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Becoming a Ballet Dancer

Ballet is a graceful and beautiful dance, some would say, the most beautiful style of dance.

the-dancer-679992-mPerhaps you have been enthralled by performances you’ve seen and desperately want to know what it takes to become a ballerina or you just want to learn how to dance the ballet?

Continue reading for the answers to some of your questions about becoming a ballet dancer and gaining the amazing ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

What does it take?

It takes discipline and years of training but eventually, for the best dancers, all the hard work will pay off as they fly effortlessly across the stage to the strains of the most beautiful music.

The thing all ballet dancers have in common though, is the love of the dance with its grace and beauty of movement, whether the goal is becoming an international star or simply staying fit by learning, doing and enjoying ballet.

Ballet can be as simple as doing the moves alone in your bedroom or getting involved with the most complex steps used by the stars in the various ballet companies around the globe. It can be performed and enjoyed by the very young and the not so young.

When to Start?

One often asked question is at what age should children start their ballet training? The physical demands of ballet exercises are often too extreme for the soft bones of children under the age of eight, so age 8+ seems to be about the best time to start formal training, although starting between the ages of 10 and 12 can still enable people to have rich careers in ballet.

However, if children really want to start earlier, between the ages of 4-8 they can take pre-ballet classes. In these classes, children learn to move to the rhythm of various styles of music and may even begin learning the ballet positions and being introduced the importance of posture to the dancer. Introducing creative movement to kids can encourage them to develop their imaginations as well as their physical abilities.

The History of Ballet

Ballet has been danced for centuries. The basics of ballet – positions and techniques – were developed during the Renaissance in the Italian and French courts of the 15th century and later in Russia. Classical ballet was developed under the tutelage of the French king, Louis XIV who had been an avid dancer in his youth. In 1661 he set up the first Royal Academy of Dance. This very technical dance form developed its own vocabulary, largely derived from French terminology.

Women were not considered robust enough to dance the challenging roles, so it was men who danced the primary roles. Women finally did take to the stage in roles created for them by daring choreographers. Choreographers spend considerable time matching the precise movements and techniques with the music, and in the process create emotionally stirring ballet dances.

Folk stories, fairy tales, bible stories and even historical events form the basis for many famous ballets. In the early 1900’s, ballet was redefined, and one might even say, re-invented by the Russian ballet school and Imperial theatres. Ballet has been updated many times since with the introduction of modern music and modern techniques, but it is the classic style of the late Romantic ballet, that highlights the pointe work of the female dancers in their tutus.

Go to Tutu Etoile To learn the movements and techniques, to gain and retain proficiency, ballet dancers must practice and train for years. But thanks to all their hard work, we as the audience, can enjoy this fabulous form of dance with all of its magical stories.

Irish Coffee History and Recipe

coffee-267268-mThe Port of Foyne was a busy air traffic point between Europe and United States in the 1930s and 1940s, carrying a diverse range of people from refugees and Royal members. It was the winter of 1934, the flight from Foyne left to New York in extremely bad weather that eventually caused the flight to return. Chef Joe Sheridan working at the restaurant in the terminal building offered tired passengers the coffee drink mixed with a quality Irish whiskey. One American passenger asked if that’s Brazilian coffee, and the chef answered, “that’s Irish coffee.”

In 1952 Jack Koeppler, owner of Buena Vista in San Fransisco brought the Irish Coffee recipe back to the United States and made it famous. Every year, the Foynes Flying Boat Museum holds an Irish Coffee Festival in August. The festival has the world’s best Irish Coffee making competition.

The Original Irish Coffee
Joe, Sheridan, Foynes Flying Boat Museum

Cream – Rich as an Irish Brogue
Coffee- Strong as Friendly Hand
Sugar – Sweet as the tongue of a Rouge
Irish Whiskey – smooth as the Wit of the Land

In a warm stemmed whiskey goblet, pour one jigger of Jameson Irish whiskey. Add one spoon of brown sugar and fill with strong black coffee within one inch of brim. Stir to dissolve the sugar and top off with whipped cream, slightly aerated by pouring it over the back of a spoon. Do not stir after adding the cream as the true flavor is obtained by drinking the hot coffee and Irish whiskey through the cream.

The Classic Irish Coffee
– 2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
– 2 teaspoons brown sugar
– 5 – 6 oz freshly brewed strong black coffee

Stir thoroughly and top off with a layer of heavy whipping cream, poured gently over the back of a spoon.

 

Check out My Cap for some interesting facts about coffee.

Using Wilderness Therapy for Troubled Teens

teens-995273-mAre you the parent of a teenager that is getting into trouble too often, using drugs, defying you, trying to deal with excessive anger and other behavioral problems? A wilderness therapy program may be the answer you are seeking.

These programs can intervene in powerful and effective ways for teenagers, teaching them assertiveness, independence, maturity and self-reliance. The out-of-doors are used to help them develop self-confidence by learning basic survival skills, gaining important hands-on experiences in a natural, but unpredictable environment.

The best programs provide assessment, diagnosis, treatment and education services at a base camp with a professional treatment team and support staff. By combining medication management directed by trained doctors, regular family, group and individual therapy and an ongoing personalized academic program, teens are given the structure for successful growth.

If, after reading this article, you feel this is something that could help your troubled teen, find out more by contacting Elk River Treatment Program.

Wilderness Therapy – What Exactly Is It?

Developed as an alternative to residential or inpatient care, wilderness therapy has two meanings:
the use of the wilderness as “the therapist”, or
activities that are therapeutic carried out in the wilderness.

Teens are not simply thrown into the hardships of living in the wilderness, however the purpose of these programs is to removed them from their usual negative influences and put them into a safe place, one in which they can actually learn and grow.

Through well-planned, reasonable and necessary activities in the wilderness, they will be challenged and encouraged to succeed. The adversity the teens encounter will help form bonds and teach them to work as a team to overcome the challenges set for them. Wilderness therapy is based on action methods, is experiential and includes both individual and group therapy sessions.

Activities

Since behavior changes involve both social and environmental reinforcement, becoming leaders and/or part of a team, in often difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions, will provide opportunities to make choices and have to deal with the consequences. Members of staff are trained to provide authority figures but without any kind of authoritarianism. Therapists provide the assessment and monitoring of problems and progress as well as provide reinforcement for growth and development.

Among the activities most programs offer are:
living in primitive conditions
skills training for living outdoors
leadership training and team building
daily structured activities
courses and expeditions to challenge participants
having to deal with the consequences of one’s choices and actions
academic education classes.

There are major differences among the various treatment programs available so the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has developed a list of questions that parents can ask to help them ascertain if a particular program is right for their teenager. Not every program is are right for every teenager, choose carefully.

Subaru Concept Cars

Have you ever looked at the super showy cars at a motor show and wondered how you’d feel driving a particular beauty? You might be surprised to learn that often these concept cars aren’t even road worthy! They look great but aren’t usually ready to go into production.

Concept cars are actually prototypes (but not the sort that you see at LeMans) built to show off their new styling or some new technology.
They often have some sort of radical design, they may use some exotic or non-traditional materials such as refined alloys, carbon fiber or even paper.
They may have unique design features such as an odd number of wheels or special doors.
Many of the features are impractical, they many not be profitable and may not even get past the computer design or scale model stages.
And they certainly wouldn’t get through the safety or regulatory compliance testing. They may be made of clay, wax, fiberglass, plastic or metal.

Basically, they don’t represent a final production model that can be driven away. They would have to undergo quite a few changes. But they are ‘pretty’ to look at!

When a concept car comes to the end of its useful life, they are usually destroyed, although some survive and wind up in company museums or in storage with perhaps an unknown future use.

Concept Cars That Are All Grown Up

On the other hand, some concept cars do go onto to becoming production cars. Subaru has several innovative designs that really stand apart from the crowd. Some of the currant concept vehicles that have come straight from the world’s motor shows are being readied to be driven.

The Levorg Concept is currently under development and should be ready for launch in 2014, in Japan. The concept of this car is to blend the design, style and feel of a sports car with the robust practicality of a touring vehicle.

The Subaru Viziv 2 Concept was inspired to express Subaru’s “Vision for Innovation”, offering their customers the essential value of enjoyment together with peace of mind.

The Subaru Cross Sport Design Concept combines the utility of a SUV with its comfortable interior, seat access and great luggage space with sporty handling.

EyeSight® – Subaru is Looking Out for Drivers

An innovative solution for avoiding collisions, EyeSight® warns and assists drivers when it ‘sees’ potential problems that could lead to a collision. This system has been praised in Japan for its affordability and user-friendly functioning.

Using the technology of stereo cameras, EyeSight® monitors traffic and detects vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, then takes action to avoid trouble. EyeSight® is designed to alert the driver with sound and a flashing signal when a collision is imminent and applies the brake should the driver fail to do so.

It reduces engine power if the driver is accelerating at the wrong time, thereby helping to avoid a collision. It will also warn if the driver strays out of their lane and optimizes cruise control.

Look to the folks at Landers McLarty Subaru in Huntsville, AL. for the lowdown on all the up and coming concepts coming from the innovative people at Subaru.

Tips on What to Do After an Auto Accident

Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. According to Car-Accidents.net, they occur approximately 6.4 million times each year.

Although being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming, knowing what to do in the moments following a fender-bender can help alleviate some of the stress and confusion of the situation.

The service specialists at Landers McLarty DCJR offer the following tips on how to handle a car accident:

* Don’t leave the vehicle. Following an accident, most drivers will want to exit their vehicles to check for damage or speak with others involved. Ideally, drivers should call the police and remain in their cars until the authorities arrive. Drivers can protect themselves – both physically and legally – by remaining in their vehicles and allowing the police to process the scene.

* Carry a disposable camera. Although the police report should capture the details of the accident, it is always helpful to take photos for your own documentation.

* After police are notified, call a towing service. You should know exactly who is towing your vehicle and where it will be taken. For easy access, keep a small business card in your wallet that contains the numbers of several tow-truck companies and your dealership’s service department.

* Call your insurance company. Most people think of this as something to do later, but calling from the scene will help to expedite the processing and administering of your claim. And, you will be able to relay accurate information in real time instead of relying on memory.

* Get an estimate on vehicle damage. Insurance companies may require only one estimate on vehicle damage. However, it behooves the driver to get several estimates, which may vary greatly. Review these reports carefully to understand what you are paying and what the insurance company will cover. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Reputable repair shops will gladly address questions regarding the required repairs.

What are the Benefits of Carpeting?

charlie-1422281-mCarpet, whether wall-to-wall or in individual rooms, is very popular across the USA and around the world.

Carpeting is probably the most practical, fashionable and versatile choice of flooring available and accounts for more than half of all flooring purchases that are made every year in the US. In fact, carpet has outsold all other types of flooring for the last 60 years.

Carpet offers a number of advantages that other flooring options just can’t compete with. Below, are just some of the advantages that carpeting can add to your home.

Warmth – In the bedroom, the playroom or the family room, carpeting creates the warmth you want underfoot.
Insulation – carpeting and carpet underlay can add extra insulation, thereby improving the R-value or insulation efficiency of your home as well.
Sound proofing – carpeting dampens noise better than most other flooring which is especially important in apartments and semi-detached homes.
Safety – Carpeting helps to reduce accidents due to its slip resistant qualities as well as providing some cushioning if a fall does occur.
Covers condition of flooring – carpeting, especially thick carpeting, can cover most problems with existing flooring, such as badly worn or uneven floor boards, old linoleum or other floor covering.
Ease of care – because today’s carpeting is better stain resistant than ever before, cleaning up spills is considerably easier.
Variety of uses – carpeting can be used in a variety of ways and not only on the floor. 
Different types of carpeting can be used on stairs, walls, pillars, even ceilings covering a whole host of non-level surfaces without the worry of the covering slipping off, lifting off or buckling.
Flexibility – due to the range of colors, styles, textures, pile depth etc., carpeting is the foundation for interior decoration.
Cost – Carpeting offers a very economical option for floor covering in every style of home. ~Even adding the cost of professional installation, carpet is often less expensive and more durable than most other options and will keep the family comfortable for many years to come.
Warranty – most manufacturers offer warranties with the installation of your new carpeting thereby protecting your investment.

When thinking about your flooring options, whether installing it in a newly built home or replacing flooring that has come to the end of its life, carpeting always makes sense for comfort and all the other factors we have mentioned above.

The people at www.bestcarpetvalue.com are happy to answer your questions and give you the advice you need while you research all your options.

Slate Roofing Enhances The Beauty of Your Home

A roof that is well designed provides not only protection for your investment, but adds personality, beauty, and charm to your home. On the other hand, a roof that has been improperly installed or poorly manufactured will not only detract from the aesthetic appeal of your home, but can cause costly damage and lead to the degradation of the structure itself. Corpus Christi roofers see homes that have been damaged due to poorly installed roofs every day. That is why they will often make suggestions as to the right materials for your home.

Choosing the right material for your roofing project is imperative to the life of your home, but it is often just as dependent on your personal tastes as it is your geographical area. While the list of roofing materials is nearly endless, one of the more popular choices for its beauty and durability is slate. The most commonly used stone roofing material, slate is naturally attractive and will effectively protect nearly any type of construction.

Like most materials, slate has both advantages and disadvantages. Aside from its incredible beauty, there are several other reasons that slate is one of the more popular materials used by Corpus Christi roofers.

Advantages of Slate Roofing

  • Extended life span
  • Heavy enough to withstand high winds
  • With careful handling slate can be reused almost limitlessly
  • Very low maintenance
  • Offers fire protection

Disadvantages

  • Slate is quite expensive both in materials and workmanship
  • Sometimes needs additional support due to weight
  • Slate roofing can easily break if walked on
  • Should only be installed by professionals specifically trained in slate roofing installation

Depending on your tastes and resources, slate may be a viable option for your home. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages in most cases and the overall beauty of this natural material is reason enough to ask whatever Corpus Christi roofers that you work with about whether slate roofing is suitable for you.