A Dance Based School Trip to Learn the Capoeira

When you think of a school trip focused around dance and learning more about the different styles, you may not immediately think of taking students to a lake in Italy. But with its close proximity to some of the major Italian cities and a stunning setting, Lake Garda is an ideal place to learn about dance – Capoeira, specifically.

Situated in the northern part of the country between Milan and Venice, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Fringed by numerous towns and villages, it is a vibrant and creative region. Students on a dance focused school trip to Lake Garda can learn about the wonderful Capoeira form of dance – its history, its moves and its intricate relationship with martial arts.


Originating in Brazil, probably in the 16th century, Capoeira is a form of artistic expression combining music with dance in a way that evolved from the movements of traditional Brazilian natives and African slaves. Over the years, Capoeira was used not only as a dance, but as a martial arts style of movement. It was adopted by a variety of bodyguards and fighters as it gained recognition across the country. Since the 1970s, while hip-hop was forming in New York City, Capoeira was moving away from Brazil and across the world, and it has since gained massive momentum.

The moves

The moves of Capoeira can be broken down in to three main ones: the ginga, the attacks and the defence. The ginga is the motion of rocking back and forth. In doing this, it keeps the Capoeirista in motion so that they do not get stuck in a still state and become an easy target for their opponent. Students must also learn about attacks and how and when to use them. Most of the moves involved in an attack are completed using the legs and the knees, with the long round-kicks playing a big role in most of the direct hits and takedowns. In defence, the Capoeirista is not focused on blocking the attack so much as moving to avoid the attack, and this is where the basic movement of the ginga comes into play. The avoidances are called esquivas, and are made by moving, bending, and leaning on the floor, and a Capoeirista should only block the hit if avoiding it is impossible.

An experience abroad on a school trip

While the basic moves of Capoeira can, of course, be learned in a studio setting in the UK, travelling on a school trip to a foreign country to learn more about this, and other, dances can be an invaluable experience for young, up-and-coming performers. In a different context, and with varying cultural differences, any form of dance can take on new meaning for performers. As well as assisting in their creative evolution, students can explore a new culture, meet new people and extend their education beyond a mere classroom situation.

Working With Your Dog’s Food Allergy

There are many signs that your dog could have a food allergy. The list is almost endless, but the main culprits are itchy skin, a dull and/or frizzy coat, inflamed ears, excessive licking of certain areas (paws for example), lethargy, diarrhea (even projectile stools), blood, mucous or both in the stool, gas and possibly even vomiting. These, coupled with horror stories of owners coming home from work to find their living rooms sprayed with sick-dog diarrhea can all be symptoms of dog food allergies. Some symptoms can be a lot more dangerous, like seizures or negative behavior changes. When dealing with your dog’s food allergies you need to understand, change and monitor the dog’s diet and reactions.

A dog owner should keep in mind that most reputable dog foods don’t contain corn, soy or wheat. Another part of the understanding of a dog’s allergies is to comprehend the grains used to make dog food. If your dog’s food does contain any of those “filler grains” it might be wise to continue looking for a different food. Corn, soy and wheat are grains that pet food companies fortify their food with because they are relatively cheap products. But not only that, these three grains are regular allergy culprits.

If you have changed your dog’s food in the recent past, this is a telltale reason as to why your dog may be acting sick. A general rule of thumb when changing a dog’s diet is to gradually introduce new food into his diet. 25% percent at a time over the period of ten days. This basically breaks down to a 25% increase in the new food and a 25% decrease in the old food every 2 to 3 days. Some dogs adjust well, and some dogs need a more gradual shift. The main point here is that sometimes what looks like an allergic reaction is simply your dog having an upset stomach while re-calibrating his intestines to a different diet.

In order to get your dog back on track if he is indeed suffering from a food allergy is to completely monitor his food intake. This means a “reloading” of his entire diet. Tackling your dog’s food allergy starts with changing what your dog consumes while assessing what he has been consuming. This also means that there can be no cheating and that the diet needs to be strict. Look for hypoallergenic foods. Follow the above principle of a 25% shift in food every few days. Things get complicated at this point however, because the words “hypoallergenic” don’t necessarily mean that your dog won’t be allergic to the food. An example of this is lamb. Lamb is what used to be considered as the “ultimate” hypoallergenic meat. Lamb allergies while not common, are possible as well. So whatever exclusive diet you decide upon for your dog it should fit whatever your dog works with. This could take some trial and error, or it could work nicely and immediately.

Corn, soy and wheat may not be the best grains to fortify your dog’s diet with, but brown rice and potatoes are both starches that receive more respect, and have a better track record as far as dog allergies go. Let’s assume that you choose a chicken and rice diet. You could prepare the chicken and boil the rice. This way you will know what your dog is consuming, how it was prepared, etc, etc. Hopefully, you will notice an immediate improvement. Most people queried on this subject for this article were very secure with the fact that the determination of a food allergy is started with home cooking your dog’s meals. What this betrays is a general mistrust in store-bought dog food. But we also have to be realistic here, some of us simply don’t have the time or patience to boil copious amounts of chicken breasts and brown rice. If that is indeed your case, then another method is to scrutinize the dog food that is on the market and find that which seems the simplest, healthiest, and most suited for your dog.

Dog food allergies are unpredictable, much like human allergies. An example of this is that most people are born drinking milk. They drink it through their adolescence but then as adults, they develop a lactose intolerance. Dogs are similar in the fact that they might eat the same thing their entire life and then suddenly a latent allergy kicks in.

As I researched this article, I found that the most heartening fact is that if your dog isn’t allergic to the food that you settle on, the positive change can be immediate. When working with your dog’s food allergies you need to comprehend, adjust and watch your dog’s demeanor as well as his food. A dog is a resilient creature, and when you find the proper diet for your pet, he will bounce back quickly.

Adventure Travel Trends

Ever since the birth of Extreme sports – white water rafting, sky diving, bungee jumping – anything to rock the socks off of a normal person, vacationing will never be the same. Superficiality is out. Excitement and adventure, passion and romance is much more appealing to today’s modern tourists.

African safaris have never been more popular. Current travel trends are for smaller accommodations and more time outside, for adventure, assimilating the local culture and really “experiencing” the place. (At the same time luxury vacation homes are also a strong new trend for the jet set crowd who want to separate themselves from the ordinary masses. These overworked and overstressed executives simply want a wonderful private abode to hide out and recharge their batteries in complete privacy!).

However, the vast number of modern tourists find the traditional hotel room and cable TV to be suffocating. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations are the Mecca like objectives for bungee jumping junior executives. Of course, these single men may find joy in weekend adventure sports on mountainous cliff not far from home. For die hard sports enthusiasts, particularly men in their 20s to late 30s, many take it a step farther. They organize their vacations in order to take advantage of a remote location where the sport they love can be pursued on an extended basis.

These types of vacations are different from the normal recreational vacations because it is an opportunity to challenge oneself. The traditional take on vacations, whether taken alone, with friends, one’s partner, or work associates was to RELAX. This approach is completely different. Its intention is to provoke the innate potential of the individual, so that upon return from “vacation”, new horizons won’t seem so distant and can be easily conquered!

In the days of British imperialism, the white tablecloth was brought along on the picnic along with piping hot tea in a silver clad teapot, which was very impractical, in retrospect. Vacationing tourists in today’s world have a newfound sense of humility in wishing to follow the tradition of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Embracing the culture means to ride the camel, try the local fare, and learn a few words in the local dialect. Support the farmer, not the corporation, get an understanding of the life and its struggles, and try to become a better global citizen in the process.

Sports adventures while vacationing are taken on a domestic level, and are broken out by season. For winter, that includes skiing the moguls, snowboarding, and cross country skiing, which may last days at a time? Sleeping in igloos and roughing it is a hearty adventure, to say the least.

With the melting of snow, spring is an ideal time to try white water rafting, though be sure to choose a highly experienced guide. Summer or anytime with dry weather, is great for mountain biking, motor cross racing, skateboarding and sailing. Long distance bicycling or motorcycling is also a sport even if you do seem to be sitting down!

Mountain climbing and can also be considered an adventure type vacation option, requiring weeks to accomplish and requiring skill, patience and endurance. Perhaps ideal for this is the well known and loved mountain peak of Kilimanjaro. Africa’s highest peak, it is not unattainable, unlike Mount Everest or K2 in Pakistan. A two week extreme adventure vacation is recommended for those relatively physically fit in both physically and emotionally invigorating in awakening “the beast within” and re-embracing one’s lost humanity in this computerized and mechanized society.