9 Shows That You Need To Watch Over Christmas Break

9 Shows That You Need To Watch Over Christmas Break

Christmas break is the perfect time to catch up on that Netflix show you've putting off watching.

Every Christmas break for the last few years, I have watched a new Netflix show. It's the perfect time of year to watch after being out of school. Below is a list of my favorite shows and documentaries that you should definitely consider watching this break. There are so many I could provide, and I'm sure there are many I've missed, but these are some that I've narrowed it down to. All of the shows on this list are not a huge time commitment, with the exception of "The West Wing". These range from funny to educational and serious. The best part? They're all available on Netflix.

1. "Parks and Recreation"

Parks and Recreation

Anyone who knows me know I love "Parks and Recreation". This show had to make the list. The world of Pawnee, Indiana is one that teaches you a lot about friendship, supporting others, and what it means to be a public servant.

2. "The Office"

The Office"The Office" is one of the best sitcoms to ever be on television. If you're not on board, get on board! You won't regret entering the world of Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

Jane the Virgin

"Jane the Virgin" is a show that was not at all what I expected it to be- it was so much better. This dramaedy is full of heart and some of the best television performances I've ever seen. Gina Rodriguez is hands down one the best actresses I've ever had the pleasure of watching. I love that this show embraces latin culture and has larger than life characters. The premise is that Jane (a virgin) gets artificially inseminated. You'll have to watch it to find out the rest.

4. "13th"

This documentary should be required viewing in your history classes. This documentary gives a glimpse into the progression of racial inequality that has taken place over the last couple centuries. It is especially relevant as our society continues to grapple with racial inequality and mass incarceration.

5. "The West Wing"

West Wing

This is a show I recently got hooked on that is noted as one of the best dramas to ever grace television. I am only on season five at the moment, but am close to being done. I love this series because it shows so well all the complexities that come with governing a nation. You simply fall in love with the characters. It's amazing to me how relevant this show is to everything occurring in today's world. Bartlett for America!

6. "What the Health"

If you want to get a glimpse into how government and organizations with a lot of power have affected our knowledge about nutrition and diet, then this is the documentary for you. It will open your eyes to how diet truly affects your health and how to critically take in the information you receive about nutrition- even from health organizations.

7. "Fed Up"

Basically, added sugar is the worst. Watch this documentary to find out more.

8. "Sherlock"

Sherlock"Sherlock" is a genius show- intelligent, funny, and mind-blowing. All the seasons are available on Netflix, but be warned- you may have to wait quite a while before the next season comes out. The new seasons (if they continue) only come out every couple years. There are only three episodes in a season, and each is like a mini-movie. This is definitely worth your time.

9. "The Crown"

The Crown

I personally haven't watched this show yet, but it's on my list. I included it because it's been the most highly recommended show to me over the past couple of months. I would imagine any history buff could appreciate this captivating series that has been critically acclaimed. This will probably be my Christmas break show this year if I can get myself to stop rewatching "Parks and Recreation" and "Grey's Anatomy".

Now go and relish in all the Netflix goodness.

Cover Image Credit: iStock

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A Letter To My Dancers

Everything your dance teacher wants you to know.

When anyone (especially a child) chooses to invest their time, talent, and passion into dancing, it's nothing to take lightly. These kids spend more time with me at the studio than they do at home with their parents. Before long, they're my "kids," too. When I only have an hour to lead a warm-up, teach choreography, and rehearse a number, there isn't much time to express the thoughts and feelings I'd necessarily like to. Being a dance teacher is the most spectacular and rewarding job - and I want my students to know that. Between the great rehearsals and the frustrating ones, the competitions and recitals, and the endless hours we spend together each week, there are just a few reminders I need to share with them.

Dear Dancers,

Please love yourself and love what you do with every ounce of your being. Do it with so much passion that your heart wants to burst. Dance is the most special thing; it's something we are privileged and lucky to have, so don't take it for granted.

Please believe in yourself. You are worthy. You are talented. You are strong and capable of everything you set your mind to. Strive to be the best version of yourself every day, not the reflection of the girl next to you. Dance like you. Move like you. Experiment and find what makes you, you. Be an individual. Trust me when I say I don't want 20 carbon-copied robots. I want you.

Trust that I have your best interest in mind. Sometimes my choices and decisions won't make sense, you might be confused, hurt or frustrated, but keep the faith that I'm on your side. I don't want to see you fail, and I'll do everything in my power to help you find the success you're looking for.

I want you to succeed, but for me to do that, you need to tell me what you need. Do you need the counts again? Do you need me to review the transition to floor one more time? If you understand, tell me. If you don't, tell me that, too. Be vocal, be present, be smart, and be prepared. Practice on the sides. Pay attention to the small details. Ask questions. Don't be late, and definitely don't forget your choreography. Take responsibility for your responsibilities and lead by example. Do you have any remote idea how many children look up to you? Who want to be just like you someday? Dance just like you? Kids watch, listen, and copy. Make sure the behaviors you're teaching them are behaviors you're proud of.

Make memories with your dance family while you still can. Cherish every 9 a.m. Saturday morning rehearsal, every competition you attend, every fundraising event, and every team sleepover. It'll be gone so fast. You're going to miss these days. Please, enjoy them.

Don't compare yourself to other dancers. You are you, and nobody can do "you" better than yourself. Don't wish away your abilities by secretly wishing you had Suzie's feet, Betsy's port de bras, or Charlie's center. The only thing you need to worry about is being a better version of yourself than you were the day before. You are your only competition, so don't be too hard on yourself. Be kind to your mind and body. You work day in and day out to perfect your craft and artistry. You work to mold and create yourself. You'll be rewarded with time if you keep fighting and don't give up. Usually when you want to throw in the towel, it's after you don't get the part you wanted or you don't make the team you hoped to. What you need to understand is the answer isn't "No," the answer is "Not yet." You know you're trying and working hard, and those efforts don't go unnoticed -- even if it seems they are.

Please, remember that it's not going to always be fair. You're going to be let down, and you're going to feel disappointed from time to time. You're not always going to win the trophy. You're not always going to get the featured solo part, and not everyone can be the front row and center dancer. This doesn't mean you're "bad" and this doesn't mean you're not "meant" to dance either.

Quite frankly, it's just how it works, you guys. It doesn't mean I don't like you, and it doesn't mean the dancer who does have the solo is my favorite. The dancer just might be more talented. Yeah, I said it. They might have better lines, straighter knees, or stronger stage presence, and that is entirely okay. You're going to run into this for the rest of your adult life. Someone is going to be smarter, more qualified, more desirable for a particular job or position. So instead of despising and resenting these dancers (and especially me), try to learn from them instead. You'll learn more from each other than you could imagine. But if you take away one thing from this, know that you are still worthy of my best training, my best analogies, my best choreography -- whether you are featured, in the third row, or even off-stage for the turn section.

As your teacher, it's my job to teach. Learning (and learning correctly) requires close attention to detail, incredible focus, and a plethora of corrections on my part. Yes, I will go out of my way to critique you, and I will continually tell you what needs fixing until it's fixed. I might have to tell you over and over and over again. And you know, I might even get frustrated with you once in awhile because of it, but here's what you need to understand: This doesn't make me mean or a bad teacher. This doesn't mean I hate you. What it does mean is that I see potential in you and I want to help. I just have to ask, do you see what I see in you? Do you see the talent and abilities I see?

Corrections are good. Success is an incredibly long and never ending process that takes time, but the corrections I give you are helping you get one step closer. So next time you catch yourself getting upset about receiving the same critique week after week or you want to complain about how mean I am, please remember that my intent is not malicious. I'm doing my job.

It's also my job to instill perseverance, dedication, discipline, trust, humility, confidence, creativity, bravery, and strong work ethic into you. I want to push your limits. Test you. Challenge you. I want to mold you into the person you want to be. Even though you probably don't even know who that person is, I do.

There are so many possibilities, opportunities, and challenges that are out there once you enter the world of adulthood. The dance world is so much bigger than your studio, competition routines, and conventions. At the end of the day, no one remembers or cares (especially your future employers) if you won a quadruple diamond platinum plus on your lyrical solo in 2016. They don't care about your first place overall at Showbiz. They don't care if you're Teen Miss Winner of the World. They don't care. What people do care about is your character, your heart, and how you made them feel.

Dancers, I will always support you. Whether you want to pursue a professional dance career in Los Angeles or New York City, in a company overseas, on your college dance team, I will support you. Whether you want to teach dance or choreograph locally in town, I will support you. Whether you don't want to dance at all and maybe be an engineer or a cosmetologist, I will support you. I will always fuel your dreams, goals, and desires, no matter where they'll take you.

I love you and I'm proud of you.


Your Dance Teacher

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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