How to Choose the Right Gym for Your Needs

The social pressures to be fit are not new. The juice diet, the no-carb diet, high-intensity exercise, Pilates — each of these is a phenomenon of its own with adherents, books, and groups to boot.

With the health and fitness craze continuing to boom, thanks to social media, gyms have now become more creative in marketing their brands. Gone are the days of traditional advertising where companies sold their brands based on how they perceive it to be. These days, it is more of “You” advertising, with popularity adjudged through reviews, social media, and testimonials. Care should be drawn, though, with trusting these reviews, as companies have now become more creative with how they market themselves.

get fit in Dallas

With this wealth of data, how do you choose the right gym for you?

Here are the top three tips that can guide you when choosing your ‘perfect’ gym:

1. List down your priorities

Gyms usually have their specialties, but it is mainly up to you as to what you want to achieve. What are your fitness goals? What do you want to reach in 3, 6 and 12 months’ time? Do you want a gym that you and your friends can attend together; or, would you rather join one that is near your home but is far from your buddies? There are many things to consider, but the point of this priority listing is to check on what keeps you motivated, and how you can stay motivated with the help of a PT in Dallas, TX.

2. Visit the gym if you can

Online reviews may give you a glimpse of what the gym is like, but reviews are highly objective. What may be right for you may be bad for me, and vice versa. So, if you have the time, visit your prospective gyms. You do not only look for the right equipment, but you also check out the place, see if it is clean, and see if the gym offers a friendly atmosphere from where everyone can grow and thrive. Other gyms have a cutthroat competitive spirit in them and if you’re looking to have a fun time where you can laugh at your mistakes, avoid competitive gyms at all costs.

3. Sign up for a free trial

Most gyms offer trials for free or at discounted rates. Avail of them if you can. Trials are one of the best ways for you to get a glimpse of what the trainers and classes are like. Gyms can only talk about their strengths so much, and there is nothing better than walking the talk. Beware though, as some gyms offer free trials showcasing their ‘best’ classes, often staged to lure in potential customers into signing up. It’s easy to catch this, especially when the class is filled with a majority of free trial guests.

These top three tips: 1) Listing down your priorities; 2) Visiting the gym; and, 3) Signing up for a free trial, all zero in one thing: to see is to believe. There is nothing better than getting a feel for how the gym culture is like in your prospective club. No online review or online marketing can prove better than having you, yourself, the potential member, judging the gym for yourself.

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Can You Train Your Singing Voice?

woman-receiving-singing-lessonsA lot of people think that good singers are born with a good singing voice. However, having a good singing voice is not something you are born with. While it is true that genetics play a major role to determine your voice’s sound, the truth of the matter is that you can train your voice the same was as you learn how to play other musical instruments.

You can train your singing voice through professional options like signing up for singing lessons or hiring a singing coach. There are also vocal training tips you can take into consideration to help you improve your singing voice. It doesn’t matter if your genre is in pop, jazz, opera, or even rap, the training tips for your vocal chords can help you improve your singing by leaps and bounds.

Warm Up

Training your singing voice is practically the same as any exercise. That is why it is recommended that you warm up your voice first. This is to prevent injuries. When you sing, your vocal chords will vibrate at a high frequency every second. If you don’t warm up properly, you’ll just strain or injure your vocal chords.

It only takes a couple of minutes to warm up. Just start with basic breathing exercises. After that, proceed to sing scales. Not only is singing scales helping you warm up your voice, but it is also helping you get used to the notes you will be singing.

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking lots of water is recommended simply because it is the easiest way to lubricate the vocal chords. If you don’t properly lubricate the vocal chords, your voice will get croaky. Just imagine your vocal chords as any high-speed rotor or machine. These machines must be applied with a lubricant to keep them working properly. The same can be said about your vocal chord which vibrates hundreds of times in a second when you sing.

Watch Your Posture

There is a correct posture to adopt when you are singing. If you have the proper posture for singing, then you should be able to utilize your diaphragm to the fullest. Remember that a good singer sings from their diaphragm. By standing properly, you can let the air flow through the vocal chords and throat freely.

The right posture for singing involves keeping your chest high, shoulders back, and chin parallel to the floor. The upper body should be nice and straight too. Be sure to relax your muscles. It might take some practice and conscious effort before you get used to singing in the right posture.

woman-breathing-for-singingLearn Proper Breathing

Singing well doesn’t only mean that you have to stand up straight and use your diaphragm effectively. There is also a need for you to learn proper breathing. By doing so, you will learn to control it and will consequently allow you to hold a note longer. Through proper breathing, you also reduce the chances of injuring your vocal chords or damaging your voice.

Use Scales

Singing scales is not only necessary during warm up. This is also the kind of training you can do when you are tired of singing the songs you are practicing on. You can take it as a break when you are tired of your current routine. Scales and arpeggios can give you a little break from your usual vocal training exercises.

Record your Singing

For some people, they find listening to the recordings of their singing practice very helpful. By listening to the recording, they will get an insight on what they sound like. It is easier to spot weaknesses on their singing skills when they listen to the recording.

It is imperative to know the different singing tips and techniques that will help you train your singing voice. Training would be easier and results would be seen faster with the right techniques. You’ll appreciate the singing lessons in the long run.

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Dance Characteristics

The following chart lists some of the characteristics that go into uniquely defining the dances listed. PLEASE DON’T BE MISLEAD: The elements listed here are only a few that go into uniquely defining any given dance.

This chart is in development. More columns will be added later as information is acquired.


Definitions

Rhythm Unit = 2 beats of music in 4/4 time

Annotation in Braces [ ]

X or x = A weight change (Step)

/ = A beat of music.

O = Hop or a Skip

E = Even Rhythm Unit – Even number of weight changes (0,2,4,etc.)

O = Odd Rhythm Unit – Odd number of weight changes (1,3,5,etc.)

Downbeat = 1st Beat of every Rhythm Unit

Upbeat = 2nd Beat of every Rhythm Unit

Up = Up

Dn = Down


Dance Characteristics Chart
4/4 Time

Dance Odd/Even
Rhythm
Patterns
Basic Rhythm Patterns
Balboa EOEO
PATTERN TYPE 1
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6   &A7  &A8


[  X    X] [  /    X] [  X    X] [  /    X]


PATTERN TYPE 2
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6   &A7  &A8


[  X    X] [  X    /] [  X    X] [  X    /]


Movement Unit = Dn Dn
Bossa Nova OOOO
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6   &A7  &A8


[  X    /] [  X    /] [  X    /] [  X    /]


Movement Unit = Dn Dn
Carolina Shag OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO

  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]
Cha Cha
Competition
Break On
2 & 6
OEOE
STANDARD PATTERN
 &1   2    3   4   &5   6    7   8
[xX   X] [ X   X] [xX   X] [ X   X]


ANOTHER SYNCOPATION
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6   &a7  &a8


[ xX    X] [  X    X] [ xX    X] [  X    X]


Break on counts 2 and 6
Cha Cha
Colloqual
Break On
1 & 5
EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]


Break on counts 1 and 5
Charleston EOEO
or
OEOE
PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ /   /] [ X   /] [ /   /] [ X   /]


PATTERN TYPE - OEOE
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   /] [ /   /] [ X   /] [ /   /]



Chicago Swing OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]
East Coast Swing OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]
Fox Trot EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3   4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   /]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
Houston Shuffle EOO .
Hustle
New Count
[1 2]
[&3 4]
[5 & 6]
EOO
EE
STANDARD PATTERN - EOO
   1   2   & 3   4     5 & 6
[  X   X] [x X   X] [  X x X]


STANDARD PATTERN - EE (used for some turns)
   1   2   & 3 & 4
[  X   X] [x X x X]


ANOTHER SYNCOPATION - EOO
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6


[  X    X] [ xX    X] [  X   xX]


ANOTHER SYNCOPATION - EE (used for some turns)
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4


[  X    X] [ xX   xX]
Hustle
Old Count
[&1 2]
[3 & 4]
[5 6]
OOE
STANDARD PATTERN
 & 1   2     3 & 4    5   6
[x X   X] [  X x X] [ X   X]


ANOTHER SYNCOPATION
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6


[ xX    X] [  X   xX] [  X    X]
Hustle
Barry
Douglas
Style
[& 1 2]
[&3 4]
[5 & 6]
EEE
BASIC RHYTHM PATTERN
 & 1   2   & 3 & 4    5 & 6
[x X   X] [x / x X] [ X x /]

Barry referrs to this as the Detroit Hustle. Don’t confuse this with the style of Hustle with that danced to the Old Count Hustle. It is not the same at all. With the Old Count Hustle, there is a “Ball Change” on counts “& 1” and “& 4”. With this style of Hustle, at the basic level, the dancers unweighted foot is pointed forward prior to the “&” count for “& 1” and “& 4”, with the weight being transferred to that forward foot on those “&” counts. With this style of Hustle, the “Ball Change” is done on counts “& 3” and “& 6”, just as it is done in the New Count Hustle. Barry counts it as “1 2 & 3 4 5 & 6” – leaving out the & counts prior to counts “1” and “4”.

Imperial
Swing
OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]
Jitterbug OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]
Jive OO
EOO
EOEO
.
Kenny’s
Speed Shag
St. Louis
Shag
OEOE
PATTERN TYPE 1
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X x X] [ /   /] [ X   /] [ X   X]


PATTERN TYPE 2
  1   2    3   4    5 & 6    7   8
[ X x X] [ /   /] [ X x X] [ X   X]


Lambada EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
Laminu EOEO .
Lindy Hop OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]


ALTERNATE STYLING 1 - EOEO
Many times the Triple Rhythm Units are replaced by 
Bouncing Single Rhythm Units which leave the weight 
on the same foot at the beginning and end of the 
Single Rhythm Units.  The following is an example of 
an 8 beat pattern:


  1   2   3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [X O /] [ X   X] [ X O /]


ALTERNATE STYLING 2 - EOEO
There is also another style that really Flies. The 
Following is an example of an 8 beat pattern:


 & 1 & 2   & 3 & 4   & 5 & 6   & 7 & 8
[O X O X] [  O O X] [O X O X] [  O O X]


Mambo
Break On
2 & 6
OEOE
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ /   X] [ X   X] [ /   X] [ X   X]
Mambolero
Break On
2 & 6
OEOE
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ /   X] [ X   X] [ /   X] [ X   X]
Melange EE
  1   2    3   4
[ X   X] [ X   X]
Merengue EE .
New Yorker EOO
  1   2    3   4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X x X]
Night Club
Fox Trot
EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
Night Club
2-Step
OO
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]
Polka OO
  1 & 2    3 & 4

[ X x X] [ X x X]
Pony EEEE
 & 1 & 2   & 3 & 4   & 5 &  6  & 7 & 8
[x X x X] [x X x X] [x X x X] [x X x X]
Rhythm
2-Step
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3   4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   /]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
Rodeo
Swing
EE
  1   2    3   4
[ X   X] [ X   X]
Rodeo
2-Step
OEO .
Rumba
American
Social
Breaks On
1 & 5
EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
Rumba
Open & Int’l
OEOE
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ /   X] [ X   X] [ /   X] [ X   X]
Salsa
Picado
OO
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]
Salsa
Standard
EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
Salsa
Suave
EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ /   X] [ X   X] [ /   X]
Salsa
Valente
(The Rope)
EOOO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   X] [ X   X] [ X   X]
Samba OO
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4


[  X   xX] [  X   xX]


Movement Unit = Dn Dn

Samba
International
OO
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]
Shottische EOEO
OOOO
16 Beat
Pattern
FIRST HALF OF PATTERN
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   O] [ X   X] [ X   O]


SECOND HALF OF PATTERN
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   O] [ X   O] [ X   O] [ X   O]
Tango OOEE
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   /] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ /   /]
Triple
2-Step
EOO .
2-Step
6 Beat
EOO
  1   2    3   4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   /]
2-Step
UCWDC Rules
6 & 8 Beat
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3   4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   /]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3   4    5   6    7   8
[ X   X] [ X   /] [ X   X] [ X   /]
West Coast
Swing

Non
Syncopated
Style
OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
  1 & 2    3 & 4
[ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
  1   2    3 & 4    5 & 6
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X x X]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO
  1   2    3 & 4    5   6    7 & 8
[ X   X] [ X x X] [ X   X] [ X x X]
West Coast
Swing

Syncopated
Style
OO
EOO
EOEO
PATTERN TYPE - EE
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4


[  X   xX] [  X   xX]


PATTERN TYPE - EOO
 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6


[  X    X] [  X   xX] [  X   xX]


PATTERN TYPE - EOEO

 &a1  &a2   &a3  &a4   &a5  &a6   &a7  &a8


[  X    X] [  X   xX] [  X   xX] [  X   xX]
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