Wednesday, March 31, 2010

online episode

"I have to say"(to quote Bruno) online episodes are not good enough.
The transmission is jerky. The whole point of watching is the way the bodies in motion flow to the music, and if the digital camera or whatever is at fault does the little jump to the next frame missing a half second, there is no fascination even in Nicole's performance. Do they think because the music flows, it's okay?
I tried Firefox and Explorer and they had the same little blips, so has to be at fault. Last year was not like this, so I know it can be done. Next week, I have get it on nice smooth tape. It was an electricity failure this time, I think. A one second loss at noon can make the machine forget its programming, and I don't even know it happened.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April Showers

I'm jumping the gun. April is not until Thursday, but the flower buds are swelling. Crocus are there already. Also Joe is home from Florida.
Sunshine and warmth for the weekend.
I am still offering the indoor joy of dancing.
Wedding couples should all come!

Monday, March 29, 2010


The Waldorf method of teaching dance was offered yesterday in Cotuit for parents and interested parties - like me, the Waldorf Ballroom teacher.
Thinking, Feeling and Willing correspond to
Mind, Soul and Spirit and in terms of a dance steps
Rising on the toe to send the other foot
Deciding where the foot will go, and
Placing the weight on the foot.
Also they dance to poetry and every sound has a corresponding gesture.
The teacher used her hands as she explained.
It was a very short lesson as I was the only student, and she had left rehearsal at Cotuit Art Center to come.
Thank you Tesha

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earl Batol

My old dance teacher from before he owned two Fred Astaire studios - a fine gentleman and taller than me. I went to Norwell to check out Sway and got more dance position tips. Seems I need to stretch my left side more.
Then I would have gone to check out Raynham only I missed the exit to 495 and was in Rhode Island by the time I realized.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coordinated Rhythm

Continuing the thoughts of my friend and student:
"I think I used the word "functional". you could dance anywhere to anything with a partner so that you both were in sync instead of flailing around."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Practical Dance

Whoever heard of such a thing?
But what I teach is as down to earth as you can get with dance - useful at social occasions and as a way to enjoy music. Orderly, systematic, sensible, pragmatic and efficient, as the thesaurus suggests a practical skill might be. Efficient is what the British, who studied ballroom dance, were often impressed with. The thesaurus gives that word more useful synonyms: effective, competent, adept, able. I also like reliable and dependable.
Last night Carol made me think of that as we discussed my style of teaching and the contrast to the way ballroom dance is portrayed in popular culture. We'll never be performing on Dancing With the Stars, and that's okay with us!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

opening night

For DWTS, of course. Featuring six women and five men learning dances to perform with the fabulous teachers.
Nice dresses for Viennese Waltz! Did they listen to me asking for a modicum of modesty?
Nobody seemed to understand Anna's remark about how the marks for the Olympic skating competition put people in first place for a brief time - just until the next pair got scores.
I rewound the VCR tape to see the Pussycat Doll, Nicole, dance again. Len had to be really looking at her feet the whole time, ignoring the top line even, while we were limited to what the camera showed - exquisite grace.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

John Nigro at Dance Teachers Club of Boston

John loves to perform and will continue to compete now that he has both hip replacements. The steps he taught were pretty showy.
I liked the technique derived from Carlotta Jorgenson.
He coaches the Harvard Ballroom team. A class of 120! dwindled to 80! They get 3 hour classes twice a week for two weeks before they compete.
And that's why we don't really like to see them on the social dance floor.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Doug and Kimberlee continue to do a nice job hosting at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. It's a hike from Falmouth, but carpooling is great - thanks, Dawn!
The former bank has good space and art all around, even in the former vault. The marble floor is beautiful and smooth, if harder than the optimal sprung wood. The people are friendly. Beginners were there having a good time as well as those of us who know what we're doing.
Salsa night, but that just meant a brief Salsa lesson. They asked me to teach a guest spot, so I agreed, and now wish I'd had time to prepare. Oh well!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stars on Dancing

Just looked up the stars for DWTS show's premiere. Buzz Aldrin and Lysacek who just won the Olympics add lustre to what is sometimes a dull line up. Anna Demidova is not returning as a pro. I will have to record on Monday.
At least SYTYCD won't be on for a while.
My suggestion for this season, but they wouldn't listen to me: the costume designers should leave more to the imagination.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nobska House

A good name and a good beginning for the restaurant that opened last night at the site of the old Grasmere Pub, most recently housing a series of badly run establishments.
Ken Bosse, the new owner, used to run the Fishmonger and spent a year remodeling and bringing the building up to code. The open space with a central bar reminded me of New York City. Tables sat in comfortable spots delineated by steps up and down, or a hint of the little rooms that used to make it just seem smaller. He hired young people and brought in Quasimodal, a great jazz trio that showcases Glenway Fripp.
300 people for opening night with no advertising!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


After some years, the Cataumet studio has reflective coating on the bowl of the 300 watt light bulbs again. The silver reflects the illumination to the ceiling and spares the dancers directly underneath. Subtle and gentle, that's what we want.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Space Harmony

Rudolf Laban, Hungarian inventor of dance notation, called dance "living architecture" and "sacred geometry". The ways we move are so fundamental to our lives that we don't even notice them until they are pointed out.
I'm reading What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell who often does articles about the brain. This one is about Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer. Dogs study our movement with undying interest, and Cesar has a beautiful deliberate way.
An interpreter of Laban movement, Yvonne Tortora uses much the same techniques for autistic children in dance therapy.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Color scheme

St. Patrick's Day has the color scheme built in, and we find out who owns green clothes, not who has Irish ancestry. Last night was enjoyable to dance with people whose clothes matched your own. Birds of a feather, flock together!
Congratulations, CCBD, for making it happen on a dark and stormy night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Casino FX

Right on the water in Falmouth, the Casino FX has the terrific view of the Vineyard Sound, though you couldn't see a thing last night what with the rain and the wind. Anyway, I finally got myself there to see "Splash of Blues" who have been coming down from Pembroke with 5 musicians and playing without even a cover charge. Michele plays the guitar and belts out the tunes from her tiny frame. The keyboard guy is great, a harmonica, bass and drums filled out the sound. The tiny dance floor got one couple who came with the band. With Joe out of town, I just sat with my middle son's fourth grade teacher and her husband. They deserved a better audience, and hopefully get one when the weather cooperates.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Woods Hole Play

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten was the name of this month's offering. I thought I was just going out to support local theater, but found it was directed by a young man who danced with me when he was in high school, Alex Colacchio. Then, "Geek Dancing" was one of the skits, a paean to being able to stand up and enjoy yourself.

Here's a bit Robert Fulgham wrote about dancing at a village wedding on the Greek island of Crete:
The fancy footwork confused me. "Don't make a fool of yourself," I thought. "Just watch."
Reading my mind, an older woman dropped out of the dance, sat down beside me, and said, "If you join the dancing, you will feel foolish. If you do not, you will also feel foolish. So, why not dance?"
And, she said she had a secret for me. She whispered, "If you do not dance, we will know you are a fool. But if you dance, we will think well of you for trying."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paola & Laura at the Conservatory

I gave free entrance to my tutored students from Falmouth High School, both "immigrants" though Laura is a citizen, being from Puerto Rico.
Brazilian Paola loves to dance and learned several steps. I followed her lead in Forro, a triple step on the toes, done in a close hold with plenty of rib cage movement. I think the Cubans refer to that as La Cintura or the waist, which kind of makes sense except that the waist seems to move only in reaction to the two major sections of the body it connects.
Laura doesn't think she can dance, but tried anyway, did well, and had fun.
Next month, if they pay, they can bring guests. Could be Estaban from Columbia, who claims he doesn't dance, and Kaio who is cute but very shy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Connection to the other

In her book Hold Me Tight and Tango Me Home Maria Finn quotes her teacher Carlos, “You can dance tango because you don’t fear the embrace. Anything else, steps and techniques, can be learned. But not the embrace. You have that.”
long article at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How does it feel?

In our art of body expression, fixing how the dance looks has to be accomplished through how the movement feels from the inside.
That awareness is called an inner eye, a metaphor that highlights how important vision is to us.
Looking in a mirror can help in order to set up the muscle memory as the movement happens. Then the dancer ignores the mirror to look at the partner.
If the partner is predictable, the inner eye can focus on how the dance feels at the same time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Biggest Week Ever?

March came in like a lion. Monday I joined the Portuguese American Club (they have the potential for the best dance floor on Cape), turned my ankle, applied Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Network Chiropractic and taught dance anyway. Tuesday two classes, Wednesday one class, (foot was all better)Thursday one class, Friday two classes, both youth, Saturday an adult stretch and then the biggest Conservatory party ever. Sunday two classes with Ron.
Fell asleep at 5:00. Woke up to see amazing dancers on the Oscars.

Friday, March 5, 2010

in the Snow-Globe world

Ladies in Their Eighties showed up in spite of our constant swirling white stuff. The Waldorf girls kept the class going though four out of five boys left early for their winter break. Falmouth Academy kids got a group of 18. And I've invited the ESL (English as a Second Language) high school kids to the Saturday Dance. Keep it moving!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


How about a coupon? How about a "Bring a Friend" Special?
Beginning Argentine Tango Workshop Sunday at 3:00.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I love email

I think other people do too, but I worry about the delivery of my notices. When I tried to update, only a few responded.
Anyway, the website works. People just show up after reading about my programs there.
Even the blog works sometimes, so I'll paste up the notice here:

February is over, but mud season isn't here yet. It has to stop snowing first.
March 6 we will gather to enjoy the beautiful space at the Cape Cod Conservatory, Falmouth. Lesson in basics from 7 to 8 suitable for beginners or time to practice technique.
All the dance styles get a turn - even Bachata - remind me!
Light refreshments. $10 per person.
Call me with questions 508 548 0036.

(No one calls any more either)
But CCBD has forwarded it already! Yay!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kati's tangos

Had a great class with Kati Garcia-Renart and we can study the rhythms and be ready for the next class.If it works.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Snow Ball

The nicest people showed up last night. Just visiting was enough fun, but I did dance as well. Thanks to all my partners.