Hip Hop: A Culture Within Itself

Hip Hop:  A Culture Within Itself

Spotlight On Hip Hop Dancer, Instructor & Choreographer, Kiana Davalos

Hip hop is not about dance moves, the rappers you hear on the radio, or gold chains. It is a foundation, a culture within itself. No matter whether it's the MC (rapper), the DJ, the breakdancer, or the graffiti artist, it's all a universal language.

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If We All Danced, The World Would Be A Much Happier Place!

If We All Danced, The World Would Be A Much Happier Place!

Spotlight On Guest Artist Argentine Tango Dancer & Teacher, Olga Pisano

Argentine Tango is like a meditation for me.  When I’m dancing Tango I feel this subtle energy that transforms me.  I am learning so much about my body from the inside and out because you need to become aware of every single part of your body:  your core, your joints, your limbs, and how they all connect in order to dance properly.  And in our busy day to day lives, we’re always so preoccupied with what to do next as we get from one place to another.  Tango is also based on the simple principle of walking so I even get to apply what I’ve learned as I’m walking down the street!

 

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My Journey With Belly Dance: "The Dance Of Body & Soul"

My Journey With Belly Dance:  "The Dance Of Body & Soul"

Spotlight On Belly Dance Instructor, Performer & Choreographer, Nahara

Belly Dance music inspired me to learn this fun and beautiful dance.  My mom took classes when I was a kid and I fell in love with the music back then.  I would play her albums over and over again.  I knew I would learn it myself someday but didn't get a chance until I was an undergraduate at college.  I came across an ad for classes in the local newspaper in Ithaca, NY and was determined to take them.  The rest is history!

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The BIG Drummer Boy Brings Us The Gift of Rhythm For the Holidays!

The BIG Drummer Boy Brings Us The Gift of Rhythm For the Holidays!

Spotlight On Middle Eastern Drummer & Instructor, Dan Eliason

I was in Santa Barbara when a friend interested in Middle Eastern Dance discovered an open invitation to a Middle Eastern drum practice, so we joined together. It turned out to be an arm of the UC Santa Barbara Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, a professional Middle Eastern orchestra.  For me it was the start of a new musical journey.  I eventually joined the orchestra officially and was a member for seven years.  I love drumming and the Middle Eastern rhythms used in Belly Dance, and so I have found a perfect nitch with Josie's International School of Dance!

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Special Thanksgiving Recipe: Spiced Parsnip Soup!

Special Thanksgiving Recipe:  Spiced Parsnip Soup!

This is a wonderful Fall soup I wanted to share with you.  It's from The Perfect Thanksgiving Book of Historic Hudson Valley.  If you don't mind taking the time to peel and cut up parsnips (and I also add carrots for flavor and color) ... you'll be in for a real treat.  And the kids love it too.  Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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DANCE SPOTLIGHT ON BACHATA: Dancer & Teacher, Maria Lavandier

DANCE SPOTLIGHT ON BACHATA:  Dancer & Teacher, Maria Lavandier

I was born in the Dominican Republic.  My family was very much into Spanish music, so growing up there was always Merengue music playing at home.  This was the popular music and dance at that time.  I started dancing at a very young age at home and at parties in front of my family and friends.  I danced popular Merengue but I also learned the Merengue Tipico which is the more folkloric version of the dance.  When I was a teenager, Bachata became the new craze and I picked up the steps quickly.  I loved the music and there were so many footwork patterns (shines) and turns which made the dance so interesting.

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Belly Dance For Body And Soul by Nahara

Belly Dance For Body And Soul by Nahara

Beautiful, sensual, passionate and just plain fun, "belly dance" is actually an umbrella term ascribed to any pelvic-centered dance originating from North Africa, the Middle East or Turkey.  How did this dance, whose vocabulary is dominated by hip movements, become "belly" dance?  The theories abound, and it's likely that none will ever be proven.  Connoisseurs would agree on one thing though:  belly dance inspires and lifts the soul.

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Ole! Flamenco! Dramatic Dance Brings Out The Gypsy In Everyone

Ole! Flamenco!  Dramatic Dance Brings Out The Gypsy In Everyone

If you think you have a little gypsy in you, then Flamenco might be the dance for you!

Characterized by various heelwork rhythms (zapateo), hand-clapping (palmas) and expressive, lyrical arms, Flamenco demonstrates the passionate Spanish temperament.  

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Eddie Q's Interview For Salsa/Mambo NYC

Eddie Q's Interview For Salsa/Mambo NYC

Eddie Q (Edward Quiros) was born in Manhattan and is a first generation Puerto Rican.  He began studying piano at the age of 10 and guitar at the age of 12.  He and has evolved into an accomplished jazz guitarist.  Eddie formed and was director of his musical group, Progression, with the fusion of elements of be-bop, funk, Latin jazz and R & B.  Some of the musicians that played along side Eddie Q in Progression were the likes of such greats as, Arturo O’Farril on piano, son of the late, great composer, Chico O’Farril, and also on piano, Igor Atalita (who has played and recorded with all the major bands in the New York Metropolitan area). 

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