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.