February is Heart Healthy Month!

075350c2a434ea7b3b313d810b7e5bb9

According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Here are few strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.

  • Get regular exercise
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce bad and increase good cholesterol
  • Stop smoking
  • Get enough sleep (6-8 hours)
  • Lose weight

Check out this link for more additional information about how to prevent and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Scrooge Your Workouts!

12193582_10153651134748279_6458995873404268332_n The look on her face speaks volumes. “Bah Humbug!”  said my pitbull-turned reindeer, Lucy. The antlers were not tolerated very well. 

Try these 6 tips to stay happy and healthy during the season so you don’t “scrooge” your fitness routine.

  1. Prioritize your time. If you can’t make the gym, give yourself 20-30 min. first thing in the morning. Taking the stairs throughout the day can also be a great way to get exercise in. Every little bit counts!
  2. Shop well. Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods and healthy snacks.
  3. Portion Control. Use a small plate and fill up on foods with the most nutrients.
  4. Buddy-Up. Working out with a friend can be fun while creating accountability for each of you.
  5. Stay Hydrated. Keep a water bottle with you and drink throughout the day.
  6. Rest and Recover. Getting enough sleep and allowing for down time will allow your mind and body to be restored to reduce risk of injury.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What I learned from teaching children

“ (2)Runaway pom poms, pipe cleaners and jingle bells line the bottom of my gym bag.  I own hula hoops and fitness cones. I’ve been reluctant to fully clean out my bag because they are reminders of what children taught me about how to teach—-Always infuse your lessons joy and passion.

I’ve been a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist for years.  I thought that because I’ve I’ve had a lot of training, it meant I didn’t have anything to learn. But when I took the position of teaching artist for a summer camp, I was faced with the challenge of teaching dance to kids who did not sign up for traditional dance training. They were there for dance and other art forms as enrichment or recreation. So what do I do for two hours? Plies, flatbacks and contractions? NOPE.

We played games and more games. Musical chairs with no hands, “Fox- in- the- Hole” and other movement games helped me to help them understand their bodies in personal space and in community with others. We co- created a fun and holistic environment where movement and dance recreation were used as tools to champion other important values: Being helpful, being a good friend, and having respect for yourself and your neighbors. I also incorporated music and visual arts by creating an activity where they made drums and maracas from household items. Our “Krazy Kostume” relay race was a gentle on ramp into costume design.  All in all, they were introduced to the performing arts with more laughter, play and understanding of how to work with others than I had ever experienced while growing up as a young dancer. By the end, I couldn’t believe how much more flexible I had become. Learning became easy. The kids helped me to create more space for joy, passion and play to live in all my classes.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women who moved the world

th-4.jpg

Pearl Primus and Katherine Dunham were both pioneering dancers, choreographers teachers and anthropologists who created synergy between dance cultures from Africa, the West Indies and the U.S. as a means to build a greater understanding of the importance relevance, power and intelligence of African dance.

The twists, turns, falls, jumps and reaches in Pearl Primus’s works, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “Strange Fruit,” were infused with the truth, sadness, pain and suffering that she witnessed when she worked as a sharecropper in 1944 to study work, family and church life in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Katherine Dunham’s travels to Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad and Haiti allowed her to study the roots of black dance, both sacred and secular. By combining movements from the Caribbean and European classical ballet, she revolutionized dance in America in the creation of the Dunham technique which is taught in many dance schools today.

In addition to increasing their knowledge and understanding of cultures whose work and rhythms they were recreating for the stage, they both understood the need for the unifying fabric of dance, music and visual art in the black community to help renew courage, pride and strength help to fight for democracy.

Carmen De Lavallade, who along with Janet Collins, worked with the Metropolitan Opera, dancing as the prima ballerina in Samson and Delilah and Aida. Ms. De Lavallade has danced with and choreographed for many companies including Lester Horton Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Philadanco and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She and her husband, the late Geoffrey Holder, had a partnership and artistic legacy that lasted over 60 years. Most recently, she toured her show, As I Remember It, throughout the United States.

I was excited to be among the performers who honored these women and other trailblazers in American dance and music on Thursday, March 10 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre in NYC.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

12096283_10153664262738624_4563932059105520224_n

I just heard a very disturbing story about a woman whose life was lost to domestic violence. It’s easy to think that the problem is “over there.” As a female professional dancer, I’ve always had a sense of agency over my will and body. That’s part of why I feel compelled to share that with the survivors that I volunteer to teach. A portion of this month’s African Dance and Cardio Jam class will be given to Reveal, a nonprofit organization that encourages female survivors of domestic violence in self-care and life-management by providing tools to accomplish health and independence.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lucy’s Fall Fitness Tip

12184290_10153709498543624_1528927495514177924_o
So…Tails. I lost the coin toss. Lucy’s Fall Fitness tip: Take a walk. Bring your dog. Go get lunch instead of having it delivered to the office. Fitness doesn’t always have to be an “event” while wearing a “costume” i.e. gym wear or cat suit. Fall is a great time to cultivate pleasurable fitness rituals BEFORE January…….‪#‎joharifitness‬ ‪#‎merryfitness‬ ‪#‎happynewrear‬

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summertime Sizzle!

35835_407712623623_7158919_n It’s gonna be hotter than July in August in New York! No offense to Stevie Wonder, I’ll be teaching a  high energy, West African dance class on Saturday, August 15 2-3:30!  Here’s the link for more info. It’s gonna be hot!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment