Friday, August 15, 2008

Glamour Addiction

I just read straight through The Glamour Addiction,a PhD thesis in book form, by Juliet McMains, Harvard grad who did a stint at a Fred Astaire studio, competed as a pro, and analyzes her obsession.
She contends that the dynamic with class, racial, and sexual differences forms the core of the appeal of the Exotic Other.
Making money at ballroom dance works with competitions, but the rules stifle creativity.
Mostly discouraged, she has a few positive comments. "I believe that the exhilaration of movement and the experiences of freedom, release, presence, connection, and euphoria that dance generates are its most sincere gifts." (p.9)
After working with high school students, she says, "I believe that students should learn both how to fulfill their expected gender roles and how to counter them." (p.195)

Monday, August 4, 2008

My night out

I do love the conservatory nights, especially followed by George Gritzbach at Grumpy's, and this time I had all day to prepare. I've been home a lot this summer, taking my mother-in-law on outings.
Joe was a tuna fisherman all day, so he didn't bring the energy.
By the way, it's now 8:30 AM. All those entries marked at 5 AM are just weirdness. Is because it's 5:30 in CA when it's 8:30 here? My sister looked at my blog and that's all she noticed, so I'll time it at the top from now on. Not that I'm here all the time any more.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Laziness? or Stretched 6 Ways to Sunday?

My regular stretch class is usually so full, but I'm the only regular these last few weeks. It gives me hope that I could get one going myself one day, as long as I don't try to start in the summer. Mary French told me so, but tried it anyway because I wanted the summer activity last year. This fall I can try again with better timing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beach Dance Party

2nd annual Beach Party at the Sons of Italy was very well attended. Madame Prez, Dawn, is taking her classes with Toastmasters seriously and gave a nice speech.
The Dave Burbank Orchestra performed a gorgeous Rumba of "Siboney". I have to say their West Coast Swing was sort of shaky. That style remains on the border with ballroom dancers, though West Coast Swing dancers would put us beyond the fringe. They do no other dance, even if the music shouts Cha cha or Foxtrot, and the strict arrangement of the dance floor precludes a line of dance or circular steps.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kids at Conservatory

Only 3 kids signed up. It was expensive, I thought, but those parents didn't seem to mind, and thanked me for holding the class anyway. We had a great time for 4 days, 4 and 1/2 hours.
12-year-old Will Wright was my biggest fan from the Waldorf class in April. Annie is extremely serious about dance at 9 years old. They were joined by 12-year-old Olivia from Framingham, visiting her grandmother. Salsa, Swing, and a touch of the other dances. How many ways can you use the box step!
The Conservatory wants me to offer a fall kids class. Hey, why not? They'll advertise it. At worst, nobody will sign up.
And in the mornings, how about a Seniors' Assisted Living Outing? Line dances, partner dances, a bit of video, and snacks.
They are to set up a roll-up rubberized job for the ballet students on pointe and refinish the wood floor YAY! No more rosin! If I do all my stuff on Tuesdays, the rubber can be rolled up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The cicadas are a Chinese symbol of transformation, and we had quite the dose of cicadas. At Arts Alive, I bought a jade cicada, remembering that I began teaching in night school that year, 1991. Will this year's transformation be as easy as my new status as grandmother?
With a lighter schedule for me at the Mary French Studio, I can see what the summer brings.
We had 10 days of too much company. Joe's brother, wife, and their unfriendly boys stay next door, but the house does not have cable TV or internet connection. I took days to recover. Now, in the peaceful quiet, Joe thinks of how nice it is to share our beautiful spot.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Arts Alive Falmouth 2008

Gotta talk about the terrific event this year, better than last year (no rain). Judy and Roger Day organized it and he pushed for Town Dance again. Stage Door Canteen really put on a show. Joe and I were late (windsurfing), and the dance floor was empty, upsetting Judy & Roger, but I told them it is nice for the band to have the audience before they get obscured by dancers. Even Joe was put off by the emptiness, saying it would be like a performance. Luckily Dan Palanza was there, and he doesn't care about an audience. Then many swing dancers stood up, including my students. Joe's point is also that we might intimidate town dancers. The floor got very full by the end.
Floor was "fast", AKA a bit slippery, though there were metal connectors. Very expensive. I told the Days I would try to get them a better floor cheaper (Dawn & Linda!)
Also excellent crafts and happy crafts people as they did not have to pay $200 like the Main Street Fair.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

George Gritzbach

He's opening for BB King! July 31 and August 1, and we'll see him August 2 at Grumpy's!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I figured out how to print up my blog, so I can keep last year's entries as a journal. One year as of yesterday: time to re-evaluate, erase the old entries, and write less frequently. I seem to have only two faithful readers - Hi, Mike and Dawn! Anybody else out there?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dress Rehearsal

Friday is a crazier day at the middle schools, so the Morse Pond Follies dress rehearsal was maybe chaotic, but the organizer was okay with that, and the kids calmed down when they needed to.
The first time on stage is a major learning time for the teacher, when you get to see what you taught them!
I got short rehearsal in just before lunch to tell my fifth graders a few things.
8:45 Monday morning is the first performance. I'll be there.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Brain Space

When I start to think about spaces for dance, like the upcoming tented wedding at my parents' house, I can just feel the right side of my brain trying to engage. But it has to wait for the left side to get the work done. How big will the dance floor be? Are you going to be able to move enough stuff out of your mother's junk rooms to make people comfortable?
Now I wonder about the right and left sides of my body, controlled by those opposite hemispheres of the brain. The left side of my back is weak, according to two chiropractors. Debra Babcock got my left shoulder nice, but it took six months, so I went to Lisa Esperson yesterday for my left knee. The good news is it isn't the meniscus.
I am to go for long walks with comfortable strides. It's raining, so I'll try some back exercises from my Pilates book.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dress codes

USA Dance tells us judges will monitor pre-teen skirt layers, circles, and slits in Standard dancing, which seems good. Dancing with the Stars has done too much of those slits for the gowns in my opinion, making them sexier, though I understand it for prime time TV.
How about addressing the Latin outfits for teens? Our Massachusetts (Newton) couple, Allen Rudman and Michelle Tuzman, were over the top according to Ashly DelGrosso-Costa, and she was part of Dancing with the Stars. She liked their dancing, but she was dressed like a Las Vegas showgirl (minus the feathered hat), and he had a wild pattern on his pants.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wianno Club

A lovely space, filled with dancers.
Mary French, back from Florida, said, "It's so good to see people just dancing to a good band." Florida studios stay in business because of the single ladies, with male teachers who dance them around the floor for parties. It's a nice ride, so the service is admirable, providing exercise and sociability along with recorded music. They pay for private lessons as well.
I got another call like that from a lady who found a nice studio in Florida, and she's back here with her couch potato husband, languishing. I suggested Zumba. You have to provide your own power.
Maybe marriage counseling, if the husband would even do that.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

DanceSport on Comcast

Not "On Demand" I hoped the cable feature would work for me, but no.
Your chance to see the piece with Ashley DelGrosso's commentary will replay on channel 188 June 7 at 8 PM. It was very nicely done. They followed one couple through each dance and Ashley had intelligent comments that did not interfere with my enjoyment, unlike Ron Montez's on PBS.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Comcast is everywhere. And that Comcast channel CN8, locally channel 188, switches from infomercials to broadcast USADanceSport championships at 3:30. Allan Rudman and Michelle Tuzman, who danced in Yarmouth, will be a part, so I will record it to show my 5th grade. They saw the local video, now they can see the same dancers in the big show. I can have a farewell session after dress rehearsal on Friday.
How many videos can I save?
I'll need the B.Organized lady if I don't watch out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Just got my first emailed song - Michael Buble's "Everything" - to be classified as a swing for the wedding of Jeannie and Trent.
Amazing how easy music sharing is. We made it so in our computers as in our brains.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

World Salsa Champion

Disney World. Does Disney own ESPN?
Many dancers were rather amateur, including third place brother and sister LA act specializing in speedy moves, to the exclusion of variation in their routine.
Winners for a threepeat were Russian via Australia. Another Russian couple did not place, though they were seeded third and had more control than the Puerto Ricans.
Anyway, in the introduction, some dancer said, "Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing." Don't you wish it was true!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Marching in time

My first Memorial Day parade in decades. Interesting to see a drummer seeming to beat his drum with the band, yet march to a different beat. How could you do that? I don't think I want him in my dance class.
I know I was in marching band, but I don't remember it at all. I guess I didn't think. Just do as you are told and thinking is not necessary.
My family are free thinkers with some Attention Deficit Disorder members. I was called "Sheep dog" as a girl because I would try to herd them along to the designated activity. Of course, I hated the name, but if I quit, nothing could happen.
I believe those skills serve me as a dance teacher, especially the ones where you back off for a while.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer Swing

Will it be videotaped?
Our first Falmouth "Stars" dancing at Highfield!
Mindy Todd wouldn't mind. Dr. Robert Wilsterman thinks not, but his wife says she'll put one of the kids on it.
$100 per ticket, but "Swinging into Summer" means not as dressy, so I'm going with white chiffon lined pants and whatever goes with it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Flamenco dance

My teacher, Kati Garcia-Renart will be in town.
Cape Cod Dance Center will put some ballet students in the class.
"Flamenco is a passionate dance form with a rich cultural backround. Many professional ballet schools have recognized the importance of the technique for upper body strength and expressiveness."
Saturday May 31st, 3:30 to 5:30pm
Sunday June 1st, 1 to 3pm
Register early by calling the studio at 508-564-6165

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Television Without Pity

I recommend the website where they outsnark the snark. Their reviewer watches every moment of Dancing with the Stars and loves it like I do, seeing the faults all the time. She keeps track of gossip as well, though she didn't mention that Marissa, after a hysterectomy, is expecting through a surrogate mother. I heard something so I had to go to Also, Tony's wife, Lisa will have twins soon.
Coming up is "So You Think You Can Dance" where young talent tries out ballroom dance along with every other style of dance ever invented. I may have to figure out the VCR on the rec room set. I can't go on commandeering the living room TV where the cable box is the only gateway to reception.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


That was a long show. I prefer to watch fewer than 2 hours of dancing.
Several people, not just Kristi and Mark, emphasized that a woman had to win, which was probably the producers' the idea of getting Kristi on the show.
Now they can go back to whatever reasons it was that men have been winning. More men are athletic and athletes dance better. Or people expect less out of men as dancers.
And the men who vote for their favorite female pro might see Julianne win again.
I'll be happy because having men win may encourage more men to dance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

DWTS late

Well, my guys didn't realize turning off the cable box would give me a blank VCR tape. I recorded over the last episode of "So You think You Can Dance" with blackness.
But never fear! is here!
Loved that 3 in a row Cha cha. Loved Kristi's dress as well as her fabulous energetic dancing.
Surely she is the winner and I'm sorry to have it be over and we don't see her again.
Mary French knew Mark Ballas and Julianne Hough were partners, students of his mother, the incomparable Shirley Ballas.
Jason's freestyle was perfectly executed and worthy of a 30 except that Kristi was even better. Edyta seemed thrilled to be on top of the world in those eight foot lifts.
Christian was also gorgeous and should have left out some of the lifts because lifts aren't all that great anyway unless they are the best you can accomplish like Jason.
Anyway, the award is tonight. May it bring more people to the studio!

Monday, May 19, 2008


I suppose if I'd had a girl child, she would have been in a dance recital and I would have liked it. As it is, my general dislike of ballet is compounded by the teacher's choice of music and the performers' lack of skill. They are up there for their three minutes no matter what.
In contrast, I watch my ballroom students take their steps out on the ballroom dance floor and cheer them on in my mind. I don't have to dwell on their form. I just notice them with affection and watch a new couple, more skilled, glide by, and behind them my old friends still going strong.
The upcoming granddaughter may change my mind for me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Big Night?

We have two big dances coming up on Sunday night, tonight and in two weeks. I see they are popular in Rhode Island, so is it a trend? Usually Cape Cod is behind the trend. Cheaper to get the hall. Easier to get out of other commitments with non-dancers. Only thing is the sometime/reluctant dancers who don't want to go out on a school/work night. Maybe the club can do a survey/research project.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cha cha

Cha cha is a wonderful and easy dance, once people get the basic, not one to just come to and try to figure out the dance from a showy step. I'm afraid the ladies who showed up for the first time last night at CCBD's Friday Hyannis dance didn't learn how to dance. Hopefully they came away with some ideas about how and where they might get the instruction they needed.
The offering from Steve and DeeDee Burke would look good on Roy and Marcia, but the coordinated head movement was just too cute for Joe Brodsky. Also, though leadable, it doesn't have the look or feel of a social step.
We'll file that one away in the "possible formation" file.

Friday, May 16, 2008


As the trees outside my window fill with leaves, people are getting ready for a change. The bloom of summer will set the children free of school, teachers and parents making adjustments. Snowbirds are back.
The studio often gets an entirely different crowd, summer people in another frame of mind.
How can we give the summer a special flavor?
At my age, the challenge is to find something other than cooking and eating. The garden is good, as long as it isn't all about food.
I'm offering Flamenco at the Conservatory. The Body Conditioning I tried last year must have seemed too much like work.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DWTS semi-final

Part of my blue Monday involved forgetting to record DWTS, so I watched it on the little computer screen yesterday. It doesn't come up until the afternoon, so I voted without watching, usually a no-no, but this time I was sure who I wanted to see again.
The judges must have agreed. For the results show, we saw again Kristi's tango, though it was hectic; Len was right. That was Mark Ballas' fault, wanting to show off her fast footwork. My husband, taking a rare moment off from sports, said, "It's not fair to call her an amateur."
But how else is a woman going to win unless she is an Olympic gold figure skater? Even with that, has Kristi gotten more than one 30?
Anyway, I'm mulling over the reason the women can't win on that show. The New Yorker article cited expectations. Women are expected to know how to dance. Men are accepted for whatever they can do.
Some have suggested the women get compared to the professional women, which certainly doesn't seem fair, and didn't happen to Marissa. But neither was Marissa going to win.
Then there's the other thing my husband said, "Edyta should win. She's been on every show." (I think Edyta just loves the TV spotlight.) People vote for their favorite pros, who are Cheryl and Julianne, not Louis or Maks. Tony is the favorite male pro, so there's another reason for Marissa to stay as long as she did.
It's been a good long ride, and people are taking more about it than ever.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday Blues

Yesterday just didn't seem to work smoothly. Was it the weather or the alignment of the stars? But you can't give up.
I did when the Ice Cream Social for Chorus invaded the cafeteria next to where I work with the 5th grade kids. They can't just dance when people would be watching. I know they're getting ready for a show, but they aren't there yet. And no one else is putting on a show. When I tried letting a few practice with me, the rest began acting like they were out on recess. So I took them back to their room.
Then as I was packing up, the Ice Cream Social vanished, and we would have had time to practice after all.
I could have asked how long they would be there!
I could have had a dance video ready!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Let's all sit back and say Hi! to MOM!!!
So far at 10:30 AM, I got a card, an email card and an "Oh yeah, it's Mother's Day."
I did a batch of flower planting for Joe's mother and will call my own mother when I finish dancing.
The Sol Y Canto Mother's Day show last night was disappointing. Was the band uninspired by the number of babies in the audience? would the 10:00 show be better? Not even a tiny dance floor set up. We got to hear the 12 year old twin daughters sing. Regatta Bar. Oh well, we were in Boston anyway for his mother.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cicadas & Rhubarb

Since the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, their first sight of these cicadas was in 1634. Since then, they have hatched 22 times. 22 birthdays. Are they young?
The rhubarb is up so we should see them soon, and we could make rhubarb and cicada pie. If we were hungry enough.
Africans enjoy eating insects.
Anyway, I did make Rhubarb Betty for the first time ever after seeing the recipe all my life. It's a type of bread pudding. Delicious, and like any bread pudding, especially good if you don't eat it all yourself, though it is just as good the next day, which I cannot say the same for pie.

Friday, May 9, 2008


We have the Brazilian community on Cape, but just a few Brazilian musicians. Livio Freitas played at Liam's on Thursday. I enjoyed dancing to his music on a Saturday in East Falmouth last year, but that place has gone to being Davisville Grille instead of Rancho Whatever, so he's at the Irish place with the tiny dance floor. Maybe I should start promoting to music lovers instead of to dance lovers.
Entrain on Saturday at Cotuit. World music - dance whatever you like that you can make fit, but mostly it will be freestyle solo dancers.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Good puns

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a 3-yr-old was resisting a rest.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

100th Show

I loved Monday's DWTS show; I just had other stuff on my mind yesterday. The dancers get better each week. You forgive their faults when they work so hard to overcome them.
That Cristian was incredible. Did he need the injury to focus his mind on his body?
I'm still rooting for Kristi, but sometimes she didn't look comfortable in dance hold. Jason's tango was terrific and abstract, though his samba was indeed dull.
Then for the 100th Show we got the Best of the Best - judges' favorites.
Kelly Monaco's freestyle showed us how much better the dancing is now. Her 30 was a sympathy score because she had improved so much.
I saw a bunch of hip hop in Emmet's cha cha. Didn't bother Len that time. Bothered him in Kristi's last week so much he took off a point.
Sometimes, I identify with the dancers. I forget which woman star (not a finalist) whose tango made me want to be there.
Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff's tango just blew me away. Wow. I won't be doing anything like that, but I don't mind. I'll just watch it again

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


In teacher college, or as they like to call it these days, education courses, we learn discipline is often best applied as a separate talk to the student.
The lady who constantly tells her husband how to dance needs to be shut down. She could learn her own part better if she stopped thinking about what he is supposed to be doing. And he could learn too. She gets a phone call.
My new thought is that she thinks he should be doing what I do when I overlead, when I get the lady to do her part in spite of herself. That's work. I don't want him to work. He should dance.
So I get to say it's my fault that I didn't make that clear to her.
But she still has to stop interfering with his dancing. So what if he isn't doing every step in the book!

Monday, May 5, 2008


That's Dancing with the Fools for the rest of us.
My pleasant student who gave me that phrase, characterizing himself as such, and went on to tell me the best advice I'd given out, "Do the steps you're comfortable with. Don't feel like you have to do everything, especially when you're out for an evening."
I'll say it again, the way teachers do, for another class, because that's a basic principle, and not foolish at all.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Back to the Conservatory and nice May crowd. I had more last month when we all had to motor up to the Mary French Studio!
I hope people didn't leave when they saw the parking lot full of cars for the Pirates of Penzance. When I saw that show last week, the Modern Major General had more than a dozen daughters. Some of their pirate counterparts (all peers of the realm, as is revealed in the final scene)were also young girls. Helps to fill the theater.
So that is participatory for the theater company. Ballroom dancing is still better because we can all join in. If people spent as much time learning dances as they do in rehearsal, they would have a lifetime skill instead of something else they forget.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Triple Step

Again it came up, the triple step, the universal basic fits into polka, swing, salsa, cha cha and most dances. Last night, Cajun two step, which had me confused because of the name. Why call it two step when it's a triple step? So we took our tiny steps around Grumpy's floor to the excellent Cajun muisc of Buzzards Bayou.
Be there again for George Gritzbach tonight after the Conservatory.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Teen Hangups

Sitting in the high school library waiting for a student who decided not to be tutored ("I'll be fine!"), I picked up a book called WHAT I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME.
I read my way through my teen years before Judy Blume. I missed what these young women went through: obsessed with their image, worried about boys, going through their parents' divorce. I ignored sex and the cruelties of groups.
Now, working with the 5th Grade (by June, almost 6th), I see them worrying about these things. Who you dance with is a metaphor for who your partner might turn out to be.
If we can keep it abstract, the partnering can get closer to its ideal.
I have the DWTS tape of the girl who is taller at age 12 than her extremely competant partner, and hope it helps.
My adults can have the same hangups, not able to enjoy each partner for their good qualities because they aren't The Partner.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The band has agreed to play at any tempo I choose! that is good news for the WCAI-NAN Swing event with local radio star Mindy Todd and our own Dr. Robert Wilsterman on Memorial Day Weekend. I listened to their CD and was afraid the band would be way too jazzy and completely too fast. I told them Mary French said if the music was very fast, the dancers in the 1940s would just watch the musicians. That some "swing kids" seem to have no regard for the beat, but we respect it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Results show (no kids)

A note from a fellow fan: "If Jason got a cramp, he would have handled it differently. athlete vs actor."
I guess compared to Cheryl, who made her costume flutter when turning, Kristi was not as accomplished, but they were fast and went to a thrilling ending. And are we comparing her to Cheryl?
Jason still bores me - the same poses, and that's what he does best.
Letting Shannon go was fine. I identify with her (not the weeping). She's my height, and I have my gawky times, too. She got in a great tango. Maybe she'll grow into the mambo someday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Scoring & Accepting

We do wonder at the judges' scores sometimes on DWTS. Joe hates judged athletics - gymnastics, figure skating. Maybe the judges decided ahead of time to low score Kristi to change things up to make it more exciting. I looked again at Kristi's unbelievable turns that Carrie Ann said were wrong somehow and saw no problem. And Cristian was going to be great before he got the cramp, so I'd have gone with 8s. Those pumped arms are a liability?
Anyway, lessons in accepting your scores, therapy perhaps, might be necessary for some athletes to continue to be graceful after the performance. Kristi is a class act all around.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I saw a cicada nymph this week. I don't remember anyone talking about eating them 17 years ago, though the paper this year has a 1902 recipe for cicada and rhubarb pie. The rhubarb is up in time.
Soon enough the air will be full of large buzzing insects. They'll fly around in a mating 'dance', making their own 'music', a small dense population like a city that convenes every 17 years.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mike Dumas

At the Beach House in North Falmouth, and they will be there again May 10 with a full sound: drummer/band leader, girl singer who could dress up a bit more, keyboard with a separate synthesizer, bass, and guitar. The floor is quite decent, being wood and not filled with tables. The young crowd stayed at the bar which was good since they cannot abandon their drinks or purses. We old folks are just not cautious.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I just finished Dunya's book, subtitled, FINDING SPIRIT IN THE FLESH. It will be shelved in the spiritual memoir section, if the bookstore has such a thing, women's literature. I read slowly because it was very poetic. An incident here or there would provide an anchor for the imagination, especially when 'here' was a dance class with Klara Koenig or another piece of Falmouth.
She began her dancing with the mirror and has moved away from it into an awareness of self deep in her bones and organs.
I wonder if her muscles still follow paths from the study of movement she began with. Does this help make her the most interesting person in the room to look at when we are in workshop?
Often, I take dance classes to be able to move with the teacher, following in a formation while I have inspiration before my eyes. The teacher's choice of music and understanding of how to move in harmony allows me to connect in my own way with the world inside and outside myself.
As a Sufi, Dunya connects to the Divine, the Beloved, Allah, or God.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vacation Week

The week slipped by with gardening and a visit by my oldest son and his pregnant wife, the modern dancer/Pilates instructor. She is wonderfully fit, still running at 7 months, though more slowly.
She has determined on a home birth, to the horror of her parents. I was equally determined at her age. I got my home birth for one out of the three. Medical considerations may show up for her as well at the last minute, and they are only 2 blocks from a hospital. If they end up there, the work to avoid the hospital sends a message to the health professionals to limit their interference. The preparations for the home will allow her to leave as soon as possible, as I did.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Televisionwithoutpity is creeped out about the kids.
Would it be better if there were an Olympic event? Then their ambition and hard work would make more sense to people.
I liked the dancers and their costumes. The costumes I see at competitions are too sexy, but these kids are dressed like skaters.
They spoke nicely and understand about getting along with people. They have to dance with each other because they are too little to partner with a professional.
I hope the boy who wants to play baseball player wins, so he will not give up dancing for baseball. Although, my husband points out, he'll make a lot more money if he succeeds as a baseball player.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


For pure fun, I suggest Flamenco, foot stomping in precise rhythms to guitar and Spanish song. I am far from precise, but I'm getting better, Kati says so.
I will practice the Sevillanas now so I can offer them as a course in the summer. I would love to be able to send my students to take the master class with the beautiful dancer. It's worth the price of the workshop just to watch her, plus you get to join in. Her next set of workshops at Cape Cod Dance Center are in early June.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jive etc.

My 5th grade kids love Kristi Yamaguchi ("I did a report on her!")so her fabulous jive will be inspiring to them. I'm inspired, too, but I know better than to start in on kicks, twist crouches and other knee destroying moves. They'll look better on smaller people.
Cristian's admirable foxtrot showed he channels the smooth leading man, not the fast moving excitable party animal.
I still haven't voted this season. Marissa was better.
Marlee was still bad. She's had two of the rhythm dances in a row.
Mario got 9s in spite of acting like a gigolo. Karina always acts like a strumpet.
Jason's cha cha was dull. Has he been hiding behind Edyta?
Shannon was lovely, though hipless. Interesting to see Derek hold back on his hip movement since it would obviously show her up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Note to the 5th Grade Teacher

(A bit of background to those of you who don't know the kids. Owen is the "icky" boy, short, silly, and likes girls.)
Easy thoughts.
Owen is complaining that he doesn't get a connection from the girls,so I said I would talk with you.
Here goes: I don't think it's serious and he has to think of his own dancing more, just like everybody else who complains about partners.
I will address the whole group with that message: "Your dancing is most important, and it will result in good partnering, maybe not right away."
Did you see they added kids to Dancing with the Stars/Results Show? Tuesdays at 9 PM. Last week they had 10 year olds doing Swing (Jive), so I showed my dancers. They are so funny, picking up on a tiny little flirty move in the dance Oooooooo!
Well, partnering does address a central issue in interpersonal relations, for all of us, young and old, married or single.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring and my Back

I started digging yesterday and got a twinge. As a dance teacher, I have to be careful of my back! I will proceed cautiously. I've come to know my spine after the Pilates study. I wish I knew my knees as well.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Warwick, Rhode Island

A trip to the airport gave me back my husband last night. To break it up and give the drive a bit more meaning, I attended the Dancin' Feelin' Studio Party. Randy Deats and Kathy St. Jean run a nice business in what was probably built as a Knights of Columbus Hall only minutes from the airport.
The crowded Beginner Party featured three little lessons, Foxtrot, Salsa, and Cha cha, taught by three different teachers. A nice little group of teachers worked the crowd. One of them even asked me to show a young Columbian the Swing. I then got a nice salsa with him, all just basic the way the natural dancers will do, enjoying the music, not needing anything more.
I congratulated Randy on making money, and he said, "Oh, this is all free for them." But they join the Studio and are expected to take a set of lessons, a group, a party and a private. I didn't get the breakdown, just the Special Introductory Offer flyer. $95 for 1/2 hour private, a group and the party. I call that pre-paid.
The Mary French Studio is too cheap!

Friday, April 18, 2008


In my adult classes, we can move with eyes closed. For the kids, I had them sit with eyes closed and think of what their feet would be doing while I called out the steps. It was a good review before dancing. Greg, the hyperactive one, seemed to be so busy moving his head around, I wondered if he could think. I didn't say anything, but somebody peeked and there it was: "Look at Greg!"
Anyway, he's gone now. He had a fight with Amanda and didn't want to be there. I kept him anyway for a while, thinking, "Can I afford to lose a boy?" but he was too disruptive. His Judo training (that would have looked so good in Jive kicks) was coming out at random times, which could be dangerous.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rhythm Change

A tool for getting people comfortable with a dance is to keep a steady rhythm that matches the music. Merengue is the easiest, 1,2 basic. Most dances have a set of four counts with the corollary on the opposite foot or eight counts before repeating. Foxtrot and swing add interest by using 6 counts, playing with the four beat of the music. After a while, the strict rhythm can give the dancer a feeling of being stuck.
But then you have to leave your comfort zone.
I'm weaning the Tango class from their T-A-N-G-O almost right away, and hope they will find the dance more rewarding.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Other predictions

This from South Shore Dancers, a couple of weeks ago, it seems.
Adam Corolla 9
Marlee Matlin 8
Marissa Jaret Winokur 7
Pricilla Presley 6
Shannon Elizabeth 5
Mario 4
Cristian de la Fuente 3
Jason Taylor 2
Kristi Yamaguchi 1
So Priscilla that we all thought would do better is gone, and Cristian in "the bottom two." While Shannon who can't move her hips and Marlee who gets lost are still up there.
I don't vote because I see the show so late, I'd have to vote without seeing them dance, which is an option many exercise.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DWTS 4/14/08

The dancing is improving, naturally, since they are working hard.
Let me first say Kristi Y. is the only dancer (alter ego) I would watch again.
However, Mario's Samba was good. The smarminess was gone.
Louis VanAmstel adores those difficult moves, so he didn't get Priscilla to dance a nice basic before making her do the balancing act.
I loved Cristian's Spanish "El numero del telefono etc."
I guess if Shannon Elizabeth can't move her hips, she should be gone.
The kids on the Results Show make that hour more worthwhile, especially since I have Tuesday nights free for 2 more weeks.
If there's kids' Jive, I'll need to show it to my 5th grade.

Monday, April 14, 2008

DTWS Analyzed in The New Yorker

The Dance Critic of The New Yorker, no less, Joan Acocella, reviewed our show, which she stopped short of calling sexist, simply saying it "believes in gender stereotypes with all its heart."
The men aren't expected to be able to dance, which is "the basis of what is good about the show, its portion of fun and sweetness."
The women have to worry about not being able to dance, witness Marissa's sobbing.
Acocella goes so far as to call it a Greek Tragedy. "The gender drama is even clearer in the human interest department" with "an obsession with disability and overcoming." Heather Mills (prosthetic), Marlee (deaf), Marissa ("not size 2"), Priscilla (age 62).
Joan Acocella won't go on watching the show because it is "a reality show, with all the sadism and sentimentality endemic to the genre."
The eliminations ("must be seen to be believed") are the part I can turn off, but I'll go on watching the rest. I need to be able to discuss the show with my students!
I'm even learning.
As Acocella says, "Contrary to popular belief, the main difference is not in the feet but in the upper body - the neck, the shoulders, the arms, which are stiff in the amateur and relaxed and eloquent in the professional."
Standing up straight and dancing. I'm still working on it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Yesterday was a Cape Cod Workshop in Dance Meditation, led by Woods Hole native, Dunya Diane (Hulburt) McPherson, who has given her life to dance and just published her memoir, SKIN OF GLASS.
Last time I took her class, we worked on what the body feels like from the inside, eyes closed for much of the time. The skill helps to reproduce the body lines we want to use in my type of dance.
Yesterday, she was more specific. We imagined a line to separate the two sides of the body and chose the less dominant one to be in the light and other in shadow as we moved. I know from my work with Network Chiropractic that the left side gets ignored, even though it is controlled by the right side of the brain, which gets more control in my decision making.
Then we divided the body front and back and took the back first, which is always fun.
"The front is more familiar," said Dunya as we switched.
The organs got attention, starting with viscera, moving up through the stomach, noticing the heart and lungs, to the base of the tongue.
We danced and then wrote and then talked, so I heard that the movement through the torso corresponds to the shakras that everyone seems to be talking about.
My knee is very happy with the work I did. I also heard that the point of the intermittent pain is a pressure point. Perhaps acupunture would be helpful.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cultural Center of Cape Cod

It's way down Cape, farther from Falmouth than Betsy's Ballroom, but very nice, and we carpooled.
That was a beautiful bank, and now they've filled it with art. We even went in the vault, past that huge door, to see some very nice seriographs and children's portraits.
Friday night music cafes are indeed set up with candlelit tables, checked tablecloths. BYOB, adults only. The marble floor is as pictured, with the inlaid starburst pattern. 65 by 30 is a good size, and could be bigger without the tables on the floor.
Our band last night was Felonius Funk, guitar, drummer, and girl singer, as we say. She was terrific, always right on the music and notes, channeling Aretha at times.
The regular attendees joined us on the dance floor with their freestyle to "Smooth" "Mustang Sally", and all the rest. Bill Dixon, who lives 2 miles away, asked some of the local ladies to dance.
Seeing us ballroomers, the band even put out a couple of nice foxtrots. "Fly Me to the Moon" was one.
I expect they can keep it afloat with weddings! Great parking, too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

young partners

I am just dying to know how Pierre Dulaine does it. It would cost me thousands of dollars and 2 weeks in NYC to get certified to set up a program like his.
The one hyperactive boy stopped getting along with his partner. I think she was just sick of dealing with him. He wasn't even that good a dancer. Judo kicks is what he's good at. His Judo instructor must surely have the discipline all worked out.
The classroom teacher and I think it will be better to be have one less boy.
The other "icky" boy now begins to look better.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Slight mix-up

The secretary/receptionist was finally back at the Conservatory yesterday. "Oh," she said, "I had you in my computer as starting at 8:00."
That was why Carmina said, "We have the hall until 8." Which she then amended, saying, "But we won't be done by then."
I didn't tell her how upset I was. She's just out of college.
I said "Is that the only calendar?" and it is.
I'll talk to the director, and assign a monetary amount to my distress to be deducted from next month's fee as well as their loss of this month's money.
Then he can tell the girl to print up a calendar for everyone to review.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

2 nights to analyze

Everyone, including him, is relieved that Adam Corolla is gone, though he was occasionally funny, in a "Man Show" kind of way, and the unicycle will be long remembered.
Marisssa has finally settled down to dance. I never saw a woman do the knee crawls in Paso Doble.
Did Jason Taylor deserve tens? His arms are stiff as well as being as long as his partner's legs.
My favorites this week were Christian with his shouts and Shannon looking beautiful.
I like Fabian, and Marlee is doing well.
I found Priscilla boring in spite of the lift.
Maybe I'd like Mario more if I liked Karina.
Question: Is Kristi supposed to win? Did they give Mark the ringer because they yanked the Cheetah girl early last season?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kind words

From my students who came to dance on Saturday.
"Please don't feel bad. Ralph and I had a wonderful time as usual. You handled the situation beautifully. No need for an apology! Thanks for enriching our lives through dance!"
"No apology needed -especially for those of us who routinely get doubled on
everything from conference calls to airlines .
We had a great time! and its all your fault - thank you for helping all us
clod footers."
Today I go to straighten out the situation nicely with Kate, just-out-of-college overworked receptionist/secretary/telephone answering service/all around factotum.
The director, maybe later in the week.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


A shock last night greeted me at the Cape Cod Conservatory, Falmouth. Someone double booked the dance hall. Full of a fundraiser with African and Belly dancers. It took me 15 minutes to even think of my alternative - the Mary French Studio - as a refuge. My home studio is smaller, and the Saturday dances have grown, so we were crowded, but we had a good time. Thank you again, Mary French!
When I talk to the conservatory on Monday, I hope this will get me automatically on some calendar. The previous secretary there had a big wall calendar for the year. Where is it hidden now?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obbini Tumbao

So we actually went to Cambridge for a show at the Regattabar at the Charles Hotel where Henrietta's Table is fun for polenta cake smothered with mushrooms and caramelized onions.
The 9 piece band had keyboardist, baby bassist(Trinidad), drummer(Venezualan), conga, bongos, 2 trombones, clave/guiro by the Berklee teacher, and a singer from Venezuela. Great sound, and they love dancers.
The Regattabar doesn't love dancers, but few venues do. They gave us a small floor (six salsa couples) with a great view as long as you're not afraid of heights. I'm not, so I liked looking out the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the rainy street from the second floor. We weren't in front of the band. To watch the dancers from my seat, I turned my head since it was too crowded to turn my chair. Dancers were minor anyway.
The musicians' break was filled with a dynamic Costa Rican teacher from Hips on Fire. 50 people crowded behind him in a space that included the dance floor, two little girls in front. I picked up a tip for Bachata.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


My classes got too big, which could be a good sign, but still needs to be addressed, so a combination of my suggestion and the allure of the Tango and West Coast Swing might get some to migrate to a new time. The allure pulls in some that could very well just stay where they were.
Meanwhile, I'm going to add a prayer for the Stars: Adam - please leave! Marissa - fix your smile!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wrong again

The two most annoying dancers are still there. Do they think we will watch to see if they improve? To be sure to vote so they will leave? At least Marissa didn't cry. Tony with the bowed head was a bit much. He doesn't seem as competitive as that matchmaker personality test lady said. I guess he must be since I saw him win America's Ballroom Challenge.
I liked the April Fool's segment. Christian's was cheap since they already had Sea World footage.
Hey did you see in Dancing USA where they said Priscilla was Elvis's daughter? They forgot Lisa Marie's name. I did too. I just had to look it up.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Big Goof?

Adam C., the radio comedian, had a couple of remarks last night on DWTS. In the edited portion, he said Tango was a dance of prostitutes and pimps, "And what does that make you, Julianne?"
After their dance, he said gay guys had dressed her in the dress with minimal cut outs, (gorgeous lace) and a brown short wig, and that that would cost him votes.
In the interview, he talked about learning the Tango from a 19 year old Mormon, then apologized profusely, like he'd said something wrong. Does someone think her family religion would cut off votes? The state of Utah probably votes in a block.
As for the Broadway girl, I fast forwarded in case she started to cry.
I don't get to vote unless I try as soon as I get home from teaching class, without seeing the performances, but my prediction is now officially switched to Adam leaving next week, and what's her name tomorrow.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Every discipline has its own definitions and catch words, but ballroom dance has sub-categories of meanings of the same words, depending on which style of teaching. International has codified a number of terms: pivot, for instance, that students will use to describe how they understand a number of turns, is a specific action with two sides for the halves of the partnership.
In Waltz, Weaves are progressive parallel twinkles at the Mary French Studio Or quarter turns right and left facing the wall in International Or a grapevine at some studios that teach country dance.
Standing up straight has slightly different meanings depending on the dance.
No wonder it's so difficult writing down choreography.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


So we finally went to see the remodel of Harry's.
For something completely different, first we went a play at The Barnstable Comedy Club, "2 Across", crosswords and romance, very clever. We were free by 9:30 to hit the music club (not dance club).
Harry's doubled the size of the dance floor and improved the acoustics, but they left the carpet on. The bouncer/door man said it was for liability purposes. When people spill their drinks on the dance floor, it gets slippery. "We'd have to get everybody off the floor and dry it off."
I never thought of that. I certainly thought of making people leave their drinks off the dance floor, but that seems to be impossible.
Anyway, the first few numbers were not terribly crowded, so we danced a bit before giving the floor up to people who don't mind bumping into each other. It's a music club where a few people can dance.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dancing with the Falmouth Stars

You heard it here first.
Preliminary plans have me teaching Mindy Todd from WCAI-NAN radio talk show along with Dr. Robert Wilsterman for a Swing Dance benefit Memorial Day Weekend at Highfield Hall.
The floor is a bit small for dancers, but a short performance piece will be okay. 90 seconds, like the TV Stars would be best. Then everybody can bump around happily.
Now we have to get to work.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Handicapping the Winners

With all the NCAA betting going on, we could have our own little pool.
A square? Or odds calculated by some math genius?
One avid watcher has it figured this way:
1) Adam and Julianne next
2) The Gute and Anna
3) Shannon and Derek
4) Marissa and Tony
5) Christian and Cheryl
6) Priscilla and Louie
7) Jason and Edyta
8) Mario and Karina
9) Marlee and Fabian
And the winner is Kristi and Mark!
I am superstitious and cynical at the same time, which makes me unable to make choices, but I'll try, based on my theory that the ABC/Disney execs have a finger in the pie.
Next: 1.Adam & Julianne (I hope)
2.Marissa & Tony
3.Shannon & Derek
4.Guttenberg & Anna
5.Mario & Karina
6.Marilee & Fabian
7.Priscilla & Louie
8.Christian & Cheryl
9.Jason & Edyta
For the winner: Christi Yamaguchi and her professional partner Mark Ballas

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Well, I forgot to watch the results show, not because Tom Bergeron didn't remind me enough. The repetition failed to overcome my apathy when faced with red light tackiness.
I watched a few of the highlights on Gymnastics!!(boy band) Jason's Mambo! He's Christi's competition in my eyes. also has dance lessons with Carrie Ann, not as good as the lessons Len Goodman put on last year.
Julianne probably got all the votes for Adam. I hope she can make him look at least passable next week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DWTS 3/24/08

Sixth Season, gotta start dating these DWTS entries.
That was a long show last night. When you're tired, hearing them repeat their standard lines gets old fast. "Welcome back to blah blah! 2 stars go home tomorrow!"
I wonder if the costume guys are getting tired of their work. Could they go back to a real ball gown instead of those cut up skirts all the time? And in the Latin, the Mambo ruffles were stiff.
The dancers showed improvement except Christi and Priscilla who were obscured by the voluminous detailing on their costumes and seemed less comfortable in the Latin.

Monday, March 24, 2008

red suspenders

Red suspenders, pink t shirts, and lavender skirts. The girls liked the $5 skirts I found, better than the black circle skirt I made up. I like the sequins. Maybe I can dye some of them over to a blue and have different shades for more color.
Anyway, it's getting more real every time. Another teacher took photos for me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Vase

I had a class for teachers, and the word of the day for me was the Vase. Should I say Vaes or Vahz? Vahz sounds fancier, and it's a fancy looking shape to make. It means I could allow my head to extend up and back. Never just tilted back as that looks dumb and can hurt vertabrae. Takes some getting used to, but maybe I'm ready to try since I have been working on strengthening the back of my neck for several years now.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dance to the music?

What I loved about Marilee Matlin was what she said about dancing to her heartbeat, an inner music. She is a communicator, very expressive.
The dancing was impressive in that she is deaf, so an achievement in overcoming a disability, a greater disability than being under 5 feet (Broadway star) or over 62 (Priscilla Presley). I agreed with the judges that points are not given for hardship. this is not "Queen for a Day."
The things to overcome, as usual, are in your mind like little Miss Marissa's inability to stop giggling or Monica Seles' obvious discomfort with the whole deal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Star Women

Okay, so an Olympic gold medalist is on a different plane. That's part of what we call star material. I'm not sure why Christi Yamaguchi got only 8s. The delicacy and musicality blew me away.

Priscilla Presley was also excellent. I'd be happy if I could do a dance like that. If I had the dress and the partner, maybe I'd even like being on stage.

I would have thought a tennis star would be able to translate the competitive spirit to the new venue, but Monica Seles just looked uncomfortable. She also seemed to say, "It's okay if I leave the show now. I got my prom dress."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our show

I consider "Dancing with the Stars" required viewing, a way for me to understand what my students see in ballroom dancing, a connection for us, a sharing of information. So it isn't just escapist fantasy. I keep seeing the Disney aspect though.
As far as the premiere went, I never want to see Adam the radio comedian dance again. I notice he suggested their 15 points were "her" points, going on to ask for points for himself. Is this an acknowledgment that last time men voted for Julianne Hough while the women did not vote for the Maksim who has the irritating personality? People vote for their favorite pros even though the amateur stars are the ones being judged. This may have affected the last result, that the most talented dancer, Mel, did not win.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Teacher styles

Some generalizations:
International style teachers have learned to teach by the book.
American style teachers have learned to teach by the students.
International style can be judged because there are the rules to be followed.
American social dancing is more fun.

In either style, with fewer figures, you can learn easier how good dancing feels.
My challenge is to keep it fun with fewer figures done nicely.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


A used VCR, an extra TV, no cable box right there. All I needed was a remote control and I don't have to commandeer the living room TV.
A question by my student has set me onto another track for the summer. How about a dance "camp"? Parents looking for a little structure/time off might want to entrust them to me for a few hours a day for a week or two. Set up time is now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dance opportunity

I sponsored my young friend from Morse Pond School. I hope the boy's parents think Hip-hop at Turning Pointe Studio is good enough, and that they can get him there. He refused to do ballet. I also hope he likes the class if he can go and that he is actually talented and hardworking since I described him as such to the studio owner while asking if he could get a reduced rate. His performance in my little swing classes is inconsistent. Talented but getting into the goofing off.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


In the morning in our part of the country, the second week of March is still dark at 6 AM. Makes it harder to wake up. The poor high school students, already behind in their work after most of a year of school, are really tired. I shouldn't complain that I don't seem to be able to get my morning exercises in.
On the radio, I heard that cows do not like the time change at all. I'm wondering why the farmers put them through it. Holding onto the milk for an extra hour can be bad for a cow's health, but I suppose there are delivery schedules.

Monday, March 10, 2008

instep pads

I am very pleased with the little rubbery instep pads available at CVS. Dr. Scholl has them and another cheaper brand was very good as well. I especially loved them in my strappy sandal style shoe with the stretched out straps because the shoe now fit. However, the buzz in the dance world is to take care of that part of your foot, and it makes sense - it's the power spot. Women in heels, if they fit into the shoe, wear them!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cloud Nine

At the end of class at the Waldorf School, Will said, "Oh, well, time to come off Cloud Nine." He's 12 years old, so he really meant it. He calls dance class Cloud Nine. I don't know why I was surprised. I know how dancing makes me feel. But I am very happy. I need to find more dance for my other fellow dance addict, the 5th grade boy from Jamaica - doesn't have to be all partnered.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Why is it hard to take one step instead of three?
Swing dancers get married to their triple step and end up trying too hard on fast music, and Waltzers continue with the three steps so that they cannot do the hesitation.
Slowing down is hard because it takes control.
My fifth grade have been teaching me that. Let's just barrel through something fast and it won't matter if we're with the music.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Warm up

Warm up exercises in Waltz seemed to work wonderfully last night. I believe that was how we got to a place where I could see success in the advanced left turn for the first time ever. I feel like I have found a great new teaching tool, one that I always wanted to use, one that I believe in. It does my heart good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Flicks 'n' Kicks

All I notice lately when the competitors do Jive is the bouncy kicks. Some of them get very high off the floor, kids mostly. The shorter you are, the easier it is. Also, you need good knees, so I may only be able to demonstrate one side today when I see the 5th grade. It's raining, so they'll be keyed up after no outdoor recess. You'd think the extra energy would be good, but they don't channel it well.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Electronics have been put in the world to drive us crazy! They promise to do everything you want and then they break, need different connections, or go out of style and consequently cannot be used any more. Any hour now I will get my video production copied so that it can be viewed all over the Cape.
Gotta go try something else!

Monday, March 3, 2008


Talking to an elementary school teacher, I realized why it would be best to have a Swing dance program in the schools, under the athletics department. Swing is a favorite among kids because of those (dangerous)acrobatic tricks they love. Not more dangerous than the football program! and covered by the same insurance. So instead of not allowing any lifts, I could teach them properly. The Sunday paper featured The Dangerous Book for Boys and its counterpoint, The Daring Book for Girls, bestsellers, so parents are open to something more active than video games.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

More TV

6 times this week, the TV show I made will be aired on at the same time as it is aired on Falmouth's channel 13. Mashpee, Bourne, Sandwich, and Barnstable residents, if you can't wait until I get copies to your stations, look at the little screen.
Monday 12:30, Tuesday 12:30, Wednesday 3:55 and 9 PM, and Friday 3:25.
Next week the schedule will be available online here and at

Meanwhile the word about the Havana Nights, Mike Garvan's band next weekend at Cotuit Center is Not Good for dancing. The band won't try to stop you if you are moved to move to their music, but you mustn't detract from the band as the show. Dance off to the side or in the back. Free class in Latin Dance before, but you don't have to dance.
Also, the band refused to be filmed as production levels at local access cable stations would not meet their standards.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


In Jensen Beach, Florida, the radio stations are either God or Country: Religious or Down Home. Both have some good music, but one that offered another choice of music would be a possible business venture. I don't think we're enterprising enough.
Anyway, on the way to the airport, the Latino stations start to come in, so I get happy. Ricky Martin was good, and Marco Antonio Solis had one that the station very kindly broadcast the name "Antes de Vayas" or "Before You Go", Regional Mexican according to Itunes, gorgeous Rumba according to me. I asked some Mexican CD dealers at the flea market if they had one I hear from the Providence radio station with a refrain I sang for them, "No quiero porque te quieres" but no luck. It's Bachata. Somebody in Boston or Providence knows.

Friday, February 29, 2008

PBS & me

Terrific show from the Ohio Star Ball through Aida Moreno, Ron Montez, Jasmine Guy and all. I believe the American Smooth is settling into a nicer, less frantic looking line - not too much arm work. But the International Standard is so much more disciplined that the judges can't help but be impressed. I still like American Rhythm better than International Latin, but Jose Descamps has only just come up into the top ranks, and Andre and Elena were very impressive. They won before. Usually we like new winners.
I'm going to have to put in my two cents to the producer because I thought Ron Montez talked too much through the dancing.
AND the Massachusetts showcase was the young couple we had seen live! at Betsy's Ballroom last fall. My TV show has footage of Allen Rudman and Michelle Tuzman.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Florida #3

Easiest, most casual was South Florida Swing Dance Productions. Last year, we did a Zumba class there, and now I see Belly Dance is offered, so they're open and welcoming.
This year, Salsa has two nights, but we missed Wednesday visiting relatives. Friday, several of the group from Crystal Ballroom (AKA Club Dance) were there too for an interesting figure that used his elbow to lead. Next came a lead to her open arm that they called Karate chop. Takes a bit of space for that second. Then she should pull in to a narrower profile, if you were to try it at a Salsa club especially.
Saturday, we forewent Crystal Ballroom's married couples night for the Swing night with the kids. South Florida Swing Dance Productions is the name because the owners specialize in Lindy with high school students. Two years ago, the place was crowded with a very active group who also put on shows, often for the military, Colonels perhaps associated with Cape Canaveral, just an hour north of Jensen.
But then they graduated. High school groups do that, running with their age group exclusively, which means that the studio is periodically pretty empty.
We loved it. Many of their choices for Lindy were gorgeous Foxtrots to our ears.
The young men led well using some great stuff that felt quite new to me. Fellow dancers from Sandwich, Rick and Ellen Moran, showed up by chance, so that was fun too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Falmouth & Florida

Before I left, I finished the yearly TV show. It airs starting this week. Tomorrow (Thursday, February 28) 3:55 & 8:30 PM. Saturday 7 AM, and 1:30 and 8 PM. Sunday 9:05 AM.
Our second Jensen Beach dance opportunity was Thursday, Pizza Party night at Crystal Ballroom, a piece of a strip mall in the village of Rio (pronounced Rye-o). This is what I would call a regular ballroom studio, except that they don't do group classes. Private lessons and dance parties fill their week. $10 for the dance which included a glass of wine and a piece of pizza. Two Waltz mixers, and I got to dance with the owner's grown sons among others. Newcomer special is 2 (half-hour) privates and a party for $49.00.
One of the partners is expanding to another Jensen location which will have group lessons and a club membership. He offered me a job, but I said I was already employed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jensen Beach

Joe didn't know about all the dance in Jensen Beach when he started going there years ago. Windsurfing was the draw. The first place we found was the Copacabana on the barrier island, the other side of the Indian River, the half salt intra-coastal waterway famous for citrus. although it has changed hands five times in as many years, the basic format - dance floor and stage next to big window in strip mall - is the same and attracts a late Saturday night Latino crowd. DJ and a guy with maracas come on after the rock 'n' roll band for the early crowd. It means the DJ is on the dance floor since the band got the stage and are still packing up when the changeover happens. The bar is in the way of the view, and the men are mostly short, but I brought my own partner. A crowded, sweaty place, but fun.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I'm back! My time on the internet was spent on the websites of and My time dancing was spread over a number of congenial places. Jensen Beach has more dance than you'd expect. The Crystal Ballroom, a small studio also called Club Dance, has social dances twice a week and private lessons the rest of the time. South Florida Swing Dance Productions concentrates on a program for high school students that includes formation team shows, but they welcome other dancers.
Copacabana is where the Latinos gather on Saturday night. And the Ramada has a great group and a smaller dance floor on Thursdays.
Each venue deserves at least a paragraph, so I'll do more tomorrow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


My next posting could be from Florida, if the timing works out with a shared computer and internet access at the breakfast place.
Flow Yoga, AKA Dancekinetics? is at the studio this morning. I'll try to check it out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dance in schools

My philosopher of dance from England goes on to advocate ballroom dance as an alternative to casual sexual encounters and concludes his article with a push for dance in the schools. "Dance, properly taught, will contribute to physical fitness. it will also do many other things for us, as individuals and as a community, which sport cannot do. The nub is that what passes for dance in many schools is precisely that sort of free expressive movement which will teach neither the virtues made possible by set dance forms nor develop the sense of community and entry into a tradition which they necessarily bring."

Thursday, February 14, 2008


The same Prof. of Philosophy goes on to say, "We must be the first society in history in which the whole community does not, automatically as it seems to us, know how to dance." I think he overstates his case. Some communities are better at dancing than others, just as some people are better dancers. I just want ours to be one where everyone who wants to can dance.
There was a flowering of dance when the radio came in, but it died down and only a few of those ballrooms are left. New spaces appear and can be used for dancing with the right encouragement. I'm thinking of the Cotuit Center for the Arts, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth, and my dream for 10 years, the Portuguese American Club UPSTAIRS in Falmouth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


A professor of philosophy from England wrote lamenting the loss of community, suggesting compulsory dance in schools.
Anthony O'Near wrote, "We are first and foremost physical beings, living, breathing, moving and embodied. We naturally express ourselves in movement and gesture, and we react naturally to music and rhythm. to feel fully at one with others, whether friends neighbors or strangers, it is necessary to move with them, and to express ourselves in movement with them." (Dance Teacher, 1996)
Maybe a bit high flown and didactic, but well meant.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Group Activity

My fifth grade has hit a snag. I had my son film yesterday, and he had to film around the way the girls treated one of the boys. I had seen signs, but this time, I was dancing instead of watching for behavior problems, so they showed their tricks.
I will have to work on the weakest girl dancer, who is the cruelest. To make herself feel stronger, she picks on the boy who is regarded as "icky." I worked with him and he is capable. I have extra girls, so she will have to shape up.
Rules for dance: 1. Dance with the music. 2. Dance with the other people.
I will help her to dance with the music, and she must be kind.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Latin as line dance

I ran Latin line dances for the first time last night. No wonder Zumba works so well. It was a breeze. I had my group at the Jewish Congregation party, and I pitched the difficulty level just right. Everyone got plenty of exercise and got to listen to good music. I handed out a couple of cards, but I'll be surprised if they show up for the Conservatory.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rock 'n' Soul Dinner Dance

I wasn't sure about the Audible Local Ledger's Charity Dinner/Dance with the Moonlighters at the Sons of Italy (La Sala Grande). I had seen the band at a much smaller place, the Courtyard, and left early. Too loud, not enough room to move, all just freestyle.
But I know the A.L.Ledger is supported by a good community, and my Friday dance class wanted a field trip. I figured they were ready to practice in a place where they wouldn't feel like they had to do steps. Swing would work, and then, after a drink or two, they could just bop around.
As it turned out, my advanced class came, too, and snuck in cha cha and mambo when the songs weren't too strongly swing. They were an inspiration to the beginners.
Sometimes the key to enjoyment lies in not expecting too much.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ohio Star Ball

The PBS Championship Ballroom Dancing show is filmed at the Ohio Star Ball. Ron Montez, the judges, and I all agreed that Jose Descamps and his partner came in first. He has an authentic Latin look, and that is still available in the American style, while the International has gone too far into their own interpretation.
It was a surprise to see Julia Gorchakova with someone other than Bob Powers, but I never really liked him.
My prediction for the America's Top Dancing Couple when they get to the final week - Standard, the International Waltz etc.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hopelessly Out of It

The other night the show I watched was called "Top 25 Dancers of all Time." I missed 25 to 13, but 12 was Alvin Ailey. Then there were some I hadn't heard of. Savion Glover got #7, below Beyonce and Janet Jackson. They went back to Vaudeville for the Nicolas Brothers. Number 2 was Michael Jackson. Number 1 was James Brown. Needless to say, it was Black Entertainment Television, but I think Alvin Ailey and Savion Glover, serious professional dancers, deserve to be higher up than the entertainers. Talented though they are, their dances consist of some good tricks and a limited repertoire optimized by good choreography. Plus, don't forget the annoying jumpy camera work that would cover up and cut out any missteps.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Honky Tonk, Parts 1 and 2

I was very pleased last night when my musician student asked me about a piece I had played. It was just the same mood and tempo as a song he's working on. Not "Honky Tonk" by Bill Doggett, he said, but he didn't realize I had recorded the flipside of the 45. Honky Tonk without the saxophone is Part 1.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Foot pressure

I typed in that title and thought the program would have remembered it. It seems like I always talk about foot pressure for ballroom dancers. Yesterday, a slide step mimicked the Waltz side step that produces sway through foot pressure. There must be another phrase for it since I'm not getting the results I want from students - how about - "weight in the ball of the foot as you push off, and then hold onto it." Clunky.
An exercise in front of the mirror that is internalized for part of your body language. A picture that you can see with your eyes closed. When your eyes are closed you can feel your body.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Youth in Falmouth

Recently the newspaper had an article about the Upper Cape chosen as a good place for youth. (Where was that article?) The young adults, twenty-somethings, flee our peninsula. While we have them, we can do our best for them, so I have a number of ways to reach for them.
At MCAS tutoring, we find the lowest level and coax them into their best performance.
My fifth graders are realizing, with the help of our talented young Jamaican, that dance can be treated seriously.
The easiest and most fun for me was seeing the beautiful young people at the casual dance last night.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dance filmed

As I edit the yearly Cape Cod dancing show for local access TV, I try not to interfere with our view of the dancers, especially the showcases.
Editors go wild so much, probably because of the influence of MTV, that I don't even comment anymore when they cut up and down and slow or speed up the film, but it does interfere with my enjoyment.
It seems the new movie, "How She Move", does a nice job allowing Step dancers to express emotions too powerful for words. Step dancing, according to David Denby in the New Yorker this week, is "an assertive style of talking through the body - stomping with boots, slapping one's chest, thighs, and legs, whirling and spinning. It's not social dancing; it's a way of saying, 'This is who I am. This is what I can do.'"
One of my fifth graders is from Jamaica where he had step dance groups.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Social dancers

I met a maverick last night in night school, the man from a couple who only dance on their own, and only with each other. I tried to dance with him, but I was not willing to be pulled around, especially when I had to teach a class of people who take directions very well. He will bring his wife next week, and they will go on with observation, using our patterns to supplement what they picked up from videos.
They are missing out on one of the great ways to enjoy dancing with music as a unifying force. By moving together in time to the music, we can build group feelings as well as understanding our partners better.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Good news: the PBS hosts seem to have finally learned how to talk on camera.
The dancers were beautiful, and it is nice to see how they look when they really know what they're doing. There are rules to follow that conform to a history of what the best dancers have looked like over the years. A certain gravity to the judging enriches the decisions.
The judges make their decisions quietly, too, so it's a nice change from all the reality shows.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Singing War

I think Bruno made a mistake eliminating Lacey. She had a really nice country feel, plus she was the only blond girl. Neither seemed to deliver in the "Sing for your life" segment. I was thinking voice lessons might be fun, but I don't know if I'm inspired or discouraged.
Tonight: PBS Dance Wars

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

website for studio

On trial now, hopefully soon to be up as,
Faithful readers, please have a look and tell me if it loads up easily and well. It's not done, and I will be soliciting testimonials.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Tons of snow, but so far, all my electronic servants (like this computer) are working. Tonight is not crucial like Wednesday will be when PBS broadcasts the Ohio Star Ball, calling it America's Ballroom Challenge. There will be way too much chatting by amateur speakers. I'll look for the young couple who wowed us in September at Betsy's Ballroom for National Ballroom Dance Week. Mary French says Allen Rudman could go the distance, if he keeps continues to dance. The youth are usually featured for showcases.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kids costume

One of the 5th grade boys suggested suspenders, so I went for a swing dance image search, and there it is. A tie, too, why not? Decent skirt for the girls and a pink top. The boy is Jamaican, but I suppose he's used to the ubiquitous skin color. Hopefully the extremely thin body shape of the girl doesn't discourage my overweight one because she's a good dancer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Steps with Style

How much do you want to blend in? You could learn a hundred steps and no one would bother to look at you because they were all mechanical and all looked the same. Champion Donnie Burns used to go out on the competition floor and do only basics, with style, to win the top marks from the judges.
If you don't want people to look at you, by all means go on learning steps. Line dancing is a great place for that.
People watch dancers to recognize how their own bodies feel, not mechanical, but expressive. We dance teachers try to give students the tools to recognize their own bodies. Ballroom dance teachers go on to work with the connection between two people, the possibility of love that makes the world go round, rooted in the love of life and music and the moment.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Modern Dance

The discipline practiced by Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp and others has gone into some very useful studies of human movement. Rudolf Laban, who tackled choreographic notation, gave us images to start from. The body in one dimension, as a line, he described as a "Pin" to have a dancer start from a very straight, centered place. I like the little head on the top. As we ballroom dancers connect to each other, the two dimensional plane of our bodies can be thought of as a "Wall." It sounds very stiff, but that's just to have a starting place. The movements he uses are free flowing, and relate very well to the smooth dances, Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Viennese.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pacino's Tango

That's Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman". I still get guys saying they want to dance like that Academy Award performance. Argentine Tango, of course, where he can do whatever he wants as long as he keeps the style. Strength, decision, and a deep connection to the music. One side step in particular seemed to connect him to his partner perfectly.
The beautiful young woman then had to leave with her fiance, and we all wondered if she'd made the right choice with a guy who just says, "Oh, you finally found someone to dance the tango with you!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dance & Dress Up

ABC dot com was way late posting the new episode. But I had plenty to do, getting together for the 5th grade.
Some will do "teamed solos," as I am calling just one boy and girl dancing together.
They are most concerned about the costumes. Suspenders?
As for Dance War, Bruno's first dance had those ugly, ungraceful, overly sexy costumes. Net stockings with garters. Carrie Ann's first dance had colorful gym clothes, which were better.
My girls going to get knee length swirly skirts. For the guys, vests can add a bit of color easily.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Thanks, Mike! I wanted to see Torvill and Dean's ice dancing Rumba again ever since I saw it watching the Olympics. Through the miracle of Youtube, there they were. The Ravel Bolero came up first as the most popular, I guess. It speeds up but they stayed as smooth as oil. I kept watching, naturally. The Viennese. The Tango as a modern ice dance. And then poorly reproduced selections. And people's compilations. I guess I have other things to do.

Monday, January 21, 2008

African America

Finally, we are openly acknowledging the contributions of the African-American culture. In my childhood, the music industry was still trying to keep music separate. Now it becomes interesting to look at the origin of various threads and how the texture of the music is colored by the weaves to enrich our society.
Recently, I watched the biopic of Arturo Sandoval, Cuban Jazz trumpeter, "For Love or Country". African drums and dance preserved in the barrios of Havana influenced Dizzy Gillespie, who helped bring our hero out into the world.
As far as Arturo Sandoval was concerned, the traditional mixture, the Mambos and Boleros that I adore, were not to his taste, so I'm not buying his music. He has a jazz club in Miami Beach that we didn't go into (for $33 per person.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dance Lessons

Sometimes you feel dumb, but there's a lot of interesting stuff that can make your dancing easier. A slice of humble pie is just the appetizer. Too bad it's not more appetizing.
I had a series of lessons with Bill Morganti at the Dance Teachers Club of Boston. He said his first 10 or 15 years of teaching were just preparation.
You'll be happy to hear I have been teaching for 15 years, so maybe I'm ready.
We did Slow Swivels in Cha cha and Mambo, American 4 step in Tango, and a bunch of Latin styling. At least I got a compliment on Latin styling since steps are still my worst thing. I hate stumbling and I usually do when I get new ones.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Last night, Vince Kraft, outgoing CCBD president, said, "Competition is good." CCBD is glad people have choices. We started our evening at the Hyannis Senior Center where a select few had a Bolero lesson with me.
Enriching the dance environment at the Sons of Italy was a newly popular band on Cape, the Dave Burbank Band, and the dance community came out to enjoy their good sounds. In fact, the Krafts were instrumental in bringing them to the Cape.
They'll be back Feruary 29.

Friday, January 18, 2008

website for Falmouth

At, local cultural events are given more visibility. A well designed newspaper ad lists my Falmouth dance, and they have connections with the TV station. However, my ballroom dance community needs to be wider than just Falmouth. The studio itself is in Bourne, so I'll just keep paying my membership to USA Dance, $50 this year, and keep the Cape-wide connections.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ice skate Ice dance

14 degrees predicted. Maybe this weekend we will be ice skating outdoors. I like it best when it first freezes solid and the whole expanse is open to traverse with music. Viennese Waltzes around the pond. A dance floor as big as anyone could dream of. Do-it-yourself free fun.
For the figure skaters on TV, I wish they would rerun Torvill and Dean whose unforgettable Rumba on skates embodied elegance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TV show on computer

I forgot Dance Wars, so I had to wait until yesterday afternoon to watch on Kind of a small screen, but good picture.
From where I sit, Lacey, the choir leader, may win it for Bruno. Her group of young women sang noticeably better than the others.
Carrie Ann's chose the young looking Bradley and Chris.
We'll see which type of appeal translates to telephone voting.
Perhaps it should be called Song and Dance Wars since the singing is so important.The dance move I'll be looking for is a certain type of sliding that I see in West Coast Swing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Technical Technique

This weekend I went from free form Dance Meditation to a private lesson in ballroom dance, a subject rife with technique.
We discussed East Coast vs West Coast Swing.
In WCS, the technique is all upfront, necessary to do the dance at all. Since it's such a seductive dance, people learn it in spite of the trouble, and that helps their dancing across the board.
East Coast Swing is easy at first. You can mush through it, and it's okay, but then you need to learn technique to do the fancy stuff.

Monday, January 14, 2008


At Morse Pond School, the ballroom dance group is down to a manageable size.
My ambition is to have them dance swing to the beat.
My hope is for an impressive stage show with costumes.
My dream is to take them on the road, all the way to Osterville's Wianno Club in June.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dance Meditation

Dunya, who grew up in Woods Hole dancing with Klara Koenig, gave a Dance Meditation class yesterday at the Mary French Studio. In the beautiful space we moved through fluid Yoga to a mind/body place that left the world behind for a while.
Her particular exercise this time was for us to move with the eyes closed and then to open them for a while to test how sight can be distracting. It felt like moving in and out of body awareness.
Now a Sufi with a Dervish Society website, Dunya trained at Juilliard, so she knows how she looks. I have just begun to wonder enough to look at myself in the mirror before closing my eyes again in order to fix the body memory to the movement.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Hey, the dance floor at the Sons of Italy is flat! We were worried last time we were there, when it was first put down, that the lumpiness was permanent. All is well, and there was a good turn out for Debbie's dance, old friends and new.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Music

A new initiative to spice up the conservatory dances: The last hour will be a set of new music, not the tried and true favorites, suitable for confident dancers.
You heard it here first!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pairs of rules

I like Rule 21: "Do not watch your feet while you dance." And how it
goes with Rule 22: "Do not watch your partner's feet while you dance."

Rules 19 & 20: "Do not bump other people on the dance floor."
and "If you do, always apologize."

There are only two rules that I disagree with: "The feet will not leave the ground on the Rock-Step." and "No Single-Steps during slow music."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

VCR again

So I set my VCR and got another of the multiple reasons why my dance show wouldn't record, a football fan and the g-d cable box combined.
This morning, I saw the first half hour, and it was glitzier than So You Think You Can Dance, but the beautiful young people working so hard had me rooting for them. East Coast dancers and singers. Then the tape got full of men running into each other.
Last night I got home, and eventually, during an ad, Joe said, "Do you want to see your show?" So I saw the chosen ones whom I had not met, and the glitziness of the ending.
I guess I will have to banish him to the rec room TV as I did for Dancing with The Stars.

Monday, January 7, 2008


A lot of the rules are just good manners. #19, Do not bump other people on the dance floor, must be important because almost the same one appears as #14, No acrobatics on a social/crowded dance floor.
#9 is specific and seems to show that Benson Wong did a lot of swing. "During beats 4&4 of a lindy turn, the woman will walk *towards* her partner."

Sunday, January 6, 2008


New quote from Albert Einstien: "Dancers are the athletes of God."
As athletes, we dance ourselves in our own space, connecting with joy to the other person we have chosen to share the music with.
One of Benson's rules fits in there, #16 "Support your own weight."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Social Rules

Grouping a few other rules:
#10 A man does not wear a hat in the presence of a lady.
#13 Bring a towel to wipe off sweat before dancing with the next partner.
#17 Guys will not wear shorts while social dancing.
#23 Take a mint before dancing if you had a drink.
Mints are good.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Fine points

Sometimes rules seem to contradict themselves.
Such as Rule #5: "A lead is a suggestion, not a command." A Favorite of mine. I quote it all the time.
Followed by Rule 6: "I am confident; I am decisive. I will not make a mushy lead/follow."
You have to really know what you're doing to realize if you are leading too hard. Sometimes leaders are so pleased to know even approximately what they are supposed to do that they make their moves too strong.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Benson Wong goes on to Rule 2. "Do not blame your partner for mistakes while dancing."
This applies to life.
and I like Rule 18. "Always smile because you are having fun."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Benson's Rules of Dance

This is an old one.
Benson Wong, who started the website, wrote up 24 rules, and they're funny and true. Because it's Wednesday, the 2nd of January and I haven't a dance thought in my head, I can look at them for a quote.
He starts with #1, "Your partner is a queen/king. treat him/her like one."
#2 is about the same. "Do not blame your partner for mistakes while dancing."
Then my eye wanders and drops on "Do not take large Rock-Steps."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Country and Ballroom

At the Sons of Italy for New Year's Eve, we heard some great songs from the Country side of the musical spectrum.
However, some of our Ballroom people couldn't appreciate them.
And some of the line dancers resented the Ballroom music on the floor.
The poor DJ!
The Family Waltz mixed us up some, so that was good.
The surprise for me was the advertised "Couples Dancing" was we would call Round Dance, a circle of couples repeating the same steps in unison - a ready made formation.
La Sala Grande was beautifully decorated. Top notch balloons. A brand new floor.