Tag Archives: dancing

How To Throw The Ultimate Wedding For Your Guests

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How To Throw The Ultimate Wedding For Your Guests

Weddings are a two-way street, and not just between the bride and groom. They are a balance of your own personal enjoyment and that of your guests. For that reason, many couples aim to make their special day one of the largest parties possible.

Ensuring that everyone has a good time is easier said than done, though, especially with the number of guests in attendance. What your best friend since college and your parents find entertaining are vastly different, right? So, how can you keep your roughly 50 to 250 guests happy over the course of several hours?

Believe it or not, there are a few simple ways to make your big day an event to remember in the minds of your guests. Check out these top wedding and reception tips that are sure to make your event a smash hit:

Comfort Is Key:

Nothing ruins a fun time like being uncomfortable. Summer weddings are notorious for sweat inducing heat and annoying bugs, while winter celebrations are often more about fighting off the cold. It’s impossible to enjoy a cocktail or dessert bar in either situation, let alone trying to deal with those uncomfortable conditions for hours on end.

Consider the conditions your guests will be subject to, then plan accordingly. If heat is the issue, you might want to serve ice cold glasses of lemonade. If the cold will be a concern, then hot chocolate might be in order. Picking the right bridesmaids dresses for either occasion is another essential factor. You can check here for summer and winter designs.

Other considerations could be a basket of flip flops near the dance floor for tired feet, mints in the restrooms, or a sewing kit handy for emergencies. Anything to make their time more comfortable goes a long way for your guests.

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Avoid Stagnation:

Sitting around waiting for the next part of the main event can quickly kill the mood, not to mention highlight those uncomfortable factors mentioned above. Work with your planner to make sure that things happen in a timely fashion, to keep the day moving along. That includes the ceremony, meals, dancing, and when the bar opens.

The Dance Floor:

Speaking of dancing, the idea is to get everyone on the dance floor ASAP. Take your time during your ceremony, but move things along quickly from there. Make sure everyone is fed and has a few drinks in them, then have your first dance and open up the floor.

The Food:

Quality food is great, but the key to happy guests outside of alcohol is having enough food for everyone. Outside of the main courses, you’ll want to have some sort of catering that allows guests to grab something to eat as they’re walking around.

Since neither food nor alcohol are cheap, many couples have turned to crowdfunding to help foot the bill. While most sites market themselves with a slogan like, “We will help your ideal honeymoon happen,” they’re also a great place to help pay for some of your wedding expenses.

Having guests chip in on the costs of both weddings and honeymoons in lieu of a gift is an excellent way to make them events to remember. While the idea might sound strange from a traditional standpoint, it happens to be trending in the wedding world.

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Everyone wants their big day to be something guests will remember for years to come. By following the advice above, you can do just that. These few key factors are all it takes to wow your guests and throw the wedding of your dreams.

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Dancing As A Way To Keep A Healthy Lifestyle

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Dancing As A Way To Keep A Healthy Lifestyle

If you are looking for some low-impact activities that can be beneficial to your health, you might want to go for something that offers a good balance of strength training and cardio. Dancing offers a good way to have fun while keeping your body fit and healthy. It has many benefits, like some of the following. But, before you decide to take dancing lessons, you need to buy the right uniforms. You can either shop at a physical store or buy online from sites such as Just for Kix. Let’s get to it:

Boosting Cognitive Health:

Dancing has been used effectively to treat people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, studies have shown that dancing boosts your memory. When it comes to the health of your brain, learning how to dance engages the major parts of your brain: cerebellum, motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, and basal ganglia. According to a certain study, out of all of the activities that elderly people partake in, only dancing was shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Improving Lung and Heart Health:

Different types of dance offer an aerobic workout that aids in strengthening your lung and heart muscles and this averts chronic conditions such as heart disease later in life. The harder you breathe and the faster your heart beats during dancing, the better the workout your cardiovascular system gets. If you have a strong heart, it will be able to pump blood throughout your body with less effort, lowering your chances of suffering from stroke and high blood pressure.

Alleviating Stress:

Dancing is an activity that provides the brain with double the pleasure because it involves listening to music and physical movement. If you have a dancing partner, your stress levels will decrease as your serotonin levels increase. This allows you to leave your worries behind as you focus on dancing with your partner. And, as exercise and music therapy gets into your brain, you will develop a positive mindset that reduces anxiety and stress.

Encouraging Social Interaction:

Dancing is a social activity that allows you to interact with other people. Social engagement improves your outlook and mood whilst reinforcing strong brain health. When you interact and converse with other people, you reinforce the brain’s neural pathways; this helps your brain cells to communicate effectively into old age.

Enhancing Flexibility:

The stretching, warm-ups, and reaching that occur in dancing will aid in loosening and lubricating your joints as well as strengthening your muscles. Stiff and tight muscles result in the inflammation, pains, and aches that happen during injury recovery and aging. When you increase your muscle pliability, you will be optimizing your coordination and preventing injury.

Strengthening Muscles and Endurance:

Activities like dancing usually tone and strengthen the key muscle groups: core, legs, arms, and back. The moderate movements burn calories, make you sweat, and aid in muscle growth. When you exercise, microscopic tears occur in your muscle tissues and this tells the body to rebuild the muscles bigger and stronger.

Increasing Spatial Awareness and Balance:

The coordination that you need to dance promotes your agility while improving your balance skills. This is very important for older adults because they need to retain their mobility to prevent debilitating falls. Although they can just install staircase railings and suction grab bars to hold onto, exercises like dancing strengthen their spatial awareness and agility, which helps in all aspects of life.

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Dancing has a wide variety of benefits for people of all ages. You do not have to start dancing when you are worried about your health; you can do it at any point of your life. The earlier you begin, the better you will be – and it’s fun!

An Open Letter To DWTS

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An Open Letter To DWTS

I admit it. I freaking LOVE Dancing With The Stars. As often as I can, I’ll tune in for my “Middle Aged Monday” routine of watching the program. So far, I’ve loved season 22 and have been enamored by the hunky Nyle DiMarco who showcases an amazing talent for ballroom dancing and just so happens to be hearing impaired. His challenge leaves the judges and sometimes myself included wondering just how in the hell he can express such gorgeous musicality without being able to hear one note of the songs being played. Despite this incredible talent that Nyle possesses, I’ve been utterly disappointed by the interactions seen throughout the show between Nyle and cast mates. There is an apparent lack of person first speaking and complete disrespect…Most surprisingly from his partner, Peta Murgatroyd. Allow me to explain:

Throughout the season, I’ve noticed Peta’s continuous instinct to talk over Nyle as if he can’t answer for himself when being spoken to by the judges or hostess, Erin Andrews. This instinct to jump the gun and open her mouth before Nyle can even begin to start answering in ASL comes across as pushy and disrespectful. I was also completely disturbed by the ease of which she referred to her partner as “the deaf guy” on this Monday’s show. As soon as those words escaped from her mouth, my jaw dropped to the ground.

Excuse me? The deaf guy? You mean your partner? I couldn’t believe that she had the audacity to refer to her partner and supposed friend in such a degrading way simply based on if he can hear or not. I was also kind of disgusted by the fact that she said this while speaking alone to the cameras because that just leaves you to wonder if Nyle even knows that he’s being referred to in such a demeaning matter.

One of the first rules that you learn when you’re working with people with a challenge of any kind is to utilize “person first speaking”. IE: Not “the blind person” but “the person who has a visual impairment”. By referring to Nyle as “the deaf guy” was essentially letting the world know that she only sees her partner as being defined by his disability. Not by his personality, his staggering good looks (wink!), or his ability as a dancer.

I commend Peta for her hard work on teaching Nyle how to ballroom dance and her excellent choreography. However, all of her accomplishments as his partner is being dragged through the mud by her blatant insensitivity which is showcased in her constant need to speak over him and by degrading her so called friend. Before Dancing With The Stars chooses to bring on another celebrity with any kind of disability I suggest some major sensitivity training for all parties involved on the show. I’m honestly baffled that nothing has been done yet with such obvious cases this season and DWTS is definitely losing the respect of an avid fan.

Monday Update: Special Olympics Edition

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Monday Update: Special Olympics Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This past week, my Special Olympic ice skaters competed in the winter games and it was totally awesome. The events took place on Wednesday and Thursday and they were single handedly some of the best days of my life. On Wednesday my sister, Kristen, joined me at the competition and the banquet that followed later in the evening. It was so nice to have her keeping me company and all of my skaters and their families just loved her! The days of the competitions were long but they were so worth it, so let’s discuss:

Wednesday’s competitions were the races for the speed skaters and then the figure skaters would compete in their skills and compulsorary events. On Thursday, the figure skaters would perform their music routines. Wednesday started out much too early for my liking because I had to get up, get ready, pick Kristen up, and then make the twenty minute drive to the rink so I could prepare my skaters for the events an hour or so beforehand. I felt like a zombie but god knows I looked fabulous! 😉

Once we arrived at the rink, my tiredness was a thing of the past because seeing all of the athletes and their families was so energizing! Everyone was so excited and I couldn’t wait to soak up all of the positivity and happiness that everyone was exuding. It was so much fun to make my rounds to all of the athletes upon our arrival and introduce my sister to all of my friends. I was so touched by the warm greetings I got from all of my skaters and their families. I think the athletes were more excited about Kristen being there than me though because they got a brand new person to show off to!

The events started promptly at ten with the speed skaters on the hockey rink and the figure skaters on the practice rink. I had athletes competing on both rinks so I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had skaters to give pep talks to, athletes to cheer for, and competitors that I had to track down that were going to be competing next. I didn’t mind the fast pace though and thanks to my time management skills, I was able to watch almost all of the skaters that are in my group compete.

Saying that I was proud of all of the athletes was a severe understatement and before I knew it, the events were over for the day. After all of the events were complete, we made our way to the hockey rink for the award ceremony. It was so special to be able to watch the athletes and my students receiving their medals on the podium. I loved seeing the big smiles, surprised faces, and arms raised in victory of all of the competitors. One of my students, Rick, ran to his family after he received his medals and went in for a big hug from his aunt. During the hug he kept saying “I’m so happy, I’m so happy” and I started bawling my eyes out! I was so proud of everyone and being able to see them celebrate and know that they did a fantastic job was the cherry on top of a perfect morning.

After the award ceremony, Kristen and I stuck around for a little bit while everyone had lunch and then we rolled out. Kristen treated me to lunch and then we went back to her apartment to rest and watch Netflix until the banquet in the evening. The banquet for the Special Olympics winter games was held at the Clarion Hotel. There was going to be speeches, dinner, and some good old fashioned tom foolery.

Kristen and I got to the hotel around six and made it right in the nick of time because shortly after we got there it was time to eat. Dinner was served buffet style followed by a huge piece of chocolate cake. Once everyone finished eating, there was a bit of a lull so we could all chat and digest while the dance floor got cleared off. Before we knew it, the dance floor was cleared, a DJ was playing, and disco lights were flashing. That’s when the real fun began!

As soon as the music started playing, Kristen and I ran to the dance floor with our friends so we could get our groove on. We were all dancing and singing along to songs from Grease and the Top 40 hits. My sister and I had such a blast dancing the night away. We were on the dance floor for over an hour and by the time we left, everyone was still dancing and jumping around! Clearly, all of the athletes have far more energy than I! Take a look at some of my pictures from the banquet:

^^^ I love us!!!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times, I am so unbelievably proud of all of my students and the athletes who competed at the Special Olympics winter games. I’m so thankful for all of my new friends and I’m so happy that my sister got to share in the fun with us. It has been such a privilege to be able to coach such a talented group of athletes and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had for anything! Coach Sarah loves you guys! ❤

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Special Olympics Edition! The winter games were a great success and I’m so grateful that I could be a part of it. What is your favorite winter sport? What sports did you used to compete in or are competing in now? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Weekend Wedding Edition

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Monday Update: Weekend Wedding Edition

Helloooo everyone and happy Monday! I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend – I know I did! I spent the weekend surrounded by my family and friends for the wedding of my brother, Peter, and his wife, Megan. Peter and Megan met each other during their undergrad years at Notre Dame, so my family and I packed up the car and drove to Indiana on Friday for the festivities. Saying that it was a beautiful weekend is the understatement of the century, so let’s discuss!

Friday was a pretty laid back day in comparison to Saturday, which was the day of the wedding. We arrived in South Bend, Indiana around three and then headed to a hotel for a bridal shower for Megan. It was a lot of fun getting to meet all of Megan’s family and her darling bridesmaids, Emily, Keaton, Andrea, and Jennifer. What I enjoyed the most about Megan’s bridal shower was watching her interact with all of her friends and family without Peter there. That was my first time seeing Megan without my brother in a social situation and it made me like her even more! After the bridal shower, we checked in to the hotel we were staying at to freshen up before the rehearsal wedding and dinner. Here’s a few selfies that my sister, Kristen, and I snapped before we left:

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^^^ Lol, I captioned our mirror pic “Just married” on Facebook!

The wedding rehearsal didn’t take long at all, which was great for me because I was SO hungry!! The rehearsal dinner was held at Papa Vino’s – the same restaurant where Peter and Megan had their first date. Papa Vino’s serves family style Italian food and it was so incredibly delicious. Plates and bowls of pasta, pizza, bread, dips, and desserts just kept coming and coming and I ate until I couldn’t take another bite. The evening was full of great food and conversation and by the time it came to an end, we were all beyond stuffed and tired. I was so ready for bed, so I was pretty happy when Megan’s family, my family, and the bridal party parted ways until the following morning for the wedding!

Peter and Megan’s wedding ceremony was held at the Basilica Of The Sacred Heart on Notre Dame’s campus and it is absolutely stunning. I could spend hours looking at all of the artwork and architecture that the church offers. The mass began promptly at eleven, but I was already crying well before then…I was so emotional! Watching Megan walk down the aisle with her father and watching Peter’s eyes get teary was my favorite part of the wedding. Megan looked drop dead gorgeous and Peter didn’t look too bad either! I was pretty shocked that my dad was crying during the wedding, which made my mom cry, which then made me cry. It was a big ol’ sob fest – but they were happy tears! The ceremony was elegant, sophisticated, and completely perfect. Peter and Megan looked so happy and in love and I really just can’t even.

After the mass it was time for pictures with the families and the bridal party. We took some photos in the church and then headed to the Notre Dame football field for some more photography fun. It was so cool being able to hang out on the football field as well as the football teams’ locker room for a Notre Dame style photo shoot. The pictures ranged from the bridal party in huddle formation around Peter and Megan in the locker room to an impromptu football game on the field. It was so fun watching all of these silly scenarios happen and it was such an awesome experience being able to explore the field and locker room. I got a picture in the locker room showers and when Kristen and I were opening some of the lockers we found a pair of boxers and a jock guard…SCANDALOUS!!! My cover photo is the bridal party in its entirety compliments of the photo shoot, starting from left to right: Emily, Jennifer, Andrea, Keaton, Megan, Peter, Michael, Andrew (my brother!), Brian, and Thomas. What an attractive group of people!

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^^^ Take note of how Peter wrote his and Megan’s names and wedding date on the locker room whiteboard! So cute!!!

While the bridal party continued their photo shoot throughout the campus, my parents, Kristen, and I returned to our hotel to prepare for the wedding reception. Makeup was touched up, hair was straightened, deodorant was applied and then we were off to the country club where the reception was held. The open bar cocktail hour began at five and best believe that Kristen and I got turnt right from the get go. By the time dinner was served around six thirty, I was already five glasses of moscato in and feeling wonderful. The vegetarian entree for dinner was excellent, it was a pasta primavera and my only regret is that I didn’t eat more! After dinner, Megan’s dad and my mom gave a toast and then it was time for the father/daughter and mother/son dance. My mom and Peter danced to the best of their ability and it was actually really good! Take a look at some pics of the mother/son dance and the blushing bride and groom:

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^^^ I LOVE THEM!!!

After all of the traditional toasts and dances were complete, the dance floor was opened to everyone. Kristen and I continued to throw back wine and danced our asses off with all of our family and friends. Halfway through the reception I was white girl wasted and I don’t remember much about the rest of the night other than how much fun I had! I do remember falling right on my knee on the dance floor because people kept spilling their drinks and it was really slippery. I now have a nasty purple and black bruise taking up the majority of my left knee. Hurray! I don’t remember breaking a nail. I do remember laying on the floor with Jennifer and Andrea to complain about said broken nail. I don’t remember how many glasses of wine I ended up drinking. I do remember having an amazing time…I also remember mentioning that already! I danced with everyone from my parents, my brothers, my sister, my cousins, Megan, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and a bunch of other people whose names I can’t recall. GREAT SUCCESS! (Except for the being sweaty part…that was gross.)

By the time the reception was over, Kristen and I were completely out of it and ready for bed. My family and I drove back to Ohio the following day around noon and returned safe and sound in the early evening. The entire weekend was incredible and I am so thankful to have been a part of it. I adore my new sister-in-law like no other and I’m so excited for what the future holds for the newlyweds! Peter and Megan will be leaving for their three week honeymoon in Italy today and I wish them nothing but blissful fun and safe travels. I LOVE YOU PETER AND MEGAN!!!

So there you have it, the Monday Update: Weekend Wedding Edition! I hope all of you enjoyed reading this post just as much as I did writing it! What was everyone up to this weekend? Anything exciting? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah