Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The 9 Biggest Dance Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

After years of watching dancers on the floor and working to improve the technique and posture of students. I have noticed some easy to avoid mistakes which tend to have big consequences in the dance both socially and for the dancers own health. Look at the list below and check where you stand, is there one you can avoid?

  1.  Bad quality shoes or wearing really old ones might very well be beautiful or super comfy, but do very little for you feet. Ranging from breaking when you only have one pair of shoes with you to physically placing your feet in an estranged position affecting muscles and alignment.
  2. Cling filming. What is that you say? well imagine the super thing plastic rapped around a vegetable and then imagine that this is what many women do with their hips. Rapping the guys package that in the least can be annoying and make guys avoid dancing and girlfriends won't like it. Make the social side of dancing easier and take your hips away from the leader. Its titillating and to all the women out there, that guy who loves to dance with you while you are doing this probably doesn't dance with you for your skill!
  3. Not caring for each others bounderies and the bounderies of the people around you. Often we become more relaxed about contact as we become more advanced in dancing. Caring for the bounderies others have around you takes a little bit of thought and can make a huge difference to the relaxation of the social environment. Respect individuals, their relationships and your own.
  4.  If you have a storm cloud above your head people won't ask you to dance in social settings. Imagine you are in their place and you see someone sitting there, obviously wanting to dance but is really saying with the body language that you will have a terrible time if you dance with me. You are probably very unlikely to go and ask them to dance.
  5. The dress that always moves up and too tight trousers. While the rules in dancing about clothing is often more relaxed so good pointers would be to make sure you choose clothes that won't become indecent when you move and avoid tight ones that will hold you back. A short tight dress will always move up.
  6. Not warming up before dancing. this is a well known one i think but well worth mentioning. Whether its light exercise or a rigorous workout, warming up the body is essential and gives time for the mind to get into the flow too.
  7. Apoligizing too much when things don't go well. This is a little counter intuitive but saying sorry for every mistake will not only make the others around loose focus but also make the likelihood of more mistakes higher. Everyone from beginner to advanced dancer is making mistakes all the time. The only difference is that higher level dancers aren't worried about it and actively search to deal with the thing that happens like regaining balance, rather than stop the dance to say sorry.
  8. Doing all the dance moves you know in the first dance. Whether you are a solo dancer or a couple dancing, bringing out your whole repertoire is usually overkill especially with a new dance partner who has to decipher or an audience who don't have enough time to absorb some of the great things you are doing in the barrage of steps. In many cases less is more.
  9. Expectations of dancing with the best dancers or an amount of dancers in one evening. I think we all fall into this trap at times, but consider this. If for example you have a storm cloud over your head (point 4) would you dance with you? probably not so why go into an evening expecting a certain number of dances. Secondly if you are less experienced why go creating a pressure that you must dance with all the best dancers in the room in order to have a good evening. Often as one of the experienced dancers in the room i will active avoid those who want to dance with me because i am a teacher and instead will go to those who see me as a person and with whom i can have fun with at what ever level of dancing. Going without expectation can give some pretty incredible evenings full of fun, socialising and dancing.

Any more things to add? I am sure there are a whole load more for this list. Add suggestions to the comments section below or check out one of my other dance articles.

Make tango history and upload!

'A Vision of Tango'

'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

Why we love Pilates (and you should too)


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

5 fantastic dances to improve your fitness, which fits your personality type?

Ever wondered why some people tango and others do rock and roll? With a few exceptions that like to mix it up, many people get attracted to different dances. What brings people to a dance in the binning and what keeps people training once they have started? Well I am not sure i have the answers to this but to have a little fun, I have listed 9 dances below and their personality types.

Bohemian thinker / artist

Argentine tango is a mixture of introvert and extrovert. Both for show and social, in full view and danced for the couple alone. Scientists and artists looking for a way to communicate, usually finding hard to do this in every day life. It appeals to the masculine mind with its geometric concepts of lanes and line of dance, circles and angles for turning and much more. Sophistication and trampery in one foul swoop, not to mention the more commonly seen variations in dance couples, men leading men, women leading women gives tango the title Bohemian dance of the group.

Party animal

Salsa - generally extraverted unless you see the natives dance (people dancing a long time to a high level), then it can be slow and sensual. Salsa tends to attract the younger generations who like to party but want something more than simply bouncing around. Full and curvacious, even men will discover hips in this dance. Culture and modern music mixed in a party atmosphere with bright colours and vivacious music filling the whole room,  think carnaval. This dance is queen of the party.

 Sorceress / magician

Flamenco - dramatic outward appearance and a lot more going on inside, strong rhythmic movements. Masculine and feminine mixed together with energy and purpose. Traditional feel and dress exuding the best of old times in performances that make your hair stand up on end. The duality of the masculine and feminine found in this dance rarely seen so equally standing side by side make this the dance of those who want to explore their inner power and expression enabled by the play with live musicians. Making this dance the one divine connection of all things.

    Hippy fest

    Folkdance or Balfolk - high energy, fun with simple movements compared to other dances. Great for getting everyone up on the dance floor, its the social animal of all the dances listed here to the point of attracting all those who don't want to go mainstream. Cross culture sharing, hippy hugging and live music create lots of great sharing experiences with this dance.

    Chilled out groover

    Swing - with different moves set groovily in the 1920s-1940s jazz scene. Golden oldy or nostalgic young one who likes to get a feel for the richness of a whole range of different dances included in this genre. This dance brings lots of great historic references together with the dance that is still very actively danced today and increasing momentum by all accounts. This dance is king of chilling out and variety.

    Please take this as a little fun, i love dancing and think every dance has its charm. 

    Liked this? then it would be great if you share you dance personality, even if its not the dance you actuality dance at this moment. I often wondered at the personalities of different dances and there are so many that aren't on this list. i made a shortlist this time but maybe another time its nice to broaden it out. i hope you enjoy.

    Other articles in the dance genre:

    10 Quick Surprising Tips About dancing

    'A Vision of Tango'

    'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

    Why we love Pilates (and you should too)

    Tuesday, 5 January 2016

    Why We Love pilates (And You Should, Too!)

    Pilates is such a great exercise system both holistic and hands on. Its often underestimated as yet another class you can do at your local gym. But it can be so much more in terms of fitness, health, a great figure and not to mention great for dancers. Find out what Pilates can do for you and some great links to professionals near you. Find out the great things it can do for your health below.

    The top 6 reasons you should include Pilates into your daily routine:

    1. Increase circulation and relieve tension - Great for when you have been behind a computer all day and your circulation is sluggish due to inactivity. 

    2. Improves posture - For those style conscious people who love to wear nice clothes. The better you look and feel about your body the more you can make out of the things you wear.

    3. Enhances body awareness - In this day and age of computers and technology, people are loosing the sense of moving in their own body. Sound strange? Building up greater body awareness can help to improve core body strength and movement. Not to mention make  dance and movement activities fun while technique is quick to integrate.

    4. Improves muscle tone - working with the core muscles of the torso as a central focus for powering the arms and legs. Giving a powerhouse for controlling the multiple movements we do in everyday life. With the right muscles toned and active it also decreases the likelihood of injuries. 

    5. Improves breathing practices and energizes - The Pilates system uses a thought out and deliberate way of breathing during exercises. Consciously used doing particular types of movement for different effects. Many people these days don't have good breathing practices. These would be to breath efficiently using the stomach and lungs each time you breath in and out. We get into habits like not breathing through the nose or short shallow breaths. Breathing slower and deeper energizes the body while being more efficient. 

    6. Great for people with mobility problems - many exercises are done on the floor, sitting in chairs and using other props for help and support. You don't need to be a dancer to try this, in fact quite the opposite applies.



       My personal experience and your, build up some knowledge about yourself

      I have mixed a number of pilates exercises into a daily routine which keeps my body toned and working effeciently. I have to admit to off times where i don't practice, but always feel the difference when i get back into the flow of regular practice. My body loves it.

      For me its important to find out what you need from a daily or even 2 times weekly workout. Manageable sessions that can be repeated are key here. Important factors can include:

      • Strength
      • Flexibility
      • Build
      • Proportions of the body.
      • Movement Activities hobbies or work.
      • Health issues or weaknesses in the body


      Taking the above list and using myself as an example:

      • Strength - I am very strong in my legs and strong in my core muscles. weak in my arms and neck.
      • Flexibility - I am super flexible in my lower back, less in my upper back, not naturally flexible in my legs while arms and shoulder blades are very flexible.
      • Build - I am tall, with long legs and arms, medium shoulder width and hourglass figure.
      • Proportions of the body - I have longer legs than my torso but have a balanced proportion, with a long back.
      • Movement Activities hobbies or work - I am a professional dancer for my work, i like to learn other dances and movement forms to a high level including pilates, yoga, kung fu amongst others, fashion and posture are important to me as they bring an extra quality to how i look and feel.
      • Health issues or weaknesses in the body - I am super flexible in my hips and have to watch for injuries when exercise. Health issues around digestion and dizzyness due to an operation I had on one of my ears affects me from time to time.

      Find the answers for yourself:

      How to find out where you are stronger and weaker? 

      Think back to times when you are lifting things, this should give you some good answers. Otherwise check with a health specialist like Pilates, dance, or health related teaching/practitioner. This information can help to tell you where you need to work on your strength and where you should maintain your current level.

      How to find out your areas of flexibility?

      Do some simple stretching exercises and be careful of your bodies limits. Again ask a dance teacher or other movement professional for some exercises if you are unsure which ones to use. This information can help to tell you where you need to work on your flexibility and where you should maintain your current level.

       What type of build and body proportions do i have?

      Body build is often a bit difficult to know offhand. Ask some people around you what they think and find people in the street who match how you see your self and then ask where you would but their build on the scale of things. There is a lot of great information on the web about build and proportions so maybe give google a try. Otherwise get in touch with our contact form, i am happy to help. For proportions get a long mirror and ask yourself 2 questions: 1. Is my body longer than my legs or vice versa, 2. what are the general lengths of my arms, legs, torso in relation to the size of my head.

      This information can help to tell you where you about your body, how to work with posture and also how the length of the body often shows the things you can work on. Longer limbs usually need core body exercises and movement control/awareness while being naturally graceful. Shorter limbs often get more tension and need to work with relaxation. These are gross generalisations. Its difficult to describe the complexities of proportions and body build here and its always best to get expert advice in person.

      If you find some funny things out, please don't worry. When we really look at ourselfs we reallize we are a bit strange looking and beautiful. Keep in mind everyone who does  this will probably feel the same. You are unique and beautiful, don't forget it.

      Why are my health weakness's, work and hobby activities important?

      These allow you to keep in mind important factors that you should keep in mind while exercising. Any health problems of weaknesses you might have should be taken into account when trying Pilates or any other activity alone. Notify your teacher if doing a class. In places where you body is weaker do less repetitions and lower level intensity exercises to build up the strength in that area. Too much can lead to injuries, take care of yourself.

      The movement things we do for work and hobbies are useful bits of information. It tells us how fit we are, whether our body is used to moving or not and the types of movement it knows in its body memory already. A more movement active person can often learn things faster and take more intensity while those less used to moving need a little more time to build up on knowledge and intensity.

      Couple your growing knowledge with a great exercise system like Pilates and you are made for life. If Pilates doesn't workout then try one of the other great ways to exercise and experiment until you find one that is right for you.

      Other articles that may be of interest in the fitness genre are:

      What is the relationship between nutrition, healthy eating and fitness
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      Tokyo street fashion (東京のストリートファッション), inspired Starwars and imitating Manga - See more at:
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      Little black dress, all its cracked up to be - See more at:

      Other articles of interest in the style genre:

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      Little black dress, all its cracked up to be - See more at:
      Whats the relationship between nutrition, healthy food and fitness - See more at:

      Womens health and body building
      Womens health and body building

    Saturday, 19 December 2015

    Whats the relationship between nutrition, healthy food and fitness

    Whats the relationship between nutrition, healthy food and fitness? Some people would say that healthy food equals good nutrition but is this really the case. i won't pretend to have all the answers but instead share a little of my experience delving into this no mans land of what you should and shouldn't do. The simple thing is that many of us want to eat healthy food but this doesn't always give us the right nutrition that our bodies need to be healthy. Like any good thing we can also overdo it, loading our bodies with something it has to digest and which takes its toll too. i think more and more people are understanding the idea of fitness, but even within this word there are different sorts of exercise and ways to be fit. So what is the one answer to being healthy, eating the right food for good nutrition and exercising in a way that hits all the fitness targets?

    In my experience there isn't one, our bodies are as individual as our personalities. While we may look similar there are so many variations in our makeup that make it impossible for a one size fits all policy and quite frankly i wouldn't believe anyone selling you this concept. But below are some tips i found useful, quite often falling into them but nearly always by trying out possibilities.

    Tip 1 - find out if you have any allergies, strong or weaker intolerances.

    i found that only through testing could i really get to know the nutritional needs of my body. When i talk about this with friends who have also gone through similar processes the way of finding out has been so similar but the results are often completely different. Seeming random if you didn't know any better. i realised when i was 14 that i had a strong lactose and milk intolerance. This was after having extremely milky tea and coffee for years. When i got rid of the diary products out of my diet the changes were incredible. I got slimmer, healthier and felt more free in my body. My skin improved which had always been a problem in my teenage years.

    Tip 2 - find the combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that work for your body and lifestyle

    At 14 i realised that if this one thing could make such a difference, what else was i doing that would make me feel either good or less good in my body. So i started to experiment with healthier eating. After four or 4 days of having vegetables, fruit and a high level of protein coupled with all the sports i was doing, i felt amazing. To this day if i cut out coffee and sugar for this combination i feel really good. Experiment with finding which food groups do you good and the amounts. Often men need more carbohydrates than women, my boyfriend almost dies without bread in his diet. i can do without bread for days but need high levels of protein instead. Protein is very good for building up metabolism and lean muscles that aid this process so i would suggest not cutting protein out entirely. Fats are funny in the sense that not all fat is bad and actually there are good and bad fats.

    Tip 3 - its often said that the right amount is great but too much can be lethal

    i will never forget when i was 18 and a doctor friend of mine told me about the actual plate size we should eat compared the the amount we actually eat. And how tv dinners and such like where our brain is distracted from our food is a big cause of over eating because our satisfied mechanism doesn't kick in in the same way. For clarity its not about starving yourself but overloading the body with food takes a lot of its energy. Eating smaller meals and more often if this suits you is a great way to feel more energy.

    Tip  4 - exercises and stretchs for the body that get the metabolism going and shift tension in the body.

    The body loves exercise, even sometimes we don't like it. My personal journey lead me to pilates. It worked well for my body and i added other exercises a a good pilates routine that covered all bases. Working on only a few of the bodies muscle groups is less effective than finding exercises that get the whole body moving in one go. Exercise should be fun so why not search for something you like. Team sports could be a great option for those who like to socialise while you exercise. Solitary person then a nice stretch routine or jogging in the countryside or closest park could be your thing. Be creative, it doesn't have to be your worth nightmare and if you find something that gives you energy and fun you just might not be able to put it down again. Exercise is addictive once you get the right bug.

    When i applied all four tips together i got closer to a fitter healthier feeling me, but was i nutrionally healthy even though i was eating healthy food? This is a good check point once you  have established what works for you. I find that while normally i have a good basic intake of food that works for me, every now and again i need or crave something else. This can be something sweet, or red meat, or a particular food i see when i am in the supermarket i don't eat very often.  i found giving into these cravings for food was a good way to bring in variation and give myself something my body wanted in moderation if less healthy. This was far more sustainable than sticking to the same eating routine day in and day out making higher hte risk of missing certain nutrients one needs in your diet.

    So tune in, find yourself, get creative with exercise ideas. Just because one thing doesn't work for you it doesn't mean you failed. Sometimes it take years to really find what works for us. So believe in yourself, healthy living is for life not a fad.

    Other articles that may be of interest in the fitness genre are:

    Womens health and body building
    Womens health and body building