enter, go up the stairs. At the top, take off your shoes and leave them on the shoe rack. You will be standing in Studio 1 where a class may be in progress. DON’T PANIC; you’re in the right place.

At the top of the stairs is a door that says “Pull” over the knob. Pull that knob and enter Studio 2. That’s where we will have class. If there are young girls in there doing ballet, just quietly walk through to the chairs on the other side of the room. Our class will start as soon as their’s ends.

There are restrooms, changing rooms, and drinking fountains in the studio if you need them.

PARKING
The closest parking options are:
Buckeye Lot (214 W Gorham)
State St Capitol Garage (214 N Carroll)
Overture Center Garage (318 W Mifflin)

WHY DANGEROUS?
Dangerous is a special dance that I categorize with Billie Jean. Both gave us incredible dance numbers that are so special people remember the first time they saw them. But the official music videos for each….not so much. Billie Jean is just Michael in an 80s leather suit with bowtie being stalked by some sort of private eye in a trench coat. Where’s the moonwalk? Where’s the toe stand? The sidewalk lights up as he steps on it, and that’s cool. But that’s about it for cool stuff in that one. And Dangerous? Is there even a video? You can find homemade homages all over Youtube, but not an official MJ produced short film. Which is unfortunate because it means we don’t have a video of the dance with clear audio. We have a bunch of performances filled, naturally, with rapturous screams from fans. I imagine filming on a sound stage was the only place Michael could perform without the shrill shrieks of the masses. In any case, the Dangerous number became part of his dance repertoire no less than Smooth Criminal, Beat It, or the Jackson 5 moves that always made an appearance at his shows.

Dance To Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal Edition

 

We’ll be dancing to Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal in my Jazz Dance class on Wednesday, September 7th!

Smooth Criminal

 

What: Dancing to Michael Jackson

Date: Wednesday, September 7th

Time: 7:45pm-8:45pm

Place: Kanopy Dance Studio (341 State St – enter between The Gap & Ragstock)

Cost: $5.00

We will do a warm-up and stretch a bit, and then learn some iconic choreography to “Smooth Criminal”. No registration required. Just show up and dance!

Open to adults and teens who love to dance, love Michael Jackson, love “Smooth Criminal,” love to have fun, or any combination thereof.  No prior dance experience required.

Come dressed to move and no shoes worn off the street allowed on the dance floor (bring clean soled shoes or dance in your socks). There are changing rooms, restrooms and drinking fountains in the studio if you need them.

We will dance in Studio 2. Kanopy Dance has 3 studios and you may need to walk through someone else’s class to get to our class. Don’t worry about it – everyone is used to it. Just try not to be too disruptive. When you get to the top of the stairs, you will be in Studio 1. Remove your shoes and leave them on the shoe rack. Directly in front of you is a door into Studio 2. Pull the door knob (don’t turn it, just pull) and come inside. Make sure to close the door behind you! Walk across to the side of the room with chairs. We’ll start as soon as the class before us wraps up.

Dance Magic Dance! A Very Bowie Dance Class

We’ll be paying tribute to David Bowie in my Broadway Jazz Dance class on Wednesday, January 20th. Come dance a magic dance from Labyrinth with me!

dance magic dance

What: Dancing to David Bowie

Date: Wednesday, January 20th

Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm

Place: Kanopy Dance Studio (341 State St – enter between The Gap & Ragstock)

Cost: $5.00

 

Open to adults and teens who love to dance, love David Bowie, love the film “Labyrinth,” love to have fun or any combination thereof.  No prior dance experience required. Come dressed to move and no shoes worn off the street allowed on the dance floor (bring clean soled shoes or dance in socks/barefoot).

We will do a warm up and stretch a bit, and then learn some choreography to “Magic Dance” from Labyrinth. No registration required. Just show up and dance!

Unlimited Dance Pass – December Only!

chance_to_dance-2674

 

Friends, it is December. You have exactly 1 month to actually do the New Year’s resolutions you’ve been procrastinating on since last January.

AHHHH! Panic!!!!

No, don’t panic. Start dancing now and finish the year on a high note!

Right now, you can purchase a December Unlimited Pass for $50.00. The pass entitles you to all of my Tuesday Ballet (7pm) and Wednesday Broadway Jazz (6pm) classes for the entire month!

Pick the “Unlimited December” from the Paypal drop-down menu:
Payment Options


NOTE: Pass is valid December 1st – January 6th (no classes December 23rd).

Better Version of Me

Brian Cunningham Returns to Madison, Oct. 4th!

Exciting News! Irish sean-nós dancer Brian Cunningham is returning to Madison to give a dance workshop!

Brian Cunningham

Brian Cunningham

Brian dances in a loose Connemara style that is traditional and very exciting at the same time. The workshop is appropriate for all levels, including beginners with no prior experience.

What:   Sean-nós dance workshop with Brian Cunningham
When:  Saturday, October 4th, 2014
Time:   4:15pm – 6:15pm
Where: Express Yourself – 401 N. Lake St., Madison, WI
Who:    Anyone ages 12 and up.
Cost:   $20.00
RSVP: Reserve your spot by emailing Heidi Hakseth at hahakseth@gmail.com.

Brian is an internationally renown Irish sean-nós (or old style) step dancer who has done much to ignite a sean-nós dance revival. Brian began dancing at age 15. In the short time since then, he has become a 3-time winner of the Oireachtas na Samhna, 2-time winner of the Colin Shean Dara jig competition, and has performed in, choreographed and produced numerous shows. He’s even created a film, In the Blood, about the Cunningham family and their passion for preserving and promoting sean-nós dance (available for sale here). Most recently, Brian toured the United States in Atlantic Steps


While in Madison for Atlantic Steps, Brian was kind enough to teach us some sean-nós dancing last March. If you were there, you remember how much fun we had getting the steps and stories from Brian. If you are into Irish dance, tap dance, clogging or anything else where you get to make noise with your feet, sean-nós dance is right up your alley. You do not need prior dance experience to attend Brian’s workshop.

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Sean-nós workshop with Brian Cunningham & Kieran Jordan, March 2014

 

To learn more about Brian, please see his new website http://www.cunninghamdance.com

This workshop is made possible through the generous support of the Celtic Cultural Center of Madison, WI.

 

Ceili Time!

I’m super excited that there is going to be an Irish Fest in Madison this year. If it goes well, this could become an annual event so fingers are crossed. All are welcome to come down to the UW Memorial Union Terrace on Saturday, August 23rd, to do some ceili dancing at 4:30pm. Capital Ceili Band will be providing the music and they are great.

Haven’t danced before? That’s okay. I’ll be teaching all the dances. Don’t have a partner? That’s okay too! Oh, and this event is Free!

Download (PDF, Unknown)

My Irish Hard Shoe Dancers!

One of the studios where I teach hosted a recital this week. My adult Irish hard shoe students did a bang-up job (pun entirely intended). I don’t think I could be more proud of how far they progressed this semester. Some in the class had tap dance experience, or had done some Irish dance in the past. Others were only in their first or second semester of Irish dance ever, and yet they were able to pull this routine together nicely. They really are good.

Irish Sean-nós Dance Workshop with Kieran Jordan and Brian Cunningham!

 Irish Sean-nós Dance Workshop

With the creators of Atlantic Steps!

 

 Atlantic Steps

 

What: Irish sean-nós dance workshop with Kieran Jordan and Brian Cunningham

When: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Time: 6-7pm Beginners; 7-8pm Continuing or Experienced Dancers

Where: Express Yourself Madison (401 N Lake St, Lower Level)

Cost: $15 for 1 hour; $20 for both hours

Who: Dancers of all levels and styles who want to try this fun and exciting dance form.

Registration: Please EMAIL to reserve your spot – hahakseth@gmail.com. Payment will be collected at the workshop.

 

Kieran Jordan and Brian Cunningham, Co-Directors of Atlantic Steps, are coming to Madison! And they’re going to teach us some sean-nós dance!  Ms. Jordan is a well-respected dancer, choreographer and teacher, and we are honored to have her. Mr. Cunningham will be familiar to Milwaukee Irish Fest attendees where he has taught classes and delighted audiences with his sean-nós dance performances for many years. Click on their names to read more about these incredible dancers.

What the heck is sean-nós dance? Sean-nós literally translates to “old style.” It is akin to clogging, tap dancing, and is the forerunner of modern Irish dance. It’s fast and exciting, but far less rigid than the modern stuff. Here, check out this video of the Atlantic Steps show: http://vimeo.com/69823191

 

This event is made possible through the support of the Madison Celtic Cultural Center (http://www.celticmadison.org).

 

*Get your tickets for Atlantic Steps coming to the Overture Center March 21st! For more show info and some great dance clips: http://www.atlanticsteps.com/

Do You Have a Plum?

In teaching ballet to adults, I don’t expect the new beginners to know any terminology or basic concepts. They are, after all, new. However, I am surprised with the former dancers who are not even a little bit familiar with them. I chalk this up to the American dance studio style of teaching ballet, which has a lot of demonstration and individual correction, but not much explanation of the concepts behind the dance. One of most important concepts (if not THE most important) is aplomb. Are you dancing with aplomb?

This is a plum.

This is a plum.

When I say this to my students they smile uncomfortably and blink at at me. I’m fairly certain they think I’m talking about a plum.

In English, we are most familiar with the word aplomb meaning to have confidence, composure or self-assurance. Certainly ballet dancers need that. But that’s pretty vague. How do you teach self-assurance? And that’s not really what we’re getting at when we talk about aplomb in ballet anyway.

It’s not?!

ballet-alignment-2Nope. Because ballet terminology isn’t English. It’s French! And aplomb comes from the Middle French “a plomb,” which means “perpendicularity” (merriam-webster.com). Focusing on this notion of aplomb as perpendicular is going to help you stack your anatomy correctly; instead of having to muscle your way into maintaining a pose or position you simply line it up perpendicular to the floor and gravity works for you instead of against you.

 

building-blocksThink of it this way: If you are stacking blocks and one or more of them are just a little off the center line, it’s going to be hard to keep them from tipping. But if all the blocks are lined up so that the stack is perpendicular to the floor it’s much less likely to topple.

 

Ballet First PositionThis concept applies to standing on two feet, one foot, on the ball of the foot or tips of the toes. There is a line, perpendicular to the floor, that goes from the crown of your head down your sternum and then ends up in the middle of whatever your foundation on the floor is (e.g., between your heels in 1st position, the middle of your instep standing on 1 flat foot, etc.). When you understand this concept you can self-correct a whole host of errors. You cannot sit into the hip of your supporting leg because your line will no longer be perpendicular to the floor. Your balance will improve greatly for anything that requires you to stand on one foot. That means cleaner arabesques and more solid pirouettes. Interestingly, once you start mastering finding your aplomb on one foot, it won’t really matter what your other leg or arms are doing. You will feel solid and secure in your stance, and that will give a lot more freedom to what you can do with your other limbs.