All Sprung Dance Boards Coming January 2022!

At Dance Daze Dance Boards, we pride ourselves on being a company that celebrates color, diversity, and doing good for the world. One of the ways in which we try to embody our motto of #DanceWellDoGood is by using sustainable materials in our products that will both support your dancing and also improve or do no harm to the earth.

Since January of 2021, we have only used FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified wood for each dance board that we cut, paint, and ship to our customers. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, The Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of forests all over the world. In using FSC Certified wood, Dance Daze Dance Boards is supporting the protection of indigenous lands, ensuring that the wood we use is harvested from sustainably-managed forests, and only using harvesting lumber with trees will be replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally.

We are happy to announce that in January of 2022, Dance Daze Dance Boards will continue to create more sustainable products and products that support your dance training by making all of our boards with sprung floors!

A sprung floor is considered the best kind of platform for both dancing and athletic training, as sprung floors help to enhance performance and reduce injuries. Sprung floors are created with a foam or rubber bottom or backing, which absorbs shock and provides a bit of movement (or “give”) in the performance surface. While un-sprung floors can put more stress on the joints and muscles when dancing, sprung floors help to return energy to the feet, joints, and muscles, when dancing or jumping, helping to reduce fatigue and therefore to reduce the chances of injury.

In addition to the above, the foam bottom that we use for Dance Daze Dance Boards provides a slight bounce, reduces fatigue, and provides traction for using your dance board indoors our outdoors.

While our skid-resistant dance boards are great, we want to provide the highest quality products possible to support your dance training, and we believe that sprung floors do this!

Over time, we hope to replace the current foam that we are using with FSC Certified natural rubber, which will further support the protection of forest ecosystems, including the plants and animals that inhabit them, and ensure safe and fair working conditions for the people who harvest the rubber.

Straddle Stretch Forever

In an effort to keep my digital content focused on what my audience wants to see and to encourage myself to keep to routines that make me feel great physically, I’ll be focusing on stretching for a while!

When it comes to stretching, you should know that I like to keep it simple. There are a few stretches that I’ve been doing since childhood that still serve me well. One of these is the straddle stretch. This is my go-to stretch when I’m at home and feeling a bit antsy in the evening or after I’ve just entered a dance class and want to stake my claim to some space in the studio (typically a place at the barre where I can see myself dancing from more than 1 angle, or where I’m at the end so I can follow someone if needed, then challenge myself and use my good ol’ memory skills the rest of the time.)

To perform a straddle stretch, sit down on the floor in an open space, with your legs spread apart so that you can feel a stretch in your inner thigh. Be sure that your knees are facing up toward the ceiling and not rolling inward.

While sitting in the straddle stretch position, I like to point and flex my feet, focusing especially on holding the flexed position so that I get a good stretch behind my knees.

I also like to reach my arms forward, to deepen the stretch of my inner thighs. I then relax my head and neck and hold that position for several seconds.

To focus on one leg at a time, I like to tilt my torso all the way to one side, either touching the side of my torso to my leg or by lifting my arms (into a ballet high fifth position) and twisting my torso so that my chest goes toward my knee.

Should we do a straddle stretch every day for the next week?

Let’s do it.

Saumirah

You Know What They Say: A Failure to Plan . . .

When I was younger, one of my favorite comedy movies was Sugar & Spice. (I have an eclectic taste in movies, so we’re not here to judge this reference.)

If you know me, you know that I tend to really like quotes, cheesy though they may be, and one that I picked up from the above-mentioned movie is: “A failure to plan is a plan for failure.”

I’ve said before, both here and on The Happy Dance Podcast, that I believe it’s really important to always, always have something wonderful toward which to look. Something to look forward to, said more simply.

In my opinion, always having something awesome on the horizon is motivating, inspiring, and gives us a reason for getting out of bed in the morning. I think this is true in life and that it can also be true in business.

You may call it “innovation” or “scaling.” I think it’s the concept of always creating new beginnings and continuing a thing by way of continually generating different ideas. I’ve found that focusing on improvement, or starting new programs, or developing new skills–all within the same business or under the umbrella of the same project–are great ways to keep the spark within a business and to keep making it fun and interesting. It gives us something to look forward to.

The longer that I work as an entrepreneur, the more strongly I believe that idea that “there’s always more where that came from” (which I believe I originally heard from fellow multi-passionate creative entrepreneur and lover-of-dance Marie Forleo). And, since there’s always more where the rest came from, there can always be something on the horizon to excite us, motivate us, and keep us going, even through the tougher or less interesting times in growing a business.

What do you have on the horizon for your business or project? Tell me about it in a comment!

Saumirah

Foggy Today? Focus on the Future

What keeps you going when you’re just not feeling it as a creative entrepreneur?

As I’ve said before: Even if we completely love what we do, we won’t love every single minute of every single day of what we do.

For example: I absolutely love being an entrepreneur and directing dance programs. But I strongly dislike returning phone calls (I prefer emails 100%), organizing information into spreadsheets, ordering costumes, booking performance locations, and more. But I made myself do those things when I was directing in-person dance programs because the return on the investment was so great. The kids loved it, and families wanted it. (This is a story for another blog, but I actually really struggled with even beginning to develop a performance program because I wanted to be so process focused. I love teaching technique. Performing was a great experience for me personally, but I never felt compelled to find and facilitate performance opportunities for my dance students until families expressed that they desired this from my program.)

When I worked as a classroom teacher, I loved being with my students, creating community, and finding different ways to open those little minds to understand new concepts. However, I completely hated (strong word, but likely extremely accurate . . . ) parent-teacher conferences (they always gave me extreme anxiety, even when the kids were A+ students), decorating my classroom, updating bulletin boards, and most staff meetings. But I made myself do it because decorating my room with student work made the faces of my kiddos just glow with enthusiasm or because it helped parents know what was going on in our classroom. Again, the return on the investment was worth it.

So, when I’m hitting a slump (as I am right now), and when I don’t want to do anything business related, I try to focus on the return. I try to remind myself that all of the work I’m doing will result in either an end goal toward which I’m working or that the work of the daily grind will continue to fulfill me, provide helpful information to my audience and clients, or put good into the world in the way that I feel compelled to do.

In short, when the now is foggy (or what it’s just outright terrible, horrible, no good!), try to focus on that potentially fantastic future feeling. You might find that the future isn’t so far away and that you’ll receive your ROI sooner than you think. Fingers crossed! ;)

Forever filled with the audacity of hope,

Saumirah

Reasons Why You Should Start Today

I take my time with everything. Everything. I don’t believe in doing anything before I’m ready. Except, that is, when it comes to entrepreneurship.

When it comes to business and creativity and getting ideas out there I believe the following:

  1. There’s more where that came from. (You can’t “run out” of ideas or creativity. There will always be more.)
  2. You owe it to the world to get your ideas out there. (Why wait? It’s probably already been done before anyway, and it’s probably already being done currently in a similar way. But the world needs it from you. Which leads me to . . .)
  3. Your voice is unique. (Guaranteed: I can find it somewhere else, probably free or cheaper. But it won’t be from you. You’re the magic of what you’re making.)
  4. The fears are usually methods of procrastination. (Yes, someone might steal it. That’s happened to some of the best. It still won’t be yours. No, it won’t be perfect, but get it out so that you can get proof of concept and improve over time based on real-life feedback from your audience/consumers/the people who are invested in your work and are paying you for it and paying attention to it.)
  5. What you put out today won’t be your best. (But if you’re a true artist and a true professional, you’ll get better over time. I used to teach all my dance classes with a binder of notes on the floor and use the same exact playlist for at least 4 weeks straight. I got better over time. But my students who took classes from me when I would spend precious moments of class reading my typed detailed notes because I was so afraid of making a mistake and when I’d play the same music several weeks in a row because I thought it was just so perfect for my class and couldn’t bear the idea of using different songs, they needed me then. The world needed what I was offering then and I needed those early first experiences so I’d have somewhere from which to go further. I needed a baseline. I needed to begin the work.)

So, while you won’t see me impulsively rushing into friendships, marriage, buying property, eating twice as much as I’d planned, or adopting a new dog, you’ll see me getting my ideas out there fairly quickly.

I owe it to the world to get my ideas out there. They’re good ones. And they’re getting better every day.

Saumirah