Sunday, January 31, 2010


My favorite Flamenco is actually a social dance rather than the virtuoso performance medium. Sevillanas is a folk dance from Seville, Spain, where you might find people dancing it in a bar. Youtube has it recorded. My experience is it's best to bring your own dancers to any bar, and even then it might take the three drinks that used to be obligatory for dancing to start. You could stick around (take lessons), and you might hear of where the dancers have decided to congregate. Or have a little gig. That's how I managed in Manhattan.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


4Cs, Cape Cod Community College, has a great cafeteria with a stage.
The Cultural Affairs Office put together a nice evening that I heard of through the blues musicians in the George Gritzbach Band with Chris LoCascio on keyboard. They were cookin', lots of new tunes.
"Three Cats and a Dog" played string instrumental sets with a decent sound.
The Zammer Institute kids put on "Barbecue", pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw, cornbread and baked beans. I never eat pork, but it was good and didn't upset my stomach. Joe said, "Where was the BBQ sauce?"
So a dinner dance for $15. They could have had twice the people, but did no publicity. And such a Cold and Windy night, with the ballroomers over at Betsy's for a night with Tibor Karalekes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hully Gully

As requested, Grapevine R with a kick; Grapevine L with a kick;
Walk forward R, L slow, slow,
Walk forward quick, quick slow, turning right on the slow, picking up the knee
New wall walk back quick, quick, slow
Try it on my exercise class.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hidden Video

On the CD of our favorite Cuban group, Sexteto Madera, (Madera meaning wood because all their instruments are made of wood), was the one digital video. Took some finding, but I hope you can see it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Social International Foxtrot

A course never before offered on Cape Cod. This style of Foxtrot is reserved for the competition floor in this country, and I was so curious, I made it happen. It looks like we have four leaders ready to be browbeaten into the technique necessary for Continuity interspersed with some holding pattern stuff in case of 'road blocks' on the dance floor.
Followers so far just have to walk backwards properly (not so easy).
A pair of teens decided it wasn't that much fun.
Another couple will probably show up. Sundays at 2 PM

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dress up

I have refrained from buying clothes for my granddaughter.
Here's the story:
Her other grandmother called her daughter to say, "Don't be mad at me, but I bought Sloane a winter coat for next year. It was only $8.50, down from $65!"
(Happily, there will be another grandchild in that family soon!)
Perhaps this little girl will end up on stage - it's a way to wear new costumes and be admired, and she will be used to it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My links

I'm getting a picture of my connections, setting it up in my mind like the sociologists do, dots with lines to other dots. They are usually single links, often routed through a general source like the local paper, dance studio, and conservatory. From there, the interested party gathers a group through their friends and friends of friends. How much would an active Facebook account help?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Network Man

In the Connected book, the authors think our species could be termed homo dictyous (connected man) dicty being latin for network.

Social ballroom dancing is an interesting study because it is a close connection between two people that is easily formed and broken. How close? A foot apart. How entered in? An agreement for the space of a song, usually 3 minutes. Or perhaps a partnership for a series of lessons, which ideally would involve changing partners.

In the book, a small group, say for dinner, is ideally 3.8 people. An overnight camp often holds 38 people. A village has 150 members, a tribe 1,155. A dance class shouldn't be over 24, so that doesn't fit into those numbers.

The connections to find dance partners are what I'm interested in studying. How important dance is versus other factors determining the connection.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Connected, the book

I heard of the book on the radio. The hook was that, as they put it, obesity is catching, as are smoking and sexual activity, triggered by social networks with friends of friends being very important in determining behavior.
In my work as a ballroom dance teacher, social networks are very important, so I read the book hoping for more clues.
The findings of genetic predispositions to being in a central position in a social network was not helpful. Both my parents are happiest on the periphery.
Chapters on God and medicine weren't what I wanted either. The book read like an undergraduate text.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So this warning showed up on the computer - A Virus has Attacked! Get Antivirus Live!
Turns out this is a virus. I stopped short of giving it my VISA. Very clever, but it had to stop the annoying messages that were driving me to sign up, and that made me suspicious.
I was looking for my recovery disk when I found the book that came with my PC. All I had to do was System Restore to back to Saturday, before the nasty thing came on board. It came through Internet Explorer, I know because I couldn't find info on it on that program. Firefox gave me the info, though not the easy recovery. I can try telling wikipedia.

Around the World

I hoped the country with the fabulous dance music would have dancers everywhere. At least where we went, Cuba was like the rest of the world: most people have to be coaxed onto the floor. At our resort, dance lessons happened when I went to the "Animacion" crew and asked. Then a few other ladies would get up.
Out in town, beautiful music was on every other street corner, but we never found a nice dance floor.
Of course at a "Disco", the young people with their drinks are willing to take up space, and in Cuba, smoking is encouraged. The "Mambo Club" Saturday night had to be government run because there was the traditional Cuban band, great music even with the obligatory "Guantanamera", but when they took their break, House music came on and we had to leave.
Maybe if we had gone Sunday afternoon, but that day was 50 degrees and blowing 40 MPH with the Patriots on TV, losing. A bus ride was $6. Taxi $22. After the depressing night, I just curled up with What Falmouth is Reading, Moby Dick.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cuban styling

Right foot forward, left foot back?
How do you manage the crossbody?
None of the lessons at our resort covered partner dancing, anyway.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Donkey Show

In Harvard Square for a few more months, Club Oberon is set up at the American Repertory Theater on weekends, a Midsummer Night's Dream version of Studio 54, the famous disco club of the 70s in NYC. As you walk in early, King Oberon and Queen Tatania's fairies are the young male dancers who occupy the disco cubes that move around the dance floor. Do not bother with table seating for $50. The $25 dance floor tickets are great with plenty of view. Why sit still with that infectious music playing and scantily clad dancers moving around in the crowd? Puck on roller skates and Queen Tatania in butterfly pasties suspended from the ceiling are high points.
8 to 9:30 with a half hour of open dancing after the show

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ballymeade New Year's Eve

Ballymeade is a regular NYE celebration, I guess after talking to the activities director, not a Chamber of Commerce thing as it seemed from the Chamber website where they promoted it, so no Chamber people were there, just a few people that we knew. The mostly young people loved the DJ's hi-hop selections, and they did not take their drinks onto the dance floor. The dance floor was well situated and the acoustics were much improved from last time we were there. He gave us some earlier in the evening. The food was ok, especially for $20, and the champagne glasses were glass. The distance was awesomely close.