Blaize Dance & Fitness February 2016

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Blaize Dance & Fitness

February 2016

Power Moves and Power Foods with Christian McArthur

10 Exercises for Working Mothers on the Go

Hydrate with Veggies

Trip to the White House

Tampa City Ballet

The Women behind the scenes

Easter 2016


Legends Sara Pagoulatos




Tampa City Ballet The women behind the scenes

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Run That Playlist


Introducing Brittany Jordan


Steps to Becoming Debt Free


Butterfly Ballerinas Club

Andrea “Décor” Harrison

My Life in Ecuador Part III


World Cancer Day 2016



Tampa City Ballet The women behind the scenes


Financial Fitness: What is it?


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Trip to the White House

Power Foods and Power Moves

10 Exercises for Working Moms on the Go!

Hydrate With Veggies


Iron Chef Jim Cropper

Editors Notes February/March 2016 your doctor. Let us celebrate Black History month as it is America’s history. As President Gerald Ford said in 1976; “In celebrating Black History Month, we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” For International Woman’s Day on March 8 celebrate by mentoring to young ladies in your community. See our image titled Inspired to Lead (pg. 72). For those who get your workout via basketball and are ready for March Madness click on the NCAA link (pg. 63) for dates and times. Since we are in the first quarter of our new year’s resolution, try 10 Exercises for Working Moms on the Go. Specific exercises you can do anywhere (pg.74). On the same topic of staying true to your workout regimen in 2016, our cover story is a must read as Personal Trainer Christian McArthur gives us priceless tips in Power Moves and Power Foods (pg.) .

As I was getting this issue ready for digital print, I realized that Blaize Dance & Fitness Magazine will be celebrating its first Birthday in April. I became filled with joy when I reflect on how blessed we’ve been to have had such prenominal individuals tell their stories through our publication. As I began to review the humungous amount of content that was laid across my desk for February and March, I thought to myself; “Wow, we have so much more stories to share with the world and we are still at the begging stages of this journey.” I am so proud when I receive feedback of any kind from our readers. However, I am particularly proud of the ones that speak of the articles that have changed their lives for the better. We are committed to bringing you the latest and greatest news in fitness and dance, fashion, beauty, finances, mental health, and more. So without further ado here is what we’ve got for you in this issue! Starting with the month of February- love is in the air as we approach Valentine’s Day, and plans for your Super Bowl 50 party is at the top of your to-do-list. Do yourself a favor and read our article on World Cancer Day (February 4th) and make an appointment with

We would be creating a huge faux pas if we did not mention spring cleaning! You know that time of the year when we make a thorough cleaning check list that helps us go beyond the everyday surface dusting? Yeah, that one. Well this year, why not clean out your pantry and refrigerator and throw away foods and drinks that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup and other additives that leads to poor health. How about cleaning up your debt? Read Steps to Becoming Debt Free (pg.26) as it will change the way you approach your debt. We have so much more exciting things for you to read. So until we speak again, Happy Easter, Sásta lá St Patrick ar (Happy St. Patrick’s Day), and Happy National Nutrition Month. Regards, Constance Blaize-Shorter, EIC

Barcelona , Spain

Complimentary Photo- Tony and Philiece Mills

Contributors EDITOR IN-CHIEF

Special Thanks

Constance Blaize-Shorter

Lacey B. Smith -


Linda Miles Adams, Executive Director -

Constance Blaize-Shorter Joseph W. Shorter III GRAPHIC DESIGNER Constance Blaize-Shorter

Paula Nunez, Artistic Director - Krystal Lofton -

Joseph W. Shorter III

Brittany Jordan -


Madison Harrison -

Constance Blaize-Shorter Joseph W. Shorter III Dr. Lawanda Ford-Johnson Dr. Lisa Piccione Jovette Muniz Melina Pagoulatos

Mindy Richard Kerr - Studio 28 & Pixels 28 Christian McArthur, Athletic/Personal Trainer at Kroc Center & President at 1Hunid Productions, Inc.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Laura H. Shorter Miquiel Banks Vanessa Shorter Launchland Samuel Sylvia Omard Esquire Ann Thomas Janet Samuel

Photo Acknowledgments Richard Toussaint - Mindy Richard Kerr - Nickai photography, Inc. - Christian McArthur, Athletic/Personal Trainer Sports Shirt by ATHLETA Performance ApparelKirkland Mall, Scottsdale, AZ Pants by Sports Authority Sporting Goods Complementary Photo- Christian McArthur

Demi Pointe

Tampa City Ballet

The women behind the scenes


chool outreach programs, charity work, extraordinary artistry, highest quality, multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural collaborations and professional dance education and community programs are a snapshot of what the Tampa City Ballet is all about. If you have ever had the pleasure of watching these young people dance, you can attest to feeling the power behind their passion and instantaneously appreciation for their hard work. You may wonder, “Who is responsible for teaching them such great choreography and who is responsible for deciding what events these young artist will be performing for. Allow us to introduce you to the women behind the scenes who have devoted their lives to continuing the great legacy of ballet through todays next generation of professional dancers. Meet Linda and Paula.

The Executive Director (Linda’s Corporate Journey) Linda Miles Adams is originally from Chicago, IL, where she worked for Time Inc. In 1989 she relocated to Tampa, FL as part of the management team that established Time Customer Service, a world class magazine fulfillment center. In 1990, Linda became Fulfillment Director of Time Warner Publishing Services in the Netherlands, providing worldwide subscription fulfillment and customer services. From 1993-1996, Linda founded Miles Consulting continuing to work in direct marketing/magazine fulfillment developing strategies to implement and streamline international customer service operations.

Community Work In 1996, Linda left the professional workforce and embraced her positon as stayat-home mom to her children Nick born in 1994, Alex (1996) and Nathalie (2000). 2000 became involved with Montessori Preparatory School sharing weekly current event lessons utilizing Time for Kids magazine. Also, together with her young son founded the Montessori Preparatory School, Student Leadership Council to help students develop social responsibility and leadership. Community Volunteer working in particular with many United Way agencies 2008 joined the Board of Directors for Redlands Christian Migrant Association that creates and fosters opportunities for more than 8,000 children of migrant and low income rural children in Florida. As a board member, Linda’s efforts have been focused on the development of the RCMA Charter Schools serving elementary and middle school students.

The Marriage of Corporate, Dance and Community Linda was a student of dance for 19 years, continually focusing on the fundamentals of classical ballet while pursuing modern, jazz and other dance forms. During these years she taught ballet and various dance and exercise classes. Dance has always been a part of her life. After years of being in corporate, a stay-at-home mom, spearheading education programs in the community and her passion for dance, her full circle moment was realized as she was named the Executive Director of Tampa City Ballet in 2015. Today, Linda’s commitment and passion are demonstrated in her work with Montessori Preparatory School, RCMA and the development of the Tampa City Ballet.

The Artistic Director’s Journey Paula Nunez was born in Caracas, Venezuela and is a former company member of the International Ballet of Caracas, Ballet Nuevo Mundo, and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She has performed around the world at several prestigious theaters to include Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, France, Russia, Romania, Austria, Hungary, China, Japan, Taiwan, North, Central, and South America. Paula has worked within an ample classical and neo-classical repertoire of renowned choreographers such as Balanchine, Choo San Goh, Alvin Ailey, Agnes de Mille, Terry Orr and Judith Jamison, to name a few. She’s also participated in numerous festivals- Spolleto in Italy, Cervantino in Mexico, and Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Tremendous opportunity has been afforded her as she has shared the stage with prestigious ballet dancers to include Cynthia Gregory, Rudolf Nureyev, Fernando Bujones, and Julio Boca.

Her Global Impact

ning choreography: Antagonistas was awarded 1st place at Youth America Grand Prix.

1993- Artistic Director of “Ballet de las Americas and shortly after appointed as Artistic Director of the Ju- Choreography venil Ballet Las Americas Choreographed several full-length contemporaries’ 2002-Founded America’s Ballet School, in Tampa, ballets including Musical Kingdoms, Christmas Dream, Florida The Selfish Prince (Oscar Wilde), The Little Mermaid, 2004- Visiting Faculty at the University of South Flor- and Alice in Wonderland. She has also staged fulllength classical ballets including Sleeping Beauty, Le ida. Corsaire, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, and Paquita. 2012- Artistic Director of Tampa City Ballet Complimentary Images from Tampa City Ballet and Bio edits by BlaizeHer School has been awarded “Outstanding School” Dance, Inc. for five consecutive years at the YAGP regional semifinals. “Outstanding Teacher, Choreographer, and Coach” awards from YAGP, ADC and ABC. Award win-


Destinations Thakland Puket Thailand Puket - A nice place for vacation. Beautiful beach & delicious foods Andaman Embrace Resort & Spa Patong Beach Complimentary photo by: Jiajun Liu

Steps to Becoming Debt Free We all want to be healthy but that can be interpreted in more ways than one. As soon as someone hears the word ‘financial’ they know we are discussing money. According to Webster’s dictionary “Fitness is the quality or state of being fit.” (The next question might be what is fit? Webster states, “Fit is physically healthy and strong.”) When the average person hears those two words together they may think there was an error in the article. We are living in a world where taking control of our money is unheard of because for a lot of us we were not taught how to do this at an early age. Or maybe it was but we just blew it off. The majority of people believe debt is fine, debt is good, that there is a difference between good debt and bad debt. I’ve even heard some say “Ooh no-we don’t have any debt!” Then I proceed to inquire further and that’s when they say “Ooh yeah we still owe money on our car. Ooh yeah we make payments on our furniture. Ooh yeah we do have some student loans. Ooh yeah our house is not paid off.” You got it?

Our personal journey A debt is a debt is a debt. If a bank, company or anybody, can collect on that debt and take possession of that object then it is a debt. I know some people can rationalize and justify anything they want but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck then it is not a zebra. I love it when I hear Dave Ramsey say “Debt is dumb.” It cracks me up every single time. Yes we are “one of those people.” In 2010, right before my husband and I got married we made up our minds to go through Dave’s Financial Peace University (FPU) and have never had any regrets. Not only did it change our lives but it has changed our thinking.

My miracle babies were young at that time, my two oldest were in high school and the baby boy was in junior high and I made them go to each FPU class. Why would a mother torture her children like that you ask? I didn’t want them to be like me, plain and simple. I wanted to change my legacy. Back then the classes were 12 weeks (now 9 weeks) and that is a long time for teenagers in case you didn’t know. The FPU class was an eye opener and in my opinion, a no brainer. Except the minute you decide to live a happy, healthy and debt free life all hell will break lose. Not joking. (If you are not familiar with the 7 steps go check out Dave’s site, take a class, read one of his books or get

a home kit.) For us to do Step 1 of the course seemed to take forever and ever. I thought we were doing something wrong. The minute we got our “Emergency Fund” something came along to wipe it out. In between it all we had two graduations and of course trips. I told my kids they had two choices: a graduation party, which would last for a night, or a graduation cruise, which would last for a week, and the two oldest took the cruise. Ha! Smart kids.

Okay, I’m sick and tired Fast forward to 2013 I had enough. Do you ever get so sick and tired of being sick and tired? Well we were at that point. So Spring of 2013 I reached the point of no return. I told my husband we MUST go back and retake the class because we failed it. He agreed and we could not find a class that fit our schedule so we taught it. If you knew my husband you would know that he was not liking that idea at all. But nothing will change if you change nothing and at this point it was time to make a change. My philosophy was, if we were going to teach a class and help people then we too must walk the walk if we were going to talk the talk. So we jumped all in, without a life jacket! (FYI from April 2010 – August 2013 we were on Step 2 ~ Debt Snowball and would have to go back to Step 1 ~ Emergency Fund.)

Real struggles

I explained to my husband that we should start practicing whenever we hear the other people do their Summer of 2013 someone hit the newer car, while my scream. I call it like I see it. I am going to keep screambaby girl and her best friend were inside, and it was ing with the others until our day comes. As of right days before we were leaving on the road trip to Manow it will be before July 2016. macita’s graduation cruise. Thank God we were able to get a rental. The fall of 2013 the older car just stopped working and the repairs, to fix it, was not worth the Accountability Buddy- Do you need one? value of the care. So at this point we have two cars gone and we were teaching about budgeting and fi- YES!! Everyone should have an accountability partner. nancial fitness. Are you laughing yet? I was cracking Finding a partner may not be easy, but if you find an up. Why? Because I already learned what I mentioned individual (s) who are sincere, and are not intimidated before, “the minute you want to live a happy, healthy by the success of others-count yourself blessed. The and debt free life everything will turn upside down to natural coach in me loves helping others keep their commitments. So glad that I have people who conthrow you off your game.” My Super Hero name was not going to allow that to happen. Yeah, I have a Super Hero name and it’s Faith Walker. You must say it in an announcer voice. Fast forward a bit, we were blessed with a used vehicle and we taught two more classes (Spring/Fall 2014) after that whole fiasco because nothing was going to stop us from accomplishing our mission

Loving the podcast It was around November 2014 when I learned about podcasts, at a conference, and came home to tell Mi Amor that we are going to listen to The Dave Ramsey Show until we get out of debt. That is what has kept us motivated. I also thought to myself and said “Self there are a lot of debt free screams. Uhm maybe you should set a date to do your own.” If you’ve listened to the show the debt free scream is when people who have paid off their debts come on the show to countdown and scream “WE’RE DEBT FREE!” It’s exhilarating to hear real people with real struggles be set free from debt. I explained to my husband that we should start practicing whenever we hear the other people do their scream. I call it like I see it. I am going to keep screaming with the others until our day comes.

tinue to help us stay on task as well! I am always updating my miracle babies, my Success Sister and my own coach about what we’ve paid off, how much we have to go, what it is looking like this month- and they cheer us on all the time. We are currently on a race to see who is going to be the first millionaire in the family, since we have none. I think it will be me and naturally, they each think it will be them. However the difference is I’m older, have less time, so I have to work smarter, wiser and twice as hard

What do you need for the debt free journey? 1. Do a Budget. John Maxwell says “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Not too many people like that curse word. 2. You must hold monthly Budget Committee meetings with your spouse or your accountability partner. Everyone must be on the same sheet of music. A house divided will fall. 3. You need to have a heart. You have to want to be debt free more than the next new shiny thing that comes along. 4. This is my motto- Get an attitude. Never give up! Never Surrender! In order to be debt free you will get knocked down, run over, beaten up and occasional obstacles will fall from the sky. However, you have to get up, dust off and run your race. It might take a couple of months or even years but the key is desire.

When to start your journey •

Today is the day. Right now is when you start not tomorrow.

You must be intentional.

You must be focused.

You must want it more than anything.

You must change!

Becoming debt free is not for everyone. If it was, then why in the world are so many people in debt financially? Some will whine and complain that it’s someone else’s fault. It’s the government’s fault. It’s that one’s fault. Honestly, it’s not for everyone but if you agree with me or Dave Ramsey, repeat after me; “As for me and my house we will be debt free. We will build wealth. We will be a blessing to others by sharing our wealth. We will be financially healthy. We will change our legacy.” By, Jovette Muniz

Jovette Muniz is a CEO/Founder/Owner at Full of Life and an Independent Beachbody Coach She is also a Contributing Writer for the Financial Fitness section for Blaize Dance and Fitness Magazine. Sources: Dave Ramsey Complimentary images from Jovette Muniz and BlaizeDance, Inc. Š 2016

Happy St.Pat

trick’s Day

Power Foods & Power Moves

I wanted information that would help you turn away from foods that are just not good for you. My goal was also to offer you tips on exercise goals that are attainable and sustainable.

In 2016

I was looking for something a little different in terms of how to communicate to our readers about the importance of good nutrition and exercise. I wanted information that would help you turn away from foods that are just not good for you. My goal was also to offer you tips on exercise goals that are attainable and sustainable. I think that we are all tired of the rhetoric we often hear in the media, such as “Get fit with 5 exercises and 5 shakes a week� Or Ten Miracle Moves that will shed Ten pounds in just Ten Days! Truth be told maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not a sprint but a marathon. Hence we need sound advice to get

us there and keep us there. To help us out, I turned to my friend and Athletic/Personal Trainer, Christian for quick but detailed tips on how to get the most out of your diet and exercise systematically.

What are superfoods? Superfoods are simply foods packed with extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals.

Christian: First I choose foods that are properly CBS: That’s interesting as we just did an article PH balance levels, Alkaline based with a little bit of acid.

TIP: The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline. –

in this issue that talks about hydrating our bodies with veggies. We did not mention the fruits in the melon family. Not only do they hydrate, but they are extremely rich with nutrients that provides the energy that we all crave so much. I think that I will be turning to these fruits after my work out for my nutritional recovery stage.

Christian: That would be an excellent idea. So

let’s get to the mildly acidic foods with a PH of 5-6. It’s your fish, meats, a variety of nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and peanuts. Nuts are a very diverse food and walnuts, almonds, and cashew all offer a good source of protein, fats, and the superfoods that I like with a positive minerals. Oh yeah, and dairy is a complete protein side of PH balance alkaline of 7-8 are avowhich provides all of the essential amino acids neccado (for good fats), almonds, blueberries, cranberessary for your health. ries, acai berries, strawberries, grapes. Adding these on-the-go foods that can be prepared in small bites CBS: There is so much information that I would will help eliminate the urge to snack on candy like like to tap your brain for, but we would need a Skittles. Skittles are so popular because you can toss workshop to do so. But in the meantime, break a few in your hand and pop them in your mouth. down the difference between Acidic and Alkaline Well, you can do the same with nuts and small ber- foods. I think this is an interesting fact that you’ve ries while providing your body with the rich nutri- brought in our prior conversations. ents that it needs.


Christian: Acid is processed foods and alkaline is CBS: That really makes sense as so many people natural foods. Having too much acid based foods in

your body can make you tired all the time. You just wake up tired! It can make you irritable and cause you to get huge energy dips during the day. On the other hand natural foods, alkaline, gives you long Christian: The second set of foods are the very lasting energy. You don’t wake up tired, you are in strong Alkaline and I use them because they balance a better mood which leads to better decision makmy body. Know what I mean? They help my body ing. get to a steady alkaline level and helps keep it there as well. These foods are your asparagus, cayenne CBS: Well I know I want to feel alert and full of pepper (spices are good natural seasonings), water energy all day. So your heard it here folks, stay away melon and cantaloupe. Let’s talk a little about the from the processed foods. Christian, now we need fact that water melons and cantaloupes are water tips on exercising so please help us out. based and are pure energy nutrients. These foods need nothing with them! Energy does not die, but Christian: When talking about exercise we must produces more energy. All these foods I just menfirst talk about Metabolic Efficiency which means tioned have a PH of PH 8.5-10 how the body takes in oxygen and pushes it back out as carbon monoxide. According to what you are on the go and seek sugary snacks like candy to curb their appetite.

NOTE: Metabolic training is completing structural and compound exercises with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after the workout.

are eating, your body will perform to that level of nutrients that you are feeding it.

CBS:Well it’s time to exercise! Take us through the phases

of a work out. Let’s say starting on a treadmill.

Christian: When you train or exercise, it’s always about

metabolic training and cardiovascular training. So I will break it down by explaining threshold levels.

Walking, Jogging, Running on treadmill or outside Threshold 1 should be for 20-30 minutes at the beginning of every work out (8-15 if you are just starting out.) • Threshold - 1 Walk –Burns fat slow, maximum walking threshold - 4 mile an hour pace 4.0-5.0 or 4.8 (must train at threshold 1). You can hold this for miles. • Threshold- 2 Jogging - Maximum jogging sprint run for about 800 meter - push to maybe a mile. Burns fat a little faster (long distance marathon runners, efficient in burning fat-carb based diet for LD runners). You will burn a little faster at this threshold jogging for 8-15 minutes.

Weighted Core Exercises- ( Just pick 5) Christian: Simply chose 5 core exercises with multiple

movements and do Reps of 10 and Sets of 50. By the time you’re finished, you would have completed 150 plus ab variations.

• Threshold 3- Running (maximum threshold)- 1 minute 1. Keep your torso up, light dumbbells in your hands and to 30 seconds but heart rate recovery no longer than 60 do the following: seconds. You need oxygen and water. Coordination flies, weighted crunch, lying overhead reach,

Christian: Now that your heart and lungs are pumped oblique side sit ups, and upright oblique twist, from your cardio workout it’s time to work on your abdomen.

Tip: In order for your body to work efficiently, start with the legs, abdomen and then arms.

CBS: I like the fact that you have a variety of exercises to

target different muscles like Transversus, Rectus, External and internal obliques.

Tip: Unless you know how to position yourself properly f you leave this exercise out as many injuries can occur he

for bench presses, its best ere.

Upper Body (push to pull just pick 5) Christian: Now upper body exercises come into play

with upper body. Make sure you are doing push to pull movements. Bicep curls, triceps curl, triceps extension, shoulder flies to the side, and seated lateral pull. Do 3 sets and 10 reps on everything

150 or more each circuit. Note: If you have done cardio workout, weighted leg exercise should be done the next day. You should choose another day to ensure that you have maximum power perform.

CBS: What’s your advice for staying motivated and keeping our commitment to this process?

Christian: How I stay motivated is through informa-

tion. And information is education for me. Find someone that knows more than you and what you are trying to do. The thing is that motivation is not something that comes from the outside. Don’t say that you are going to work out because a family member died from cancer- so you want to live a better life. Nine times out of ten, those thoughts will probably bring you to a place of sadness. You want to focus on something that makes you feel alive. Your reason for living. Maybe it’s a great childhood memory of you running races and you love how that felt! Put that passionate feeling into everything you do! It will drive you. Motivation comes from the inside and you must be willing to stay committed to the process no matter what. Christian McArthur is a, Athletic/Personal Trainer. His passion is helping people reach their fullest potential through health and fitness. He lives in Arizona with his loving wife and beautiful daughter. Complimentary Images- Christian McArthur.



Brittany Jordan

Introducing Brittany Jordan


hile strolling through the Vault, Tampa Bay’s posh historical building constructed in 1923, at BOW TIES & CLUTCHES (“The International Style Night Party”) – my husband and I spotted some art that was striking and thought provoking. This art celebrated the black women and her natural hair, curvaceous body, strength, vulnerability and humor. Standing off to the side was the statuesque artist. Her name is Brittany Jordan, and she is definitely in a class of her own. Keep reading to find out where her inspiration for these beautiful pieces comes from. BDF: When did you first discover that you were an artist? Brittany: I discovered I was an artist when I was in kindergarten. BDF: What was the first picture that you drew or painted? Brittany: The first picture I remember drawing was an eagle in my kindergarten class.

BDF: Who did you share it with and what was BDF: When I first saw your work, I immediately thought that the artist was a man because their response? Brittany: We had to draw something that rep- there were so many images of beautiful black resented America so I decided to draw an ea- women. Why is she your muse?

gle. When I gave it to my teacher she was mesmerized and placed my drawing on the wall. Brittany: A lot of people that night thought my boyfriend was the artist. Ha! Women are BDF: What are some of the things that inspire my muse because we are beautiful and sexy. We acquire so many wonderful aspects and I you to paint? think that needs to be glorified. I want to uplift women, young ladies, and girls. Strengthen Brittany: God is the main thing that inspires them, let them know they are beautiful inside me to paint. For so many years I stressed on in out. Hopefully my art will help with that. what was going to be my yellow brick road to success. I used to paint a lot after high school but life took me in another direction so I put BDF: Two of my favorite portraits of yours are down my paint brush and ventured into other Adam and Eve and the pregnant sister. Please things. Over the course of years I began to re- tell me the correct names for these pieces. alize I didn’t want to work for anyone else and Also tell us what inspired these particular that God has blessed me with a gift and tal- paintings. ent that I am wasting. So I began to declare that I would begin to use what he gave me to Brittany: The correct name for the Adam and bless others because he has blessed me with Eve picture is “EDEN” like the garden. That so much. Another thing that inspires me is painting was inspired by a connection benatural black women. I went through a phase tween man and woman. I don’t normally paint in my life when I thought to be beautiful I men so I decided to try it out .The piece actuhad to have long straight or wavy hair. Wear- ally wasn’t intended to go that route. I wanted ing makeup to cover my blemishes and have to paint puzzle pieces all over them to depict that thick hour glass body. I did everything that a man and woman complete each other. possible to make sure my hair was done and Man and woman are the masterpiece of God. no one saw a single mark on my face. I mean But I didn’t have time. So as I continued to I looked beautiful on the outside, but I didn’t paint I saw something I didn’t see before. The feel that way on the inside. So again I looked way she was looking was slightly devious and to God to find my strength and I wanted to be sneaky and the color I had made her looked beautiful the way he intended. Once I decided scary at the time. Actually, I got a little scared! to go natural I found a strength in myself and She looked devilish, and then everything a beauty in myself that no one else could give clicked. I was like, “Oh my gosh! Adam and me. I finally felt like Brittany, confident, proud Eve”. I’ll throw a snake in there next to her ear and bold. So I seek to inspire women to love to show she listened to the lies of the devil. It themselves, and to understand that they are worked out perfect. Devious woman and nabeautiful the way God intended them to be. ive man. Big hair, strong, and courageous.

BDF: Uhm, I don’t really know where to go after that explanation of EDEN. I got sucked into that entire story. Okay, let’s talk about the pregnant painting. Brittany: “Lillie” is the name of the pregnant piece. I fell in love with pregnancy in high school. That was when my oldest sister got pregnant and I thought it was amazing and beautiful. I used to daydream about being strictly a maternal painter. I have so many pregnant pieces from back then. Pregnancy is beautiful. A woman carries life inside her

and her name was “Lily”. So a lot of love and family spirit went into the beauty of her. and I am just in awe of what goes on inside the womb. I have plans of one day being a mother so I think a lot love went into that piece. The name of that piece came from my grandmother. At the moment I live with my parents and my granny battles with Alzheimer’s and pancreatic cancer. So one night I came home and my mother told me that my grandma would come in the room and talk to that painting. She said she would do that just about every night while I was at work. Another reason her name is Lillie is because my sister had a still born birth at 8 months

BDF: What makes your art unique? Brittany: I believe my color, technique and depiction of women make my art unique. BDF: This may be a tough question, but what is your favorite painting and why?

Brittany: Lillie is my favorite piece! I love the size of her, the energy the piece gives and the amount of detail. That piece has such an awesome story, and I really put my heart into it. BDF: I also see that you are sending a lot of messages via your paintings. What are some of the messages that you want your audience to take away from your work?

Brittany: The message I’m trying to get across is that natural women and their hair is beautiful and women of all sizes are beautiful. I’m also trying to put the spirit of God In my pieces. He loves us all, so I’m trying to put love in my work. BDF: Who is the artist that you most admire? Brittany: The artist that most inspires me is God. He created me and everything that is. Land, flesh, creatures, art, music, food, and animals. Everything! So why wouldn’t I be inspired by him. He gave me the talent so I must pull from him. BDF: How has God shaped the way you create your pieces? Brittany: He shaped the way by creating woman, and that is me. BDF: This is a fun questions Brittany. What do you have trouble drawing or painting? Brittany: I have trouble painting full bodies. Figures. I love portraits and three-fourths shots so it takes me a while to do full body work. Animals are another challenge for me. I have only attempted them a few times and I just don’t believe they look as good as my human work. BDF: What can you literally draw in your sleep? Brittany: I can draw eyes and boobs in my sleep. BDF: If you could paint an image of a celebrity or famous person, who would that be?

Brittany: Viola Davis! I’m so in love with her right now. She is a beautiful woman to me. I love her on the show “How to Get Away with Murder”. The shows purpose isn’t really a good influence, however the way she really showed her natural self on the big screen was marvelous. No makeup at times, short natural hair, and beautiful dark skin. I smile every time I see her unveil herself on camera. Therefore I plan on painting her soon. It’s already on my to-do list.

can’t. So just wait and you’ll see me displaying again soon. BDF: Any plans on opening your own gallery in the future?

Brittany: I have huge plans on opening a gallery. I really want my voice to be heard. But it’s not really me I’m trying to get folks to appreciate. Want them to appreciate our Lord God because my gifts and talent come directly from BDF: Do you have any upcoming events where him. I want his presence to be in my gallery. your art will be displayed? BDF: In one word, how would you describe Brittany: No events coming up at the moment. your work? But I know God is opening doors for me that I

Brittany: Soulful. BDF: Hmm, if your art was music, what genre would it be? Brittany: Neo soul and gospel. BDF: What is your advice to up and coming artist? Brittany: My advice would be walk in faith, continue to put your art out there. Don’t be afraid of criticism and do it with a full heart. Bless others with your art and blessings will come to you. Brittany is a small town portrait/muralist from Zephyrhills, FL who was born on November 27, 1990. She accepts small to huge commissioned jobs. She has painted on schools, bedrooms, bathrooms and businesses-thus giving her acknowledgement in several local newspapers. She is a kind spirited, humble faith driven and tenacious entrepreneur. She is currently instilling that kind spirit into the children at the Boys and Girls Club in Lacoochee, Fl. Teaching kids’ art from age groups k-12th.

Local Artist Joe and Brittany compare notes and share their smiles with the camera. For more information on Brittany and her art visit Complimentary Images -Brittany Jordan, Photographer Nickai Peter of Nickai Photography, Inc, and BlaizeDance,Inc.

Mindy Kerr Photography

Mi Amore

Anthony and Judhit

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Feb 7, 2016

Butterfly Ballerinas Club

For our BBC spotlight this month, we are proud to introduce Madison Harrison. This nine year old loves taking pictures. Her images have appeared on social media, magazines and she has even been on television. The response to her work has been amazing. Let’s learn more about this bright star as she talks to us about her life as a photographer.

BBC: Madison, what do you like about BBC: Who gave you your first profes- on my business Facebook page, Twitter taking pictures?

sional camera?

Madison: I love to capture memories.

Madison: My mom.

BBC: What is the first thing that you BBC: I really like the photo’s that’s on

took a picture of ?

Madison: It's hard to say. I really don't

remember. I was 3 years old and it was at my third birthday party.

& Instagram. My focus is taking photos of girls and their dolls or boys with their toys. I love being creative so yes, taking photos of Ms. Shola's shoes was fun. I love Ms. Shola.

your mommy’s Facebook page. Recently, you took some nice pictures of shoes BBC: What was your favorite shoe to from Shola Design. Was taking pictures shoot? of shoes fun for you? Madison: My favorite shoe to phoMadison: I actually post my photos tograph was the "Madison" because she

named that shoe after me.

Madison: My favorite subject in Articles have been written on her in

Tampa Tribune and Hernando Today. She has even made guest appearances on BBC: Madison what photographers Fox 13, Bay News 9, Studio 10 Live and do your like? BBC: Madison what do you want to WTIS 1110 Inspiration Radio. To view Madison’s portfolio visit photoswithmadMadison: I like all of the photogra- be when you grow up? phers that I've met. They all have their Madison: I want to be a scientist and Complimentary Images from own style and they're all very talented. find the cure to cancer. I like that each one has taken time to teach me something. I also like that they respect me as a fellow photogra- BBC: What celebrity or famous person would you like to take a picture of pher and they're very supportive. and why? school is science.

BBC: What do you like to do when Madison: It would be my dream

you are not taking pictures?

Madison: When I am not taking pic-

come true to photograph the President and his family. I would like to capture memories for him to treasure forever.

tures, I love to play with my dolls, play tennis or read. I also like to play with BBC: Thanks for talking to us Madimy friends. son.

BBC: What is your favorite subject in Madison: Thank you.


Legends Sara Pagoulatos


ot many can say that one of their parents is a legend, however I can. I am so honored to introduce you to legendary choreographer and dancer, Sara Pagoulatos-known by many in the Fresno community as Sara. Her studio was the place to go if you wanted to truly learn dance without any hype or judgement. She is known not only for her ballet, but also modern and her overall love of dance. For as long as I can remember my mom had a dance studio.

Early life and career Sara has been dancing for fifty plus years. She got her start at an early age when her sister used to take dance lessons. Sara followed and started dancing. She discovered her passion and what made her happy. Sara was inspired by one of her teachers, Collenette, protĂŠgĂŠ of Pavlova. Sara knew in high school that she wanted to do something with dance. Dance was natural to her. Her long lanky legs

and arms combined with skill and grace Jose Limon. She didn’t know anything about made her great at it. either of them or modern dance, so she just picked Limone. Today she will tell you she is so glad that is who she picked. Some of her Upon graduating high school she decided classmates were the original members of to audition at the renowned Julliard School the Alvin Ailey dance troupe such as Judith of Performing Arts in New York. At that time, Jameson ( the early 50s, you had to send in a ‘movie dith_Jamison) and other talented dancers maker’ (a movie on actual film) of you dancand choreographers. ing (to choreography with specific required components. She sent hers in and was accepted. At the time all she knew was ballet. When she arrived at Julliard she was introduced to Modern Dance which would later become one of her passions. At that time every dance student was required to take a modern class and given the choice to study either Martha Graham (https:// or

Sara graduated the class of 1957 from Julliard and returned back to California. She was and is still very humble about her training. I don’t think that many of her students realized where she received her training and how lucky they were to be under her tutelage. She is a natural teacher and loves to help her students be the best they can be no matter what their skill level is.

Twenty five years later she opened up her own studio called Sara’s Figtree School of Dance. She taught ages 3-95 with the belief that no one should be afraid to dance. She believes that you don’t have to have a ‘dancer body’ to be a good dancer, you just have to have a passion for it.

Creator of Dance Exercise She also created her own exercise format which she still teaches today called ‘Dance Exercise’. When I asked her how she created it she stated, “I knew people wanted to exercise and that many people were afraid of ballet. I believe that ballet is a very complete conditioning and toning exercise. I made a relaxed ballet based format with appealing music”. She has had some of the same students in this class for twenty plus years. I recently went home to visit and had a chance to take a class.

I was stunned that some of the same students were there, and many of them in my eyes had not aged. I was also reminded on how important ballet is.

Dance meets religion Sara is a risk taker as she is not afraid to share her passion for dance with others. In the 70s she created the first and only dance choir at her church. She and several women would interpret scripture through dance as part of the church service, which was very moving.

Sara today Still instructing a Dance X Class at Northwest Studio in Fresno, Sara continues to learn in order to improve herself both physically and mentally. At 79 she is still as flexible as she was at age 39. Dance is what makes her happy.

The interview

Personal note by Mel

I had the chance to learn more about my I watched Christopher Weldon’s choreogramom and get her thoughts on dancers today phy and quite frankly all could see was my as well as some of her favorite choreogra- mom. phers. Here is what she said. MP: What would you say is lacking in many of Growing up I have witnessed her help thoutoday’s dance students? sands of students of all ages, judge pageants Sara: They want to get there too fast. Strong and competitions, and support so many in technical skills along with rhythm is required the community through dance and exercise. to be diverse technically. Many dancers don’t In my eyes she is a hero and legend in her have a strong area or point, they just try to own right. do it all. MP: Who are some of your favorite choreographers?

By, Melina Pagoulatos

Complimentary images from Melina PagouSara: Jerome Robbins, Bob Fossey, Balanchine latos, Googlepictures (Julliard images) and to a point, Jiri Kylian, and Christopher Wel- (Julliard images).The don Staff at Blaize Dance & Fitness welcomes our newest Group Fitness Contributing Writer, MP: If you could collaborate with any chore- Melina Pagoulatos!

ographer who would it be? Sara: Christopher Weldon.

Sara 79 doing Barre work and Mel taking her picture

March Madness 2016

Cars and Couture

Trip to the White House Listening to our Child Care Workers

“I was prepared to tell him all about childcare issues and he was already aware and working on the solution.” PaVonne Scott Above photo taken when Ms. Scott was named a member of Mayor's Neighborhood University BDF: PaVonne, I have known you for years and must say that I am not surprised that you were chosen to represent the 1.6million child care workers that we have in this country. We are so proud of you!

BDF: Do you remember what your reaction was when you got the call or letter?

PaVonne: I actually got an e-mail and my reaction was like cool! I get to go to the White House in Washington D.C PaVonne: Thank you so much. I am truly humbled and and speak about something that I have a great deal of pashonored to have an opportunity to represent child care sion for. I didn’t think I was actually going to shake the workers in the U.S hand of the President. Left-CCW workers rally for extra pay

Center top PaVonne Scott and Mary Kate from SEIU. The White Hou

BDF: Who did you tell the news to first? PaVonne: My parents Robert Scott Jr. and Enid Murphy. I sent them the email address from the White House and thanked them for how they taught me and raised me and was glad that I would be representing them at the White House. BDF: What was their response? PaVonne: They both sent me a text saying how proud of me they both were. But they still did not realize that I was actually going to meet the President!

We Won’t Stop

use (Center bottom) The President shaking hands with CCW’s

BDF: What was your trip like to Washington, DC and the White House? PaVonne: The trip was exciting knowing that I prepared my speech to address the panel for discussion On Camps Road to Organize. BDF: Was this your first time there? PaVonne: I’d been to Washington, D.C. before but this was different. This was strictly a working business trip from 9am to 6pm at the White House. I was solely there to represent the Workers Summit voice. No time for sightseeing, I had to leave immediately to catch the plane back to Tampa by 7:30pm

BDF: When you arrived at the White House what were you feeling and thinking?

BDF: When President Obama arrived, what were your immediate thoughts?

PaVonne: He walked in escorted by Fast Food Worker, Terrence Wise. I was thinking how awesome Terrence must be feeling at this moment. The President walked right by me and I was suddenly shocked because it became real to me. I kept taking pictures on my cell phone and a little tear fell from my eye. I was front row listening to our President! President Obama took BDF: What was the security detail like? time to stand with workers all over the world PaVonne: There was top security and I had to for the Fight for $15. RSVP the event. So they had my name in this black book. If my name was not in that book, I would not have been able to get through se- BDF: Since you are a performer, speaker, and curity. I actually went through laser security actress- you are used to the stage and cameras. Was this your first time in front of television check three times before I went in. cameras? PaVonne: When I arrived I was thinking this is really happening. I was thanking the Lord that I was given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many. I took a lot of pictures. I felt prepared, excited and ready to hear President Obama speak.

PaVonne: No, not my first time on television. BDF: What was the mood like in the room as However, my first experiencing something so you all waited for the president to arrive? life changing. PaVonne: It was quiet in the waiting room as we listened to a soldier playing the piano. Pastries and drinks were conveniently placed on BDF: Share with us what that felt like with rethe tables as we waited to go in the main meet- porters and behind the scene crews. Must have been overwhelming. ing hall.

PaVonne: It was very overwhelming. However, I enjoyed all the keynote speakers and I learned a lot from each politician that spoke. I was prepared to speak and make a difference at our Nation’s Capital. BDF: Back to the President did you meet him and shake his hand? PaVonne: He came down from the podium and personally shook my hand at the end of his welcome and the end of the closing session. So he shook my hand twice and thanked me for coming. I responded; “Oh, thank you for having me!” I couldn’t believe he was saying thank you to me for coming. I was like, thank you for having me. BDF: What was that like? PaVonne: I am still in awe that our President was so humbled I could not believe he took the time to acknowledge me. BDF: What were you most impressed about in respects to the message that he had for the child care workers? PaVonne: I was prepared to tell him all about childcare issues and he was already aware and working on the solution. BDF: What changes do you think will be made? PaVonne: The minimal wage will go up to $15 and there will be an affordable child care act in place and a Wage theft Act in place for workers that are cheated of their pay.

The President and Fast Food Worker, Terrence Wise BDF: What can Americans do to help our teachers and child care workers?

munity. I will continue to support and educate others for the advancement of the people and our future.

PaVonne: Americans can vote for the candidate that supports fair wages for their employers. Everyone deserves a fair wage and the right to collectively bargain with their employer.

BDF: Is there an organization or committee Florida that speaks to the community on a regular basis regarding low wages for child care workers?

BDF: Were you energized after leaving the summit? PaVonne: Absolutely. I was ready to go to work in my community and make a difference. I joined the Mayors Neighborhood University to further my cause of being an outstanding leader and an advocate for change in my com-

PaVonne: Fight for $15 Childcare. BDF: Are you a part of this organization? PaVonne: Yes.

BDF: Did you get to meet FLOTUS?

BDF: What is the most rewarding part of your job as a CCW?

PaVonne: No She was not there I started to ask the President where the first PaVonne: Knowing that I have made a difference in the lives of many of my lady was. students and their families is extremely rewarding. Watching the kids grow BDF: What message would you like to each day in various areas is priceless. send to all of the child care workers out there in respects to what was discussed BDF: If you were not a CCW, what else would you be doing? at the summit? PaVonne: It is important as a worker to PaVonne: Singing, dancing, performknow that you are valued for what you ing in a traveling stage production. I do. As a CCW you are the children’s would also be teaching music to othfirst example from teaching. We teach ers. them the Pledge of Allegiance, their ABC’s in English and Spanish, counting from 1-100, toilet training, storytelling, the calendar (days of the weeks, months and years), and counting money. In addition to academics, we teach social skills and how to get along with our classmates. We break up fights and comfort them when they are not in a good mood. We feed them, change diapers and clean up after them. So after all of that these workers deserve more than the minimum wage.

BDF: PaVonne thanks so much for doing this interview for us! PaVonne: Thank you for having me and it’s an honor to be featured in this issue. I am a fan of your work and this publication. BDF: Thank you so much. We are so proud of you and the work that you continue to do for our children. In addition, we are proud that you were chosen to meet the President and represent our country. PaVonne: To God be the Glory! BDF: Amen. We would love to do a follow up story someday regarding this issue. Will you come back and speak with us? PaVonne: Yes, Thank you.


By Constance Blaize-Shorter

Fight for $15 in Tallahassee with State Representative Ed Narrain and Senator Bullard​

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Hydrate With Veggies

We all know by now the importance of drinking water. It helps to transport oxygen, fat and glucose to those hard working muscles, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion of food and eliminate waste products. Since some of us may have issues drinking a gallon of water a day, why not get some of your fluid requirements from veggies. Fruits and veggies not only provides fluid requirements, it also provides healthy nutrients such as minerals, fiber, vitamins and protein. Below are some veggies that are on the top of the list for high water content. Make sure to add them to your grocery list! Tip: Each vegetable cab be enjoyed in a salad, as an on-the-go snack in a baggy or via juicing. Since heat and water can reduce vitamin content when it’s cooked –try to eat veggies raw to get the most water and nutrition from them.

Cucumber-96% H2o Nutritional Value – Vitamins K, B, C, copper, potassium, and manganese Celery-95% H2o Nutritional Value -Vitamins A (in the form of carotenoids), B2, B6, C, K, molybdenum, folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium

Broccoli-91% H2o Nutritional Value- Vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), B1, B6, E, pantothenic acid, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin, vitamin potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin, and selenium. Sources-,, and blog.fooducate. com.

Tomato-94% H2o Nutritional Value Vitamins A (in the form of beta-carotene) B6,C E, K, biotin, molybdenum, copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, folate, niacin,

and phosphorus. Green Cabbage- 93% H2o Nutritional Value- Vitamins K, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, manganese, fiber, potassium, copper, vitamin folate, choline, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, iron, calcium, pantothenic acid, and protein.

Cauliflower-92% H2o Nutritional Value- Vitamins C, B1,B2, B3, B6, K, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin, choline, fiber, omega-3 fats, manganese, phosphorus, biotin, potassium, vitamin, protein, vitamin, magnesium, and vitamin

Inspire to Lead

“The excitement of dreams coming true is beyond the description of words.” Lailah Gifty Akita

Complimentary Image -Takiyah Robinson-Air Traffic Controller US Navy

10 Exercises for Working Moms on the Go! Stay committed to your workout regimen moms in 2016! I know it can be a struggle, but let us offer you this suggestion that works quite well for a lot of mothers with limited time in her day. After dropping the little ones off at school, instead of heading back home to work on your to-do list- walk over the neighborhood park and get busy! Tips: • Wear your workout clothes to drop the kids off (Note: wear vibrant colors that will wake you up!) • Pack a quick snack, water, towel and change of clothes (if necessary the night before) • Select a location that is nearby your child’s school. • Flip flop between indoors and outdoors on different days(park, mall, gym, community center). • Choose a place that is aesthetically pleasing. • Get a workout buddy for added fun, accountability, and safety. • Most importantly, schedule your work out on your calendar. Try and workout every day or minimum 3 times a week (always work out at the same time so it becomes habitual).

Note: If your kids are not in school yet, take them to the park with you. Bring something to keep them busy. Depending on their age, they may want to join you. It’s okay, think of it as quality time with her while you’re taking care of you! Below are simple exercises using your own body weight and can be done anywhere.


Back Leg Raises

• Start by getting into a press position, rest on your forearms and on your knees • Your legs should be hip-width apart, and your arms shoulder –width apart. • After you are in the right position, lift one leg straight off the ground and towards the ceiling until your leg is parallel to the floor. • Pause a little, and bring your leg back to the starting position. • Repeat the exercise with both legs for 15 reps or desired number of time.



• Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. (You can place your hands to the side of you or touch finger tips to the side of your neck with elbows out) • Inhale and tuck your chin to your chest. • Exhale and slowly curl just your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as you lift your arms and reach toward your feet (or keep them at side of neck with shoulders out). Pause and breathe in. • Slowly return to the starting position, breathing out as you go. • Repeat 15 reps desired number of time.


Donkey Kicks

• Get on all fours on (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). • Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level. • Lower knee without touching floor; lift again. Do 15 reps or desired number of time. • Switch legs; repeat.


Oblique Twist

• Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. • Contract your abs and sit at about a 45 degrees angle. Hold a ball (medicine or basic kids’ ball) or clasp hands in front of you. • Contracting your abs, twist slowly from your torso to your right and touch the ball or your clasp hands beside you. • Quickly, but smoothly, contract your abs and twist your torso and touch the ball or your hands to the other side. • Repeat for 15 reps on each side or the desired number time.



• Start by getting into a press up position. • Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms and not on your hands. • Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. • Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. •

Hold this position for desired number of time (recommend start with 30 or 60 seconds)


Squats (using body weight)

• Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your toes turned out slightly. Your hands are by your sides with your palms facing inward. Pull the shoulders down your back toward your hips. • Engage your abs to stabilize your spine Keep your chest lifted and your chin parallel to the floor. Shift your weight back into your heels (act as if you have a wall behind youkeep your back flat) • Hinge at the hips, shifting them back and down. Your hips and knees bend simultaneously (try not to make knee travel forward pass toes- don’t tuck your tail or arch lower back.

• Lower yourself until thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. If your heels begin to lift off the floor or your torso begins to round, return to start position. Keep knees lined with second toe. • Keep the knees aligned with the second toe and body weight evenly distributed between the balls and heels of both feet. (Looking from the side, your shinbone should be parallel with your torso, lower back flat, no rounding) • While maintaining the position of your back, chest and head and with the abdominals engaged, exhale and return to start position by pushing your feet into the floor through your heels. The hips and torso should rise together. Keep the heels flat on the floor and knees aligned with the second toe. • Repeat 10-15 reps desired number of time. ( Note: Knee issues should be done with back against a wall, holding a stability ball or do mini-lunges)


Tricep Dips

• Begin by placing your hands on either side of your hips so your palms are • resting on the bench and your fingers are hanging over the edge. • With your feet together, extend your legs out in front of you. • Carefully move your buttocks off the bench, while leaving your hands in place. • Lower your hips toward the floor until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. • Push back up using your hands rather than your legs, and repeat. • Repeat 10-15 reps desired number of time.


Standing Hamstring Stretch

• For the standing hamstring stretch, find a stable platform that is roughly stand and face a chair, table or bench. • Lift your leg and place it on the platform, keep your chest up. • Lean over the leg and hold the position for a few seconds, alternate legs. • Intensify the stretch by flexing or pointing your toes (you can flex and point your toes, or use your hands to pull back on toes or push toes forward). • Duration: 30 seconds


Side Standing Stretch

• Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. • Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended or place both hands above your head. • Inhale as you reach upward. • Breathe out as you bend your upper body to the right (if your hands are straight up, allow one hand to fall to the side of the bend and alternate arms in the direction of the bend). • Take five slow breaths. Slowly return to the center. Repeat on the left side. • Duration: 30 seconds


Shoulder and Elbow Stretch

• First stretch your chest muscles. You can do this simply by placing both hands behind your back, clasp hands, and gently pull back. These muscles are chronically tight and pull your shoulder forward. • Stand near a doorway (or in this case a tree) and lift your arm, holding it straight and parallel to the floor. • Grab on to the frame of the door (part of the tree) and gently lean forward, which will extend your arm behind your shoulder and create a stretch in your chest, upper arm and anterior deltoid muscles. • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch and do the other side. • Repeat three to five times consecutively.

Working Moms on the Go (WMOTG™) read more about this initiative on BlaizeDance.Com

Run That Playlist Whether you are running the trail or the treadmill, great workout music will keep you moving. We have supplied you with our top 14 songs to cover your warm up, sprint, cool down and stretch. Don’t forget to wear your heart rate monitors to assist with your target and recovery heart rate.

1. Most Girls-Pink (98 BPM) 2. Sorry -Justin Bieber (100 BPM) 3. All For You-Janet Jackson/Rock Wilder Main Mix (113 BPM) 4. Uptown Funk-Uptown Funk/ feat. Bruno Mars (115 BPM) 5. Sing-Ed Sheeran (121 BPM) 6. La La La-Naughty Boy & Sam Smith (125 BPM) 7. Bad Blood-Taylor Swift/feat. Kendrick Lamar)170 BPM 8. Happy-Pharrell Williams (160 BPM) 9. Feel This- Moment Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera (136 BPM) 10. Summer-Calvin Harris (128 BPM) 11. Run the World (Girls)–Beyonce (127 BPM) 12. One In a Million- Ne-Yo (100 BPM) 13. Party Rock Anthem (Russ Chimes Remix) –LMFAO (29 BPM) 14. In Case-Demi Lovato (88BPM) Sources: Run Hundred music list, 2014, Run Hundred,,, and BlaizeDance, Inc. © 2015 Photo-Iko


y Life in Ecuador Part III

Editor’s discussion about Ecuador’s language First let me say that I enjoyed reading parts 1 and 2 of My Life in Ecuador. So much so that I became very interested in the native tongue. Although I know that it is Spanish, I wondered how different the dialect really was in comparison to other Spanish speaking nationalities such as Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans, whom themselves have various ways of utilizing certain words in their vocabulary. In addition, how many variants of the language exists in Ecuador based on one’s geography. So I did a little research and this is what I discovered. Spanish is the most-widely spoken language in Ecuador, though great variations are present depending on several factors, the most important one being the geographical region where it is spoken. The three main regional variants are: Equatorial Pacific Spanish or Equatorial Coastal Spanish, Andean Spanish, and Amazonic Spanish. There are also other sociolinguistic that influences the way ones speak, and these are the ethnic or social class of the speaker. Moreover, it depends on whether the speaker lives in an urban or rural area. According to research, the most populous

areas are the Coast and the Highlands. These are the country’s most widely used dialects, despite being quite different from each other. For example, there are many idioms specific to each region or province, and others that are used and understood nationwide. Being Caribbean born I found it interesting that the Spanish spoken in the Ecuadorian coast and its neighboring western Andean plains, shares lots of features of both Caribbean dialects of northern Colombia and Venezuela, as well as some southern features of the Peruvian seaboard, making identification of this dialect difficult to the ears of an outsider. In addition, this variant has incorporated into its lexicon a number of words shared with other dialects of Ecuador which are understood only within the country. These words come mostly from the Andean Spanish dialects of Ecuador, with strong influences from Quichua (Northern Quechua), although the Quechua language had no historical presence in the Ecuadorian coast. This is the case of the Quechua-origin word “ñaño” (brother) which is widespread throughout the country. ( I don’t know about you, but reading about the variants in the Ecuadorian language gave me a greater appreciation for anyone who desires to teach English in this country. As you will read in the article below by Cuthbert Edmond Blaize, one must learn the language of the people first before teaching it to them. As for English, it is not the easiest language to teach. Hence, I have much respect for the teachers and the process of preparation that they embark on as they help the people of Ecuador adopt a new language.

Teaching English

have continued with more advanced training.

An Awe-inspiring and gratifying experience

Study of self is important in understanding one’s purpose in life.

In May 2014 I started to teach English to the staff of Puerto Lucia Yacht Club for free and also published a Facebook page giving the students the opportunity to practice their exercises and English pronunciation online.

Language education research afforded me some of the essential tools necessary to understand the intricacies of learning and teaching. And with much practice I was able to improve my skills in teaching. As I reflect on my past experiences from the perspective of a teacher The operational business structure of Puerto and a teacher learner, my selfless volunteering Lucia Yacht Club comprising of several the folparticipation in my community Elementary lowing service areas facilitated the achieveand High schools provided the environmental ment of my dream. landscape to prepare me to teach English in the future. Humility is certainly my greatest asset. · Administration (hotel, laundry) ·

Restaurant (food, drink, and kitchen)

My use of first-person narrative to question We started with 19 students, eight of which and act on the values and belief systems that have shaped my life as a language leaner has allowed me to identify and leverage valuable strengths from my lived experiences, and mitigate those weaknesses which have helped me to better understand myself, my students and my professional landscape. Some of my inherent strengths include, but are not limited to the following: 1. Recognizing the importance of language learning as a personal and daily endeavor. 2. Respecting my students’ self-incentives and creative characteristics. 3. Accepting the responsibility of a teacher as a guide.

4. Expressing the practicality of learning materials and tools. Cuthbert Edmond Blaize is a native of Antigua and Barbuda and a retired 5. Utilizing the elasticity of all teaching Navy Veteran. He methodologies.

My study of self has exposed me as a product of life. Thus, I am acutely aware of the importance of the interfaces that link language learning to my personal experiences in daily life and the importance of inserting language learning into my students’ personal life experience.

works for RBC Management Consulting and teaches English at The CEDEI Foundation in Cuenca Ecuador since 2011. Mr. Blaize was introduced to the English program by Ms. Rhodas, Director of The CEDEI Foundation in Cuenca Ecuador. This group was designed by members of university professors from the United States, Peru, and Ecuador. The principle objective is to promote mutual understanding between peoples and countries of the Americas through academic and cultural exchange as well as service to the community. More about the Educa

In addition, I have pondered at length on the disparity between formal English education and the daily communicative functions of English. I am certain that students of all cultural backgrounds constantly struggle with this. The constraints of formal English Program- http://www.programaededucation, albeit appropriate, can also and for more information on stifle the inherent creativity of foreign students. With the courage to break the constraints, I realize the possibilities exist to promote conversational English in foreign countries. This realization also provides me with the self-assurance to follow my intuition with regard to language teaching practices and to inspire students to utilize their own rich language learning experiences as they learn English.

the CEDEI Complimentary Images-Cuthbert Edmond Blaize, Wikipedia images and Google images, and BlaizeDance, Inc.2016. Additional images - www. and

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Photo by Jasminko Ibrakovic

Andrea “Décor” Harrison Who is Andrea? Andrea “Décor” Harrison is the owner and founder of Tantalizing Tablescapes & Décor, a custom event design company serving the Tampa Bay Area. Born and raised in New York City, Andrea has found overwhelming joy in creating custom, event decor for intimate events. If you are looking to “wow” your guests and create ambiance, she’s the person you want to call.

Media Coverage and Competitions In March 2015, she won the “5th Annual Powerstories Gift of Story Gala Tablescape Design Competition” with her stunning design inspired by the “Phantom of the Opera” and now serves as the chair for the Design Committee. As the new Design Chair, Andrea joined Lissette Campos as a guest on ABC’s Positively Tampa Bay to discuss her “Powerstories” win as well as the upcoming 2016 Tablescape Design Competition. Andrea has also appeared on morning television talk show, Studio 10 Live, in a segment called “Transform your Table from Drab to Fab”. Most recently she was featured as a Special Guest Artist for the “4th Annual Art Advances Fashion Forward” event hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida. Andrea shares her expertise with others by offering workshops, teaching

those who want to learn how to liven up their living space and create “tantalizing tablescapes”. Andrea loves, laughs and lives with her husband and their 9 year old entrepreneur daughter. For more information on Tantalizing Tablescapes & Décor visit Complimentary images- Andrea Harrison and Tantalizing Tablescapes & Décor.

Did you know?

• Go dancing

One of the most important actions to guard against various types of cancer is exercise.

• Wash your car

• Play with your kids at the park or outside your home • Mow the lawn or work in your garden • Vacuum or mop your home

• Instead of using food-processors in the kitchen (beat Previous research suggests exercise may reduce breast caneggs and mix cakes the old fashioned way) cer by 30 to 40 Percent. High estrogen levels in a woman’s • Place kitchen dishes in a higher closet so you have to blood increases her chances for breast cancer. Exercise helps stretch to get it to lower blood estrogen, and reduces the risk. Nearly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. Nearly 50,000 die as a result. Therefore, when you exercise, changes in digestive acids occur and these changes are believed to provide some protection from colon cancer. Decrease in body fat, lowering insulin, reduce inflammation and DNA repair are achieved via exercise.


At least 21 studies shows that physical activity has an im- pact on reducing lung cancer risks. Most physically active individuals experiencing about a 20 percent reduction in risk, and further analysis of existing studies shows higher levels of physical activity may protect against lung cancer. Findings for physical activity and lung cancers risk is less clear for women than it is for men. Reduce your risk of cancer • Don't smoke • Limit alcohol consumption • Protect your skin in the sun • Maintain healthy weight • Schedule regular physical activity • Eat clean foods-fruits and vegetables • Be aware of changes in your body Everyday activities for exercise • Walk and talk meetings to and at work • Take the stairs instead of elevator • Ride your bike to work • Park at the far end of the parking lot so you have to walk further

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