For some, auditions may cause stress, nightmares and panic. Or maybe you’re totally cool with it but dislike the level you end up in. As the oft-called-upon sorter of students, let the artist and dance teacher Mikaela Hellsten help you. She’s been head of level auditions at Herräng Dance Camp and this is her advice to all students. cover photo of American jazz singer, dancer, and bandleader Cab Calloway – I know there is sometimes this obsession over levels but if you really want to develop you need to put that energy where it belongs. I know it can sound...Read More
Dancing is fundamental to Mikaela Hellsten. She can’t help it. According to science, her subcortical brain regions converse, bypass higher auditory areas, and make her shimmy whether she likes it or not. The reaction is not unique, it’s universal, but the joy and energy Mikaela injects into her dancing is specific to her. cover photo: Tamara Pinco The dance scene from Hellzapoppin’is arguably the most iconic Lindy hop clip in history. Certainly thousands of dancers have been inspired by this routine. One of the latest recreations was seen at the Savoy Cup in Montpellier in 2019, with Mikaela Hellsten in the...Read More
As a dancer, you know music is the key that opens a huge treasure chest, a sparkling space you can step into, and move around in. For Rikard Ekstrand, it ́s even more thanthat; it is a lifelong sixth sense. In an open-hearted interview he exposes his cognitive pathways, celebrates van Gogh and compares the Lindy hop to Coca Cola.cover photo: Manne Wahlström We meet in a café in Stockholm, Rikard orders black coffee and a coconut biscuit. He responds thoughtfully to my questions, yet it is no exaggeration to say that spontaneity and improvisation are his melodies. Just throwing...Read More
Three exercises on how to become a great Balboa lead by Mia Goldsmith Halloran Full interview with Mia Goldsmith Halloran here A good place to start is by watching and really paying attention to your partner! So often I see leaders, especially in classes, looking at the ceiling or the floor or somewhere out the window while they are learning new moves. It’s the thinking look!Remember that the person attached to you is listening to the same music as you, and they can help you. Not just help you do the move, but maybe help inspire you to move...Read More
– It’s a personal thing, Mia Goldsmith Halloran says. There is not one thing or one outfit that makes you look more or less like a Balboa dancer. There is no right or wrong – just do you! But these are my favourites: Lately, I’ve just loved dancing in pants. High waisted, not too flowy and a little crop top that hits right at the top of the pants. Pop on a cute pair of heels, style your hair the way you like.I ALWAYS style my hair pushed to the left side of my face, because that way when...Read More
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