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Dance Tips for Beginners

Listen to the Music and Find Your Rhythm

People dance because they are inspired to dance by a beat or rhythm.  At its most basic form, a dance might start with a foot tap to a catchy rhythm, and taking the movement further, it becomes a dance.

To be a good dancer you need to be able to feel the music and express that feeling with your body.  For the beginner dancer, it is important to become familiar with the rhythm, so get your hands on some music related to your chosen dance style and listen to it at every opportunity.  Try out a few basic steps in the comfort and of your own home to build up your confidence.

Written by: Real Buzz Team

Summer Ending, Fall Dance Season Begins!

Hello Rhythm Elements Dance Studio Family.  Thank you for spending part of your summer with us in our fabulous summer classes.  As you begin a new academic year at your respective schools, we want to wish all of you a productive, safe and joyous school year! Check out the article 101 Back-to-School Tips for Kids and Parents to help you navigate the school year successfully.   And don't forget, Rhythm Elements Fall Dance Season starts Monday, August  6th.  Looking forward to seeing all of you in class!

Where Teachers Can Get Discounts on Supplies

By Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

For many, August will see children heading back to classrooms for the start of a new school year.

For teachers, it means getting a classroom stocked and ready as their students return.  It can also mean a hit to a teacher’s wallet.

A growing list of retailers are offering teachers some relief in the form of discounts and special offers.

Below is a list of some deals from online and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Note: Most deals require that a teacher’s identification be verified.

Educator discounts:

  • Academic Superstore: With some exceptions, part- or full-time students, teachers or faculty members attending or employed by an accredited, degree-granting institution (K-12 or higher Ed), you are eligible for a discount on school supplies.
  • A.C. Moore: Get 15 percent off an entire purchase with a valid teacher identification.
  • Barnes & Noble: Get 20 percent off the publisher’s price for books purchased for the classroom.
  • Bookmans: Get 20 percent off purchases when you sign up for the Project Educate program.
  • Costco Wholesale: Teachers who sign up for a new membership can get over $60 in savings.  Teacher identification is required.
  • Container Store: Sign up for the Organized Teacher Discount Program, available until Dec. 31, 2018, and get email notice of sales and discounts.
  • DickBlick Art Supplies: Get school supply discounts and free lesson plans.
  • Discount School Supply: Get discounts on school supplies to U.S. educators.
  • Dollar Days: Get wholesale prices on school supplies.  For information on additional discounts, call 877-837-9569 or email [email protected]
  • First Book: Get 50-90 percent off retail book prices if you are in one of these groups.
  • GelPro: Get 25 percent off your online purchases.  Teacher identification must be verified (source).
  • Half Price Books: Teachers get a 10 percent discount at Half Price Books when they sign up for an Educator Discount Card.
  • Hobby Lobby: Get a 10 percent discount on in-store purchases.  You must pay with a check or bank card provided by the school.
  • Home Depot: Teachers in public schools can apply for a tax-free exemption on classroom purchases.
  • JoAnn Fabric: Get 15 percent off both in-store and online to U.S. teachers.  You must show valid teacher identification.
  • K12 School Supplies: Get a 30-80 percent discount on closeout and clearance school supplies. Inventory is limited.
  • Kennelly Keys Music: Get a 20 percent discount on orders of books and sheet music made through the phone or in-store only.  Call 425-771-7020 or email [email protected] for more information.
  • Kiwi Crate: Get discounts on bulk classroom orders.
  • LakeShore Learning: Join the Lakeshore Learning Teacher’s Club and get 15 percent off in-store purchases.
  • Michaels: Get a 15 percent discount on in-store purchases.
  • Naked Binder: Get special discounts on nontoxic, environmentally safe and 100 percent recyclable school products.  Email [email protected] or call 877-446-2533.
  • Oriental Trading: Get discounted teaching supplies.
  • PBS: PB Learning Media offers teachers free access to digital curriculum-based resources.
  • Pencils.com: Get 10 percent off all orders.  Valid teacher identification required.
  • Quail Ridge Books: K-12 teachers can get a complimentary membership to the Readers’ Club which includes a 30 percent discount on The New York Times hardcover bestsellers, and a 10 percent discount on most items for personal purchase.  You can also get a 21 percent discount on books for classroom use.
  • Raymond Geddes School Supplies: Sign up for a Raymond Geddes School Supplies account and get 10 percent off your next order.
  • Scholastic Teacher Store: Get special discounts and sales on books, software, curriculum programs, and teaching resources.
  • Silhouette: Silhouette offers a discount to U.S. and Canadian teachers.  Send your account address, school name and location, and teaching certificate to [email protected] (source).
  • Timesavers for Teachers: Get 20 percent off purchases when you use the code “timesavers.”
  • Yoobi: Elementary schools that have more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the free or reduced-price lunch program can get free classroom packs.

101 Back-to-School Tips for Kids and Parents 

By Liz Alton

As summer comes to an end and back-to-school season begins, it can be hard to get back into a regular schedule — both for kids and adults.

To help you out, we asked Dr. Fran Walfish, a child and family psychotherapist and author of "The Self-Aware Parent," and Christina Nichols, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, to share their thoughts on how parents can get a jump on the school year.  In response, they gave us 101 tips that parents can use to ease their kids back into school, while also managing their own stress.

The trick here is to plan ahead.  Read through this list and identify some strategies that you think could help you and your family stay organized and on top of things.  Then, test these different approaches as a family so you can figure out which ones work for you, and which ones don't.

Finally, make sure that you include your entire child care crew in your plans, too.  No matter whether you have a babysitter, a nanny, a tutor, or all of the above, they'll be able to help you keep your kiddo on track for the first day of school.  Plus, they'll be able to take some tasks off of your plate — which means that you can enter the school year with a little more of your sanity intact.

1. Set your kids' sleep schedules back to "School Time" two weeks before the first day.

2. Get your kids involved in programs that they can do after school to keep them active.

3. Visit cultural attractions like museums to shift their brains into "Scholar" mode.

4. Hire an after-school sitter to help care for your kids while you're at work.

5. Encourage your kids to read at least one book before the school year begins.

6. Reacquaint your kids with the calendar schedule they'll use to manage their activities.

7. Try apps like iHomework or MyHomeWork to help your kids organize assignments.

8. Let kids choose a planner or scheduling tool that they're excited to use.

9. Set up weekly meetings to review your kids' schedules for the week(s) ahead.

10. Create a family calendar that tracks everyone's activities and commitments.

11. Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year.  What's allowed and when?

12. Establish a set "Family Time," whether it's during dinner or before bed.

13. Give kids a specific day to when they can choose all the activities you do together.

14. Determine how long it takes them to do assignments to help with time management.

15. Use an egg timer to get your kids used to focusing for specific periods of time.

16. Teach your kids to prioritize their assignments by making to-do lists with deadlines.

17. Give your kids a short break after each assignment they finish, such as a short walk.

18. Set a regular alarm each day that signals the start of homework time.

19. Discuss what your kids can expect on the first day so they feel more prepared.

20. Visit the school with your kids so they can get familiar with their new environments.

21. Arrange playdates with two or three of your kids' friends to rebuild existing social ties.

22. Ask teachers for class rosters so you can arrange playdates with new classmates too.

23. Get the lists of school supplies, books and technology your kids will need.

24. Inventory last year's school supplies before going out to buy more.

25. Include your kids in back-to-school shopping by letting them pick out their items.

26. Make a plan for organizing those supplies — and keeping them that way.

27. Create a dedicated space for your kids to store their school supplies and technology.

28. Establish a specific space like the family office as the official "homework area."

29. Remove distractions like TVs and video game consoles from homework areas.

30. Repurpose and relabel plastic tubs to organize all school supplies.

31. Help your kids develop a filing system for organizing their documents for each class.

32. Set — and enforce — regular weekday and weekend bedtimes.

33. Set — and enforce — regular weekday and weekend wake-up calls.

34. Keep track of existing extracurricular activities to prevent over-scheduling.

35. Have your kids set realistic goals for the new year, such as reading 30 books.

36. Help your kids prioritize their activities by tying them to their year's goals.

37. Create a list of fun after-school activities and games to keep your kids entertained.

38. Touch base with teachers early on to troubleshoot any issues your kids may be having. Here are 20 questions you can ask.

39. Create an after-school schedule that allows time for snack, relaxation, play and study.

40. Establish regular bedtime routines for elementary school kids and preschoolers.

41. Carve out blocks of fun time for your kids, whether it's through sports or playdates.

42. Hire a tutor, babysitter or homework helper to help you navigate homework time.

43. Model good behavior by doing your own work/projects while your kids do homework.

44. Encourage your kids to lay out their school clothes the night before.

45. Use this printable checklist to establish a regular morning routine.

46. Have your kids pack their school bags before they go to sleep that night.

47. Have your kids also pack their gym bags the night before and leave them by the door.

48. If your kids bring their own lunch, pack their lunch boxes before going to bed.

49. Establish rules for where they should put lunchboxes, etc. when they come home.

50. Revamp your home organization setup to be more kid-friendly. For example, low hooks make it easy for younger children to hang up coats!

51. Go through your kids' schoolwork once a month to toss the things you don't want.

52. File or scan assignments that you want to keep.

53. Create an inbox for kids to leave things that need your attention, like permission slips.

54. Designate a plastic tub as a put-away bin for anything that's out of its place.

55. Set a time each week to sync up individual calendars with the family calendar.

56. Inventory your kids' wardrobes and toss/donate things they've outgrown.

57. Create a list and budget for back-to-school shopping.

58. Let your child choose their clothes, shoes and other items they'll need.

59. Go through their wardrobes every 2-3 months to get rid of things that no longer fit.

60. Set up a laundry system that makes it easy to sort and wash everyone's clothes.

61. Make homework caddies that can be used to carry school supplies through the house.

62. Buy bulk packaged snacks like bags of grapes that can be easily added to lunches.

63. Discuss the different pros and cons of bringing versus buying school lunches.

64. Get copies of school menus in advance to discuss lunch choices.

65. Get your kids involved in creating and preparing their daily lunch menus.

66. Buy reusable sports bottles to increase their water consumption during the day.

67. Keep a small emergency allowance in your kids' bags, just in case.

68. Organize lunch ingredients in one part of the fridge so you can make fast lunches.

69. Purchase lunch boxes or reusable bags to help save the environment.

70. Make a week's worth of sandwiches on Sunday, wrap in tinfoil, and freeze.  Unthaw them the night before.

71. Use sticky notes to flag important items in kids' that they should pay attention to.

72. Plan supervised study dates when kids work together on projects or homework.

73. Have a backup transportation mode planned in case your kids miss the bus.

74. Set your clocks forward 10 minutes.  This makes it easier to be on time.

75. Schedule blocks of time to check in with each child to see how things are going.

76. Hire a housekeeper to help with cleaning and know things off your to-do lists.

77. Schedule at least one 30-minute block in your calendar each day for "you time."

78. Create a rewards system for when they meet goals like helping around the house.

79. Shop for school supplies and clothes early.  Avoid the rush.

80. Use positive phrasing, such as "You can go outside after your homework is done," rather than "You're not going outside until this is finished."

81. Make sure your kids (and you!) have an effective wake-up alarm that works for them.

82. Set an alarm or notification 30 minutes before bedtime.

83. Remove things like mobile devices from kids' bedrooms to focus them on sleeping.

84. Use night lights, white sound machines and fans for kids who can't get to sleep.

85. Keep a single, easy-access file for vaccination records and other important papers.

86. Set up the breakfast table before you go to bed.

87. Map out a bathroom schedule to avoid family fights for bathroom time.

88. Replace old backpacks with ones that are sturdy, ergonomic and kid-friendly.

89. Keep a running list of supplies, clothing and food that need to be bought each week.

90. Use a see-and-store toy rack to make it easier for kids to stay organized.

91. Set up a hanging organizer with five boxes for clothes for each day of the week.

92. Dedicate a rack in the garage, basement or entry way for sports equipment.

93. Create a regular pet care schedule that outlines who does what and when.

94. chedule study blocks on the weekends before big tests, mid-terms and finals.

95. Use under-the-bed storage for off-season clothes and toys that aren't regularly used.

96. Give everyone a shower caddy to keep bathroom supplies organized.

97. Have a playdate caddy ready to go, with an extra set of clothes, games and toys.

98. Figure out different ways you can be involved in the classroom this school year.

99. Talk openly with your kids about their feelings about returning to school.  Make sure to hit on these 5 Back-to-School Worries.

100. Do something fun to diffuse this stressful time of year for all of you.

101. Take a breath!

With all this preparation, your kids will be in great shape.  If you're relaxed and calm, they'll head off to school feeling excited and ready to get to work.

The Benefits of Dance for Kids

by REBECCA LAKE 

If you have kids, you may be wondering what is the best way to channel their seemingly boundless energy.  While traditional team sports are a good way to get your kids physically active, they may not be right for younger children.  Dance classes are a great alternative to team sports, and most studios offer lessons for children as young as two or three. Participating in dance classes can be beneficial for kids of all ages.

Improved Physical Health

Dancing is a highly physical activity, and kids who take dance lessons regularly should expect to see a significant improvement in their overall physical health.  According to Pro Dance Center, regular dance practice can increase your child's flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina.  The repetitive movements involved in dance can improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance and coordination and improve overall cardiovascular health.  Dancing is an aerobic form of exercise.  For children who are overweight, it can potentially help them to lose weight and improve their eating habits.

Socialization Benefits

In addition to being a physical activity, dancing is also a highly social activity.  According to "FamilyTalk Magazine," dance lessons can help children improve their social and communication skills, learn how to work as part of a team, develop a greater sense of trust and cooperation and make new friends.  If your child is shy, enrolling her in dance can encourage her to reach out to other children her age and help to reduce her anxiety about new people or places.  Dance can also help to alleviate fears related to performing in front of an audience.

Educational Benefits

Becoming a skilled dancer requires practice, discipline and focus, skills that can be useful in other areas of your child's life.  According to "FamilyTalk Magazine," dance lessons can help to spark creativity in young children and help them to develop an appreciation for the arts. Students who regularly participate in dance lessons typically tend to perform better academically than their nonparticipating peers. "FamilyTalk Magazine" estimates that students who have a background in dance tend to achieve significantly higher SAT scores and do better in math and science competitions.

Improved Self-Esteem

As children adjust to the movements and postures required in dance, they begin to get a better sense of their bodies.  As they become more comfortable in their own skin, their confidence and self-esteem also improve.  According to EduDance, dance lessons can encourage children to foster a more positive attitude and explore their own self-expression. This can be particularly beneficial for children who are physically or mentally impaired or those who are attempting to deal with significant emotional problems.

10 Reasons Why All Boys Should Dance

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa

#10.  Strength, coordination, fitness, agility.  Dance keeps you in condition and makes you strong and fit for other sports – and life in general.

#9.  Dance builds strong, healthy muscles and bones.  It’s also good for “posture, deportment and aesthetic formation,” says Shaw Coleman, male freelance dancer currently working in Europe.

#8. Team work.   Dancing is more of a team sport than you’d think. Performing in a group routine or company hones team skills that will come in handy in all areas of life and work.

#7. Adventure.  Because there are so few male dancers in relation to females, the jobs available to men are particularly significant.  Dance can see you travelling all over the world, working with inspiring people in incredible locations.

#6. Mental strength. The discipline required to be a dancer is beneficial to any area of life.  Dance teaches perseverance, focus and the importance of positive thinking.  “Learning discipline will help you succeed in any other pursuit,” says Shaw.

#5. Self-esteem and confidence.  Dancers are forever putting themselves in challenging circumstances, such as on stage or in a difficult dance class.  If you can slay a dance floor, an audition or a stage performance, you’ll feel like you can achieve anything. Because you can.

#4. Health benefits.  As well as body awareness and general conditioning, dance has many health benefits.  According to Better Health, these include improved function of your heart and lungs, improved brain function and psychological well-being.

#3. Creativity and self-expression.  A dance studio is a safe place where people are free to express themselves creatively.  Dancing also helps to process emotions that are difficult to put into words.

#2. To be a leader not a follower.  It’s sadly common to be bullied for enjoying dancing, but in the long-run, it’s you who will come out on top.  Bullies usually do what they do because they are unhappy, so don’t give into peer pressure; lead the way and let them know you don’t care what they think.  You may even inspire them when they see how much fun you’re having.

#1. Everyone thinks it’s cool.  Seriously.  Even if they pretend otherwise, they are secretly envious of your dance floor ability.  Plus, adds Shaw: “Girls like guys with skills!”