Positive Effects of Dancing

Positive Effects of Dancing

There are many positive effects and benefits to dancing, not the least of which is an improved sense of balance and a heightened ability to stay on your feet, even when moving erratically. These benefits can be physical, like those previously mentioned, but they can also be emotional or psychological too. Just as physical exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, so does dancing, and even a little bit of research will tell you that endorphins are the feel good neurotransmitter in the human brain. Today, let’s take a closer look at the positive effects of dancing and why it might be good for you.

These benefits to one’s mood and sense of satisfaction are obvious, but they are also only the short-term benefits. Over the long term, dancing will improve a person’s sense of discipline, as well as their memory. Discipline because different dances have different, very specific steps to them, and memory because people can grind dance routines into their long-term memory, just like musicians can learn how to play something and then remember how to play it after playing it several times, over and over again. Repetition and discipline are very closely linked together if you care to look that up.

Even if you do not reach some new apex every time that you dance, regular dancers take pride in the gains they make every day, which leads to an overall increase in satisfaction. That’s because working up a sweat and exercising regularly makes people feel good, even if the changes they are making are coming about so slowly that they can’t see their results immediately. It might take years to become great, but each and every step from poor to mediocre to good and beyond will leave a dancer feeling good about himself or herself.

Some childcare experts will tell you kids seek structure, but that’s really more of a human thing than just a child thing. All people hunger for structure, and all people benefit from developing regular routines they follow through with on a regular basis. You might think this would make things boring, but one of the best ways to develop a sense of wonder is to do the same thing over and over, then start looking for ways you can improve on your established routine. Yes, sticking with a routine for a while is good, but t shouldn’t become a permanent routine. Structure is good, but you should be open to change too.

Unless you’re doing the kind of “dancing” that people do while sitting around in their chairs listening to music and bobbing about, then the odds are good your dancing will probably qualify as aerobic exercise. Compared to anaerobic exercise, aerobic exercise focuses more on activating more muscle groups in a given workout, rather than trying to isolate and strengthen specific muscles by using them heavily and repeatedly. Different dances will provide different benefits – more active dances, like the salsa, will lead to a higher number of calories burned over the span of an hour.


How to Cultivate a Sense of Wonder

How to Cultivate a Sense of Wonder

If you really want to cultivate a sense of wonder, first you need to really understand what wonder actually is. According to several dictionaries, wonder is, “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable.” If we follow that definition, then it is easy to develop a sense of wonder – you just look for surprising new things you either didn’t know about before, or didn’t really understand even if you did know about them. Even the familiar can cause a person to wonder when they see it from a new perspective or angle they never did before.

If you find yourself bored with life and wishing you could get excited about something, cultivating a sense of wonder is easier than you might think, so you’re in luck. One of the easiest ways to get more curious about the world is to look at it through the eyes of a child. You were a kid once – remember? Even if you don’t, you can sort of regain that perspective which has been lost to time and age by watching kids play, or do anything at all really. Everything is exciting to a kid because it’s all new and never experienced before.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to suddenly find things like worms in clods of dirt to be wonderful. Kids are not afraid to fail, which is just part of being a kid. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just is. Another option is to read works from creative people. Authors with open minds can help readers to open their own minds with the perspectives and knowledge they share in their writing. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an excellent book for anyone looking to expand their mind and start thinking about all the “what ifs” that exist.

These don’t need to be works of fiction either. In fact, educational texts can get the mind’s juices flowing and start you thinking about new things just as well as a favorite novel or other piece of writing. Look at your current situation in life and try to imagine some skill that would be useful to you, then educate yourself on how to do that thing. For instance, if you have a wobbly table that keeps bothering you, read about furniture and learn how to fix it. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, then stop waiting and start doing!

We have espoused the value of a solid routine and how repetition in dancing can lead to a better sense of discipline here. But we’ve also talked about how changing up that routine can open you up to new experiences; seeing new people and doing new things. The last tip we have is to look at your life through someone else’s eyes. This may require you to have a lengthy chat with another person, but that’s nothing to be afraid of if you genuinely care about learning how it is that other people perceive you. This exercise will almost surely point out some places where you could improve, and that’s wonderful.


Most Energetic Dances in the World

Most Energetic Dances in the WorldPerhaps the title here is a bit misleading. A better name for this little list might be, “The Best Dances in the World for Burning Energy,” or something similar to that. That’s because each of these five dances are guaranteed to make you work up a sweat, even if you’re fit as a fiddle and in excellent shape. That’s because they’re filled with wild, exaggerated movements, acrobatics and other feats of elegance and poise. Some are sure to disagree, but here are our most energetic dances in the world.


Zumba dancing is like a slightly better choreographed version of Crossfit. If you’ve never heard of either, the point of both is to activate as many muscle groups throughout your body over a short period of time, making you “feel the burn” from your head down to your toes. Unlike Crossfit, Zumba at least comes with decent music that makes participants more willing to get up and get down, working their arms, legs and core all at once. It’s easy to burn 500+ calories over an hour if you can keep up.


You will doubtless find us advocating the benefits of Salsa dancing across the breadth of our website, and that’s mostly because this is a fast-paced dance that practically anyone can perform. Salsa is sensual and sexy, but more important than that, it’s a highly energetic dance that is guaranteed to get your body moving and get your heart pumping harder. All of the swaying and dipping could be a problem if you have a bad back or a poor sense of balance, so don’t just jump into Salsa.


While the previous two dances are excellent for working the entire body, the Brazilian Samba dance puts a much stronger emphasis on the legs. Specifically, most of your upper body will be straight while you work your legs, lifting a single knee at a time and really working your calves, thighs and core, including those hard to hit abs. Because there’s less movement, Samba tends to burn fewer calories, but it’s still an energetic and flashy dance that’s fun to watch.


While it does take two to tango, we would be remiss if we didn’t post at least one couple’s dance on our little list. The benefits here are easy to see – you and a partner can both encourage each other to keep going when one or the other would rather quit. Dancing Tango is kind of like going to the gym with a friend, since you get a sort of support system to fall back on. The dance is fast and furious too, and sure to make you sweat.

Hip Hop

Hip Hop dancing, also known as breakdancing, is probably the most intense out of all five dances listed here. That said, this is definitely the wrong place to start if you’re just beginning to dance and don’t have a lot of experience or fluidity of movement. This type of dancing comes with a very real possibility of injuring yourself, but there are few dances in the world more energetic than this one.


5 Capoeira Dance Moves You Can Add To Your Toolkit of Dance Moves


One of the most peculiar dance routines is the Capoeira. Originated in Brazil, Capoeira is not just a dance but also a martial art. But it’s also unlike most other martial arts, where you see the performer donned in some combat suits like what you can find at GoodByeNinja. In Capoeira, the martial artists just wear pants and without an upper shirt.

While there are a lot of people who dive into this martial art, basically, there are two groups of people who learn Capoeira. The first group is composed of enthusiasts who passionately learn everything about the art. The second are those who simply want to explore the dance movements of Capoeira, perhaps to learn a few techniques and styles giving them a unique perspective. These new learnings can beef up their arsenal of dance moves.

A lot of people learn Capoeira for varued different reasons. Some of the qualities that are developed from performing this art include balance and coordination, tactical movement, flexibility, agility, body control, expression, strength, and rhythm. It also improves ones endurance, and ultimately, ones overall health.

Regardless of what group you belong to or your reason for learning this dance form, you will surely have to learn the following basic Capoeira moves.

  1. Ginga

For beginner Capoeira dancers, the first move that need to be learned is the “ginga.” This dance move combines lunges and partial squats. For different routines, the movement can be deeper and wider in different ways. This dance step improves coordination. Some may find the “ginga” to be quite confusion. But after several sessions, you’ll find it a lot easier to perform and understand. Moreover, you can move on to other advanced Capoeira foot work.

  1. Spinning kicks

Spinning kicks is a routine that can be learned quickly. These movements develop rhythm facilitating movement around the circle of performers. It also facilitates smooth interaction among the dancers.

  1. Escapes

These dance moves are called the escapes. Just like in boxing, these dance movements mimic dodges which are called “esquivas.” In the martial arts sense, this movement makes the Capoeira different other forms. In Capoeira, the individual’s ability and quality of escaping could determine proficiency. It also allows the capoeirista to play an inside game, which is a better form of interaction.

  1. Floor transitioning

This movement allows the martial artist to move across the floor, from one place to another, and in all directions. Floor transitioning in the more advanced forms could serve as turning points between different acrobatics, maintaining momentum of movements, and translating them into more advanced styles. As you perform this dance moves, the balance shifts between the four limbs and the movement becomes more fluid and supple.

  1. Frontal kicks

These movements are a form of attack. It’s as if the martial artist is throwing a huge kick towards a training dummy, like this one: http://goodbye.ninja/wing-chun-wooden-training-dummies/. These attacks are difficult to anticipate, especially when thrown in a real fight situation. Some consider this a very essential move in Capoeira. It also makes the dance more real.

Capoeira movements are wide and varied. Try exploring this dance form and martial art to get more creative input to your arsenal of dance moves!


Jazz Dance: Why Every Dancer Needs To Learn This?

Who doesn’t love the jazz?

While jazz music is usually associated with the relaxing melody of a saxophone, much like those reviewed at http://windplays.com/, accompanied by flute, piano, drums, and other wind instruments, jazz dance is a completely different one. Modern jazz can be performed with almost any type of music.

Colorful history of jazz dance

Jazz dance is closely related to tap, ballet and the African-American dance styles. It was during the late 1800s to the mid-1900s when the jazz dance rose to popularity. But it was not until mid-1950s when the term “jazz dance” was actually coined. The performance dance of this era was set to the tune of jazz music and thus the new dance genre was born. It gained much popularity during the 50s and took the world by storm. The beloved dance genre has given birth to a wide range of forms such as the Black Bottom, Boogie Woogie, Charleston, Jitterbug, Cakewalk, Lindy Hop, and Swing Dance. Much of these dancing forms became popular during the latter part of the jazz age.

After the 50s, jazz pioneers incorporated the Caribbean traditional dance and eventually turned it into a performing art. With the rise of other musical styles and genres, jazz dance evolved on Broadway into what we now know as the Modern Jazz. It’s quite peculiar how this smooth dance genre finds its roots from live dance styles. Its predecessor, the tap dance has diverted and tracked its own evolutionary path. Jazz dance was popularized by the works of Bob Fosses and was immortalized in numerous Broadway shows like The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Chicago, and Cabaret.

In musical theater, jazz dance can be accompanied by either a slow or fast beat. It’s actually a very versatile dance style. Some would love to see jazz dancers performing along with jazz music. An alto saxophone, like the ones reviewed at this site, playing while a jazz dancer performs is just so surreal.

Today, jazz is performed in different venues, settings and forms. It’s a staple subject in many dance schools and is also performed by various dance companies across the world. In musical theater scene, jazz dance continues to be an important element of the choreography; usually interwoven with other dance styles.

Jazz dance techniques

Jazz dance techniques are closely associated with leaps and turns, where correct posture is essential to deliver a good performance. Jazz dancers need to have a strong technical foundation to be able to perform the routines well. Usually, a basic knowledge of ballet technique is crucial in mastering jazz dance. The main difference between these two is that the jazz dance emphasizes more on the downbeat of music while ballet highlights the upbeat.

Having a formidable center control and balance is a crucial technique. The body’s center is the focal point from which all movements will start. It also makes possible performance of more complex movements.

Another important technique is “spotting.” This technique allows the performer to do fouetts and Pirouettes without losing balance or getting dizzy. For this technique, the dancer is required to focus on a central spot in front of them.

Depending on the music, there are many different dance moves can be performed. These dance moves are usually influenced by other dance styles like hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, and acro.

With the wide array of dance moves that a jazz performer can choose from and it’s continuing evolution, it’s hard to imagine jazz dance running out of style.


11 Amazing Tips To Beat The Choreographer’s Block

Your performance is just a n-days away and you’re still struggling with your steps, choreography and music. Have you ever found yourself in this predicament?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Even the best choreographers and high-profile dancemakers experience the same situation – they call it the “choreographer’s block.” And this unwanted block does happen to almost anyone in the creative field – writers, moviemakers, visual artists.

The next time you’re in this state, keep calm and follow these tips to help you get back on track.

  1. Take time off. You might be overdoing your brain and body with prolonged practice or choreography brainstorming sessions. Take a break by getting a cold soda, reading a book, or just stay in a relaxed space away from music and all.
  2. Try other music. Listening to the same kind of music can be tiring for the ear. It also limits your creativity. Explore new music and beat. Better yet, you can make your own beat. But for that you have to learn how to play beginner drum sets as those you can see here at http://barkingdrum.com/best-beginner-drum-set-review-2015/.
  3. Know your dancers. It’s not unusual to have a level of disconnect between the dancers and the choreographer. It’s best to talk to your group and to at least get to know them.
  4. Move ahead – for now. If you’re stuck on certain parts, put them on hold and get back later on to fix it. A notepad comes handy when making revisions.
  5. Find your optimum time. Everyone has his or her own golden time. Some are “morning” people others are not. Know your schedule and habits, and try working on your most prolific time.
  6. Get an assistant choreographer. Well, you don’t really need to hire one. Perhaps, pick your best dancer and consult with him or her. You’ll be surprised at the creativity of these young dancers.
  7. Avoid pre-choreographing. When you think of steps and dance moves even before you’re in the studio, you’ll end up over-thinking. Many choreographer fall to this trap and end up confused at what to do once they arrive at the studio.
  8. Focus on the dance’s story. Always start your dance piece with a central theme, storyline or idea in mind. When your mind is blocked, always go back to the story of your dance. It’s not enough to just play music and think of dance steps, there should always be a connection between the dance and the music.
  9. Don’t stray from your style. While it’s great to try and explore other dance styles, you might find yourself having difficulty choreographing with completely unfamiliar styles. It’s best to stick with your style while adding twists and creativity.
  10. Delegate tasks. Since you are the lone choreographer, it doesn’t mean that you have to do all the tasks. Try dividing the tasks on hand and delegate it to others. For instance, you can ask someone to do the research for music effects or set up of audio. If you are adding drumbeats into the music, you can have another one look for a good drum set as those here at BarkingDrum.com. By lightening up your workload, you can avoid facing the dreaded choreographer’s block.
  11. Believe in yourself. When you attempt to be perfect, you are prone to the choreographer’s block. The best way to avoid the urge to perfectionism is to believe in your own creativity. Trust your instincts and it will fuel through the last beat.

Zulu Dance Find Fresh Inspiration For Your Next Choreography

Zulu Dance Find Fresh Inspiration For Your Next Choreography

Tired of the all-too-usual dance routines? Then discover the Zulu dance.

Instead of packing and bringing your hunting air rifle, like those reviewed at RifleJudge, to your next trip to Africa, why not spend a day and immerse with the great culture of the Zulu people?

Zulu cultural immersion is now becoming one of the popular tourist attractions in South Africa. The Zulu, which literally means people of heaven, are really a proud culture that is very hospitable and friendly; offering a complete loyalty to their inkosi (tribal leader). More than just a spectacle, the Zulu culture and traditions are a way of life.

There are many things that make the Zulu culture unique and interesting, but it is their dances that truly leave an impression. These dances vary in styles, movements, choreography, and purpose.

The best time to behold the different types of Zulu dances is during the Reed Dance Festival celebrated during September each year. During this tribal event, a crowd of Zulu virgins troop the Enyokeni Zulu Royal Palace. This activity is a way to promote purity among virgin girls and also pays homage to ladies.

The Reed Dance Festival is just one part of the annual festivities celebrated by the South African ethnic group. During the festival, the virgins collect the reeds that line the river and bring them to the palace for examination of King Goodwill Zwelithini. Also during the festival, the royal king chooses his youngest wife. Some have criticized this festival for disempowering young women of their freedom to choose their partners and for being wed at a very young age. But on a larger perspective, it’s a traditional way of preserving the purity of girls before they are wed.

Here some of the types of Zulu Dance that you might find inspiration with for your next dance routines.

  1. Bull Dance

Originating from the cramped spaces in mine dormitories, the Bull Dance gracefully uses the arms held aloft coupled with thumping of the feet. Rural girls have their unique versions.

  1. Hunting Dance

No, I’m not talking about the modern hunting that you might be thinking now. Don’t even think of taking out your hunting scopes like the ones you’ll see on this link. This Hunting Dance mimics the tribal hunting practices and the bravery it takes. This is a fiery dance that uses sticks and is performed before hunting is commenced. Girls also dance this routine to welcome the hunters arriving from their escapade.R

  1. UmGhebulo

In this dance, the performer seems like climbing up an imaginary ladder or pulling down the sky.

  1. UmQhogoyo

Much like modern dances, this dance involves violent shaking of the upper body.

  1. IliKhomba

One of the most graceful dances in the tribe, this dance movement involves the upper body while swinging a long decorated stick.

  1. UmBhekuzo

This dance movement mimics the tides wherein the men alternately advance and retreat around the audience. Dancers on the rear raise their aprons to expose their behinds.

  1. Dance of the Small Shield

Usually performed during Royal occasions, this rhythmic dance is aimed to strengthen military bond. An almost similar dance is the umGhubho which uses spear and shield.

  1. UmChwayo

Accompanied by songs, the dancers perform in unison akin to that of a snake’s body.

The Zulu culture is truly remarkable. Their dances and songs play an important part in the life of the ethnic group – and there is so much to learn from the movements or formations of every dance move. It surely is a must-see for anyone who loves and values dance.


Hip-Hop, Jazz and Society


One of the best and most revealing parts of the culture is the folk itself. In his book “The Wastelands,” Stephen King’s character Roland says “show me what people look at and enjoy – that will tell me everything I need to know about them.”

While you might not have to travel the world and study all about different cultures, learning about the art of different cultures can teach you more than a dozen of history books. When you learn about the art in the form of visual arts, dances, or songs; you understand what people of different cultures love, hope and fear.

Obviously we are a bit biased towards dancing and music, so we’re going to talk about that specifically!

Swing jazz and hip-hop share an important link: they are both the expressions of African-American people. Jazz is the original form of African-American popular music, right after the blues. When you listen to jazz you can see the mix of emotions that black Americans experienced throughout their lives; there is happy, joyous and sad, blue music.

Hip-hop works in the same way; it proposes lifestyle of having huge parties and great time; and also deals with more serious issues facing African-Americans today.

Jazz and hip-hop also have a vibrant dancing culture. In the United States the joke is that African-Americans can dance rings around any other person in American society; this is true in many cases!

The dancing is much stronger in US black American society than it is in any other; with the exception of Native Americans, perhaps. While society in US does enjoy a dance or two; but most of the dancing is derived directly from Black Americans.

One of the most interesting things about jazz and hip-hop is that they actually share many similarities. Without getting too much into music theory, most jazz and hip-hop music share a pattern of beats that counts 1-2-3-4, over and over again!

This gives it a drive beat. They also rely heavily on great piano sounds, and digital pianos works great for that; classic songs like “Groovin’ Hard” from the 1920s and modern songs “Jordan Belfort” from 2015 use piano for their main sound.

Modern hip-hop uses quite a few types of great electric pianos, such as Yamaha Arius. The drum sound also uses similar patterns; the beat is driving and the strong beat is on beats 2 and 4. Hip-hop and jazz also make use of repeating patterns; hip-hop has a constant drum beat and jazz uses the same chords over different progressions.

Hip-hop and jazz are just two examples that are close to our hearts; many other types of music show the face of a culture just as well as these two styles.

For example, punk rock from the 1970s and 80s shows how dissatisfied people were with the state of the government at the time. In ancient times, Egyptian art shows us that people were religious and traditional.

No matter what the culture is, works of art will tell you more about the culture than anything else.


Importance of High Quality Studio Lighting for Great Dancing Experience

Importance of High Quality Studio Lighting for Great Dancing Experience

It might not seem very important, but the right kind of lighting can really make or break a dance performance. Dim the lights down too dark and nobody will be able to see the dancers on the stage; turn them up too bright those same dancers will be falling out after cooking under hot lights for a while. Studio quality lighting needs to be bright enough that everything is visible, but not so bright that is disorients or dehydrates the people performing. Believe it or not, there’s actually an easy solution for this issue that will provide studio quality lighting for less than you might expect.

We’re talking about LEDs, and specifically LED light bars, like those you can see at http://lightbarreport.com/ if you’re curious. These light strips are easy to install, easy to uninstall and move to another location, and a great energy efficient option on top of everything else. Plus, LEDs come in all kinds of wattages, so you can get mellow light if that’s what you prefer, or garishly bright light if that’s what’s called for by your specific venue. More advanced systems come with dimmer switches built in which you can use to make them brighter or darker too.

If your only experience with LEDs is bars loaded with those little dots that light up, then you don’t know just how many different kinds of LED lights exist today. You can see some examples for yourself if you’re really interested in checking out high quality light bars, but take our word for it – LED lights are some of the cheapest, most efficient and longest-lived lights that money can buy right now. The mobility is really the best part of all though. Because they’re so easy to move, LED strips can be set on one stage, then taken down to be used elsewhere, and this process can be repeated ad nauseam.

That mobility also means you can set up LED lights in places where other fixtures just wouldn’t fit. It’s easy to do away with bulky spotlights as well as most other kinds of large, unwieldy stage lighting, or at least it’s easy to do that when such a simple alternative exists. Even when dancers and other performers among us go out to put on a show, the people out of sight who are running the stage keep spare lighting as a backup in case the normal lights fail. LED lights shine at this time.

But maybe some of you have had better experiences with other kinds of lighting. We would love to hear from our readers about what it’s like being under a hot light. It’s something only stage people really know about, unless you’re talking about working out in the sun on a hot day. It could be comparable to that. There are many other stressors that affect the people who entertain us all and we will talk about some of them down the line as well. For now, try to stay cool as the weather heats up towards summer.