Mitch’s Travel: DWTS champion Karina Smirnoff to headline ‘Cruising with the Stars’ in June

Karina Smirnoff

Karina Smirnoff, “Dancing with the Stars” celebrity dance pro and Season 13 champion, will join Cruising with the Stars, a new dance-focused fan cruise that launches June 3-10, 2012, from Los Angeles for a 7-day excursion to the Mexican Riviera, aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s ship The Splendor.  Ports of call are Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
It’s truly a red carpet affair for this inaugural cruise from Cruising with the Stars, which headlines Smirnoff, who will be offering all levels of dance and fitness classes on board the ship and inviting both dancers and fans to join her for a full week of celebration following the upcoming DWTS Season 14 – including nightly CWTS cocktail and dance parties, personal Q&A and celeb photo sessions, excursions on shore, all culminating with a spectacular professional dance show.
On Cruising with the Stars, Smirnoff joins six of America’s champion professional dance instructors and performers such as Sharon Savoy and Mike Tuttle, Jamie Bayard and Bonnie Marie, and Enio Cordoba and Terryl Jones.

“Cruising with the Stars will set a new standard in dance cruise excursions.  Add the rare opportunity to join one of America’s hottest dance celebrities – DWTS’s Karina Smirnoff – for a full week of unmatched dance instruction and exhilarating performances, and it’s a formula for success,” said event organizer and hosts Sharon Savoy and Mike Tuttle in a news release.     
Smirnoff is especially looking forward to the time off to meet fans personally and work with dancers. In addition to the unprecedented nearly 60 hours of dance instruction offered on board ship, there will be a limited opportunity to take private lessons with Smirnoff, as well as the other master level instructors.
Cruising with the Stars is open to the general public, but cruisers should make reservations right away since the block of cabins are expected to book quickly.  Both dancer and non-dancer rates are available. To participate in the CWTS program and activities, all cabin reservations must be made through official travel agent Travel Themes And Dreams of Hallandale, Fla., at toll-free (800) 706-0049, at (786) 393-5854 for those outside of the USA, or online at

Beans-n-Frank creators elevate academic enrichment through catchy hip-hop beats

Teaching with hip-hop isn’t a new idea, but it has never been done as cool as Beans-N-Frank. They are the cartoon kids who rap lessons over hard-hitting hip-hop beats. The lyrics are as catchy and memorable as Sesame Street songs, but the music sounds like tracks from your favorite radio jam. We make music that the entire family can enjoy.
Our creators, Mark Davis and David Washington are veteran teachers with over 22 years of classroom experience between them, and even more experience as hip-hop artists. Davis and Washington are the hosts who join the mascot characters on stage for live performances that involve a lot of rapping, dancing, fact reviews, and “edutainment” at its finest. The combination makes for products and performances that are much more relevant and exciting than what can usually be found amongst children’s entertainers, yet the content reinforces skills that are critical for academic enrichment.
We offer the following services: 
– Live Performances 
– Curriculum Supplements 
– Remediation (for Groups of All Sizes) 
– Song Personalization 
– Gang/Bully Prevention Training 
– Birthday Parties/Special Events 
– Fundraisers
Our recorded music and live presentations reinforce the skills that align with the following Common Core State Standards recognized and adopted by most educational systems in the U.S.:
(Elementary Grades)
•Print concepts 
•Phonological awareness 
•Know number names and the count sequence 
•Count to tell number of objects 
•Compare numbers 
•Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from. 
•Identify and describe shapes 
•Phonics and word recognition 
•Add and subtract within 20 
•Tell and write time 
•Work with time and money 
•Comprehension and collaboration

For more information on Beans-n-Frank, go to

The Zuits return on Friday, April 23, 2010, to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Tulsa’s jazz, Latin and Blues ensemble The Zuits will return at 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2010, to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame‘s Depot, 111 E. First Street (Upper Level) in Tulsa, OK. Dance lessons start at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. 
For more information, call (918) 281-8600. Participants may also buy tickets at the door, which will open at 6:30 p.m.
The extra large dance floor will be rolled out, so participants need to wear dancing shoes and come enjoy the ensemble!  

Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC INC.) presents Ailey II in Midwest City

Ailey II (an Alvin Ailey Company) will perform at Rose State Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 18. Ailey II, one of the country’s best young dance talents, exudes spirit, energy, passion and creative vision.
Ailey II began in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, when Alvin Ailey initiated a workshop composed of the most promising scholarship students from the Ailey School. The original members of the company were handpicked by Mr. Ailey. Ailey II embodies Mr. Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people. Today, Ailey II has become one of the most popular dance companies in the United States.
Anita Arnold, executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. in Oklahoma City, said this will be the third time in 20 years that the company has performed in Oklahoma City. “We are looking forward to their usual vividly, electrifying dance performance as we open our 2009-10 season of performing arts,” Arnold said.
Tickets are on sale at the Civic Center box office, 201 N Walker Ave., Oklahoma City, and Rose State box office, located off Interstate 40 at Hudiburg Drive in Midwest City.
For more information, call BLAC, Inc. at (405) 524-3800 or the Civic Center box office at (405) 297-2264. Tickets are $50, $40, $30, and $20. Special discounts are available for seniors, students and groups. The performance is generously sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council.