How to Become a Good Ballroom Dancer – Winning Competitions.

The simple answer is that you need to find a right approach to become a better dancer, or anything that you aspire to do for that matter. With that being said, let me share my thoughts and rants on how to generally improve your dancing skills, become a better dancer as a whole, and perhaps a more fulfilled person, too.

Establishing a positive Identification with your Goals:

At this stage you will want to decide for yourself how important your goal is to you, and how committed you are to your goal to become a better dancer.

Stage 1: Setting your Goals

So, you’ve decided that becoming a good ballroom dancer is important to you. This is good because you already know what you want, which means that you have a goal to achieve. It’s really important to always keep sight of your goals in check.

Stage 2: Getting there

Now, if you are serious about your goal, then it’s a matter of doing a proper assessment of where you are in terms of your current dancing ability, and putting a proper plan in place to help you accomplish your goal.

The good news is that with enough discipline and luck, becoming a good dancer can be as simple as selecting and following the right path to accomplish your goal. On the flip side, if you are not serious, or if you become distracted, then your goal may forever remain outside of your reach. Therefore, you will want to make sure that becoming a good ballroom dancer is something that you really care and are passionate about to put the time and emotional, as well as financial resources to help you accomplish your goal.

Before we identify the specific steps you will have to take to become a better dancer, let’s further examine what becoming a better dancer really means. Then, you will have to ask yourself what becoming a good dancer actually means to you. You may also want to dig a little bit deeper and ask yourself “Why do you want to become a better dancer?”. Having that answer to that question, and putting things into a perspective can actually help to make your goal easier to accomplish.

The two types of dancers:

There are two types of dancers in the world of ballroom and Latin dancing; social and competitive dancers. If your goal is to become good in terms of dancing socially, then I would advise you to learn how to lead a lady in such a way that it feels effortless and fun to her. If you’re a lady wanting to become a better follower, then you will need to learn how to follow in gentleman’s lead in such a way that it feels good to you and your partner.

The learning curve:

Your learning curve will largely depend on your learning style, and the amount of time you dedicate to learning and practicing your leading, or following skills. Keep in mind that for some people learning how to dance can seem easy and natural, while it may seem daunting and challenging to others. Everybody has a different level of ability and talent, which will largely determine the amount of time that it will take you to become a good social or competitive dancer.

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Metal Roofing Myths – Costs – Metal Roof vs. Shingles

Not too long ago, back in the early 2000s, if you were to tell me anything at all about any sort of metal roofing, I would have thought that “surely you must be joking!”. ;) In fact, I’d most likely, immediately form a mental image of an old and rusty metal roof such as the ones you can still see on some old barns and factory buildings. But today, that’s no longer the case for me. I invite you to hop in for a ride as I bust some popular metal roofing myths to set the record straight! ;)

old-school-metal-roof

After having been involved with metal roofing as an installer and later as an in-house sales consultant advising homeowners on various types of energy efficient exterior remodeling options including aluminum shingles, steel shingles, and standing seam metal roofing for well over a decade, I have developed a true appreciation for this truly remarkable roofing option, and I would like to share some of the counter-intuitive insights I’ve learned with you! I would also like to dispel and debunk some of the common and persistent myths associated with viability of metal as a roofing alternative for residential and commercial installations.

What you will learn:

Top 5 metal roofing myths debunked to help educate homeowners considering the installation of a new metal roof. Plus a Bonus Myth and lots of great info that will help you whether you are homeowner, a contractor/builder, or a home inspector.

After reading our myth-busting guide, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation for metal as a premium roofing material of choice sought after by many home and building owners who want an energy efficient, long-lasting, and reliable roof.

Myth 1: A metal roof has a higher chance/risk of attracting a lightning strike.

Reality; No, having a metal roof does not increase the chances of your home getting struck by a lightning, but if your house does get hit by a lightning, a metal roof will simply dissipate the electric charge, because it will act as a Faraday cage. And since metal is a non-combustible material, your roof will not catch fire. – This can further be a great benefit to those who happen to live in dry and heavily-wooded areas that are at a high risk of forest fire.

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All You Ever Wanted to Know About BioDiesel Fuel

As countries around the world are taking a closer look at their oil consumption, its shortage, and its negative impact on our environment, governments are investing more money and resources to cultivate new advanced alternative energy sources. One such environmentally friendly alternative energy resource is biodiesel. Biodiesel that is produced domestically in the United States, has many benefits which include reducing our national demand for and dependence on foreign oil, creating new energy jobs, and helping the environment by reducing harmful emissions. Biodiesel fuel is available nation wide for environmentally conscious consumers who would like to make switch to renewable energy sources.

What is biodiesel fuel?

Sometimes biodiesel can be confused with ethanol, and while both are sources of clean renewable energy, they are not the same. Ethanol is an alcohol product derived from corn, sorghum, potatoes, wheat, or sugar cane. It can also be derived from biomass such as cornstalks and vegetable waste. When combined with gasoline, ethanol promotes more complete fuel burning, which in turn reduces toxic emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. On the other hand, biodiesel is a bio-fuel specifically designed for diesel engines. It is derived from a wide variety of renewable sources such as vegetable oil, animal fat and cooking oil that can be used in compression ignition engines. Biodiesel derived from soybean oil is most common in the US.

Biodiesel can be used as a pure fuel, or blended with petroleum in any percentage. A blend of 20 percent by volume biodiesel with 80 percent by volume petroleum diesel has shown significant environmental benefits with a minimal increase in cost for fleet operations and consumer use.

How is biodiesel produced?

Biodiesel is produced via a chemical process called transesterification, in which glycerin is separated from the fat, or vegetable oil. This process results in two products: methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel), and glycerin, which is a valuable byproduct usually used in soaps and other products. It is important to note that biodiesel is produced in accordance to strict industry specifications and is the only alternative fuel that has fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Moreover, biodiesel is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, and is officially a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution.

Production cost of biodiesel derived from soybeans is estimated at $2 to $2.50 per gallon. Since the US government is actively supporting the growth of domestic biodiesel industry, producers of biodiesel from pure vegetable oil are eligible for a federal excise tax credit of $1 for every gallon blended with conventional diesel. Moreover, biodiesel from used cooking oil earns a credit of 50 cents per gallon.

What are the specific benefits of biodiesel?

1. Using biodiesel to power a conventional engine significantly reduced unburned hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide, as compared to emissions from diesel fuel. In addition, biodiesel essentially eliminates the exhaust emissions of sulfur oxides and sulfates (major components of acid rain).

2. Biodiesel fuel is less toxic than table salt, and biodegrades as fast as sugar.

3. A blend of 20% Biodiesel with 80% petroleum (B20) works in any diesel engine without any modifications to the engine.

4. Biodiesel is made from domestic renewable resources. Therefore, it greatly reduces our dependence on foreign oil supply, which continues to be unstable and expensive.

5. Using biodiesel can help boost our economy by creating more stable and desirable jobs in the farming, research and biodiesel production sectors.

6. Biodiesel works as a cleaning agent that will reduce engine wear and repairs.

7. Biodiesel offers an easy and immediate transition to an alternative source of fuel.

Where can I buy biodiesel fuel?

The good news is that biodiesel is not difficult to obtain and is available nationwide. In fact, many petroleum retailers now make biodiesel available at the filling station. Also, it can be purchased directly from biodiesel producers and marketers, or at a number of public retailers dispersed throughout the US. To make purchasing biodiesel more consumer friendly, the number of biodiesel retail locations across the US is continuing to quickly grow. Currently there is also a phone and computer application called NearBio available for consumers that locates up to 5 nearest biodiesel retail pumps using city and state, zip code or GPS coordinates that you specify. Remember that most diesel vehicles can run on biodiesel blends of 20% or less and not B100 – pure biodiesel fuel. Also, when purchasing biodiesel, make sure that it meets the ASTM D 6751 specifications for biodiesel, which is usually the case at most public retail locations.

How does the retail price of biodiesel compare to the price of gasoline?

Currently the cost of biodiesel is higher than the cost of gasoline. The cost depends on the basestock, geographic area, variability in crop production from season to season, and production facilities. Notably increases in the prices of petroleum also drive up the prices for vegetable stock, which consequently increases the cost of biodiesel. In general, biodiesel blended at a 20 percent level with petroleum diesel costs approximately 20 cents + per gallon more than diesel alone. Currently, in MA the price for B20 biodiesel is $3.89 per gallon, while regular gas is 3.49 per gallon.