Music is Life. That’s Why our Hearts Have Beats.

Music gives soul to the universe,

wings to the mind,

 flight to the imagination,

and life to everything.

– Plato

As skater’s we use music and movement to tell a story.  We feel the beats, the rhythms, and the melodies all the way down into our souls.  We glide around writing the story upon the surface of the ice.

Music can uplift you when you are feeling down.  It can comfort you and wrap it’s arms around you making you feel like you are not the only one to feel the way you do.  Music can pump us up, get us ready to go out there and conquer our fears.  Music is there at our celebrations and our heart aches.  Music can heal. 

As we move through this bizarre and uncharted path of COVID-19, I wanted to bring the skaters some music that will heal, make them feel strong, uplift them, and make them want to keep reaching for goals.  I wanted to give them a soundtrack to help them navigate this crazy time.  I hope they will work out, have a dance party, sit and listen, or just have it on in the background. 

TEAM ICE SK8 – Uplift & Motivate Playlist

Put music to your troubles

and

we’ll dance them away.

Benefits of Dance on Mental Health

When you move, you feel good; it’s common knowledge. And everyone knows dancing is good for you and has positive effects on our physical wellbeing. But how about our mental health? Can dance improve our mental wellbeing?  

We know that hearing our favorite song can evoke emotions.  A happy song like Meaghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancing” can bring a smile to your face and make you tap your toes to the beat.  A said song, like “Smile” by Nat King Cole can make us feel melancholy even though the message is that tomorrow will be better than today.

There just might be something to the old saying, “Dance like know one’s watching.”  Because when we were young and dancing to our favorite songs, singing into our hairbrushes we felt free, happy, and joyful.   Maybe just like listening to music if we got up and moved to the music we could bring about even more elevation in mood, we could reduce anxiety, and could change our outlooks even just for a few minutes. 

Dance to elevate one’s mood – What is the research to confirm this.   As our world is increasing it’s awareness of mental health, there has been an increase in research surrounding the positive effects of dance on mental health. 

Multiple studies have linked dancing and movement to increased levels of happiness. Physiologically this is thanks to a release of endorphins, the same ones released during exercise of any sort. These endorphins have been linked to an improvement in mood. So, why should dance be any different?

In addition to an endorphin rush, dancing offers a sense of emotional release. Through movement, we can grab a hold of those negative emotions and let them go.  As we move, stretch, reach, jump, bounce we are able to release the negativity.  This release of negative emotions is a powerful tool when it comes to healing, and science has backed this up.

A 2012 study conducted at Australia’s University of New England, researchers found that participants who learned to tango reported lower levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In some cases, dance was more effective at lowering anxiety than meditation. Further research by the university discovered that the pleasure circuits in the brain had been triggered by music and movement.

Another study by Swedish researchers learned that teenage girls who regularly danced—whether as a hobby or competitively—had higher self-esteem than girls who didn’t dance. Though we can’t exactly prove why dance improves self-esteem from a scientific standpoint, we can make some assumptions.  The more we move, and feel comfortable with our movements, the more self-assured we become. Our self-confidence improves because we learn to trust and respect the power of our bodies. 

A few years back TEAM ICE SK8 did some dry land training.  At the end of the training session we learned a hiphop dance to Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.  I used a YouTube tutorial by Saskia’s Dansschool.   To learn and try to teach the girls.  It was their favorite part of dryland training.  As we move into week three of the Shelter at Home order, I know that I wake up some days feeling a bit blue and anxious.  And I want to help you try to mitigate those feelings in your kids.   I am trying to bring some fun and different things for the skaters to do to stay uplifted, engaged, and like they belong to a team. 

Below are some of the dance tutorials from Saskia’s Dansschool.

Uptown Fun by Bruno Mars – Sep by Step Tutorial
Uptown Funk Full Dance
Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor – Step by Step Tutorial
Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor – Full Dance

One for Mom’s and Daughters to learn together.  There is no instructional video for this one.  Let’s see who can figure it out or make up your own dance with your mom.

Mom – By Meghan Trainor

Sk8 Movies for Kids

Family Movie Night for a skater. I have compiled a small list of kid friendly movies and cartoons for our team. There is something for the teens and something for the tots. I did leave off some skating movie classics like Ice Castles, and the Cutting Edge movies. I felt like these 2 movies although they are classics, they are a bit more grown up. I just couldn’t recommend them and felt parents should make that decision for their kids.

Go Figure” is a fun sweet Disney movie. This cute movie combines two of my favorite ice sports figure skating and hockey. It is about a talented teenage figure skater who dreams of being a champion. She wants to train with a famous Russian skating coach, but she doesn’t have enough money to train with this coach, who coaches at a private boarding school. She is offered and accepts a hockey scholarship with the boarding school. She learns about teamwork, loyalty, and friendship. This movie is available at on Disney+ and Amazon Prime for $3.99

"Ice Princess" Promotional Poster

“Ice Princess” is the quintessential Disney movie about a teenage girl who take up skating for a physics project in order to win a scholarship to Harvard. She learns how to skate in the process, falls in love with the sport and becomes a competitive skater .  Michelle Kwan and Brian Boitano make special guest appearances in this fun heart felt movie. This film is available on Disney+ and Amazon Prime for $2.99.

Image result for mighty ducks

Gordon Bombay, a hotshot lawyer, is haunted by memories of his childhood, when, as the star player in his champion hockey team, he lost the winning goal in a shootout, thereby losing the game, and the approval of his coach. He is forced back to hockey for community service. Fun underdog movie. Available on Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime for $2.99.

And for my tater tots….. Peppa Pig & Madeline.