New Location on National Dance Day 2011!

We had a great time in our first classes at our new location–Bladium Sports and Fitness Club in Alameda. At our new location, we now have the use of 3 mirrored walls in each studio, twice as much space, and even floating sub-floors, which are great for our dancers!

We currently have limited class times available, as we would like to build up our classes before adding more. However, if we get at least 4 students to register for one class, we will add that class to our schedule!

Thank you for staying with us as we grow! Looking forward to seeing you in class!

PS: HAPPY NATIONAL DANCE DAY! :)

Should My Child Drink Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks?

Sports drinks and energy are all the rage nowadays. Drinks like Gatorade and Red Bull are known to give us an energy boost when we’re feeling tired during work or are exhausted after hitting the gym. The media glorifies them. Athletes from different sports continue to endorse these beverages and, as a result, the drinks are becoming increasingly popular with children and adolescents. The rising numbers of young people consuming sports and energy drinks is a growing concern and is causing health professionals and parents to wonder: Are these drinks necessary?

To answer this question, it’s important to first make the distinction between sports drinks and energy drinks. They are different, even though they are frequently (and mistakenly) used interchangeably. In a recent article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers define sports drinks as “…beverages that often contain carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes…sometimes vitamins…” While energy drinks are those that “…typically contain stimulants, such as caffeine…” Simply put: Sports drinks are meant to replenish the energy lost while engaging in physical activity and energy drinks stimulate you.

Many adolescents think that they need an energy boost, which is a major factor in making sports and energy drinks appealing. However, physicians suggest that for youth, energy boosts from these beverages may not be the healthiest option. In the clinical report referenced above, the researchers point out that drinking these beverages increases daily caloric intake, without significant nutritional value. Do not be deceived. Even though many sports and energy drinks may advertise that they have certain vitamins and minerals, you can get these nutrients from a well-balanced diet. Sports and energy drinks are also rich in sugar and some physicians argue that these drinks add to the burden of obesity and diabetes in youth. Moreover, pediatricians suggest that for children and adolescents engaging in average levels of activity, sports drinks are unnecessary. In addition, know that sports drinks, in particular, are only meant to be a supplement to and not a substitute for water.

 

The feeling of fatigue and exhaustion is something we’re all familiar with, so it’s easy to see why sports and energy drinks are popular—But are they appropriate for children and adolescents? Many pediatricians say “no.” Remember, the best source of energy, for both adults and children, comes from a well-balanced diet and a good night’s rest.

To read more about children, adolescents and sports & energy drinks click here.

Jonathan T. Reid, MPH is a clinical researcher and the new Lead Health Educator and Health Blogger for Dance Daze. He has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Public Health degree from New York University.

Welcome Our New Health Blogger!

Fruits and vegetables from a farmers market. c...

Hello Everyone!

Today I’d like to introduce you to a new member of the Dance Daze Team, Jonathan T. Reid. Jonathan is our new Health Blogger and Lead Health Educator, who is generously volunteering his time and wisdom to keep us updated about the latest trends in health, nutrition, and fitness and advise the Dance Daze Team about the best healthful practices for youth. Jonathan will be offering his wisdom to us as we launch our newest program, Health Daze, this summer and bring it to schools this fall.

Jonathan is from the Bronx, NY, and is passionate about health and working with children. He has worked as a math and science tutor in New York City public schools, as a camp counselor, and as a clinical researcher, focusing on childhood-obesity and diabetes prevention. As the new Dance Daze Health Blogger, he will be sharing tips and information that will help keep the entire family healthy! He will also be letting us in on secrets he uses to stay in shape himself!

We look forward to reading your posts, Jonathan! Glad to have you as a new member of the Dance Daze Team!

The Importance of Stretching

Stretching before physical activity is beneficial for a variety of reasons. It helps increase range of motion, reduces muscle tension, and helps decrease the risk of activity-based injuries. Stretching after exercising is great because it can help decrease muscle soreness! Also, greater gains in flexibility are possible once your body is warm.

If you are working to increase your flexibility, static stretching is the safest recommended method. Stretches should ideally be held for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

We are big fans of stretching and properly warming up at Dance Daze! You can definitely expect to get your muscles warmed up and to increase your flexibility in any class you take with us!

How Do You Reinforce Dance?

Hard candy

Last week, we had our last class at one of the schools where Dance Daze hip hop is taught. All of the children were very excited about what I had gotten them as gifts for their last class of the semester.

When one of my 6-year-old students asked me, “Did you get us candy?” I responded, “Nope! I don’t believe in that!”

My student looked up at me, as we walked to the gym, and said, “How come? Is it because you don’t want us to have so much sugar before class and then go crazy?”

“No,” I said.  “It’s because I don’t believe in using sweets as a positive reinforcer for physical activity.”

I realized when I said it that this truly is one of my fundamental beliefs as a dance educator. Although I’m admittedly not a big sweets fan (milk chocolate, two types of ice cream, and plain cake are pretty much it for me!), I’ve never thought it was good to pair candy with dance or any physical education. (If you remember, I was even hesitant about giving out candy on Halloween!) I’m not quite sure when I developed this belief or when it became so strong, but I know that as a young dance student, my classmates and I always only received stamps and stickers for behaving well in class–never candy.

What’s your policy? Do you ever give out candy at the end of your classes or at your studio? Do you think it’s a big deal either way? Why or why not?