Becoming a Professional Dancer

If dancing is your passion and getting paid to do it is your dream job, read on. Your questions about dancing as a career are about to be answered. Those who get paid for performing dance routines before audiences.

Professional dancers usually dedicate long hours of rehearsalsWhere They Work

Dancers can work within performance troupes and touring companies, on cruise ships, at entertainment establishments such as clubs and restaurants, in stage productions such as musicals, plays, and operas, in music videos, and within stage shows for musical acts (singers/bands).

What Professional Dancing is Like

Dancers are expected to put in long, strenuous hours rehearsing and performing. Since most performances take place in the evening or at night, a dancer’s days are filled with rehearsals. Dancers also spend time in a gym or other fitness establishment to strengthen muscles and keep the body in top physical shape.

Dancers may also spend their time auditioning for their next role or gig, as it is rare for a professional dancer to have consistent employment for longer than 3 – 6 months at a time.

Generally, rehearsal and performance halls are cool and comfortable, but not always.

What They Get Paid

You should not expect to become wealthy by dancing professionally. In 2004, median hourly earnings of dancers were $8.54; the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.59 per hour. It is important to remember, however, that hourly averages appear low because employment is often only for part of a year, unlike a traditional job. Naturally, your passion for the art is what pays the most – in job satisfaction.

How They Become Qualified

The general consensus is that dancers should begin with a strong foundation in classical dance before choosing a particular style to focus on. Most female professional dancers began their training between the ages of 5 to 8; men, the ages of 10 to 15. In the teen years, dancers who show great potential may choose to focus and intensify their training.

Because of the short “life-span” of a dancer’s career, many dancers have their first professional auditions by the ages of 17 or 18.

Job Outlook

As America continues its love affair with dance, there will continue to be job openings for dancers. However, because there is so much competition for professional positions, the supply of dancers far outweighs the demand for them.

Positions may become available due to current cast member retirements, new companies forming, new venues opening and cattle call auditions for movies and music videos.

Odds and Ends

  • Most dancers retire in their 30s. Very few celebrated dancers sustain careers into their 50s.
  • Retired dancers often go on to become dance instructors, choreographers, or artistic directors.
  • Touring dancers usually receive an allowance for room and board. Some dancers are even compensated for overtime.
  • Many universities offer degree programs in dance, mostly in modern dance, but some in more niche disciplines.

Still interested in dancing for a living? Good for you! Best wishes for all that hard work to pay off.

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7 Tips to Help Make Meal Planning Easy

Meal planning is simply a lifesaver. Let’s face it; you don’t always have the time or the luxury to be in the kitchen every single day cooking. Life happens and you find yourself too tired from having a long day at work and simply can’t be bothered.

Well having your meals for the week already prepared and ready to go saves you all the hassle. However, planning your meals requires you to put a few things into account to make it serve its purpose. This helps reduce the time taken and mistakes made.

  1. Have all your recipes together

There are those recipes that you love cooking or would love to try. It is important to make sure that they are well kept and easily accessible to ensure the cooking goes well. The best part about having your recipes already selected is that you get to know what to use beforehand. It simply becomes effortlessly easy to cook.

kitchen lifesaverYou should also try to find new recipes. Mix things up a little to keep everything interesting. The best way to find new recipes is through Pinterest or food bloggers and elite private cooks. You not only get to try out something new but you also expand your knowledge while learning from the best.

  1. Do all your shopping at a go

Decide on a particular day to go shopping most likely at the end of the week. Be sure to carry a shopping list that you have carefully written while going through your pantry and fridge. This is to simply make sure that you are able to purchase everything you’ll need for the meals you will be making

Also, remember to check your recipe’s ingredient list when making your shopping list. This is to make sure you have everything you need to make the meal and enjoy while you are t it.

  1. Cook in large quantities

There is honestly no need for you to cook a different meal for each day. That is too exhausting and takes up too much time when preparing. The best thing to do is to cook a few meals in large quantities and distribute them throughout the week. Maybe this could include rice, cereals and any other food that you can easily pair and eat it a couple of times in the week. However, be sure to always observe a balanced diet.

This makes so much sense in that you are only required to use a few ingredients and utensils and you have extra meals for the week.

  1. Don’t do everything from scratch

In this day and age, you are privileged to have companies that distribute pre-made foods for their consumers. While doing your shopping it is best to consider buying some of this. It could either be pre-made pasta or anything else. This will go a long way to saving your time. It is also very budget friendly which leaves with no choice but to consider it.

However, you should also remember to check on the preservatives used and ingredients. This is to ensure that you do not indulge in too many preservatives while you could just leave it and make your own at home. Always remember that it is a choice only you can make. If you do not mind the preservatives then this will save so much.

  1. Freeze extra food and plan for leftovers

When you’re making food that freezes well, it is always a good idea to make double or triple of those. This is to help cater for those moments when you simply couldn’t have predicted. Make sure to freeze them well and once you are ready to eat allow it come to room temperature before heating the meal.

You also need to embrace all the leftover meals. Make sure you pack them in individual containers and store them in the fridge. These meals can be spruced up to avoid the feeling of always eating one meal day after day. Having these meals will help you cover your meal needs for lunches or snack time. All you need to do is have a plan and see how you can make them better.

  1. Make sure your spice rack is well equipped

Stocking up the spice rackWith all the cooking you’ll be doing you’ll need to use some of your favorite spices. Making sure that your spice rack/ cabinet is well stocked ensures you don’t miss out on the sweetness of the meals you prepare. Also, ensure that you go through your recipes to see what new spices you need to buy. Since trying out new recipes can be quite unpredictable, it is better to have everything you need on hand.

  1. Get your mindset right

It is important to note that not everything you plan out will go according to plan. Which is why you should adapt and work with what you’ve got. When recipes go wrong, you need to find a way to work with what you have and make it something better. Just because you missed one step while cooking does not mean you should throw the food away. Be creative and have fun while you are at it.

Also, get right on how to store your food. It is crucial for you to take your time and research the best way to keep your food fresh for longer. Once this is done you can be sure that your meals won’t go bad in the middle of the week.

Meal planning does not have to be complicated and dreadful. It all depends on how you decide to approach it. Be open-minded and learn as you progress. Also, remember to spice things up and try new recipes to ensure you keep it interesting with each week.

Allow yourself to make mistakes and understand that everything may not go as planned, but you can always adjust and get better at it with time. With all the tips above, you will no longer have to eat out and spend money on food that you’re not so sure of its preparation. You get to eat home-cooked meals without too much hassle.

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Why Does Your Dryer Take So Long to Dry?

A dryer is very common in almost every house in the U.S. It is one of the essential products in every house. But sometimes, you might have noticed that your dryer takes too much time to dry clothes than usual. The drying time in a dryer mainly depends upon the flow of the hot air through the dryer and the quality and condition of the venting hose. One of the common problems with most of the dryers is their long dry times. The most complicated troubleshooting with a dryer is to find out exactly what part has to be repaired.

Most of the dryers consist of the following parts:

  • A rotating tumbler which holds loads of clothes.
  • A heater which is either powered by electricity or by gas.
  • An exhaust vent to take out the water from the dryer in the form of steam.

Air drying clothes can be a dragDrying times often differs depending on the amount of heat, type of fabric, the number of clothes, the moisture content of clothes, and lastly the condition of the exhaust vent. It is generally found that most of the dryers take a long time to dry due to the malfunctioning of the exhaust vent. Some of the common signs which show that your exhaust vent is malfunctioning are:-

  • It is taking a long time to dry clothes.
  • The dryer gets excessively heated from outside.
  • Even if the temperature of your clothes are high, but it remains damp.
  • A burning smell is coming out of your exhaust vent when the machine is turned on.
  •  If you find debris or lint on the vent opening or around the dryer hose, or the door of the outside vent is not opening properly.

If any of the symptoms as mentioned earlier are prominent in your dryer, then it is time to clean and service your clogged dryer vent. A must remember the point is that whenever you are cleaning the dryer vent make it a habit of unplugging the switch and turning off the dryer to avoid electric shock and if it is a gas dryer turn off the supply valve to prevent gas leakage.

Some of the general tips for the proper functioning of the exhaust vent are as follows.

  1. Before cleaning the exhaust vent pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the duct from the dryer. Lint gets deposited in the exhaust duct in the back of the dryer. Clean the lint with the help of a flexible cleaning product, and you can remove the remaining dirt with the help of a vacuum cleaner also.
  1. Check your duct pipe properly. If you find any damage or puncture then replace it with a new one. Flexible ducts are often easy to fit, but dirt gets easily collected in the ridges of the flexible duct. So, solid metal ducts are a better option.
  1. It is very important to use a vent pipe having a proper length of 4 inches. It allows your dryer to function properly. Often smaller ducts restrict the air flow and larger ducts help in the deposition of lint within the duct. So, it is recommended to use a vent pipe having a diameter of 4”.
  1. Always check the back side of the dryer.  If you want your dryer to operate smoothly use a 4” wall cap. It restricts the snow and dirt to deposit on the outside wall cap. Check the flow of air from the outside wall cap. If strong air is not coming from the wall cap, then it is a warning to clean the duct.
  1. Clean the vent of your dryer at regular intervals and opt for a metal duct pipe to avoid fire hazards and lower your electric bills.

Some of the other parts are also responsible for the malfunctioning of your dryer. The blower wheel is one among them, which is connected to the drive motor shaft.

  • Blower Wheel

The function of the blower wheel is to blow air throughout the drum and then to remove the air from the exhaust vent. The blower wheel stops blowing sufficient air if it is clamped to the motor shaft. In such a case the high limit thermostat can become greatly heated.  If the blower wheel makes a rattling sound, it is sure that it has got loose. It may also be the cause of any debris which is interfering the free movement of the wheel. If you detect any damage at the hub of the wheel, it is time to replace the blower wheel for the smooth functioning of the dryer.

  • Coil

The gas dryers have lots of safety coils. Your dryer may stop functioning properly if the safety coils or solenoids are not working well. They can even make your dryer cold. In such a situation, you can get the faulty parts replaced from the professional washer & dryer repairs service company in your area. A professional repair service company will come in handy in case your appliance is out of warranty period.

  • Dryer Drum Felt Seal

Inside the dryerThe function of this part is to create an airtight seal between the rear panel of the dryer and the back of the drum. For the proper functioning of the dryer, the seal should be flexible. Your dryer will not function smoothly if this part starts malfunctioning.

  • Door seal

The door seal helps to maintain the air temperature inside the dryer. It acts the same like the door seal of a refrigerator. If the seal is damaged due to any crack, the clothes take a longer time to dry in the dryer.

There might be some other reasons which stop your dryer from drying clothes faster.

  • The dryer may be loaded with too many clothes.
  • Sometimes the items to be dried are not sorted properly. It means that the heavy and the light weighted clothes are kept together. It is obvious that the heavy clothes take a longer time to dry than light clothes.
  • If the lint filter is not cleaned after every use. You can clean the filter in a pretty easy way by using any detergent in hot water and scrubbing it gently.

If the problems with your dryer are not sorted out timely, then this may lead to serious damage to your dryer. Sometimes the dryer can also catch fire if too much lint, dust or dirt get accumulated in the dryer vent. If you take proper and timely care of your dryer, then you would get a better result from your appliance.

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How to Effectively Get Rid of Acne

What is acne?

This is a skin condition that mainly occurs when hair follicles plug with oils and dead skin cells causing spots and pimples.

To many people, it is a condition that is very demoralizing. Having such blemishes especially on your face will make anyone uncomfortable, and they may lose their confidence. Due to this, many people particularly women tend to use makeup to cover up their scars and get that flawless look.

However, it is always best to deal with the root cause of your acne if not you will always use makeup which may make your skin worse.

Causes of Acne

There are a few causes of acne, and each person is different. The main reason why you should get to know the cause of your acne is because it will give you an advantage when you get to treat it.

Dancers can experience and hide it with makeupCauses may include;

  • Hormonal factors
    • When puberty begins, you experience a rise of hormones called androgen which is converted to estrogen for women.
    • These hormones cause the oil glands under the skin to grow and in turn produce more sebum. The excess sebum breaks down the cellular walls in the pores resulting in the growth of bacteria.
    • This is how when most people get to the adolescence stage tend to experience breakouts on their face and even their bodies.
  • Some medication
  • Menstruation
  • Emotional stress
  • Some dietary choices
  • Oil-based makeup

Treatment for Acne

When it comes to acne, you find that it varies from one person to another. They could either be experiencing mild acne or moderate to severe acne.

  • Mild Acne

This means that you have very few whiteheads, blackheads or inflamed bumps.

Mild acne can be treated with Over the Counter medication such as gels, lotions creams or soaps that are applied to the skin. However, you should always be cautious about your skin type to avoid using anything drying while you have dry skin.

The ingredients contained in this OTC drugs help break down whiteheads and blackheads, kill bacteria and replace the skin while reducing excess production of sebum.

These ingredients include;

  • Retin-A
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Resorcinol
  • Azelaic acid
  • Moderate to Severe Acne

These kinds of acne would require you to go in for a consultation with your doctor or dermatologist. They are in a better position to examine you and get to the root cause of your problem.

They would probably recommend some over the counter medication but in high volumes to make it stronger than that of mild acne.

  • Use of oral contraceptives

These contraceptives are used by women to suppress the overactive gland. It is mainly used for long-term acne treatment.

  • Corticosteroid injection

When a person has severe acne, they may encounter acne cysts that become severely inflamed and cause scarring if it raptures.

Using this injection reduces inflammation, prevents scarring and speeds up healing.

Always consult with your doctor to get the best treatment for your condition. There are other ways of treating acne so always allow a professional to lend a helping hand.

Keeping face clean with cleansersTips On Managing and Preventing Acne

Once you are able to get rid of the acne, you need to ensure you keep it off and prevent it from occurring again.

You can achieve this by doing the following;

Know your skin type

You could either have oily, combination or dry skin. All skin types are prone to acne, but the most common ones would be the oily skin and combination skin. This is because of the excess sebum that is being produced by the body.

Knowing your skin type will help you choose the right products to use. For the oily skin, they should only use products that are formulated not to block pores.

Develop a skin care routine

This is a very crucial part of preventing and getting rid of acne. You need a skin care routine to ensure you at least cleanse your face twice daily, tone and moisturize. The best way to go about this is by adopting the 10 step Korean beauty (K-beauty) skincare routine. Their products and consistent use of the steps have proven to be very efficient and effective.

The 10 step routine includes;

  • Oil-based cleanser
  • Double Cleansing
  • Exfoliate
  • Toner
  • Essence
  • Ampoule
  • Serum
  • Sheet mask
  • Eye cream
  • Moisturiser

Take time to do your research to develop and stick to a specific skincare routine. You can simplify it all provided you cleanse and make sure to always moisturize your face.

Hydrate

Using hydrating products on your skin will make the skin glow and prevent any kind of breakouts. Avoid using makeup that will be drying to your face. Also, consider doing a facial sheet mask once in a while for the extra moisture boost.

Also, you should also increase your water intake. Strive to at least have 8 ounces of water on a daily basis. This is because if your body is not well hydrated, then it will produce more oil which will lead to breakouts.

Avoid exposure to sunlight

Exposure to the sun may be very bad for the skin over time. It may cause dryness causing the skin to produce too much oil and may clog the pores. This is why it is recommended to wear a sunscreen of SPF 50 and above to ensure you are keeping your skin safe from the rays.

Use tea tree oil

According to the Mayo clinic, tea tree oil can be used to treat and prevent acne and other skin conditions. It, however, should not be ingested but applied to the skin. You should also test it on your forearm before applying to the face to confirm if it will irritate your skin.

Eat and sleep well

Having a proper healthy diet has massive advantages to the body which eventually show through your skin. Also having an ample sleep will leave you rested and will rejuvenate your skin leaving it very radiant.

Always remember to avoid any food that may trigger your acne.

Reduce stress

While stress does not cause acne, it could definitely make it worse. Research has shown that when you are too stressed your body produces oil stimulating hormones. The oil will make the existing condition even worse.

Engage yourself in any activities that help you relieve stress. This could be journaling, exercising, meditation or even yoga. Just do what feels right for you and feel better about it.

Acne is a condition that you can treat but would require you to be very committed and consistent. Be sure to develop a skin care routine that works and that you can stick to in the long run. Do your research and adopt what works best for you.

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Tips for Beginner Cyclists

If you are new to cycling, there are a lot of rules that may overwhelm you at first. If you intend to do city or trail biking, you realize that you cannot just be a free-wheeling kid who doesn’t give a care about the world. Now, you must follow road rules and make sure you are aware of your surroundings. As much as the vehicle should be responsible for driving, you, as a biker, should also be accountable because you both are sharing roads.

Getting scared of cycling is understandable. For one, you must learn how to change your tire’s interior if you get a flat tire. You must learn how to repair on your crank and brake system on the fly. There are these considerations that you must think of, that’s why for many, they would instead drive or take public transportation instead of biking.

But this is the reality that many every day and recreational bikers have to face. If you choose to bike, you must know how to help yourself on the road. With driving a car, you are covered by insurance so you can call a repair shop in times of need. However, when using a bike, you must be responsible for your actions. There is no repair shop or insurance center to call when you get a flat tire.

But these technicalities should not scare you when you schedule a bicycle tour. As with anything in life, it is always tricky at first. But in time, with practice and experience, you will know how to use and take care of your bike. It will eventually become second nature to you, that you might even forget about the first time you freaked out changing your tire.

There are so many rules to remember as a first-time road or trail biker, but what are the essential tips every cyclist must remember? Here are some tips that can help you become a better cyclist:

Familiarizing with the gear and brakes1. Know how the brake and gears work

The first thing you must do is to learn how to control your break and gears. Often, road and trail cyclists use multi-gear bikes that go up to 12 speeds. In case you’re not aware, in most bikes, the configuration goes that the right brake is for the front wheel, and the left brake is for the back wheel. Imagine the horror of you going downhill and hitting on your right brake for your front wheel. It is an accident that should have been easily avoided if you gave some time to get acquainted with your brake. Although you can change the configuration with the left brake for the front wheel, and the right brake for the back wheel, it is still best to be comfortable with this traditional setup because almost all rental bikes are set up this way.

Gears are even more complicated compared to brakes, and there are gears for the front and back wheels. Practice maneuvering your brake and speeds in a controlled space, like an empty parking lot.

2. Use a helmet every time you bike

This advice goes to all bikers all over the world. It may not look cool for you to wear a helmet while you bike with your office or casual clothes, but for safety’s sake, go for health over fashion even for once. The protection this one piece of equipment can provide is phenomenal, and so many bikers’ lives have been saved because of the use of a helmet.

3. Have a CO2 inflator on hand

Remember that we’ve talked about beginners chickening out of biking because of the need to learn how to repair their bikes? Well, guess, what, the CO2 inflator is every beginner and advanced biker’s best friend! The CO2 inflator allows you to directly plug in this small device on your tire’s lock, and then presto, you get a brand-new tire again. Although this proves to be helpful and convenient, it can be costly. Also, it is best for you to know how to repair your tire even without this device. But for beginners and racers, this is good news for sure.

Biking is such a fun activity, and the hurdles at the beginning should not stop you from enjoying it. Keep on practicing, and you will never look back!

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Are You Charging Too Low for Your Professional Singing Services?

How much should you charge for your professional singing services? It is a difficult question to answer because you call the shots for this one. Many times, you do not have the basis as to the range of how much you should charge. Should it be based on training, performance, schooling, clients, or awards received? These considerations are not easily quantifiable unless you join ‘The Voice’ and get to the semi-finals, and by then you can automatically increase your rate.

concert band on stageFrom whom do you have to base your rate? And when do you know that you are charging too much or too little for your services? These are difficult questions, but it is only you who can answer them.

treat your services as a businessIf you are charging too much, you will see that you are not having as many clients as you expect. Potential customers almost always back out when they know of your fees. And if you readily give out a contract without the customer finalizing, it can most likely scare off the client, and he/she may back off after the first email exchange.

If you are charging too little, you will realize that you are getting burnt out and exhausted, and your schedule is always full, yet can barely pay your rent and taxes. Sometimes you even say “no” to some events since you have just enough to get a cab to and from the area.

Charging too much and too low are both detrimental to your professional singing business. Having high fees will continue to stave off your potential client base, and having little costs can exhaust you and can have others devalue your work. So, it is crucial to have the right price for your talent, training, and work background. As mentioned, these elements are not easily measured, so you must look around to see what works for others.

It can be difficult to know the right price for your wedding band services.  In the UK, there’s a music union guide on how to fairly compensated. However, here are ways for you to get a good gauge if how much you are charging is too much, too little, or just enough. How would you know? Here are some tips to help you get a good assessment of your professional singing fees:

1. Where are you located?

singers should adjust fees in smaller townsIf you are in a big city, it is acceptable to charge more compared to singers living in the suburbs. However, that is where it gets tricky because people always want to go with those whom they can have bigger savings.

If you are a professional singer, there are no restrictions as to where you can perform. So, if you live in the suburbs and offer lower fees than performers residing in the city, clients may most likely book with you. But, you also have to include your transportation costs when giving a rate. It is a big mistake to simply estimate on your transportation because it can be a big blow to your budget. So, make sure you have all the other expenses included when giving your fee.

2. Are you better than all the other singers?

more exposure means you can charge higherBeing a performer means you have the confidence to do what you do. However, being overly confident without giving much thought about performance can be detrimental to your professional singing business. If you charge too much when you know other singers sound and perform better than you do, then you must pull down your pride. You must accept that you have to charge less, given that you are not as skilled as them just yet.

When the time comes that you have upgraded your skills, and you have seen that other people are now more appreciative of your work, then you can start charging more for your services. It takes time, though, so do not rush into hurriedly increasing your rates. It takes a while to gain people’s trust, so show your worth first.

You can quickly gauge if you are giving the right rate for your services by asking yourself these questions. It can be hit-and-miss at first, but you will eventually get the perfect price for your services that you know is right for what you can offer.

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What’s All the Hype with TruBrain?

TruBrain is a lineup of nootropic supplements created by a group of the world’s top neuroscientists. TruBrain guarantees to upgrade mental capacity and capability, utilizing a variety of possible functions of the brain that would otherwise have been overlooked.

mental capacity enhancement with TruBrain“Brain drinks” are now gaining popularity, primarily due to the need to overstretch your time and energy in school, office, and at home. Not only drinks are being sold these days, but also snacks and foods enhanced to improve your memory capacity.

TruBrain has first appeared in the market back in 2012 when the introduction of nootropic supplements has just started. Five years on, TruBrain continues to amass a large following, thanks to great reviews on its efficacy (read the review here). It also helps that its developers are qualified neuroscientists who wish to defy the limitations of the human brain.

So, what makes TruBrain different from all the other nootropic supplements such as Ginkgo biloba and cholinergic? Is it any more effective because of what it contains, or is it popular just because of all the hype?

Here are some of the things you should know about TruBrain that can help you assess if you’re considering purchasing it:

What is TruBrain?


TruBrain is a new breed of mental-enhancing supplements that promise to increase the power of the brain through the infusion of natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals. A lot of nootropic supplements have come out on the market, but what sets TruBrain apart is its release of “Think Drinks,” bringing the pill into packaged liquid form.

What is TruBrain made of?

Here are the ingredients listed on every TruBrain package: Piracetam (3 grams), Acetyl-L-Carnitine (0.5 grams), CDP-Choline (0.25 grams), EPA & DHA (1.2 grams), Magnesium (0.2 grams), Pramiracetam (0.3 grams), L-Theanine (0.2 grams), and Tyrosine (0.35 grams). All these substances lean towards strengthening the function and pathway of nucleotides that support brain function. TruBrain manufacturers also promise that they only use organic ingredients.

How do you use TruBrain?

stay mentally sharp with nootropic supplementsTruBrain supplements come in pill and liquid form. For the pill form, you are required to take 11 pills a day: one pill as “extra boost,” six pills for the morning, and four more pills for the evening. For the liquid form, you must take one packet for the morning, and another pack for the night, at one ounce each. It is recommended that you try TruBrain for at least one month to see maximum results. The drinks are specially formulated to make it easier for you to drink it, so putting in a lot of thought in taste was important during the planning process. The formula comes in cranberry, pomegranate, and strawberry banana flavors.

TruBrain has gained worldwide popularity largely because of testimonials released by people who’ve used it. Some say they’ve passed their exams with ease because of this supplement, while others see a definite improvement with their productivity at work and in school.

These supplements do not come cheap, though. Twenty drinks are priced at $55, and truBrain is one of the most expensive nootropic vitamins currently available in the market.

If you think you need some push with your mental strength and capability, you can give TruBrain supplements a try. Many people have tried it and have seen its efficacy. Now it is your turn to see if it works for you, too.

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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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