Category Archives: party

Read These Tips Before Your Wedding Day (2)

Read These Tips Before Your Wedding Day

Standing at the altar and saying “I do” can be a nerve wracking experience in itself, let alone the planning process for months (or in some cases, years) before the big day. This article offers some tips to help you easily plan your wedding and take your mind off the rest.

When taking dance lessons for your first dance, do not get fixated on learning a routine. It may be tempting at first, but when you will actually get out on the dance floor you will be counting steps which will in turn make you look a bit robotic. So try to learn how to lead and follow instead.

Your ceremony is a beautiful, soul-touching event, which will bond you to your partner for a lifetime. You will appreciate having some time directly after the wedding to spend with your new spouse, so schedule in a half an hour, in some secret location, to snuggle up and enjoy your moment.

Here’s a fun tip – practice your wedding kiss! You want to make it sincere and not sexy, not too short but not too long. NO TONGUE! Practice how you’ll hold your partner’s face, if you choose to, or where your hands will be otherwise. You only get one shot, so you’ll need LOTS of practice beforehand!

If you’re going to be photographing a wedding, make sure to visit the location where the wedding will be held so you know what angles will be available to you and what barriers might get in your way. If you know where everything is you’ll have a much easier time on the wedding day.

If you are the bride at the wedding, make sure that everything is how you want it. If you settle for less than what you want you will most likely not be pleased and not have the perfect day that you have dreamed about since you were a little girl.

Use more than one camera when photographing a wedding to be prepared for any shot. It’s nice to have two different settings, for example one wide angle lens and one long lens so you can get photos of varying aspects of the same shot. It also allows you continue taking photos even if one of your cameras dies.

Put a lot of thought into the seating chart that you create for your wedding. Make sure that the elderly do not have to travel a long way to get to their seat and that your family is close to you. Also, try to have the members of each family sit with each other.

If you are having a church wedding, consider holding your reception in the church basement immediately following the service. If your church doesn’t have a basement, they most likely have a hall perfect for the affair. Many churches have volunteer staff as well that will help decorate and provide food for the cost of the ingredients and materials alone.

This article has provided great wedding planning tips and hopefully you are able to utilize at least a few of them. Through careful planning and thoughtfulness, your wedding will be a day you will always remember. Hurry up and get the planning over with so you can enjoy the special day!

Ballet Shoes – Tips For A Proper Fit

Ballet Shoes – Tips For A Proper Fit

A ballet dancers best friend are her ballet shoes. The wrong shoes can result in disater. Ballet shoes that are not well fitted can cause a dancer to improperly execute ballet techniques. Injury and improper balance can also occur when ballet shoes are not properly fitted. Any ballet dancer with a little experience knows that properly fitted ballet shoes are critical to good performance.

Ballet shoes have five components: The binding, quarters, drawstrings, side seams, and pleats. Each of these parts must be adjusted to fit the dancer’s foot exactly. Properly fitted ballet shoes will ensure the dancer can feel the floor beneath them. In other words, ballet shoes should fit like a glove.

Grace, poise, and technique is the essence of ballet. To accomplish this a ballet dancer must have excellent fitting ballet shoes. For the best fitting ballet shoes, there are necessary steps that must be taken. Here are four tips to help a ballet dancer achieve this.

Number One – Realize your feet can be different sizes, meaning your ballet shoes may not be exactly the same. It is sometimes necessary for ballet dancers to have two different sized ballet shoes. Try on various ballet shoes to see what fits best.

Number Two – Make sure to wear tights when fitting your ballet shoes, just as you would when wearing your ballet shoes to dance. This will ensure a better fit. Never try on ballet shoes without wearing tights.

Number Three – When you first put on your ballet shoes, pay close attention to your toes. Stand flat on the floor. If your toes curl, you need to change your size, as your ballet shoes are not fitting correctly. If your toes curl you cannot achieve proper technique while dancing and you will have a poor performance. Injury may also occur if you cannot perform the proper dance techniques because of your toes curling. If your ballet shoes are too large you will curl your toes in an effort to keep the ballet shoes on. This can also result in a poor performance, bad technique, and possible injury.

Number Four – The last step is to criss-cross your drawstrings, then “pointe” your foot. There should be no gap in the width of your ballet shoes. Simply put, this means there should be no extra space at any part of your ballet shoes. There should also be absolutely no toe room. If there is toe room you will not be able to properly “pointe” your foot. You will also not be able to feel the floor beneath you. Hence you cannot perform any dance techniques properly.

Properly fitted ballet shoes are crucial for a ballet dancer. With these tips in mind you will be able to properly fit your ballet shoes, and be on your way to a beautiful dance performance.

Capturing The Perfect Live Sound At Your Wedding

Capturing The Perfect Live Sound At Your Wedding

Choosing your entertainment will be one of the most important decisions you will make as you plan your party. A fabulous live dance band will help to create an exciting and festive atmosphere for your special event, however a band that plays at an overly loud volume, is poorly mixed, or uses a substandard sound system can easily ruin your special day. Everyone wants the band’s performance of great party music to lure the guests onto the dance floor, but your non-dancing guests need to be able to carry on conversation without yelling into each other’s ears. Balancing these concerns is a challenge, but you can have your cake and eat it too – the key is finding a band that is able to perform at a volume that pleases you, and also has the proper sound equipment and qualified personnel to run it.
Evolution of Live Wedding Music
Live music at wedding receptions has undergone its own changes in recent times. For most of human history, live musicians have been part of every special occasion across almost every culture. Commercially available music recordings did not even exist until the 1890s. The concept of a mobile DJ providing party music was fairly new in the 1950s and didn’t really take off until the disco era of the 1970s. Ever since, bands and DJs have had to compete with one another for gigs of all varieties – dances, parties, wedding receptions and so on.
While at one time, recordings attempted to emulate the energy and sound of a live performance, today we are finding also the opposite to be true: bands are striving to match up to the pristine production of modern recordings. Needing more musicians to cover all the musical elements, live wedding bands (and their sound systems) have grown in size over the years. In common use today are full-range speaker systems that can faithfully reproduce the low frequencies as well as effects units and reverbs that tailor the sound to modern recording aesthetics. Many bands also incorporate sequenced (pre-recorded) rhythm tracks, drum loops, and interesting sound effects into their live performance to capture the effects of today’s dance records. Wedding music is becoming high-tech and a sound engineer is usually needed to manage and operate the complex equipment during the party.
Keeping the Music at a Reasonable Volume
It is the responsibility of the band and their sound engineer (if they have one) to ensure that the volume level during the wedding reception is both comfortable and enjoyable. Keep in mind that what guests are hearing is a combination of live stage sound made by the instruments/amplifiers on stage and the sound coming from the speaker system. In order to reduce a band’s overly-loud volume while still maintaining a good musical balance requires the drummer to play softer, onstage amps to be turned down a bit, and perhaps the master volume of the PA system to be lowered. The danger of lowering the volume of the PA too much is in losing the presence of the vocalists and being unable to understand the words of the songs. An experienced group will be able to perform at an ideal volume level, but will also be willing to adjust appropriately if requested by the bridal party or guests.
Given that most banquet halls also serve as live music performance venues, it is surprising how many of them suffer from poor acoustical design. Room geometry and materials incorporated are the two main factors in determining a space’s acoustic characteristics. Rooms with upholstered chairs, carpeting, drapes, and other absorptive materials will make for a dryer sound that is generally lower in volume and more easily controlled. Hard surfaces such as glass, mirrored walls, marble floors, and wood paneling reflect sound much like a mirror reflects light. Hard surfaces contribute to making a room sound echoey or muddy and can cause the volume of your guests’ conversations as well as the band to shoot up beyond comfortable levels. Rooms with poor geometry can make for poor intelligibility of sound and acoustic oddities such as being excessively “boomy” when listening from certain spots while sounding “thin” in others. These factors should all be considered with care when choosing a banquet facility for your wedding reception.
Ask questions and raise concerns to the bandleader before your event to ensure the music will flow with the party both in terms of styles and volume. A talented wedding band putting on a dynamic, heartfelt performance will be effective no matter what the space and its limitations may be, and in the end that is what is truly important to the success of your special event. Good luck, and don’t forget to have fun!

Social Benefits of Salsa Dancing

Social Benefits of Salsa Dancing

Have you ever wanted to broaden your social circle but wasn’t sure how? The bar scene is tired. Shopping malls, grocery stores and churches are way too cliché. But have you ever thought of dancing? Yes, that’s right dancing! Dancing is one of the best social activities. Actually salsa dancing is one of the best ways to meet people and mingle in a fun, laid back, easy-going environment.

If you visit any salsa dance club there are all types of people of all different age groups and cultures all coming together to have a great time. The atmosphere of pumping beats, rhythmic dancing cascading across the dance floor while people circle around mingling while having a drink is addictive!

But even if you’ve never stepped foot in a salsa club or a salsa dance floor, that’s ok because www.salsadancedvd.com can help you master the basic steps. Even if you lack the experience of a trained salsa dancer, salsa clubs are always filled with people who will take you by the hand and show you the simplest steps so that you can have a great time. I know it sounds a bit hard to believe but it’s true. I’ve been to salsa clubs many times and been asked to dance. While I insisted that I was not very good, it was always a friendly smile saying, “that’s okay, I’ll show you”. Where else can you get such gracious, friendly treatment? Definitely not in any bar I’ve ever heard been to.

To enjoy salsa dancing you only need to know a few simple steps:

First you step forward with your right foot and back and then scissor kick step and then back with the right foot. The left and right feet interchange but the same pattern of movement is followed. It’s much easier to explain in video format, that’s why you should visit www.salsadancedvd.com to see detailed video footage of exactly how it’s done.

But just remember to relax, move those hips and have fun!

Just dance like no one is watching!

Want to master the art of salsa dancing? Learn everything you need to know by going to www.salsadancedvd.com.

Get in Shape with Ballroom Dancing

Get in Shape with Ballroom Dancing

Nearly everyone got caught up in the dance craze by watching “Dancing with the Stars” this past season. There’s just something about the music, the dances, the level of competition, and the sarcastic responses from the judges. But there is also something else to be noticed with the professional dancers – their bodies. Not one single professional dancer had an ounce of fat anywhere on their body. What you saw was lean, toned, and muscular abs, arms, and legs. You probably would never think that ballroom dancing can produce such a workout, but it’s actually one of the best physical fitness programs available.

Ballroom dancing is much more than a slow dance around a moonlit dance floor. There are several types of dances involved with ballroom dancing, ones that involve twirls, kicks, twists, and bends. In fact, ballroom dancing gives you the opportunity to move your body in a way that you would otherwise never experience – not even in an aerobics class.

It’s no secret that most people looking to get fit or lose weight are intimidated by the gym. Not only are you surrounded by people with a better body than you, but often you find yourself having to wait for a machine or struggling to keep up in a class. Ballroom dancing is a great way of making exercise fun, and it’s an activity you can do together with your partner or spouse. Unfortunately, some people continue to live inactive lifestyles because they just can’t find a physical activity they like to do.

You may be surprised to learn that ballroom dancing can burn just as much fat and calories (if not more) than a session at the gym. Depending upon the style of dance, you can easily burn between 200 and 400 calories. For example, the foxtrot or the waltz provide an easy and gentle workout and will burn around 200 calories. This is comparable to a brisk walk in the park or thirty minutes on the elliptical. On the other hand, dances like the jive or paso doble can burn over 400 calories, which is comparable to an intense step aerobics class.

While walking on a treadmill or doing crunches are well-known exercises, they only work certain parts of your body – which leave you to workout longer in order to cover the rest. Ballroom dancing literally works every part of your body and every major muscle group. You are more likely to see results faster due to the challenge your body endures with dancing.

And if you don’t have a partner to take with you to dance class, don’t let that stop you from experiencing the glide around the dance floor. Many classes will pair you up once you arrive, and you may meet some great friends or something more! Most people who get into ballroom dancing have lots of fun, and are more likely to dance longer which extends the duration of their workout. So trade in your walking shoes for some dance shoes, and dance your way into better shape!

Wedding Cake Activities

Wedding Cake Activities

Upon arrival at the wedding reception, many guests head for the cake table so they can admire the cake. Some time later, the bride and groom come along for a picture opportunity and the grand cutting of the cake. Then everyone enjoys cake and it’s gone. Believe it or not, there are many more activities that can make the wedding cake more about fun and less about tradition.

Of course, watching the bride and groom push cake into each other’s mouths is a long-enjoyed tradition, but there are many more fun – and less messy – activities to consider as well.

One new option that’s gaining popularity is to have cupcakes instead of a cake. This is a method that is usually more affordable than having a cake and it can be a lot of fun. Cupcakes are decorated in alignment with the wedding theme, just as a cake is, but the cupcakes are instead arranged on tiered cake plates and displayed on a cake table until it’s time to eat them. The cupcakes can be simply handed out on plates to each wedding guest.

Now, what’s fun about using cupcakes instead of a whole wedding cake is you can save money, certainly, as many reception halls and caterers charge a per slice fee to cut and serve the wedding cake, but you can also build activities into the cupcake presentation. For example, the cupcakes that are for the bride and groom can have a different decoration than the ones for the guests.

As an extra touch, you can have the baker include a special prize in one or several cupcakes. A small charm or tiny toy can be baked into the cupcake. Whoever gets the charm wins a special prize. These prizes can range from a gift basket or gift certificate to a restaurant to a dance with the bride or groom.

Some brides like to use a Southern tradition and have charms baked into the wedding cake. Similar to the idea above for cupcakes, this involves baking small charms or tiny toys (but usually charms) into the cake. Those who get one of the charms are said to have good luck. You might even consider having charm bracelet charms baked into the cake, which are then made into a charm bracelet for the bride.

Not everyone enjoys cake. How about an activity for those who won’t be eating cake? They can be required to do the “Macarena” or the chicken dance during the time when everyone else is eating cake. If they manage to do the dance continuously while the other guests enjoy cake, they win a prize. Or they simply get to sit down, as now they are tired!

In keeping with the dance during cake theme, how about a requirement that in order to get cake, a guest must perform an impromptu dance first? Or there could be trivia questions about the bride and groom or about popular culture. Guests must correctly answer the questions before getting their cake. There could be competitions among tables or individuals for most questions answered correctly.

Many people believe that once the cake is cut, they are free to leave if they wish. Since cake cutting usually comes after the meal and after dancing and other traditional celebration activities, many people take the opportunity to leave the party after the cake is cut and enjoyed.

If the bride and groom want their guests to stay after the cake is eaten, it is worth some extra effort to build some activities into the cake-cutting event so people will stick around longer. This can be as simple as telling people not to leave, or can be more subtle and fun.

For example, each person could receive a slip of paper with his or her cake. These slips of paper could be prepared ahead and provided to the catering company with instructions that one folded strip of paper be placed on each plate with the cake. The paper might give an agenda for the rest of the evening or might ask its recipient to perform a little dance, to head over to give the groom or bride a kiss, or might ask them to take the flower girl out on the dance floor for a spin. The unknown will keep all the guests guessing and provide some entertainment as the instructions are carried out.

Dance to the lights – Club lighting

Dance to the lights – Club lighting

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Source: Flickr

Lighting may just be one aspect in the club business, but its impact on a business’ success is vital. It’s a huge challenge to make your club looking different each night because let’s face it, club-goers are fickle and they always look for the next best club out there. Club lighting can set the mood and impression of your club. Changing your club lighting for a varied look each night helps in maintaining or increasing patronage from people.

There are things to consider when setting up your club lighting system aside from aesthetics. Some club owners often forget about U.S. regulations on the use of laser lights. Although lasers are among your club lighting’s special effects, ultra high intense lasers could hurt people. You can get the programmable laser fixtures, which could cost $5,000 these days, but the intangible benefits can’t be measured

Another effect you can use in your club is LED lighting. LED lighting provides great effects and is getting more popular than neon lights. The general lifetime of LED exceeds 40,000 hrs, which makes it ideal for places that are hard to reach for re-lamping like color wash bar backs and alcoves.

You can also add up technology’s latest for club lighting – video walls and dance floors. The possibilities are endless if you link up a graphics generator or PC to a video wall or dance floor. LED dance floors (developed by Avr) provide LED color changing dance floor that is water resistant and load bearing. Using this side by side with the Avr sealing system, the floor can survive impacts from fallen bottles/glasses and liquids.

Also available as an alternative to your club lighting system are mood lighting and effect projectors. These devices are able to transform the style and atmosphere of your club using programmed lighting systems or general color changing units such as oil projectors, water effects, and other color generating units.

The iBall can be used as one of your club lighting effects or an all round advertising and information tool. The iBall can be installed on/behind a bar or mounted on the ceiling. It produces a 360-degree display for advertisements and information. Wall screens can be used in place of poster and flyers and among other club lighting effects. An addition to club lighting effects is Outdoor Colour Wash lighting. It can project a wash of color over any structure giving it a different and varied look. It’s great to use over the building, club or bar garden.

If you want your club show to be unforgettable for your audience, you can use a set of special effects units like fog and snow machines, lasers and sky scanners, to pyros. Maximizing today’s technology on lighting effects not only maximizes your revenues, it can be an expression of arts through lights.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Decorations

Tips for Choosing Wedding Decorations

The first thing that guests notice when they attend a wedding ceremony or reception are the decorations. Therefore, every bride and groom wants to have the decorations very attractive, memorable and to have these represent the interests or the couple.

Usually, the task of choosing the wedding decorations is delegated to the bride and the female members of the family and entourage. However, it is still preferred that the groom should also help in conceptualizing the decorations to be used for the wedding.

Here are some aspects to consider when deciding on what decorations to be used in the wedding:

* Mood

Will the wedding be formal or casual? Do you want it to be traditional or contemporary? This will help in deciding what candles, flowers, balloons, and other venue enhancements will you be needing.

* Color Scheme

Consider the main color to be used for the decorations. This may be the couple’s favorite color, a color that can be associated with their hobby or the color that is preferred during the season. Make sure that the color of the decorations will go well with what the members of the entourage and the guests will be wearing.

* Site

Take pictures of the wedding site as early as possible so that you can check the pictures while considering a decorating idea.

* Time

Usually, decorations can only be set at the church and at the reception within one to two hours before the event. Therefore, you must consider decorations that don’t take much time to mount. Also, these decorations should also be taken down right after the event.

* Guests

Consider how many will attend the wedding reception and how big is the site. With the number of guests that you will be having, can you still set-up bigger decorations that will take some floor space?

If you have a large number of guests, you may just want to set-up floor decorations near the stage and dance floor where most of the program will take place. Also, you might want to opt for smaller but finely detailed table decorations.

Also consider if there will be kids who will be attending the wedding reception. Kids may get bored during the program and start playing with the decorations that can cause an unsightly mess. So you may just get decorations that are not so fragile.

Another tip, if you will be having several kids as guests, you may have a kids area, where they can mingle with other kids and where the decorations and food are more suited for their age.

* Budget

Improperly chosen decorating ideas will not look well even if these cost much. Also, choosing just two or three decorating ideas, as long as these are implemented well can make a ceremony and reception look lavish.

Also, it is not necessary to buy every item that will be used as decorations. Some professional decorators can give you information on vases, mirrors, table centerpieces, dried flower arrangements, arc ways, pedestals and plants that will only be used for one day.

With these, just adding a few candles, laces and fresh flowers will make your wedding site and reception exquisite.

A final budgeting advice, check with the wedding rite venue director if there are other weddings that will take place during the day. If so, you may want to coordinate with the couple that will be using the venue before or after you. The may agree with your decorating ideas or add some of their own, and agree to just split the decorating expenses with you.

Ballroom Dancing – The Handicapped and the Disabled

Ballroom Dancing – The Handicapped and the Disabled

Dancing is good for your overall health, for weight loss and for mental relaxation. Everyone loves to dance, including those people who just happen to be blind, deaf, missing limbs or confined to a wheelchair. Many groups have formed classes to teach these people ballroom, line dances, jazz ballet and anything else they may want to learn.

The Malta Wheelchair Dancesport Association is one of those groups. Wheelchair dancing had been practiced in parts of the world since the 1970’s but wasn’t started in Malta until 1999. The group holds classes to teach dance to disabled people using a format very similar to that used to teach non-disabled people. The classes are open to people who just want to learn to dance and those who want to dance competitively.

When it comes to the competitive dances there are two groups, Combi (one partner is in a wheelchair the other is not) or Duo (both parties are in wheelchairs). They learn all the Standard Ballroom dances and the Latin American Ballroom dances. For those who are just interested in social dancing they offer courses for line and solo dances.

Wheelchair dancers use their upper bodies and arms to perform the same movements in the same manner as non-disabled dancers. Also, no different from non-disabled dancers, some are good and some aren’t but ALL dance because they love it. The dance classes have the added benefit of teaching both the wheelchair users and their helpers more and better uses of their chairs encouraging them to become more independent

The Gallaudet Dance Company is comprised of about 15 students all of whom are deaf or hard of hearing. Gallaudet is the worlds only accredited Liberal Arts University for the hearing impaired. The dancers rely on many things using their vision and sign language to communicate.

For years hearing people have bought into the theory that the deaf “hear’ by feeling vibrations through the floor. Although that may work when standing still on a surface that will conduct the vibrations it wouldn’t do much good when you are moving, jumping, or standing on a concrete floor. The Gallaudet Dancers practice for hours on end to develop an inner sense of the timing for each dance. This is accomplished in part by watching an instructors counting out the rhythm of the dance. The instructor will give a sign for each step in much the same way hearing dancers will get a vocal count from their instructor.

Deaf and hearing-impaired dance students work had to remain “in time” with or without music. The most important things for teaching these students to dance are a visual count, high quality sound systems and use of sign language.
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Hundreds of viewers watched fascinated as Heather Mills competed for several weeks on Dancing with the Stars with one prosthetic leg. Not only was it difficult to tell which leg it was most of the time but she performed some high difficulty moves that the other dancers didn’t even attempt!

Smoke & Fog Machines

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Smoke & fog machines were very popular at school dances in the 1980’s. They didn’t seem to be very popular into the 90’s but they have certainly reappeared as a way to offer special effects. They are affordable machines that you can buy if you plan to use them on a regular basis. Many nightclubs have them and turn them on at regular intervals throughout the night. They tend to get the audience excited and those that have been lining the walls may be more likely to get out there on the dance floor.

Smoke & fog machines can also be used for Halloween parties and any type of dance you want to host. They can be used for large engagements or small affairs. There are many sizes of them too so make sure you get what will work well for your event. You can always rent a larger size smoke or fog machine if what you own won’t cover the space that you have readily available.

These types of added affects are very safe too as most people don’t have any problems with them. They aren’t as dangerous as pyrotechnics or other types of affects. This means the insurance for the business will be lower than with those other features. It also means they are safe machines that people can use on their own without any type of certification.

It is important that you only use a smoke or fog machine as it is indicated though. Don’t add anything to it but approved fluids. Make sure there is the right amount of fluid in the machine too. If you have too much or too little you will end up with some problems with the operational functioning of the smoke & fog machine.

If you rent a smoke or fog machine you need to make sure you inspect it before you leave with it. This way you won’t be charged for any problems it has upon the return of it. You want your experience with such a machine to be one that is fun and memorable so make sure you are responsible with it. You also want to be able to get the most use out of it if you do decide to buy one.