Salsa Dancers!

Most new salsa dancers are making huge mistakes. But Wait!! Before you start judging, please read till the end.

We always love to have new dancers joining the community, and I am talking about the Latin dancing scene such as salsa and bachata etc. I have been dancing for the last 10 years going on 11. I traveled many countries, danced and performed in many congresses but that does not give me a superior title to be one of the best. In fact, I consider myself a non-stop learner who always willing to learn and no matter what level I am. Here are the common mistakes:

  1. BE HUMBLE

Most New dancers think that they got it all! They think by learning a routine and performing, they made it to the top. For instance, I asked a girl to dance which she is only been dancing for 6 months, her reply was “oh, I have a line.” Now I don’t want to go with details because she end up dancing with me BECAUSE THERE WAS NO LINE. WOW!! Alien Ramirez will kindly tell you that someone asked before and will love to dance after. Ladies take notes.

  1. TRAIN VS CLASS

Most dancers think that only classes is going to get them better. YES and NO. Yes, a class will give you a great kick start, but if you want to make it to the top, you have to TRAIN. Do you think Emily and Junior, or Karen and Ricardo made it to the top because they took classes? They train 8-9h/day. NO JOKE!!

  1. Cross-training

Salsa is not only one kind of dance, it is a combination of many dances put together. Take different kind of dancing lessons and learn different styles. This will help a lot to enhance your body movement. Franklin Diaz trained afro-Cuban, jazz, ballet, mambo and list can go on for 15 years to become the dancer he is today. Oh, not to mention his performances in flamenco. He learned from the best to be the best.

  1. Social Dancing

Most common mistake at congresses is that same city or studio dancers dance with each other. Now why would I want to dance with someone I dance with on daily basis?  Think about it for a second. Dance with people you don’t know, you will learn different moves, styles, leads, follow, and will be more interesting. Dancers don’t take it personal.

     5. Workshops

Most dancers at the workshops complain they are tired and sleepy. Main reason is because.. of course… partying and drinking till 6am. If you are serious about dancing, you will manage your time properly, excluding some exceptions.

 Dancing is all about having fun, do it from your heart. Feel free to comment in the box.

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Egypt

Travel to the land of NILE “Egypt”

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Hieroglyphics

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Make funny gestures with Sphinx

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Pretend to be a MUMMY

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Ride Camels around Pyramids

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Touch the top of the Pyramid

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Cairo tower View

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Mosque of Muhammad Ali

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Coptic Churches

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Nile River

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Homemade Bread

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Ramses Statue

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Mokattam Mountain

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Graffiti

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Museum Of Cairo

This trip was in Cairo, Egypt. There are more places and sceneries to explore. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to follow and share please. Enjoy!

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Salsa Ambassador “Albert Torres”

 Albert Torres/Salsa Ambassador/father of many dancers

Many of you in the salsa community know Albert Torres who passed away not too long ago, was the biggest and most influential salsa and dancing promoter and father figure to many champions around the world. I can write a book on what Albert Torres has done for the community.

I met Albert Torres personally in 2009 at the Houston Salsa Congress. I was much honored to meet such a great, humble, and talented person. After I started digging deep into his work, he is not only a guy that goes on stage and announce the dancers. I found out that he is like a father for all the dancers around the world. He helped so many children around the world with scholarships and donations to keep out of the streets and give them a purpose and hope to fight and strive for the best in life. These talented amazing dancers look up to him and follow his advice. He was such a great inspiration for many champions and pushed them to the extreme limits so they make it to top. Many of these dancers travel from all over the world and compete in Miami Florida for the World Latin Cup dance (WLDC) every year. I was very lucky to be part of his presence and events for the past 8 years in different parts of the world. I remember him saying at the Houston Salsa Congress 2017: ‘there are many people came today to see you on stage, have fun, put on a good show, and dance from your heart” with his final famous ending “UNA BUUYAAAA.”

Albert Torres emphasized not only on dancing, but also to know all the different components of dancing, such as productions, singers, writers and musicians. He wanted us to learn and be more competent about the music so we can advance and dance better. One of his favorite workshops was to have meet and greet to talk about music and history of salsa with the singers that come and perform at the congress. Albert Torres was a well experienced man who traveled, connected, and created big healthy communities all over the world. He made salsa globally known. I wrote this blog in his honor, as because people like him should always be remembered. Our mission is to keep his message  and continue to spread love, harmony, teamwork, knowledge, peace and happiness around the world.

UNA BUUYAAAA!!!

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Albert Torres Giving his Speech Before Shows

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Ramadan Mubarak

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Ramadan Mubarak!

What is Ramadan? Most westerners wonder why Muslims around the world take this month seriously. I will explain about this month and each day what Muslims do until the end. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims start fasting according to the vision of the crescent moon. It is considered the holiest month of the year because the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad according to Islamic belief. There are many parts of Ramadan that people practice which are:

  1. Fasting (Sawm)
  2. Suhur
  3. Iftar
  4. Donations (Zakat)
  5. Prayer (Taraweeh)
  6. Reading the Quran (recitation)
  7. Prayer the night of power. (Laylat Al-Qadr)

Fasting is refraining from food, water, or any kind of nutrition that goes inside the body. But in this month, fasting has more meaning than just not eating. It is more about discipline, patience, feeling with the poor and less fortunate, devotion and dedication to God, refraining from all the bad temptations, sexual relations, a cleanse for the body and soul, no smoking, no sinful behaviors, or false speech (gossip, curse, lying, insulting, and fighting). With that being said, fasting is not only physical, it is also spiritual. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset which could be very challenging due to long hours at work, weather conditions and geographical location. These actions are supposed to redirect your heart and soul to complete devotion of God, show empathy, and encourage good actions toward the community.

Work and fasting are very hard combinations. For those who work with Muslims, please be patient with them as they could be very tired, dehydrated and less focused on their tasks. Fasting will cause moodiness and grumpiness at times because different bodies have different reactions.

Suhur

Suhur is the time where Muslims wake up before dawn each day and eat the pre-fasting meal to get ready for a long day. Also Muslims pray the Morning Prayer –Fajr- which is the first prayer of the day.

Iftar

After a long day of fasting, here it is where all comes to an end. When the sun sets, it is time for iftar. Muslims usually gather with families to break their fast and eat. It is a tradition where most people are sitting on the table at the exact time.

Donations

In Ramadan, donations are very important and considered a must do or your fasting will not be acceptable. People tend to donate depending on their saving with a fixed percentage. Charity is usually offered to the poor and less fortunate. It is an act of kindness and to remind Muslims to be thankful for what they have in life.

Prayers

Prayers is one of the most important pillars in Islam. In addition to the normal five prayers a day, people gather at the Mosques for the nightly prayer-Taraweeh- and pray after the night prayer which is the last prayer of the day. Taraweeh is extra prayers executed only in the month of Ramadan. The last 10 days of Ramadan are the most nights where Muslims pray from night prayer to dawn.

Quran Recitation

Muslims read the Quran more in this month. Some read before praying Taraweeh, and some people actually stay up till dawn and recite the Quran until Morning Prayer is called.

Night of Power

Night of power or –Laylat Al-Qadr- which is the most important night of the year, where Muslims believe that this night is when the angel Gabriel revealed the first verse of Quran to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims recite Quran, and pray all night from night prayer to dawn prayer. This night is known to be better than a thousand months. According to the Islamic belief, one of these odd-numbered nights is where the Quran first got revealed (23rd, 25th , 27th, or 29th). This is why Muslims increase their prayers in the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Culture

In this month, many cities around the word have their own decoration with lights that represent this holy month. Also many special food and dessert are served and made only in Ramadan. If you travel to any Muslim country, you will notice that people are very calm during the day, and active during the night. Also during Suhur, there is a volunteer who would actually go around neighborhoods and call the people to wake up and have their pre-fasting meal. The times of Ramadan in Muslim countries are very festive and probably should check it out for experience. Just to give you heads up, it is considered disrespectful to eat, drink and smoke in public. You don’t want to tease people who are fasting and had no food nor water all day long.

Exemptions

Muslims are exempted from fasting if sick, travel or have a medical condition that prevents them from fasting. Woman who are pregnant, nursing, or on monthly cycle are not obligated to fast.

Health

Fasting has scientifically proven that it will give your body a break, cleanse and clear out all the toxins in your body. Most people lose weight in this month. If you are looking for a good diet, Ramadan will definitely help you lose weight. The trick is once you break your fast, don’t stuff your face, eat less carbs, increase protein intake, drink water and eat small portions.
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Fast Food Near Me! 2 secrets to order Fresh Fast food Burger and Fries.

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Fast food near me!! 2 secrets on how to order a fresh fast food Burger

Many people in the US and different countries eat at fast food chains because they are considered a big market in the restaurant industry. How many of you actually know how to place an order and get the best fresh made burger with golden crispy fries? Yes, you heard me!! You might be wondering what the big deal behind all of this, it’s only a $4 dollar burger, and what else can I do to make it better!! Please let me explain, but first allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Mike Al; been in the restaurant industry for almost 18 years now. I worked my way up from working in fast food to casual dining, fine dining to being a food critic and operation management. Restaurants are hard work, lots of details, and requires undivided attention.

Let me break this down for you. As you walk in to any fast food chain in US, McDonalds, Burger king, Jack in the box, Wendy’s, or Whataburger; all these restaurants have similar systems of operation. SOS- for speed of service- is the most important aspect of being a fast food chain. They focus on how fast a burger is delivered from the moment you place your order on the drive thru or inside the dining room until you take the first bite. Yummy!! Hold on, be patient. Now, I am going to reveal two secrets on how to get the best quality burger and enjoy every second of it.

  1. When you place an order on a burger, ask the cashier to put no seasoning on your burger.
  2. Ask the cashier that you would like the fries with no salt.

Still wondering how would this make any difference? Hmmm, are you ready for the answers? Allow me to explain. Most fast food restaurants drop up to 10 burgers on the grill with seasoning on top. It take 2min and 45 seconds at 350 degrees to grill a burger depending on the thickness, but we are considering standard burger patty that you see at any fast food chain. After the burgers are fully cooked, they move the burgers to a heated area of 280 degrees. The life span of these burgers are about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes pass, they are required to discard these patties.  Do you see where this going? Now once you place the order, the burger is already sitting for 1-3 minutes. Once you order with no seasoning, the cook must drop a BRAND NEW burger on the grill. Easy enough!! This method only applies on burgers in fast food chains only. If you go to a normal restaurant, most likely wait time is about 10-15 minutes and this method will not work. This method is best attainable at rush hours, between 11:30am to 2pm, where most people go to lunch at those times.  

Fries usually take 3 minutes to cook. During rush hours, the cook will drop a bigger batch in the fryer to have more than usual so they can speed up the process. After dropping the fries in the heated container/strainer, they sprinkle salt on top and mix. The lifespan of fries are in between 5-7 minutes. What happens when the fries sit for 4 minutes? They become chewy, colder, change color and don’t taste fresh. Once you ask the cashier to order your fries no salt, they have to drop a new batch and bag it for you with no salt. Guess what? The new batch had just been sitting for 1 minute. It still hot, crispy, fresh, and taste much better. You can ask the drive through cashier for salt now, and pour it on top. Smart right?! I know you are shaking your head now asking yourself how I came with this. One thing is details, focus, thinking outside the box, strategy, and most importantly is EXPERIENCE.

Golden Crispy Hot Fries

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Brownish Old cold chewy fries

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These methods are very useful only in fast food restaurants only. You can try it yourself and let me know how it worked for you. Now I showed you how to order a fresh fast food burger with jumbo fries on the side. Enjoy and Bon Appetite.

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 By: Mike Al  

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Bitcoin! How to Buy? Learn More

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Bitcoin! Invest today for tomorrow.

I have been hearing about Bitcoin the cryptocurrency for a while and never occured to me to even look into it. Today I woke up with people posting on social media that they made money buying bitcoins and trading them. If you bought $100 of bitcoins in 2008, now you would have $75 Million. WOW!! Is that Real? Well yeah because now 1 BTC=$2400.  I actually invested today and bought about $100 worth of bitcoins, then lend them to borrowers and made about $45. Now you have to be aware of all the fees and interests. I suggest you do your research, understand the concept and then act on it. You can buy these bitcoins online and then lend them to people who request to borrow. This is the future of our currency. Many financial advisers are saying that Bitcoin price is on the rise now till 2019. I suggest you start investing on this futuristic currency. Click  Learn More and start investing.

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Church Under Water

 

 

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If you are wondering what is this long brick with cross doing in the middle of this lake? Well, there is a cool story behind it. Before the Colombian Government decided to turn this whole area into a lake to generate electricity for the surrounding villages, there used to be a village under water. Colombian government decided to pay for all the residents to move up the mountains except the people declined to demolish the church. They decided to keep the church under water and now as we see the cross it is still there till today. This lake is located in a 3 hr drive from Medellin Colombia, Guatape Area. If you want to experience a beautiful scenery with lakes, climb the La Piedra rock, this is the place to be. In addition, Pablo Escobar’s summer house-La Manuela is located near that  lake . It Is a great experience to view all these sights because it is breath taking when you climb almost 700 stairs to view the surrounding lakes. Here is an example of the scenery.

We live to learn. Hope you enjoyed my story.

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