My top five underrated dance music videos

Stephen Jacobsen

My top five underrated dance music videos of all time. These are the videos made by artist not generally revered as especially talented dancers, but through their music videos exemplify everything that I love about dance. These are music videos not focused of technical dance skill, but the joy and spirit of dance. They remind me that it’s not about the steps being danced, or who’s dancing them, but why we dance in the first place. These are dancers in the truest sense, those who love to dance. There will be no Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, or Michael Jackson on this list, because they have received more than enough props for their works, as great as they may be.

5.  Around the World - Daft Punk -A piece so funky and fun, the video does not employ a slew of highly trained dancers, instead using talents from worlds such as synchronized swimming, relying on relentless musicality to build an amazing energy that sends shivers down my spine on every viewing. Especially when the group inhabits the lyrics literally, and pace around the stage - around, around, and around the world. Also, it’s directed by the genius Michel Gondry, known for his films The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

4. Praise You - Fatboy Slim -An impromptu performance on the sidewalk in front of a movie theater to the Fatboy Slim classic. A musical, well danced, knowingly spastic, and wonderfully realized expression of dance for the joy of dancing. The choreography might be closer to jazzercise than classical ballet, but in a world before flash mobs, this was a revolutionary idea that brought a little more magic into the world. Then when the cd skips, and the group is cheered to finish there performance... gets me every time.

3.  Chromeo - Come Alive-A group of mannequins ... come alive... in this amazing music video by the Canadian duo from Montreal. The dance is themed and spirited, and when one of the band members - as the videos security officer character- gets in on the action, it reminds us of something we forget far too often in the dance world, that dance can have a sense of humor.

2. Beirut - Elephant Gun-Genius timing with burst of modern dance, in a style that has since become a staple in the industry, is so effective its hard not to get teary eyed at the energy being displayed on screen. Beautiful, effective, and musical, an absolute joy of a music video that makes you love the song they’re selling.

1. Feist - 1234-Filled with - “How did they shoot that?” - moments, so creative I get jealous from my lack of involvement upon each viewing. The steps are so simple that they should have become a wedding dance floor staple, yet they somehow dissolve me into tears every time, especially when the groups of brightly color coordinated dancers go audibly cheering across the floor. Shot in one long take, using so much invention, that the drab wear house it was shot in becomes a hot bed of dance genius. Not a single Barishnikov in the bunch - at least from what the video shares - a perfect example of what this list is about. It’s not what steps are being stepped, or who’s stepping them, but why and when they’re being stepped. Probably my favorite music video of all time.

Some Of My Favourite Books

Jeanette Kakareka

I was always that kid that loved reading. Staying up at night until my eyes were bloodshot because I had to finish the next chapter of the Harry Potter book. My passion for being transported into a whole different reality and seeing life through someone else’s eyes has not wavered (also why I love ballet). Here is a list of some books that have stayed with me. I’ve read them all an uncountable amount of times. If you haven’t read them before, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

1. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

I’m not entirely sure why this is my absolute favourite, but I guess I’m a bit jealous of Anne’s beautifully naive look at her world. She has all sorts of reasons to be pessimistic or unhappy but she tries so hard to be good and see the beauty in life. My copy’s spine is creased to the point that it’s hard to read the title.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” 

2. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

I am a deeply sentimental person. Also a deeply sarcastic person. That may seem contradictory, but I find I can satisfy these feelings by reading Jane Austen’s book over and over again.

“Till this moment I never knew myself.”

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

3. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

This is probably one of my favourite books more-so because it is also one of my favourite movies. (Yes, I watched the movie first.) I enjoy the unconventional timeline that happens in the book, and there are several quotes that have really stuck with me. But mostly, I love it for the love stories (not just with his wife).

“But don't you think that it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?”

4. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

For me, this book is all about the humour. I find Oscar absolutely hilarious, but with pieces of truth hidden underneath it all. As his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is extra special to me. One of my best friends and I just went to go and see a play of it at the St James Theatre in London, just before the 125th anniversary of the novel’s publication.

“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”

Intermission time at the European Arts Company's performance of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Intermission time at the European Arts Company's performance of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Santa Fe Opera

Nicole Voris

I recently traveled to my home state of New Mexico for a weekend trip to visit my family.  If you have never visited I would highly recommend it.  The large skies, desert landscape,  mountain ranges, art, and "electromagnetism" will leave you with a different perspective of life and the world around you.  

The famous painter Georgia O'Keeffe once said, "When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air, it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.”

Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie's II, 1930, Oil on canvas mounted to board, 24 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches, Gift of the Burnett Foundation, ©Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie's II, 1930, Oil on canvas mounted to board, 24 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches, Gift of the Burnett Foundation, ©Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

I agree with Ms. O'Keeffe, but will share a bit with you today.  There are so many beautiful places to visit in New Mexico, but this post will focus on my quick visit to Santa Fe. 

My mother, my aunt, my cousin, and I took an overnight trip up to Santa Fe to see the Opera. We made the two hour drive from our home early Saturday afternoon. Even the drive is beautiful.  

The Santa Fe Opera is different from any other opera I know of.  To begin with, they encourage getting to the opera three hours early to "tailgate" in the parking lot.  It isn't your typical football tailgate party though.  Think people in vintage cars, tables with white table clothes and candles, and wine and cheese.  It was so wonderful to have this beautiful spread and eat nestled amongst the mountains.

Once we finished our lovely dinner we headed into the theater.  Santa Fe Opera has one of the most beautiful and unique theaters I have ever been in.  While the stage and seats are covered, there are no walls and the theater is open to the outside and the beautiful air. 

The "lobby" of the theater.  Check out that sky!

The "lobby" of the theater.  Check out that sky!

My attempt at a panorama from my seat inside the theater

My attempt at a panorama from my seat inside the theater

It's a unique experience to watch live theater from this space.  You see the the sun set behind the performers and you can smell the fresh summer rain.  It adds new elements to  the performance and makes it feel more relatable and human. 

We saw the opera Rigoletto.  It was my first time seeing it and I really enjoyed it.  The cast and music was of course wonderful, but I was really impressed with the staging.  They used a rotating stage that created different vignettes for each scene.  

A friend of mine was one of the dancers in the production so we got to go backstage after the performance.  It helped make the already great night even better.  Look how beautiful the theater looks from the view of the stage door. 

After breakfast the next morning we headed home. It was a lovely evening and one of the highlights of my trip home. 

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My Happy Place - A Weekend in Lake Tahoe

Sasha De Sola

Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places to visit. It’s only about three hours from San Francisco which makes it the perfect weekend escape. The lush forests, majestic mountain peaks, and crystal clear blue lake just have this magical quality about them. For me, there’s nothing like a little time in nature to clear your head.

One of my favorite hikes is Eagle Rock on the west side. It’s a super short and relatively easy hike, but it leads you to some incredible views of the lake. The Eagle Rock volcanic outcrop rises about 6,300 feet above sea level and it’s less than half a mile from the road to the top!

The view from the top … vertigo kicks in when I look straight down!! :-/

Another favorite spot of mine is Lone Eagle Grille in Incline Village, Nevada. Make a reservation at the restaurant for dinner, or walk out on the dock, order a glass of wine and watch the sunset over the lake.

    

It’s fun to see everyone enjoying themselves on the water… boating and jet skis galore! I only dipped my feet in the water this time but I’m determined to get out on the water next time around! Until next time…

Splurging on Food

Morgan Quinn

How do you know when someone eats organic? Don’t worry they’ll tell you.

This topic is actually something I’m very passionate about. Although I don’t post about it regularly, I’m definitely a food snob. I believe if you’re going to be a snob about anything it shouldn’t be your fall designer boots or your emu coat, it should be the food going into your body. I know what you’re thinking… HOW WILL I GIVE UP MY CRUNCH WRAP SUPREME AND MY BIG-MAC. Coming from a childhood of living around the corner from a KFC, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, McDonalds, and a Carls Jr. (I’m not kidding) I know how hard it is to not give in. It’s fast and convenient. Anyway, fast food isn’t my point for I could go on forever.

Splurging on food is OK. Healthy, REAL foods make you feel your absolute best. Putting aside weight, and image, we all want to feel good. You can work out and feel amazing then eat a processed burger and your body will cry and update their Twitter on how sad they are. Human worked out but then gave me a burger. Help.

 

I’m going to tell you guys a few things I like to eat during the week and how I prep too!

My favorite places to shop in order are Erewhon, (only in CA) Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Ralphs (great rewards program)! If you haven’t heard of Erewhon and can access one I highly recommend checking it out. Erewhon is basically an older sister to Whole Foods and Whole Foods is maybe a little jealous and tries to be like her older sister. I shop all organic and grass-fed with the exception of a few things. I’ll usually pick up a protein for Monday-Thursday because I tend to eat out on the weekends. I’m a big fan of salmon, NY steak, ground turkey or chicken and maybe a white fish. Then, I’ll buy asparagus because it’s my favorite accompanied by some bell peppers, mushrooms and other veggies to make a nice sautéed thing going. I use the batch of asparagus for all of the days. I’ll also get lemons, avocados and some snacks but these are the basics.

 

For dinner I make all of my proteins and veggies on the stove with olive oil, salt and pepper. I keep it simple because less is more YAY! 

Ground chicken, (not human brain) assorted veggies, and spinach.  

Ground chicken, (not human brain) assorted veggies, and spinach.

 

My completed ground chicken stir fry and a green juice.

My completed ground chicken stir fry and a green juice.

Bon Appetite

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