Gallery Mondays: Dancer at J. Hood Wright Recreation Center

art j hood wright recreation center

Last week on Wednesday, I took a Strong by Zumba class at the J. Hood Wright Recreation Center in Washington Heights. To say that I was sore the next day is an understatement (thank GOD the next day ended up being a snow day!).

When I walked into the room where the class would be held, I saw these really cool cut out pieces of art by the windows. One stood out to me the most—a dancer with a tambourine in hand and her arms in the air.

I think this piece really stood out to me because of the way she’s posed. I’ve always liked art that captures motion, and she looks effortless with her tambourine in one hand and her other hand hanging loosely over her head.

I have no clue who made this, but I wish I did because I’d love to give them credit for this beautiful piece!

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2017’s Best in Music

It’s the end of 2017, so I put myself to the arduous task of compiling a list of the year’s best in music again. I was just as  selective this year as I was in 2016, so the list below only contains 15 songs/artists/albums. I’m becoming very good at this.

Anyway, let’s not waste any time. Here are my favorite songs, artists, and albums of 2017!

1. “Feels” ft. Pharell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean, Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1. You heard Katy, “don’t be afraid.”

2. “Hurt Nobody”, Andrew Belle, Dive Deep. I think this one takes number one in my heart for best love song of 2017 to slow dance to.

3. “Observer” Darius, Utopia. Darius is a genius and Utopia goes to extreme lengths to prove it.

4. “For a Ride”, NOVAA, Lo, Lights. What a fantastic duo. I would so love to see these two work together again in 2018.

5. “Plastic Rose” Maroon 5, Red Pill Blues. Well, if it’s plastic, doesn’t it mean the love will never die?

6. “Saw You In A Dream”, The Japanese House, Saw You In A Dream. This is the best single I’ve ever heard from The Japanese House. So much emotion in those lyrics.

7. “Depths” ft. Animal Feelings, Mammals, Chase Your Bliss. I kept hearing Mammals as a featured artist on a bunch of songs I love. It’s great to see the roles reversed on this EP. Animal Feelings brought good vibes.

8. “High Off Love” Cannons, Night Drive. Cannons is such glamorously smooth chillwave and I can’t get enough.

9. “Human Touch” ft. Maya Vic, KAPPEKOFF, Kappekoff. If you know me well enough, you’ll understand why the intro to this song gets me every time.

10. “Told You So”, Paramore, After Laughter. Paramore made such a fun comeback in 2017! I love Hayley’s new hair too!

11. “Night Time TV” Fenech-Soler, ZILLA. Can you imagine how fun these guys must be in concert? Like, woah, buddy!

12. “Just a Feeling” ft. VERITÉ, Phantoms, Phantoms. This song has followed me to various stores after I heard this album, and I’m not even mad though. VERITÉ’s voice is a vision.

13. “Malibu 1992”, COIN, How Will You Know If You Never Try. So retro, so somber, so good.

14. “Disguise”, Day Wave, The Days We Had. Prom dance anyone? Also, I am proud to say I own this on vinyl!

15. “Plea Rel”, Canon Blue, Lasso Yo. If he’s saying what I think he’s saying in this song this dude must have had a rough year. Welcome back, Canon Blue.

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Gallery Mondays: ‘Pax Rwanda’ Exhibit @ Port Authority Bus Terminal

pax rwanda

I was traveling last week for a work trip and I came across this vibrant Pax Rwanda exhibit at the Port Authority Bus Terminal’s 9th Avenue entrance in NYC.

The exhibit features several pieces of art that will be on display at the terminal for the month of November. The pieces are embroidered art created by women that survived the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda.

What stands out to me the most about this particular piece is the feeling you get when you see it. Despite the fact that the women who created the art lived through the genocide, which was something sad and grief-worthy, this pair of ladies dancing happily somehow came out of it.

Isn’t that something?

It kind of reminds me of the Bible verse Psalm 118:24, which reads, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Learn more about the exhibit here.

Fall 2015 Halloween Dance Party Playlist

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If you’ve been tasked with creating this year’s Halloween party playlist and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, it’s time to sit back and take a listen to a few tracks that will definitely get your guests on their feet. From electronic dance to dark pop, this Halloween party playlist is going to have your party pumpin’ blood (no, not really…at least I hope not…).

Below are 17 tracks that I’ve curated to spookify your Halloweekend 2015. Enjoy!

1. Paralyzed, Mystery Skulls: Try not to become paralyzed by the first costumed guy or girl you come in contact with at the party(ies) you attend this weekend.

2. Maneater, Nelly Furtado: Let’s stay away from the maneaters in the room for the night, shall we?

3. Blue Jeans, Lana Del Rey (Gesaffelstein Remix): This one goes out to the wallflowers in the room.

4. Doomsday, NERO: Feel that heavy synth pumping through your bloodstream.

5. Afterburner, Futurecop! feat. Renegade: Do you feel that eeriness in the intro?

6. Feed Me Diamonds, MNDR (RAC Remix): If you’re going to be eating anything that night let it be anything but actual diamonds. We don’t need any real paramedics showing up at the party, please and thank you.

7. Houdini, Foster the People (RAC Mix): “Sometimes I wanna disappear…”

8. Teeth, Lady Gaga: All those in Lady Gaga inspired costumes please rise to this occasion.

9. Afraid of the Dark, MKTO: It’s okay to be afraid of the dark. Just dance the fear away.

10. Don’t Move, Phantogram: Are you going to obey Phantogram’s command to “keep your body still”?

11. Yellow Flicker Beat, Lorde: Try out some of Lorde’s infamous dance moves on the dance floor. Tonight it will be totally cool, I promise.

12. In the Dark, Dev: Just keep on “dancin’ in the dark.”

13. Ragdoll, Ashlee Simpson: Don’t you dare let anyone throw you around, even if you’re dressed up as a ragdoll for the night.

14. Dancing With Your Ghost, Cazzette feat. Sterling Fox: I hope this is a friendly ghost you’re dancing with for this number… 

15. Here, Alessia Cara: I’ll tell you what you’re doing here. You’re here to dance.

16. Road Trip, Darius: Time to slow things down with a little bit of Darius.

17. Ghost Town, Adam Lambert: Is your heart feeling like a “ghost town” yet?

Have a happy and safe Halloweekend 2015!

Movie Review: Zedd’s ‘Moment of Clarity’ Mini-Documentary

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“It all started with a moment of clarity,” says Zedd, reminiscing on the moment he wrote “Clarity” (feat. Foxes), the hit song that brought him into the spotlight.

The 25-year-old DJ and producer’s mini-documentary, Moment of Clarity, gives fans a behind the scenes look at last years world tour of the same name.

In the documentary, we learn that the crew only had a grand total of 8-hours of rehearsal for the tour. If they hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have noticed, because the edits of the tour scenes were superb.

Zedd is such a busy body that one of his band members believes there are two of him, one relaxed version of him at the piano, “and another one answering emails, because he gets stuff done!”

In one part of the video, Zedd is watching his fans on Twitter tweet about the leak of “Stay the Night,” a song he recorded with Hayley Williams. “Sh*t happens,” he said after getting off the phone with his manager.

The funniest parts of this documentary are the story of how he ended up producing three songs for Lady Gaga’s Artpop and his response to how he’s holding up on the tour.

“I bought a juicer,” he tells the journalist. The scene should have cut to a smoothie tutorial. That would have been perfect.

The documentary features appearances by Skrillex, Hayley Williams, Foxes and Matthew Koma.

Watch the documentary on Vevo.

7 Things I Learned After Taking My First Zumba Class

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So I finally got to try Zumba this week, and it was great!

I honestly cannot wait to go back. It was that amazing.

Here are a few things general things I learned from taking my first Zumba class with instructor Yenny Barona:

1. People who attend the class rarely dress like this. Actually, no one in the class I went to was dressed like this. Not even the instructor…

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2. There’s no practice round. You just watch and do. It’s not as bad as you think, though.

3. It’s nonstop dancing. No breaks. Song after song, you’ve got to keep moving or you’ll miss the steps!

4. You might not dance the Samba during your first session, but you will dance the salsa and merengue.

5. Be prepared to dance to well known hits like “Jump” by Flo Rida and “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez feat. Iggy Azalea. And then you’ll start moving to the choreography you learned every time you hear them thereafter!

6. You will feel SEXY. Major confidence boost!

7. I’m not even sore! Knock on wood. KNOCK. ON. WOOD.

Take me back to Zumba…

Photo Diary: Danceworks Fall 2014 Concert

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Friday, November 7th, was a night of sexy, glamorous Hofstra Danceworks entertainment. The school dance club put on a show for us all at the John C. Adams Playhouse as part of their annual Fall Concert.

I still don’t understand how they pull off such amazing choreography. Some of the members, such Nicole Marinucci, are double majors at Hofstra.

When do they find time to rehearse?!

The program for Friday night included hip-hop, tap, contemporary and more.

I really wish I could have gone to Saturday’s show as well!

Anyway, I took a few photos at the show, so enjoy!

The first number was impeccably "***Flawless."

The first number was impeccably “***Flawless.”

 

Perfect sync.

Perfect sync.

Such a fun tap routine to Sylvan Esso's "Dress"

Such a fun tap routine to Sylvan Esso’s “Dress”

These girls need to go on tour with Michael Buble for "Feeling Good."

These girls need to go on tour with Michael Buble for “Feeling Good.”

Oh, they're definitely gonna be "Big Stars..."

More than just entertained! #awestruck

The guys did so well in this one!

The guys did so well in this one!

"Love Shack" never gets old.

“Love Shack” never gets old.

They danced to one of my favorite songs, "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap!

They danced to one of my favorite songs, “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap!

Danceworks delivered. Big time. Best dance entertainment I’ve seen since I started at Hofstra. I will definitely be attending the spring show in 2015!