Archive for the ‘Psychological articles: Dance’ Category

The Sport of Ballroom Dancing

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Psychological Articles: The Sport of Ballroom Dance

Psychological Articles: The Sport of Ballroom Dance

By Boomeryearbook.com

The baby boomer generation has been looked up to as a generation that never shied away from trying out new things and finding new ways to have fun. Ballroom dancing is no exception. It has been universally recognized that ballroom dancing is great recreation, fantastic exercise, and a terrific way to develop self-confidence and hone social skills. Keeping all this in mind Boomer Yearbook did some research for the benefit of the baby boomer generation and put together this psychological article on the history of ballroom dancing as well as some of the most common rules. We hope you Enjoy!

Ballroom dancing was first introduced in the 18th century and its origins can be traced back to England where ballroom dancing was performed by the elite and upper strata of society, in social gatherings and at balls. During the late 19th century it became trendy among the working and middle class who held ballroom dances in public dance halls. Like other dance forms, while ballroom dances have recognizable steps, they are also vehicles of expressing feelings, thoughts and emotions.

History of Ballroom Dancing

Historically ballroom dancing referred to any form of formal social dancing performed as a way of recreation. However in modern times, as the baby boomer generation may well be aware, ballroom dancing, with the advent of dance as a sport, has become narrower in scope.

Interestingly for the baby boomer generation, psychological articles have revealed that the oldest forms of ballroom dancing probably had their roots in camp fire rituals, spiritual ceremonies and fertility rites.

The modern closed couple position of the Viennese Waltz was first invented in the 1700s, (and spread to England in the 1800’s), at the same time as which the Polka and Tango gained popularity and evolved in other parts of Europe.

Ballroom dancing hit America in the early 1900s, incorporating variations such as the Foxtrot, Swing and Quickstep, shortly followed by Cuban, Caribbean and Latin influences of Rumba, Samba, Mambo and Cha Cha Cha.

Modern Ballroom Dancing

Today ballroom dancing has transformed from a social activity to a competitive sport. The modern ballroom dances have been categorized and standardized. This dance style now follows internationally agreed upon terms, techniques, rhythms and tempos.

There are five different steps which are danced in ballroom dancing events. They are diverse in origin but are all danced by a couple i.e. a man and a woman in a ‘Closed Hold.’

The Ballroom Dance Hold

Conventionally the man takes the lead and the lady follows. There are 5 contact points which are to be maintained throughout the dance.
• The man’s left hand hold lady’s right hand.
• The lady’s left hand rests on top of the right arm of the male partner with Tango being an exception and the lady’s left hand resting behind the male partner’s arm.
• The man’s right hand is positioned on the lady’s left shoulder.
• The lady’s left elbow is placed at the man’s right elbow.
• The chest of both partners touch on the right side.

1. Modern Waltz:
A sedate version of Viennese Waltz that has characteristic turns and dips. It’s danced with couples face to face, with arms on each other’s shoulders and hips.

2. Tango:
It’s a light spirited Flamenco originally from Spain. Its emphasis is on leg movements, proud torso and sharp leg movements that have a staccato action.

3. Viennese Waltz:
A dance performed to music with 3 beats to the bar. Today it’s danced to a tempo of 180 beats per minute.

4. Slow Foxtrot:
A more romantic Foxtrot performed to a 4/4 rhythm of about 120 beats/minute tempo.

Dances have been an integral part of human civilization; and the baby boomer generation have reveled in Ballroom Dancing as a form of recreation and socialization. Psychological articles tell us that Ballroom dancing develops self esteem and an overall positive attitude. Ballroom dancing can teach us the important trick of keeping our feet grounded while holding our heads high. And isn’t that what we baby boomers do best?

Boomer Yearbook is a Psychological Articles-Informational Social Network Website for Baby Boomers and the baby boomer generation! Create Boomer Yearbook Profile, Connect with old and new Baby Boomers, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join this website for baby boomers to stay informed with our weekly Newsfeeds on baby boomer relevant topics and to let your opinions be heard.

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Boomers and Belly Dancing

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Psychological Articles on Resolving Elderly Problems with Belly Dancing

Psychological Articles on Resolving Elderly Problems with Belly Dancing

Psychological Articles Resolving Elderly Problems-By Boomeryearbook.com

Yes, it sounds intimidating, but belly dancing is actually a workout that brings more pleasure than pain (if any pain at all). And no, it is not for those young twenty-somethings, and it is not just for women. Belly Dancing is an easy and enjoyable way to strengthen one of the most important muscle and bone groups of your body. So roll up that shirt and get to it!

Belly Dancing stretches and conditions your core, and those muscle groups that basically hold you up and hold you together. Belly dancing works and strengthens your hips and their respective joints, your whole abdomen, your neck, spine, and your arms. Belly dancing is also an exercise that is easy on the joints because it does not put added pressure on your knees or ankles. It works with the natural movement of your body rather than forcing you to adopt unnatural posture or stance.

The benefits of belly dancing are far more numerous than most people ever expect. The most surprising one is that it aids in digestion. Indeed, working the abdominal area by rolling the belly in and out and swaying from side to side has been reported in psychological articles on resolving elderly problems to help ease all sorts of digestive issues by easily moving food along the digestive track.

Another benefit is that it can reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women. Belly Dancing encourages stretching and toning the core joints of the body. So the hip area, where people often experience breakage as they get older, is protected by these exercises because they encourage the production of the fluid that allows for easy joint movement and improves its elasticity.

Belly dancing also does a pretty good job of trimming down the waistline as it focuses the workout on that general area; and any activity that trims your waistline, also trims your chances of heart disease. It also encourages weight loss and improves balance and posture. The movements work on both the small and underused back muscles, while lengthening the spine causing the bones to be properly aligned and eliminating the harmful curvatures that develops from bad posture.

Psychological articles on resolving elderly problems have also reported that belly dancing results in Increased strength and endurance. Since belly dancing uses arms to supplement movements and increase balance, and the stance of a belly dancer is that of slightly bent knees (which reduces the pressure on the joints) and tucked in hips, your thighs, arms and buttocks will be strengthened and toned and you will be surprised just how much less your arms tremble when you pick up that heavy jar on the top shelf.

Most community centers or gyms have information on where you can go for classes, or you could break out the directory. If you feel like unleashing your inner Britney Spears at home, FitTv runs a Belly Dancing Program twice a day- once in the morning and the other in the evening. Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking on any form of exercise, he/she will be able to tell you what level is safe to start at and what exercises you should avoid.

Boomer Yearbook
is a Psychological Articles-Informational Social Network Website for Baby Boomers. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join now to stay informed and receive your weekly newsfeed and discover the many ways this Website for Baby Boomers can contribute to optimal physical and emotional wellness.

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How to overcome the fear of dancing?

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Psychological Articles: Overcoming Fear of Dancing

Psychological Articles: Overcoming Fear of Dancing

Psychological Articles by Boomeryearbook.com

You are up on the dance floor with sweaty palms, looking nervously around you noticing how many eyes are scanning you and how many will smile or laugh at your moves. Your feet are cold, your heart is racing, and you wonder why you are the only one out there. Well, there is nothing to worry about. You are nervous and anxious because you are probably afraid of dancing; too many eyes are on you and who knows how they may judge your moves. These feelings originate from self-consciousness, lack of self confidence, shyness and maybe accurately assessed physical ineptitude. The good thing about it is that it can be dealt with quite easily over time, all one needs is strong determination and willingness to overcome the fear.

Psychological articles tell us the first step in overcoming this fear is to be among a friendly mob; hang out with a group of comfortable friends. It will help keep embarrassment in check. Secondly chose your dance partner carefully. The wrong partner, who may make you feel uncomfortable, can significantly mar the pleasure just as a good partner can increase the fun. Since you are dancing to gain confidence and overcome your fear, initially choose a supportive and kind friend until you gain confidence, and then gradually trade partners until you have reached a comfort zone.

Psychological articles further tell us that it is a good idea to take some lessons from a reputable dance studio (with your trusted friend) as it will boost your dancing skill and confidence. It is very important to know black from white in dance steps because if you know the game you can play it with style and ease. Besides a dance is supposed to bring pleasure and relaxation not fear and anxiety; clarify the purpose and objective behind your dancing until you are convinced it will bring fun not pain. Psychological articles also tell us that knowing the steps will help you project outwards and not dwell on your own appearance and body moves. Try not to think about how many people are around you, nor should you be thinking of how and why they are glancing in your direction. As soon as you train your mind to focus on your moves and enjoy the synergistic rhythm of your body and the music, dancing will become a pleasurable pastime. Who knows people around you might be finding your rhythm fantastic and be turning green with envy.

Another important fact to remember as you fight your fear of dancing is that you must choose your area on the dance floor carefully. Keep in mind your comfort. A spot which makes you nervous or is too crowded is a bad choice. An area too dark to correctly make out distances is also a bad choice. For a sensitive new dancer an area surrounded by too many strangers can also be unnerving.

Last but most important is that you must think well of yourself and never give up. Since impossible is nothing, it definitely is possible to overcome one’s fears. All of us are afraid of one thing or another at different phases of our lives. We at Boomer Yearbook hope you take some risks; banish fear and move out to that dance floor.

Boomer Yearbook is a Psychological Articles-Informational Social Networking Website for Baby Boomers and baby boomer generation! Create Boomer Yearbook Profile, Connect with old and new Baby Boomers, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join this website for baby boomers, stay informed, and let your opinions be heard.

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Salsa Dance and Music

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Salsa Dancers

Salsa Dancers

By Boomeryearbook.com

SALSA-what comes to your mind when you hear the word? A captivating rhythm, dancers with swift, sensuous movements to match the flow of the music, and the vibrant colors of the Caribbean; the sights and sounds of the rich Latin American world!

In the Spanish language Salsa is a spicy sauce but actually it means a “mixture of ingredients”, which helps explain the diverse components that comprise the music and dance we call Salsa. And then there is the vernacular understanding of the root of the word Salsa, which says, “a word with no precise meaning but with vivid associations”.

MUSIC SALSA

The definitive origin of Salsa music is still open to debate. Max Salazar, the Latin music historian, traced it back to the 1930s, when it was defined as a ‘danceable Latin music’. Salazar explained that it was a blend of multiple styles with its closest relatives being Cuban mambo, Son orchestras of the early 20th century and of course Latin Jazz.

Even today Salsa is the most played music in Latin dance clubs, and considered the most popular dance music in Latin communities. The particular style of Salsa that is most popular today is called salsa romantica; a sexy form of couples dancing music with a sensuous beat and very few or repetitive lyrics.

ORIGIN OF SALSA

It’s difficult to define Salsa dance and its origins, but to give it a try; it can be described as a tree with many roots (i.e. origins) and many branches that are the styles evolved over many centuries of time.

People have the misconception that Salsa is Cuban or Puerto Rican. While it is not primarily Latin, it is a form of a French and English country dance that has been infused by Latinos with first the African Rhumba, then later with, Son, a mixture of Spanish Sonero and African drumbeats. Thus, when Latinos poured African elements into the amalgamated blending of music and sound, they created the exotic mix known as Salsa. Technically Salsa is a mix; a distillation of many African, Caribbean and Latin .fundamental elements.

MODERN DAY SALSA

How has Salsa come to have its present face? Bands of musicians from various countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba and others with various styles of music, brought their music to Mexico City and New York. Once reaching these big cities, they various styles were promoted and synchronized and thus the mainstream, modern day Salsa was created.

Today’s Salsa contains many of the mixed elements of Son, Cumbia, Guaracha, and old Merengue; old styles with modernized beats that have morphed with its dancers revealing primary elements with various twists and personalization.

STYLES OF SALSA

Broadly considered as a partner dance, Salsa has also recognized solo forms, line dancing called Suelta, and group dancing Rueda de Casino-in which partners are exchanged. The dance has mostly side to side movements, performed with a set pattern or improvised. The majority of current Salsa steps come from the Son, but the Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Guaracha, Changui, Palo Monte, Rumba, Abakua Comparsan and even Mozambique influences are clearly visible.

The history of Salsa is full of contradiction. It has been reincarnated many times over the years, enjoying world wide recognition and popularity. It’s considered the most dynamic musical phenomena. Today Salsa is a dance oriented genre of music with Salsa music players claiming it as emotionally and culturally genuine since it reflects and projects elements of the vibrant Latin culture.

Boomer Yearbook is a Psychological Articles based-Informational Social Network Website for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join now to discover the many ways this Website for Baby Boomers is offering fun and informative psychological articles as knowledge and hopeful solutions to Types of Discrimination.

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The Four Corner Stones of Dancing

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Psychological Articles: Four Cornerstones of Dance

Psychological Articles: Four Cornerstones of Dance

By Boomeryearbook.com

Some believe that philosophy is the main component in helping to keep the 4 Corner Stones of dancing in one place. Psychological articles argue that whenever a person forgets his true identity, the forces around us start pulling us in directions that we never intended to take. Moreover, this loss of one’s self also has a negative effect on a person’s creativity. The questions remains; how does a person keep himself focused on the task at hand, which in this case happens to be dancing? To understand this concept let us analyze the 4 Corner Stones of dancing:

1. Emotion: The tangling up of emotions is a major drawback to dancing. Psychological articles contend that we are always on an emotional roller coaster. Bringing these emotions to the dance floor can have positive or negative effects based on what emotion a person is feeling at that particular time – happy or sad. There are also cases when the intensity and force of an emotion may help the dancer to rise above the ordinary and make him/her soar into the extraordinary. Emotions are a potent tool that can be used to a dancer’s advantage as long as the dancer stays centered and focused.

2. Physical: Psychological articles and research warn us that it is difficult and emotionally distressing for the average person to be bombarded with images of “idealized” concepts of beauty, such as pencil thin models walking down the catwalk and gorgeous actors with never a hair out of place. According to psychological articles and research, this can cause the average person, especially women, to become obsessed with their physical looks, and in some cases this leads them to take up dancing as a way to improve their physicality and self-esteem. What can be upsetting is that these women may well be gorgeous in their own ways but, psychological articles tell us that since they believe the media propaganda, they do not allow themselves to feel comfortable in their own bodies, and this ill at ease shows in their dance moves. We at Boomer Yearbook want to encourage these women to watch dance shows like “Strictly Come Dancing” to see how women who are very average looking and sometimes “on the overweight side” can dance with a beauty and grace that puts the most petite and slender of the dancers to shame. (And stay tuned for our series of psychological articles on Belly Dancing to improve an over weight’s woman’s self-esteem).

3. Spiritual: Spirituality is the most important of all 4 Corner Stones of Dance. The grace and passion in a dancer’s performance is hugely indebted to his or her spirituality. Choreography alone can not make or break a dancer. It is his or her ability to breathe life into the dancing that makes it successful in enchanting the audience.

4. Mental: The mind is fourth Corner Stone of Dance. A mind fogged with negativity can totally mess up the dancing of even the most seasoned dancer. Psychological articles tell us that dancers should “free” their minds while performing and not let “mental clutter” interfere with the physical beauty of the dance moves. The research contends that “over thinking” can confuse you from executing even the simplest of movements and thus it is best to allow yourself to flow freely with the music and not “over think” your dance steps.

Boomer Yearbook is a Psychological Articles based-Informational Social Network Website for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join now to discover the many ways this Website for Baby Boomers is offering psychological articles as fun, knowledge, and suggested solutions to Types of Discrimination.

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Styles of Belly Dancing

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Psychological Articles on History and Styles of Belly Dancing

Psychological Articles on History and Styles of Belly Dancing

By Boomeryearbook.com

Let’s start out with a brief history of Belly Dancing, and sorry guys, it was not initially used to tickle man’s fancy. According to psychological articles, Belly Dancing originated over 3,000 years ago somewhere deep in the Middle East and ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Interestingly, Belly Dancing was NOT created as a form of entertainment, but was used as a therapeutic modality to help women with various female maladies such as infertility, pregnancy, childbirth, endometriosis, and the elderly problem of menopause. In later years, since these cultures were predominantly Muslim, and Muslim women are not publicly allowed to expose their skin, Gypsy women were brought in from either Romania or India, and began performing Belly Dancing as a form of male entertainment. This sensuous “entertainment” dance art may well be the oldest existing form of dance, and is definitely in contention to be the prequel to today’s sexy pole dancing. Hmm, leave it to the men to turn what was a woman’s therapy into a male entertainment.

While Belly Dancing flourished in Eastern cultures, Western society didn’t get a real introduction to Belly Dancing until 1893, when Belly Dancing, called “Little Egypt”, was shown at the Chicago Worlds Fair. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Today there are numerous forms of Belly Dancing that are widely popular in the Western world.

Psychological articles tell us that Belly Dancing is hugely popular in Western countries; performed as either a solo or group dance. For instance, Belly Dancers perform solo at large social gatherings known as Haflas, or in group formats such as restaurants wherein guests are encouraged to enjoy themselves by getting up and joining the dancer.

It may come as a surprise to most that there are many different styles of Belly Dancing. We at Boomer Yearbook, the website for baby boomers, did a review of psychological articles and found the following styles:

1. Egyptian Belly Dancing: In the early 20th century, a dance patron led the Egyptian film industry, to showcase this dance art; and while the Egyptian film industry deteriorated, the dance form continued to rise in popularity with Egyptian Belly Dance Cabaret-a slightly more conservative form of the art. The dance costumes were also less revealing than traditional garb, and it was hugely popular in Westernized Egypt. Some great Egyptian Belly Dancers were; Naime Akif, Dina Fouad and Mona Said. However today, Egyptian Belly Dancing is coming under increasing pressure to close down as it is seen as repellent to fundamental Egyptian Muslims.

2. Raqs Sharqui: Soon after its Egyptian film introduction, Hollywood began her romance with Belly Dancing,oftentimes embellishing the dance form for gratuitous, dramatic effect. For instance, remember the films Salome, Sodam and Gomorra or Road to Moracco? Hollywood used Belly Dancing as a way to give an exotic cultural and ethnic feel to a film with a focus on stunning visual effects, with the Belly Dance costumes based more on variations of the US bikini than authentic garb.

3. Turkish Belly Dancing: Belly Dancing thrived during Turkish secular, non fundamentalist Muslim heyday, with dancers wearing skimpy outfits and depending mostly on the Egyptian model. As the dance had no folk roots in Turkey and was merely an attempt to attract tourists, Turkish Belly Dancing was considered a non impressive art form.

4. Berber Belly Dancing: Mostly scattered through Morocco, Libya, Egypt Algeria, the Berbers usually practice dancing at weddings and other similar social gatherings.

5. The Bedouins: Dancing has been an important part of Bedouin life. In reviewing psychological articles Boomer Yearbook, the website for baby boomers, discovered that these nomadic people living in the Arabian, Syrian and Jordanian deserts had several types of dancing, the most common of these being Debke, a simple dance with common movements.

6. Tunisian Dancing: This simple dance used a tasseled belt worn around the hips, to give emphasis to hip twisting and forward and backward movements. Tunisia Belly Dancing also incorporates wearing balls on the dancers feet to enhance and emboldened dance movements.

7. Moroccan Dance: Schikhatt is the most popular form of Moroccan dancing. Tight rows of dancers tilt their hips and move up and down in “pulsating” movements, swirling around to create an effect that was at the same time powerful and extremely magical. Our website for baby boomers further unearthed another dance form called the Guedra using trance like steps with constant repetitions that create an ethereal, other worldly effect.

8. Gypsy Dance: The gypsies wear voluminous skirts and employ a delicate movement of the arms. This dance form is used in the Romanian tribes scattered over Spain, Russia and Morocco.

9. Persian Boomer Yearbook, the website for baby boomers, further found that the rulers of Persia (Iran) before the Muslims conquered the area kept themselves entertained through various forms of dancing art. The Muslim caliphs also encouraged and patronized dancing during social gatherings. A national ballet was formed after the Second World War making Iran the only Muslim country to adopt dancing as a national art form.

In America, there are three main Belly Dancing categories: the American Nightclub, Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, and Tribal Fusion. These are used more as entertainment to draw customers and tourists rather than as art form.

Boomer Yearbook, the website for baby boomers, has found an interesting trend in the current psychological articles where the baby boomer women of the United States are reclaiming this ancient art form and today, there is a resurgence of Belly Dancing as a therapeutic modality for women.

And thus, as psychological articles tell us, goes the circle of life and art.

Boomer Yearbook
is a Psychological-Informational Social Network Website for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join now to discover the many ways this Website for Baby Boomers can contribute to optimal physical and emotional wellness.

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