Almost every girl friend I know want to lose a few pounds—boys too but they’re still in the closet about it. The problem is that exercise and cardio workouts are a drag and it takes more effort trying to pump yourself up than actually spending an hour doing it. The good news is that there are fun aerobic activity you can do instead – like the new dance craze, the zumba dance.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, the zumba dance is the hottest dance craze today. It’s impressive growth is largely helped by free publicity – celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Victoria Bekham, Natalie Portman and even Jackie Chan has been known to be practitioners of the zumba.
I mean, even if you’re not trying to get some exercise in, zumba is such a fun activity you will want to do with your friends. It incorporates catchy Latin music into their programs and after a while, it looks more like a girls’ night out more than anything else.
How did the zumba dance start anyway? The main proponent of this dance can be attributed to a certain dance instructor in Columbia named Alberto “Beto” Perez. He was on his way to the dance class he was teaching when he realized that he forgot the music he needs for the class. All he had were these salsa and merengue music and improvised from there. The class loved it (which just goes to show that accidents may be good things) and it has been requested for ever since.
When Perez moved to Miami in 2001, he brought with him this style of dance. Again, it was well received. One of the women taking his class was the mother of Alberto Perlman. She raved about her class to her son and soon, a partnership between Perlman, Perez and Alberto Aghion (Perez’ childhood buddy) was formed.
The triumvirate sent out demo reels of this alternative cardio/aerobic workout and aired in in infomercials in attempts to extend their reach to a bigger market. They also made a deal with Kellogg’s to feature zumba in their cereal boxes—massively increasing their visibility to a rapidly more health conscious public. Before long, the zumba dance craze caught on and became popular not just in America and Columbia, but in other parts of the globe as well.
The zumba dance is just one of many awesome styles of dancing that is available to you. Find out more when you visit the links in these pages today.
Not a lot of people are into tap dancing – and it’s such a shame. This fun and hugely entertaining style of dance is rich in culture and one of the most unique forms of expression in dance today.
If you are like me, when you think tap dance you think Adam Garcia from Got to Dance UK. He’s such a hottie that it’s hard to pay attention to the master class performance his feet are performing—you just want to look at his face the whole time.
Anyway, Adam is such a consummate performer it is super inspiring. I watched a camera crew follow him around in one of his shows and it got me thinking—tap is actually more than banging your toes and heels on the floor. It really is pretty interesting and challenging to the dancers. Sure the tap dancers don’t seem like they utilize a lot of their other body parts, but nonetheless, what they do not everybody can do.
You see, the incredibly quick foot movements are so specific that if you miss a beat it throws the performance off and for a less experienced dancer, it might be hard to get back on track. Fortunately we have more and more fantastic tap dancers that are emerging – a big thanks going out to exemplary performers like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire who made this dance into a classic.
Fred Astaire is attributed to incorporating tap dancing into ballroom, propelling the noble tap into popular culture. Gene Kelly on the other hand introduced many elements of ballet into tap and this harmony of tap and ballet paved the way Broadway style of tap dance. You can watch old movies that feature their styles of dancing that they made popular in the general public.
While we see tap right now as a debonair and elegant style of dance, it was not always that way. The truth of the matter is that tap originated from Africa. It is said that the slaves were forbidden to practice their culture dances and traditions, so they created this form of dance that incorporated Irish step dance with their own style and flavour.
There are a lot of dances right now, but there are a few that are as unique and beloved as tap dancing. Why not try it for yourself? Go online and look for dancing DVDs and who knows – the next tap superstar might be born!
Salsa dancing is one of the most popular ballroom dancing styles around. It goes without saying that with all the dance enthusiasts that want to learn more about this fun and socially entertaining skill—you need to be up to date with your facts and resources so you can be a supernova amongst all the other wanna-be stars in the dance floor.
What is salsa dancing? For most men, salsa is a spicy dip that perfectly complements the amply supplied tortilla bowl in a party. However, for those who love to be active and have fun, salsa is more than that. It is spicy yes, but it is a dance that is performed by sexy men and women from all over the world.
Now, I don’t mean that the men and women who dance salsa are a perfect 10 (that would disqualify 98% of the population). What I am saying is that in order to dance salsa you need to exude sexiness to perform it well. And really, what is sexy but a natural quality that comes from between your ears to your body’s response.
Salsa Dancing History
There are a few groups of people who have varying opinions on how salsa came into being. Generally Cuba is attributed to be the birthplace of this dance and music phenomena that we know today. It must be said though that many styles of dance with Cuban music, have their influences rooted in African culture. It is said that the hypnotizing and enthralling music was done to call forth the gods that tribal people believed in.
Even if salsa, or the origins of it has been around for probably a long time, it was thrust to notoriety during World War II. American soldiers that were in Cuba for the war, developed a taste of the music and entertainment and they brought it with them back to America. The rest, as they say, is history.
Salsa Dancing in Groups?
This dance is interesting because it can be danced by oneself, in twos, threes and even fours. Definitely the most popular one is ballroom salsa which is performed by two people. However if you are in a club without a partner, at least you know that armed with the basic salsa steps, you can shimmy your way to salsa sexiness.
Learning Salsa Dancing
If you want to learn salsa, it is very important that you understand the proper timing and how to use this while you are dancing. Salsa timing ranges from 140 to 210 beats per minute. What does this mean? Your heart beats 60 times every minute (you can verify this by sitting down, putting your fingers on your wrist, and counting the beats under a minute). Therefore salsa timing is twice, thrice or even four times the beat of your heartbeat per minute.
Why is learning salsa beats so important? This is important because salsa steps can be quite quick and tricky and you need to get your timing down in order to progress in your lessons. Salsa steps always start on the first beat and if you and your partner have different beats going on in your head—well, there’s a tangle of arms and legs by the end of the first 5 seconds of the dance.
Salsa Dancing Music
It’s really not that difficult once you get used to it. If you listen to salsa music, you will notice that there is an accent on the first and 5th beat of the musical phrasing. Keep listening and practice to recognize the beats when you play these salsa music, it won’t be long before you’ll perfect your sense of salsa timing to help you when you dance.
Salsa Dancing Partners
Now, if you are most people, you will want to learn salsa the ballroom style—which means you will have to learn how to partner well. Partnering skills are critical in doing the salsa well. Men have to lead and women need to follow the man’s leading (through “claves”- inconspicuous pushes and tugs throughout the dance). Dance with as many partners as you can and work to develop chemistry which is so important when dancing these expressive numbers. If you are a tall lady, hopefully you can find men a couple of inches taller than you so twirls and lifts won’t be a pain to the both of you. Enjoy salsa dancing!
My favorite dance moves are the ones that take my breath away. They may be those incredibly spectacular productions, or they may be raw and simple. If it speaks to your heart, then it is what gives it life.
My Favorite Dance Moves
You know what my favorite dance moves are—what about you? What are your favorite dances? Chances are the answers are as varied as the dance forms around. I mean, it is what makes life interesting anyway. There is nothing exciting with being the same the whole time. If you ask most people, I am sure that they will choose unique over uniformity any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Dance speaks to us in so many levels. It is not a matter of what your favourite one is, it is entirely about the person’s form of self-expression and passion. If you love watching the dance, then you are appreciating the dancer and choreographer’s vision that make it all possible.
My Favorite Dance Moves Passion
How about you? Do you love to dance? I am telling you that your decision to pursue your passion (whether it is dance or any other dream) will yield great rewards. Maybe not all of us can rise to fame in this industry, but the change will come from within you and in doing so, improve the quality of life you have.
Think about it, doing the responsible thing might pay the bills, but it will not bring you joy. You need to have that spark in your life to really function well in life. Dancing touches the deepest part of us, and it is well-worth the sacrifice you have to make to make it a part of your life.
My Favorite Dance Moves for Health
Aside from that, dancing has a lot of health benefits that you will enjoy. It is a great aerobic exercise, it will strengthen you and improve your coordination as well. Many times dancing develops your posture and your self-confidence which also directly affects your professional and personal life. Discover my favorite dance moves right here in this site.
There are a few dance television shows that are being aired today. Who can blame those producers? There are so many unsung, talented people that pour out their hearts in their craft (dancing) and giving them a platform would only push the world of arts to another level.
Dance Television Shows Popularity
Sure, many people would say that dancing is impractical—but if you think about it, the most beautiful things in life are. These dance television shows simply shed light on a world shared by passionate individuals that are bonded together by their love for dance.
Dance Television Shows – Dancing with the Stars
Perhaps the most popular of all these dance shows is the top rated Dancing with the Stars. Of course, there is an element of celebrity that is included in this show. Who doesn’t want to watch the debonair Gilles Marini sweep his beautiful partner across the dance floor, or be inspired by the weight loss of Kirstie Alley, or be entertained by the comedic Carson Kressley? This talked about show is a favourite for more reasons than one.
Dance Television Shows – So You Think You Can Dance
So You Think You Can Dance is another excellent dance show that needs to be watched by dance aficionados. Unlike the aforementioned show, this program is participated not by celebrities, but by people who choose dancing as their profession. There is such amazing skill involved that there is seldom an episode that will not leave you breathless. Be it Tango, Contemporary or the Waltz, the amazing choreographers are as much the stars as the dancers of the show.
Dance Television Shows – Best Dance Crew
Of course, because of the sheer popularity of hip hop and pop in the music scene—it follows that there will be shows that cater specifically to this niche. Randy Jackson’s Best Dance Crew is one of the most followed shows the past years. They showcase talents from a wide range of people—youngsters, all women groups, multi-cultural hip hop groups, and even roller skating dancers (season 1).
Dance Television Shows – Got to Dance
The UK also have a fantastic dance show called Got To Dance. It is one of the biggest talent shows in UK and is hugely entertaining to watch. There are no hard and fast rules for contestants like age, gender, style of dance. The first winner was Akai, a 10 year old hip hop dancer, and season 3 winner was Prodijig, a group that performs their unique style of toe tapping, hip swaying Irish dance numbers.
If there’s anything that these reality dance shows do is that they help catapult unknowns to fame, or if they’re celebrities already, jumpstart their careers again (think Mario Lopez and his slew of hosting gigs). Jabbawockeez are a group of insanely talented masked guys who made a huge splash in the hip hop world since starting out in Randy Jackson’s Best Dance Crew. Because of their white masks, there are no stars so to speak, it is just one cohesive unit. You look at the group and how amazing the choreography and dancing skills are. They have been featured in a few shows and films since then.
Dance Television Shows – Judges
An important aspect of these dance television shows is the host and the judges. The host should be personable enough to be liked by the audience, without losing his or her personality that they become boring. It is also super important that they are able to connect with the contestants because elimination shows can be devastating to some people and the host should be able to be support the rejected contestants as well as encourage those that are still in the competition.
Now judges can make or break the show. Obviously they are sometimes paid huge amounts of money to give their expert advice and if they have the personality to boot, even better. You can’t please everyone all the time, so often there will be criticism if a judge is too harsh, too nice, too objective or whatever. Let’s face it, if they don’t jive with your own opinion or if they find something wrong with a dancer you are supporting, then they aren’t always in your like list.
Dance Television Shows – Voting
Most of these dance competitions are driven by text or call votes. Of course the producers still need to make money and more than that, see which contestants are the most popular. Chances are the most voted contestants will sell shows or gigs that will keep them working for a long time to come (this is a good thing). The problem is that because of the sheer number of contestants from so many seasons, dancers need to distinguish themselves above the other past contestants to have any kind of longevity in the industry. Either they live a controversial lifestyle, get more projects for themselves, or grow in other skills like music or acting. If they do, then sky’s the limit for these talented peoples.
Yes, dance television shows are here to stay!
If you have decided to pursue the wonderful world of dancing, then there is one investment you need to make—a good pair of dance shoes. This is the arsenal that every dancer has in their bag of tricks and it is vital that you get one that is best suited for you.
Beautiful Dance Shoes
The right pair of shoes is chosen not just for the color and style, there are more factors that go into dancing shoes. Of course you can pick beautiful shoes, but more than that, you need to make sure that the shoes fit well and are made with the proper material.
That’s right—you cannot just purchase a regular pair of shoes and use it on the dance floor. Doing so will mean serious consequences. Think of ungraceful spills and long term knee injuries—yup, those are just some incidents that come up when dancers make the mistake of scrimping on this very important tool in dancing.
After all, would Michael Jordan ever use baseball cleats on his games? How about Michelle Kwan doing a triple toe loop with track shoes? No, if you want to really do a good job in performing (which I know you do), then it is very important that you invest in good dance shoes.
How to Choose Dance Shoes
You will notice that dance shoes are lighter than regular shoes, at least the excellent quality ones are. The manufacturers made this so that the dancers do not feel feet fatigue easily. It might not mean that much to you to have lighter shoes when you’re out strolling in a mall, but believe me, all dancers that spend hours on their feet will really appreciate this seemingly trivial feature.
The soles are thinner so that the dancer will be able to feel the dance floor better. The material of the sole is soft suede because this actually grips the hardwood tile that the dance floors are made up of better. Steer clear from shoes that have leather undersides because it is too slippery, or rubber soles because obviously, it is too sticky. The rubber soles are said to also cause long term knew injuries so be especially careful of that.
Dance Shoes Heel Size
Depending on what you are dancing, you may want to choose heels that are between 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches in height. Anything more might be a hazard to you when you’re dancing. Latin dances may require more of a heel height than traditional dances so be sure to practice a lot before you go out there in your stunning heels so you don’t trip all over them.
Aside from height, Latin dancing shoes also have thinner heels than those sported by traditional ballroom dances. Slim heels make it easier for the dancer to twist and turn, which the salsa, rumba and the like are frequently peppered with. Flared and wider heels are more stable, and many beginner dancers often use these when starting out.
Comfortable Dance Shoes
Some features also help in alleviating foot pain like extra padded cushions and easy snap buckles. Check the straps that it’s not too tight that it cuts off the circulation of your feet from the rest of your body. Some dancers prefer that their dancing shoes are a little on the smaller size (if it’s open toed) because the tips of their toes can feel the surface of the dance floor. Choose the one you are most comfortable with.
Now, if you are starting out, you may want to opt for the classic black pumps. Obviously, this will go with most of the outfits you have. If not black, nude is another classic hue you can consider. Nude or flesh colored dancing shoes also elongate the line of your leg making you appear taller—an asset for any lady for sure.
Of course men are not exempt from picking out their ballroom dancing shoes. Like with the women counterpart, the underside of men’s ballroom shoes are made of suede and are lighter than regular shoes. Usually these shoes come in black, brown, and two tones Oxford or leather shoes. However, there are some stores that do offer customized ballroom shoes for men and women.
Ballroom Dance Shoes – Cost
Because it is made with special material, ballroom dancing shoes are understandably more expensive than most shoes. You can shop around for sales and discount in established dance supplies companies to save on dollars.
Storing Your Dance Shoes
By far the best way to get the most mileage out of your dance shoes is to take care of them well. Buy a suede brush and brush the soles in one direction after using them. Use the appropriate cleaning product for the material it is made out of (satin shoes are trickier, best to keep them as clean as possible and not get them wet). Store your dance shoes in a separate tote and never use them for anything other than dancing.
Although less known than their dance siblings, the Flamenco dance is an art form that has been handed down for generations. It’s rich history and textured culture lends beauty to this exciting and dramatic dance form.
Flamenco Dance Form
Where did the Flamenco dance originate from? There are a few theories that arise to the birth of flamenco. One is that the flamenco is derived from the beautiful bird of Southern Spain called Greater Flamingo. And since the flamenco has been danced by people in that region, it is a logical explanation of the dance’s origin.
Another version tells of Flemish soldiers known for their overbearing confidence and style that have come to be known as “flamencos”. These qualities, though less than pleasing to some groups of people, have come to mark the gypsy people—a people that the flamenco dance is attributed to.
Gypsy Flamenco Dance
Gypsies are a nomadic tribe from India that migrated to Europe around the 14th century. The people in this group are said to be comprised largely of “untouchables” in the Indian caste system, most of which are performers of just about every type of art. This is why when you talk about gypsies today, you still have a picture of exotic people who stage street shows and perform a variety of acts to entertain people.
When it was first recognized as a dance, the Flamenco did not have music. It was a dance which moves by the sound of clapping or the Palmas, a percussive instrument induced by the rapping of the knuckles. The guitar eventually came to accompany this dance at the turn of the 19th century.
Watching a Flamenco Dance
As you can imagine with such a rich culture, the flamenco is an interesting dance to watch. They share a lot of similarities to African music and Middle Eastern look. However unlike most dances, the flamenco is a forceful, explosive and almost masculine dance, free from the common hip swinging dances we have come to recognize in most types of dances.
In any case, this exotic and beautiful dance have found its way to our popular culture and hearts in the centuries after its birth. Find out more about the Flamenco dance and other types of dances when you click on the links in this page today.
Perhaps in all the dance forms around the world, none is as beautiful as the ballet dance. You can be young or old, male or female, but there is something about ballet that is simply magical.
There are some contentions to where ballet started and flourished but it is generally believed that it originated in the courts of Italy in the 16 century. Ballet was created as the dance art to the sport of fencing. It was then brought to other parts of Europe, namely France and Russia where it developed into the classical ballet we know and love today.
There are several variations of the ballet dance. The first one is the classical ballet. Classical ballet, as you may have already guessed, is largely taken from the original ballet technique and tradition. Neo-classical ballet is somewhat more modern, with dances being performed in faster music and less rigid technique. The last type is contemporary ballet that became popular in the 20th century. This is a blend of classical ballet and modern dance where the numbers and the costumes are more free flowing.
Professional Ballet Dance
While ballet is extremely popular and one of the best loved dances of all time, you will notice that this dance is not often seen in reality dance television shows. This is because unlike the other forms of dance, ballet is very technical and requires superb body control as well as grace to be able to execute it well. Professional ballet dancers spend years perfecting their technique and without passion and determination, not every dance enthusiast will be able to pull it off.
I don’t know about you, but I joined ballet classes when I was younger. I think most little girls do. It was very similar to feeling like a fairy princess—especially when the plays start. You get transported to another world where anything is possible and really—isn’t this what real art should be?
My two other sisters were extremely competent in the world of ballet. Unfortunately, I was not. Every year a certified dance official from London came to visit our ballet school to determine whether or not we are qualified to move on to the next level (with a new level means a new color leotard—pink to light blue, to dark blue, to black). My sisters always managed to get top scored while I barely made it to the next level.
I suppose this lacklustre show of performance is due because of innate awkwardness, and lack of discipline. I remember relaxing on the stretched legs during develope exercises behind my teacher’s back, and slacking off during stretches that’s why I never did get to fully execute a perfect split.
Ballet Dance Discipline
You may get away frolicking in the shallow waters of the ballet world with this, but you definitely won’t get far if you don’t have discipline to do what you have to do to accomplish your goal. You need to make a decision that you WILL be a fabulous dancer and follow through by learning as much as you can from your teacher and other resources online.
Also, it helps if you have the physique for ballet. Gorgeous that I am (just say yes), I am alas cursed with being flat footed. While this does not hinder me from important activities like walking, running, shopping—it does spell a death sentence for many a ballerina. Flat-footed people do not have the perfect point that is a basic and most critical aspect in a dancer’s career.
Weight is another issue. I do not promote stick thin figures in any way, but in ballet, a slim figure is something that is common to all aspiring prima ballerinas. It helps you to do the steps better—and it doesn’t hurt your partner’s back in lifts as well. The good news is that ballet helps in keeping the weight down so as long as you do your part in maintaining a healthy diet, you won’t have a big problem in this area.
Ballet dance is such an entrancing thing to watch—it is even more beautiful if you get to experience it first-hand. Click on the links in this page and find out how you can improve your ballet technique today.
Topic – Ballet Dance.
Are you up for a good dance practice video? You better call some friends over—it’s going to be an epic party that nobody wants to miss out on!
Dance Practice Video
If you love to dance, then a dance practice video is something that is close to your heart. After all, if you are a performer, you know that you don’t just go out there and give a spectacular performance right off the bat. More often than not, you need a lot of practice and help in executing complicated and stunning moves to impress your audience.
There are a few things you can do to maximize your dance practice. As we mentioned earlier, this is more fun when you have friends around—friends that share your love for dance of course. People who won’t go the extra mile because they are tired will pull you down and you will end up getting frustrated for not reaching your limit in this area.
Solo Dance Practice Video
If you prefer to practice on your own, that is also fine. Perhaps you feel shy or you just want to really concentrate and seriously master the choreography of the number. Depending on your goal, do what you feel will benefit you most.
Dance Practice Video Tips
1. Stretch for at least 10 minutes before starting any exercise, including dance. Stretching has several benefits, it loosens your muscles, limbers up your spine, warms your body, and mentally prepares you for the sometimes gruelling training ahead.
2. Pace yourself throughout the session. You may be excited in the beginning and your energy level is high. The natural tendency is to go full on the first 20 minutes, which usually means you’re tired by the end of the program. Start slow and maintain your motivation all throughout the training.
3. Have a water bottle nearby. Exercise will dehydrate the best of us if we’re not careful. It is important that we constantly hydrate so we don’t feel faint or dizzy after. Take small sips or room temperature water and not huge draughts of ice water so as not to shock your system. It is also better to have the bottle at hand rather than going to the kitchen to get yourself a glass every so often—doing so may stop your momentum.
4. Stretch before you end. You stretch before you start, you should also stretch before you end. This will prevent your muscles from cramping up and consequently save you from a lot of soreness the next day. Take a few minutes to cool down. Practice deep breathing for a few moments to help you wind down.
5. And lastly, have fun! What’s the use of having a dance practice video if you’re not going to enjoy it anyway? You may be working towards a goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way. You will give a better performance if you loosen up and learn to flow in your dance. Your audience will also enjoy it better as well, which always makes your dance practice video session worthwhile!
I’ve always been fascinated with people who are exceptionally good with dancing on ice. I suppose I share this fascination with millions of people around the globe because figure ice skating is a much anticipated sport in the world arena.
Dancing on Ice
I mean, it’s hard enough to dance on solid ground—much less on solidified water. That’s just walking on thin ice if you ask me (excuse the poor attempt at a pun). Marrying grace AND balance is something to be respected for sure.
Now if you tell me I’ll never know until I’ve tried it, I will have you know that I HAVE tried it—and let’s leave it at that. I took lessons one summer when I was in my early twenties with little people—OK fine, children in grade school.
Dancing on Ice – Learning Young
Yes, it is definitely a good idea to start them as young as possible because it will be easier for them to progress further and faster. While it was a tad embarrassing for me to learn alongside these young’uns, it was a fun experience nonetheless. I came out of that summer with more bruises, cuts and stories that I did when I started.
This one time, in my attempt on dancing on ice, my skating instructor taught me how to skate backwards. It was exhilarating when I was starting to do it without falling down! I forgot one important thing though—check who was skating behind me. I knocked over a poor kid and he had a busted lip because of his fall. I still remember the dirty looks from the mother as they brought him to the clinic to clean up the wound.
From Ice Skating to Dancing on Ice
While I never got past the basics stage of ice skating, it was fun seeing the more intermediate people do their thing on ice. They would do the amazing toe loops, flips and lutzes. My favourite would be the double axels for sure. I would hold my breath (along with everybody else) until the skater would land beautifully back to her feet.
Looking back I almost wished I pursued figure skating, but I don’t suppose I’ll go very far with it. Then again, dancing is never about pleasing anyone first anyway. If you love to dance, whatever form it may be, do it with passion and commitment and it will always be well worth your time.
Find out more about dancing on ice when you click on the links in this page today.