The lead up to Summer at Santa Monica School of Dance and Music is always an interesting and busy time of year. Our current students are preparing for the 2013 Dance Recital in June, and everyone at the studio is working hard on this year’s performance. A lot of time and effort goes into those two days and sometimes it’s hard to think past it. But Summer is such an important time for students to continue learning dance and music that we have to start planning for summer even during these busy times at the studio. So here we are in April talking about summer!
We are happy to offer more summer camps, dance classes and private music lessons than ever before this year! We’ve opened up more all-in-one camps to allow parents to get a full day’s worth of rest (or fun!) in while the students are at camp. We’ve also increased the availability of our music teachers and dance teachers for private and one-on-one lessons.
A great thing about this upcoming summer is that students and parents really want to get involved! We’ve had a few parents already start to create their own classes- not just for their students but also for themselves! So remember, if you don’t see the specific time or class (or even a summer camp) that you need, we can definitely create one for you.
Take a look at the summer brochure available here. Let us know what you are interested in, and we will help to accommodate you as fast as possible. Summer is right around the corner and we can’t wait to spend it with you!
Taking music classes at Santa Monica School of Dance and Music can actually make you smarter! Learning how to play an instrument or sing is more than learning the art of sound. When you take a music lesson, you also learn how to read music, control your body, and apply your mind. Music lessons are a great way to stimulate all of the senses. There is a lot of research out there that ties IQ and brain power to learning how to play music, but instead of presenting you with a bunch of boring facts, here is an easy to read infograph that breaks it all down! We hope to see you soon in a private or group music lesson here in Santa Monica!
Check our schedule for newly added classes including:
- Pianotoons (4-5 year olds) Wednesdays 2:15pm
- Hip Hop (6-9 year olds) Fridays at 3:15pm
- Hip Hop Jr. (5-6 year olds) Thursdays at 2:25pm
Still can’t find a time that works for you? Create your own class! We will open a class for you and 4 of your friends!
We love it when the Los Angeles community rallies around a great cause and uses the performance arts to make it a good time as well. This weekend our friends over at Maxapalooza are throwing a charity event with over 5 bands and all-day entertainment to help end childhood cancer. Maxapalooza is happening this Saturday, April 29th at the Lounge Theater, and its an event that everyone can support and enjoy!
Maxapalooza kicks off this Saturday at 11 AM at The Lounge Theater on Santa Monica Blvd. All proceeds benefit Supermax Wilford, Max’s Love Project and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Great food will also be available, as well as some local art projects and galleries to complete this great event. The event is inspired by the struggle of Max Wilford, a little boy diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011, Max’s Love Project supports SuperKids fighting cancer with therapeutic resources.
“This event is unique because music embodies the joys of childhood which are not lost on kids fighting cancer,” says Audra DiPadova, Max’s mom and founder of Max’s Love Project. “Maxapalooza is special because it’s a group of artists and musicians using their incredible talent and passion to make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer. Maxapalooza is all about rocking out, having fun, and doing good.”
Maxapalooza also offers face and fingernail painting for the kids, wine and beer for the adults, and food and baked goods for everyone. With a full lineup of fun, this is a family event the whole family can enjoy!
When: April 29th, 2012, 11:00AM-5:30PM
Where: The Lounge Theater, 6201 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: $10 — $5 for children before 3 p.m.; free admission for kids under two
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – 11:30 – 12:10
Gwendolyn – 12:30-1:10
Quazar and the Bamboozled – 1:30-2:10
Nellie Bly – 2:30-3:10
EZ Tiger featuring drummer Richie Ramone – 3:30 – 4:10
The Ethers – 4:30 – 5:10
This year we attended the Secret Agents (ISA) outdoor music festival held on October 1, 2011 next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The ISA Festival was the site where fans of pop culture enjoyed the sights and sounds of top artists such as Far East Movement, B.O.B. and Sean Kingston, along with popular YouTube sensations such as Wong Fu Productions and David Choi. Since the boom of the well-known website YouTube, artists from all walks of life have been able to perform their talents for the world to see in hopes of making their break into stardom. The ISA Festival gave adoring fans the opportunity to support their favorite artists. From day to night, young fans were able to experience all that a music festival had to offer. The opportunity to reach out to their favorite artists gave fans a chance to profess their admiration in person. The ISA Festival was a great way for young and older audiences to enjoy outdoor festivals and appreciate the lifelong influence that musical and dance talent has on everyone’s lives. With plenty of booths that support local clothing and food businesses, the festival was a portal for great community support as well.
As for the acts, Far East Movement had the crowd moving back and forth with their sing along tunes. The audience was dancing and singing to every word, as the dual front-man group kept the crowd swaying. “Rocketeer” was especially a highlight, with the whole crowd with their hands in the air hanging on every word. Best Crew brought the dancing heat, and introduced the dance crew IAMME Crew. As far as hip-hop dancing goes, they brought it! It was a great performance, straight from their hit TV show appearances. Our surprise act of the day who we really enjoyed was Blush.
This up and coming group has a hit single right now called “Undivided” with a local Long Beach hip-hop legend- hint hint! Their mix of pop and electronic music was a fun start to the day that the crowd really enjoyed. Fun choreography with some greats songs made them the surprise of the day. We enjoyed Sean Kingston as well, who put on solid performance not missing a note and going through his collection of hit songs. We also caught hip hop artist B.O.B. who played during the middle of the day. What he lacked in dancing, he made up for in vocals. His set was by far the best hip hop show vocally.
ISA was a great success, providing concert goers of every age with chances to get involved in the community, meet great philanthropic organizations, and see some amazing dance and music performances. We’ll definitely be going back next year to see the new acts from around the world of YouTube and Hip Hop fame!
Dress rehearsal for our first dance recital at Santa Monica School of Dance and Music is this weekend! We can’t believe it has come up so quick, and we will have more on the actual recital next week. For now, here are some friendly reminders about the dress rehearsal on Sunday:
- Pictures for the group and individuals will be taken on Sunday. So make sure you are ready to smile!
- Come 15 minutes before the time listed on the Dress Rehearsal Schedule to make sure you have everything for your costume.
- The Dress Rehearsal is at: Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School. 601 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
- Come in full costume and makeup on Sunday! Don’t forget, this is a full costume dress rehearsal!
- And most importantly, make sure you are there! We need everyone to participate in dress rehearsal to make sure that the show is a success on June 12th!
- Please review the Dance Recital/Dress Rehearsal packet for any other questions.
See you all on Sunday!
If you are considering adopting a pet anytime soon, please take a moment to consider the courageous Scoobie. Scoobie was found in West LA down on his luck. He was starving and hadn’t had a real meal in weeks. Scoobie was suffering from malnutrition and a lack of love and care. To make matters worse, Scoobie had an injured leg and was hardly able to walk. He was rescued by Lee Brandon, who took him in and got him the medical attention needed. It was a costly procedure to have his leg fixed, but through the love and compassion of some very special donors, Scoobie had the procedure to fix his leg. He is now with his foster parents and caretakers. Unfortunately though, they can’t keep Scoobie forever, and they need your help. If you were ever thinking about adopting a pet, Scoobie is the perfect match. He is an inspiring story and survivor, looking for a loving home and ready to return some love to his future owner. Scoobie weighs in at a now healthy 35 lbs, and is 4 1/2 years old. He has all of his shots, is fixed, and ready to go!
If you are interested in adopting Scoobie, the local hero of West LA, please contact Lee Brandon. Lee has done an amazing thing rescuing this dog and give Scoobie a new chance at life. With some love and hope, we know Scoobie can be the perfect addition to your family. He deserves it!
Lee can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also see videos and follow Scoobie’s update at his blog… Long Drive Champ: Scoobie’s Blog
Guest Blog by Alex Beckman
The NFL Draft has just concluded, and it marks another year that I didn’t get picked up by any pro teams. I am not sure what they are thinking… I am 6’3”, 220 pounds, and I am still in pretty decent physical shape. I don’t want to brag, but I am a tough pickup in a game of touch football. Maybe they are thinking that because I only played 2 years of High School Football, I am not ready for the pros. They might also be thinking that I am not the right kind of 220 pounds – I have love handles and eat ice cream about 3 times a week, probably always will.
In my heart of hearts, I know that the NFL doesn’t care that I exist, but there was a time when I thought I would be part of Draft Day. When I was in grade school, boys that didn’t play basketball, football, soccer, and/or baseball were not cool. In fact, if you had no physical talents, you were basically marginalized. If I had known that by the time I turned 30, the thousands of hours I spent on the basketball court and football field would not only cost me time and money due to the wear and tear on my body but they would in no way make me cool or powerful in the business world, I probably would have allocated my time much differently.
The main point of this story is not to talk about my athletic career that has yet to launch (I will be sitting by the phone for the NBA draft, as well as next year’s NFL draft… just in case) but to talk about how proud I am of my little brother, Andrew. He is currently dancing for the San Francisco Ballet and has performed in some amazing productions that I have been fortunate enough to watch. Unless your name is Matt Kemp or Albert Pujols, he does in fact dance better than you can hit a curveball. He didn’t start out a Ballerina. He started out a lot like me – in fact, age for age, he was a better athlete. He hit more home runs in little league (I hit one, he hit many), he was a beast on the gridiron, and he was a powerful inside presence on the basketball court: he was a grade school athletic stud with tons of upside. He had 4 older sibling who had all excelled in athletics at the grade school and high school level. In the fifth grade Andrew heard that famous athletes often did ballet to improve their strength and flexibility. My mom, who had a dance career once upon a time, drove him to a local ballet studio in order to enhance his sports career, of course, but in hind site it was one of those “life changing” moments. The ballet teacher who taught on weekday afternoons recognized that Andrew had athletic talent, and advised that he continue with Ballet. She even said, “someday, you won’t be good at Football or Baseball, and besides, the benefits of dance last long after your glory days in those sports.” I don’t know if Andrew appreciated then what he was stepping into by attending that class.
More than a decade later, my little brother is dancing at the SF Ballet, and most recently he performed in the Nutcracker, but it wasn’t without some hardship. For a short while my little brother did both school sports and ballet. He was simultaneously crushing long balls on the diamond while perfecting his pirouette at the bar. After some time, his talent for dance was becoming more and more obvious, and his teachers were urging him to spend more time on it. He attended a tryout for the SF Ballet youth program, and he was accepted. Andrew had to choose between the sports that all his friends and older brothers played, and dance. This decision became more than just the sum of the parts… it was a life decision. Choosing dance over “normal” sports was so pregnant with meaning. It meant he was not a real guy, that he bucked the system, he was giving up his shot at really becoming an athlete… it meant something different to everyone who had a chance to weigh in. By eighth grade, my little brother was not able to play sports for his school. He was in the youth program at the SFB, commuting 7 hours a week to participate in the exclusive dance program, and barely able to fit in things like homework or grade school graduation (although he someone managed to achieve quite amazingly high grades – bright kid!). As a result choosing ballet, his friends abandoned him. Andrew was no longer a part of the cool group, he wasn’t there during practice, after games, so his friends forgot about him. When they managed to unforget him, they called him names and picked on him for choosing dance over them. Andrew had taken the road less traveled, and it was making a difference… but often times it seemed worse, not better.
Today, Andrew is in amazing shape – he has to be, he dances 6 days a week in one of the most competitive programs on earth. I can still beat him in arm wrestling due to my broad chest and man strength (he is only 16) but he is a handsomely well built man with a body that is built to move and flourish on the open floor. He has performed in front of thousands of people throughout the years, packed houses in some of San Francisco’s most famous venues, and he is happy.
I write this not because I suggest that all young people should dance instead of play baseball – and not because I think Andrew is better than all other 16 year olds. I write this because I am the proud older brother of someone who has defied the odds, gone against the grain, taken a chance, and succeeded. The amount of happiness his success brings me is overflowing, and it has taken the form of these words on this page. Dance is hard, and Andrew’s story is not typical – as many people wash out trying to become a prima ballerina as do people who want to be like mike.
If you LOVE baseball, or football, do that. If you don’t want to dance, then don’t - but if you want to try dance, and you don’t do it because you are afraid of what your friends will say, they probably aren’t your friends, or won’t be for long. I watched my little brother climb to the top of his young world, fall to the bottom due to his decision, and then rise back to the top and land leaps and bounds ahead of his previously critical peers. I cried with him when he felt upset about the teasing and the hard work that he put in at the expense of normal kid stuff. I would not wish these hard times on any family – but when I look at his thriving career at this moment, I can’t help but feel so excited for him. At 16 he has experience the gut wrenching agony of making a tough choice, and he has succeeded… some people live a whole lifetime and never get that.
As I plan my wedding, and I have been asked by my fiancee not to play basketball for the three months before we say “I do” so that I don’t cut my face or sprain my ankle ahead of the big day, I am wondering how I am going to get ready for my first dance as a married man… I wish I had some dance chops so that I could really wow the family in attendance. Maybe they will overlook my two left feet after I wow them in a game of horse or an impressive batting cage session? I am lucky to have my Andrew to call and show me a couple of moves.
What are the odds of finding buried treasure? I’m serious, do you know? I have no idea, but I’ve seen the same people on the beach that you have with metal detectors and other “treasure finding” devices scouring the shores for coins, precious metals, and I assuming “buried treasure”. Well, in New York last summer, it looks like someone was able to defy whatever those odds may be, as a stunning collection of unreleased Jazz recordings from the Swing Era (1930-1940) were found in Harlem. You may think calling this collection “buried treasure” is an overstatement, but not when the recordings include the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday and the Count Basie Orchestra performing at the world’s first outdoor jazz festival. What makes this collection so special (thousands of discs with multiple songs on each) was that it was recorded by Jazz musician and audio engineer William Savory who figured out a way to record past the limitations of the technology of the time. During that era, 78 rpm records could only record about 2-3 minutes of music, but Savory was able to record full performances in high quality sound. If he had told more people about his breakthrough, we would have a lot more musical recordings from that time. Savory did not share his breakthrough with others, but he did leave this amazing collection of previously unheard and unreleased material for the world to hear after he passed away this past summer. Not so fast though… the world may never hear these recordings because of copyright law. With so many artists, beneficiaries and other groups and individuals having copyright claims to the work, it becomes an arduous task to contact and find all of the people who would need to be involved or give their approval on the distribution of these works. The copyright liability of releasing this material without getting all of the necessary approval would open up the distributors to a world of possible endless lawsuits and copyright infringement claims. So here we are, in 2011 having just discovered one of the most amazing collections of unreleased musical material ever recorded in American history, and we still don’t have the ability to listen to it because of outdated and archaic copyright laws. The irony here is undeniable- Savory was a technological genius, but his greatest work and the work of many of the world’s best Jazz musicians may never be heard because of the laws of the land. The story is fascinating, and worth your time to read. No matter how you feel about copyright laws, the music industry as a whole, or the control of distribution, this is a story that I hope will see a happy ending. You know, now that I think about it, there is some new technology that Savory didn’t have at his disposal during the 1930s- file sharing, torrents, and the internet. Hmm… I sure do know a few people who could help him out with that.
Please, take a moment to read the full story on ABA Journal here: A Trove of Historic Jazz Recordings has Found a Home in Harlem, But You Can’t Hear Them
Disclaimer: The views above are solely of the writer, and not indicative of the views of Santa Monica School of Dance and Music or any other entity.
It seems like just the other day we were welcoming students back after the New Years and winter break. Three months later, we are right in the middle of the spring classes, and summer is around the corner! It’s been a great year at Santa Monica School of Dance and Music already, and we have some big events coming up with the recital in June. With all that is going on though, it’s not too early to start thinking about summer plans. Actually, it’s the perfect time to get started on those dance and music lessons for the summer. For the parents out there, summer camps and classes for kids are a great way to keep them active and busy. It also gives parents a break as well! For our adult students, music classes and dance classes in the summer are less full, offering you the chance to learn at a pace you might be more comfortable with. Summer dance classes are a great way to stay in shape, and get some more one-on-one training.
We have a few summer resources for you to get more information. Our Summer Camps and Class Schedule is available now. We have a summer info page with more information as well, and finally we took a look at the benefits of summer classes in our most recent article on Santa Monica Summer Camps. As always, stop in or give us a call and we would love to talk with you!