Tuesday Tunes: Live Music In Dance Class

Tuesday Tunes
Framers, today we’re looking at a dance class from a different perspective: the perspective of a musician accompanying a dance class. So I interviewed Kirk Suddreath to get a some more details.

Tuesday Tunes: Kirk Suddreath


kirk_framerR: What do you find to be the most challenging part about playing live music for a dance class?   

K: I very much enjoy providing musical accompaniment for dance classes. I enjoy the “in the moment” communication between the teacher, the dancers, and myself. As a percussionist, most of my experience playing music involves collaboration with other musicians, but playing for dance allows me to basically improvise to the meet the immediate needs of the class. The most challenging part would be interpreting the teaching style of each teacher, finding their level of musicality, and identifying how they are most comfortable communicating what they want. 

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MFA Monday: Lauren Ashlee Small

MFA Mondays

MFA rightPart 3 After a year and a half in New York City I knew it was time to go. I missed my family and having a community I could go to when I needed a hug or a pause from the daily grind. I missed academic study. The intense focus on the physical aspect of my training and performance left me feeling underdeveloped. The analytical, question-asking side of my dance experience was not being explored to its fullest and had not been since college. I moved home to Illinois once again and asked myself if it was time to go back to school. I had been studying various graduate programs since senior year. I knew that I wanted an MFA in Dance… until I moved home to apply for the fall semester. All of a sudden a billion questions surfaced that had never before been an issue for me. I questioned whether dance was for me at all. If I had not stayed in New York City and sustained a life of prominence within an elite professional company was I cut out to dance at all? Was I getting too old?

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Free Events Thursday

Free Events Thursday

Houston Restaurant Weeks 2014

Participating Houston Restaurant Weeks Restaurants

August 1- September 1, 2014

For 32 days, diners will enjoy specially priced multi-course prix-fixe menus. Participating restaurants make donations to the Food Bank based upon their HRW sales. Check out the website for more details.

Price: $20-$45


Haircuts at Supercuts Studio

Supercuts Studio at 5727 Westheimer

August 14: 9 am – 11:45 am, 2 pm – 3:45 pm
August 15: 9 am – 11:45 am, 2:30 – 2:45 pm

Walk-ins are welcome or make an appointment! Email your name and phone number to supercutsstudiowestheimer@gmail.com. They will reply with your appointment time and date. Mention the cut you prefer in the email.

Price: FREE!!!


Summer Nights Salsa

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Discovery Green Conservancy

All the music, soul and passion of street-style Salsa. Plus bachata, merengue and salsa suelta. No partner required.

Price: FREE!!!


Full Gallop

8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays until September 14th.

Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway

Diana Vreeland was an American fashion icon for more than 50 years. As a columnist and fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar and then editor for Vogue, the undisputed fashion bible of the era, Vreeland influenced styles, set trends and ran with a very famous crowd (she “discovered” Lauren Bacall, advised Jacqueline Kennedy, and was an early champion of Diane von Furstenberg, Manolo Blahnik and Oscar de la Renta). She was 70 when she was eventually fired from Vogue, and that’s where playwrights Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson’s comedy Full Gallop picks up.

Price: $19-$65


Drama in the House: On Approval

5:00 p.m. August 17, 7:00 p.m. August 21

Museum of Fine Arts-Brown Auditorium Theater

1001 Bissonnet Houston, TX

Clive Brooks’s restored 1944 comedy On Approval caused a sensation at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival in L.A., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Film Curator Marian Luntz says. “[When] it became available on 35mm…we just had to [get it on our schedule]!” The film, which has Brooks pulling double duty as director and star opposite actress Beatrice Lillie, follows two cash-poor aristocrats hoping to wed wealthy widows.

On Approval is one of a number of films that represent the English country house being shown in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House.”

Price: $9


Blissful Warrior Yoga

Saturday, Aug 16, 2014  from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Discovery Green Conservancy

Blissful Warrior Yoga, taught by Michelle and Anandaji, will unwind and rehabilitate you as well as challenge and strengthen you. You will discover the basics of vinyasa yoga, breath and fluidity, and the movement of energy, known in ancient cultures as prana, mana, or qi. Blissful Warrior Yoga brings together elements of tai chi, kung fu, balance techniques, and energy building poses. 

Price: FREE!!!


Word Around Town Poetry Tour 2014

Aug. 14 – Boomtown Heights – 242 W. 19th St. at 8:00 pm
Aug. 15 – The Alley Kat Bar and Lounge – 3718 Main St. at 8:00 pm
Aug. 16 – Brasil – 2604 Dunlavy St. at 8:00 pm

The Word Around Town poetry tour is a week-long poetry marathon held at different venues. The lineup comprises Houston’s top poets and a select nightly feature that promises to bring the type of diversity and excitement that defines the Houston poetry scene.

Price: FREE!!!


“Back-To-School Event and Fashion Show” benefiting M.D. Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital

Saturday, Aug. 16th, 2014 at 1 p.m.

The Galleria
5015 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77056

Children, including pediatric cancer patients, and M.D. Anderson physicians will highlight this season’s popular trends on the runway with looks from Naartjie Kids, Macy’s, Peek Kids and more.

Price: FREE!!! Suggested donation of $10 – $25 for fashion show seating.


Nicole Longnecker Gallery opening reception: Help Yourself by Sketchy Neighbors

Saturday, Aug. 16th, 2014 at 6 p.m.

Nicole Longnecker Gallery
2625 Colquitt St.
Houston, TX 77098

Nicole Longnecker Gallery presents Help Yourself by Sketchy Neighbors, an exhibition inspired by self-help. The concepts and materials were randomly drawn and paired, defining the parameters for each artist’s piece.

Expect to see unorthodox materials such as modified Easy-Bake Ovens, cereal boxes and vitamins. As it’s Sketchy Neighbors tradition, some weirdness will most likely transpire during the opening reception. In conjunction, there will be an area for exhibition guests to make their own works of art using devices and processes created by Sketchy Neighbors.

Price: FREE!!! Proceeds from this creative zone area will benefit Neighborhood Centers.





Eat Well Wednesday!

Eat Well Wednesday Uncategorized



 55 Healthy Snacks Under 200 Calories



nutella fudge


Chocolate Nutella Fudge

(Gluten-free and no-bake!) (Plus it has  absolutely ZERO added sugar and it can be made in 5 minutes flat!)

  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup choc-hazelnut spread or Healthy Nutella
  • 1-2 tsp cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 65g very-ripe banana (about 1/4 a large banana)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • sweetener if desired (Some people want it, others don’t.)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. (It’s best if the coconut butter is not solid, and if you use a frozen banana be sure to thaw so it doesn’t harden the coconut butter.) After blending, taste to see if you’d like to add any sweetener. Scoop into a container or even a little pie pan, and put in the fridge or freezer so it will firm up. This is freezer fudge, so it needs to be kept cold. It makes a small serving, but feel free to double or triple the recipe!

Puff pastry waffles filled with fruit jam

1 roll of puff pastry (± 230gr)
3 1/2 tsp fruit jam of your choice
1 egg yolk
icing powder, for decoration
1. Preheat waffle iron
2. Roll out puff pastry and cut out 14 circles, around 6 to 7cm each, (± 2,5inch), by using a glass
3. Two pastry circles per waffle are needed; place 1/2 tsp of fruit jam in the middle of one pastry circle
4. Beat the egg yolk and spread it on the border of the pastry circle with the jam on
5. Close the ‘waffle to be’ with 2nd pastry circle on top and press well on the edge, close the edge by using a fork
6. Place prepared pastry circles in the waffle iron, two at a time, (that is if your waffle iron can make 2 waffles at the same time) and bake them 6 to 8min. or until golden brown.
Once they are baked, let them cool for 5min., sprinkle with icing powder and serve warm.

Tuesday Tunes: piano cover bands

Tuesday Tunes
Happy Tuesday, Framers! 

Tuesday Tunes

Many dance teachers prefer to have the sounds of the piano in the studio during their classes. Recently when taking a class, I’ve observed teachers using piano accompaniments of popular songs. For example, the Piano Tribute Players cover songs by popular artists such as Lorde, Bastille, Icona Pop, and Katy Perry.

These songs by the Piano Tribute Players are fun and still keep the original rhythm, but without the distracting lyrics for class.  What do you think?

MFA Monday: Lauren Ashlee Small

MFA Mondays

MFA rightWhen Grad School Becomes Worth It

Part 2

Finding my way out of the airport, hailing a cab, riding into the city to the serendipitous sound of Alicia Keys singing Empire State of Mind, and finding my way to my new home created adventure enough! It was here that I poured everything into my dancing. I tried new styles, met an array of crazy, talented people and movers, and explored my own craft of choreography. I began to want more. Spurred on by the sights and sounds of the city I entered my work into dance festival after festival and found the choreography well-received. I auditioned for a dance company, a cruise ship, and a few musical tours for the experience, interned and understudied with a dance company and performed with another all while completing the program at Ailey and receiving a scholarship for my next two semesters of training.

Lauren Ashlee SmallIn New York I learned the value of hard work. With mandatory classes all morning and afternoon there wasn’t much time left for traditional work. Several days a week after class I booked it from Midtown to the Upper East Side to babysit the cutest kid in the world across from Central Park. I worked at Saks 5th Avenue as often as I could and picked up gigs here and there including weekend work for the 2011 New York Bridal Expo. I learned determination, commitment, and the power of resolve by pushing past obstacles in my technique, choreography, and performance, but more importantly in life. Dancenyc.org became my go-to website for audition postings and choreographic opportunities, and I used the small stage in the basement of the building where I lived to hold rehearsals for my various projects.

Between the load of classes, rehearsing, and walking everywhere I possibly could, I built up endurance and conditioned my muscles and mind in a new way. The struggle to walk up and down the busy streets of Manhattan and not get trampled was lesson enough in itself.

Everyone has a place to be, a strategy, and a story. It was this experience of walking that gave room for a lot of reflection and examination of my life and the lives of the people around me. As a result, I became more decisive. I figured out what I wanted, where I was going, and what worked for me. Most importantly, I soon realized that I wanted and needed to create more frequently and that I needed to feel respected and important in any environment that I was working in.

These two revelations proved vital to my next move.

Stay tuned for Part 3, coming next Monday.


Lauren Ashlee Small is originally from Springfield, IL. Her training began at Springfield Dance and the Springfield Ballet Company and continued in college where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Belhaven University. Lauren went on to study in The Ailey School’s professional division as a recipient of The Oprah Winfrey Foundation Scholarship and to perform with Amalgamate Dance Company and Dance Into Deliverance. Her choreography has been featured at The Ailey School, Belhaven University, American College Dance Festival, Undertoe Dance Festival at the 92nd Street Y, the New York Jazz Choreography Project, and in Amalgamate’s 7th Annual Artist Series. Lauren has interned with Free Arts of Arizona and Amalgamate Dance Company and was a guest artist at the 2012 Teen Arts Performance Camp in Washington, DC and Emmanuel Ballet Academy’s 2014 summer intensive in Juarez, Mexico.



Hi Framers,

Would you take a moment to help us improve the blog?  We want to give you the best #framer blog experience, and we want to hear from you.  Would you take this anonymous, super short survey? Plus, it’s Friday and online quizzes are fun.

Thank you!!



photo by Lena Silva

J.Boe and L. Gutierrez rehearsing “Divide by Five.”







Links We Like

Links We Like

How to talk with your daughter about her body. Step one: don’t talk to her about her body, except…


But asking for money is hard! Why artists need to do it, and not be afraid.


We love local breweries in Houston!  Sugar & Rice just put out this fun photo essay on Karbach.


Isn’t the gym the most amazing social experiment?   BuzzFeed rocks this one:


So You Think You Can Dance

Hello, Framers! The dancers continued their fight for the number one spot in last night’s show. For the first time this season, the Top 10 were separated from their partners, and given SYTYCD  All-Star dancers. According to your votes from our SYTYCD Survey, Jacque LeWarne will win it all, and Tanisha Belnap and Emilio Dosal will go home. Let’s find out if you’re right!

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 10

SYTYCD_Google_Profile The top 10 dancers, of course, started the night with a very colorful spark! Dressed in all  neon colors, the dancers performed a fun routine choreographed by Jamal Sims. Last  night’s guest judge was Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski! We also learned that after  each Top 10 dancer performed, we would learn whether they would be safe, or in danger  of  going home.

First dancer of the night was Bridget Whitman paired with All-Star Brandon Bryant. For  the first time in So You Think You Can Dance history a Bollywood Disco dance was  performed, and it was choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. Host Cat Deely revealed that  Bridget is in danger of going home. Next up is ballroom dancer Tanisha Belnap with All-  Star Ryan Di Lello. While dancing their Argentine tango, the dancers performed  impressive footwork. Tanisha seemed right at home with her dancing, and I think it  was her best dance of the season.  Our dancer from Houston, Emilio Dosal was up next  with his partner Jasmine Harper. He was portraying a king, and Jasmine was the king’s pet snake. Emilio really showed of his talent and knowledge of hip hop dance. He is in danger of going home. Valerie Rocky and partner Ade Obayomi performed a very uncertain jazz routine. Valerie’s regular cheery personality was challenged by choreographer Tyce Diorio. The judges remarked that her routine seemed “emotionally inconsistent.” Though she had criticize from the judges, she was safe from elimination. Another dancer that wasn’t at his strongest last night, was Rudy Abreu with All-Star Jenna Johnson. Their cha-cha, featured Jenna more than Rudy, and he definitely let her presence overpower his in the dance. America voted Rudy safe from leaving the show this week.

Another SYTYCD first, is a contemporary ballet duet choreographed by Travis Wall for dancer Jacque LeWarne and previous dancer Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. Jacque slipped back on her pointe shoes for the first time in weeks. Their dance was accompanied by the perfecting lighting, which showed their graceful shadows on the wall. Despite the exquisite performance, Jacque was voted in danger of elimination. Next dancer to hit the stage was Ricky Ubeda with All-Star Lauren Froderman, their ‘party’ themed jazz routine was choreographed by Mandy Moore. His impressive moves, sure did impress voters, because he was safe from elimination. The next dance was a Broadway routine  choreographed by SpencerLiff, for dancer Casey Askew and All-Star Kathryn McCormick. The romantic piece was accompanied by the popular Broadway song Maybe This Time by Liza Minnelli from the musical Cabaret. Casey is safe from elimination. One of my favorite performances of the night was Jessica with tWitch with a fun and flirty jazz routine. Last dancer to perform was Zack Everhart with Amy Yakima. Their dance was choreographed by my favorite Sonya Tayeh.  The dance told the story of one of Sonya’s friends who passed away, creating a deep and touching performance.

After each dancer had performed, singer Christina Perri took the stage and sang a song I love. Dancing with her were All-Stars Chehon Wespi-Tschop and Kathryn McCormick

We unfortunately had to say goodbye to Emilio and Bridget. (You were right about Emilio!) The All-Star pairings were announced at the end of the show. Jacque with All-Star tWitch, Ricky with All-Star Jaimie, Tanisha with All-Star Nick, Rudy with All-Star Allison, Valerie with All-Star Ryan, Zack with All-Star Makenzie, Casey with All-Star Comfort, and finally Jessica with All-Star Will.

 Take this week’s SYTYCD New Survey here!