Lady of the dance

Andrea KellyAndrea Kelly believes that dance helps women’s self esteem. In this exclusive DolceDolce interview, the dancer and choreographer discusses her life in Atlanta as the “Ex-Mrs. R. Kelly". She has divorced the R&B superstar, R. Kelly, who gave her her first job. Now she is on her own, and excited about her new, fun, and sexy show The Pink Kitty Cabaret.  Don’t miss a word of our exclusive interview with this very interesting lady of dance!

 
DD:  When did you first become interested in dance?
AK:My parents say I danced before I could walk. I’ve been in love with dance all my life, I couldn’t imagine not dancing; it brings me the ultimate happiness.
 
DD: When did you begin dancing professionally?
AK: I got my first professional job with my now ex-husband R. Kelly when I was 20 years old.  That was my first national/international tour. 
 
DD: What and who has inspired you as a dancer and choreographer?
AK: Alvin Ailey and Bob Fosse inspired me as a dancer. Their work is timeless. I believe that they were innovators in the dance community. They forever changed the way choreography was created and how stories were told through dance.
 
DD: What has so far been the high point of your professional career?
AK:  Starting my own dance companies, Andrea Kelly Dance Theater I and Andrea Kelly Dance Theater II and my show The Pink Kitty Caberet. It’s beautiful when my vision becomes choreography, and the choreography comes to life.
 
DD: Has it been difficult to establish your own professional identity after being married to and working with your husband, R. Kelly, for so long?
AK: I never looked at it as being difficult; I’m simply coming out of his shadow.
Because my career as a choreographer and a dancer was hidden doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. I am now showing the world what I have been doing before, during, and now — after our marriage has ended.
 
DD: Why did you choose to come to Atlanta? Did your children come with you? Are they excited about living in Atlanta?
AK: I have always loved Atlanta and after doing a lot of research I found that there is a void for the type of dance/choreography that I create. So it made perfect sense to bring both of my companies Andrea Kelly Dance Theater I and Andrea Kelly Dance Theater II and Le Pink Kitty Cabaret classes andmy show The Pink Kitty Caberet here to Atlanta.
 
My children often visit; we have a second home here.  I am very excited about living here. This is a blank canvas that I get to paint my picture upon.  There is so much room for growth in this dance community.
 
DD:  How can dance classes help women’s self esteem?
AK: Dance builds women’s self esteem because it forces you to look at your entire body in a mirror in front of others, which many women try to avoid. Because you are focused on the beauty of the dance, your flaws disappear into the background. At least this is what it does for me.  As you are learning and getting stronger, you’re proud of your progress which in turn builds your self esteem.
 
DD: Can you talk a bit about your new dance show Le Pink Kitty Cabaret, and also a bit about your new reality show?
AK: Le Pink Kitty Cabaret is an urban Burlesque dance company; it is Soul Train meets Bob Fosse featuring the Pussy Cat Dolls.  My reality show is about life after my divorce as well as bringing my dance companies south to Atlanta.

 

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“Yes” to pretty skin

The “Yes to” line of skin care combines organic fruits and vegetables with minerals from the Dead Sea to make wonderfully-effective skin care products that are also very affordable.

 
Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Intensive Skin Repair is a light skin serum packed with potent antioxidants and natural alpha hydroxy acids. Blueberries are full of Vitamin C and anthocyanins that help to fight ageing free radicals. It also contains cotton thistle, which is clinically proven to repair skin and boost collagen in just seven days. Other botanicals hydrate and help skin look more luminous. At under $20, this is a great way to fight the first signs of ageing.
 
Yes to Blueberries Eye Firming Cream contains the Paracress Flower. It is clinically proven to smooth skin and reduce crow’s feet in 28 days. Blueberries bring their potent anti-ageing benefits to the formula along with rich olive fruit oil and beeswax for a light but effective eye cream. This is a fabulous eye cream if you prefer a non-greasy formula, and it is a good value at just under $20.
 
Both products have light fresh scent. You can find then at drugstores, big box stores and www.sayyestocarrots.com
 
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Tame dry winter tresses with orchids

Winter air makes hair dry fly-away and hard-to-manage. Over-conditioning it can make it limp and even harder to handle. That is why experts love the new light hair oils. Our favourite is from White Sands, the hair professionals from Hollywood. They work their magic on the stars for movie and television shoots. We know why –they are among the best at what they do.

 
White Sands Orchid Oil blend helps your hair to be its most beautiful and lustrous. The orchid is immortal. Its cell membranes contain a longevity molecule, so they do not deteriorate over time. It lends this same “immortality” to your hair, helping it “heal” and become stronger. White Sands Orchid extract returns moisture, shine, and softness to hair that has become damaged from chemical treatments, thermal stress, and daily UV and UVB exposure. Orchid extract mends split ends and fills holes in the fabric of each hair strand to instantly enhance hair health and heal damaged cuticle layers.
 
White Sands Orchid oil blend is feathery light, even on fine hair. It reduces drying time and leaves hair soft and manageable. A few drops on dry, fly-away hair works wonders and smells divine. At $20 it costs less then other over-hyped oil and we think it works better too. www.whitesandsproducts.com
 
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Perfect, all night long

We told you about the Darac’s Beauty TourQuam 3-D Face Sculpting Brush  ages ago. It is designed to recreate a make-up artist’s skill by placing just the right amount of powder evenly over your face to prevent caking or a dry, powdery look. The handle of the brush contains a magnet to help the beautifully angled bristles pick-up just the right amount of powder. This works, as all cosmetic powder is infused with magnetic minerals such as titanium dioxide. It is one of the best and most effortless I have ever used — and I have tried many of them.

 
You can use it with any good powder. It works beautifully with all of my fine milled and loose powders. I often use Darac’s Sifted Blur.  It contains “micro-spheric optic pearls” that disperse light like a diamond to create a halo effect. The powder also contains sodium hyluronate, which helps the skin attract and retain moisture. The powder is light as feather. It helps to mask flaws and set make-up, but does not show on the skin. It is really lovely powder that gives a soft, ethereal finish. It keeps my make-up on through everything – even a vigorous exercise class. Yes darlings, I wear make-up to my workouts.  
 
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Cleopatra

She ruled one of the largest empires in the world. She was richer than Queen Elizabeth II. Two of the most powerful and charismatic Roman leaders of her time, Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, loved her. She murdered her own brother. She lived in city where women had more rights than in any other in the ancient world. We speak her name today: Cleopatra.

 
Cleopatra is one of the best known figures in history — man or woman — and yet we know so little about her. According to the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Shiff, much of we think we know about the lady is not true; starting with fact that she was not even an Egyptian, but a Macedonian Greek.
 
Shiff’s new book Cleopatra: A Life is remarkably readable, as she debunks common myths about the Egypt’s last pharaoh. She paints a picture of the lush and decadent life at Cleopatra’s court. She recounts the history of the high-living, but murderous Ptolemys.
 
Shiff tells Cleopatra’s story by quoting from the three most prominent ancient historians, Plutarch, Cassius Dio, and Cicero as well as other major ancient historians. She notes when they could have been misinformed, wrong, or just plain prejudiced. 
 
Shiff attempts to sift fact from fiction from the works of ancient historians to set the record straight about the Queen of the Nile. Her Cleopatra is small and exotic – but not beautiful. The queen Shiff describes is extremely clever and seductive. Cleopatra died before she was 40, having ruled one of the largest and most advanced empires of the ancient world for 21 years.
 
For years business men have read the Samurai manual The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Many women have now taken up the practice. Perhaps it is time to time study Cleopatra, a woman who had the world at her feet, commanded armies, fought naval battles, and is still remembered today.
 
Stacy Schiff’s book is by no means the final word among academics. Modern historians have already started to take issue with the details of her oeuvre, but it is a fascinating read for any educated woman today.
 
This would make a great gift for any lady of letters on your holiday list his year.
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A cozy gem

Threats at Three – A Lois Meade Mystery by Ann Purser is sure to delight fans of British “cozy” mysteries. Purser creates a village mystery peopled with contemporary characters with relatable problems. Lois Meade is the village’s amateur “detective”. She runs the local cleaning service. Lois also helps the local police inspector ferret out the truth when things go wrong in the village of Long Farnden. Lois’s husband, Derek, along with the recently-widowed vicar and other residents, are organizing a big fundraising event to renovate the old village hall. As things progress it seems clear someone does not want the hall rebuilt. A young couple, single mother, and sullen teenage boy are caught up in the web of unscrupulous gangsters.

 
Anne Purser has captured the charm of the British mystery in a very clever and contemporary way. Her dialogue is fresh and chatty, while her characters are real and appealing. Threats at Three will make you a fan of Lois Meade Mysteries if "British Cozys" are your cuppa.
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Thanks&giving

Ludacris and Big BoiTough times are far from over for many hardworking people who find themselves out of a job, and have a hard time paying the bills. That is why giving is so important. I hope this will be season of giving for all us who are able to share. 

An A-list of entertainers helped to make Thanksgiving fun for many Atlantans this year. Super-producer Polow da Don and co-founder of Foundation F.O.C.U.S. Mia A. Welsh organized The Fourth Annual Thanksgiving Carnival and Turkey Giveaway. The event was hosted by Outkast’s Big Boi and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.  The mayor presented Polow da Don with the prestigious Phoenix Award.

 
Thousands attended the event at southwest Atlanta’s historic Greenbriar Mall.  There were amusement rides, games, food, and more than 1,000 turkeys were given away to attendees. Through a partnership with Ludacris’ imprint DTP and The Ludacris Foundation, vegetables such as yams and collards were added to each turkey giveaway.
 
The crowd also enjoyed performances and appearances by Big Boi, Ludacris, Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Bow Wow, Lloyd, Keri Hilson, and Chris Brown.  This experience was also shared around the world as the concert was streamed live. “Thanks to our sponsor Brand Influence, we took it to another level last nigh," Mia Walsh said, describing the event’s scope. “We went Super Global. We partnered with UStreamand had Brazil, Nigeria, London, Ireland and Spain all watching the concert at the same time.”
 
It was an exciting and joyful event in city that has been hit hard by the recession.
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Cranberries not just for Christmas

Sweet and tangy ---perfect on so many thingsAt my house Thanksgiving kicks off cranberry-eating season. We love fresh cranberry sauce and eat it all winter long. If you don’t make your own, you don’t know what you are missing. Cranberries are full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, and fresh sauce is delicious. We eat it with roasted poultry and on sandwiches, and I bake it into apple pies. It is even good over ice cream for a festive seasonal sundae. It is easy to make. I pack it into clean jars and keep it in the refrigerator for weeks. You can make it in bulk and pack it into pretty jam jars for a lovely gift.

2 cups of sugar

1 cup of orange juice and 1 cup or apple cider, or just 2 cups of orange juice — as you prefer.

 

Add the grated rind and juice from one well-washed organic orange. Use organic fruit for this, as you do not want pesticides in your sauce. You cannot wash the pesticide off the peel.

 

Boil until the berries burst.

Cool and carefully add 1 cup of fresh walnuts. Do not cook or boil the nuts.

 

Spoon carefully in to clean jars and refrigerate, as this is not processed. Be careful, hot cranberry sauce is very dangerous.

 

This makes a pretty gift alone or with pumpkin bread.

 

 

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