Meet the amazing teachers for our new virtual studio

We are stepping out of our comfort zone and bringing you new specialized dance and fitness classes. Take classes anywhere and any time with our new Pocket Studio! Classes will include adult fitness, hip hop, tap, themed classes for little ones, and more. To kick off the launch of this exciting subscription we want to introduce you to the team of professional teachers. Are you as excited as we are to get moving? Share with your friends!

MEET CONTEMPORARY QUEEN STEPHANIE FUENTES

Meet Steph, Our go-to contemporary woman. Stephanie is one of our very own alumni! She also trained at New World School of the Arts High School and college. After she graduated she joined The Martha Graham’s second company in New York. One of her favorite accomplishments is performing lead roles for the Martha Graham company at the Kennedy Center in New York and getting many of the students she’s coached into prestigious magnet programs like New World School of the Arts. You will be in good hands with her and will improve immensely taking classes with her.

MEET TAP CHAMP NATASHA WILLIAMS

Meet Natasha, The woman that covers all things tap at our studio. As if being an incredible tap dancer and teacher isn’t enough she has also been a certified personal trainer for 15 years. This woman is always busy she’s performed at various venues in Miami like Tobacco Road, Ball and Chain, El Tucán, the Miami Herald, and at Art Basel. She has also done a TED Talk and is a Jacob’s Pillow Alumna. Oh! and she holds a master’s degree in business from Florida International University. At our studio, she leads the Tap Team that performs at various events and puts on its own performances throughout the year. With her, you’ll perfect your tap skills and for you adults out there looking for fitness classes from a professional personal trainer, she will get you toned!

MEET KELLY ROBOTHAM THE WEARER OF ALL HATS

Meet Kelly, hip hop extraordinaire. She has accomplished so much in her dance career. She attended the New World School of the Arts for high school and The Julliard School for College. After college, she was a company member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. With Alvin Ailey, she toured the world for five years! After her dance career, she was the dance director of Miami Arts Charter, on the faculty at Miami City Ballet, and taught former New York Giants NFL player Hip Hop! One of her personal favorite accomplishment in her career has been restaging the Nutcracker with Ruth Wiesen in just 11 weeks! Signing up for classes with this accomplished woman will be a great decision!

MEET RACHEL CARROLL OUR SPIRITED, BUBBLY YOGA TEACHER

Rachel is also a TAYB Alumna so we are happy to have her back with us. She attended New World School of the Arts high school and graduated from Florida International University with a major in dance. Some of the highlights of her dance career have been dancing with Brazz Dance Theater, becoming a performer with CircX Entertainment, she was a founding member of the Rosie Herrera Dance Company, she is member of the Haunted Ballet, and continues to dance with them every year! She is also a certified Yoga teacher. Her diverse career and education have made her the incredibly creative teacher she is now. Her classes will bring joy to you and your little ones! Trust us, you won’t be bored in her classes!

After hearing a bit about our specially selected teachers for this subscription program we hope you’ll sign up to start your Pocket Studio classes today.

 

Keeping Kids Happy And Healthy During This Time

It is no secret that traumatic events and altered routines can have an impact on children’s mental health. In the midst of our new reality, it is important to create a sense of normalcy for them in order to ease any stress that may be coming up for them during this time.

We have compiled some activities parents can do in order to care for their children’s minds and bodies during this time. We hope you enjoy!

Create Routines

Consistency and structure are very calming. Setting up a daily schedule that caters to all members of the family is important in creating a “new normal”. For example, establish regular meal, bed, and wake up times.

Breaking down activities into 40, 60- or 90-minute blocks can be helpful for kids. Using a timer for them to track and know where they stand in their day is particularly helpful. Involving your kids in the planning process can give them a sense of control and predictability. Include activities they genuinely enjoy in between chores and schoolwork to make it exciting for them.

Keep your Kids Connected

Now is more important than ever to keep kids connected to their friends and peers, so they don’t become isolated. Spending time physically apart from each other doesn’t mean we can’t get creative and find ways for kids to remain close. Staying active through extracurricular activities offering Livestream classes is a wonderful way of incorporating routine and connection, TAYB is still offering daily Livestream dance classes. Other ideas include setting up virtual playdates, coordinating online gaming time and hosting a virtual movie night,  are all ways of keeping them connected!

Incorporate a Daily Mindfulness practice for your Kids

Incorporating mindful practices into your child’s daily routine can help calm their anxiety and build healthy coping skills. Whether they do it for 5 minutes, or an hour, taking time to be present and connect with their sense of self will have a positive impact in their over well-being. Headspace has a great library of meditations curated just for kids! Also, this short article from The New York Times offers a simple breathing exercise that can even be turned into an art activity by following these instructions!

Make Time for Physical Activity

Making physical activity part of your children’s routine is also great for mental health and allows for quality family time. Whether it happens outside or inside, movement produces endorphins which will result in happier kids! For ideas on how to keep kids active while staying indoors, check out our last post.

Thomas Armour Youth Ballet is committed to providing resources and connection and movement opportunities for our students and their families through what we know best: DANCE! To learn more about our livestream classes click here.

Staying Inside: How to Keep Your Kids Active

Keeping kids active when we can’t go outside can seem difficult when there are so many other ways of staying entertained with devices, games, movies and toys. However, now more than ever, we should all make an effort to make sure we get our daily dose of movement!

Physical activity helps children stay healthy and happy, and since outdoor activities and group classes are not an option right now, we have some ideas on how to incorporate it into their day!

Before getting started, let’s get ready to move inside:

  • Provide your children with instructions on how to safely take out and put away equipment that they might use (balls, beanbags, etc.).
  • Move any furniture with sharp edges out of the activity area.
  • Make sure your children know that movement is limited in a small space.
  • Anticipate where additional safety measures are needed and apply them.
  • Review any family rules for throwing balls, beanbags, etc. and being active inside the house as you see fit.

Ready!? Now try these ideas to keep them entertained and active:

  1. Jump Rope- There are so many rhymes that can make jumping rope more than just physical activity! Kids can memorize these and sing along to them. Here are some fun ideas.
  2. Indoor Obstacle Course- Using furniture, or other items that are safe build an obstacle course for your kids. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing. This site takes you step by step on how to create your own using every-day house items!
  3. Animal Races- Hop like a bunny or frog; squat and waddle like a duck; and so on.
  4. Scavenger hunt- Write up clues and hide them around the house. Kids can race to find each clue for a small prize at the end.
  5. Dance- Whether it is freeze dance or a dance party, this is a great way of keeping kids active and having fun. We are currently offering pre-recorded dance classes and live virtual classes through Zoom. Click here to learn more!

To take a look at some free pre-recorded dance lessons visit our YouTube channel.

A new chapter for Thomas Armour Youth Ballet.

The TAYB family will see big changes in 2020!  In order to accommodate our growing number of students and to expand the genres of class offerings, more space is needed!  TAYB will be taking back the rented space from the dentist and renovate the entire first floor! This renovation is going to allow us to add much-needed space. Here’s a little taste of the changes coming to Miami’s oldest ballet school:

NEW LOBBY AND STUDY AREA 

One of the many changes will be a larger lobby and study area! We will have more space for our parents to wait. No more crowded lobby! Perhaps the most exciting news is that there will be two bathrooms instead of one!

MORE STUDIO SPACE

No more limited studio space! TAYB will create a large studio that can be divided into two smaller studios as well as a small wood floor tap studio. This means more space for classes, rehearsals, performances, as well as new dance genresrehearsals, and performances. With this space, we will be able to serve more of the students who graduate from our satellite sites and are ready to begin advanced training.  To learn more about our after school programming click here. 

EXPANDED CLASS OFFERINGS 

What classes will be offered in these new studios?!  Our main focus and foundation will always be ballet. However, we know that a strong foundation in contemporary or modern dance is crucial.  We will be expanding our contemporary and tap programs to meet on more days and to serve a wider range of ages. Additionally, we will look at what genres the students and families would like to see here at TAYB. Genres under consideration include hip hop, Flamenco and jazz. These two new studios will give us the space to allow for more rehearsal time.

REBRANDING 

Renovations are not the only exciting things happening this year! TAYB will be getting a facelift with a full rebranding. The name of the organization will be changing. This will also include a revamp of our website and current look and feel. These exciting changes will reflect the growth that the organization has gone through over the last ten years.

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

These renovations will ensure that the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet is sustainable and continues to grow and impact our community. These construction costs are estimated at $400,000.00. One of our long-time benefactors is so excited about our new plans that she has pledged $150,000 in a matching grant! Every dollar donated will be matched one to one! It’s not too early to make a contribution or spread the word! Share this post or make a donation by clicking the button below.

 

 

 

What you’re supporting on Miami’s day of giving.

Thursday, November 21st is Miami’s biggest day of giving and we want you to get involved. Every year The Miami Foundation hosts Give Miami Day , a 24-hour fundraising event. Organizations across the city raise funds for their incredible missions that make a huge impact on our community. Throughout the day there will be prizes all organizations are eligible for and a percentage of every donation given will be matched. Here’s the programming and projects you’ll be supporting if you choose the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet this Give Miami Day.

LOW-COST AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS 

Quality after school programs at an extremely low cost? We know what you’re thinking…..not possible. Thanks to the support of the Children’s Trust we expanded our four sites that once just danced classes after school to a full after school program with reading, homework assistance, dance lessons, and emotional literacy. We want to continue to build on this programming across four sites and you can support that by participating on Give Miami Day.

SCHOLARSHIPS AT THE MAIN SITE 

Scholarships are offered at the main site for dance training at the main site during the school year and for summer intensives. All scholarships are based on financial need and are given on a sliding scale. Families are able to pay what they can rather than cutting back on valuable training for their children.

THE NUTCRACKER

The Nutcracker is a huge part of who we are and Miami’s history. Our production of The Nutcracker is no ordinary production of the holiday classic. This Nutcracker is the longest-running Nutcracker production in Miami, it is the most diverse production of the Nutcracker in the city, and we do not charge families to participate in it. Students from all of our sites audition for the performance and aren’t charged a fee for rehearsals, costumes, makeup, etc. This makes participating accessible to everyone. This is what makes our Nutcracker so unique.

NEXT STEPS PROGRAM

Our after school program if for children ages 5-11 years old. What happens once they age out of the program? We offer a scholarship at our main site to continue quality dance training.

SUMMER IN NEW YORK PROGRAM

Every year we provide room and board to students attending summer intensives in New York City. Attending summer intensives at professional companies can be very expensive for families. To make this once in a lifetime experience available we cut the cost by offering this program.

MAIN SITE RENOVATIONS 

In order to provide more programming, we are renovating the space and adding THREE more studios! This project will begin in 2020 but if you would like to make a contribution toward our capital campaign it’s never too early.

We hope after reading about our current programming and future plans you feel excited to make your contribution on Give Miami Day on Thursday, November 21st.

Make a pledge today by clicking the button below.

 

 

Proud To Announce Funding From The Miami Foundation & Coral Gables Community Foundation

Thomas Armour Youth Ballet (TAYB) is proud to announce funding from The Miami Foundation and The Coral Gables Community Foundation to support the Next Steps Program and Stomp Style music classes at our West Coconut Grove site.

The Next Steps Program was created to give students that no longer attend TAYB’s after-school program the opportunity to take more advanced classes once they’ve completed the levels the after-school program offers. Students that choose to participate in the Next Steps Program are offered a partial or full scholarship. Before the Next Steps Program, students would have to solely rely on receiving dance training from their home school or magnet school if offered or they would stop dancing completely. The Next Steps Program also provides assistance in finding transportation and one on one mentoring for college-bound students, especially those who are first in the family to advance beyond high school graduation.

TAYB has wanted to offer a music component at the satellite site summer camps. This summer TAYB will bring music to the kids through Stomp Style Music lessons. Thanks to The Coral Gables Community Foundation this amazing opportunity will be funded and provided to the children free of charge. These music classes will be just one part of a summer camp that includes dance, reading, field trips, and more.

Another big thank you to The Miami Foundation and Coral Gables Community Foundation for making these programs possible! To learn more about Thomas Armour Youth Ballet’s After School program click here. 

5 Things You Need To Know About South Miami’s Ballet Summer Intensive

Deciding on a summer intensive for your young dancer can be a daunting task! Some intensives can provide very little information regarding their class offering and class size, and these are important factors when deciding where your child will invest their time this summer.  After all, you want them to receive REAL dance training. If you are looking for a summer intensive with great classical training Thomas Armour Youth Ballet (TAYB) has you covered!

#1 A variety of classes are offered.

TAYB offers a variety of classes in the summer to expose students to dance genres that may not be familiar. For the 2018 summer intensive contemporary, jazz, and tap will be offered in addition to all classical ballet classes every day.

#2 Classcal ballet training.

A focus for the summer intensive is definitely offering variety of dance genres but TAYB also takes pride it it’s very classical approach. Classical ballet classes are scheduled for every single day of the intensive with a focus on technique, pointe, and variations.

#3 Classes are taught by well trained faculty, not by children.

All classes at TAYB are taught by highly trained professionals. All ballet classes are taught by our two head ballet teachers Rosario Suarez and Mariana Alvarez that have both danced professionally and have taught for more than 20 years.

#4 Drop-in classes

Students that participate in the intensive are not required to take classes all summer long. TAYB allows families to choose customized  schedule that works for them. This way your child can train but also go on that family vacation you have planned!

#5 Classes are kept small

Summer intensive classes are kept much smaller than other summer intensive class sizes. By keeping the classes small teachers are able to pay attention to each student and give individualized feedback.

 

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Going On Pointe!

Ever wonder what it’s like for ballerina’s to go on pointe? Here are five facts about getting those beautiful satin shoes and what it takes to glide across the stage in them!

#1

Pointe shoes are not like street shoes, you can’t just go in and ask for a size 7! Point shoes come in a variety of brands, widths, vamp heights, and most brands have a completely different sizing chart. Pointe shoe fittings can take up to an hour to find the perfect pair.

#2

Even though the pointe shoes are on, it doesn’t mean you can dance on them right away! A common misunderstanding is that once the pointe shoes are on, you automatically know how to dance on them because of prior training. This is completely false! Beginning pointe is like starting all over again. Students start from the beginning learning the basics just with their pointe shoes on. Classes will consist of lots of relevé and élevés at the barre.

#3

Getting pointe shoes takes a lot of preparation. Dancers going on point have to prepare their dance bags with adhesive tape to prevent blisters, nail clippers, needle and thread to sew ribbons and elastic, rubbing alcohol, and blister pads.

#4

The shoes aren’t the only thing worn when using pointe shoes. In addition to the shoes most students use toe pads at least at when they are first learning how to maneuver the shoes. After years practice some dancers choose to continue to use the pads and some decide to ditch the pads all together.

#5

Students need to have years of training prior to beginning pointe. Most students begin point around 11 or 12 years old if they began training at age 7 or 8.

Learn to dance on them if you dare!

After learning these facts are you up for the challenge of dancing on pointe? Register for classes today.