Thank You For A Wonderful Year–thisisyourbestyear!

We were read in 126 countries this year!! Our yearly review is below.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

We are looking forward to 2015.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Work–When It Is A Privilege And A Passion

Sometimes in fact many times things speak to both genders–men of a certain age and women of a certain age.  I just read this outstanding article by James Ragland in the Dallas Morning News.  It is one that I think many of us will appreciate.  Take a read. It’s always good when you are still excited about the day’s work ahead.  Enjoy!

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/james-ragland/20141226-james-ragland-celebrating-30-years-of-work-that-s-a-privilege-and-a-passion.ece

You can read more of Mr. Ragland’s work at the Dallas Morning News :  http://www.dallasnews.com

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Interview With The Artistic Director of The Dallas Black Dance Theater–April Berry

You know how you feel when you get something that you have wanted?  It is the best feeling.  Well I feel very good.  I was able to interview the new artistic director of the Dallas Black Dance Theater, Ms. April BerryMs. Berry will lead the 38-year-old dance company that has always been led by the founder and visionary and creator–Mrs. Ann Williams. Ms. Berry will lead a company that has been able to grow while other dance companies have come and gone from the dance scene.

Ms. Berry 2
Solo from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – Caverna Magica

She is a former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  She has been an artist-in-residence of several universities including Ohio State University, and has taught  Dunham workshops around the country. 

I was fortunate enough to catch Ms. Berry between her many obligations to the company and to the city of Dallas for an interview.  She is a woman on a mission.

Our interview was more of a conversation, and it went as follows:                

At what age did you take your first dance lesson, and was it love at first movement?  I was 6 years old, and I took my first lesson at a neighborhood dance school.  It was love at first movement.  I began to take my dancing seriously at about the age of 12 when I asked my mother if I could attend a school that stressed both the arts and academics.  She allowed me to attend the National Academy of Ballet and Theater Arts in middle school.

If not dance, then what would you have done?  Teaching the arts would be something that I would have done, and I do. 

You tried out for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company three times, what gave you the tenacity to never give up? I knew this company was for me.  I had attend the Ailey school on scholarship, and I knew it was for me.  The first time I tried out, I was told that I was too young.  The second time I was told that I didn’t have enough stage experience, and was told to go and get some experience.  The third time, I told myself this was it. If they don’t choose you the third time, then it is basically over.  At this audition there were about 500 girls trying out.  It was a two-day audition.  On the second morning, there were about 150 girls left.  At the end of the day they chose 3 girls and I was one.  I can remember asking why it took me 3 years to get selected.  Mr. Ailey told me, I now had the experience, and I had the look they were looking for that year.

I sometimes think that our young people aren’t equipped to accept disappointment. When you talk to young people, do you share this journey with them?  I always share this story with them.  I stress that sometimes the reason you are not chosen especially in the arts is that it not about your talent or shill. It maybe that you are not the type they are looking for at the time.  Sometimes they want you to go away and get more experience to see if you are willing to put in the work.  I tell young people they should be strong, accept critiques, be resilient and be flexible–have faith and believe.

Ms. Berry 1
Studio photo – April Berry with Desmond Richardson

I saw you perform with Kevin Brown to “Fix Me Jesus”, it was beautiful.  Thank you, that was during my younger years.

There are several dance companies that have ceased to exist or gone together such as the two companies that make up the Texas Ballet.  How has the Dallas Black Dance Theater been able to sustain itself? The company has always had the unique and strong vision of its founder, Mrs. Ann Williams.  She knew where it started and where it was going. She had a long-range and long-term vision.  The infrastructure was put in place that would work.  The company has been able to retain and recruit the products (the dancers) on the stage.  The company has a motto which is “It will get done one way or the other”. 

I saw the company a couple of years ago during Easter service with the St. Paul United Methodist Church at One Arts Plaza, and I think I read that the company will perform on Easter Sunday again.  Yes this service is on the calendar.  We will also be performing in Fort Worth at the Scott Theater on March 20 during the Dancing Beyond Borders series.

Ms. Berry 3
Dallas Black Dance Theatre – Photo By: Sharon Bradford – The Dancing Image

What is your vision for the company? Growth, growth in terms of artistry.  The dancers who are fantastic also need growth and inspiration.  They need to stay engaged.  I want new choreography whether local, regional, national or international. I want new people to help elevate us and help us grow in our artistry.

I want to open up the academy and increase the attendance by offering more and different classes for all ages.  I would like to bring in new dance faculty. I would like for the company to perform more regionally–around Texas.

Besides the Dallas/Fort Worth area, what has been your favorite city to live in?  Oh my that’s a hard one since I love this area.  There is so much to do from shopping, arts, the lakes are here and the hospitality.  I love the aspect of family and faith.  You know I’m from New York, but I think I would choose Charlotte North Carolina.  I just like the friendliness of the people.

Thank you so much for your time Ms. Berry I look forward to seeing the company perform, do you have any questions for me?  I would love to know what your readers would like to know about the Dallas Black Dance Theater, do they come out to the performances regularly in Dallas or Fort Worth?  I’m sure they do, we’ve been to the Wyly Theater often to see them.  I know that people in this area like dance.  I can’t remember, I think it was the Dance Theater of Harlem that performed last year at the Bass Hall.  We made it a family outing with cousins from here and East Texas bringing our daughters.  I am a firm believer that you can’t be what you have never seen. I remember taking my youngest one to the opera.  She told me she didn’t know if she would go back, and I told her at least she had been to a performance.  That is so right, when I decided I wanted to train seriously my mother took me to see a dance company and thank goodness it was the Dance Theater of Harlem. That’s when I saw ballerinas of color–African-American on stage–that just got me more excited about having a career in dance.

Please keep us in mind when you have performances and activities.  Thank you again.  Thank you.

You can read more about the Dallas Black Dance Theater at:  http://www.dbdt.com

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Make it a point to see the Dallas Black Dance Theater this coming year.  I know you will enjoy it!

                                    

Women Of A Certain Age–Dance Like David

Ms. CortezGuest blogger, Ms. Theresa Cortez is “a woman of a certain age” attending Tarrant County College where she is majoring in business administration.  She has attended Texas Woman’s University and The Potter’s House School of Ministry.  She is a licensed minister, an ordained elder and a Stephens Crisis Minister with All Saints Episcopal Church.  Ms. Cortez is the founder of Wealth and Riches–God’s Plan for Men, and the Dance Like David Studios for Women of a Certain Age.

In this post Ms. Cortez is talking about the Dance Like David Studio, and it’s benefits for “women of a certain age”. Contact Ms. Cortez about gift certificates for Christmas.

Women of a Certain Age

To those girls blessed enough to have turned 50

This is a new lease on life

What we must first realize is that the world does not define us!  God’s word does. We will not sit down until we have been called up.

We shall teach, exhort and instruct our young daughters, through this charge –

Titus 2:3-5

We are vibrant, as they shall be, resilient, exuberant, happy, and wealthy in God’s resources, rich in His Glory, wise in His knowledge and yes we still dance!

Daughters of Zion.

Women there is work to do! Get fit! Get active!

Dance! And get out there!

Women of a Certain Age

Come and Dance like David, this studio is tailor-made for you.

1623 B N. Crowley Rd.

Crowley, TX 76036

Praise! Dance! Worship!

50 and Over

Dance

Praise God Get Fit!

Dance like David Studios 1623 (B) N. Crowley Rd. Crowley, TX 76036

Contact Theresa Cortez @ 817-247-0518

dance

Praise

Worship

Exercise

Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:00 p.m. And 7:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. Saturday

Women of a Certain Age

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

 

Having Your Cake And Eating It Too

You know it’s about to be a new year, and some of us will be setting goals to do certain things. It’s been about 3 years now, and I’m still working on a goal I made and accomplished.  I made my goal, in fact I did a little better than I expected.  It was hard work, and still takes a lot for maintenance.  Oh, I’m talking about the dreaded weight loss goal.

I’ve always been a person who has exercised regularly, and thought for the most part I was eating healthy.  As I became a woman of a certain age, I was like most people–I needed to do something different.  So at the time I was exercising with Marsha, who owns So Fit, and she was constantly telling us to watch our diet, and of course we told her we were–kinda sorta, not really.  Since I was exercising I decided to do something different, I joined Weight Watchers on January 6, 2011 and made my goal and became a life member on December 1, 2011.

I’ve changed a lot of things while still maintaining my goal weight.  This year, our exercise group disbanded, and now I exercise with Ed who owns Impressive Fitness.  I still continue to walk with my friends, do walks for charity events, and attend other exercise classes when I can.  I’m still doing the Weight Watchers thing, and just about a month ago decided to do a fast–eating meat only twice a week.  My pastor said Saturday and Sunday, but I’ve changed that to whatever two days I want because it is the holiday season, and there are parties.  Getting more sleep or what I consider to be better sleep has become a must for me.  I purchased an adjustable mattress with massage features.  I can truly say I sleep well while trying to get at least 7 or 8 hours a night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy weight loss is visible. Here I am with Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little at the Taste of the NFL during the Super Bowl in February 2011. The next picture is a smaller me with Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith at the Treasure DSCF0048You Second Chances for Overcomers Awards program in January 2014.

Either the players were getting smaller or I was.  Do I think that I was too big, probably not, but I wanted to be back to my fighting weight.  Do I like to exercise?  Do you?  I do feel better when I do exercise, and when I eat better.

Take a look at the article below explaining why women of a certain age may have a harder time when it comes to losing weight.  The article is written by Ms. Yagana Shah.  You can follow her by emailing her at:  yagana.shah@huffingtonpost.com.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/09/losing-weight-when-you-are-older_n_6257216.html?utm_hp_ref=fifty&ir=Fifty

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You can have your cake and eat it too–you just have to exercise and watch how much cake you are eating.

The Gift Of Retirement Knowledge

retirement 5As we get into the holiday season, many people of a certain age are trying to decide if during the coming year, they will do something they have worked for their entire life to be able to do–retire!

One of my favorite columnist, Mr. Rodney Brooks wrote an interested article on how little people of a certain age know about the cost of retirement.  It is not surprising to me because most people actually never think about finances pass getting a house, car, education and such.  We tend to always put off the retirement chapter.

Over the last few months, I have seen some people of a certain age actually do retirement right–I want to be them.  No, let me rephrase that–I am going to be them.

There are so many things to consider; when to take Social Security, can you get your spouses Social Security (state of Texas says I can’t).  What about the dreaded healthcare insurance?  How much can you take out of your retirement fund to make it last?  These and many more questions need to be answered before you attempt to retire.

You should talk with your financial planner about the life you want in retirement.  There are continuing education classes at the local colleges that can assist you.  One point that Mr. Brooks did not mention is that you can talk with trusted friends and family who know about retirement.  Maybe even your parents–they seem to be doing well, and probably didn’t make nearly as much income as you.

A couple of years ago, the hubby and I went to Robson Ranch for a weekend tour.  We had dinner with a couple that had moved there.  The gentleman told us the one thing to remember is “you will need more money than you think” when you retire. I know that I don’t really want my lifestyle to change.  I want to be able to travel, entertain–do what I’m doing now.  retirement 7

Let’s enjoy the holiday season, but at the beginning of the year, lets start to study more about our future, and how we want the retirement stage of our life to be.  We want to graduate to retirement in the top 10%.

Take a look at the article by Rodney Brooks, and see how much you know about retirement.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/brooks/2014/12/03/retirement-financial-adviser-401k/19732597/

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Be prepared for the next stage of life.  Live it to the fullest.

You can follow Rodney Brooks on Twitter at Rodney Brooks@Perfiguy.

Christmas Memories Giveaway

One of the highlights of Christmas as a child growing up in Longview, Texas was the arrival of the Sears Christmas Catalog, which they called the “Christmas Wish Book”.  Sometimes it came in the mail, and other times we would go to Sears and pick it up in the Sears catalog department. I really don’t know who was more excited my mom, my siblings or me.  I know my father even took a look or two in the magical wish book. My sister and I would sit on either side of our mother and secretly and sometimes not so secretly declare what we wished that Santa would bring us.

Sears 11

After my mother and the neighbors had talked about what was in their catalogs, it was then the children’s time to make their wishes.  I would make wishes with my sister.  We would tell what we wanted for Christmas all the while laughing and wishing.  I always wanted those mother daughter dresses that my mother was bound and determined would never be worn in her home.

Sears 5When everybody had their turn with the wish book, I would get one of my parents red marking pens, and begin to check off the items I wished for.  The book would be a sea of red, but it was okay–it was a wish book, and red was a Christmas color.

Sears 10

Most of the things I checked I never got, but the wishing was so much fun.

Please share with us your Christmas memories of the Sears Christmas Wish Book–you could win a $50 gift card for Sears/Kmart.  Just post your comment by noon on Friday, December 12–winner will be announced that evening.  You could have an extra $50 to buy someone their wish or maybe buy yours–at least add to it.

Sears

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Looking forward to hearing your memory of the Sears Christmas Wish Book.

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