From Dayton to Dublin: Local teen dancing in world championship

Published: Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

This Dayton teen is headed to Ireland to compete for a world championship in Irish dance.

From a distance, Chance Brough appears to be a normal teenager, and for the most part he is. 

What happens to make the Stivers School for the Arts senior a little different from most his age is he just happens to be a world-class competitor in Irish dance. But his friends and fellow students are certainly aware, sometimes asking the 17-year-old to show off some of his moves at school.

“I demonstrate to them occasionally,” Brough said. “It’s funny. People find out that I’m a dancer, and in the middle of the lunch room (they’ll say) ‘You should do some dancing right now so I can get some video!’”

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If Brough is ever fazed by the attention, he doesn’t show it. After all, he’s been training at the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance in Riverside and performing in front of thousands yearly since he was a small child. 

All that sweat and toil paid off last fall when Brough, while at the Mid-American Regional Championships in Chicago, qualified to compete in his age group in the world championships held by the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin, Ireland next month. 

>> MORE: Your guide to Dayton St. Patrick’s Day events in 2017

Chance Brough, a senior at Stivers School for the Arts, will compete in the world championships of Irish dance in Dublin, Ireland in April.(Jim Ingram)

“I had to work long and hard to get up into the preliminary championships. It’s a tough level to get up to, especially for me when I started off,” he said.

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Since the word has spread, Brough, who is also a gifted violinist and will continue his music education at Wright State University next fall, has been bolstered by both his teachers and peers.
“They’ve all been really supportive. I’m really happy that I have everyone (at the Celtic Academy),” Brough said. “It’s like a big family.” 

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In the meantime, between his schoolwork and performances, Brough is using whatever free time he has to rehearse his solo performance and hone his technique -- all while trying to handle the enthusiasm for what lies ahead.

“I’m excited because it’s a fun chance to go dance my heart out somewhere new and meet some new people. It’ll be interesting to go to Ireland,” he said. “I’m psyched for that.”


Socially Savvy: How I re-routined my day

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6:01 AM

Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit, some of us stuck in the same cage day in and day out. Let me ask you a question. From the minute your alarm goes off, what is your morning routine? It may be something along the lines of: wake up, shower, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, drive to work. Now within those few items, how often do you do the same thing? Every. Single. Day.

For example, do you brush your teeth in the same order every time? I do (bottom left, bottom middle, bottom right, top right, top middle, and top left). Do you put socks on before pants? How about that commute to work? Do you take the same exit, same road, at the same time everyday? It is kind of freaky how often we do the same thing over and over again.

Repetitiveness can lead to us to many things. Some find themselves in a rut and feel as though they are trapped and moving nowhere with their lives. Others may feel a loss of purpose and get lost in daily bean counting.

I admit, I do things over and over again, but I recognize when this starts to get dull and boring. That is when I make a change. You have to institute some change into your routine to help nurture your continued growth.  Here are some simple things you can do to re-routine your day.

Mix it up

Are you the type of person who hits the snooze alarm three times in the morning? I challenge you to try not hitting it once. Maybe wake up earlier and go for a walk to get the blood pumping and clear your mind. Do you eat a drive-thru breakfast on the way to work? How about cooking up a couple of eggs and maybe some fresh fruit? Take the same highway to work every day? Maybe get off a couple exits before your normal exit and find your way via the backroads. Break your daily mold!

Schedule the time

For me, what helped the most to complete tasks and goals faster was to schedule the time out on my calendar. Here is an example of my daily routine once I get to work.

  • 7:30am – 8:30am, Morning Prep
    • Get everything organized and ready for my day, as well as eat a quick bite
  • 8:30am – 9:15am, Social Media Schedule Out
    • Work on filling my Buffer accounts with items from content generated websites such as Feedly
  • 9:15am – 9:30am, Break & Walk Around
    • Take time to visit other folks in the office and say hi
  • 9:30am – 10:30am, Blog Prep & Maintenance
    • This is the time that I spend generating blog ideas, writing, and updating websites
  • 10:30am – 10:45am, Snack Attack
    • Eat a little snack to keep me going
  • 10:45am – 12:00pm, Department Work
    • Work on items within my department and work scope


The above schedule is just an example of my morning phase. I always have to keep in mind one word: flexibility. You will not be able to do the same thing every day, at the same time, uninterrupted. Be able to be flexible when it comes to your routine. Your routine, is simply the framework to help you stay on task and motivated.

Trial & Error

Just because you change something does not mean it will be perfect on the first try. What works on Mondays and Fridays may have a completely different feel on Tuesday and Thursdays. Don’t even get me started on the impact it would have on your Wednesdays. Once you create that routine you are not married to it. Tweak and change as you go to keep it working best for you.

What are your routines?  Do you do something special in your mornings or afternoons?


Local brewery helping put instruments in the hands of Dayton-area kids in need

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Brewing beer at Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia.

You can always feel good about donating your time, money and energy to a worthwhile cause. But when you can see that cause benefiting people in your area, it feels that much better.

Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia recently teamed up with Craft For Causes, an organization that works with the music industry for charitable causes. This year’s cause has been the Mr. Holland’s Opus Fondation — an organization that puts instruments in the hands of underprivileged children —in conjunction with the popular blues rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band

>>Local brewery targets historic Fairborn firehouse for 2nd location

Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia will feature two beers as part of National Beer Day.

Hairless Hare was selected to create a beer correlating with the group’s Wheels of Soul tour, which included a summer stop at Rose Music Center. The local brew masters proved worthy of the task, brewing up the Wheels of Soul Pineapple IPA, proceeds from which were put back into the charity. Those sales, and money raised from auctions, totaled $2,700. The best part about it? The money stays in the Dayton area. 

>> Hairless Hare Brewey snags 2 national gold medals

As if helping out local kids by buying tasty beer wasn’t enough, Hairless Hare customers were entered in a national contest to win cool prizes. Whether it was karma, luck or whatever, Doug Pietrzak of Troy won an electric guitar signed by the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

>>Dayton’s craft beer walking trail is growing

Area schools with day music programs interested in applying for a grant from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation can go here to see if they qualify.

Shape up your body and your mind at new downtown Dayton studio

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

A circuit-training catalyst class at WellSpace in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
A circuit-training catalyst class at WellSpace in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED

Working up a sweat and getting into shape are only part of the equation at WellSpace.

Downtown Dayton’s newest wellness studio — located at 116 N. Jefferson St. — is focused on balancing a healthy body, mind and spirit. 

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“We want to take a balanced approach to help people attain optimal health,” co-owner Matt Parente said. “We acknowledge that each individual’s balance is just as unique as they are, and we will meet you where you’re at.”

The 7,200-square foot downtown facility — which celebrates its official grand opening Friday — offers a wide array of classes from the quiet mindfulness of meditation and gentle yoga to the upbeat heart-pumping circuit training catalyst class. 

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“We want to be a one-stop hub to help people take better care of themselves,” Parente said. “The multiple offerings of each mind, body, spirit training found at WellSpace are designed to personalize your experience, and we have excellent instructors to guide you through each practice.”

Parente, a certified personal trainer, is an instructor himself, teaching yoga and pilates. There are currently 14 instructors, including life coaches and a spiritual mentor. 

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Co-owner Michael Boyd beams with pride as he surveys the transformation of the expansive, airy space that was once home to a far different business venture.

“I spent 30 years in advertising and marketing and the last few years running a tech company right here,” Boyd said. “I’m approaching a milestone age and I wanted to do something to make people feel good and live longer.” 

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Boyd enlisted the help of Parente — his personal trainer, turned partner — and the rest is history.

“The vision of WellSpace was to create a welcoming, clean, safe and peaceful escape from our busy lives,” Boyd said. “We will host many offerings that will enable our community to bring balance back to their lives.” 

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In addition to a seven-day schedule of classes, WellSpace will also host workshops and seminars including an upcoming Healthy Living Workshop on Saturday at 6 p.m. and a Health and Spirituality Workshop on Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. Both events are free. The co-owners are also open to designing specialty classes.

“We know there are many different ways to move, think and feel,” Boyd said. 

>> New record store opening in downtown Dayton

Boyd and Parente, both native Daytonians, are looking forward to making their mark in the revitalized downtown community.

“We’re incredibly excited to jump into the mix of all this energy flooding into downtown,” Parente said. 

>> The amazing ‘Crystal City’ in downtown Dayton is a must-see

“The city is revitalizing all around us, and it’s exciting to be a part of it,” Boyd said.


When: Friday, 5 p.m.

Where: 116 N. Jefferson St., third floor

What: Live music, sketch portraits, demonstrations and refreshments at Downtown Dayton’s newest wellness studio

More: call 937-718-0180 or visit

Easy dishes every college student can make for dinner

Published: Sunday, September 17, 2017 @ 1:39 PM

Mornings can be rough so we want to make eating healthy easy. Here are 5 breakfast ideas that are extremely nutritious and delicious.

College is full of challenges, what with having only four years to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

It also can be tough on parents, who often not only have to help pay for their kids’ higher education but also must feed and house them in the process.

It’s a bit of relief when college students finally move out of the dorms with their expensive meal plans, and into an apartment where they can make their own meals for much cheaper. Or at least that’s the plan until reality sets in.

After going to classes, possibly working part time, doing homework, volunteering with student organizations and maintaining an active social life (it’s college, after all) there’s just not a lot of time for cooking. So when your kid no longer can use a meal swipe for lunch or dinner, it’s tempting for her to fill up on fast food and fulfill late-night cravings with artery-clogging goodies from the local convenience store.

But there are easy ways for your child to incorporate cooking into his or her schedule — and it’s cheaper and healthier, too.

» Beans: The Super Food that Keeps You Full

They’re bound to have a box of noodles and a few stray packages of soy sauce from takeout Chinese. Why not add a few green vegetables and sliced chicken breast to create classic lo mein noodles? They don’t even need a wok — any decent saute pan will work, and the dish comes together in minutes.

Bread is another college apartment staple, and when the slices are buttered and then soaked in a mixture of eggs and milk, topped with shredded cheese and baked, it transforms into a satisfying casserole that can be cut into squares for a grab-and-go breakfast or late-night snack.

Skillet enchiladas are easier still, and after wolfing them down for dinner, the microwavable leftovers will be a welcome alternative to that MTO sandwich for lunch the next day.

In choosing recipes for college kids, convenience and speed is of the essence. A dish can’t require any hard-to-find ingredients, and it has to go from stove to table in short order. For a generation that’s tuned into social media, it also helps if the food make for a great photo. Or as my daughter Olivia put it, is “Insta worthy.”

» No More Bland Diet Food!

In that vein, we offer below some quick and easy recipes that even reluctant first-time cooks will easily master.



PG tested

This easy recipe is simple to adapt to your favorite fillings. For a Tex-Mex omelet, substitute pepper Jack cheese for the cheddar and minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce for the mustard; if you’d rather go Italian, use Mozzarella and add 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

3 slices unsalted butter, softened

10 slices hearty white bread

12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)

8 large eggs

3 cup whole milk

1 small onion, grated

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon hot sauce or more to taste

Grease 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Spread butter evenly over 1 side of bread slice, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Scatter half of bread evenly in prepared dish and sprinkle with half of cheddar. Repeat with remaining bread and cheese.

Whisk eggs, milk, onion, salt, pepper, mustard and hot sauce together in bowl until well combined. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread and press lightly on bread to submerge. Wrap dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap casserole and bake until puffed and golden, about 1 hour. Serve immediately.

» McDonald’s rolls out the ‘frork,’ a utensil made of fries

Makes 8 servings.

— “The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen (July 2017, $29.95)


PG Tested

Why order takeout when this classic noodle dish is so easy to make at home? While the recipe calls for fresh lo mein noodles, you can easily substitute fettucine or linguini pasta; I used fat egg noodles.

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon corn starch

3 tablespoons cooking oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

11/2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger

1/2 pound chicken breast or thigh, thinly sliced

3 cups fresh lo mein noodles

1/4 pound baby bok choy, bottoms removed

3 scallions, cut into 11/2-inch pieces

To make sauce, stir together oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, chicken stock and corn starch in a small bowl.

Heat the pan to high and add the cooking oil. Once you see wisps of smoke, add garlic and ginger and cook until light brown and fragrant, about 20 seconds.Stir in the chicken and cook until medium, about 1 minute.

Stir in the sauce; allow the sauce to coat all the ingredients and start to simmer, about 1 minute more. Add noodles and bok choy and toss to coat.

Cook until chicken is cooked through (about 1 minute more) and sauce starts to bubble into a glaze. Top with scallions and serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6.

— “101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: by Jet Tila (Page Street Publishing, June 2017, $21.99)


PG tested

My daughter was so excited to eat this cheesy dish. And talk about easy. It took less than 10 minutes to prepare in a cast-iron skillet.

12 corn tortillas, cut into bite sized pieces

3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken

10-ounce can diced tomato with chili

10-ounce can red enchilada sauce

8-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 cup grated cheddar, divided

1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack, divided

1/2 avocado, sliced thin

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat the pan over medium heat.

Add the corn tortillas and cooked chicken to the pan and cook until heated through, stirring often.

Pour the undrained tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and tomato sauce into the pan with 1/4 cup of each cheese. Stir to combine well. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, top with the avocado and cilantro before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.



PG tested

These no-bake cookies hit the sweet spot with an addictive mix of chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallow. They’re sticky, but no problem — you’ll want to lick your fingers.

6 cups cornflakes

1 cup mini marshmallows

1 cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup creamy peanut butter

Place cornflakes, marshmallows and chocolate chips in a large bowl.

Combine sugar and corn syrup in a nonstick pot over medium-low heat. When sugar has dissolved, add peanut butter, stirring to combine.

Pour peanut butter mixture over cornflakes and stir to combine. Quickly drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto waxed paper.

Let cookies cool and set for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

— Adapted from “Halfway Homemade: Meals in a Jiffy” by Parrish Ritchie (The Countryman Press, $24.95)