Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jamaican Night

We finally made it to Friday's Jamaican Night at Coonamesset Farm, the last one until next summer. A perfect night, cooler than the tropics, but plenty warm enough for dancing to the singer with a steel drum and the ever-present back-up machine. In the summer, Wednesday Jamaican Nights are just as crowded, but I am always at the Mary French Studio on Wednesdays.
The farm operates with grants, so the big pavilion is very well built. I hear people don't always dance, but last night, there was only room on the floor when a huge Conga line took off to snake between tables.
The $18 entrance paid for a buffet with plantains, sweet potato pudding, corn, and much more. Pork and chicken are grilled while you wait and served with Jerk sauce. Ginger beer, ice tea, coffee and tea can be supplemented by your own beer or wine.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


More adventures in Boston. Joe's mother, returning from a trip, lives very close to Moseley's in Dedham, so we went up for the night. Meltones were the band, so we were greeted by Rick Medieros, who calls me Helen. I liked the line dancing, with variations on the Kenny Rogers Waltz, and on the Sex on the Beach Mambo. I don't know the Bossa Nova line well enough to spot any changes.
What a beautiful floor! Maple is so smooth, and the pillars add style to the edge.
We were not the youngest there because a young woman was there with her grandfather. We weren't even the showiest or the tallest, but we were up there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dance vs Gym

Fitness doesn't have to be pursued at a gym. Looking at the floppy, "deceptively weak" model on DWTS, I remember that I get my strength without machinery.
My fellow ballroom dancers didn't seem to catch my enthusiasm, and the summer experiment, Body Conditioning for Ballroom Dancers, is over.
The stretch class at Turning Pointe Studio is back putting dance and fitness together for me.
Pilates is the answer for people who need posture improvement.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Having gone off Cape Friday, we picked the closest and easiest place for live music and dance, Grumpy's in Falmouth.
Buzzards Bayou features the husband and wife team of Amy and Jonathan Larkin on fiddle and accordion, onetime ballroom dance students. Dedicated musicians, they were joined by a drummer, a guitar, and Glenway Fripp on bass to put out a great sound.
Dancers I ususally see doing ballroom dances were nice to look at. One couple spent some time in New Orleans and another attends local Cajun nights with lessons.
Joe always sneaks in Salsa anytime the beat goes quick quick slow, and a blues song makes Swing legal even though Cajunized.
Boy, that cement floor was a sad contrast to Swingstep, especially when Joe leads the quick turns, and I have to walk them around.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blues Cafe at Springstep, Medford

Great space! Very conveniently just off 93 in Medford. Smooth sprung floor, great for ballroom dancing.
Blues Cafe was a young crowd mostly, but some of us older folks scattered in, dance lovers all. The music by the Solomon Douglas Trio and the recorded music was not Blues, but Swing music with a lot of Foxtrot that they all danced Swing to, so Foxtrot was impossible to navigate. More Lindy dancers than West Coast. A few Argentine Tango people who use the space on other days, doing their Argentine Tango to anything. During a break, what must have been the formation team did some sweet Charleston in a circle. We squeezed in a Cha cha.
A few little tables more for looks. Most people just stood or danced the whole time. Free MandMs, peanuts and jellybeans. Refillable water bottles. There should have been some teens there since it was alcohol free.
An easy hour and a half, if traffic is okay, which it was on Friday evening. That's a long drive, so my plan was to stay at his mother's, but Joe gets bored with just Swing, no alcohol, and that style of music, so he talked me into leaving early and drove us home.

Friday, September 21, 2007

3rd Friday choices

Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers are back in the Hyannis Senior Center with Steve and DeeDee teaching Mambo.
Joe and I will go to Springstep in Medford. This new (2003) arts building supports the dance community with a Blues Cafe for swing dance. I love to look at how people set things up.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Elbow macaroni! Ladies! Have you been accused of spaghetti arms? It's mostly your elbow that allows the arm to flop around, so I thought of extending the metaphor. However, elbow macaroni actually holds its shape even when cooked.
Too bad there isn't arm shaped pasta, all the way to the wrist. The delicacy of dry spaghetti could also be a hint those with too strong an arm. Gentlemen, don't break the light hold she keeps on herself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Our ephemeral art form captured. I'm actually not that fond of being camera man. I see things better outside the square. But I did a lot of filming this weekend and now the machines that allow me to share are showing their quirks.
The VCR used to be Vague Chance of Recording. Now what's the DVD-R?
No, really I did a fine job. Volunteer work can be a learning time. I sent copies to the performers, and a montage will be on local access cable channels all over Cape Cod in February after I finish filming for the year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dance Teachers Club of Boston

The International competitor Rita Gekhman had us in the palm of her hand yesterday. Style first and foremost. She had very specific instructions as to achieving the look for the dances she covered. The figures were quite simple, but we left exhausted from the effort of maintaining the stance for an hour at a time in Samba, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Cha cha. Some stayed in the area for the MASSABDA National Ballroom Dance Week celebration at Moseley's, but I have yet to process the film from our own night.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

National Ballroom Week 2007

Another set of terrific showcases arranged by Steve and DeeDee Burke. As official videographer of the event, I got thanks all around. They will get DVDs of the performance, and I hope they will be as happy as we were. I know any time I look at video of myself, I am appalled.
The senior competitors we saw were Linda and Skip Ronan. The youth competitors we saw were Allen Rudman and Michelle Tuzman, and Sasha Keych and Mike Shaponick.
Michael's grandmother is our beloved local dancer, Anne O'Brien. My only regret of the evening is I did not catch the young performer in a Waltz with his grandmother.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Obbini Tumbao

At our urban connection, Boston, Obbini Tumbao is going to be a destination. After hearing them on the radio, we would like to go the Regatta Bar tomorrow, but its the same date as our local National Ballroom Dance Week Celebration at Betsy's Ballroom. Sometime, we will see this salsa band play for dancers. The band leaders are inspired by dancing; they became musicians in order to encourage people to dance.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I keep trying to bring in the youth. Our activity is perfect for them, but they need their own group, and it's not us. I had a nice couple of teens on Saturday. They said they'd be back, but I've heard that before. The school didn't find the time this year so far, but I'll keep on plugging.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pinehills Concert

We were glad we made it to the Jazz and Blues concert at Pinehills in Plymouth. Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish were the draw for us, and he was in fine form. We bought his CD with that great ballad "Sloop John B."
Then Katherine Russell was terrific, really connected to the crowd with jazz standards and blues. We ate up "Kitchen Man".
Coco Montoya was not familiar to me, though he was the headliner and used to play with Clapton.I was thinking Latin Jazz, but it was rockin' blues, and by then we danced.
The people were bouncing in their seats, but mostly too self conscious to stand up. Maybe if there were a dance floor. I've contacted the organizers.
The Sagamore flyover did nothing for the Cape side traffic on a cloudy Sunday. If we'd just taken the Bourne Bridge, traffic would have been minimal.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Clayton Fuller is 90 years young, an accomplished sculptor and a music and dance lover.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Grumpy's, Falmouth

We might go to Grumpy's after the Conservatory. Here's what it looks like.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I'm slotted to teach Bolero this evening in West Yarmouth. The slowest Latin dance, this one still belongs to the Americas; the Brits and Russians have not taken it over, yet, but it has changed in traveling from its origins in Cuba. I'll throw in as much style as possible because what else is there?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fabulous Fall

This new season has brought people out of their shells. The phone is ringing, and the email is humming. I'm teaching every day this week. Finally.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Salsa Night Band

The excellent musicians known as Salsa Night Band have a leader here, living in Centerville. We were honored to be invited to his Labor Day party, and those guys played beautifully. I guess he was only kidding when he said, "Bring your dancing shoes," because the set up was on a grassy hill under trees. Then a neighbor decided the music was too loud, which it was not, and invoked the law about live music after dusk. It's been a dream of ours to promote the Latin music, but it's not easy.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Time and tasks

The Celebration is sold out two weeks early. I won't be able to promote the beautiful, young, hardworking Russians' show. I have to film, which reminds me: I owe a copy to the Paris Academy people. I'm pretty sure I did one for Peter and Mila. Time stretches out to allow me to do a lot of activities in the winter, but the time to get it done might have slipped by, the task snagged on equipment failure.