Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I realized why West Coast teachers never say Push & Pull, even though it seems like that's what you're doing. Leverage and compression are a bit mechanical. Stretch and sink are more poetic. Soften the arms and lead through the body is what we're after.
Dance from your center, which is why Pilates is so great. Centering is what it's all about. My body is of one piece once I finish with Lori's class. I will add more ab work for my ladies though they will protest.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beach House

On the way back from dinner with Joe's mother, we stopped to see who was at the Beach House. Some band was setting up at 10:30, and an entire wedding party was just showing up. I knew we weren't wedding crashers, but there were sure a lot of them, gorgeous bride, mother in black with rhinestones, many black dresses, bridesmaids in cream needing their bows re-tried. They must have hired their hall until 10:00 and then not felt the party was over, though many of the women had switched to their flip-flops. I felt like the wedding crashed the Beach House.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Early night

The Last Jamaican Night of 2009 wasn't over until 8:40, four encores, and the dance floor was still very full - of adults, just a few children mostly in arms. Even the too cool teen was moving to the beat in a corner, just his shoulders, just because the girls wanted to.
I wonder how late the tourist parties in Jamaica go. Not like the tropical parties that usually start after midnight. The tourists have AC. We had natural AC.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TV blitz

3 dance programs and a class to teach. I can watch ABC on the internet, so I just had to decide between recording SYTYCD, Boston, or Belly dance Superstars at the Folies Bergere on WGBH. If this keeps up, I might hook up the TIVO.
Meanwhile, in between day chores, I read Dancer, a novel of Rudolf Nureyev's life. Brutal childhood in late Stalinist Soviet Union, escape through and into the world of ballet, defection and the guilt of leaving his people behind, and the wild life he led in the West.
Must go shovel out chicken coop. The world has caught up to me. Backyard chickens are the latest thing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A dance pun came my way: A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
But seriously now folks.
Big dance day for me - 5 hours with Ed Simon, former champion, at Dance Teachers Club of Boston, my hour with Ron Gursky, and the Mary French Memorial formation team. Put it all together to make the best show possible.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cape Cod Mall

So beautiful and grand with the carousel for the right touch of fun.
I'm afraid I didn't do enough shopping to make it worth their while, though I did say I did on the questionnaire.
The showcases had a nice assortment of dancers. The newbie Fred Astaire owners, the local formation, the young man with his partner in training and then his real partner, all working hard to show us what was up.
How could I have forgotten my video camera?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Those gay guys were a shoo in with the choreography they were given. International Latin? Their bread and butter!
And they were so grateful!
They won't make it to the top 20. America's favorite they wouldn't be.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Burn the Floor

There was a "Burn the Floor" TV special some ten years ago that I enjoyed. Several of the Canadian pros shone in the swing/jive section.
While I was on break from the blog, I went to see the show in Boston and was bored. I wondered whether it was just me having seen so much more of our dances as entertainment lately.
Now in New York, the show is getting terrible reviews.
Mary French used to deplore what they were doing to the Latin.
The NY Times guy, Alastair Macaulay, says, "Dancers at pro levels have been larding so much dazzle onto the rumba, in particular, that there's no real rumba left in it."
He concludes with, "What makes me wretched is that these stunts, acrobatics, point-scoring and flashy displays of sexual availability are what matter. Musicality, phrasing, intimacy, and actual sensuousness are what don't."
The Australian director says ballroom now has "street cred".

Sunday, September 13, 2009


My flamenco teacher came back to town for workshops - great fun.
Two new phrases: "Support your head" and "Big hands"
I have big hands, so that was nice to get the indirect validation. She meant for everyone to emphasize the movement.
Head placement is crucial all around, and "Support your head" seems like a good encouraging phrase.
As I looked around at the Sons of Italy on Friday, that was the one thing I wanted to fix. Not to the point of the Russians, a couple with a lady trained to extend her head back. It was supported, so it worked, but it looked like it was too difficult for her to be able to smile.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Music & Animals

WE are animals, of course, but the other animals don't go to the lengths we do to put together sounds that connect to our emotions. So somebody decided to do that. NPR radio just did a segment on music composed for monkeys, based on their own vocalizations. The Fear and Loathing segment, based on the arrival of the vet, played on a cello and boosted up 3 octaves, upset them. The Lullaby, based on a mother's cooing, soothed them. Is it music? Sure. Did I love it? No.
I went to the website and there was another piece about parrots that dance to our music. No wonder they make better pets than monkeys.