So you want to dance en pointe?: Here’s what you should know!

For some dancers, earning their first pair of pointe shoes is a dream they have had since diapers. When our pointe class performs at recital and dress rehearsal, young dancers in the room always sit in awe and marvel at “the big girls dancing on their toes”. I mean, these dancers are performing artfully while on the tips of their toes! What’s not to love?! Dancing en pointe is undeniably beautiful, impressive, and prestigious- but what does it take to actually get there? 

Pointe takes an incredible amount of strength, balance, and commitment to execute it properly and to avoid injury. Ballet technique is mastered by years of repetition and building and  re-enforcing muscle memory in class. Pointe is extremely difficult and can be very damaging to a dancer who is not old enough, strong enough, or without the proper technique. Because of this, dancers are hand selected for pointe class based on teacher recommendation. Dancers need to demonstrate technique, experience, proper alignment, turn out, excellent strength in the feet, ankles, legs and core, and commitment to ballet in order to be considered. 

It’s important to mention that pointe is not a right, but a privilege that is reserved for students who are ready. Though we love and adore all of our movers, it is important to protect them from avoidable injury and set them up for success. The reality of the situation is that not everyone will get to dance on pointe, but the good news is that there are ways to increase the likelihood! 

So you want to commit to the goal of earning your pointe shoes? Here is where you should start:

-Multiple Ballet Classes a week

-Great Attendance in Class

-Share your goals with your teacher early

-Perform strengthen exercises recommended by your teacher at home

-Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!

-Dedicate yourself to this beautiful art form!

If you have the passion and are willing to put the work in, the most important thing to do is to follow the advice of your teachers as they have the knowledge and expertise to guide you in your dance training! 

Happy training!

Student of the Month- Giuliana Ahlberg

Giuliana was chosen as the student of the month because she has such great energy in class and she is always respectful of others!

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Pink!

Q: What do you do outside of dance?

A: Play with friends!

Q: What is your favorite thing about class?

A: Dancing and everyone!

Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: Harry Potter

Q: What is your favorite subject in school?

A: Writing

Q: What moves you?

A: Dancing just makes me happy!!!

Student of the Month- Margaux Dempsey!

Margaux Dempsey was chosen as the student of the month by her teachers because she is hardworking, kind and always open to feedback and corrections! We love Margaux!

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Rose Gold!

Q: What do you do outside of dance?

A: I play flute, piano, sing, ski and am a part of the girl scouts!

Q: What is your favorite thing about class:

A: I love jumps!

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: “Circles” by Post Malone

Q: What is your favorite class in school?

A: Choir

Q: What moves you?!

A: The emotion of the music when I am dancing!

Dear Dancers, taking care of your body is more important than ever!

“As a young studio dancer, I remember being afraid to come out of a balance or not do something full out, even if it hurt me. The culture at the studio was ‘push through the pain’ or you were seen as lazy.” says Miss Melissa, a teacher at MOVE by Morelli. 

Dance was my home away from home, the place where I felt like I belonged and I wouldn’t dream of sitting out even if I was in pain. But after 16 years of competitive dance my body started to feel the effects of the “push through it no matter what” culture that I grew up in. My achilles tendons were weak, my knees felt like they could give out at any moment and I just generally did not feel as strong as I once did. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who this effected. Owner and director Missy Morelli experienced something similar during her time as a dancer.

“Because of the dance culture I too grew up in, I had ignored my MS symptoms for so long, because I also was used to just dancing through pain.” says Missy Morelli. 

That’s when we decided our students deserve better. How can I teach them to be strong, resilient and not give up while still teaching them to listen to their bodies. 

Some dancers often ignore pain as a way to show their full commitment and that is something that needs to change. As teachers it is our job to treat our dancers like athletes whose body is their instrument and help them learn how to prioritize their health. 

Move by Morelli has partnered with 4corners Sports Performance to make sure our dancers have the information and the resources to stay healthy and have longevity in dance. “Working with young athletes of all ages and abilities in their respective sports, it is important that we understand that pain is NOT normal and is our body telling us that we need to take a step back and assess what is going on because something is not right. Often times pain in a particular area is rooted from an underlying deficit in strength, mobility and/or stability and addressing these issues and deficits before they turn into major injuries is critical for long term health and success. The faster someone comes to us or talks about what they are feeling, the faster we as physical therapists can return them to pain free competition, often times competing at a higher level than they were before they walked in to see us. It is important for young athletes to be proactive with their health and to bring up any aches and pains as soon as they arise, not waiting for weeks or months to say something once the pain is unbearable because ultimately this leads to poor performance in competition and missing time doing what he/she loves to do.” says David Fathalikhani, physical therapist at 4corners sports performance.

It’s time that the dance community shifts its focus to creating healthy dancers who take care of their bodies. As a dance educator, it is so important that we create a space where dancers are not afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right and that we use the “listen to your body” ideology. 

Physical therapy, sports recovery and training with teachers who are knowledgeable and credible are all ways we can help our dancers stay healthy. We are committed to keeping our dancers happy and healthy and want to produce a new generation of dancers who are strong and able to avoid injury with the skills they learn throughout their dance training. That’s why we are so excited to have 4corners right next door to Move by Morelli! Our dancers have these resources right at their finger tips and we will now be able to ensure that our students have the absolute best chance at a long, healthy dance career!

Farewell, Mr. Kevin!

Mr. Kevin is starting a new chapter in Arizona! We are sad to see him move, but are lucky he handpicked some amazing new teachers for us. He has been an integral part of the music program here at MOVE and helped pioneer MOVE School of Music. We will miss you, Kevin! Listen to Kevin’s message below and join us at Back to MOVE Night on August 15th to say your goodbyes! Kevin will be at the event from 5-6pm.

Meet Miss Christina!

Meet one of our newest MOVE teachers, Miss Christina! Christina is excited to teach ballet at MOVE by Morelli this season!

Christina Bargelt was born and raised in Denver, CO and dedicated her childhood to the performing arts. She began her ballet training at age three, her violin training at age five, and her professional singing career with the Colorado Children’s Chorale at eight. Christina recently graduated from the University of Utah in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet (Pedagogy Emphasis) with a Ballet Teaching Certificate and a Minor in Violin Performance. In addition to her teaching pursuits, Christina works at Boulder Body Wear fitting dance shoes and active wear and joined Reformation Dance Company as a Soloist for the 2019-2020 season.

Meet Miss Tory!

Meet one of our newest MOVE teachers Miss Tory! Tory is excited to be teaching a variety of styles at MOVE by Morelli this season!

Tory grew up dancing in Colorado. She trained in many styles from a young age. Tory has a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in performance and choreography from Dean College in Boston. Since graduating in 2017, she has enjoyed teaching young dancers throughout Colorado. Tory is a member of Rogue Co. – directed by Meghan Lawitz, and performs regularly with the company. Most recently, Tory has become an instructor for CorePower Yoga.

Let’s give Tory a big MOVE by Morelli welcome!

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