Our dancers performed beautifully on Saturday, March 7th @ Eden Prairie High School’s Auditorium.
Here are a few highlights!
We are proud of our dancers and are looking forward to Recital 2015!
We are so happy to have Miss Rachel Johnson sharing her love for dance and life with our students at Prairie School of Dance! Take a few moments to learn about some of her amazing experiences and interests.
Where did you receive your degree? Gustavus Adolphus College
How long have you been teaching dance and what class(es) do you teach?
I am in my second year of teaching. At PSOD, I teach Creative Dance, Ballet/Tap/Jazz classes and Jazz/Hip Hop classes.
What is your favorite style of dance?
My favorite style of dance is modern — though I also really love tap, and I think tap is my favorite style to teach kids.
Where is the coolest place you have ever performed?
In the summer of 2012, I received a scholarship to perform in Spoleto, Italy with site-specific choreographer Stephan Koplowitz. He had set work on Gustavus students the previous winter/spring and had invited those of us who worked with him to join him in Spoleto for the LaMaMa Spoleto Umbria festival in June — basically a Fringe Festival. Spoleto is a town about an hour and a half northeast of Rome, and I went there by myself. I danced (and ate, explored, and tried to speak Italian) with several other Americans — and one Italian — for two weeks in preparation for the performances. Since it was site-specific, we rehearsed mostly where we would be performing, for hours under the very hot Italian sun. There were three places I danced in the town. One was within a giant dome-shaped sculpture by Michele Manzini in a city park, another was in front of the duomo in Spoleto, and the other was under/around another huge sculpture by Alexander Calder as the center of a roundabout right in front of the train station. In front of the train station was probably the coolest since we always had people watching us rehearse (and then perform) while waiting for the train. Since it was in the middle of a roundabout, there were constantly cars zooming all around us which was a very disorienting experience. I remember people shouting out their windows, “bello! Bello!” which means beautiful in Italian. We had two days of performances, morning through evening at the different sites, and our work kicked off the festival. It was two of the best weeks of my life and by FAR the coolest place I have performed. It was an amazing experience.
Photo Credit: Stephan Koplowitz
What is one thing you were taught and will always remember?
“Squish the orange”. My ballet teacher used to say it to remind us to control our releves when we would lower to flat feet with straight legs. I’ve found myself saying it when I teach now, too.
How has dance impacted you?
Dance makes me have faith in myself, in my friends, and in people in general. I have danced since I was 3 years old, and being in dance encouraged me to express myself, which has made a huge impact with who I am today.
What inspires you?
Tea, a good conversation, and a place to write good ideas down.
What brings you joy when you’re not at Prairie School of Dance?
I am an extrovert and a very relationship-oriented person, so being around those I love brings me the most joy. Besides great company, I enjoy cooking, camping, being out and about in Minneapolis/St. Paul, taking dance classes, watching Friends reruns, and laughing at all the weird things my dog does.
Have you created a pre-performance regiment/routine or a tip you’d like to share?I always spend a lot of time jumping to get warm and a lot of time in lunges because my hip flexors get really tight. Also, if possible, I always hug somebody really tight about a minute before I go onstage — it helps with my nerves. 🙂
As we prepare for the new dance year, here are a few ideas to be sure your dancer is ready for class!
1. Dance Bag
Have a bag dedicated just to dance class. You can leave all of your dance shoes and necessary accessories in one place and don’t have to track it all down every week.
2. Include the following items in your Dance Bag:
3. Dress Code attire
4. Be sure Hair is neatly pulled back away from your dancers’ face.
For ballet class, we prefer a neat bun. For other classes, ponytails are great. Please use headbands and barrettes for short hair.
5. Go to the bathroom before entering the classroom.
Even if your dancer is not sure they need to use the bathroom, encourage them to try. Leaving the classroom to go to the bathroom is very distracting. One time a student in a Creative Dance class was doing her chasses across the floor and started going potty. She responded, “I was just so excited about dancing that I didn’t realize I had to go potty.” Your dancer may get excited. In fact, we hope they do! Let’s just be sure they’ve taken care of business before class starts. 🙂
6. Arrive on time to class. It’s stressful and distracting for your dancer if he/she has to bolt and run into class after it has begun. Teachers and Assistants will greet your students at the door and welcome them into class every day. Please do your best to arrive timely & safely.
We hope these tips help you start the year off well!
If you still need dance shoes or dress code attire, we can supply you with everything you need through our PSOD store! Come visit us!
This past June, Prairie School of Dance celebrated its 17th annual Spring Dance Recital at Eden Prairie High School’s Performing Arts Center!
We had five amazing shows filled with ballet, jazz, tap, creative dance, pointe, musical theater, hip hop, dads & daughters & mommy & me classes!
Throughout the year we get to watch these dancers in the studio as they truly “grow.” They outgrow their shoes and get a few inches taller, but more amazingly, we watch their confidence rise, their friendships deepen, and their love for dance blossom. In the studio, dancers are learning much more than just steps. Dancers are learning how to conquer challenging steps, how to work with other dancers, how to perform and express themselves, and how to get back up when they fall down. They are training for life. It is our hope that the seeds planted in the dance studio inspire each student to move with grace and strive for excellence no matter where life takes them.
We have collected some of our favorite photos from the Recital Weekend and are happy to share them with you here. You can see the dancers’ unique personalities shine!
We look forward to watching all of our dancers as they continue to grow in the years to come!
“BRAVO!” to all dancers who participated in last weekend’s Performing Arts Showcase at Eden Prairie High School Auditorium. This annual event is a ‘first sketch’ of the dance pieces our Performing Arts students have been working on throughout the dance year. It is an opportunity for them to experience dancing on stage and improve their performing abilities. Pre-Performing Arts, Dads & Daughters as well as Brother and Sister dance classes were invited to perform in the show as well as a few “PSOD’s Got Talent” acts.
Friday night’s Dress Rehearsal is always an exciting yet very busy evening. After a full cast warm-up on stage, dancers head back to their respective dressing rooms to prepare for their class’ seven minutes on stage. Isn’t this an impressive looking group of dancers?
Before (and after) any Dress Rehearsal, it’s very important to come together as a “team”. We state our goals for the event and also pray. It’s very important our dance be excellent and our conduct, God-honoring. Our Program Director, Sarah Steichen, is great at encouraging everyone while running a very tight ship! Many of our fabulous instructors were on hand to practice with their classes and manage the overall success of the production.
A lot of patience is required as dancers take turns performing; we had two shows this year (5pm and 7:30) which required a lot of discipline from our dancers. Waiting backstage and off-stage, keeping quiet, quick costume changes, following directions, helping friends, teamwork… many great life-skills are taught during a performance weekend like this!
Come performance time, our dancers were ready to SHINE! For most of our Pre-Performing Arts students, this was their first time being on the Auditorium stage… they were especially excited and followed instructions really well!
This was the first event PSOD used an online, print-at-home ticket purchasing system and overall, the response was fabulous. We are excited to offer families this service again when Spring Recital rolls around! Sunshine, warm weather AND more lovely performances are just around the corner!
Thanks again, Dancers & Families, for making this a wonderful Showcase weekend! We thought it was the best one yet!
Your PSOD Staff
Welcome to Prairie School of Dance; a faith-based dance studio located in Eden Prairie, MN, offering Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Sacred, Hip Hop, Pointe, and Musical Theater, for ages two through adult. We offer both a Recreational and Performing Arts division. Our mission is to provide quality dance instruction in a wholesome environment while celebrating the beauty of each dancer and the joy of dance.