Not everyone wants to go back into the dance world right out of high school. The load of college is sometimes too much. You might be noticing that a lot of people you went to school with are settling down and having kids already. But not all. A lot are opting to get an established career going after college.
Some are trying their hand at teaching dance. Not as easy as you think. Family commitment, college, and job responsibilities make that living hard, if it isn’t your full time occupation. Trying to arrange to travel to competitions is also “out of pocket”. A few are even trying the studio route. Again, not as easy as you think.
Good studios aren’t running off debt, and renting space will quickly drain your wallet due to all the over head costs. If you are challenged to open your own studio, a little word of caution may be in order – take up bookkeeping first.
Another precaution, is when you decide to partner with a friend to open a studio. That can also be a sure way to end a friendship. It might be something to consider before you put your name on the dotted line. It costs you nothing to sit down and visit with the Small Business Development (SBD) professional and talk about setting up your own business. You need a good business plan.
What are the responsibilities in a partnership, and who has the final say? Deciding not to partner with a friend in a business venture can have a number of different outcomes. But even if they open a studio of their own without you – big deal. Open your own. May the best technical teacher “bookkeeper” win… It’s called Capitalism.
Then there are those who aren’t likely to ever give up dance. It will be with them until the end. These are generally your lifers. They radiate dance. They still enjoy the art of dance, but don’t want to be saddled with the debt, management, and administrative aspects. They prefer the creative end of things. Being able to continue to train and learn is what its all about. They don’t have the desire to take over. They are your consultants, professionals outside of the internal organization that you can draw advice and help from.
Making up your mind to continue in dance is something only you can do. Deciding who, what, when, and how, is also your choice. If you really love dance you will find a way to be involved at some level.
It really is up to all of us to train the next generation of dancers. The real talent in young dancers is discovered between the ages of K through 5th grade. This is when they start to solidify their technique – in these early years. If they are strong and study hard past this time, then hopefully they won’t look gangly and thin in their teen years. 7th through 9th grade is a very difficult time for dancers body wise, and unfortunately social wise.
Sure it is nice to work with older dancers – but if they don’t have a strong dance foundation to back them up – you might as well be teaching the lower levels. Because that is what you will be doing. Having and owning all the videos and professional dance choreography in the world won’t help you if you don’t have solid technical dancers to work with.
In this same line of thinking, not everyone who teaches should teach, and that is a sad fact that many learn too late. Don’t go into something that you really don’t have a desire to stay in.
It’s important to understand where everyone is coming from, and where they are going, in a dance family. Not everyone wants the hassle of owning a studio. Not everyone wants to teach either. You have to find that balance between all the members of your dance family and use their skills to build upon each and every successful venture.
After high school – then what?
“In fashions swim with the current, in principles stand like a rock”.
Crickets dance is owned and operated by a mother daughter team, Cricket and Jan Radcliff. The mission of Crickets dance is to offer dance consulting, and provide informative views, opinions, and instruction, regarding competitive and technical dance training and drill team.
Crickets Dance serves a diverse clientele of dancers ages K-12 (and adult). Our clients are often self-referred, and seek out our services for technical training in ballet, contemporary, and jazz performance dance. Our client relationships are generally long term, and involve face-to-face instruction in a studio type environment. Our clients are looking for that edge in technical abilities that will help them or a team better prepare and perform at state and national dance competitions.
Our secondary clients include local dance studios who hire Crickets Dance to work with their students in a studio setting to instruct them in ballet and other forms of dance technique, and with instructional choreography.
Who we are
C r i c k e t R a d c l i f f , O w n e r
Cricket Radcliff received her formal education from Utah State University. She holds two degrees including a degree in business from the Huntsman’s School of Business.
Cricket began retraining to become an instructor for beginner ballet classes, under the tutelage of Belinda Hurst, who studied at the University of Utah Department of Ballet (Ballet West). She assisted in ballet, pre-pointe and pointe classes. She studied under Belinda Hurst since age 3 ½, for a total of nearly 15 years, and went en pointe at age 9, and began assistant teaching at age 15.
In high school she studied summer intensives under Kelly Hudgins, former professional ballerina for the Texas Ballet.
The portion Crickets team preparatory-instruction in jazz, was through Becky Ripper at the Red Rock Stars Dance Studio. Lyrical instruction was through Belinda Hurst. She also took individual instruction one-on-one with top solo instructors from the Moab area for over 10 years.
Cricket was responsible for training and testing students on the dance challenge routines from beginner through advanced. Students leveled up by passing off all the technical skills on each level including combination skills in ballet, jazz, and tumbling. There are eight technical levels to advanced. She is well versed in classroom training, and has worked many years as a smalls team instructor/choreographer. She has worked with and instructed classes as large as 45 students, learning entire camp routines and teaching them to students and other instructors. She also has assisted in both team and production/novelty choreography for both regional and national dance competitions.
Cricket has worked with dozens of soloists and a numerous duet groups. Her studies in this area were a reflection of teachings from former top instructors, Stephanie Davis, and Charlotte Walden. She specializes in individual training.
Cricket began tumbling at age 6 with American gymnast instructors. She later was instructed by Belinda Hurst at the Red Rock Stars Studio. She works with students who can show a level of skill and confidence necessary for solo competition.
Cricket has recently taught at the Moab Academy of Dance as a team and solo instructor. She also continues to work independently providing summer intensive camps, and individual technical and solo training.
J a n R a d c l i f f , D i r e c t o r
Jan Radcliff received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from the Huntsman’s School of Business. She also holds an advanced master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences from Utah State University. Her expertise is in “learning how people learn”, and then developing training platforms for them to learn from. Her abilities to communicate and collaborate effectively both in person and at a distance are some of her leading strong points. She has experience building productive and positive relationships with diverse dance partners. Jan’s understanding of dance is admirable, and she truly enjoys co-assisting with choreography. She thrives in a dance setting, and works efficiently for Crickets Dance as a dance consultant and web developer. As Jan would say “I love to color – digitally”.
- The Cecchetti method is a ballet training method devised by the Italian ballet master Enrico Cecchetti (1850-1928). The method is a strict training system with special concern for anatomy within the confines of classical ballet technique, and seeks to develop the essential characteristics of dance in its students through a rigid training regime. The goal is for the student to learn to dance by studying and internalizing the basic principles, in an effort to become self-reliant rather than imitating the movements executed by their teacher.
It was fun to see everyone today. Had a lot of fun! Tomorrow is hip hop – yea!!! Thanks to Malina (Grand County High School Devilette) for helping out! It is fun to get together on the off season and work together.
Learning the dance to Bombay was a good experience. I was proud to see everyone remembered most of the dance at the review at the end. You guys looked awesome. Can’t wait to see what you do with the Hip Hop tomorrow.
As teachers, we all struggle at times when it comes to training our young students proper terminology and technique. Being able to relay to them the correct terms and positions, and have them mimic back what they have learned is often a wobbly feat at first.
Connecting all the movements, and making them appear strong and sharp is what we strive for. For some, the learning comes easier than for others. Practice has a lot to do with it. You can train your students in the proper form, but if they don’t practice – all that hard work can fall on deaf ears. Students need to want to be there. They need to want to learn.
It is critical that teachers and assistant teachers know the proper terminology, and be able to demonstrate the movements. You can’t learn it from reading a book. It takes years of practice, and concentrated muscle memory to become skilled in the art of dance technique. As well, it takes years of study to learn the proper terms (and slang).
Dancing throughout the years, most have probably heard different terminology used for different movements. Take for instance a jete lanses (turning leap), or better known to others as a barrel leap or calypso. Which term is correct? The Jete lanses is the original term. The turning leap and/or barrel leap are a cultural manifestations, as is the calypso. It really depends on where you are dancing, as to what it is called. Many only know it by one name only. Some also confuse a renverse’ with a turning leap, but they too are not the same. A lot of the original ballet movements have had cultural slang words created to describe them. View the Jete lanses/barrel leap here: A barrel leap
I like the definition of a “leap over a log” on Off Jazz’s website. You can view it here. I would be interested to know what others might call it. What is the ballet term?
The back bone of dance is technique. Having said that, I do know that a lot of new technique has been developed over the last 50 years, that has created whole new forms of dance. You can probably think of a lot,like, Hip Hop, Lindy, or Modern, or Contemporary. Each genre of dance seems to have taken something from the other. You have whole new vocabularies to describe movement in dance. It’s cultural and it’s still growing. What I do notice about all these genres of dance, is the basic’s of Cecchetti Ballet. There still seems to be a hint of Cecchetti in all the genres.
When you start to research the origins of dance, you begin to learn about the rituals that came with it. All that cultural stuff. The most ancient images of dance depict people dancing before their gods, as a form of worship. Dance as entertainment isn’t seen until about 1400 BC . Egyptian paintings show women in lose clothing and musicians, on the walls of tombs. It was thought that these women dancers would keep the males delighted in the next world.
Ballet first appeared in Rome during the Roman Pantomime. But it disappeared during the mid-evil time period. It returned in the lavish plays and dances put on for kings and courts in the early years of the Renaissance.
Terminology goes through changes, as with anything else. Cecchetti Ballet, was the product of one, ENRICO CECCHETTI. When you think about dance terminology, most people in the US have trained under the Cecchetti Ballet method in some form or another.
It is well worth knowing the correct terminology for ballet. That way you aren’t thrown off when someone uses an incorrect term. Teach your students wisely. If you teach them correctly the first time, you shouldn’t have to repeat the lesson too often.