Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I'm at SDA/MRDA Full-Time

My name is Maria Sullivan. I am the daughter of Helena & David Sullivan, Owners of Stowe & Mad River Dance Academy.

I grew up dancing at Stowe Dance Academy (before Mad River Dance Academy - MRDA was established). Helena & David established Stowe Dance Academy in 1990, when I was only a year old. Stowe Dance Academy was not always called that, it started as 'The Classical Ballet School,' then it was 'The Dance Academy,' then 'Stowe Dance Academy,' and now 'Stowe & Mad River Dance Academy.' We have grown.

I started dancing at age 2.5, in the basic young dancer program. I remember few things: my first performance, some dance classes, having my mom as my teacher. As I grew - I remember more, but that is for another post, another time.

Fast forward to High School Graduation. I graduated. I had a great summer. I had NO idea where I wanted to go for college. I didn't want to be one of those kids who just went to school, wasted money and didn't get anything out of it. So - I took a year "off."

I moved to Stockholm, Sweden and lived with my grandparents. I attended Balettakademien Stockholm folkuniversitetet.se - for dance (ballet, modern, jazz, anatomy), and I took Swedish writing and reading courses at www.folkuniversitetet.com . It was a very important and influential year. During this year abroad, Helena found a school she tought I might be more interested in, Columbia College Chicago http://www.colum.edu/ . Columbia is an arts school that focuses on students majors from freshman year (no messing around). I graduated with a double major in Marketing Communications/Public Relations & Dance Pedagogy/Early Childhood Education - fitting, huh?

I moved back to Vermont after graduating not because I wanted to. I didn't have a job, and life in the city is expensive. It was ALL worth it. I moved home, worked the Summer at SDA, met a boy (still with him 4 years later), and really got into teaching SDA/MRDA & TRIP.

At first, I didn't have my heart set on only working at the studio. I wanted to get out there, live the business life and see if it was for me. I was so fortunate to get a job at Fuse Marketing in Burlington, VT. I worked at Fuse Marketing (a youth marketing agency for almost three years). Fuse is an amazing company and does great things for brands looking to market towards youth, young adults - millennials, but I eventually found that it was the right time for me to move on. After about two months of discussion - I was able to convince Helena (MY MOTHER) to hire me on full time at Stowe & Mad River Dance Academy (crazy lady). . So far - it was the best decision I could have made - I'd like to think shen would agree. I've fully enjoyed being at the studio full time, being around our students, teaching more, choreographing, working with TRIP and seeing our students improve week-by-week!

So - leaving a full time gig for teaching and managing SDA|MRDA - means that I spend a lot more time at SDA, engaging with students, teaching classes, running the business, being the communicator for parents and students and running all events! It also means that my commute went from 1 hour to 3 minutes! Woot Woot!

My time here will continue to progress and evolve. Let me know if there is anything you're looking for at SDA|MRDA, on our social media pages, Facebook & Instagram, or on our Blog.

Or - Just stop by SDA and let me know!

Ordering Costumes...850 Costumes

What goes into ordering about 850 costumes for our Spring Performance? You have no idea...

1 -  We pick a ballet production
2 - We brainstorm costumes per class (this helps us cast parts per class - if a cute 3 yr old costume appears, we might switch roles around)
3 - Once we have a general idea of costume picks, we set a preliminary cast list (knowing Helena - the cast list will change 2-3 times before performance time)
4 - We order: from at least 10 companies - usually by January 10th
5 - We wait
6 - Depending on "In Stock" vs. "Not in Stock" (meaning they need to be sewn from scratch...we begin receiving costumes in February

***Side Note - Headpieces: Each costume comes with some sort of headpiece, but we like to embellish! We work with a mastermind dance Mamma! She helps us come up with creative and glittery additions to our costume head pieces. We order supplies and her/maria assemble! Her creativity is amazing - I don't know how she comes up with all the crazy ideas. Just wait to see what she has for Hansel & Gretel!

7 - We organize: as soon as we begin receiving costumes, we try them on to make sure sizing works. If they fit - we put names inside costumes & on the costumes hanger and put it UP in the studio (up high on hangers). If they do not fit - we try to exchange for another size (only sometimes accepted). If so - we get a new size. If not - we have our EXPERT sewing team (Mormor - HSUL's mother) make alterations.
8 - More costumes arrive
9 - More sizing/labeling/hanging
10 - The 'Full Picture' begins to emerge
11 - It is APRIL and costumes just arrived - guess what - we need to return for sizes. When will they arrive? May 25th! Thats Dress Rehearsal...basically (I tell them).
12 - Classes rehearse in costume
13 - Full ballet rehearsal takes place and costume changes are rehearsed
14 - Costumes are counted, put in alphabetical order, tied together and transported to Dibden Center for the Performing Arts
15 - Costume Shop at Dibden is cleaned and costumes are loaded in, by performance, by class
16 - The show goes on...
17 - Assigned costumes are sent home per class...
18 - We clean up shop, and head out

Until Next Year

Upcoming on Instagram - @sda_mrda

We recently started an Instagram account for SDA|MRDA. Photos, photos and more photos! Soon - we will begin a countdown to #showweek. There will be a post per day, for the amount of active classes SDA|MRDA have performing in the Spring 2016 Production. 42 classes will perform throughout three performances! 42 days of Instagram updates - one per class (there may be a few extras in-between).

So - follow us! @sda_mrda - #performance25 #countdown #42toshowweek
https://www.instagram.com/sda_mrda/

Let the updates begin! 

Have post suggestions? Email maria@stowedance.com with photos and ideas! Thanks! 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Recap on TRIP

Minis - 

Cat in the Hat - Choreographed by Helena Sullivan


Juniors - 

King of New York - Choreographed by Maria Sullivan



Earth Song - Choreographed by Krista Hogge

Oh Yeah - Choreographed by Helena Sullivan

Clap Your Hands - Choreographed by Danielle Suffredini


Teens

Rule the World - Choreographed by Maria Sullivan


Press Conference Rag - Choreographed by Danielle Suffredini

Temptation - Choreographed by Krista Hogge



 Seniors

Cell Block Tango - Choreographed by Danielle Suffredini

When Darkness Falls - Choreographed by Krista Hogge

Time Torn - Choreographed by Maria Sullivan


Be Italian - Teens & Seniors - Choreographed by Helena Sullivan


 Graduating Seniors

With Maria & Helena: Sophia Minter, Natalie Herwood & Grace Cavender

Graduating seniors with their mamas! Thank you for all of your hard work, commitment, volunteer time and passion! We have loved sharing so many years of dance with you!


 Company

Wizard of Aah's


Three awesome awards for TRIP!
Performance Pick: Press Conference Rag, Choreographed by Danielle Suffredini
Choreographic Pick: Rule the World, Choreographed by Maria Sullivan
Entertainment Pick: Cell Block Tango, Choreographed by Krista Hogge

Congrats on another great year!


Check out our awesome interview with the awesome Alaina Pinto - http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/toe-tapping-fundraiser-in-stowe

Summer Camp Schedule - 2016

Registrations avaialbel soon! To add your dancer to the list: Email info@stowedance.com

STOWE

Babes on Broadway – ages 2.5-5
$175.00 per session
June 27th-July 1st
July 11th-July 15th
August 8th-12th
9:00-11:30 AM

Babes is designed for our very youngest students. Girls & Boys will twirl and leap in ballet, groove to kids hip hop music and sing & snap to Broadway tunes. Add story, coloring, snack and outdoor playtime, your child will have a great week getting creative with their peers. All camps end with a performance!
Ballet|Jazz|Tap|Swim – ages 6-9
$200 per session
June 27th-July 1st, 10:30 AM -2:30 PM
July 18th-22nd, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM

This camp provides a great way to stay in dance shape! Students enjoy ballet class for all levels, jazz and tap to experience new styles. Pointe/Pre Pointe will be available for those beginning pointe (per SDA’s requirements). Each week ends with a performance!

Ballet|Pointe|Jazz|Swim – ages 10-15
$200 per session
July 18th-22nd, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

This camp provides a great way to stay in dance shape! Students enjoy ballet class for all levels, jazz and tap to experience new styles. Pointe/Pre Pointe will be available for those beginning pointe (per SDA’s requirements). Each week ends with a performance!

Ballet Intensives – ages 11 & Up
$225 per session
Ballet|Pointe
June 20th-24th, 2:00-5:30 PM
2-Week Ballet Intensive w/Helena & Maria, $450.00 for two weeks
June 27th-July 1st from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
July 5th-8th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Variations Intensive
August 8th-12th, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

A great way to keep in shape during the summer, and get ready for summer dance programs! Highly suggested for those interested in participating in SDA’s variation class.

Hip Hop|Tumbling|Tap – ages 6-11
$200 per session
Ages 6-9 June 20th-24th, 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Ages 6-8 July 11th-15th, 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Ages 9-11 July 11th-15th, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

This is the perfect camp for those looking to have fun and dance it out. Hip Hop and Tap will provide the newest style and techniques for all levels, then enjoy an awesome tumbling session, learning the basics and challenging those with experience.


WAITSFIELD

Babes on Broadway – ages 2.5-5
$175.00 per session
July 11th-July 15th
9:00-11:30 AM

Babes is designed for our very youngest students. Girls & Boys will twirl and leap in ballet, groove to kids hip hop music and sing & snap to Broadway tunes. Add story, coloring, snack and outdoor playtime, your child will have a great week getting creative with their peers. All camps end with a performance!
Ballet|Jazz|Tap– ages 6-10
$200 per session
July 11th-July 15th, 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM

This camp provides a great way to stay in dance shape! Students enjoy ballet class for all levels, jazz and tap to experience new styles. Pointe/Pre Pointe will be available for those beginning pointe (per SDA’s requirements). Each week ends with a performance!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Creating 'the' schedule...

You often wonder...why does it take so long to get the Fall|Spring schedule out. We get emails, calls, questions, etc. The thing is...it takes months. As much as we try to get all schedules organized, teacher's availability known (for the moment...which they change), organize schedules based on students challenging/multiplying/over-lapping schedules...we try our best.

Here is what happens:
1. We base the schedule on the previous year...just as a start
2. We reach out to teachers to see their availability
3. We create lists of class placements
4. Based on those class placements - we see what MIGHT work as a weekly schedule
5. Teachers confirm/decline their schedule
6. We see if the current schedule works in our time-frame
7. We book slots - and assign studios and teachers
8. Confirm...confirm...confirm

It all changes a million times. Just being honest. This is a very difficult task and although you don't like waiting...we greatly appreciate your patience.

M

2015|2016 Schedule & Registration