Free, free, free , DANCE!

Alas, after a lengthy and unplanned time away from blogging I am back!  Many moons ago I mentioned that I would use this blog to share local dance events.  Well here goes:  This Saturday there are two family friendly FREE dance events.

Let’s start with Global Water Dance

Do you like water? Do you like cyclists?  Do you like kayakers, drummers, singers, and dancers?  Well this event has all of that and bubbles.
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I encourage all of you to make time this weekend so you may participate in this beautiful and heartwarming event.

Here are the details:

Serpentine Wall

705 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Date and Time:

June 20, 2015 at 11 am.

If you have never been to Serpentine Wall here is a bit more information:

Serpentine Wall is located at Yeatman’s Cove on the Ohio River, downtown Cincinnati.
It’s between the Purple People Bridge and our historic Suspension Bridge (prototype for Brooklyn Bridge).
Closest parking is on Pete Rose Way near Broadway, Sawyer Point Parking Lot.

And then….

“Hey, hey! What’s this I see? I thought this was a party. LET’S DANCE!”

That’s right dudes and dudettes, put on your most righteous 80’s inspired gear (I’m talking Keds, leg warmers, acid washed jeans, artfully ripped t-shirts, blue eye-shadow, swatch watches, and lip smackers!)  Dress as Molly, Madonna, Michael, Ducky, or if you want to be totally fabulous grab a group of your best friends and come as the Brat Pack.

Here are the details:

Gorilla Cinema is celebrating it’s ONE YEAR anniversary so… LEETTSSSS DAAAAANCE!!!!!

We’re gettin’ all dolled up for the best small town prom ever and we’re bringing all our friends:

PONES, BRAXTON BREWERY and RENAISSANCE COVINGTON are sponsoring our FREE screening of the Kevin Bacon 80s classic “FOOTLOOSE” June 20th in the Madlot in Covington, KY.

The TOTALLY TUBULAR dance starts at sundown (8 PM) and, as always, we’re bringing the RIGHTEOUS snacks and suds. Come dressed in your favorite 80s gear and bring a blanket and chair to enjoy the ultimate 80s mulit-sensory throwback experience.

Did I mention that I will be dancing in both of these performances? Well I am!🙂

See you Saturday for all kinds of dancing fun!

Success is not falling over, maybe.

Some of my favorite classes to teach are my adult ballet classes.  I love the sense of community and friendship.  Most of the dancers fall into two categories: never danced, but it’s on their bucket list or danced when they were in elementary school, but never since.

First and foremost–big round of applause to everyone.  You have to be really brave to try something new!  I have always wanted to try mountain climbing, but I’m too nervous to give it a try so kudos to you!

We put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed in every way possible that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that trying something with an open mind can lead to all kinds of fun!

Often times I hear myself saying “success is not falling over” and because I am a master klutz this is most often my mantra.

As a modern dancer I  am all about falling over.  So it’s not that falling over is bad, it just means that for a each situation there are different standards for success. In Ballet-success is not falling over.  This simple reminder seems to put all of my students at ease–which is great!  Except for that one time I fell down the stairs right before class.  Major FAIL.

So what did I learn from falling over?  Well my dignity can get bruised, even if my body doesn’t.  Falling is a great reminder that I can’t do everything all the time, even something that I can usually do with great success, like walking.  It also makes me remember how amazing our bodies are.  Neurons fire in our brain and they send all kinds of amazing messages–remember to breathe, circulate blood through our bodies, don’t forget to pick up milk at the grocery store, and most importantly, where is my chocolate?

With that in mind, it is easy to be impressed with a seemingly simple accomplishment because we are again reminded that nothing is really so simple. By just standing at the ballet barre attempting to do a plie you have succeeded.  You learned how to wriggle your body into a new position and that is fantastic. You have prioritized doing something new and then you did it!

Hhmmm now that I really think about it, maybe success is just showing up, but don’t forget, a lot can be learned from falling.

Can I get some Tylenol please!?

It’s true, exercising (dancing!!) does produce endorphins, but it also produces muscle soreness.  So while you’re riding that dance-high tonight, tomorrow you may be regretting your decision to do just one more leap.  It’s challenging to find the line between pushing yourself to grow stronger and pushing yourself over the edge.

If you don’t have a personal masseuse, then here are a few tips to help you recover from a dance-a-thon.

Remember, ICE is nice!

Whoa, this isn’t nice😦

Try this instead:

I recently got a cherry pit ice pack and I love it! The cotton cover is really soft, much better than those plasticky ice packs.  They are filled with cherry pits and hypothetically you could make it a DIY project.  The cherry pit bags are also heavier than regular ice packs.  The combination of the weight and the texture of the cherry pits makes it almost feel like you’re getting a massage.  And since they’re not made of a chemical solution you don’t have to worry about it melting on you.  So snuggle up with that bad boy and enjoy!

Remember RICE.

Rest

Ice

Compression

Elevation

This is literally a prescription to put your feet up and relax!  Go ahead you know you earned it!

Any kind of intense workout will deplete some vital nutrients.  Potassium, sodium, and calcium are often needed to help your muscles to recover.

A banana split with a side of chocolate salted caramels will definitely do the trick.

Or I suppose if you prefer a healthier snack you could go with a banana and some homemade chicken soup.

Are you feeling thirsty?  I bet you are!  I don’t know about you, but I always under-estimate the amount of water I am drinking.  Plain (i.e. free) water is really the best.  Don’t buy Gatorade, Vitamin Water, or anything else.  If you do that you are basically putting sugar and chemicals into your body.  Instead, just go with plain water.  Did you know cold water helps burn calories and jump-start your metabolism?  Even more importantly, water aids with circulation.  The better your circulation the faster your muscles will heal from a workout and the better you will feel.

There are lots of fun tricks to help you remember to drink more water. This one looks especially helpful (I haven’t tried it YET, but I plan on it).

Does that water bottle have sparkles?  Oh my, yes please!

Your body may be feeling sore, but that shouldn’t stop you from moving.  I realize that mere moments ago I said you earned a rest, and you totally did! But, after that rest is over get back to moving!  Fluid, gentle stretching is a great way to release tension in your muscles.

Happy dancing, resting, icing, and stretching!

Daily Dose of FREE Art

When I was ten years old I got it in my head that I wanted to be a professional dancer.  I talked to my dance teacher, read dance magazines, and discovered the best way to make this dream a reality was to dance as much as possible.  Great!  I love dancing!  I will happily fill my days, evenings, and weekends with dance.  I decided to ask my parents if I could go from dancing one night a week to four nights a week.  We looked at the costs involved and my parents made me a deal.  They would pay for one class a week.  Any additional classes I wanted to take I would have to pay for.  Then they made a brilliant suggestion.  Talk to your dance teacher and see if you can volunteer in exchange for classes.  I did and a beautiful, symbiotic relationship was born!

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As a teen I volunteered at my dance studio in exchange for classes.  It is hard to say who benefited most from this relationship.  I earned free classes and learned how to be a dance teacher and the studio got a front desk worker, substitute teacher, costume assistant, and proud ambassador of the dance studio.  As I got older I parlayed this concept into other venues.  I traded out babysitting for private dance lessons.  I ushered in exchange for concert tickets.  The list literally goes on and on.

Here are just a few things I learned:

Volunteering is the best deal ever!

It feels good to earn something

Helping others feels fantastic

My time is valuable, therefore I am valuable

A little bit of effort can yield huge results

Goals are in fact attainable and others can help you meet them

Volunteering allows me to meet cool, smart people who enjoy the same things I do (like art and nature)

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Check out a few volunteer-exchange opportunities in Cincinnati:

http://cdt-dance.org/contact/getinvolved/

http://www.cincymuseum.org/volunteer

http://www.cincinnatiarts.org/about-us/aronoff-center-volunteer-opportunities

http://knowtheatre.com/get-involved/volunteer/

http://www.cincinnatiopera.org/support/cincinnati-opera-guild/

http://cincinnatisymphony.org/Content.php?id=15

http://www.cincyplay.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=288&Itemid=577

http://mamluftcodance.org/adultclasses/

http://www.cliftonculturalarts.org/

http://www.taftmuseum.org/?page_id=152

http://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/volunteer-opportunities

http://contemporaryartscenter.org/support-us/volunteer

Here is a fantastic freebie:

Do you have a foam roller?  Not sure how to use it?  There is a free demo/class all you need to do is register:

http://www.fleetfeetcincy.com/racing/free-foam-rolling-self-massage-class

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Happy (volunteering) Dancing!

Why hello there :)

Welcome to my first ever blog.  I realize I am a bit late to this party–so bear with my while I figure out this brand new form of creative expression.  I am a dancer, a reader, a student, and a teacher (not to mention a list maker, coffee fanatic, and a chap-stick addict).  Here is what I hope for this blog to be:

1. A forum to discuss empowerment, art, science, and literacy.

2. An opportunity to share dance tips.

3. A helpful tool for finding accessible art in greater Cincinnati.

Hhhmm reflecting back on this list makes me think I’m a bit stodgy and academic.  While I do love learning, I mostly like to learn by my making mistakes.  Then laughing at myself.  And finally forgiving myself and moving on.

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Starting with # 3.  A tight budget has motivated me to find the best deals possible.  I love to experience art, but it can sometimes feel like a really expensive hobby.  Ticket costs, garage fees, and an evening off of work can make it a challenge to get THE ART.  **Side note, I could argue that ART is everywhere, but that soapbox moment will be saved for a later date.**  About ten years ago I discovered that I could simply earn free tickets to events.  Many local artists are willing to trade tickets for volunteer work.  In the past few years I have been able to see a show at least once a month for free because of this very trade.  Some performance venues allow volunteer ushers to see the show for free.  Others will give you free tickets if you help post flyers or label postcards.  As these opportunities come up I promise to share them with you!

2.  I love to dance.  I was incredibly lucky to get introduced to dance at a young age.  However, I realize that trying a new hobby as an adult, especially one that asks you to use your body as a tool, can be really scary. My very first dance teacher told me that a dancer is an artist, a technician, and an athlete. This is a fantastic definition because it makes dance less mysterious and more accessible.  I’m not going to tell you how to be an artist, that’s your journey.  What I can do is share some helpful tips for being a proficient technician and athlete.

Leaving the best for last, my number one hope for this blog is to discuss the ways that art can help to empower us as individuals and communities, how science and art serve each other, and the ways in which art can be a vehicle to teach compassion, academia (math, chemistry, and physics, oh my!), and self-care. A friend recently nicknamed me librarina because I am a librarian and a ballerina.  This “title” may have to go on my business cards. In any case I believe that art and education should be accessible to everyone.

librarina