Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oh Yeah, We be Twerkin'! A Valid I.D. Required And Will Be Checked At The Door.

Okay, clearly there is no way for me to check I.D.s, but you get my point. Although, I'm pretty sure most teens (and, gasp, younger) have many of these moves fairly dialed in. Whenever I work with a group of teens, I try to tone things down. Not because I think I will protect them from ever seeing these moves, but more out of respect for their age. Like not swearing in front of your grandparents, even though you've heard tales of their epic swear fests in their own youths.

Every week I look at numerous You Tube videos of dance routines and tutorials. Hip Hop, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, Zumba, fitness, body weight training and general booty shaking. I watch entire dance routines and tutorials for individual steps or maneuvers. Sometimes I'm hunting for something out of desperation, but for the most part I love my searches.

If you have ever done the You Tube shuffle then you probably know that you start with one video, and quickly find yourself going off into a few, if not many, different directions.

Anyhows, I found, what I think are some pretty good tutorials for I step I didn't realize that I didn't know the name of; Twerking.

I always thought this move was called "brunking". Oh, technicalities. One of the things I appreciate about this tutorial is the use of isolations in the hips. Using the fingers to help you learn whether you are emphasizing the pulsing back or pulsing forward movement. It just adds to body intelligence. Yes, booty shaking can be a part of the body (or should I say booty) intelligence matrix.

This next presenter is a goddess in my opinion. At some point, I will get this tutorial dialed in. Body rolls are something many people like to work on because the move can be fun and challenging. Even when one understands the concept and parts of a body roll, getting it to feel natural and smooth can take a long time. But it is one of those moves that the journey is part of the fun.

I love how she expresses gratitude to fans that have regaled her with tales of showing their new moves to their beaus, but reminds everyone that her tutorials are for dance training purposes. I think she did a pretty good job of differentiating.

Enjoy the dance that is life!

~Miss Erin

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stay Safe!

This post contains subject matter that some may find disturbing or difficult to read about, as it involves the subject of sexual assault. While I think the information is important to pass along I also understand that everyone has their boundaries on what they want to read about or be exposed to. If this is a subject matter you avoid than check in next week for new posts containing recipes, tutorials and more.

About a week or so ago a friend had posted the following on Facebook. I hit the share button, but I think the subject of being vigilant about finding ways to stay safe in an, at times, unsafe world is important and worth repeating.

Crime in my hometown and in hometowns across the country are increasing at a frightening pace. Cuts to the budgets of law enforcement and mental health agencies, overcrowded prisons and emboldened, lifelong criminals are contributors.

A bad economy doesn't bode well for public safety either. Anyone remember the 80's?

I do not know who authored the following, but I think there are some good tips and reminders. Please read and pass along the information.

THROUGH A RAPIST'S EYES" (PLS TAKE TIME TO READ THIS. it may save a life.) Click Share Button To share it on your Wall.

It seems that a lot of attackers use ...some tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone should read this especially each n every girl in this world.

FYI - Through a rapist's eyes! A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.
They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid
or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who's clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged
because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.


1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or
with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask
them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk:
can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter. Now
that you've seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up,
you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh - HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a
particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it
is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and
make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he's out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go "hmm I must remember that" After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you.... chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back
tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like
crazy. The driver won't see you but everybody else will. This has
saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side,put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS , LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or
parking garage:

a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be
hiding at the passenger side , peek into your car, inside the
passenger side floor, and in the back seat. ( DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB) .

b. If you! u are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the
passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling
them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and
the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest
your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are
horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times;
And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a
good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it's better safe than sorry.

‘Helping hands are better than Praying Lips’ – give us your helping hand.

From the first section.
#1 Hairstyles. I'm not going to rush out and cut my long hair, but I keep a beanie in my purse that I can pull over a tucked up ponytail. The beanie doesn't obstruct my vision in any way either, like a ball cap might.

#4 Pinching under the arm by the armpit does hurt! Even my youngest when he was a  an 8 month old baby would pinch me there when he was mad at me. Even his tiny fingers would deliver a powerful hurt. I imagine what any one of us could do if cornered!

#10 I've always thought of keys as a handy weapon. But the truth is, you have to get really close to use it. I still like long, jagged, scary looking keys.

#1 While it seems scary to look a stranger in the eye under spooky circumstances, it does shift the perception of power a bit to do so. You communicate that you are bold and AWARE.

#5 Some people who have survived mountain lion attacks have recounted that the lion was surprisingly gentle, just very precise. The lion is not in it to fight, but rather to get food, while expending as little energy as possible. While the lion is acting off of survival instincts and not some sick bastard committing heinous crimes, there is a correlation. Thinking like the enemy is an important step in defeating, or in this case, escaping the enemy.

#7 Just good advice in general. Be aware of your surroundings and follow your gut. If risking looking like a crazy bitch will save my life, I'm doing it. All the men out there who want the women and girls in their lives safe and protected will understand.

From the final section.

#3 It is terrifying to even think about what you would do if thrown, against your will, into the trunk of a car. But not knowing what to do next is even worse.

#4 Get in, lock that door and get out of there. Oh, and if you ever get in your car and see that there is a note on the back windshield, LEAVE IT. You can check it when you get home. This has been reported as a trick to get you out of the safety of your locked car, and into the dangerous control of an attacker.

#8 No more sympathy! We are at war and the battle lines are drawn. If a guy doesn't have the know how of how not to appear as creep, to freaking bad for him! I have read accounts of men dressing up as women and making themselves appear to be in distress, in let's say in a parking garage. Luring a concerned woman in, they then attack. If your gut says its weird, follow your gut. You can call 911 and let them sort it out. And if it really is a woman in distress, well 911 is on its way.

I don't know the exact stats, but most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. One stat many of us have heard - 1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted, in some form, in their life.

Hey guys! You be vigilant too. Stay safe. men are victims of crime everyday. And help keep a look out for the safety of girls and women out there. Help show young women growing up that there are men out there who can be trusted.

Found this while doing research; "What If We Responded To Sexual Assault By Limiting Men's Freedom..."

Stay safe. Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Quadratus Lumborum {Do A Little Stretch/Say A Little Om/Get Down Tonight...}

Quadratus Lumborum;

"I love that show! I have all the seasons on DVD."

"Your Honor, I would like to present this Quadratus Lumborum..."

"On a clear night you can see the Quadratus Lumborum."

I had never heard the name quadratus lumborum till a week or so ago.

image credit
As you can see from the picture above it is a muscle that gets a lot of use, and abuse. I've stretched and tweaked this part of my body a million times, but always just referred to it as "part of the back".

Quadratus Lumborum Stretch.

CoreWalking is a site I haven't explored nearly as much as I would like to. The founder, Johnathan FitzGordon, is the author of Psoas Release Party!: Release Your Body From Chronic Pain and Discomfort. I purchased the book a few months ago. Another thing I haven't devoted myself to nearly as much as I would like. I'm so quick to do things that will easily tweak this or that, usually with the result of having me walk around like a silver-back gorilla, but I'm slow to spend quality time with things that will provide healing and restoration to my body. Go figure. I know I'm not alone.

While looking at something else on CoreWalking I saw in the list of video tutorials one titled Quadratus Lumborum Stretch. The day before I came across something on another site in reference to rolling the QL on a foam roller. I was intrigued. I'm glad I clicked on it. Johnathan gives a great tutorial on the stretch, and while I've done other stretches that target the QL (actually exactly like the picture from earlier) the stretch in the video reaches the QL in a very effective manner.

To see the tutorial video from CoreWalking click here.

Yoga Patti.

I'm very much a newbie at yoga. One of my goals for the new year was to make time for at least one yoga class a week. I don't know much about the different styles of yoga past one is really hot and different styles might be paced differently. I do know just enough to know that I like Vinyasa Yoga.
One of the yoga instructors at the sports club I both teach and workout at teaches this style. I'm going to call her Yoga Patti. I've associated with Patti for several years (okay, over 20) through overlapping friend groups and dance shows. She has ceased to age from the time I met her when I was in high school and she was in college. Blessed by the luck of the fates she teaches on a morning that I am able to go to one of her Vinyasa yoga classes.
While I took a handful of classes over the summer, I hadn't taken until a couple of weeks ago. I tell you what. I could have a blog dedicated to "Cool Stuff I Learned From Yoga Patti". I always walk away with some gem of wisdom or a new layer of enlightenment that I can apply to either better more intelligent ways to move or visual exercises to bring relaxation and peace to both mind and body. Yoga challenges me in that I'm forced to simultaneously work though tight spots and be compassionate with myself. At least in the way that I approach my practice, which of course taking this approach is a wisdom that I have learned from Patti.
So here is a wisdom for intelligent movement that really resonates with me;

"Let's think about it before we do it."

This is in reference to moving into or out of a pose or transitioning into another layer of the pose. Whatever the pose might be, you are deep in it. Every fiber of your being is working to keep the balance of what at any moment could fall like a house of cards in a sudden gust of wind. It's now time to shift one small part of this delicate structure so that you can work your way back to where you started or go deeper in. Before making that first move physically take a moment to allow it to happen visually. Think through what the other parts of the structure need to do to facilitate the smooth execution of this next move. I find that applying the "Let's think about it before we do it" keeps me focused and in touch with all parts of my body as I go through a given pose(s).

A Beautiful Contemporary Dance Vid For Your Viewing Pleasure (and the mostly likely reason I will be moving like a silver-back gorilla in the near future).

This is from a YouTube channel that I subscribe to. Pretty much always awesome stuff, this video really captivated me. Why will I be moving like a silver-back you ask? Videos like these help me to find new material to give to my teen dancers. I didn't grow up in dance doing all of these cool moves and often I have to do a modified version at first and then my students can take it from there. Plus, its just kinda cool to try some of these awesome moves (even if my attempts are a paltry version).

Beautiful huh?!

Thanks for hanging out!

Enjoy the dance that is life!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mid-Week Is A Good Time For A Laugh! {And A Crazy Music Video.}

Warning! Things might get a little risqué from here...

Yeah, I know. It doesn't have the same impact in a non-election year...

I am always up for a laugh. Wednesday marks mid-week, hump day if you will. What better day than to celebrate things that make you laugh.

I don't even know what I was looking for, but I came across this video as I was looking at something else in regards to yesterday being Fosse's movie "Cabaret" 40th anniversary.

While I never "studied" Fosse it's pretty impossible to not be touched by his work in these times.

 Check out this link for a post containing a hilarious video of Christina Applegate doing a skit on SNL about Fosse.

This next video isn't necessarily funny as much as it is very unique. I've had a pointe shoe go "baked potato" on me and would have gladly traded it for something else on my foot. But this takes it to a new level. One pointe shoe, one stiletto...

It's pretty hard not to find a collection of ballet steps that don't rhyme, but the choreography and execution is pretty damn awesome!

"Workaholics" is a Comedy Central show that our oldest daughter turned us onto. The crazy thing is that our oldest daughter is adamantly against heavy drinking, definitely under aged drinking and drug use of any kind. The show is hella funny, but not for the kiddos. No, no, no for the kiddos.

Saw this bit today...

So remember..."We don’t do 1-2-3s. We do ‘ka-donks,’ ‘ka-doonks’ and ‘za-zas’!” and if you don't sweat in your crack you're not doing it right.

Thanks for hanging out for a laugh.

Enjoy the dance that is life!