#Authors #NovelWriting #Reading #Animals #Books #Fiction #Romance
Award-winning author Jacqueline Diamond has published over a hundred books: mystery, non-fiction, romance for all ages, historical, and modern. What fiction are you reading at the moment?
Share your thoughts, experiences, and questions by recording them on my Anchor by Spotify page — or comment at HappinessBetweenTails.com — or email me. Like what you hear? Buy me a coffee.
The original Happiness Between Tails blog post (H-E-R-E) that goes with this episode includes all the links below and photos:
Original blog post.
Jacqueline’s site with more about her, her blog, tips on writing, and a list of her books purchase info.
This video interview where Jacqueline discusses how to develop interesting characters.
This video where she describes the storytelling ins and outs of point-of-view.
Time Stamps (where segments begin):
1) HBT introduction
2) da-AL discusses today’s topic and tells a bit about today’s guest 1:07
3) Jacqueline Diamond discusses how animals figure into her novels 2:30
4) This episode’s question with info on how to comment and learn more 4:41
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Picture me sitting on my haunches atop a conference table, assigned to perform an entertaining Toastmasters speech titled, “Benefits and Politics of Squatting”…
The subject first piqued my interest years ago, when my mom moved in with us. To make things extra comfy for all (including for when I’ working on my novels H-E-R-E), we had some construction done on our snug home.
Each morning, a crew of men assembled under our backyard gazebo. Aged from early twenties to eighties, they all immigrated to here in the United States from Cambodia.
The way they waited for each other to show up amazed me! In totally relaxed full-squats, the gentlemen sipped coffees, munched pastries, chatted, and smoked. Once all arrived, they stood; none of them groaned or complained of creaky bones.
Lunch involved more of the same. They full-squatted as they passed around freshly steamed rice with fragrant grilled meat and veggies. Afterward, still squatting, they finished with smokes and maybe a bit of candy.
Fast forward to some time later, when I broke my knee twice in the same year. Torn cartilage, fractured bone, stretched tendon, blah, blah, blah. Ouch!!!! and Ohno!!! don’t begin to cover it.
Thanks to his suggestion that I squat for thirty seconds, five times a day, as I watched TV, my knee is so restored that I never needed the surgery that two doctors beforehand prescribed! Yesterday I went for a long jog and experienced no problems whatsoever!
Full squats align muscles and organs from toes to neck. The aid in…
Getting rid of hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and hernias.
Preventing heart attacks caused by straining on European-style toilets.
Alleviating incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Making pregnancy easier.
Guarding reproductive organs, including protecting against prostate cancer.
What kind of eater are you? Writer, reader, whatever you do for fun (I’m working on my novels, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat’ and “Tango & the Sitting Cat”), you gotta eat, right?
I’m sort of vegetarian — more pescatarian — more accurately hypocritical — but definitely not vegan.
Whatever one is or isn’t, I believe the thoughtful — and emotional — life is best. The idea of considering one’s actions, being honest with oneself and the world at large mean a lot to me. Particularly because I believe not being so causes harm, i.e., people doing bad things to themselves, each other, their pets, the environment. I’m no expert, though. The only thing I know for sure is that generalizing generally gets me in trouble.
So for the rest of this post I’ll stick to worrying about myself. I’ve written about what my pets have taught me here and here and here…
For a long time, I didn’t really want to eat meat, but I ate it because the vegetarians I knew were so insufferable that I didn’t want to be anything like them. For one thing, they were awful to eat with, the way they’d badmouth nearby meat-eaters and discuss food in unwholesome ways. But as someone who too often bends backward to be understanding and accommodating, who am I to speak badly of vociferous vegetarians?
What I can say is one day I attended a BBQ. One where the hosts had purchased ribs as I’d never encountered them before; long racks of them, as boney and white-pinkish as mine! I can’t remember if I ate some to be polite. What I know is that very night I had a nightmare wherein I ate the little lovebird I owned at the time. It didn’t help that around then (in real life, I mean) it seemed convenient, tasty, and nutritious to once a week or so rinse a dead refrigerated Cornish game hen and dump it into a crock pot with veggies. How grown up of me — Voila! — dinner awaited as soon as I got home from work!
After aforementioned BBQ, the next time I rinsed a little boney pink-white-grey game hen — I thought of my ribs, my pet bird who was named Gumbie for her adorable putty green feathers, and the nightmare.
I can’t remember if I immediately — “cold turkey” harhar? — stopped eating flesh. Maybe I ate whatever was left in the fridge as it would’ve been beyond disrespectful to toss the corpse remains in the trash….
What I’m sure of is the convergence of discomfort woke me to the fact that I was foolish to eat meat only because I didn’t want to be like the sort of folks I could never anyway be.
It wasn’t hard to stop. The meaty meals I enjoyed had to do with the stuff on them, the sauces and such. And I’ve always loved veggies and fruit and nuts and beans and grains and the like. Good chance less meat would clear space for more of the better stuff, assuming I didn’t fill said “meat gap” with candy. That I could easily do as I love chocolate, but I didn’t. Not much, at least.
The first year, to be social, I ate a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches. I was taken aback by just how much meat some people consume when I heard lots of, “I would starve if I didn’t eat meat. What do you eat?” The trickiest situations were eating at people’s homes until I realized I should just bring a good veggie dish to share. As a result, I found people enjoy veggies a lot more than they think, so long as they’re prepared nicely. In fact, at parties, it’s the veggie pizzas that usually finish before the meat ones.
But I eat fish sometimes. So I’m a hypocrite. Though I don’t go out of my way to eat fish meals…
Eating is complicated. For all the health advice I’ve encountered, stress is hands down the worst thing for us. And eating can be super emotional. So if not eating meat is going to stress anyone out, not that anyone seeks my opinion on this, I’d say just go ahead and eat some, but try to do it with thought and compassion.
For sure don’t heap more of it than you can eat on your plate and then throw it away. That animal died for you, after all, unwilling as it was. And try to make sure it had a halfway decent life before it was led into a slaughterhouse or tossed into boiling water or…
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I recently stumbled onto “Infidel753: we are not fallen angels, we are risen apes,” a blog filled with so many genius posts that I asked Mr. Infidel753 to guest blog post here for you! The following post he wrote for us is what inspired my preceding aside. BTW, with all the quarantining, like him, between no social eating and exercising more regularly since now I do it on zoom without having to add in a commute, I’m now actually healthier.
Born in the United States since his parents arrived here from Britain, Indfidel753 blogs from Portland, Oregon. He’s been to the UK, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Germany, Ukraine, and Japan, and hopes to travel some more. Though he earned degrees in Middle Eastern history, he works in something secret that’s other than academia. A blogging pioneer, he started in 2006!
Pursuing health in a land of sickness by Infidel753
It started with the pigs.
For most of my life I ate pretty much like a typical American. That included eating meat, with little or no thought to what meat is or where it comes from. But due to a long-standing interest in evolutionary biology, I steadily learned more and more about animals — including how similar they, especially other mammals, are to humans in many ways. Did you know, for example, that the other great ape species have the same blood types as we do — A, B, O, etc? In the case of chimpanzees the blood chemistry is close enough that transfusions between species would be possible, with individuals of the same blood type.
Around 2008 my reading made me aware that pigs, in particular, are at least as intelligent and emotionally sophisticated as dogs. This made me uncomfortable with the thought of eating their meat. Most people, at least in the West, would not be comfortable with eating dog flesh because we think of dogs as quasi-persons. But I realized that eating pig meat was no different — so I stopped doing it.
Over time, as I learned more, I extended the same principle to mammals generally. Cattle and sheep are not as intelligent as pigs, but they’re also self-aware creatures, and I could simply no longer blank out the knowledge that what I was eating was part of the corpse of a conscious being. Finally I gave up meat altogether. Even animals like chickens and fish seem obviously self-aware to some extent, and they certainly have the capacity to suffer.
And suffer they do. Most meat now is produced on factory farms, where animals are kept in horrific conditions of overcrowding and immobility, constantly dosed with antibiotics to suppress the infectious diseases which would otherwise run rampant under such conditions (and even so, disease is often widespread). Unlike many vegetarians, I don’t really like animals — they’re unpredictable, generally not very clean, and in many cases dangerous; I don’t like having them around me. But I don’t like the thought of them suffering.
But I still hadn’t grasped the implications for human health. If anything, I worried that eliminating meat might lead to malnutrition. I still ate things like eggs and cheese, as well as the wide range of processed junk that makes up so much of the “normal” American diet.
By the beginning of 2020 I knew I needed to do more. I had lost some weight, but at 225 pounds and 5’11″ I was still clinically obese, and I was about to turn sixty. That put me in the express lane to a stroke or a heart attack. I started educating myself about health and came to realize that animal by-products like cheese and eggs are probably even more toxic to the human system than meat is.
The pandemic was the final straw. It soon became clear that if you catch covid-19, overall health has a lot of impact on how badly it harms you. I observed rigorous isolation to avoid the virus, but I knew I couldn’t absolutely eliminate the risk of catching it. So I cut out all the remaining animal products and most of the junk food. It was, I suppose, partly a way of feeling proactive and taking action rather than being passive in the face of the viral threat.
I also became something of a fanatic for learning as much as I could about the effects of various kinds of food on the human body. Human anatomy and biochemistry are those of a herbivorous animal, not an omnivorous one, and our pervasive problems of obesity, diabetes, arterial damage, and a dozen other scourges, are simply the kinds of things that happen to an animal when it eats the wrong kind of food. Such problems have historically been rare in populations which traditionally ate a mostly starch-based diet with very little meat, as in much of Asia — but as prosperity brought American-style eating to those cultures, American-style health problems have followed. Conversely, among Americans, it’s vegans — those who eat mostly vegetables, fruit, nuts, and legumes, eschewing animal products and keeping processed stuff to a minimum — who statistically suffer least from such ailments. All this self-education helped me stick to the new path.
The results far exceeded expectations. By the end of 2020 I had lost thirty pounds, and the joint inflammation flare-ups and chest pains which had plagued me for most of my life had almost disappeared.
This isn’t a “diet” in the sense of a temporary program to be followed until its goals are achieved. It’s a reversion to what should be the norm. I consider it analogous to quitting smoking.
In terms of popular thinking and moral consensus, I think meat-eating today is about where slavery was around 1800. Most people still accept it as a normal part of life without giving it much thought. Only a small minority recognizes that there’s a serious moral problem, to say nothing of the health issues. But that minority is growing with time. There is, at least, fairly widespread awareness of how much animal farming contributes to global warming. But that issue is only the tip of a very large, ugly, and dangerous iceberg. Over time, I hope and believe, the reality of the problem will become widely understood despite the dense fog of misinformation, propaganda, and wishful thinking that now obscures it. Until then, at least I personally am no longer implicated — and no longer harming myself.
How do you feel about eating these days?
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As the Covid epidemic drags on and on and on, for what seems like forever, the challenge of keeping socially distanced is easier for some of us. For me, working on my novels (about the books I’m working on H-E-R-E), teaches me the importance of being okay with keeping my own company. Of course, I’m beyond fortunate that my friends and family are doing well physically, emotionally, and financially. That includes my dear dog, K-D. She breaks up the surrealism of these weird times by staying close while I do ZOOM yoga and pilates.
Make no mistake, Covid is horrendous in every way. Who among us hasn’t been freaked out by it? My husband and I got sick with it just before the vaccines came out. We were lucky to survive, fortunate to have gotten medical attention. That said, I’m still dealing with Covid-related health problems.
Whatever might stress you out, whether it’s Covid or otherwise, meet Caz, a London blogger with kindness so immense that she blogs her experiences into healing wisdom. She worked in mental health, and you can reach her at her site, Mental Health 360 dot U K, no spaces. These are her best tips for keeping our heads when anxiety threatens to do us in…
As someone who’s experienced severe panic attacks, I understand just how frightening and debilitating they are. I never want to experience another one and if this is you too, let’s look at how to prevent them. First tho’, in order to overcome panic attacks, you’ll need to understand what they are.
What is a panic attack or panic disorder?
We’ve all had feelings of anxiety — it’s our body’s natural response to stress, and it’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. For example, you may feel anxious about a job interview. During times like this, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal, but some people find it harder to control their anxieties. The most severe form of anxiety can trigger panic attacks.
We have panic attacks and panic disorder; one episode is a panic attack, which might occur following the death of someone close or another stressful situation. Panic disorder is when you experience regular and subsequent attacks. It’s a common yet very misunderstood illness and lots of people with this disorder won’t ever seek help due to fear and stigma.
The attacks can occur often and at any time, seemingly for no apparent reason. It feels like a sudden, unexpected rush of intense fear and anxiety along with a flood of frightening thoughts and physical sensations — so, panic attacks are not merely psychological.
What you should know about panic disorder
Many of the symptoms of panic attack are similar to some physical illnesses i.e. heart attack or over-active thyroid.
It’s a chronic condition and can lead to changes in behaviour like avoiding situations or events.
People dread the onset of another attack, and the fear of having one is just as debilitating as the attacks themselves.
Panic disorder knows no boundaries as it affects people of all socio-economic groups and races. It’s more common in women than men. It can also affect children and the elderly.
Although the exact causes are unclear, panic disorders can run in families.
While many attacks are triggered by stressful life events, they can also occur ‘out of the blue’.
Be aware —anti-malaria medication, cold and flu medications, appetite suppressants and even too much caffeine can trigger panic attacks in some people.
If you experience panic attacks, you might then begin to avoid events or situations because you’re afraid of another attack. However, avoidance can create a cycle of living in “fear of the fear”, which adds to your sense of panic. This can cause you to have more panic attacks, leading to diagnosis of panic disorder
What are the symptoms of Panic?
If we encounter a situation that threatens our safety, we’ll experience a series of reactions known as the ‘fight or flight’ response —triggered by the release of chemicals that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to flee to safety.
During a panic attack, we’ll experience similar symptoms, even when there’s no real threat involved. A panic attack might happen in response to situations that others find harmless. Symptoms include physical and physiological symptoms, such as these ten:
Racing heartbeat, palpitations
Dizziness, light-headedness, or nausea
Difficulty breathing, like you can’t get enough air
Dry mouth and unable to swallow — if you do need fluids, just take smalls sips to avoid choking
Sweating and hot flushes or sudden chills
Sudden need to go to the toilet, the body needs to lighten to fight or flee
Numbness or tingling sensations, initially in your fingers and toes
Your face, feet and hands might go white (as with the tingling, this is the blood leaving your extremities to rush to where it’s needed most i.e. heart and muscles)
Chest pains — you might think you’re having a heart attack — one way to tell is — if your fingers and toes are tingling, you’re more likely to be having a panic attack. However, if you’re afraid always dial 999, or whatever your country’s emergency phone number is, to check
You might experience negative thoughts…
“I’m so embarrassed, everyone can see me panicking.”
“I feel like I’m dying” or “I’m dying”, or “I’m having a heart attack.”
“I can’t cope with this!”
…and feelings of…
You’re going mad or crazy.
Being out of physical or emotional control.
Unreality/detachment from yourself or your surroundings.
Heightened sound and visual awareness, and hypervigilance (for flight or flee you need to hear and see clearly and be vigilant).
A panic attack generally lasts between four and twenty minutes, although it often feels a lot longer. However, they have been known to last an hour. I had them one after another, and all night for around three months and it felt like torture.
What to do if you’re having a panic attack
Breathe as slowly and deeply as possible, exhaling firstly through your mouth — slowly for a count of 8-10 seconds, then in through your nose slowly and so on.
Recognise that this is a panic attack and tell yourself that it will pass, because it will.
Try to get to a quiet space and sit down if necessary and continue with the breathing.
If you’re at work or outside, ask for help, I know this might feel a little embarrassing, but do ask if you need to.
Count backwards slowly from 100 or…
…look around for 5 things that you can see and name them out loud i.e. “I can see a truck,” etc. You can go onto things you can hear, smell, taste, or touch in the same way — until the panic subsides. This technique will help you stay in the present and grounded by using your five senses.
Use muscle relaxation techniques — try slumping your shoulders, letting them drop down from your ears, give your jaw a little wiggle then let it relax, uncross your legs, unclench your fists and lay the palms of your hands lightly on your thighs (remind yourself that your body cannot be relaxed and tense at the same time).
Put a few drops of lavender (known to ease anxiety) on a tissue, exhale then breathe it in slowly.
Dial 999 if the symptoms continue or get worse.
What to do if someone else is having a panic attack
Ask the person if they’ve had a panic attack before, and what they think might help them or has helped them in the past.
Encourage them (or tell them quite firmly if they’re confused and unable to follow directions) to breathe (as above). Do this with them if necessary, as often they think they can’t breathe and won’t be able to do this alone.
Follow the above steps and call 999 if necessary.
Self-help to combat panic attacks
Listen (regularly) to free mental wellbeing audio guides online.
Search and download relaxation and mindfulness apps or online community apps.
Learn other skills like visualisation to help you relax and practice them often.
Notice when your body is tense i.e. when your shoulders are up round your ears or your fists are clenched and let them relax. When your body is constantly tensed up, it’s effectively telling your brain you’re on alert, tensed and ready to fight or flee.
Ask your close friends or family members to support you by gently pointing out when you’re all hunched up and tense. Even better, perhaps they’ll give you a light head massage, or lightly rub your arms and hands in a soothing way.
Practice the breathing exercises often so that you’ll be able to use them easily when needed.
Try mixing lavender oil with other aromatherapy oils like geranium to produce your own stress reliever.
I can’t stress enough the need to practice the coping techniques. You know you wouldn’t be able to drive say on a motorway after having just one lesson. It takes practice!
Treatment for Panic attacks
Treatment aims to reduce the number of panic attacks you have and ease your symptoms.
Psychological (talking) therapies and medicine are the main treatments for panic disorder
Depending on your symptoms, you may need either of these treatments, or a combination of both
When to get help
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, please seek professional help. Or talk to someone close.
See a GP if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of panic disorder. Regardless of how long you’ve had the symptoms, if panic attacks are interfering with your life, work, or relationships you should seek professional help.
Although panic disorder is a medical condition in its own right, there can sometimes be a physical reason for your symptoms — and treating it can bring the anxious feelings to an end. See your GP to rule out any other causes and don’t self-diagnose.
Over to you
The above lists are not exhaustive, and you may have other tips for readers, which you can leave in the comment section below. Please feel free to make any other comments and ask any questions.
Have you or anyone you know experienced anxiety or panic? What helped you or them?
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“Stay safe.” How many times a day do you hear that? During this COVID19 era, whether the conversation is for business or pleasure, the majority of mine end with someone telling me, “Stay safe.” Then I ask them to do the same.
Here in Los Angeles, weeks have turn into months. No complaints from me, proud of the liberal blueness of my state as I am. Assuming folks remind me to ‘stay safe’ at home with super-clean hands, for my part, I mean something different. Stay safe, dear reader — stay safely happy as well as healthy.
Now that we’re on the subject, how are you managing that? Me, I do my usual keeping busy. Let me preface that with: it’s easy for me. I am most definitely lucky, lucky, lucky. I’ve got food, shelter, and all my people are sound inside and out. That includes my four-legged furry little girl. And I live in an area where Spring has sprung amid a fabulously mild climate.
Recently I heard that sheltering has affected dogs (surely the menagerie of other beloved pets too) — in a good way! It turns out that at least one doggie needed vet-prescribed relaxation to recover from wagging their tail so much. Ah, the sheer bliss of having one’s person(s) home ‘round the clock, ‘round the week!
My heart goes out to everyone who struggles as a result of the pandemic. Thank you, all who are working away from home. You are my heroes.
But I feel guilty. You too? Because for as terrible as the situation is…
These are some of the gifts that I will miss when sheltering is over…
I live within walking distance from a commuter airport, and my home has single-paned windows. Fewer flights mean I’ve been sleeping better and now I hear more birds in the daytime.
Though I didn’t eat out much even before the sheltering, stocking up for two weeks at a time takes rethinking errands and cooking. That’s not so bad — I’m finding that shopping far less often leaves me more time to write, to walk, to do all kinds of things.
Nature too is getting a ‘reboot.’ Fewer drivers result in cleaner air, more birds singing this spring-time, and less road-kill. It’s nice to look up to a night sky of more twinkling stars, fewer airplanes.
It’s lovely to see neighbors I never knew. They ride their bikes past my window, their kids following like ducklings.
More pets are out with their owners. On my strolls, dog in tow or not, it’s a relief to not worry about rush-hour traffic mowing us down.
People are adopting more pets!
My expenses are down. Since this started, I haven’t needed to put gas in my car.
I have less laundry and buy fewer clothes I haven’t gotten my hair styled, and I definitely use fewer cosmetics.
My rare drives are a breeze in the reduced traffic.
Definitely, it would be great to see my friends and family in person soon. On the other hand, with all this extra time, we’re keeping in closer contact thanks to Zoom and FaceTiming. Moreover, visual visits require us to really pay attention to each other.
When I had my annual physical, speaking with my doctor didn’t cost me a co-pay, as it was a phone visit.
Without the commute to parties and my beloved yoga studio, I’m keeping fitter with fewer days of over-indulgence and the daily zoom workouts.
My husband is whiling away his extra time by assuming much of the grocery shopping and cooking duties.
For all anyone knows, I’ve got a mustache and mask-tan lines on face — but I won’t tell!
Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. When I asked my Facebook friends, they had plenty they appreciated. I forgot to ask permission to name them, so I’ll paraphrase. Some are exercising to videos and glad for more time to cook, garden, create art, and to watch old and new favorite TV shows. Personally, I’m totally on the same page as the friend who’s binging on “Monk” shows. Even my local newspaper, The Long Beach Post News’ columnist Tim Grobaty, reports some good fallout from all the pollution slow-down.
We landed in Gold Coast to visit cousins who I’d heretofore not had the pleasure of meeting. Lovely inside and out, they were generous to us in every way!
The following morning, a delicious breakfast awaited us — including yeast extract to spread on our buttered toast. Brands for the ‘acquired taste’ can be a heated topic: Australians generally vote for Vegemite, New Zealanders like Our Mate, folks in other places are partial to Marmite or Promite or Bovril or Cenovis or…
After all the eating and relaxing, it was time to get moving!
Admirably fit and flexible Rita (the beautiful lady with her arm around my waist) introduced me to a free tai chi class at the local park. If you’re ever in the area, Robina Tai Chi Club Secretary/Treasurer Yulan deSalve assured me that all are welcome to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for particulars. Ask her nicely, and she might demonstrate the sitting koala pose!
What animals do you have near your home that are unique to your area?
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“Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” is the title of the first of my soon-to-be self-published novels. The ‘Sitting Cat’ part of the title refers to the geographical shape of Iran…
I grew up with only classical music — and flamenco music and dance. My father, who left Barcelona in his mid-20s, wanted it that way. Since I left home at 18, it’s a gift to watch any type of dance I like and to listen to every kind of music that comes my way.
I still love classical — and flamenco! Especially fascinating to me is when flamenco is fused with the dance of Iran, where my husband was raised. Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is an Iranian dancer now residing in France. Flamenco is as much about individuality as it is about technique — it accommodates all cultures, all forms of beauty.
If only politics were as intent on creating a climate of ‘we’ rather than an ‘us vs. them’!
What better way is there to celebrate a special occasion than with an all-day excursion of gorgeous weather, strolling an array of gardens that span rainforest to desert and Japanese to Australian to more, seeing the worlds’s stinkiest (and amusingly phallic) plant, eating international fare, admiring fine art museums, and ending it all with a high tea?
Dancing with my honey, my pals, on my own, and watching others dance — I love all dancing! When ballroom dance instructor Leon Turetsky offered this guest blog post, I was delighted…
Partner dancing, known as ballroom dancing, is one of the most rewarding activities couples can do together. You can learn how to dance for parties, weddings, and other social events. While the rest of the couples will be sitting down, you’ll be having a blast together.
Besides having fun together, couple dancing also makes for a great exercise, especially for those of you who don’t like going to the gym. You can motivate each other to go out and dance!
Okay so you’re sold on the idea of dancing together, but which dances should you focus on?
While there are more than 20 different Ballroom dances out there, I’d recommend you start with the Waltz, Rumba, and Swing:
1. Learn the Waltz
The Waltz is a classy dance that travels around the floor in a counterclockwise direction. Most of you may be familiar with the 1,2,3 count that is used in this dance. The reason you should learn how to Waltz is because the closed frame hold instills a very smooth and romantic feeling for couples. Also, it is based on a box step pattern which makes it very easy to learn for anyone.
2. Learn The Rumba
The Rumba comes originally from Cuba and unlike the Waltz stays mostly on one spot. The timing of this dance is slow, quick, quick. The Rumba is a great dance because it combines elegant movement with underarm turns and open breaks. This dance has plenty of moves in the closed position but allows couples to break apart into many other fancy moves. The is a great dance for those of you looking for variety.
3. Learn The Swing
The Swing is a dance that has triple steps from side to side, as well as rock steps. This dance has lots of turns, spins, arm changes and dips. Many of your favorite rock and roll songs will usually fit this dance. It’s the perfect dance for those couples looking to dance to faster music with a more energetic beat. Also, there are 2 styles of Swing you can start with – The Single time Swing, and the Triple time Swing. I’d recommend you start with the Single time first as it’s easier for beginners.
So what are you waiting for? The next time you’re looking for a new challenge, try some Ballroom dancing and ask them to start with the Rumba, Waltz or Swing. You can always expand into other dances later.
About Leon Turetsky: a professional Ballroom and Latin dance instructor, he runs Passion4dancing.com where he teaches people how to dance online with videos.
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