Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Crush: Lora Hill, Fights Bullying with Dance

"You know when Lora came to me a couple years ago with the idea, the first words that came out of her mouth were, it could be chaotic, it could be...' And I said 'Great!'"

Awesome. This is principal Kelly Halvorsen's response to a project to change high school kids' lives through dance. Lora had this crazy idea to get kids dancing on Friday mornings and it had some really interesting results.

"When it comes to music, we all stand together" --Lora Hill

Every Friday morning she sets up speakers and turns on the music. What's really cool is that all sorts of students join right in--even teachers dance. It is amazing to see everyone moving together; there are no words, just unity. You can watch video of it at the Ed Moments website. Ed moments is supported by Education Minnesota, a union of 70,000 Minnesotan educators and staff. Remember who else is Minnesotan? Uh huh, yours truly. I am so proud that our teachers are spreading this. I'm convinced that Minnesota has the best teachers (we certainly have awesome public schools) and it was my teachers that made me believe in myself in spite of growing up with an abusive mother.

“I know what can happen to the bullied,” she says. “Suicide. But I also know what can happen to bullies. Prison. “I’m committed to both.”

It's all about confidence. If you can give a student confidence you give them the power to be who they want to be. That kind of strength can stop both students from needing to victimize and students from allowing themselves to be bullied. This reminds me of the strength our pole dance community draws from engaging our bodies for expression and fitness. We come together because we are working on common fitness goals and we learn to embrace differences. That's powerful. I love what Lora Hill is doing and I hope she inspires people to find creative solutions rather than repeating the same hollow messages of what not to do. After all, unity and strength comes from action.

Photo: Lockers by Phil Roeder. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Dances Around the World | International Day of Happiness!

It's the first day of spring!

"Where?!" my better half asks--and I have no clue because it sure isn't Minnesota! In any case it's also the International Day of Happiness as declared by the U.N.:

...recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.
Basically it's important for people to be happy. (I can guarantee you that if I had dragged out a sentence like that for any one of my professors there would be "happy" red ink all over it.) Obvio. Break out the happy dancing.

Starting with Bordeaux, France:

Click to 1:00 at the very least. Scrubs! Dancing in scrubs!

This next one is from KickAsh's YouTube channel, aka Ashley Williams. I love that she's so herself and her dancing is organic. My favorite is when she does the dancing-in-the-street bit around 1:28. I'm not sure what it is about dancing right where traffic should go, but I love it. I secretly dance in the middle of the street on my early morning runs. So if I suddenly stop posting one day, it'll probably have been death by happy dance.

If you click over to the video on YouTube someone comments that the video made him/her happy and Ashley replies that made it worth making. Awwww! I am a sucker for this sort of mush.

As I was compiling these I found a whole bunch of videos from just about anywhere you can think of. Check out this one from Tahiti--ugghh, Tahiti! Now I just want to leave Minnesota and never return. There is dancing in the street, belly dancing, and the obligatory ballerina. Kudos to French Polynesia's YouTube channel, it's working! *Packs bags.*

One more--Boston College. Even the mascot got in on this! I have to wonder about the library scenes though--did they have a lookout? Because I know I would have racked up some fines or at least a death stare at mine. Books and dancing. I'm happy!

What I love most is that so many of the videos to Happy are different people, some of which are amazing dancers and some dance all over the place, like me. That makes my heart glad--people just putting their soul into it and letting go. Because they're happy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

3 Tips for Powering Your Flexy Pictures | RAVPower Review

Lately I've been working on having more pictures in my posts and making them the best I can. I quickly figured out how important it is to be able to take pictures on the fly--you never know when a good opportunity for photographing flexy will come up! I thought of my three best tips to keep powered up on the go to share with you in this review:

RAVPower Review and Camera Power Tips

Keep it together.

I can't begin to tell you how creative my cursing gets when I blissfully find a few minutes to snap a shot... only to discover my battery is dead. #!&? The best solution is to have everything you need in a zip pouch or similar, just make sure your camera is protected from crushing and scratches. I like to have a spare battery, a microfiber cloth, a USB connector cord, and this little charger in there. RAVPower gave me this purse-sized charger free to try and after testing it I am happy to recommend it. It fits nicely in my little photography kit and has already saved me from getting "that look" for draining hubby's cell phone on pictures and instagraming said pictures.

Don't kill your battery. 

You would think knowing the basics of a voltaic cell from Chem class would have prepared me for this but, nope, I had to learn the hard way. I killed the batteries in our home phones almost single-handedly by letting them run down in obscure places (behind the head board, under the couch). Again, "that look" from my dear love. Oops. He explained it like this to me: in a car lead plates are a major part of the battery, and after leaving a car un-operated for an extended period of time you will find that the plates corrode, killing the battery. So now I know, and I'll be using my RAVPower charger to help me keep the battery in use. And I'll have no excuse not to search for my missing batteries--it doubles as a fun little flashlight with a few neat settings (including strobe). Handy.

Have a backup!

My spare battery is my favorite extra to carry. I bought my camera, a Nikon Coolpix S9300, used and have had power issues with it. A quick aside--if you shop used please hope for the best but expect the worst, you will save money and it can be a wonderful buy but get it cheap to offset buying accessories and possibly replacing parts. Anyways my battery has a silly short life and a spare is so easy to pop right back in and keep snapping.

Do you have any tips to share?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Wishes: Mood Music

Technically Mood Music is posted every other Monday, but today I wanted to share this anyways.

A little ray of happiness:

This song makes me want to go running through the neighborhood with a boom box on my shoulder. I hope you listen to this over and over. Soak it up. Instead of some wrecking ball sex mess, this is what I want to see all over the internet and on the air waves.

A huge hug to my beloved Flexines. I hope you are dancing-in-the-street happy today!