The joy of children singing their hearts out..

Today is the last day of work before we leave for the holiday vacation. The children of the elementary school were absolutely inspirational at our Christmas assembly. If you ever need more energy, spend some time with little ones. Their enthusiasm is contagious!!
Here's to young spirits celebrating the real meaning for the season!
Have a happy Friday and wonderful weekend!
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Christmas Vacation Activity Calendar 2014

It's here!  It's here!

Drumroll please....


Here's the 2014 Christmas Vacation Activity Calendar:


Your objective is to complete as many challenges as possible for the 18 day challenge.

Take a selfie or have someone take your picture/video performing each challenge, and post the pictures/videos to my Twitter feed: @getFITwithFITZ.

The participants with the most completed challenges will win FANTASTIC prizes!
One hint: The prizes include newly designed AFS Workout Gear!

I will also award “most creative” to participants who perform their exercise/challenge in unique places (i.e. airport, on the beach, etc) to accommodate those who will be traveling.

Remember, gifts from Santa are nice, but the best gift of all is a healthy body!

Thanks again for reading this post. I know how busy you are, so to be sure you don't miss more wellness tips, subscribe today and download your free copy of my e-book.

Enjoy your day!

Have Yourself a Healthy Holiday!

Since I covered my wellness Wednesday topic on Monday, today I'm going to describe an easy Meat Free Monday meal. Today the weather is FREEZING cold here in Shanghai (-5*C) and as it is the season for people to get sick, it's important to nourish our bodies with healthy food (even when Christmas sweets are calling our names).
Since I'm traveling to Colombia on Saturday for two weeks, I need to eat the many fruits and veggies in my fridge before then. So how can you use up many fruits and veggies quickly? Juice and casserole!!
While not the most gourmet of meals, I am still pleased with the result, and I'm glad I didn't have to throw good food away.
In the blender with my juicer attachment, I mixed chopped pineapple and carrots with water to make the juice. Of course, drinking out of Christmas glasses made it more delicious, ;)
For the casserole, I baked potatoes, onions, tomatoes and artichokes with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh parsley for about 2 hours, while I watched the funny movie "Elf". Oops. I didn't mean to bake it that long, but I didn't realize the oven wasn't on for the first hour. Okay, so don't do that!
The artichokes were from the Avocado Lady. If you live here in Shanghai, she sells them frozen in 2lb bags. Unless you're an artichoke fanatic, the bag will last you for a very long time, and the longevity will justify the price tag! (Sorta...)
So here's to a hearty winter meal that will warm you up, and keep your spirit happy. Thanks again for reading this post. I know how busy you are, so to be sure you don't miss more wellness tips, subscribe today and download your free copy of my e-book.
Enjoy your day!

Dance to express, not to impress!

Hi there, Happy Monday! Even though today is Meat Free Monday, I'm dying to share a bit of an occupational health reflection with you all.  I'm so proud of a project I recently completed at work with my high school students. 

My thoughtful and talented dancers :)

On my blog, I talk about occupational health pretty frequently.  Occupational health can be summed up in the following three questions;  What are you doing with your one wild and precious life? Are you using the gifts and talents you've been given, to help others?  Are you paying your good fortune forward?

I can say with absolute certainty that I am consciously, constantly trying to improve and live my life to the fullest.  I love collaboration, thinking outside of the box, pursuing wellness and helping people express themselves through dance. These are my gifts, my passion, and I am so happy to be able to share my joy with students, but also with all of you.

But back to the actual project... This project entirely reflects the ideas and input of the dancers.  I strive to be a choreographer and teacher who helps foster creativity, reflection and sense of community, not simply teach some steps and that's it.

This project began with students verbally expressing the feelings that they wanted to express through dance.  With four seniors in this class, the majority were/are concerned with the college application process and to move on from high school.  The other students spoke about having to leave their old schools and start all over again at Concordia.

With these feelings in mind, this piece explores the process of leaving. 
First, we fear to leave our safety zone.
Next, we physically have to leave, and end a journey.
Then, we're excited to have the freedom to explore a new environment.
After, we are anxious to grow, achieve and reach new heights in a new situation.
Finally, we might feel timid, or nervous to share who we really are, and we end up withdrawing in a new situation.

With the theme in our minds, in the studio, we "bodystormed" different movement using the major elements of dance: body, shape, space, levels, energy, time, relationships. We videotaped the preliminary movement, and then chose which movement to keep as the choreography that best represented the theme we were attempting to portray.  From there, we rehearsed and pieced the sequences together in the most effective manner.

Finally, we took the performance to the "streets", as our way of bringing art to the masses.  The day was picture-perfect; blue skies, sunshine bright on our faces, plus a handful of audience members (people walking around the lake on their lunch break).

I am most proud of my dancers' abilities to dance to express, not simply to impress.  I am proud of their ability to be reflective in their own journeys as artists, but also be responsive and thoughtful to the feelings, suggestions, and energy of their peers in the class.  It's been a wonderful group to work with, and I am very pleased with their final result.  I love watching people create art!!

Please enjoy this piece...

Christmas in Shanghai 2014

Hey everyone!  Happy Sunday and Happy Holidays!   How has your season been, thus far?  Here in Shanghai, I've been lucky to have so many Christmas markets, holiday parties, Christmas brunches, dinners and birthdays to celebrate.  The city is EXPLODING with so much Christmas energy, I'm actually amazed.  This is my fourth Christmas in Shanghai, and I've never seen the city so decorated.  Each store is trying to outdo the others, especially the high-end brands.  Check out the Fendi display across the street from my apartment!  I'll post more pictures when everything is lit up at night.  This shot was taken at 6:50am, while waiting for a taxi to get to work, while the streets were empty and quiet.  The tree is made up of dozens of little Fendi handbags! Woah!

Today I went to the Hongqiao flower market which is a beautiful market year-round, but turns into a BEAUTIFUL winter wonderland during Christmas.  I bought a fresh pine wreath and refrained from buying some of the blooper/leftover items from the factories, like the candle that said "Merr Christma".  I don't know why, but I found it endearing; kinda like Elvis would sound if he wished me holiday greetings.

Continuing with the holiday spirit, today I made these cute Christmas cards, from paper cut outs:

 Then, I treated myself to a little latte and mani/pedi after I finished day 14 of my 21 day Hot Yoga challenge.