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Clara Shih

Get Comfortable with Discomfort!

Time after time, I hear from my students, “REALLY??? But that feels so uncomfortable!” And again and again I’ll say to them each time, “Well, of course it’s uncomfortable! Anything new is going to feel somewhat awkward and strange at first.” The key is to not avoid it, but to face it straight on, so that you can actually learn something.

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Sustainability for the Planet and for Dancing

For me, the whole evening, as well as Earth Hour, was spent reflecting on how to make my life more efficient. Of course, being a dance teacher, coach and fanatic, I started thinking about ways to make my students more energy efficient while dancing. As a professional dancer, when I look out there on the competition floor, I am simply aghast at how much energy is expended on the floor and not used to contribute to a more positive performance! It’s so wasteful that it almost hurts! It’s like having all the lights and appliances in the house turned on, with no one home!

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The Spirit of UBC

On the Friday evening, as we sat at our usual table on the short wall of the UBC Gala Ball, Michel Guimond (a good friend of ours and judge at the event) turned around and asked Joel and me, “Did you ever compete in the Newcomer Club Closed events when you were at UBC?” I replied, “Yeah, I sure did!!!” Like many of you out there, I am part of that crazy group of students who did their first competition ever at the UBC Gala Ball after their Newcomer year at the Dance Club!

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Are We Speaking the Same Language?

Communication is so important in every aspect of life, whether it’s in the workplace, during play, within your family or in your personal life. On the dance floor, good communication can help to avoid misunderstandings, prevent arguments, accelerate your learning and improve your chances of success!

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Women Trying to be Men

Probably one of my biggest pet peeves out there on the ballroom dance floor is women trying to lead! OMG! Ladies: stop resisting the man and trying to control him! Maybe you do that in your personal life or at work, but there’s no place for it on the dance floor!

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Down to the core

How would you like to have a greater efficiency of movement, better balance and stability and increased power and control in your dancing? I know I would! Here’s how…

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Lights, Camera, Distraction!

Competitions are full of distractions. There is a screaming audience, judges on the side of the floor, other competitors getting in your way, tight costumes with strips of fabric or stones flying everywhere, perhaps a new venue with a different sized floor and maybe even bright lights and cameras. Not only do you have to fight off your nerves, but you also have to deal with trying to show your best quality performance in the midst of all this mayhem!

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