Sneakers, flip-flops, stilettos

first_imgInside Holden Chapel, dozens of salsa beginners face one another, feet shifting slightly on the hardwood, waiting. Then Drago Guggiana-Nilo calls out “five, six, seven, eight,” and the class bursts into action, sashaying toward embrace.The event was just one of the many classes offered by Harvard Ballroom, a nonprofit, student-run dance organization that offers social dance classes throughout the year. This summer, dance students learned how to swing, tango, salsa, and waltz, culminating in an open social dance event at the end of the session.A graduate student in biophysics, Guggiana-Nilo joined the Harvard Ballroom team in 2011. “I went to one of the social dances, saw a couple of performances, and I immediately knew: I wanted to do this.”  He has taught beginning salsa for Harvard Ballroom for two years running.The other instructor for the class, Cristina Foyo Cardenas, is completing an English as a second language (ESL) program at the Extension School. Like Guggiana-Nilo, she learned about Harvard Ballroom through a social dance event.“Dancing has helped me to be more confident,” she said. “Everyone is so welcoming, and you can meet people from all over the world in the same room.”While women slightly outnumber men, instructors have devised a creative solution. Female dancers stand in an inner circle facing out, and are surrounded by an outer circle of male dancers, who rotate to a new partner every few minutes. As a result, no one goes without a dance partner for longer than a round. The approach also heightens the “social” aspect of dancing, with individuals meeting a new partner every few minutes.One of the advantages for international students, Foyo Cardenas said, is that dancing is such a universal language. “You learn how to communicate through touch, to be sensitive, to pay closer attention,” she said. “And before you know it, you’re dancing.”Salsa student Gil Alterovitz, assistant professor of pediatrics and research associate in biomedical informatics, said that in addition to introducing him to a diverse group of fellow dancers, the classes have influenced his research.“It’s given me a new perspective,” he said. “In one project, my group has conveyed the language of gene expression as well as connectivity through use of music and 3-D modeling of movement — so it’s led to some interesting avenues.”Violet Li ’14, president of Harvard Ballroom, has been dancing ever since she arrived on campus. She said that the decision to open social dance classes beyond Harvard affiliates and students helps create a stronger community of dancers.“It replicates the social dance environment outside of Harvard, because we encourage our students to go to clubs and actually try the moves they’ve learned in class,” she said. “And because we open our classes to everyone, we learn how to be better teachers as well.”For Foyo Cardenas, dancing is more than just good exercise and a dynamic way to meet new people.“When you’re listening to music and dancing, everything else falls away,” Foyo Cardenas said. “When you see everyone else dancing with you, enjoying themselves … it’s a space where you can just feel good.”last_img read more

China envoy urges EU to develop its ‘strategic autonomy’

first_imgBRUSSELS (AP) — China’s European Union envoy is urging the 27-nation bloc to deepen its ties with his country even further and says he hopes the EU’s desire for “strategic autonomy” will guide its foreign policy in the future. The EU is China’s biggest trading partner and they are also economic competitors. But Chinese Ambassador Zhang Ming said Wednesday that China-EU ties have “stood the test of time.” The term “strategic autonomy” has sown confusion over Europe’s intentions. Some see it as a by-word for acting independently from the United States, others for greater trade protectionism or even for breaking away from the NATO military alliance. EU foreign ministers are still trying to establish exactly what it means.last_img read more

Tree planting tips

first_imgStep 2: Prepare the site. If there are no other trees nearby, the planting area soil should be tilled. If there are trees within 50 feet, cultivate soil carefully just in the area where the new tree will be planted. If there are trees all around, check to make sure the new tree can get at least three hours of full sun every day in the summer, and then do not till or cultivate the soil widely. Any groundcovers or grass should be pulled back many feet from the planting area. If other plants are in full sun, they will compete with the new tree for water and essential soil elements. Keep other plants away from the planting site for many years. Getting trees started correctly makes all the difference in the world for healthy trees. Inserting a tree properly into your landscape’s ecological system is critical. Fortunately, the best way to plant a tree involves only a few steps. Step 1: Get a good start. Trees mirror the sites in which they live. Poor sites mean poor trees. Sites baked by the sun and surrounded by buildings, pavements and desolate soil are poor choices. Choose a large space with plenty of room for growth. Look out for underground or overhead obstacles. Give trees plenty of open soil surface area in which to thrive.A tree site must allow for plenty of water drainage. Water must drain away from roots or your new tree will sit in a soil bathtub and drown. Step 3: Scoop out a planting saucer, not a hole. Many people make a terrible mistake when planting a new tree – they dig a hole. Trees dumped in a hole, buried too deep and drowned will die. Always scoop out a shallow saucer in the soil. A tree-planting saucer should be three to five times wider than the extent of new tree roots. The saucer should be one to two inches shallower than the depth of the actual root ball. Trees should be planted high in the landscape in a wide saucer void of gavel, sand or any other soil amendments. All the soil removed from the saucer should be broken up, crumbled and saved. Only the soil that came out of the saucer should go back into the saucer. Do not mix it with any other materials. By Kim CoderUniversity of Georgia Step 4: Gently place the tree. Remove all plastic, paper, burlap, wires, ties and straps from the new tree. Some of these materials, if left around the tree, will damage the tree. Packaged soil should be gently pulled away from the roots as much as possible, but not rigorously stripped or cleaned off.Place the tree in the middle of the shallow planting saucer. Always lift a tree by the root ball, never by the stem. Keep the stem straight up.Use your hands and fingers to gently push in soil around and under roots. Do not twist, bend or break the roots. After backfilling and gently firming the soil around the roots and over the tree base, add water. Step 5: Finish strong. Place a thin layer, no more than two inches thick, of a low density, organic mulch well beyond the edge of the saucer. Water the whole area, making sure soil is not washed away, exposing new roots. After the first site-wide watering, water often over the root ball area. Do not prune or fertilize until the tree has adjusted to its site. New trees planted correctly will be low maintenance, healthy, long-term assets to any site. With just a small amount of care and maintenance, they will continue to be a proud investment in any landscape.last_img read more

Schofield, Graham taken in 4th round

first_imgUW\’s O\’Brien Schofield was drafted 130th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2010 NFL Draft.[/media-credit]Former Wisconsin captain O’Brien Schofield knew his torn ACL during senior bowl practices greatly affected his draft stock. He went from a first- or second-round pick in mock drafts to a potential undrafted free agent when his cleat got caught and his left knee turned the wrong way.But after a stellar senior season where he recorded 12 sacks and was second in the nation in tackles for loss, Schofield also knew it only took one team to take a chance on him.And in the fourth round, with the 130th selection in the 2010 NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals took that chance.“It’s a privilege to get picked this high by a team,” Schofield said in a conference call with reporters. “The Arizona Cardinals taking a chance on me, knowing the person that I am, know that I’ll work hard to get back and produce on the field.”Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt thinks the organization got “first-round talent” with its fourth round selection and Schofield’s accomplishments could not be ignored.“It comes to a point that you can’t ignore the grade that we had on him, and you can’t ignore the production,” Whisenhunt said at the post-draft press conference.The Cardinals appear to be a great fit for Schofield who projects as an outside linebacker at the next level. But before he finds a spot in their 3-4 scheme, Schofield must rehab his knee injury.Scouts believed the torn ACL would rule Schofield out for the 2010 season, but the ex-Badger is determined to make an early impact.“I was told midway through camp I should be able to start doing some things with contact,” Schofield said in the conference call. ” I’m really planning on trying to play this year; I want to go real hard on my rehab to get ready for the 2010 season.”Arizona general manager Rod Graves knew the risks accompanying Schofield’s injured knee, but the Cardinals’ staff is confident he will return with no limitations.“We certainly discussed his injury,” Graves said at the post-draft press conference. “When you look back at the ACLs that we’ve had and the progress we’ve had bringing those players back, we felt like the risk is not like it used to be in respect to those types of injuries.”It’s been a long and stressful few months for Schofield, who thought his career was over after his injury. But behind strong faith and the support of his collegiate family, Schofield remained focused on his NFL dream.“I just had to stay positive. My faith in God really helped me out. I felt like my career was over,” Schofield said in the conference call. “I went back to school and my coaches, teammates, other players in the Big Ten were calling and encouraging me to keep working.”Graham joins Daniels in HoustonYears ago, Owen Daniels took high school senior Garrett Graham on a tour of the Wisconsin campus on his recruiting visit.Now, six years later, Daniels once again will serve as Graham’s tour guide — this time in Houston.“I know quite a bit about Owen Daniels. I was a freshman when he was a senior at Wisconsin. I followed him quite a bit,” Graham said in a conference call with reporters. “He is a great guy to watch and definitely be a great guy to learn under.”The first Badger picked in the draft, Graham was selected in the fourth round by the Houston Texans, and the former UW captain will get a chance to learn behind the 2008 pro bowl tight end, who was also a fourth round pick after graduating from Wisconsin.Texans head coach Gary Kubiak now hopes to have similar success with another Badger tight end.“We think [Graham] is a fine player. We had a little luck catching a fourth-round tight end out of Wisconsin a few years ago so this kid kind of reminds us of Owen,” Kubiak said in a post-draft press conference. “Owen knows the young man and spoke very highly of him. He does a lot of things well. He’s been a captain and been very respected; he is the type of kid we’re looking for.”Graham joins an explosive Texans offense led by quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson and Daniels, who is recovering from a knee injury, and the New Jersey native is excited about his future in Houston.“I’m just grateful to get the opportunity to play in the NFL and have a great opportunity to go to a franchise like the Texans,” Graham said in a conference call with reporters. “I’m just really looking forward to it.”Maragos and Stehle sign free agent dealsSchofield and Graham may have been the only Badgers drafted, but several other Badgers will get a chance to make an NFL roster.Former UW captain, Chris Maragos, signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers.Defensive tackle Jeff Stehle signed with the Denver Broncos and linebacker Jaevery McFadden will work out for the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins over the next two weeks.–Editor’s Note: The original printed version of this story had Jaevery McFadden having signed with the Washington Redskins on Sunday based on several sources posting such information. We have since confirmed that he has only scheduled workouts with the Redskins as well as the Minnesota Vikings. We regret the error.last_img read more