Accessibility links

Breaking News

Are You Ready for Gyrotonics?

Dana Demange and Nancy Steinbach



Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.


I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

We play music by Roseanne Cash …

Answer a question about Asian food …

And report about a popular new kind of exercise.


An exercise method designed to stretch muscles and improve strength and balance is becoming popular in the United States. Faith Lapidus tells us more about Gyrotonics and the man who invented this special form of exercise.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Gyrotonics is a kind of exercise that combines the movements of dancing and swimming with the mental and physical practice called yoga. It helps lengthen muscles, improve balance, and exercise the joints, the parts of the body where bones are joined.

A Hungarian dancer named Juliu Horvath developed this special form of exercise. After he was injured dancing, Mister Horvath studied yoga intensely. In the nineteen eighties, he developed a new exercise method as a special kind of yoga to strengthen dancers.

Mister Horvath says that he based his method on the octopus, monkey and cat. He says these animals have no restrictions. They can move in any direction with control and strength. He designed the Gyrotonic movements to help the human body move more freely.

A special machine made of wood and weights helps guide the body through the many Gyrotonics exercises. You sit or lie on a flat board. You put your legs or hands through special cloth handles attached to a line with weights. With the tension created by the weights, you must try to move through the exercises.

Seven kinds of backbone movements form the base of Gyrotonics. For example, you can stretch your back to the left and right or forward and backward. While moving your back, you can also work on arm or leg motions. These movements must be done in a smooth way. Often the motions are circular.

When Juliu Horvath first developed Gyrotonics, he was the only teacher. He has since taught almost seventy master trainers. Now, there are more than eight hundred official schools in the world where you can learn Gyrotonics.

Ethnic Food

HOST: Our VOA listener question this week comes from Cambodia. Long Sothea asks if Americans enjoy eating in Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants.

The simple answer to the question is yes. Americans do enjoy eating in restaurants that serve foods of other nations. The American Restaurant Association says the popularity of ethnic food in the United States has greatly increased in the past ten years.

The Association says the three most popular kinds of ethnic foods in the United States are Chinese Cantonese, Italian and Mexican. Association officials say nine of every ten people in the United States have tried Chinese, Italian and Mexican food at least one time.

The most recent research about the number of restaurants offering ethnic food comes from the United States Economic Census of two thousand two. The census counted more than thirty-two thousand Chinese restaurants in the country. There were more than twenty-nine thousand Mexican restaurants. And there were more than twenty-two thousand Italian restaurants.

The American Restaurant Association says many ethnic foods are increasing in popularity. They include Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese sushi and Middle Eastern. American Restaurant Association research shows that fifty-three percent of Americans have eaten Japanese food. Twenty-six percent have tried Thai food. Nineteen percent have eaten Vietnamese food and sixteen percent of Americans have tried Korean food.

The Association says many people from these countries are settling in the United States and opening restaurants. And many older Americans are trying new kinds of foods they had not eaten before.

The Restaurant Association says Americans between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four are more likely than older people to eat ethnic food in restaurants quite often. It says younger people do not consider eating such foods to be different or experimental, just a normal part of what they usually eat.

Rosanne Cash

The singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash has been making music for more than twenty years. In her records she combines the sounds of country, rock and pop music. Her newest album is called “Black Cadillac.” It is an exploration of family memories, mourning, and letting go. Barbara Klein tells us more.

BARBARA KLEIN: Rosanne Cash has spent her life surrounded by music. Her father, Johnny Cash, and stepmother, June Carter Cash, were famous country music singers. Recently, both of these family members as well as Rosanne’s mother died within two years of each other. This album represents Rosanne Cash’s expression of her sadness about losing these loved ones. Here is “House on the Lake”. In this song Cash remembers the sights and sounds of the house where she lived as a child. She thinks about the voice of her father and how it has gone away.


Rosanne Cash says that in making this album she had to show a degree of restraint. She had to find the right balance between expressing her sadness while also making enjoyable music. Critics say this is a rich and expertly made album. Some critics have even said it is the best record of her long musical career.

Here is “World without Sound.” Rosanne Cash sings about her desire for clear answers in a world that can be very unsure.


We leave you with “I Was Watching You”. This song expresses the way that families care for each other over many years. It tells how love can survive everything, even death.



I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.

Our show was written by Dana Demange and Nancy Steinbach. Caty Weaver was our producer.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.