Category: News (page 1 of 6)

Evolution of Dating and Relationships

I was thinking recently about how much of a double-edged sword online dating is. On one hand it’s so convenient and and it allows us to be connected with a lot more people. On the other, it’s much harder now to meet someone like we used to do: in a bookstore, in a shop or just out in town.

That’s the look we all know so well

This brought me to the next point: relationships altogether changed over the years. There seems to be much less tension in the beginning. Having a phone available for texting 24/7 takes away the butterflies you had in your stomach from waiting by your landline phone. I am glad, however, that we lost the constant worry about your dad answering the phone and embarrassing you, ruining your chances with your crush. Forever.

Daaaaaaad, get off the phone!

There is one thing, however, that is undoubtedly better now than it used to be. Remember the gender roles we were just expected to play out? Thanks to the influential feminists they have now been destroyed! This particular aspect comes into play later in a relationship. Women in the 80s were earning significantly less (if they had a job at all), we would be expected to take care of the house, children and our husband without much help, they were almost considered property of their man. Thankfully our generation allowed for women to be more equal in the society’s eyes. We were given a voice to tell the old, tired, misogynistic tradition: WE CAN DO IT!

Yes, we can, Rosie.

In turn, this gave men the chance to pursue more emotional, traditionally feminine roles in a relationship. Can you imagine a stay at home dad in the 80s? Or a girl paying for a meal on a date in the 80s? What would look bizarre back then is becoming the norm now and it’s beautiful.
Overall, one could say that the evolution of technology has ruined romance for the sake of convenience. However, the evolution of society fixed inequality in relationships. Isn’t it exciting to imagine what will dating and partnership be like in distant future? It is bound to evolve even further after all and I’m excited to learn what it will become.

Ice breaker exercises for effective team-bonding at work

It is common knowledge that employees perform best when they feel welcome, involved and genuinely consider themselves part of the team. Adam Grant who is an organizational psychologist had a very informative speech about the differences between givers and takers in a workplace in a TED institute.

One crucial thing to take away from his speech is how much the productivity of a team is impacted by the ability to ask for and offer help to others. How well the employees know each other and how many common interests they’ve discovered dictates how eager they will be to cooperate. It is extremely beneficial in the long run to invest time and resources into team building exercises. Here are some of our favourites:

  1. Make the participants step out of their comfort zone and get to know one another, as well as reflect on their own lives.Pair them up with someone they don’t know well. Then you can either make them come up with an important moment in their life that they share with one another (no cop-outs like ‘we’ve both joined this company’!), a personal dream they’ve had since they were kids and have in common, or even the similarities in the dynamics of their immediate families.Accomplishing this task will not only make the pairs come up with important moments from their lives that they now have in common, they will have many more topics that would spark their interest for future conversations (they had to shuffle through some amount of information before they’ve found common ground, after all). Moreover, by sharing the results with the rest of the group, it might result in conversation starters between various individuals in the team.
  2. Break the ice by a creative use of personal space, the competitive spirit of employees and rapid exchange of nuggets of information.One fun exercise I love to run especially during recruitment days and for new teams is the sorting task. I would create a thick line on the ground (usually with tape) and split participants into a few groups of 5-10 members. I will first tell them to stand on their respective line in the order of height and then I will make the teams compete on who can sort themselves fastest without stepping away from the line on the ground (with prizes for the winning group, of course). You can start with something simple, like length of hair or eye colour (blue-green-brown). Then you go to tasks that make them quickly find out information about each other: order of month they were born in, the number of siblings the have or languages they speak. Eventually you can go as far as to make them line up in the order of most embarrassing thing that happened to them at work or most cheesy pickup line they’ve used on someone. The idea is to make it fun and engaging – let your imagination run wild.This exercise is great for breaking ice in a new team. In the initial task, the participants will let each other into their respective personal space which will make it easier for them to approach each other in the future. Then they learn how to communicate quickly and effectively, eventually allowing themselves to share personal, funny details of their personalities that are a great conversation starter after the exercise is over. Moreover, it lets the exercise coordinator distinguish the leaders, the cooperative individuals and the open people willing to invest themselves personally in the team.
  3. Make the participants discuss an important issue your company is trying to resolve or improve.Like in all games, you would start this exercise by randomly dividing the group into smaller teams. Then you would give each team a simple task: Individually come up with one word that most accurately describes X. The issue could be anything ranging from ‘how the last month at work has been?’, ‘what is the dynamic within the team/management?’, ‘the near future of the industry you’re at?’, etc. Come up with something current for your business! Then, you make each team decide on which of the words they’ve collectively come up with to use. That will spark a discussion between them that digs deep and touches on important issues. They will have to work towards a compromise and will often find that they’re agreeing on many matters, which will help with their relationship. Afterwards, you ask each team to share their word with the whole group and then you follow up with individual questions: What does your group’s word mean to you, specifically? Give everyone a chance to voice their opinions.This task is great at gathering insight from your whole team about certain topics. Additionally, it helps to create common interests and develop the horizons of the team about important for the industry issues.
  4. Make your employees realize how interesting their colleagues are. In a funny way.In case you don’t know what two truths one lie is, here’s a brief explanation. You ask participants to shuffle (so that the best of friends are not in the same pair). Then you give them a simple task. Tell the person next to you two truths about yourself and one lie. Then, the pairs introduce their partners to the group and explain which statement they think is the lie. It will often end with a surprised gasp by the audience and will certainly encourage people to talk to one another. The funnier the statements, the better!This exercise is great to allow people to step out of their comfort zones and present themselves as something more than just a face behind a desk. By showing a bit of wild personality, your team members will become much more approachable and interesting to other employees.
  5. Make them get to know each other quickly for a nice prizeHave you ever played bingo? Perfect. Now imagine instead of numbers, you have statements. For example: I don’t know anyone here. I know everybody here. I make jokes on every meeting. I like to work alone. I like to work as a team. I do butt clenches when I’m sitting behind the desk. I always bring my own lunch to work and many others that you can come up with and that are relevant. Now each person needs to fill out their bingo card with names of people on the meeting that the statement applies to. This involves some mingling, small talk and getting to know some simple facts about each other. The person to get to fill out their card first wins a prize for being the best networker in the room!This one is more focused on the fun aspect. However, by giving employees a reward for getting to know each other better, you will inspire them to do it more even after the activity.

 

Overall, having some exercises once in a while costs you nothing, but can drastically improve the performance of your employees. Make sure they consider each other friends to inspire them to share their knowledge, skills and talent, and you will have a team that cooperates like no other. If you can afford a full day dedicated solely for mingling and strengthening bonds, consider a staff day out. Although one of those may be costly and requires much more planning, it will definitely let the team appreciate each other more, as well as the company they work for.

What Was Being Online Like for the 80s Kids?

I have caught myself complaining recently about the UNACCEPTABLE loading speeds of a few websites on my smartphone recently (up to 5 seconds – ridiculous, right?)

But then I remembered what it was like to connect to the Internet back in my childhood. Most of us probably got to experience what it’s like being online in the late 80s and early 90s. There seemed to be barely anything on the web at the time. And the things that existed looked a bit like this:

I mean… Yeah, it served its purpose.

 

 

Come to think of it, people were creating images and even animations from a precise placement of multi-coloured characters back then. It must have taken some real skill, huh? In the 90s, I also remember spending hours on the predecessor of messenger, AIM. That felt like something out of this world at the time. Connecting with your friends and also strangers in an instant? SURE. Pressing the cathartic WARNING button when they pissed you off? Blissful. Why didn’t we have any campaigns stressing the dangers of strangers on the internet, again? We might never know.

Insert Screen Name: ‘KeWl DooOoOOdE12345’

 

Space Jam was another site I distinctly remember visiting often. Why? Because it looked rad! The movie itself was the bees knees, too. (the original site, surprisingly, still exists. Marvel at its beauty)

This was the most beautiful interface we’ve seen at the time.

 

I have been cruising down the memory lane for days now, reminiscing on hours of my youth spent online. Then it hit me: my poor Neopets must have starved without me feeding them for all those years! I tried revisiting the site (to no avail, I think my login details have been lost to time forever), but it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. It’s fascinating how different our visual memory is from the truth. Do you also sometimes think to yourself: ‘Crash Bandicoot looked even better in my day than it looks now’ only to look up the images and get disappointed in your own memory? Because I do it way too often.

I swear, it felt so advanced to me 15 years ago

 

Also, how could I fail to mention the soundest sound of all soundsdial modem connection. It took nearly HALF A MINUTE just to connect to the internet! So you sat there only to get shouted at by your parents 5 minutes later for occupying the phone line.

(Sweet Lord in Heavens, I hummed this sound along with the playback flawlessly despite not having heard it for over a decade)

 

My point is, next time you are getting frustrated at mere seconds you’re losing because of bad connection, just remember the beginnings of your online journey. It will put a smile on your face and make you realise just how much more accessible everything is now compared to the past. Regardless, I would still like to go back to the 80s to feel the awe of Internet connection when we, as species, got to experience it for the first time.

 

You did us all a solid, sir Tim Berners-Lee. We’ll forever be grateful.

I wonder if he knew at the time what effects he’d have on the world?

Hippie Travel Inspiration

A couple of days ago I heard from my friend from India. She’s taking some time to travel and has mentioned how good it feels to take life day by day, and how amazing life is in the coastal area of Goa, a state of Western India.

I was then looking for inspiration for our next flash mob (info coming SOON!), which will be based on hippie values such as freedom, love and tolerance, and came across some of these incredible pictures of the hippie decades (70s and 80s) in wonderful Goa.

Late 1977 Full Moon morning on South Anjuna Beach.

As if I wasn’t jealous enough after hearing from her! But what really hit me is how the values of the hippie movement reached the World in a very large scale. These people back in the days already had a clear concept of how violence and hate can’t be stopped with more violence; well I wonder if we can now remind people of the beauty of what is diverse!

Acid Eric, Badem, Goa, 1988.

The world is a big place, there is a lot to be discovered, and if we try to reinforce our borders instead of slowly working towards eliminating them, something has gone wrong.

We now have taken massive steps towards unification. Travelling has become easy and accessible, yet governments seem to be against free movement. Wasn’t it obvious that more movement between countries would expose us to different cultures? Does diversity scare us? Can’t we look at what is there to gain in this process of unification, instead of only focusing on what is there to lose?

I, as many of my friends, am an explorer. I have lived in Panama, London, Italy, Miami and the thought of staying in one place is rather scary to me. I would like to be able to travel wherever, and contribute to the wealth of whichever country I am in. It seems like a rather utopic idea, but why?

I wish I could go back to the 80s and see the real hippie vibe in places such as Goa. Maybe I would learn something to bring back to the present.

Reinforcing or ending gender stereotypes?

There have been a few movies revisiting old times recently. It seems that Hollywood is trying to make a profit out of our nostalgia (not to say it worked on me, but it totally worked on me). Anyway, there were quite a few 80s cartoons that got movie adaptations within the last 2 years or so. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Sure. Transformers – again? Why not. Ghostbusters? Bring it on! Disregarding whether those movies were good or not – it got our team here at Reflex Dance Studios thinking about the cartoons we grew up with.

At first glance it might seem like it was a time of extreme gender stereotyping. On one hand we had ultra-masculine shows like He-Man with his hilariously outrageous bob.

More like ‘He-Sassy’

I also have to mention the American hero G.I. Joe, the adventurous ThunderCats and many more. On the other hand we saw extremely feminine cartoons like the technicolour My Little Pony, the friendly Care Bears or Jem and the Holograms (which is also possibly the ideal exaggerated representation of what the 80s fashion aspired to be).

Show’s never over, Synergy!

However, when you dig deeper, it was also the time to bend gender roles. Shows like She-Ra with its powerful, strong female lead, and Inspector Gadget that flashes out the importance of intelligence, family bonds and emotions really shook up the status quo (letting a little girl – Penny – be the real hero was something fresh and new for that time).

She-Radical. Sorry for making the same joke twice

I wonder how much of an impact the messages we consumed with those media had on us as kids. I will say one thing I know, though. After rewatching some of the cartoons I last saw as a naive young lad, well… there were a LOT of adult jokes sprinkled here and there. It’s honestly quite shocking! Do revisit some of those iconic animations. We view them completely differently now that we’re older. Plus, it does shine some light on how much censorship in cartoons has changed over the years.

What’cha reading there, Duffy?

Coming back to the many adaptations: we can’t wait to see the reinventions of more of our childhood memories on the big screen. And they are sure to come! Personally, I have been fixated on the thought of a retake of the manliest man of all. It makes me cackle.

Brighten your own day and imagine a stereotypically manly actor with He-Man’s hair and outfit. Trust me, it’ll be worth your while.

Don’t wait for the picture. It’s not coming. I told you –IMAGINE IT!

Embodying the 80s with the message of unity. On stage

We know, everybody’s been talking about it since it happened on Sunday, but for a good reason! And how could we not to, considering Gaga’s straight out of an 80s sci-fi movie costumes (have you seen those outrageous shoulder pads?) and the incredible choreography? You know by now how we at Reflex Dance Studios feel about Trump’s ideology which seems to go against the beauty of 80s freedom and unity that we believe in so much. It was incredibly refreshing to see Lady Gaga courageously begin her halftime show with her rendition of God Bless America. ‘This land is your land, this land is my land’ – what a powerful, inclusive line so necessary in this unnecessarily divided world. And then the jump off the roof onto the stage. Yes, Gaga’s spiderman stroll to the stage caused a hilarious meme that got a chuckle out of me, but the rest of her show left me speechless. A few costume changes, a very exhausting choreography that could easily be a cardio workout, her impeccable singing as she’s gasping for air and how could I forget the wonderful keytar segment?It was too much for my heart to handle. This woman brought it all.

You might not like Gaga’s music or her artistry, but after this performance – it is undeniable that she’s an incredibly talented performer who has her heart in the right place. You could also argue that in the troubling times that we have now, she might have played it a little too safe politically. This energy napalm chose to leave the message between the lines instead of loudly and clearly stating it in her performance like some have done in the past. I definitely would have enjoyed it if she tried to make a bigger impact on the mass of people viewing her performance, but nonetheless – I was still utterly delighted and entertained. That’s what she was aiming for in the end, isn’t it? To entertain and to subtly educate about the beauty of unity. Do yourself a favour and bask in pure fun for the next 13 minutes in the video below:

Finally, I want to point out that it always pleases me when I notice 80s influences in the current world. As I mentioned before, the costumes in this performance were beautiful and over the top, reminding me of the shining silver imaginations from Tron. The choreography was full of energy, jumps and stunts that I would just love to try out myself. Most importantly, the message of freedom, accepting differences and overcoming social injustice were as prevalent in Gaga’s performance and music, as they were in the 80s.

This performer knew exactly what impact it had on the stage and left with a bang.

5 of the worst 80s commercials

Ok, so I have been thinking of the title for this article for a while. If you look closely, it says “5 of the worst 80s commercials” and not “The 5 worst 80s commercials”. This is because I spent at least 3 hours trying to watch as many 80s commercials as I could, and they are all so bad that it’s really hard to decide. Here are the ones that definitely stood up, and if I’m honest made me laugh out loud. If you know of any other 80s ads that should be on this list email me and we can see whether they can enter the top 5.

1. Observation number one: it’s intrinsically perverted how the kid is looking at the sexy woman wishing to become the perfect sculpted macho man to chat her up. The problem is, we know there are many men out there that still believe big muscles is a way to woman’s heart, but is milk really a solution?
Observation number two: milk is now universally hated and condemned, I am confident that this commercial would ignite a wave of vegan protests to save the cows.

2. Apart from seeing Joey from Friends as a teenager, the best part of this commercial is the song so if you are at the office pretending you are working make sure to use some headphones. We think you might want to sing this on a charade to court a gorgeus woman – so here’s the chorus for you:
“Cherry Sevenup / Can’t get enough / Isn’t it so goooooood…./

3. “Fighting tartar with a regular toothpaste is like trying to dig a hole to China. With a teaspoon.” Luckily for humanity, the Chinese guru in this commercial recite the words of famous Colgate Wisdom Tooth, some god-like entity that know what we should do with our tartar. Oh my. I need a drink after trying to explain this.

4. Should I put the period commercial on the list or not? Yes, I should. The opening sentence of Maxithins commercial goes like this: “There’s no such thing as an ordinary day when you have your period” followed but the protagonist trying to 1. Fit in her own clothes 2. Zip her overloaded suitcases 3. Fit in the car. Even the car is too small for a woman on her period. Everything is accompagnied by a tensed and stressful music theme. Surely when a woman is a bit bloated her whole world must fall apart. Surely being a woman just sucks altogether… ERM, LOL, NO!

5. Another totally creepy commercial. The whole “Doublemint/Double pleasure” ambiguous concept is made even more weird by the twin hot girls and twin hot boys combo and the slogan at the end “Double your pleasure” makes it all explicit – in case of any doubt. The song, which sounds like a cartoon theme, adds another layer of weirdness – Mumble mumble, has the creator taken LSD as well or was he just a lot into group (preferably homozygote twins of all genders) sexual activities?

Bafta Then and Now – 80s Red Carpet Fashion

Bafta film awards took place in London about a week ago, on Sunday – Valentine’s day – in Central London. The first Bafta Awards ceremony was in 1947, so we thought it would be interesting to have a look at the 80s editions and check the glamorous style of 80s nominees.

We are already aware of the fact that the 80s produced some great movies – to name some of the BAFTA nominees Kramer vs Kramer (1980) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Back to the Future (1985), The last Emperor (1988) and When Harry Met Sally (1989).

But how about 80s style in red carpets and ceremony awards?

We dig into the past to find the milestone of 80s style!

  • In 1984 Julie Walters won the prize for best actress in the movie Education Rita. Have a look at her remarkable style, huge hair and, well, huge success while she walks proudly to get her prize.
  • In 1985 the winner was Maggie Smith in the film A Private Fuction, her dress with palettes is still shining.
  • In 1988 Geena Davis (on the left) won for her role in The Accidental Turistic as best supporting actress; her smart colour dress became history.

Geena Davis

  • Cher has got on her own a whole list of outstanding outfits. She is a true queen of the 80s.
  • Nicholas Cage shows off a pretty intense look at the premiere of Moonstruck.

We truly love the fearless style that stars showed off. One of the reason we are big fun of the 80s is that people weren’t trying to fit in, if anything they were trying to stand out!

At Reflex Dance Studios we encourage self expression! Don’t be ashamed of showing what’s within you and liberate your creativity the next time you have a fancy event!

80s most popular fitness icons

The 80s was one of the most fun decades but few things have aged more spectacularly than 80s workout video

The exercise was all about pulling on a leotard and some leg warmers and popping in a VHS tape of your favourite workout routine led by your fitness idol. Today, the videos that worked with them are a prehistoric repertoire, but the fitness fanatics are still alive.

The most popular fitness icons

RichardSimmonsSept2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Simmons

He is know for his outlandish outfits and larger life personality that captured the attention of the people around the 80s by sharing his own personal weight loss journey and sparked an aerobics craze in the 90s with his series of ‘Sweatin ‘ to the Oldies’ videos.

Jane Fonda

Her workout was the highest selling home video of the 80s, selling more than a million copies. She realesed 23 workout videos.

Check out this video of one of her workouts:

https://youtu.be/T-SNj1UNId4

Kathy Smith

She sold millions of fitness videos on everything from ‘step’ to belly dancing, and has authored several best selling books.

Here is her video with the popular ‘step’.

https://youtu.be/B19kU5LsDhs

Jake Steinfeld

“Body by Jake” is one of the fitness industry’s reigning icons and is said to be responsible for creating the personal fitness training industry more than 30 years ago.

Here his hilarious video, about how he ended up on stage with the Village People in the 1980s.

https://youtu.be/WeuTN6fYgSo

hqdefaultDenise Austin

Has embraced a healthy lifestyle and shared her secrets for success since the 80s, she has sold around 24 millions videos starred in several fitness-related TV shows, most notably the Jack LaLanne Show in 1981.

 

All these lifestyle coaches are continuing to teach…where do they find all this energy?

The mystery of the 80s power!

Pull on some leg warmers and workout with them!

Moonwalking in the 80s


The Moonwalk is an 80s dance move in which the dancer moves backwards while appearing to be making the physical movement of walking forwards. It became popular around the world after the king of the pop Michael Jackson performed it during a performance of “Billie Jean”.

Moonwalking – Where did it originate?

We know that it started before Michael, but his signature is the one that made the Moonwalk popular. The moment, place or creator of this move is not defined; there are various appearances of similar moves in a number of old videos and dance acts, from Charlie Chaplin to Fred Astaire. Here you could find more in depth information about the real origin.

The date in which we celebrate the birth of the moonwalk is March 25th, 1983, when Michael Jackson performed Billie Jean at a concert.

Moonwalk instructions

Moonwalking wants to give a sense of illusion, creating an appearance of the dancer gliding backwards. Funnily enough, it would be almost impossible to actually do the moonwalk on the Moon, due to the satellite’s low gravity.  You can totally do it on Earth, though, follow the below instructions to try:

  • Stand tall with your feet closed. Lift your right leg and place the toes of your right foot facing the floor, approximately a foot behind your left leg. Keep your arms down your sides. Keep your left foot flat on the ground.
  • Keep your balance. As you get more comfortable with this move, you can do the moonwalk with your legs closer together. You can lift your arms a bit if that helps you keep your balance as you move backward.
  • Slide your left heel back and “into” the floor. Do this as you lean back on your right leg so that your left foot finishes behind the right leg. During this, the heel of your right foot should still remain in the air, with the toes pointed down on the floor. Put all of the weight into your lifted leg, so the leg that is flat on the floor feels weightless.
  • Snap the heel of your left foot up off the floor as you simultaneously snap the heel of your right foot down. Now you are in the same position you started with, only your feet have changed positions. Your right foot should now be in front of your left leg instead of the other way around.
  • Repeat the previous two steps, switching the roles of your left and right foot. The moonwalk can really be mastered by perfecting these movements over and over: it will then look like you’re really walking on the moon.

If you would like to have more example of a well mastered moonwalk technique you can have a look at the movie Footloose (1984), as well. The dance move shows in this video at min 2’30’’.

Even Madonna tributed Michael Jackson in 2009 saying “There’s a whole lot of crotch-grabbing and Moonwalking going on in my house”. Here is the article from Rolling Stone magazine:

Everybody knows and loves some Moonwalking and nowadays we use it to impress our friends on the dance floor. Have you practised enough to impress us?

via GIPHY

 

 

Older posts