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Dancing is one of life's simple joys, and M's Dance Center wants to share that joy with as many people as possible through the blogs and forums on our site.

A College Cheerleading Scholarship

A major part of a good upbringing is a decent education. Parents have diverse financial resources but they also have different means of organizing their children's education. Some parents are better at it than others. Likewise, not all children want to become doctors or dentists, no matter what their parents would like and most of us thank God for that. Diversity is the spice of life, because luckily we are not all the same.

Paying for your child's higher education is quite another thing. The costs of higher education never seem to fall , despite the fact that there is a depression and parents are being laid off. State funding is also in question. Therefore, there is a huge pressure on the subsidies that are available.

If you are short of the necessary amount of money to send your child to college or pay for it yourself, you will have to use your best gift to try to gain a grant from private industry. You alone know what you or your child is best at and the best thing to do is to exploit that talent in order to attract a grant.

One of the kinds of scholarship that is often overlooked by the academically inclined is a cheerleading scholarship. If you can dance, if you are out-going and if you like showing off, you might get a cheerleading grant, even if you want to study pure or applied mathematics! Tangents off this variation are scholarships for gymnastics and track events.

There are four things to consider when seeking a cheerleading grant and they can all be made to begin with the letter 'W', so that they are easy to remember.

First find out WHO is in charge of cheerleading in your school and if they know where you can go to get more information. If the coach in your school is not up to speed, go higher. Go over his or her head, otherwise you may miss out. If that does not work out, ask around for big local sports teams and write to the sports club directly.

Once you have the pertinent information about where the clubs are, find out WHAT they need from you. A good tactic would be to look at old games and practise the moves that the cheerleaders do in those games. Once you know the cheerleading moves from previous games, you will have demonstrated an interest in the club.

Find out whether the fund that you are applying to has restrictions on WHERE you can be educated. Will you be constrained to the USA? If you want to study English in London, that will be a problem

Find out WHEN the application has to be made by. In other words, what are the deadlines.

There is a lot to do if you want a 'free education' no matter which way you try to obtain it. The point of this piece is to make you conscious of the fact that you do not have to only go down the road of applying for academic grants or even sports grants, things like cheerleading subsidies are also out there.


A Brief History Of Women's Artistic Gymnastics

Did you see the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing?! Yeah, me, too. In fact, I just couldn't stop watching! I was never much of a sports fan until I discovered the Summer Olympics back in 2004. I was sixteen.

I remember being absolutely absorbed by the U.S. women's gymnastics team, and since then, they have only improved by leaps and bounds, but of course, the competition this time around was fierce. But then again, the history behind Women's Artistic Gymnastics has always been full of intense competition.

Women's gymnastics entered the arena of Olympiad competition in 1928. It has always been a team event, but has since escalated to both team and individual contests, starting in the 1934 World Championships. By 1950, team, all-around, and apparatus events were included in the World Championship.

In the earlier days of the sport, most champions were in their early or mid-twenties and had backgrounds in dance, particularly ballet.

The first gymnast to compete on behalf of the Soviet Union, Larissa Latynina, won several medals into her late twenties and early thirties, even competing while expecting a baby. This, of course, is considered dangerous these days, but it just goes to show how things have changed.

Most female gymnasts today have almost exclusive training in the art and sport of gymnastics, though their moves are sometimes still blended with dance techniques.

Most world champions tend to be much younger than ever before, though the Olympic regulations state that competitors must be at least sixteen years of age (which is what brought on controversy during the Beijing Olympics because the Chinese competitors were very petite, appearing prepubescent).

The youth of gymnasts is generally preferred because lighter, slimmer artists tend to be able to perform more difficult acrobatic tricks; they are also more flexible and recover quicker from injuries.

In women's gymnastics, the standard uniform has always been the leotard, and it is usually in bright colors, particularly for major competitions. In the past, uniforms worn during the actual match were long-sleeved; however, both half-sleeves and even sleeveless leotards have been allowed by the Code of Points, which regulates the rules for major meets.

But uniforms are still strictly monitored. The leotard must not be cut too high, revealing too much of the hip. It is possible for gymnasts to lose points or partial points because of inappropriate attire.

Our national team doesn't typically have to worry about issues with their attire. Instead, they have to work on polishing each and every routine until it shines! The 2012 Olympics just can't come soon enough if you ask me!


Make Your Prom A Night To Remember

Prom night has been am American tradition for over 100 years. It's an evening for fun, food, and friendship. You've already been brave and asked your date to the big dance. You've been careful in selecting the perfect dress or tux. You've bought the tickets. Now what? Here are some ideas to help you truly make this important event a night to remember for a lifetime.

-- Make plans now to go to the prom with a large group of friends. It can be awkward going to a big dance with someone you don't know very well: having the gang all there together can take the pressure off of everyone. Getting together as a group well ahead of the prom for a planning session is a great idea. You can get input from everyone as to where to eat, what to do afterwards, etc. You can make a to-do list and delegate responsibilities, such as making restaurant reservations way ahead of time.

-- If you have your heart set on using a limo for transportation, going as a large group will obviously greatly cut down on the costs of the rental since the bill can be split any number of ways. Riding together gets your evening off to a great start and builds the excitement. You are also guaranteed not to have car trouble, and nothing is classier than riding in style!

Meet at one person's house for an informal photo taking session before the limo comes. Going to different homes to pick up and drop off couples wastes valuable time, and it's not nearly as fun as getting together ahead of time and sharing the excitement when your fancy ride arrives.

-- Don't just make a token appearance at the actual dance, then leave. A lot of time and preparation goes into putting on a shin dig like a prom, and it's guaranteed to be fun if you give it a chance. Hate to dance? Get over it! You don't have to dance with just your date: loosen up your inhibitions and get out there in a big group and boogie en masse. It's the last time in a long time that you'll have a chance to visit with and play with all of your classmates. Enjoy the prom itself!

-- Make sure your group has planned something fun and wholesome to do after the dance. Too often, young people choose the time after prom to drink, do drugs, and engage in other illegal or unhealthy activities. Why take the chance of ruining what should be a carefree evening? You may want to go to a late movie or do something active (which involves a lot of laughs) like bowling or miniature golfing. Local entertainment venues are well aware of when proms are, and may offer special price packages for the evening.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you get plenty of rest beforehand and feel comfortable and confident in that gorgeous dress or tux. This is your big night: make the most of it!


How To Get The Most Out Of Dance Aerobics

There are numerous aerobics classes to choose from today. You just have to find an aerobics class that appeals to you. However, as most people do not like exercising, there is a type of aerobics which is the dance aerobics.

Most people love to dance and dancing is on of the ways to relieve stress. It is also a way to have fun whether you do it on your own or with others. So, if you combine exercise and dancing, aerobics would be much more fun. This is why dance aerobics classes are popular all over the country. You can have fun while being healthy and at the same time losing weight.

In a dance aerobics class, all you have to do is dance to your favorite music. The instructor will teach you the moves that will help you to not only lose weight but also to become a better dancer. As every aerobics session usually last twenty to thirty minutes with at least three times per week, a dance aerobics class will be the best option for those not motivated enough to exercise for long periods. Twenty to thirty minutes will fly by in the blink of an eye in a dance aerobics class. You will be having so much fun that you won't even realize that you're exercising.

Dance aerobics classes are usually filled with people who enjoy dancing as well. This will make your experience more fun and fulfilling because you will feel that you are not alone in your exercise plan. You can dance and make friends while having fun and losing weight all at the same time. There aren't many other exercise programs that offer the same thing.

Tips On Performing Aerobic Dance Steps

Before beginning an aerobics dance step workout, you probably have had the opportunity to witness dance aerobics classes. If you are impressed with the high levels of energy and the coordination of the participants who were performing aerobic dance steps and feel a little intimidated to join a dance aerobic class, remember that everyone in the class was at one point of time, at the same level that you are at now. There is a beginning to every aerobic dance step class.

The instructor will guide you step-by-step with the dance movements. All you have to do is to follow the instructions and imitate the instructor. Above the music in the aerobics dance class, the leader will shout out instructions to the class. The dance aerobics instructor will be leading the group, shouting out instructions to the class. He will be using the words like left and right. These words refer to the left or right arm or leg. The best advice for you if you are confused while learning the aerobic dance steps is to at first ignore the commands from the instructor and simply imitate his lead.

Understanding The Basics Of Dance Aerobics

Dance aerobics patterns are usually measured in beats. These beats are usually 32 or 64 per minute. However, it is again important not to worry about counting the total beats. All you have to do is simply follow the lead of the instructor. Usually, in keeping time, the only counting that needs to be done in a dance aerobics class is in intervals of four and eight. The entire dance step segment will fall into either one of these counts. A typical aerobic dance step session is performed in four or eight counts.

In addition to dance steps, the dance aerobics routine may also include arm movements. The arm movements are added to the dance steps to increase the heart rate. Remember that it is important to feel comfortable with the basic aerobics dance steps first before adding other movements at your own pace.

Remember Not To Be Self-Conscious

It is important to always keep in mind that you are performing these aerobics dance steps movements to improve your health and your general well-being. You may also have other goal such as toning your muscles or loosing weight. Therefore, you must try not to be self-conscious when performing the dance aerobics steps. If a few times you are out of step or you do not get the routine right the first few tries, remember that the actions you perform will still be beneficial to you and that you are doing aerobic dance steps for yourself and not for others. Also remember that practice makes perfect, so you must keep on practicing to get the perfect aerobics dance moves.


10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Dance Classes

Once you've started your first dance class, it can become an addictive activity and it can become a regular part of your schedule. As well as being fun and a great form of fitness it's great to learn to be able to dance properly like the professionals as well.

Most of the time you will not be told how to make the most out of your dance classes, and as a result many people neglect things which can help them a lot with their dancing. Whereas if you learn HOW to learn and know what things in a dance class you should be paying attention to you can make your learning more effective.

Here are the things which you should be doing in your dance classes to get the most out of them and make the most progress:

1. Treat your dance classes as 'me' time and something you do for yourself. The more you have fun in the dance classes and enjoy yourself, the easier it is for your brain to learn, and besides it's much more fun!

2. Listen to what the dance teacher says, don't just copy them. Many times their words can describe the exact feel of the moves which can be hard to decipher by just watching.

3. Don't feel it's the end of the world if things are not going perfectly. Dance classes can be difficult at times and will stretch you - this is a good thing. If you treat each challenge as something you can master with practise, things can seem a lot less daunting.

4. Try and look exactly like the dance teacher. This includes the exact shapes they are making with their body, hand and feet, body angle, lines, tempo, rhythm and anything else you can pick up on!

5. Perform dance moves full out as much as you can.

6. Breathe while you dance, don't hold your breath!

7. Don't take short cuts. If the teacher shows you the way to do a move, it might seem like a lot of hard work but there'll be a reason they'll be teaching you to do things a certain way.

8. Every dance class and dance style is different. Try and learn every new style as it is without 'flavouring' it with other things you may have learnt in the past. Learn to do it their way. Doing things your way is a separate skill.

9. Focus on what you're doing well, not your shortcomings. Instead practise your weaknesses instead of dwelling upon them.

10. Practise can make perfect (sometimes)!


Buying Ballet Shoes For Children Can Be Difficult - These Tips Can Help

Has your child recently discovered an interest in ballet? This beautiful form of dance requires a specific type of shoe. It can be difficult to find the right ballet shoes for your child. These tips can make the job of purchasing the special footwear just a little bit easier.

If you have ever taken ballet, you may have a bit of knowledge and understanding to take with you. If you are just as new to ballet as your child, you may be lost and searching for a place to begin.

The first step to finding your child's perfect ballet shoes will involve a chat with the dance class instructor. Find out what specific guidelines or requirements the dance teacher prefers. He or she may be able to provide you with helpful information. Some dance schools will allow you to order dance shoes through their contacts. This makes your job so much easier.

If you are not that lucky, ask for recommendations of reputable companies supplying dance supplies such as leotards and shoes. Since ballet shoes are not typically sold at local department stores or regular shoe stores, this will give you some direction.

As you make the trip to the specialty shop for your child's footwear, plan to spend some time shopping. Bring your child with you on this trip to try on the ballet shoes to make it easier to find what you need. Have your child wear tights when trying on his or her ballet shoes. Socks will not allow your child a proper fit.

Ballet shoes are meant to be snug, but not uncomfortable. Give your child the opportunity to walk around and practice a dance step or two. Not only will practice make perfect, but this will allow you to determine if the shoes fit properly. A dance shoe that is too small will not provide comfort. If the shoe is too large, it may come flying off in the middle of a performance.

Some ballet shoes have a small elastic strap on them to help keep the shoe in place. For children, this feature is a must unless it goes against the dance school's guidelines.

Consider quality and budget when purchasing dance footwear for your child. The most inexpensive shoes may be a good idea for the beginner. With children, interests change like the weather. There is no need to shell out cash if your child will not remain in the shoes long. Then again, if you are committed for a year or more, a higher quality pair of ballet shoes may be in order. You will pay more for durability, but over time, the dance footwear will be worth the investment.

Beginners do not need point shoes. Do not invest in such ballet shoes unless specifically advised by the dance instructor.

If your youngster is a budding ballerina, finding the right footwear can be quite a task. Try on shoes to ensure a good fit for your child. Budget and comfort are other factors to consider. With a little time in the shop, you will find the right ballet shoes for your child.


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