Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sons of Italy

We had a very nice time with the Dave Burbank Band at the Sons of Italy last night. Holly tells me they rent the building now, and it will go on the market again after the summer, but we should be able to run the Mary French Memorial in October. Same band June 26. I will have to send around the notice. Now that it's Pergo, the floor is what we call "fast", AKA slippery - keep your feet under you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Yard Sale

Initially weird, but interesting and memorable is how I characterize our last Mary French Studio class, held in the middle of a yard sale!
Everything was pushed to the side and we had the middle of the big room.
I had spent hours going through the LP records so they could be sold, but no one wanted them. Not a surprise. Perhaps a dealer.
After class, I sold a component tape player and a DVD/CD player, a bunch of CDs, AC cord, etc.
One last chance to buy will be Sunday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Advanced Class

There we are, with the wrong shoes, but the gold ones I wore on stage are not comfortable enough (yet) to wear one minute longer than necessary, especially when you have to be ready to go on stage. A beautiful day and an easy performance.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Old soldiers

My father, hearing again that I teach ballroom dance, finally addressed the issue voluntarily, saying, "I guess I neglected that aspect of life." He is much more forthcoming in his new personality. The Alzheimer's confusion seems to have broken down his old barriers to communication.
I keep offering him stretches for body conditioning. Hopefully the personal trainer has better motivational tools to keep the old body going.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

DWTS final

Yes, I watched it. And I was a bit disappointed Gilles didn't win the trophy because he is so completely appealing. However, he didn't seem to mind. In fact, at times I felt he held back to give others a chance. His career should get a good boost and knowing he's easy to work with is another plus.
Tony was the one who was really disappointed. They should give him an Olympian instead of Mark Ballas - twice!
Meanwhile, my student believes the men have an easier time since they don't really have to lead. The routines are choreographed, and their pro partners will cover for them. The women competitors have to accomplish tricks: lifts, jumps, and five times as many turns in order to look at all like the pro women.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I love the feeling of getting something done as much as I love teaching dance.
This time it's a room remodel and cleaning at my parents' house, just in time for the family reunion. I love the evening blue the walls are. I love the new closets. I can deal with the stuff my mother had saved in the old closets.
Plus, while I was there, a personal trainer came to teach my parents some simple stretches and sell my dad the idea of exercise. There's a job I could get around. This fellow was about ten years younger than me and very cheerful as well as businesslike and knowledgeable, amused by my eccentric parents.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We were the first ones to see the Dads' Dance. The Mary French Studio Recital includes a bunch of the little girls' fathers working out a performance. We loved it especially because it means we aren't the only adults on stage for this last event of Mary's life's work. Joe says, "They got better music," but Honky Tonk Part II by Bill Doggett was the one Mary played the most. Its slow steady pace works great for beginners.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sons of Italy

Seems they have regular dances with the Dave Burbank Band. Listed on the CCBD website calendar. Someone knew. I guess I expected an email notice, but maybe it's more like the Betsy's dances, especially if they do them regularly.
Can they have gotten their act together?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last Night?

Excellent classes to conclude the Mary French Studio ballroom run.
I am very glad to have been a part of the ongoing ballroom effort.
I even stayed late, in memory of all the times Mary was ready to teach until 10 PM while her students, 30 years younger, drooped.
Now I hear the insurance is okay, so maybe a couple more, if I'm not too embarrassed about being out of the loop.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Demidova is tall

I expect they will hire Anna.
I was not pleased with Bruno's declaration that she brought Maurice Greene along better than ever. That means better than Cheryl who taught him before. Why foster bad blood between the teachers?
And Max had to be negative, saying, "They will have to find some tall celebrities." In fact those football players need a larger partner than Edyta.
But I did notice she was almost as tall as Max.
Meanwhile, Mayo is so thin, he looks even taller than he is, but seems a lot nicer than Max who has been the partner for the tall women.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

90 seconds x ?= one hour

Let's see. That's a minute and a half for each DWTS routine. If you ran a continuous loop, you'd need 40 performances for an hour show.
At one of the studios in Florida, the owner had made a DVD of the best performances, and ran it during the dances. I didn't check how long it was. Have there been 40 star quality dances?
It was more wallpaper than performance since he didn't have the sound running. For a fan like me - great wallpaper! Just identifying the dancers was fun.
Anyway, last night,I recorded the double trifecta from Gilles, and Shawn and Melissa's smooth dances. I'm still on videotape, but it could be transferred.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fearless Mom

Maybe it was just that she was fearless for us.
My mother brought us up to believe that if we knew we were right, we could do whatever we wanted. We figured all we had to do was figure out what was right.
It turns out other people might disagree. For instance, school administrators were occasionally nonplussed. We usually went along with the rules.
She didn't teach us salesmanship. Often, you have to sell your belief before it's accepted as right.
Anyway, her belief in us is total.
Thanks, Mom.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Mary's cassettes had to go. I threw out mine last year, so I'm not going to take on hundreds from the 80s, country line dances mostly.
The CDs are sorted, pretty well.
The videotapes take up more space. (She never got into DVDs.) Also, they put me to sleep mostly. I'll be working on those for a while.
And the LPs. I know her favorites, but there are others - several "Arthur Murray's Favorite", not bad collections, with a picture of the ugly old man on the cover - history! I have to judge those at the studio where the record player works.
Then the 45s. I appreciate the way vinyl doesn't break down, really lasts if you take care of it, so I'll keep working.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joey Doucette, Vegas choreographer

This Bourne native was having a drink at the Courtyard and noticed the studio lights on last night. Joey Doucette taught a jazz class here many years ago, when Klara Koenig was at the Mary French Studio, and I took it. Great fun. Luckily, he didn't remember how bad I was. We talked about old times, and he will call the Cape Cod Dance Center, maybe do a Master Class in the summer. Vegas, New York, Hong Kong, and Cataumet!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wrong again

So Ty is still there, and we just hope they give him something he's good at. That's how I handle students. But DWTS is a competition.
I'm watching old competition tapes from Mary French's collection. In 2001, Derek Hough competed as a young teen while living in London with Corky and Shirley Ballas, Mark's parents, brilliant ballroom dancers.
Some people thrive on competition.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good show

Well done presentations all around last night on DWTS. We could have one guy left when the dust settles.
Ty did manage to move his hips, but he didn't get that he could express something other than bump and grind. And that's why he should go.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Media material

I am sorting the volumes of music and video that Mary French left to the studio.
Turns out I don't like video that much, but the music is great fun, and we can find good homes for the duplicates. She loved Latin and Swing.
Waltzes are harder to find good ones since they tend to be sad.
Songs without vocals are good for teaching, but many collections are stuffed with vocal renditions.
Since the Cape Cod Dance Center offers African and Contemporary styles as well, I can keep more than just a ballroom studio would have in a library.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chocolate, the health food

So I went to this chocolate as a health food demo: slide show, talk, samples, Q&A. I felt great afterward. The specially processed (unheated, not alkalized) in Belgium chocolate tasted very good, unlike the rawish chocolate we got in Mexico, where chocolate was invented.
I was sorry I took the champagne as well because that could have been why I felt high - really loved the sky and the moon as I drove home.
However, I'm not going to invest $160 per month in combating free radicals with these nuggets that are also good for the gums and teeth, nor will I turn into a salesman for the product in order to support my habit, even if it did allow the founder of the company to go from morbidly obese to normal.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

West Coast Swing Movie

Love 'n' Dancing is the name of the movie, and Robert Royston is plugging it which makes me think he choreographed. He is a terrific teacher and dancer who shows up often at the Seacrest in North Falmouth for Swingin' New England. The preview looks good enough. Dancer needs partner and new lease on life. Schoolteacher needs new fiance and to dance again.
I still love the social dancing the best - real people out there having a good time. Competitions with flashy tricks make for a good show. I'll hope for the best - even hope the movie gets to a theater nearer than Atlanta, where it opens soon. No reviews yet.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Here's the beauty, my granddaughter, Sloane, standing up, ready to walk. My son says, "What a lot of trouble keeping track of her now! And everything goes in her mouth!" It's lucky they are so adorable at this age because they are so much work.