What does gratitude have to do with wellness?  Well, you will invite into your life whatever you focus on.  So we better focus on the good more than the bad!

Everyone has something to be thankful for.  If you are reading this, you can be thankful for:

  • Your eyes (or ears if you are listening to this being read)
  • Your ability to read
  • Your computer or phone
  • Access to the internet

Just think of all the things you have!  Your health (even if you are not healthy, if you are alive - you still have some health), your mind, family and friends, a roof over your head, food to eat, a beautiful day, etc.  There are things to be thankful for if you just look.  Did you have to get up really early when you would rather be sleeping?  First, be thankful you woke up at all.  Second, be thankful that you got to witness the start of the day!

You get the idea.

So how can we have an attitude of gratitude throughout the day?  Well, pick a trigger - something you do a lot.  I drink tea all the time, so that is my trigger.  Whenever you do your trigger, say thank you for something. (This can be in your head or out loud.)  So everytime I take a sip of tea, I am going to say thank you for something in my life.

Now you try.

Today's wellness task: Be thankful.  Every time you do your trigger - think of something you are thankful for.  (Also do this whenever you feel stressed.  It helps.)


What is a quick way to make yourself feel better?  Smile!

It may seem kind of backward to smile when you are not feeling happy, but that is exactly what we are going to do, because smiling will send signals to your brain to make you feel happy.  Not to mention that it will help others feel happy too.

And what about the long-term benefits?  Do you want frown lines when you are older, or laugh lines?

Today's wellness task: Smile ALL DAY!  Whenever you remember, smile.  Do a smile check: am I smiling?  The answer better be yes.


Release Stress with Yoga

So if there is one practice which combines posture, breathing, meditation, and exercise... it is yoga!  Know what else is great about yoga?  You can do it anywhere... all you need is your body.  So now you have no excuse for doing today's task.

I will assume that you have been exposed, in some form, to yoga.  If not, congratulations... you live under a rock.  What I am going to stress here are points from my own yoga journey.

  1. Yoga helps, not hurts.  When doing the poses, the goal is not to break yourself, but to work within your body's limits.  If it hurts, pull back a bit.  You will eventually gain the flexibility and muscle tone to do all the poses.  Don't rush the journey!
  2. If you think you don't have time for yoga, you really need yoga.  Yoga is a centering activity.  It brings focus and balance to your life.  It slows you down and makes you calm.  When you are rushing too hard, then you MUST stop and do yoga... that's when you need it the most.
  3. Just get started.  An hour long practice is daunting.  Just start by breathing.  Say you'll do one sun salutation.  That will get the momentum going.  Just start.  Now.
  4. If you can't seem to practice, join a class.  Something about blocking out that time, and paying for it, will make you find the time!  And it will be worth it.

Today's wellness task:  Do some yoga.  Don't know how to get started?  Start with this video.

The Benefits of Breathing

Well, the most obvious benefit of breathing is that you stay alive.  But seriously, breathing is something we do every single day... about 21,600 times per day (maybe more, maybe less depending on how active you are, etc).  But the quality of our breathing is usually sub-par.  How much would your life improve if you could take 21,600 quality breaths per day?  Would your day be 21,600 times better?  Maybe.

What is proper breathing and why does it matter?

Let me answer the latter question first... why does quality breathing matter?

Breathing brings oxygen to your blood.  Without it, you would die.  Your oxygenation level affects your tissues, your organs, your very cells!  Deep breathing provides the oxygen your cells need to thrive.  It also slows your mind and calms your body, which can lower your heart rate and put you in a healthier state.

Ok... so what is "proper" breathing?

Inhale slowly, through your nose, filling your lungs completely.  Feel your chest cavity expanding.  Then exhale slowly, releasing all the air in your lungs... expelling all the carbon dioxide.  Now repeat.  It's that simple and that complicated.  Complicated because, like your posture, you forget to consciously keep tabs on what you are doing.  you fall back into old habits... shallow breathing or gulping for air.

Today's wellness task:  Breath deeply all day.  If you find that you forget, and you are breathing shallow breaths, don't beat yourself up... just try again.

Here is a page on breathing by Piers Cross, which provides many resources, including a video on breathing technique:

Change your Posture, Change your Life

So this title seems a little dramatic, but it is realistic!  Your posture affects everything in your life:  your body mechanics, how you feel physically, how you feel emotionally, how others perceive you, even how others treat you!  Good posture will get you that promotion... that date... that winning lottery ticket (ok... I'm taking it a bit too far).

So for today, your wellness task is to have good posture:

  • Stand up straight AND sit up straight too!  This displays confidence.  And others won't be the only ones to notice; your body will subconsciously get the message and feel more confident as a result.  As far as sitting up straight... the worst posture comes out when we are at a computer or driving.  Watch this video about posture while driving.
  • Pull your shoulders back and down (not in your ears).  Your shoulders are not earrings.  Holding your shoulders up like that creates tension.  You will feel more tense and stressed, and you will develop shoulder and neck pain.  Eiw.
  • Stand evenly on your feet.  Don't pitch forward or backward.  Feel like there is a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you up to the sky.  Move around on your feet and find where you feel the lightest - that is your center of gravity.  Don't pitch forward when you walk; slow down!  Leave enough time to get where you're going and walk there upright.  Smell some flowers while you're at it.
  • Straighten your pelvis.  Stop dropping your pelvis and sticking your butt out... you're hurting your lower back... and making your butt look big.  Seriously, there should be a slight curve in your lower back... not a sway.
  • Engage into your core muscles.  Feel what it feels like to hold yourself up.  Your core muscles are in your torso.  They hold you up.  Having good posture will strengthen them, which will, in turn, better your posture.
  • Look up.  Well.. not at the sky, but stop staring at your feet!  Unless you are searching for pennies, you should look where you are going.  Are you trying to fall down?  Then look at eye level!  Other people will see you as weak if you are looking at the ground... you aren't weak!  You are awesome!  So stop missing life by staring at the ground.

Think having good posture for a whole day is easy?  It's not.  Do the following to help you:

Wear a sign that says "If you see me with bad posture, I'll give you a dollar."

Want to really improve your posture?  Change one dollar to five dollars.

Check out this video about posture.  Watch it and stand up straight!

Music Online Classes

Music 101 - Begin here with middle eastern rhythms on the doumbek!


July Workshop Month!

July is hot hot hot!  AND... the start of our much anticipated "Summer Workshop Months"!  To add some pizazz to the summer months, and work with everyone's more varied schedules, we have designated July and August as our months to do something new! So get out of your routine and join us for this Summer's exciting offers!

This month has varied activities including:

  • Workshop Intensives
  • Private Workshops for small groups
  • 1/2 off private lessons


Workshop Intensives - During the month of July all normal dance classes are suspended and students have the opportunity to engage in specialty intensives designed to hone their skills in a number of areas including props, choreography, and personal style.  Each workshop is two hours long and only $25.  The schedule is as follows:

Tues July 3rd,  6:30-8:30pm

Bollywood Choreography "Sheila"

Sexy and fun! This Bollywood choreography unleashes your inner goddess through head tosses, pops, locks, body waves, and fun hip work... Read More

Thur July 5th,  6:30-8:30pm

Turkish Delight! Footwork, Skirts & Head-tosses

Come learn or refresh the best of Turkish Fantasy technique. We will start with a complete warm up, then move into basic and ...Read More

Mon July 9th, 6:30-8:30pm

Tahitian Choreography "Moemoea"

delightful choreography that shows off the best of Ote'a. You will learn Tahitian technique such as Fa'arapu, Omi, Hura, and Tamau as well ...Read More

Tues July 10th,  6:30-8:30pm

  ATS Level 1

Start your journey as a American Tribal Style dancer in the every popular system laid down by Carolena Nericcio. ...Read More

Wed July 11th, 6:30-8:30pm

  Belly Dance Skirt Choreography "Duraflame"

One of the most beloved Samovar Choreographies of all time! Combining Turkish technique, skirt dancing, and great sense of humor ...Read More

Thur July 12th, 6:30-8:30pm

Developing Solo Technique

Don't be shy, come practice up your solo technique! Some of the most rewarding dance comes from the disciplined soloist who has faced ...Read More

Wed July 18th,  6:30-8:30pm

Create Your Dance Character with Jesse and Christine

Join Christine and Jesse for a three-part workshop to learn about infusing your dance with expression and focus from the beginning! ...Read More

Thur July 19th,  6:30-8:30pm

Bollywood Choreography "Mahi Ve"

This a fun choreography that is great for people looking to learn bollywood technique or cross train with something new. You will explore groove ...Read More

Tues July 24th,  6:30-8:30pm

ATS Level 2

Continue your ATS education with the Level 2 of the popular curriculum laid down by Carolena Nerriccio. You will review level 1 technique and learn new ...Read More

Tues July 31st, 6:30-8:30pm

Yoga for Dancers

Take a break from dance and treat your body to a yoga practice. This practice will include meditation, asana breakdown, asana flows, ...Read More

 Private Workshops for Small Groups - Now is the time for some focus work!  Take your dance to the next level with some small group work.  If you are performing a piece in the upcoming studio party, you and your group will be required to take at least one private workshop to delve deeper into your choreography and take it from a chorus-line piece to a high-level interactive masterpiece!  Each Private Workshop is $20 per person for 1 hour.

1/2 Price Private Lessons - If you have ever toyed with the idea of a private dance lesson... Now is the time!!  For the month of July all private lessons are only $30/hour.  One-on-one time is the key to taking your dance to the next level.  Private lessons are good for:

  • working on a solo
  • prop work
  • learning a new skill
  • learning a specific choreography
  • finding out what you need to be working on from someone who knows!!

Contact Ruric-Amari or AnnaBeth for available private lesson slots.



Yoga for Dancers

Tuesday, July 31st, 6:30-8:30pm

Take a break from dance and treat your body to a yoga practice. This practice will include meditation, asana breakdown, asana flows, restorative yoga and savasana. This is your chance to reset your mind and re-tune your body so you can keep dancing safe!

Only $25 for this 2 hour workshop! Pay in person, or online with Paypal:

Want more yoga?  Check out: ShimmyOnline Yoga Video