Tag Archives: Dance

Hozier’s Grammy Hit Goes to the Ballet

This past weekend, Hozier played his 2014 hit “Take Me to Church” alongside the famed Annie Lennox and just blew the Grammys crowd away. Today, his song joins an ever growing list of pop tracks being paired with mesmerizing choreography by pro dancers. Most have seen the video for Sia’s own Grammy nominate hit “Chandelier” featuring the amazing 12 year old Maddie Ziegler, who makes a return appearance in Sia’s controversial video for “Elastic Heart“, this time alongside Shia LaBeouf, not usually known as a dancer. Continue reading

7 Quotes to Help You Find Hope After the Storm

April showers bring May flowers – so the idiom goes, but who talks about how hard those April showers can be to get through? There are weeks during the year when it feels like the flood tides are rising and all you can do is let go into the current. Sometimes those weeks turn into months or longer, and that kind of depression takes different shapes in every person. However, there’s hope. There is a crazy idea that no matter what storms we whether there will be sunshine on the other side, and if we can make it there we’ll be better people for it. There’s hope and optimism that hard times lead to better things. Hope that our trials and tribulations will pay out in positive dividends. We have to believe that to keep going. At Intent we encourage that hope because we believe it to be absolutely true. It turns out we aren’t the only ones – check out these hopeful quotes below and spread them to anyone that could use a little joy.

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4 Stunning Examples of Community Love (Video)

The first definition of community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. The second definition is much more interesting though – a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.  A feeling of fellowship. What does that mean to you? As we look at the different kinds of love that we give this week, what do you consider your community? Do you give back? How do you celebrate it?

The following videos are about people who went above and beyond for the love of those they share a common attitude, interest or goal with. They are community leaders and kids. They start massive construction projects or simply add a little extra joy to their day jobs. The common thread is that they care about the world and people around them, and are taking the time to show it.

Many of the children currently living in Ethiopia have never known a world outside of the HIV/AIDS crisis. It is something that impacts them every day. These teenagers used their phenomenal dancing skills to create a group called the BEZA Anti-AIDS youth group. They travel around the country performing these dances and hand out fliers and information to the crowds that watch them to help create a more educated society and prevent the transfer of AIDS. Talk about using your artistic talents for a good cause.

We all know that hospitals can be a depressing place, but this nurse makes it his mission to give each of his patients something to make them feel warmer and loved. They call him “The Singing Nurse.” It started with him mindlessly singing as he handed out medications and went about regular tasks. Then he realized it was a great way to give his patients some personal care and make them feel special despite their less than enviable situations. It just goes to show how much joy you can bring even in the toughest jobs if you just open your heart.

Jonny Benjamin was 20 years old when he was diagnosed with a mental disorder that left him hopeless for a normal life. So he decided to take his life, but the kindness of one stranger named Mike convinced him not to do it. Instead of committing suicide, Jonny became a campaigner for mental health regulations and research. He’s a leader that tries to shine a light on illnesses that we still don’t fully understand. A few years after that night on the bridge, Jonny started an internet campaign to find Mike, to thank him for saving his life. His story touched millions as the campaign went viral. Above is the video of their second meeting, and proof of what happens when you just take the time to lend an ear.

Your community doesn’t have to just be the people or places around you. We’re all part of a global community because we have this one thing in common – Earth. So it’s important to show love for that too. In Milan they are creating vertical forests to show some love for Lady Earth. Not only does the project beautify a part of town that has become overrun, but it gives a home to over 900 trees per building. Something to pretty, and it benefits the planet? Where do we sign up?

Do you have an example of someone showing love for their community? Share it with us in the comments below!

10 Stunning Photos of Ballet Dancers in the Strangest Settings

Dancers-Among-Us-Wellesley-College-Louise-Layman3237If you have ever seen a ballet performance, we’re guessing it was in a theater, on a stage, with sets, costumes, and the whole shebang.

It’s an exquisite art form, enjoyed by many as a luxury form of entertainment, much like the opera or a classical music concert. The perceived refinement of ballet dates back to Renaissance Europe, when it first developed as a social custom of the royal courts before being institutionalized by King Louis XIV of France.

Eager to emulate European culture, Russia became a powerhouse of ballet training in the early 20th century, with such masters as Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. Nowadays, ballet is practiced, performed, and enjoyed all around the world in countless ways, both traditional and experimental.

Case in point, photographer Jordan Matter recently did a series of photographs portraying ballet dancers in bizarre and uncommon settings. Ballet in the subway? Ballet in a meadow? Check it out!

Which photo is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

 

All photos by Jordan Matter

Vacationing in the Caribbean? Educate Yourself Before You Go

Heading off for some sunshine and relaxation in the Caribbean? Nothing is better for the soul than sunshine, beaches, and great food and company. These cultural tips will help you blend into most Caribbean cultures for the most rewarding vacation:

Always Say Hello First

Image via Flickr by jennicatpink

Before asking directions, ordering food, or doing anything else, always wish good morning, to whoever you are talking to. Whether in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, or Creole, Caribbean cultures always put greetings first and business after. Residents are very proud of this tradition and appreciate when their visitors do their best to remember it as well.

Enjoy the Music and Dance

Image via Flickr by vinylmeister

The Caribbean is known for its soulful music and energetic dancing. Here are two types of music and dance you should discover:

Soca: An offshoot of traditional calypso, soca music was born in Trinidad and Tobago. The sound combines Indian music with calypso for something rhythmic, energetic, and perfect for dancing. As one of the most popular forms of music in the Caribbean right now, you are bound to hear plenty of it. Don’t be afraid to jump into the dance!

Merengue: Extremely popular in the Dominican Republic, merengue is a Latin dance favored in all Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations. To experience the music and dance for yourself, ask the locals for their favorite dance club and head there for an evening. Many cultural events and festivals will also have merengue dance performances.

Dress Up for the Town

Image via Flickr by fensterbme

When packing for Caribbean cruises, remember that you are packing not just for the boat but for the ports of call. While athletic wear and bathing suits are perfectly acceptable on an expedition or at the beach, these clothes are considered too informal for wearing in town. Cover up a bathing suit with a summer dress, or wear board shorts with a shirt and shoes anywhere in town. Scruffy jeans and sweats are also too informal and can offend local citizens or business owners. Most people wear lightweight clothing, so khaki shorts and a T-shirt can’t go wrong.

Celebrate Carnival with the Caribbean Islands

Image via Flickr by globewriter

Traditionally just before Lent, Carnival is the last big festival before the Catholic tradition of 40 days without meat. It has turned into more of a celebration of the cycle of nature and an opportunity to unwind and relax, however. Like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Carnival is only complete with tons of dancing, music, parties, and wonderful foods.

Every Caribbean nation has its own specific traditions and time for Carnival. Trinidad celebrates Carnival in February with parties, dances, and parades while Barbados celebrates Carnival in August, usually with pageants and soca music. Join in the festivities wherever you are by dressing up in colorful dresses or costumes and going out on the town to dance, drink, and enjoy all the excitement.  You can usually find cheap hotels near the action, but be aware of the fact that tourists will likely be approached regularly by locals with offers to purchase souvenirs and various other items you may not want.  Be respectful and direct and everyone will have a good time.

Holidays, greetings, and music are just the beginning to the varied and vibrant cultures found in the Caribbean. What other cultural tips do you have for travelers?

 

Resources:

http://worldmusic.about.com/od/genres/p/SocaMusic.htm

http://www.seaworthy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=473&Itemid=509

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art59853.asp

Thursday Morning Melody: Get Lucky

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 5.42.21 PMReady to get up and dance?!

You may be familiar with the French electronic music duo, Daft Punk, from their hits “Around the World,” “One More Time,” and “Harder Better Faster Stronger.” Vibrant, uplifting house music at its finest. Somewhat of a departure from these earlier tunes, their latest hit “Get Lucky” sounds more like a 70’s disco beat than the creation of two Euro guys in robot suits. As a true collaborative effort, however, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers worked with Daft Punk to create this rockin’ tune, which has already received critical acclaim in the weeks since its release. Set as the background for this “Soul Train” video, it’s feels just like we’ve stepped back in time to boogie in our platforms and bell bottoms. So pump the volume, get out of your chair, and join us for a dance break!

Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

The present has no living
Your gift keeps on giving
What is this I’m feeling?
If you wanna leave I’m ready

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all? night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

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This post is part of  our Thursday Morning Melody series. Every Thursday we feature the music video and lyrics to a song that touches us deeply. If there’s a melody you wish to share with the Intent community, please share it with us in the comments below! Click here to listen to past Thursday Morning Melodies.

How to Be Your Own Inspiration (And Stop Comparing Yourself to Others)

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 10.17.42 PMWhy Is She So Smart?

Have you ever compared yourself to someone with thoughts like: “Why can’t I be successful like she is?” or “I wish I was popular like him.” We all have.

Gotta Love That Brain

Usually, those sorts of thoughts just make us feel insecure, sad, or jealous, right? So why do we have them? It’s because our brains are hardwired to figure where we stand in the social pecking order. It’s a primitive survival strategy that says, “If I’m more powerful, then I’ll live to pass on my genes.”

I Want Jennifer Aniston’s Hair

Trouble is, having a fabulous haircut or a nice car doesn’t do much for ensuring the survival of the species anymore. But since comparing ourselves to others is programmed into our thinking, it’s hard to shut it off. Instead, we need some strategies to gently redirect our thoughts. One of the best strategies I’ve found comes from a story I heard about a now-famous Broadway dancer.

Lessons From A Dancer

As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, this novice dancer was frustrated by her stumbles and missteps in class, so she asked her dance teacher when she’d be able to move like the other students at the studio.

The teacher told her, “Don’t look at the other girls. You’re not in competition with them. You’re in competition with yourself. Your goal is to be better than you were yesterday, not better than the other girls.”

When I heard that story, I immediately saw an image in my mind. Blinders.

Thinking About Horses

Growing up near New York City, the closest I got to horses was the Macy’s Day Parade on television, but I recalled that the horses wore blinders–small shields near their eyes that kept them focused on the path ahead without getting distracted by what was around them. Turns out, these blinders keep the horses calmer and when they run, they do it faster and better.

So what if we could wear blinders too–sort of metaphorically–to keep us focused on our own path without comparing ourselves to others? Could we be calmer and live better, just like the horses? I think so. Here are a few ways to do that:

 How To Put On Your Blinders: 

  • Compare yourself to yourself. Instead of measuring yourself against others, rate your progress with yourself, just like the Broadway dancer. What’s better about you now than say, a year or two ago? Are you better at taking photos or a better listener? Ask, “In what ways have I improved from before?”
  • Notice what you judge. It’s human nature to measure your progress on things you can see like jobs, money, or relationships. But success is just as much about internal qualities like wisdom or strength. Ask, “How have I grown inside?”
  • Rethink the meaning of “losing.” There will always be things in life that someone else gets instead of you; the gold medal, the big promotion, the cute guy. But the mere pursuit of what you want has its own rewards. Maybe now you’re more persistent or more sure of your values than you were before. Ask yourself, “Who have I become in the process of striving for what I want?”

For me, I’ve found that putting on the blinders helps me remember that the race is only with myself. And that’s made all the difference.

How can you put on blinders in your own life? I’d love to know.

Intent Video of the Day – Dance the world awake

Everyday we spotlight one remarkable video to inspire you to fulfill your intentions and improve your life. Do you have a video you’d like to suggest? Send it to us at editor [at] intent.com.

This video makes me want to sing, cry, and dance all at the same time. Whatever your opinions are on the Occupy Movement, this video a powerful demonstration of what’s possible when art and activism converge. Connection. Expression. Community. Awakening.

Check it out. This video was shot November 19, 2011 at Occupy San Francisco & Oakland. Their intent? “Dance the world awake!”

Dancing Archaeologists; Ritual Moments

Today’s Guardian UK contained a lovely article about the discovery of some ancient sacred Inca  ‘ancestor’ stones in the high Andes. For the Inca, these stones represented, or perhaps actually were, the link between heaven and earth. Such finds, it turns out, are ultra rare, and the excavators ‘danced a jig’ of joy at what they had uncovered, we are told.

I find it rather charming to think of archaeologists, perhaps bearded, definitely grimy, breaking into a wee highland reel, or perhaps a hornpipe, way up on the deserted tip of an isolated mountain, kicking their heels up and waving their trowels with glee.

I’m sure they were happy at what they had found. I’m also aware, though, that they were at an ancient ceremonial site, one that celebrated the divine link of the earth and the heavens. It doesn’t get much more important than that.

So perhaps their dance was, actually, not just a ‘look-what-we’ve-found-now-we-can-get-another-grant’ moment.  Perhaps they really were, for a second or two, connected to the divine.

I’d like to think so.

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