By now we’re all familiar with twerking: hip-shaking, booty-focused dance moves a la Nicki Minaj and (ugh) Miley Cyrus. It’s sexy, it’s silly — and apparently, it’s completely safe for expectant mothers. OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton confirmed to ABC News that twerking is safe for pregnant mommies who won’t let a little morning sickness get in the way of their booty-shakin’. “For the average pregnant woman, dancing and aerobic activity is safe during pregnancy, so therefore Twerking is, too,” she explained. “Pregnancy is not a disease, and women should feel comfortable being active. If something hurts, don’t do it.” So go for it, ladies. Shake that fetus around like a cocktail shaker! [10news.com]
It’s time for another episode of “Trainer Trials,” our new video series in which I try out various fitness activities in hopes of finding one or more that I don’t hate. (That sounds negative. I’m just really good at finding excuses not to work out, so in order to keep the ol’ ticker healthy, I need a semi-regular fitness routine that is at least half as enjoyable and fun as, say, drinking wine and organizing my sea shell collection.) The amazing Zuta Gilchriest from Crunch Gym came by The Frisky video studio to give me and Jessica some private Zumba tutelage, and, well, booties were poppin’. (Watch above!) Zumba combines dance styles like salsa, merengue and soca, with standard workout moves like lunges and squats, all to the tune of various Latin and world beats. I know, I know, we’re making it look easy – but it’s not. Embodying the spirit of Sasha Fierce works up a sweat, you guys. I don’t know that I feel confident enough yet in my skills, but perhaps after a few more classes, I’ll be bustin’ out that towel move at the clurb. Look out!
Twerking. It’s the “Dougie” of 2013, the Macarena of the zeitgeist. It also appears to be a very popular YouTube extracurricular activity — and not just amongst the Miley Cyruses of the world. This Huffington Post Comedy video sets a bunch of twerkin’ dudes to the sweet sounds of classical music. It really elevates it, don’t you think? [Huffington Post]
You may remember Karen Cheng as the former Microsoft exec who resigned from her job a few years ago via a song posted to YouTube called “Bye, Bye, Excel and I.” So what has she been doing since quitting her job? Teaching herself to dance, man. Cheng has posted this amaaaaaaazing YouTube video of her journey which concludes in an insanely awesome performance in a San Francisco train station. Seriously, it’ll blow your mind and inspire you to take a dance class or two yourself. Check it out above!
J-Sette is a dance style that emerged out of southern female African-American step teams, but has now become somewhat more pervasive. You can see elements of it in Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video, with its mix of super precise and tightly choreographed moves, done with grace and flair (Beyonce always gets accused of, um, “borrowing” from different styles). J-Setting is super popular in southern African-American gay clubs, but it’s not without its dilemmas. According to Philadelphia choreographer Jumatatu Poe, finding venues that will accept a squad of guys J-Setting can be difficult. “The guys practicing J-Sette are, to a certain extent, limited in terms of where they can dance,” he said in a 2012 interview. “[They] wouldn’t be in the stands with the majorettes at sports games because it’s not typically accepted.” This crew is called the Prancing Elites, and they’re based out of Mobile, Alabama, and they are straight up amazing.
Click through to see another video of the Prancing Elites performing at a Mardi Gras celebration!
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Guys, I think I just watched the most astoundingly beautiful and moving “So You Think You Can Dance” audition ever. The show is back for its 10th season, and on Tuesday night’s episode, Hampton “Exorcist” Williams — who you will probably remember from season nine — ended up auditioning for the show with his girlfriend and adooooorable daughter, who share his unique style of dancing. What you’re about to watch is possibly one of the most powerful and inspiring things I’ve seen on TV. Like, I was a bawling mess. So good!
It was a typical Orange County night at the tail end of a long, lazy winter break. The plethora of yogurt shops in the neighborhood were closing, and even if you craved a Starbucks treat, it was too late in suburbia. The few dive-bars in the area boasted their usual divorcee crowd. My mom, dad and I finished a late dinner and now it was time to select our entertainment. Movie night at the Gray house is not only standard, but also probably the best post-nine-o’clock activity in town.
“What do you want to watch?” my mom asked, flipping through the movies in On Demand. She stopped suddenly, staring at me with calm yet focused eyes, “Do you think you can handle ‘First Position’?”
“Sure,” I responded casually. I understood why she was tentative to suggest watching a documentary about young ballet dancers, yet I was feeling confident. Friends and former co-workers had repeatedly suggested the film and I was in a safe, comfortable environment. I was all in. “Let’s do it!” I took a deep breath and settled in (Snuggie and all) to watch the story of six young dancers dedicating their lives to ballet, as I had for so many years. Keep reading »
Aside from it being Valentine’s Day, February 14 was also the day of the One Billion Rising campaign, which aims to end violence against women. Violence is cyclical, so it should be no surprise that many incarcerated women and men were also once victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence at some point in their lives. To combat the cycle of violence and break the hold that violence and victimization has had on their lives, male and female inmates at a prison in San Francisco took part in a dance project sponsored by the One Billion Rising project. Dance may seem like a rather ephemeral way to address such heady issues, but for the inmates that participated in the program, dance provided a metaphorical way to escape their own feelings of pain, victimization and shame and a powerful physical release to shake off the chains of incarceration. “We have mothers and sister and daughters and women in the world who are affected by this every minute of every day,” said one inmate of the event. “As a man, I promise you, I will stand up and be a role model.” Let’s hope that sentiment spreads. [YouTube]
As a girl who defined herself as a ballerina from ages three to 21, I’ve had the argument over whether dancing is a sport or art many times over. I don’t care what any guy friend says: it’s both. Hey, you try and make dancing on your toes look effortless!
An article in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald raises a whole new argument: is pole dancing art or sport? Casula Powerhouse Art Center in New South Wales thinks neither because t chose not to display a photo series of pole dancer Zahra Stardust in its women in sports exhibition, “Onside.” Photographer Belinda Mason was commissioned by the Liverpool art center to take the photos, which included shots of Brooklyn Jackson, a gridiron player, Melissa Combo, a longboard surf champion and Stardust in her pole dancing outfit, among others. Keep reading »