Friday, August 31, 2007


A change is in the air. The calendars say different things, but the beginning of the school year is a new year for most of us. The Jewish calendar puts the new year this month, on the new moon. The fall season starts with the 21st of the month. Astrologers mark the change to Libra at the same time.
Ballroom dancers will celebrate National Ballroom Dance Week. Cape Cod's event will be at Betsy's Ballroom September 14. MASSABDA will be at Moseley's on the 16th. Both feature Russian performers, specialists in Latin dances.
Do they inspire social dancers, or do they just entertain? Their level is beyond my aspiration.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Learning how to learn

Learning how to learn is a phrase of Mary French's. Worry or distraction, whatever is happening at home or work, a sense of self worth, and many other factors change a person and how a class works for them. In this way, mood has a lot to do with whether a person can pay attention. The right state of mind isn't always automatic, even with adults, even in class they have signed up for. It can sometimes be triggered by paying more money, making private ballroom dance lessons more valuable for both parties.
If just being with the teacher can trigger that state of mind, then a person has truly learned to learn.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Home Grown Tomatoes

Rivaling ballroom dance for a great sensation, my tomatoes are in.
Dozens of gorgeous, red, sweet potential dinners.
The Moosewood Cookbook gave me a potato/tomato salad.
I was too full for the fancy hors d'oeuvres at the Cape Cod Conservatory where I met the new director, Jeff Myers, and his wife, Debbie, who claims to have no sense of rhythm.(Darn!)
I discussed the floor with the custodian. That dance room has such wonderful acoustics, light, and mirrors that I fell in love with it again.
My old friend Betsy Reney will be an asset to the new team there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Looking at a couple working on their wedding dance, I was thinking over the ballroom dance maxim, "The gentleman shows off the lady, and the lady shows off the partnership," so I extended it in my mind to what the man is saying with his dance to the audience, "Isn't she beautiful?" She says, "Doesn't he take good care of me?"
It works especially well with the smooth dances, and expresses a nice sentiment for a wedding.
I went on to think of the other message we send when we dance, our happiness to be moving to music together, sharing our joy.
They worked for hours to make it look like they were just playing. Like most women today, she struggles to give up the lead. We wish them all the best and many years of joy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Salsa Harbor Cruise Boston

It was touch and go until we got over the bridge, but we made it to a lovely evening.
In the heat of the afternoon, before 3 PM, we had to make our decision - or else pay $5 more per person. Luckily, I had another lady who wanted to go, and not just a lady but Ali, my dancer daughter-in-law.
Off Cape traffic on a Sunday afternoon was tripled with the Air Show, so we went the most back road possible, County Road, Bourne.
Visiting the aging grandmother is always good.
I hate to jinx it, but the Big Dig seems to be working. Getting there was easy with the map from the website. Fanciest parking ever, 75 State Street, marble lobby, for only $12, plus we could have had our ticket validated for an extra $2 off if we'd remembered.
The harbor is easy enough to find. Look around - Buildings? no. Sky? yes.
Plenty of other cruises leave from the same wharf. I didn't check the price for say "Godzilla" speed boat, but ours was only $19.50.
The food looked very good for only $10 if we hadn't eaten with aforementioned aging g-ma. Next to the food and the bar, in an enclosed space, was the merengue/bachata/raggaeton room overly amplified with colored lights - your typical Latin club and dating bar.
Upstairs, salsa music played in the open air. Thin plywood (luan)was duct taped to the non-skid floor. Gorgeous young people did multiple turns next to older couples with wonderful musical sense. We were in between. Sam and Ali, who learned for their wedding, took a piece of luan off the main dance space to remember their moves.
Meanwhile, Boston is beautiful at night. We recognized many of the sights, people fishing off the Aquarium, Old Ironsides, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Customs House, the Zacum Bridge, and on and on. 3 airplanes on their way to land at Logan almost took off the observation deck.
Back at 10:30, we were offered free tickets to continue the party at Mojitos, but we preferred to be home by midnight.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fall Falmouth Night School

Falmouth Night School has me for Thursdays, starting the last week in September. The Basics are at 6:30 and Ballroom II, Latin is at 7:30; that is an intermediate ballroom dance class covering the Latin dances. Latin dances include Salsa as the faster version of the "diamond pattern" that Cha cha is part of. What we'll cover is whatever I can get the class to do, so it depends on who shows up. We'll start with Rumba and see how it goes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summer is going

"And she's gone..." Stevie Wonder sings.
Saying good-bye to summer is a lesson for us.
Time slips away no matter how we try to hold on.
We let go by recognizing our good choices, good times, good people.
The new season will bring new dancers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Choices

I should ask an astrologer about tonight. A Thursday with a bunch of dance things I would like to do, all free, and one that trumps them all.
4 Guys in Tuxes in Buzzards Bay at the gazebo by the railroad bridge.
James Montgomery at the barge in Boston Harbor.
An offer to usher for the dance performance on Martha's Vineyard.
Trump!A Klara Koenig memorial dance class at the Mary French Studio.
None are ballroom dance, but all would be active participation in my treasured art form. Klara died in December, and we have hardly had an opportunity to mourn. We hope this will be small and joyous.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gift certificates

Do you know most gift certificates are not redeemed? I'll give one for a free dance lesson to the Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers for the September National Ballroom Dance Week, but I bet I won't see it again. I won't be giving gift certificates as presents either!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writing about Dance

Any and all published writing should be carefully read for errors.
Specifically, the USA Dance magazine contains mistakes that make the meaning of the sentences unclear. We can be forgiving, like a "nice" English teacher, but since ballroom dancing is important to us, we want to understand.
"Rainer Ng, president of the ballroom team's president.." makes no sense. As a former English teacher, I know a careless rewrite when I see one.
In "A Judge's Perspective", several comma errors stopped me from a smooth read of an otherwise very good article.
As presentation is important in a routine, so grammar is important in a magazine. Copy editors are cheap.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Let's see, we've got the Sons of Italy and Betsy's Ballroom going head to head tonight. Meltones vs Doug and Kimberly McHugh. Well, there is the travel part. Two ends of the Cape, and summer is no time to be fighting traffic here. We are not used to city type traffic.
People talk about getting a calendar set that everybody could consult and not conflict. A nice idea. I wish it could work. Julie's email notices are probably the most effective communication I know, but they are about to end with her resignation from the board of Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers.(Hope she misses us.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Hey, I'm on the nominating committee for Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers Association. Expect to hear from us for several vacancies on the Board of Directors. The club has been growing. Martin Traywick, previous president, did a great job, and most recently, Vince and Julie Kraft have been working as a team. Love those email reminders! Speeches whenever needed!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So You Think 2007

The finale tonight, I think.
I'm impressed with how much ballroom dance there is. Well, they do insist on partnering, and ballroom is all about partnering.
Danny Tidwell, formerly of American Ballet Theater, the "Prince among Paupers", as the NY Times suggested? I didn't mind that Pasha went. I've seen so many Russian ballroom dancers that the others looked really fresher to me.
Of course I love how, when eliminated, they all say it was a wonderful experience.