|Posted on August 22, 2017 at 6:30 PM||comments (2)|
1.) Trendy High Bun
When it comes to styling a high bun it's common to wear a sleek pulled back look, however, the new trend is to add a braid. Flip your head upside down and braid from the bottom of your hairline to where you want the ponytail to start. Next, wrap your ponytail into a bun or use a bun maker to give that perfect sock bun look. Now your hair is pulled out of your face for a fashionable look.
Beach waves are a simple and effortless style. Grab a wand, curling iron, or flat iron, whichever you prefer to curl your hair. Typically a flat iron works best. Separate your hair into 4-5 sections from top to bottom. When curling with your preferred iron, loosely hold your hair in the iron for 3 seconds and then release. With the beach wave style, you are not going for a perfect curl. For a more authentic look, leave the ends out when using your iron. After curling each section use lightweight hairspray. When completely finished with the entire head make sure the curls are cool. Next, brush through them with a wide tooth comb or lightly with a brush. Lastly, apply sea salt spray and run your fingers through your hair to break up the curls. Now you have that beach wave look.
3.) High Ponytail With a Fun Twist
Everyone knows how to wear a simple high ponytail, however, here's a fun twist to make this style different and eye catching. Simply add a braid from the front of your hairline to where you want the ponytail to start. Next, combine the hair from your braid with the remainder of your hair and secure together with a hair tie. Lastly, wrap a small strand of hair around the ponytail so the hair tie is hidden. Just like that, you have a fresh new look.
4.) Side Braid
If you like to wear your hair down but want to change it up a bit, this is a fun way to make that "hair down" look pop. First, part your hair where you typically part it. Next, choose the side of your head with the least amount of hair and braid that hair from the front of your hairline to behind your ear. Lastly, secure the end of the braid with a small rubber band. For finer hair I recommend bobby pins. Make sure that you tuck the remainder of your hair underneath what is down or else it will look like you have a side ponytail. Voila! Enjoy this hip new look.
5.) Short Hair ideas
If you have short hair, you can create all of the style ideas above. For the "High Ponytail With a Fun Twist," you can wear your hair half up and half down. For the "Trendy High Bun," you can turn the ponytail into a messy bun. For the "Beach Wave" look, while curling your hair, leave the ends out of the curling iron to create a wavier look. I personally love combing the "Side Braid" look with the "Beach Wave" look.
|Posted on July 18, 2017 at 1:40 AM||comments (0)|
Have you ever woken up on the "wrong side of the bed" and as your day went on, one thing after the other made it worse? Here are 4 things you can do every morning to have a better day.
I don’t want to use the word meditate because it makes people skittish, but the benefits of meditation are vast and truthful. Meditation has been scientifically shown to reduce stress, increase self-awareness and happiness, improve concentration in daily tasks, and even slow aging and reduce inflammation. There isn’t anything you need to do it, no fancy equipment, no coach or trainer...the only thing you need is yourself and your breath. Don’t worry about how long you are doing it and don’t go into it with pre-judgement and expectation - just breathe for a few moments this morning.
Find a space. Sit on your floor, on a chair, or even standing with your back against a wall. Close your eyes and count to 10. Focus on the balance of your breath, the rise of your inhale and fall of your exhale, the expansion and then groundedness. Focus on how your breath feels. Then open your eyes and start anew. The next day do the same if you feel like it -- count to 15 or 20. Don’t apply pressure; just be and breathe.
Every living person can improve from meditation. And, we can all do it. Children, teenagers, adults and elderly can meditate. Black, white or brown - you can meditate. Naturally, you may feel awkward or nervous at first. You maybe worried about someone walking in on you, or just feel darn right out of place. No problem, everyone will experience these types of feelings at first. But, don’t think you’re doing it wrong. Certainly, there are monks who sit in caves and meditate for months, but that isn’t the only way to do it. You can meditate in your modern lifestyle as the modern person you are and still reap all the benefits that the monks do.
2.) Drink water FIRST
Drink water first before you consume anything else. Having a glass of water as you wake up will flush your body out, regulate your temperature, allow your body to absorb nutrients better throughout the day, balance your lymphatic system and hydrate you. Conclusively, you will feel refreshed, less hungry throughout the day, your bodily functions will function more effectively, you’ll think clearer and have more energy. Want to up level it? Drink it warm. This will add to the benefits by firing up your organs and increasing your metabolism. A splash of lemon juice will balance the pH of your body and clear heavy metals.
*Writer's note: Hydration is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy body and mind. Hydrations keeps your muscles loose, joints lubricated, your blood volume at healthy levels, and balance your mood. Something that helps me is carrying a water bottle with me at all times and sipping through the day. Try adding a citrus slice or citrus essential oil for a flavor boost.
Okay, so you don’t have to jump, but move a bit. It can be anything really. Stretch to your toes, do 10-20 jumping jacks, go for a walk, do a few rounds of Yoga sun salutations. Your body was meant to move; it was built for movement. Moving for even 10 minutes will increase your energy, both mentally and physically. Beyond the mental and physical benefits though, it will offer you a sense of accomplishment; a feeling of well-natured positivity in your life increasing your self-esteem and confidence. Life can be tough and days can be long, build through your body to create something powerful inside of you. Beginning your day with feeling that you’ve done something positive. You don’t have to stress about the calories you burn or how high your heart rate is. Just like your meditation, don’t pre judge yourself...just move a bit.
4.) Don’t check your phone until…
Until you’re done. Until you’re done with whatever your intention(s) is(are) that morning. This will be more powerful than you know. We slip so easily into the dark hole of modern technology. Not to say we are not blessed to be connected to others in this way and our ability elevates our lives through our devices. But staring at your phone in the morning will distract you from you. It will distract you from what you want from your morning, from the start of another cycle of the day, from an opportunity to build the foundation of your day the way that suits you best. Mornings can be sacred times in our days full of creative thinking and soft emotions. Allowing the ping of notifications, comments, and emails during this vulnerable time can set anxiety into motion and frame your day by consuming unnecessary excessiveness. So, just wait. Wait until you’re done then check your phone.
Shelly Tranchita is a physical education teacher, Yogi, water skier, dancer, lover of life with an adventure and truth seeking spirit. You can find her at www.shellytranchita.weebly.com and on Facebook & Instagram @shellybyessentials
|Posted on July 17, 2017 at 7:15 PM||comments (0)|
Traveling is fun and exciting, but it can also wreak havoc on your normal routine. Among the new places you see, traveling may bring fatigue, traveler's constipation (or diarrhea!), and LOTS of restaurant/grab-'n-go food. A road trip hundreds of miles away from home doesn't have to be comprised of just gas-station chips, M&Ms, and soda pop! With a little planning ahead of time, you can pack great snacks to have on hand.
Here are 10 snacks you can take on the road that are packed with nutrition and keep you full until your next meal at that 5-star seafood restaurant on the beach (or maybe just Grandma's house in Kansas City). Nutritional information for the following snacks is derived from the USDA’s Nutrient Database (https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/).
1) Fresh Fruit
It can be hard finding fruit options on the road… and restaurant-style peach cobbler doesn’t count as a serving of fruit! Adding fruit during snack-time is a great way to give your body a pop of nutrients. When your meals are nutritionally sub-optional on vacation or a business trip, a fresh banana, nectarine, or clementines can give you fiber and water that will fill up your stomach and keep the bowels moving – even when you’re sitting in the car for hours! Opt for whole fruit that doesn’t have to be refrigerated so that you can carry it with you in the car from Chicago to Florida. Then stock up on fabulous Florida oranges for the trip back home!
Snack size: One whole fruit (For example: 1 navel orange, 1 banana).
2) Whole Grain Bread with Nut Butter
What’s the hype about whole grains? Whole grain wheat products encompass the whole wheat kernel whereas white bread product omit the outside of the kernel. Using the whole kernel gives the bread added minerals and fiber. Many restaurants may not offer whole grain bread products, so supply your own! For flavor, protein, and healthy fats, bring along a jar of nut butter to slather onto the whole grain bread. For those with celiac disease or wheat allergy, gluten-free bread or rice cakes are great with nut butter too!
Snack size: Try 1 slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of nut butter.
Ever have one of those days where you’ve already eaten but you’re still hungry (or think you’re still hungry)? How frustrating! Anytime the munchies just won’t hit the road, I turn to plain popcorn. There are a lot of things we can add to popcorn, but plain, air-popped popcorn can suffice for a fuel-up.
Snack size: Three cups of air-popped popcorn has about 93 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber! Three cups may be more than enough for some people. Don’t stuff yourself, just eat until comfortable.
More cheese, please! Cheese gets a bad rap for its saturated fat content. While dairy products like cheese do contain saturated fat, we also get protein and calcium which are important in our diet. Single-pack string cheese is a great option to take on the road. Try a variety of single-serve cheese packs like mozzarella and queso fresco. These single-serve packs are convenient and fresh. Of note, cheese and other dairy products need to be refrigerated to prevent foodborne illness. Keep your cheese snacks in a cooler at less than 41 degrees or plan on eating the cheese within 2 hours after removing it from chilled storage.
Snack size: One ounce of cheese (For example: 1 slice, 1-ounce single-serve pack).
Healthy fats make nuts a higher-calorie snack, however, nuts are full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Some companies make yummy pre-made nut mixes, or you can make your own mix with just your favorites! Make a big batch to share or separate nuts into single-serving baggies to give you great nutrition with controlled calories.
Snack size: One-third cup of nuts will do the trick! Keeping your nuts to 1/3 cup gives you between 160-180 calories.
6) Raw Vegetables and Dip
Veggies can be hard to find outside of the grocery store! Like fruits, packing in raw vegetables during snack-time is a great way to supplement your diet during travel. Baby carrots, celery, radishes and other vegetables all go great with a little dip! For convenience, look for pre-sliced vegetables and mini-dressing dips that do not require refrigeration.
Snack size: Most Americans do not eat enough “non-starchy vegetables” like carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, green peas, etc. Just eat as many non-starchy vegetables as your heart desires! For the dip, try to stay around 1-2 tablespoons for calorie control.
7) Packaged Tuna
Tuna is great for healthy fats like omega-3 and protein. Companies are moving away from canned tuna in water and oil towards single-serve tuna pouches that don’t have to be refrigerated before opening and don’t have the fishy “tuna-juice” that stays on your fingers for the rest of the day… yuck! Single-serve pouches come in a variety of flavors.
Snack size: The average single-serving tuna pouch is about 70-80 calories for plain tuna and 16 grams of protein. Power up!
My sweet-tooth won’t let me go a day without chocolate, and when I find myself on the road, chocolate-less, I end up drooling over a Dairy-Queen chocolate-dipped cone. While there is absolutely no issue with the occasional treat, opting for a few squares of simple dark chocolate is satisfying without the excess calories, saturated fat, and sugar that may be lurking in dip-‘n-go cones.
Snack size: One ounce of dark chocolate will yield about 170 calories. Just like the nuts, portion control is key.
9) Apple or Banana with Nut Butter
You know how we talked about how fruit and nuts are both great snacks? Combine them! Pack your fresh fruit, such as a banana or apple and have your co-pilot spoon on some nut butter. Yum! Yum! Driver always gets hand-feeding privileges.
Snack size: One whole fruit plus 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter.
My mother would often ask me: Are you hungry, or are you actually thirsty? Sometimes we may perceive thirst as hunger and reach for more and more food. Make sure you always have water available and sip throughout the day. Travelers often try to avoid too many rest-stops while on the road, but dehydration can lead to fatigue and constipation, 2 things you don’t want when traveling! At each rest stop, check that your urine is pale yellow, like lemonade, to ensure you’re getting adequate fluids.
Snack size: If you have a hard time remembering to drink enough water like me, try drinking 8 ounces of water between meals.
Travel doesn’t mean you have to give up nutrition! I hope with these 10 snacks you can take on the road, you feel more energetic, more hydrated, more satisfied, and less blocked up… if you catch my drift. Safe, happy, and healthy travels!
Amanda A. Kostro
DSP Assistant Line Captain
Published Author "The Dark Princess"
|Posted on June 26, 2017 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
1.) Read the audition info and requirements in full before attending your audition.
Pay extra attention to details such as attire, what shoes to bring and how to wear your hair. If the casting director is asking for you to wear black jazz pants, a pink tank top and jazz shoes, don't walk in with a black top and bare feet. These details may not seem important to you however the casting director wrote that specific information for a reason. Read the info & requirements and adhere to them.
2.) Do your research.
Preparing for your audition includes researching who and what you are auditioning for. A quick and easy way to gather information is to look through their website if available. Watch videos, look through photos and read the "about us" section. If you want to impress the casting director, agent or producer, do your homework. This type of knowledge shows that you took the time to prepare and that you're serious about the role.
5.) Be on time.
Have you ever heard of the saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression?" Even five minutes late can set your audition off in the wrong direction. Dancers should allow ample time to warm-up before the audition time slot and singers should perform vocal warm-ups before arriving to your audition.
6.) Stay off your cellphone.
Silence your phone, put it in your bag and leave it there. Nothing is more annoying than hearing a phone in the middle of an audition. This is simple etiquette for any interview/audition.
7.) Be confident.
When speaking with the casting director, stand with your arms at your sides and maintain eye contact. Don't cross or fold your arms or play with you hair. This will make you look more confident and help establish a connection with the casting director. When performing your audition piece, be confident in yourself and give it your all. If you mess up, keep going. Everyone makes mistakes. It's how you handle those mistakes that will set you apart from others.
8.) Don't over talk.
Follow the lead of the casting director and answer questions when asked. Let your personality shine through, however, don't ramble on and on. It's great to be friendly with other dancers/singers, but you are there to make an impression on the casting director, not to make friends. This can be distracting to the person leading the audition and make you look bad. Most importantly, never interrupt the casting director, choreographer or musical director.
9.) Know your availability.
Have your calendar with you and be prepared with any dates you know you are not available. If you have to "get back" to the casting director, this can cause you to lose the role to someone else that was more prepared. Casting directors typically don't have time to wait around and are looking to make decisions quickly.
10.) Give the performance of a lifetime.
When it is finally time to perform your audition piece, be confident, passionate, focused and energetic. Don't look at the floor and if you make a mistake keep going. You have trained so long for this moment, now just go for it and give 200%.
11.) Leave a lasting impression.
After the audition, smile and thank the casting director for their valuable time. A good solid handshake while maintaining eye contact shows you're a true professional. A follow-up "thank you" note (not email/text) to the casting director the next day is a nice gesture and just might help you solidify getting the role.
As a producer that has auditioned hundreds of dancers & singers over the years, these simple tips will help you ace a memorable audition and (hopefully!) land the role. Have fun, perform from the heart and give the performance of a lifetime. Good luck!
|Posted on June 10, 2017 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
When traveling for vacation or work, or in our case performance tours, it is so easy to fall out of your regular exercise routine. Since we tour often, it is so important as a dancer, singer and model to stay fit and healthy and to keep an exercise schedule while on the road however it is just as important for you too. Here are 6 simple exercises you can do in the privacy and comfort of your own hotel room and you can be done in 30 minutes.
1.) Shoulder Press with water bottles (supplies- two 16.9 oz water bottles):
- Hold one 16.9 oz full water bottle in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width a part.
- Extend both arms out at each side, palms up with water bottle in each hand.
- Bend your elbows and bring the water bottles to your shoulders.
- Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
2.) Tone Your Butt:
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides.
- Bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground.
- Slowly lift your hips off the ground and towards the ceiling.
- As you lift your hips, squeeze your glutes and hold for 60 seconds.
- Lower your hips back to the starting position.
- Do 3 reps.
3.) Abs (supplies- two 16.9 oz water bottles):
- Sit on the ground.
- Lift both feet off the ground and hold in a V position. You can cross your feet for more control.
- Hold water bottles between both hands.
- Swivel left to right bringing the water bottle across your body and to each side while maintaining your legs in the V position.
- Do 3 sets of 20
4.) Squats to tone your legs and butt:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and angle your toes slightly out.
- Extend your arms out in front of you connecting your hands together comfortably.
- Slowly bend at your knees while keeping your back straight and slightly angled forward. Try not to extend your knees past your toes.
- Return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 20
- To add weight, hold two 16.9 oz water bottle between both hands.
5.) Oblique Twist (supplies- one 16.9 oz water bottle):
- Stand with your legs shoulder width a part, knees slightly bent and your back flat up against a wall.
- Hold your water bottle in your hands.
- Twist your body from left to right touching the water bottle to the wall while keeping your back flat against the wall.
- Do this the entire your length of your absolute favorite song or 3 reps of 60 seconds.
The plank is a great exercise to help strengthen & tighten your core.
- Lay flat on the ground, tummy facing the ground.
- Prop yourself up on your forearms. Clasp your hands together. Hands and forearms should be flat on the ground.
- ADVANCED: Straighten your arms with palms touching the ground.
- Only your toes should be touching the ground.
- The goal is to have your back perfectly straight holding your core tight.
- Hold this position for 60-120 seconds. Work your way up to 120 seconds.
- Do 3 reps
Bam and you're done! 6 Easy Exercises you can do in your hotel room. We find it so important to make your workout routine fun and sassy. Put on your favorite workout clothes - or heck even your birthday suit - throw up your hair, and crank up that high-energy music to pump you up. When you are finished with your 6 simple exercises, add a few lemons to those water bottles and get your hydration on.
Cheers to a more fit and healthier you.
|Posted on May 17, 2017 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
We host Kids Dance Workshops where we teach cool easy dance moves while incorporating life lessons such as “Be a BUDDY not a bully”, “School is Cool”, “Teamwork”, and “Practice Makes Perfect.”
As we all know, most kids have a short attention span, especially if they are bored and don’t necessarily retain all the information they are given.
So how do we get kids ages 3-18 to focus and make an impact on them to where they actually remember these important life lessons weeks later?
Making this educational experience fun & interactive creates an impact on the kids where they not only learn popular dance moves but important life lessons that they will take back home with them spreading their exciting new knowledge to their friends, neighbors, siblings and family for years to come.
We begin our 30-45 minute kids dance workshop with a brief overview of our company, introduction of our dancers and then words of encouragement to pump the kids up.
The kids favorite high-energy music plays and together we stretch and warm up our muscles. Next, before we begin to learn the dance, one of our “DANCE Spectacular Production” dancers briefly talks with the kids about one of our life lessons. She asks the kids questions such as “Who knows what a bully is?” or “Who here has a cell phone?”, referencing cyberbullying. After the q & a, our dancer completes her short lesson leaving an impression on the kids.
“Who’s ready to dance?”, she asks. Kids scream, “Me, me, me!” We start back up continuing on with the next set of dance moves. For the next 20 minutes we rotate between teaching dance moves & life lessons.
We’re nearing the end of our workshop but first the kids need to come up with a team name before we perform for all the parents and audience members. The kids huddle together in excitement whispering and raising their hands with ideas. As a team, the kids create their group name.
Before the kids perform, they surprise their parents by asking THEM to shout out the lessons they have learned today. Mom and Dad scream back to the stage, “Be a BUDDY not a bully”, “School is Cool”, “Teamwork”, & “Practice Makes Perfect.” The kids all giggle because they know next, we are going to also ask Mom and Dad to stand up in their seats and perform the dance. After all the laughs and loud applause given to the parents for their debut performance, the kids take the stage!
As the music begins to pump and the audience hoots, hollers, and claps their hands, the kids dance their hearts out with joy because they just learned an entire dance in a very short period of time. After acing the dance and coming to their final group pose, the kids confidently shout out together, “Be a BUDDY not a bully.”
|Posted on May 8, 2017 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
We take pride in providing an elite team of hand selected professionals consisting of technically trained dancers & singers. Our talent goes through an intense audition/interview process and then months of training, perfecting their craft, and learning our production show numbers. End result equals a high-energy, family-oriented, variety song and dance show for all ages consisting of many dance styles including Broadway, Tap, Jazz, 50's thru Current Hits, Country, Disco, Motown, Patriotic Military Tribute, Jackson 5, Swing, Contemporary & crowd interaction tailored just for our clients.
So the question is…what is the audition process like?
There are 4 rounds to the audition. Once a talent submits to audition with the company, DSP producers will then select which talent will be considered. There are many factors that the producers look for when selecting talent such as their dance or vocal training, how well they work with others and whether or not they are team players, how flexible (no pun intended) they are as far as scheduling and last minute changes, being the entertainment industry this is key, and their work ethic and dedication for learning a large repertoire of show material.
Round 1 the talent is asked to complete a detailed application. If their answers reflect what we look for, they will be advanced to Round 2. Round 2 is the video submission. The talent is given choreography and or songs to learn along with some questions so we can start getting a feel of their personality. If the talent meets all criteria, they are advanced to Round 3 which is the phone interview. After about a 30-45 minute phone interview, the producers then decide if the talent is ready to advance to Round 4 which is the Live Auditions. At the live auditions, the talent will meet the producers and perform live for them. We spend more time getting to know the talent including another intense interview and q & a. The talent also has an opportunity to learn more about us, what we have to offer, our history and what it’s like to be a company member.
After the talent completes Round 4 of auditions, our producers review all 4 rounds of the talents audition and decides if they will be chosen to become an elite member of our team.
Our favorite part of this process is “the phone call”.
Once selected, one of our producers will call the talent to congratulate them on making the team. After days to weeks of waiting on “the call”, as a performer that goes on audition after audition after audition, after years of training in the studio, after spending tons of money on recital costumes or after hearing “No” countless times, those few words mean everything: “Congratulations, welcome to our team”.
"DANCE Spectacular Productions"
Producers of customized shows worldwide.
|Posted on May 8, 2017 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Have you seen the Oscars, Grammys, Super Bowl, etc...?
What stands out at these award shows/events?
What is typically discussed the next day on the news, in the office & on social media?
Answer: The Entertainment
(Lady Gaga Super Bowl 2017 Halftime Show)
They all have powerful openers, key entertainment segments and or finales. For your upcoming conference/event, roll out the red carpet and engage & ignite your guests with a customized performance or choose from one of our already produced shows based on your theme & budget.
(Beyonce & Bruno Mars 2016 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show)
You have put so much time & effort into your event, make an IMPACT on the message you are trying to convey by adding top-notch quality entertainment that is affordable and doesn't require an extensive set-up. Rest assured, we will deliver a superior quality performance for you & your guests that will leave you awe inspired and talking about the event long afterwards just as we have for over 70 of the fortune 500 companies including State Farm, Microsoft, Shell Oil, Seven Up & Honeywell just to name a few.
Corporate Events are created to accomplish many goals including to Inform, Reward, Unite, Motivate or Inspire & we can help make that happen with the "Hollywood Touch".
Chicago Corporate Entertainment, Corporate Entertainment, Customized Entertainment
"DANCE Spectacular Productions"
Producers of customized song & dance shows worldwide for over 40 years