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.

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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!

2014 Summer Dance Party Playlist

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Summer is here, and you know what that means?

It’s party time! And what’s a party without a hip twirling, booty shakin’ dance party playlist?

Here are 20 danceable songs for your summer 2014 dance party:

1. Rock That Body, Black Eyed Peas: You can’t just stand in the corner and pretend no one will notice you at a summer dance party. So get out on the dance floor and “rock that body”!

2. I Love You, Belinda ft. Pitbull: Go ahead, dance with a stranger. You might even fall in love…

3. While We’re in Love, Viceroy (Oliver Nelson Remix): By all means, have fun, but don’t do anything stupid with a mysterious stranger while you’re in love with someone else.

4. I Look to You, Miami Horror ft. Kimbra: This jazz infused track will take you to the future and back.

5. Paris (Party Mix), David Guetta: Ain’t no party like a party in Paris.

6. We Found Love, Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna: It’s true. You can find love on the dance floor.

7. September, St. Lucia: This heavy synth beat will have you and your group of friends jumping all over the dance floor.

8. Love Slayer, Joe Jonas: The dance floor is the place where you can cause “nothin’ but trouble, babe.”

9. Jack, Breach: “I want your body, everybody wants your body, so let’s jack.”

10. Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever), The Ready Set: Don’t be afraid to grab a cutie’s hand when your favorite song comes on!

11. Save the Day, Selena Gomez: Dance until the “night starts slipping away.”

12. #thatPOWER, Will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber: You’ve got the power. Now dance.

13. Blackout, Breathe Carolina: “Can you handle the pace”? Don’t blackout. Just. Keep. Dancing.

14. Beam Me Up (Kill Mode Radio Edit), CAZZETTE: Let this track beam you right back to life.

15. Colors, Nadia Oh: Make rainbow love on the dance floor.

16. Crazy, Alexandra Stan: Just go crazy. No one cares how weird you dance…

17. All Night Long ft. Missy Elliot and Timbaland: “Don’t make plans.” We’re gonna dance “all night long.”

18. Disco Romancing (Video Edit), Elena: “Dance until the sun comes up.”

19. Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO: Never apologize for party rockin’.

20. Tonight is the Night, Outasight: Tonight is the night to let your body feel the beat, and lose yourself in the music. Don’t hold back.

Have a happy and safe summer 2014!

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This Week in Music: Capital Cities’ “Kangaroo Court” Music Video

The Kangaroo Court

The music video for “Kangaroo Court” by Capital Cities was released today!

“Kangaroo Court” is the second single off of the Capital Cities album, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery.

If you’ve never heard any of the amazing 80s electro-pop music created by Capital Cities, I recommend you do your ears a favor and check them out.

Although “Kangaroo Court” isn’t my top favorite on the album, it’s definitely a fun song to listen to, with its beautiful trumpet melodies and hard drums.

The video just adds to the fun, danceable qualities of this song!

The plot line for the music video is very interesting, and goes quite well with the lyrics of the song. If I could describe it in one line, it would be, “The story of a zebra who just wanted to have a little fun.”

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And no, this is not a zebra as in wildlife zebras. This is a human zebra, who disguises himself as a mustang to get into a club where zebras are banned.

A club called The Kangaroo Court.

There are ten things I love about this video:

1. Darren Criss. Oh my God. Is he not the hottest dog?!

Darren Criss Kangaroo Court

Darren Criss in “Kangaroo Court” Music Video

2. The synchronization between the drum beats and hand movements (when the zebra knocks on the club door for the second time, and again when Darren Criss bangs his fist on the table at the club).

3. The zebra’s car. He drives a mini cooper. Complete with GPS!

4. The zebra’s fake ID. “Imma Mustang”? Couldn’t have found a better fake name?!

Zebra's Fake ID

Zebra’s Fake ID

5. The trumpet player at the Kangaroo Court. He’s phenomenal.

6. Shannon Woodward. She looks so gorgeous in all of her scenes, and her dance moves are beyond sexy. (Coincidentally, they get sexier right before the bridge when the female voice sings “I can’t do sexy.”)

Shannon Woodley dancing with the zebra at The Kangaroo Court

Shannon Woodward dancing with the zebra at The Kangaroo Court

7. When the zebra sings in the courtroom,

I commit the crime of wasting time
Always trying to rhyme
Yes, I am guilty
But don’t misunderstand me
I admit defeat, then I move my feet
My history will never be repeated
I won’t ever be repeated.

This is the only time the zebra sings in the video, and its well waited for. Too perfect!

8. The way the the zebra is killed. It was a very artistic move to use red confetti, and it definitely worked. The party vibe of the song continues in that scene even though this part of the video is supposed to be sad.

9. The reference to lions being the “King of the Jungle” during the scene where the zebra is watching a lion prey on a zebra on television and also when the lion is served zebra on a plate.

10. The harp at the end. The beautiful harp melody does not exist in the studio version of this track, but its a nice touch to the end of this video.

Did I mention that all of the characters in this video are human animals?

You’ll have to see it to believe it.