Friday, April 30, 2010

Maypole Dance

I've set up a pole with ribbons. Apparently dancers weave the ribbons by walking in opposite directions. Folk music. It will only take 2 minutes, so why not?
And I made rhubarb cookie bars.
Must be spring.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Steps

The Portuguese American Club consists of good solid people and a gorgeous unfinished building. I don't want to offend, so I did not use the word 'shame' last night when introduced myself and said what I wanted to do - find money for them. The building committee said they have some money in the building fund and an appointment to get the anti-fire sprinkler system installed, an important step
Dinner was Soupish, a bread soup served with cabbage, potatoes, beef, and sausage. The exotic touches were the stems of mint, which I thought was kale until I ate it, and the cubes of boiled suet, which I did not eat.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Darn that result

Tried to vote Monday, but got home too late. I would have tried to keep Jake and failed. Would that have been worse?
Disney is employing Evan in their Stars on Ice show, so they have an interest in keeping him, but they don't mind a little drama in putting him down in 5th place. He needs drama since his voice is so dull. I'm enjoying his sense of humor, always delivered in the deadpan voice.
Nicole is still great, but I did expect more bounce.
Erin's outfit was fabulous on top with the fantasy flowers - until you saw the weird purple fuzzy skirt.
The progress of the dancers is certainly nice to see. I was taping over the show with Buzz Aldrin (whom I did not watch) and saw bits of the other dancers, so their improvement was more obvious when I sat down to see this one.
That Argentine Tango really brought out the best in Nicey, Chad and Pamela. Maybe Ron Gursky's claims even work on that level. Ron said it had improved all his dancing, based on his dance partner's observation. His competition partner left for a year, and he did only Argentine. On her return, she said he had improved, and did not believe he hadn't done the standard dances.
One problem with Pamela is that her face is twice as big as her partner's. He has that tiny little scrunched up face with Muppet hair on top. Large faces help actors, I hear. I don't think the messy brunette wig helped her look either.
I looked in on American Idol where they gave Siobhan the end spot and all liked her singing, even Simon Crowell. On that show, you can't vote until you've seen all the contestants, unlike DWTS where people call in their favorites without even seeing them dance.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mary French Dancer

Funny about the open house because I expected more people, but turns out there was no announcement in the paper, so it was okay to get just a few from the old days with Mary French. Sandy King said she recently got a comment she took as a compliment - being called a Mary French dancer. Joe and I were certainly ones as well. Sandy didn't ask exactly what it meant, maybe the viewer recognized the figures they do best, the ones Mary always taught.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Weekend

While I was away, dancers went to April in Portugal at the Navigator in Falmouth, music by Pro-Mix. Reports are that the band and the dinner were very good. The dance floor is almost adequate, but we're really looking forward to the upstairs getting done.
I got back for Samba at the Cape Cod Dance Center, Ron Gursky's angle on the basic Samba steps. Next week, he fixes Voltas.
And the organization of stuff at my mother's house went well too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get Ready

I'm going to deal with a room full of my mother's cloth and clothing, collected over 50 years. I used to give her things because she liked to save them - No More!
I'll be back for the Open House on Sunday - I wonder how it will go.
Anyway, I'm packing and setting up this side of Thursday.
Tonight I meet the Portuguese American Club Board. I'm moving kind of slowly because I'm trying not to push. They may be Old Country types who do not appreciate pushy women. Pushy women get things done! but don't tell them I said that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Now it begins

Knock off the hopeless dancers and the competition can begin.
Bye, Kate. She sort of settled down last week, and then she just was ready to go to sleep!
Chad Ochocinco should maybe go next if he can't stop hitting on Cheryl. He's is distracting himself from the task at hand, standing up straight and performing.
Nicey dramatizes rather than dancing - no footwork.
(Forgot Pamela Anderson, so when does she go?)
Jake seems like an example of a performer getting into show business by a back door - as the Bachelor. Plus he seems to love to dance.
Erin is equally committed to doing well.
I'm hoping for Jake and Erin to battle for third place.
We need to watch Evan and Nicole until the end.
I might even have to vote next week.
During ads, I switched over to American Idol and saw most of Siobhan's song.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wedding quotation

A really beautiful wedding Saturday - Highfield Hall, Stage Door Canteen, Roland's Catering, and a ceremony with quotes from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea.
"A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold tightly because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free."
"They know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together and being invisibly nourished by it."
"Perfect poise on the beat is what gives good dancing its sense of ease, of the timelessness of the eternal."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quoting Janet Carlson

"I've been dancing steadily since Valentine's Day. I have taken countless lessons and classes, passed a professional certification exam, done several shows and a competition - yes, dressed in those outrageous gowns and false eyelashes - and then gone back home to the kids, the soccer, the homework, and to work the next day.
This new period has been rich - as rich in some ways as having my two children because it has been a kind of birth - but it has also been extraordinarily painful thanks to the self-examination that dancing has provoked in me. And so, because of dance, I can say unequivocally and gratefully, that I am alive at last."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quick, Before the Music Stops by Janet Carlson

Subtitled "How Ballroom Dancing Saved my Life", this personal history caught my eye at I'm happy for her that she feels better in her life, and enjoyed the look at the ballroom competition world from a student's eye.
Janet Carlson writes for Town and Country magazine, so you see her frame of reference, the insulated NYC rich, far from the down to earth characters we think of ourselves on Cape Cod. The money to take endless private lessons and enter the competitions is beyond our reach. She relates her problems with her husband that end in an amicable divorce. She loves her daughters. The connection of leading and following is the part that saves her life and illuminates various parts of her psyche.
The nicest thing she does, in my opinion, is to run social dances on a Caribbean island with Bill Davies, a beloved teacher I met once at an event Mary took me to in Boston, teacher training for the International Style.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Liam's floor

Sticky floors + Stage Door Canteen mean a knee twinge.
Turns done with too much knee, which I fixed by getting a core muscles.
Nice batches of people were there, including the Woods Hole Swing teacher, Bill Rozlansky, now retired to fatherhood.
BYW I had to move the stretch class to the CCDC for the day. Good knee therapy will go on.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Initiative

My idea for PR:
Cape Cod Dance Center and Ellen Brodsky will host an Open House Sunday April 25 at 1 PM.
Ballroom dancers are invited to view the remodeling at the former Mary French Studio.
The open house will be followed at 2 PM by a Samba Styling lesson with Ron Gursky, open to all, $14 per person, or as part of a month-long series, $12 per class.
Week 1: Samba Enlightenment: A master teacher's take on the dance based on Brazilian carnival dancing,
suitable for all dance levels - simple steps given better styling
Week 2: The Volta, a step that trips up Samba dancers for intermediate dancers only
Week 3: The Natural Roll, a very showy step beloved by more advanced dancers
Week 4: Pivots - a step useful in many dances, de-constructed for the advanced dancer applied to Samba.

I picked steps I really want to work - for me as well as for everybody else.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Aiden's gone

Time was a handsome guy could stay on DWTS on looks alone.
Of course, I don't really believe our votes are more important than corporate decisions.
Disney has its own agenda. Maybe they have a story line planned: "Dance will soothe Kate Gosselin's unquiet heart" (with an agreement that she would spend at least 3 shows behaving badly).
I'm also surprised at Louis putting in the spiritual angle for Nicey's Rumba.
Jake reminds me of that cowboy who was so good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

International Bronze Foxtrot done

That was a couple of months and an interesting Sunday group. Ron delivered the idea of constant gliding with quick turns. Not completely absorbing like the Argentine Tango, obviously, since that group has grown.
The time, Sundays at 2 PM, also cuts the day off in a funny place.
What next?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Following - it's not so bad

I had another group of couples with intelligent women to talk into following.
Just for the 2 minutes of the song - then we'll talk.
Just while you're dancing - not the rest of your life.
And if he goes off the music, usually it's because he goes too fast, so if you resist speeding up, you're not getting ahead of him.
Still - it's not all that easy either. But it's a good trick to learn.

Friday, April 9, 2010


A pleasant evening of dinner/dance last night - Thursdays. Yarmouth is a hike for Falmouth folk, but we wanted to see what it was like. The Bart Weisman Jazz Group is interested in playing for dancers and plays quite danceable tunes, the standards that people relate to, though often faster than we expected.
Besides us, two members of CCBD danced, Ron and Marie, students of Steve and DeeDee.
Other people enjoyed the music and danced with more or less success. Joe asked the most enthusiastic lady and then had to deal with her trying to lead.
Actually Doug and Kimberley ate there, but he has just gotten over the flu, and they are running a dance tonight at Betsy's.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

American Idol

My first time watching this very popular show - the local girl, Siobhan Magnus is on for another week at least. April 6 was Lennon-McCartney night, good songs, and she chose "Across the Universe", a song without the high notes that have been irritating people, an beautifully sung.
Then Simon Crowell asked her what the song meant to her.
Tears and an invocation of family, the little sisters, all very touching, but if "Nothing's gonna change my world", maybe she doesn't want a record contract. Then her world changes. To me, the song is about the blinders people put on themselves in order to ignore the possibility of change. He kind of hit the nail on the head.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DWTS stories

Since they always have stories as part of their choreography, this week it was just permission to use props.
Most effective prop - Maks' blindfold.
Most props obscuring the dance - Jake & Chelsea's Egyptian statuary (where do they get the stuff?).
Story that made me cry - Buzz & Ashly homecoming (probably the music).
Kate was once again horrible. People must like seeing her do badly since Buzz went home. I think his wife got to use the money for a brand new face lift.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nobody looked lost

An unusual First Saturday - no brand new beginners with "I'm lost!" radiating from their bodies. For the first hour, I set the group onto a style of dance, reminding them of how the basic works, and then they all amused themselves, leaving me free to keep track of the music and answer questions, and greet people. A nice showing for Easter Saturday.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Flamenco documentary

Friday, April 2, 2010

Liam's April First

In Falmouth for the dancing fools, Buzzards Bayou performed a rocking version of their Cajun sound. Amy and Jonathan Larkin's fiddle and accordion are at the heart of the band and could be heard in the early sets. Eric and Loretta had a nice Cajun two-step. Joe and I enjoyed waltz and swing.
Later, the electric guitar, washboard, drums, and Glenway Fripp's electric bass took over. "Zydeco is the black dance music of South West Louisiana which fuses old Creole tunes and rhythms with blues and soul and more recently funk and hip hop to create an infectious dance groove designed to fill the floors worldwide."(internet source)
The floor was pretty full with freestyle dancers while we did our salsa.