Exercise for Dancers

If you have been dancing for more than two years and you sit during your day job, you need to do targeted exercises for your back and stomach otherwise you have a high chance of back problems.  At least that has been my experience when talking to people, like myself, who sit all day and dance all night.  About three years into my dance life, I started having back pains and at first, I figured it was mostly brought about by dipping my partners.  Dips are horrible on a body because they, at times, can put a lot of unexpected force on muscles rarely used.

I now do two things – I don’t dip as low and do a number of daily exercises that target my back for the times I unexpectantly hold all the weight of my follow.  The exercises work the core and include both stomach and back crunches.  Do any google search and find one that works for you.  My exercises consist of sixty sit-ups and a similar number of crunches laying on my front with first, swinging my legs up and then arching my back.  At first, I could only do about 5 or 10 reps, but have since worked it up to sixty.

I also work at a computer for most of the day (gads, here I sit writing this!) and my right shoulder is a problem.  Again, there are a near infinite number of shoulder exercises but the two that I do are as follows – first I stretch it by putting arms over my head while laying my back and holding them there in the “soft” spot where I can feel a bit of discomfort.  I know the stretch is working because after a few weeks, the “soft” spot slowly starts to go away.  The second exercise is to hold my elbows and fore arms together in front of my body and then rotate the arms at the shoulders until the arms are sticking out either side of my body.  I can really feel the shoulder open up and again, I started with low reps with no weights, and graduated to high reps with weights.

I can report that my back and shoulders are doing great!  I hope yours can too.

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Great Latin Music from Edmonton

Latin Tracks for May

Song (iTunes)




A Bellavista – Origins Marco Claveria Salsa Fusion Canada
Lo Que Sucede Conviene – Origins Marco Claveria Salsa Fusion Canada
No Se Como Ni Se Cuando – Origins Marco Claveria Son Montuno Canada
Si Vas para Chile – Origins Marco Claveria Latin Canada
La Salsa La Traigo Yo – Salsa World Series Volume 6 Clandeskina Orquesta Salsa Colombia
Vamos Pa’ la Calle – Tempo Forte Tempo Forte Timba Cuba
Te Comparo Con La Luna – I Love Bachata 2011 – New Deluxe Edition Grupo Evidence Bachata D. Republic
Can’t Find Love – Can’t Find Love – Single Jean Bachata USA
La Quema – El Desertor Raphy y Su Dominican Power Merengue D. Republic
Dança Kizomba – Single – Stony Stony Kizomba


Orígenes – New Album from Marco Claveria

It’s not often that we get new Latin music from Edmonton, which is all the more reason why the release of Marco Claveria’s newest album Orígenes is so exciting.  As it’s name suggests Orígenes is, at least in part, a reflection of  Claveria’s own roots both musically and geographically.  His Chilean background and his love for Cuban rhythms are obvious from the opening song, A Bellavista, and continue to surface throughout the album.   A Bellavista, named after an artistic neighbourhood in Santiago, is a modern take on the song A Buena Vista by Cuban musician Luis Frank Arias.  Inspired by a short stay in that neighbourhood Claveria updated the song’s original lyrics to reflect this vibrant community and has reworked the music  to  make it more accessible to modern audiences.   Another song with a Chilean connection is Si Vas Para Chile, a bit of an unofficial national anthem in Chile, which has been refreshed and enhanced by Claveria’s musical ingenuity.  If you were to listen to the first few bars you may be lulled into enjoying it as a piece of music solely to be listening to.  However, there is a bit of a surprise about halfway through when the song develops into a very dancable track with a strong Cuban feel.  Then there is the original composition Patria Mia Patria Vieja (My Country Old Country), which could as easily be a reference to Claveria’s homeland as it could be to the homeland of anyone with a passionate connection to their place of origin.  This track is definitely one of the album’s highlights and is the successful result of Marco’s long held desire to blend Latin and celtic rhythms.  Add to this poetic lyrics and Andean pan pipes, played by Claveria, and you have one amazing song.

When speaking with Marco about the musical direction for Orígenes he indicated that it was not his intent to make an album full of Latin dance music but for each song to be connected by a theme and also be unique enough to stand on their own.  That said, as a dancer my ear naturally listens for the rhythms that can be danced to and I found plenty of those.  I already mentioned A Bellavista.   There is also the very dancable Lo Que Sucede Conviene in which you can hear the influences of Los Van Van as well as No Se Como Ni Se Cuando, which is an upbeat son montuno that you could easily dance a cha cha to.  The album also has a number of tracks that are just a pleasure to listen to such as Patria Mia Patria Vieja and the romantic Descubro.

In addition to the mix of musical styles that make up the album what also makes Orígenes great are the  talented musicians who helped out on the project such as trumpetist Juan Carlos González “Chocolate” (Pupy Y Los Que Son Son) and vocalist Israel Berriel (who has also worked with the Vancouver based Tanga).  The result is one  incredible, locally produced  and highly recommended Latin album.  Available on iTunes and CD Baby.

Questions, comments, requests? Send me an email

– clavecito



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