Entertainment:

TV Dance Shows

Empty Nest Entertainment

Blu-ray Digital Copy

Encourage Acceptance
Kindness Counter

Combine Music With Playtime

Exploring Science

Herritage Programs

America's Love For TV Dance Shows Has Long History

(NAPSI)—Dance in America is bigger than ever. Popular shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars” have enraptured the public and inspired a whole new generation to get up and dance. It seems nothing has had an impact on the mass appeal of dance more than television. But TV’s love affair with dance isn’t new. In fact, dance on TV goes back to the earliest days of the small screen.

How It Began

In 1950, the first dance show waltzed onto the airwaves. It was called “The Arthur Murray Party,” hosted by famous dancers Arthur and Kathryn Murray. Each week, the couple performed a mystery dance and the viewer who correctly identified the dance would get free lessons at a local studio. Just two years later, “American Bandstand” debuted, featuring the perennially young host Dick Clark. For nearly 40 years, kids from around the country would tune in to see the hottest new dances, the fashions and the regular couples on the show. Then, in 1971, “Soul Train” offered a new, funky version of the dance show concept and was so successful that it lasted 35 years.

Stepping Up The Energy

Later came such TV dance hits as “Dance Fever” with Deney Terrio (1979−87), “Solid Gold” (1980−’88) and “Dance Party USA” (1986−’92). Then, in 2005, came what would become ratings-smashing hits-“Dancing with the Stars,” which was a spin-off of the U.K. TV show “Strictly Come Dancing,” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” the competition show that, like “American Idol,” holds auditions for dancers to win a spot on the show. Finalists compete for a new car, cash and a Las Vegas dancing contract.

The Trend Continues

Today, such shows are bigger than ever and the arts channel Ovation is featuring encore presentations of seasons 6 and 7 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” along with some fantastic extras with the dancers, choreographers, judges and creators of the show on air and online at www.ovationtv.com.

The channel is also launching a contest called “One Dance. One Chance.” for aspiring dance students. The competition is open to all dance groups, classes, ensembles, troupes and crews, with dancers ages 13 and up. For more information visit www.ovationtv.com/dancecontest.

Whether you’re a kid, a teen, an adult or a senior citizen, you’re never too young or old to enjoy dancing.

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Filling An Empty Nest With Entertainment

(NAPSI)—The words “empty nest” can conjure up images of sad and lonely parents sitting at home, waiting for their children to call or text. However, experts say that some parents, often referred to as “empty nest opportunists,” report feeling 10 years younger after adjusting to their new lives. One study, reported in the journal Psychological Science (Nov. ‘08), also revealed that the empty nest may have beneficial effects on a marriage.

During this awakening, parents may widen their circle of friends, acquire new skills and rekindle their love lives. But even if they’re struggling to adjust, it’s an opportunity to fill extra free time with newly found activities. One option is to ease the transition from happy family to dynamic duo by establishing a movie date night—right at home.

Couples can begin by “spooning up” to view some of those movies languishing on their must-see lists, and they can watch instantly in that now-quiet entertainment room. As part of digital cable service, the Movies On Demand option offers a wide selection of popular theatrical movie titles, including recent hits such as Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” the Judd Apatow−produced “Bridesmaids” starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, or “Thor” with Oscar winners Sir Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman, and “X-Men: First Class” starring James McAvoy and Kevin Bacon.

New HD releases, as well as hundreds of favorites and classics, are available to rent for just a few dollars each, with a simple push of the TV remote button. There’s no “ruining the moment” by driving off to rent a DVD or waiting for it to arrive by mail. Plus, waiting a month for the hottest titles is a thing of the past. Many are available on Movies On Demand on cable the same day as the DVDs are available for purchase.

To see what’s playing now and what’s coming soon to On Demand, visit www.rentmoviesondemand. com. Visitors can even sign up to receive e-mail alerts when a sought-after title is available.

Movies, like time, were meant to be shared. This is a simple way for couples to reconnect and fill their empty nest with great entertainment.

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Buy A Movie On Blu-ray And Watch It On The Go

(NAPSI)—Technology is making it easier to take your movie with you wherever you go.

When you buy a Blu-ray Disc movie, as an added bonus you can enjoy a Digital Copy that allows you to download the same film to your favorite portable device.

For no extra cost, this bonus Digital Copy comes with the Blu-ray Disc and loads digitally via easy-to-follow instructions into a PC, Mac, smartphone, tablet or other portable device. Now the movies you enjoy at home on Blu-ray Disc in high definition with razor-sharp images and crystal-clear sounds can also travel with you.

This way, you can also view your favorite movies:

• on vacation

• on a business trip

• during flights and commutes

• in a college dorm room

• in a family car trip

• at a friend’s house

• anywhere in your home.

This addition means more freedom and flexibility to choose when and how you watch films. Transferring is quick and easy. Look inside the package for the Digital Copy web address and corresponding code. Go online and type the web address. You will be prompted to enter the code. From there, you will be able to transfer the movie to your computer. Once it’s on your computer, you can also add it to your mobile devices.

The copy can be transferred only once, but it’s yours to keep and it can be viewed as many times as you want. Having access to Digital Copy is an asset to any mobile device, especially for occasions such as a family vacation or airline flight. Studios now also sell “Combo Packs,” which contain a Blu-ray Disc, a digital version and a DVD for those who have a variety of playback devices in their homes.

All this means greater choice for the consumer. You can enjoy the quality of Blu-ray Discs at home, while enjoying the flexibility of having a Digital Copy to take with you on your portable device.

For more information on the Digital Copy, go to www.wbdigitalcopy.com.

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Simple Tips For Helping Kids Celebrate Differences-Their Own And Others

(NAPSI)—Helping youngsters understand themselves and the ways they react to others can be easier for many families when they begin with a fun activity that inspires productive conversation. With a little creative thinking, these informal discussions can go a long way toward helping children realize their strengths.

Even a low key activity such as watching a movie together at home can be constructive if followed by a discussion of the movie’s themes and any lessons that can be learned from it.

For example, the simple and endearing story of Dumbo, the little elephant with big ears, can provide a good forum for some tough issues. Disney’s beloved animated classic is available as a 70th Anniversary Edition, fully restored to pristine condition in a stunning Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack, making it fresh for today’s kids. Dumbo’s experiences can be used to safely introduce and explore difficult topics that children may face, such as: jealousy, name-calling, gossiping, bullying, making friends and fitting in.

Any number of the scenes between Dumbo and his pal Timothy Q. Mouse can help foster discussion of how to be friends with others who are different from them, as well as how differences can become “assets.” And who better than Timothy with his Magic Feather to inspire a conversation about the importance of trying things that at first seem impossible as a way to overcome fear and build self-confidence.

Another beneficial activity to encourage a positive discussion of differences in kids might be an art project, such as the creation of a personal identity collage to help discover and celebrate what makes them unique: physical attributes, likes, dislikes, talents, fears and so on.

You’ll need a table or other area where things can get a little messy, lots of old magazines to cut up, newspapers, colored paper, crayons, markers, glitter, stickers, tape, scissors, glue stick, large paper or cardboard sheets. Once the masterpiece is complete, discuss how the finished art project helps reveal each person’s differences and celebrate the work by hanging it up for everyone to see.

Even time in the car can be used to engage in useful conversations with the family:

• Have each child take turns answering simple questions such as: “Would you rather travel by plane or train?” “Would you rather read a book or go to a movie?” “Would you rather be an elephant or a mouse?” Discuss the answers to show how each opinion is a valid one.

• Ask children to state what they love about themselves by completing the sentence “I love my...” and applaud those traits in each. Perhaps follow up with “I don’t like my...” statements and then suggest ways those traits can be seen as advantages or assets.

Alternatively, you can celebrate differences by playing a game of “I Spy,” where you can pick a subject for kids to find various examples of, such as looking for different types of hats on passers-by, varieties of places to eat or various styles of automobiles to inspire further understanding of how many choices there are in the world, all of which have value.

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How Not To Raise A Bully

(NAPSI)—Bullying is a problem that has a lot of parents worried. According to a recent Harris survey, 67 percent of parents of 3- to 7-year-olds worry that their children will be bullied.

Bullying damages the physical, social and emotional well-being of its victims. It also hurts the children who bully, as well as those who watch it happen.

Fortunately, encouraging empathy in young children can discourage such behavior. Empathy is defined as the ability to put oneself in another person's shoes and recognize and respond to what that person is feeling.

Building empathy helps children to consider other people's feelings and offer expressions of understanding. It can be as simple as giving a hug, getting a towel to help clean up a spill, or sharing a box of crayons with a friend.

"The early years of life appear to be critical for the development of children's sympathy and caring behavior," said Dr. Nancy Eisenberg, Regents' professor of psychology and editor of Child Development Perspectives. "Children who attend to and respond to others' distress and need in the late preschool years are more likely to be caring and helpful people in adolescence and early adulthood.Ê Thus, it is critical that parents and teachers be aware of ways that they can foster their children's positive behaviors early in life."

The 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout has designed a campaign to help. "Kindness Counts" supports the development of empathy in preschoolers by promoting small acts of kindness that matter big. The long-term campaign includes a series of PSAs, digital and social media components and programming tie-ins with the ultimate goal of logging 1 million acts of kindness across the country.

Parents are encouraged to visit www.SproutOnline.com to add their child's act of kindness to the Kindness Counter. Select acts are highlighted on the air during the channel's live morning show, "The Sunny Side Up Show." Parents can also find articles and expert advice on the value and importance of developing empathy in young children.

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Combining Music With Playtime Makes Children Happier

(NAPSI)—Whatever your preferred beat, music can increase optimism, stimulate brain cells and help you relax and have fun.

According to a recent Harris Interactive survey of parents of children ages 1−5 years, listening to music during playtime makes children happier, sillier, more excited and engages them in play for longer periods of time; music also makes parents feel more relaxed.

“Music is a mood-lifter for our family,” said Annett Kohlmann, a mother from Sammamish, WA. “When I turn on our favorite tunes, the fun begins. I’ve discovered another wonderful benefit—increased language development as my children learn the lyrics.”

To fuel the connection between music and play, LEGO Systems released a series of free, downloadable songs to inspire and entertain children as they play—DUPLO JAMS. In addition to upbeat songs, the series offers tips and activities on how to combine music and building fun in response to surveyed parents requesting ideas for more age-appropriate ways to play with their children.

“Parents want to feel energized and creative at playtime, yet finding new ways to play feels stressful,” said Kimberley Clayton Blaine, a national parenting expert known as The Go-To-Mom. “While listening to a three-minute song, you can engage in meaningful play with your children leading to feeling more connected, fulfilled and relaxed.”

As parents opt to spend more time in the playroom, they look for more inspiration and playtime ideas. Sixty-three percent of parents say they’re a “coach” during playtime—guiding at first, then encouraging from the sidelines. Twenty-six percent consider themselves a “teammate,” as they play with their child from beginning to end. Eleven percent said they are a “cheerleader” who prefers to be a spectator while their child plays.

Parents wanting to incorporate more music into their child’s playtime should check out Amazon’s massive selection of children’s music, Common Sense Media music reviews, as well as Facebook.com/LEGODUPLO for a downloadable magazine of fun playroom activities and corresponding songs.

“One of the best ways to create a successful playtime playlist is to let your kids pick the songs,” says Blaine. “It’s fun to see which ones they choose and be prepared as they will probably ask to play the music over and over! So turn on that music, jam out and turn up the fun during playtime!”

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Exploring Science With Kids

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for parents. You don’t need to be a scientist to help your child make discoveries about shadows, water, motion, plants or animals. All you need is a willingness to join in.

Four Easy Ways to Explore

1. Let your child take the lead in exploring things.

2. Take time to look, wonder and try things out together.

3. Ask open-ended questions to keep the exploration going. For example, if your child notices an ant hole, you might say, “Look at the way that ant carries things!”

4. Remember, it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.”

“Peep and the Big Wide World” is an animated program that teaches science to preschoolers. New episodes featuring the new Spanish-speaking character, Splendid Bird from Paradise, premiere October 10, 2011 on public television.

Visit them on the Web at www.peepandthebigwideworld.org for Anywhere Science and Math Activities and a bilingual Explorer’s Guide designed to turn everyday situations into science explorations.

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Cable Connects With Hispanic Heritage Programs

(NAPSI)—Over the last decade, the U.S. Hispanic population has exploded by over 40 percent and now represents 16.3 percent of this country’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This fall, Hispanic Heritage Month provides the perfect opportunity to look at compelling figures and events in Hispanic history, and examine how Hispanic culture has contributed to the fabric of our nation.

Best of all, digital cable subscribers already have an “all access” passport for exploring Hispanic Heritage Month: their TV remote controls. With a couple clicks, cable customers can instantly view a variety of On Demand Hispanic-themed programming. Programming highlights include:

Profiles in Courage—Biographies of influential Hispanics come to life with dramatic portrayals, such as that of real-life high school teacher Jaime Escalante, who inspires a class of barrio kids to pass an AP calculus test. Or examine fundamental issues of morality by looking at the life of quadriplegic Ramón Sampedro, who fights a 29-year campaign in support of euthanasia and his right to end his own life.

A Storied Past: Struggles, Strife and Civil Rights—Gain new understanding of historical events through the stories of the people who lived through them. The dramatic account of Dominican Republic’s heroic Minerva Mirabal examines how she and her sisters represented a threat to Dictator Rafael Trujillo. Or trace the journey of writer Reinaldo Arenas who, while being born into abject poverty and serving as a rebel fighter for Castro in his youth, manages to discover exceptional talents that are ultimately tempered by his struggle for freedom and expression.

Triumph and Tragedy—Talent and heartbreak are all too common companions. Delve into the promise and human failings of Hispanic entertainment legends such as salsa singer Héctor Lavoe, who according to his wife Puchi, grows as an artist but sinks as a person; or the heartbreaking story of Texas-born singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, whose meteoric rise to fame ends tragically at age 23.

Hispanic Hearth and Home—Love cooking shows? Join Chef Marcela Vallodolid as she celebrates the diverse culinary gifts of Mexico’s tastiest states with recipes for Jalisco’s pork sandwich, Baja’s lobster burrito and Puebla’s pippian chicken. If you can pull yourself away from the stove, design expert Luz Blanchet will share secret solutions for brightening up your home.

For information on these and other Hispanic Heritage Month programs, visit www.thisiscable.com.

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