Posted in Open Threads

Open Thread: What Do You Need Help With?


I just switched to part-time at my day job.

I think this calls for a happy dance!


(Yes, that is me.)

And I’m going to spend that time making stuff for you

I’m devoting the freed-up time to creating new products and programs.

I have plenty of ideas on my list, but I want to know what YOU want.

So tell me what you need help with

What topics or skills do you need help with?

What’s your most pressing dance problem right now?

If I were making something just for you, what would it be?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

You can answer in as much or as little detail as you’d like.


  1. I always like anything you offer that helps a dancer develop his/her own style. I know you have that already and I know quite a bit of it is working it out on your own, but anything else you have to offer, that would be awesome. Maybe something about developing your dance persona?

    I’m not sure how you’d develop it exactly, but Turkish or American Classic style for Egyptian-style dancers; this would be similar to how people do x other style for belly dancers.

    • I had a day-long one-on-one program for personal style development, but I discontinued it when I implemented my no work on Saturdays rule. (I teach on Sundays, so I didn’t have any days left to do it in.) Revamping that to a different format is on my list.

      When you say dance persona, is there an element of stage presence/expression in that?

      Regarding the Turkish for Egyptian-style dancers idea: that exists! Artemis and Yasmin do a fantastic intensive called Vive La Difference. They offer it every year in DC (with boarding options at Artemis’ house), and just brought it to VT in May. It’s worth the trip to DC, but they may take it on the road again. I can’t recommend this enough – it’s so good I took it twice (including the trip to DC).

      • Didn’t know that Viva La Difference included that. It’s on the list of things to do.

        When I talk about dance persona, I think for some of us (like myself) we lead kind of unglamorous and introverted lives. Sometimes, it feels like a superhero change; you go from Clark Kent to Superman (except with false eyelashes and glitter). It can be a little difficult to do that switch, and sort of- be yourself and yet not be yourself if that makes sense. So some of it is stage presence and expression. Some of it is definitely experience, but I’m guessing you could develop something on it?

        We also talk about archetypes sometimes in dance (the baladi girl, for instance). It might nice to talk more about those. How to use those as a starting ground but not being stereotypical.

  2. Patricia says:

    I was interested in the analyzing the music in the moment dvd you mentioned as part of the improv series. I’d also like to see more about transitions. Your analytical way of looking at the dance is something I wish was around when I was first learning.

    Another thing. I like the fact that you have physical dvds available, not because I am a technophobe but because I can keep reviewing the materials 3 years later. Also I don’t have to worry about losing the dvd if my hard dtive crashes.


    • Thanks, Patricia. Vol. 3 on transitions is on my list for later this year. I’m hoping to have it out by late fall. (Fingers crossed…)
      I like physical DVDs too, and plan on producing them for as long as it’s practical.

  3. Finish your DVD set please! 🙂

    I’m still struggling with improv (lack of confidence)and I don’t understand musicality.

  4. Devorah says:

    Hello! Your blog and podcast are so inspiring and helpful! Thank you!!! 🙂

    I am currently trying to create a new solo choreography and I’m really struggling with it. It seems like whenever I choreograph I overthink it and get stuck easily. I’ll make progress one day and then hate it the next. I guess my perfectionism has a lot to do with it… I also find myself choreographing in my head without the music which causes problems! I know improvisation is important in the choreography process, but its something I struggle with and when I’m stuck in my head it makes it harder. Do you have any advice?

    • One thing that might help is to try for variety first, before you try for quality. For each section of your music, come up with three dance ideas. They don’t have to be *good*, just something that responds to the music in some way. That will help get you out of nit-picking mode, and help the ideas flow. Once you have three ideas per section, you can go back and “edit” them into a single draft of your piece.

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