Hip-Hop Dancing
How to Learn Hip Hop Dancing
The hip-hop style of dance evolved from the hip hop culture of the ‘70’s, and has now spread around the world. It has become popularized by many internationally famous artists—singers, dancers, DJs and MCs.

Some of the unique characteristics of the hip hop style of dance are improvisation on the part of the performers, as well as personal style and interpretation.

Learning to dance hip hop style, especially if you are not that familiar with the culture, music and moves surrounding it, can be a bit tough at first. The best thing to do before anything else is immerse yourself in it, as the hip hop style is nearly as much about attitude and character as it is about choreography and dance routines.

So what is the first step for you in learning the hip hop style of dance and movement? Once you’ve immersed yourself in it by listening to hip hop music, watching the pros do their thing and getting the feel for it, you are ready to begin.

Since the hip hop style of dance is so popular worldwide, you will not have a hard time finding a dance studio, instructor, or video tutorials to get you started. As you will see, it is in many cases very fast paced, with small, almost unnoticeable movements which are key to looking authentic and giving it just the right feel. Therefore, plenty of practice of one step at a time will be essential. Don’t try to rush it, neither should you feel like you’ll never “get it” if you don’t take off as fast or as easily as you would’ve liked in the beginning.

Learning the hip hop style of dance takes dedication and time, but it’s very rewarding. With time, your confidence, skill and enjoyment will increase.

Photo Credit:Sarath Kuchi

Blocks of Photos
Camera & Exposure Information - Leave a Comment
Yes, you've seen it before. When searching online for camera & exposure information, leave a comment and turn the helpful article or blog into a conversation. Oftentimes these days people find more helpful information in comments than they do in actual web content.

The digital world is quickly transforming into the virtual reality of outdated science fiction. The user experience is becoming more visual than ever, with videos, and increasingly vibrant pictures. In fact, social media networking depends on amateur photographers and citizen journalists for a steady supply of its visual content.

The problem is the massive amount of digital cameras leave an even more massive amount of online camera & exposure information. Leave a comment on the sites that provide helpful information, and skip over the ones that are either commercial selling points, or hold no interest.

Additionally, if you come across something in your searches, for example unanswered questions you can fill, do so, and in that way help the digital environment grow. Here are a few tips when it comes to camera & exposure information. (You knew this was coming...) Leave a comment if there’s anything else that could be added.

  • Digital cameras can handle their share of exposure error, but even the basics in understanding exposure properly can bring photography to new heights.
  • If there is too much exposure, blown highlights will result. Oftentimes a minor amount of detail can be recovered through enhancement software, but the pictures will ultimately suffer in quality.
  • On the other hand, if there isn’t enough exposure, blown highlights again will become an issue. Essentially what happens is a lack of data being recorded, so there is nothing to be recovered later on.
  • With poorly exposed pictures, it becomes very difficult to get any good contrast. Additionally, color saturation also suffers.
  • Correcting and enhancing pictures through software can be extremely time consuming. It is far more cost and time effective to get in the habit of taking pictures correctly the first shot.
  • With current technology, light meters in digital cameras may still be tricked by certain environmental lighting conditions.

Understanding exposure is key and just as important as knowing what the camera is capable of. There’s the shutter speed to think about, which is how long the shutter stays open so that light can come in and be caught by the image sensing technology.

Then of course there’s Aperture. The list is huge, and that’s why searching online is the best avenue to take when hunting down camera & exposure information. Help by leaving a comment and contributing to let other aspiring photographers know how well the tips worked, or how up to date the information is. Additionally, when knee deep in camera & exposure information, leave comments on pages where you want to stay involved. Online conversations around photography can get very technical, so staying on the mailing list or getting further comment updates can be extremely enlightening.

Taking part in online communities around photography can bring people around the world, and to places they’ve never imaged. One of the best perks of the 21st century is being able to join in and connect through comments.

Practicing to Pole Dance
Overhaul your Fitness with Pole Dancing Lessons
Probably a lot of women would not consider taking pole dancing lessons because what comes to mind when you think of this type of dancing is not exactly something you want to study for. This is where an open mind can really work in your favor. The fact is that pole dancing lessons are fabulous for creating the sexy, lean, strong physique that so many women are after. Many women who have nothing to do with the entertainment industry have taken this type of fitness training, and loved the results!

In your pole dancing lessons you will learn to move your body in an organically sensual and feminine way that results in the leanest and strongest figure you have ever had. And you will very likely be the most confident and sexy you have ever been as well. Through your pole dancing lessons you will strengthen your core, improve your flexibility and strength, and tone every muscle in your body. This is not a booty shaking session, but an intense work out.

Pole dancing lessons are gaining popularity all over the world, and with women from all walks of life. They are being pursued primarily as a means of fitness and a way to connect with one’s femininity, not for careers as exotic dancers. If you have an interest in this form of fitness, you can probably find several places in your local area where you can learn.

You can also take pole dancing lessons in the privacy of your own home. There are several DVD instructional videos made by some of the best pole dancers around today that you can purchase and use to perfect your skills. Poles can be purchased online from numerous stores that cater to this type of fitness.

Photo Credit:S H Effan

Ryan Cavanaugh Bill Evans Soulgrass Electric Banjo
Banjo Lessons
While most of us have heard of the banjo, many people do not actually know anything about it or how it is played. Since you are reading this article, I assume you are interested in learning more about the banjo, so let’s get started. I will cover six 'Banjo Lessons' to give you some background knowledge about Banjos.

  • Lesson One: What is a banjo?
    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a banjo is a musical instrument with a drum-like body, a fretted neck, and usually four or five strings that may be plucked or strummed. Some newer models have six strings and are played more like a guitar.

  • Lesson Two: What is the origin of the word banjo?
    The exact origin of the word is unknown, but etymologists have a number of ideas. One possibility is that it is derived from the Kimbundu word mbanza which refers to a similar instrument. Other possibilities include the word coming from the Senegambian word for the bamboo stick that once made up the neck of the instrument, and from the Portuguese word bandore or the Spanish word bandurria which both refer to other similar instruments to the banjo.

  • Lesson Three: Where does the banjo come from?
    Banjo-like instruments were brought to America with the African slaves who then perfected the instrument. It first gained its popularity in the US in the southern United States minstrel shows during the nineteenth century. It still remains most popular in that area of the world, and is often used in bluegrass music today.

  • Lesson Four: Where have I heard the banjo before?
    Many popular bands have used banjos in their work. Chances are you’ve heard the banjo at work and didn’t even know it. Some past popular radio hit songs you may have heard of that include banjo music include R.E.M.’s “I Believe”, Modest Mouse’s “Satin in a Coffin”, The Eagles' “Take It Easy”, Neil Young’s “Old Man, and The Grateful Dead’s single “Dark Star”.

  • Lesson Five: How much does a banjo cost?
    The cost of a banjo, in general, will be anywhere from fifty dollars to three thousand dollars. If you are just starting out, you’ll probably want a beginners lower-end banjo, which will cost you around two to three hundred dollars.

  • Lesson Six: What other costs will there be when I start learning to play the banjo?
    The most obvious cost you will incur will be the price of banjo lessons. This will vary based on the talent of your instructor, but will generally cost you about fifty to a hundred dollars per lesson. You will most likely want to purchase a case for your banjo as well, and this will usually cost around fifty to a hundred dollars for a basic yet good case. One cost that you may not be expecting is the cost of tuning your banjo. First check with your instructors. Some instructors will tune it for you or teach you to tune it yourself. If this is not possible, music stores will usually charge to tune (or repair) your instrument for you, and their fees vary.

  • Photo Credit: Dean Zobec

Child Playing Piano
How to Teach your Child Piano
Most parents dream of rearing musically inclined kids and make music prodigies out of them. If you are among these parents who have that musical dream for their kids, most likely the first thing you would think of is how to teach your child piano. Learning to play the piano is as basic to the field of music as learning to add and subtract is to arithmetic. However, many parents would delay teaching their kids the piano because of their kids’ age—but the truth is, even toddlers can already start to learn to play the piano.

Children are most often capable of learning piano and beginning lessons as early as age three or four, depending on their attention span. However, all children are not the same in this respect. Just because a child is not able to concentrate enough to get started at this age is not necessarily an indication that he or she will not be able to concentrate successfully at a later time.

There are techniques and programs available for introducing even younger children than three or four to the general concept of music using the piano. These would normally not be considered traditional piano lessons, but more an introduction to sound. The duration would be much shorter than that of a traditional half hour lesson. If not overdone, this can be effective in giving them a head start in their transition to full out piano lessons at a later stage.

An essential step you have to understand in learning how to teach your child piano is to set a progress plan. A good and flexible plan is important in learning how to teach your child piano because it gives you and your kid a timeline of progress and improvement. Among others, you have to consider your kid’s age and willingness to learn. Definitely, you wouldn’t want to deprive your kid of fun in playing toys common to his age, otherwise it will be a problem in the long run.

In understanding how to teach your child piano, it is important to consider a child’s playful nature. You may start to introduce a toy piano and let your kid play it as much as he or she wants. Letting your kid face a grand old piano in his first playing lesson will definitely NOT help. Kids are fond of colorful things and the like—make sure you integrate this developmental characteristic in learning how to teach your child piano.

Along the way, you will notice your kid starting to develop his liking and fondness of playing the piano. Once this becomes evident, you can move further in discovering how to teach your child piano. At this point, you can start introducing metronomes, basic rhythms and the like.

Realizing how to teach your child piano is supposed to be fun and the most important thing to remember is to consider that you are working with a kid! FUN and PLAY should always be part of this task.

Photo Credit:Philippe Teuwen

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