Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bands coming up in December

Stage Door Canteen December 9 Liam's, Falmouth
George Gritzbach December 10 House of Bud Hyannis
Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish December 11 Grumpy's Falmouth
Dave Burbank CCBD Dance December 19 Betsy's Yarmouth

Monday, November 29, 2010

more Pink Martini

Here is a "Ladino" Hanukkah song by Pink Martini. "Ocho Candelikas" or "Eight Candles". They do Chacha very well.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Terrible boat accident


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Season End of DWTS, Finally

For several people, DWTS has shown itself to be grossly unfair and therefore not to be watched on principle. I consider it required viewing for my profession and will continue to watch even though last night's show was downright dull - repetitive and predictable. They get a few dramatic moments that we've seen a dozen times already and throw them at us again. The only surprises were when better dancers got kicked off the show so Bristol Palin could talk about how haters need to hate. I have a mute button on my remote.
Anyway, Jennifer did dance beautifully. Second place Kyle really put out. Third place Bristol was almost worth watching.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Losing a Friend

A wonderful dancer is gone. Willie Thorns was a graceful sight on the Cape Cod dance floors. His smooth, quiet style seemed effortless as he and Jan would slide between the other couples. I would invoke the image to encourage my students to step out a bit more, take charge of their dancing and enjoy the space as he did.
As a sailor, he knew the ocean can be a cruel mistress, but we did not think his luck would run out so soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I've been out of town - all the way to the Big City, where the current Broadway show Fela, choreography by Bill T. Jones, rocks the house with Patti LaBelle as Fela's mother.
People take theater seriously on Broadway.
As usual, dancers themselves get little recognition, but the lead, Kevin Mambo,from Zimbabwe via Canada, does a ton of dancing, plays the saxophone, and already has an Emmy for "Guiding Light", daytime TV(!)
We got a little 'dance lesson'. Asked to stand, we then were asked to imagine a clock and move the hips to each number, finally taking on 3,9,3,9,3,9,3,9 in time to the pulsing Afro-beat.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TOTALLY frivolously wrong result

The subject line of Pierre Dulaine's email to his instructors on hearing the results of DWTS. My hero, directer of Dancing Classrooms in NYC, prime mover for "Mad Hot Ballroom" says Bristol Palin in the finals is too incredible.
Joe tells me it's on the morning news, still, two days after the event.
Well, I have to be cynical. Publicity is what the show wants, and they have that excuse - America voted. Demand a recount! Election fraud!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I voted for Brandy, and I know she really wanted to win - maybe too much- so she did well not to say anything when she was bumped.
I was afraid of that when she and Maks were asked to repeat their Argentine tango.
Len said she would be back to dance her freestyle.
Is this a note to producers - get people who aren't really star material, or even the usual star wannabes?
Anyway, the Monday night show was great with lots of tens handed out, finally, even for Kyle. Bristol got none. She hopes to get one this coming week. I'd have commented yesterday, but I was struck down with the 24 hour stomach flu.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Swing World

Seemingly, the Swing World welcomed Salsa into their midst on Saturday, though I didn't see much evidence. I did meet Javier Arroyo leaving the Marriott in Newton. At my three Sunday morning WCS workshops, the only hint of salsa was a move we see in Chacha.
On their schedule, West Coast and Lindy workshops were throughout the weekend. Salsa was Friday and Saturday to get those Westies ready for the band. Next year for sure I've got to go see how it works.
Yesterday, I had seven hours of dancing, so it was just as well that I missed the Saturday dance.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Grumpy's got rid of the woodstove.
Also the raised seating.
Adds space in one section.
If they refigure the place, might they put in a wood floor???????

Friday, November 12, 2010


Happily, there have been no stars that have left DWTS this season due to injuries.
However, we keep hearing about Jennifer's injuries. Then she shows no sign of pain in performance. Makes me think she must be getting serious drugs - steroids and painkillers? Why she seems goofy in interviews? Could result in a serious let down when it's all over.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

December 18

Records show that no classes should be held after December 18 until after the New Year.
Since that date is a Saturday this year, let it be December 15 this year.
Then we decide how big of a break to take until starting up again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Week 8 DWTS

Seemingly, the "Instant Dance" was not scary after all. Liberating, perhaps, I would think. After all, that's the way we all dance naturally. The music comes on and we move with what we know.
The dancers left are moving more naturally since they have been practicing hard and are the ones who took to the regime in the first place.
Scoring was very high. Personally, Jennifer has been leaving me cold. That balance in a split - Len had a special name for it - looked forced, like Derek was ready to catch her, which is probably the case.
Whereas Brandy looks beautifully at ease and happy, like she has bloomed. I actually voted this week. I went for her and for Kyle, thinking he has a better chance of beating out Bristol. The producers will surely want one man in the final.
Now we have to wait a week to see how our favorites are doing. I always miss them on Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

West Coast Swing

Interesting class last night. Three people added themselves in in spite of my lack of encouragement and without telling me ahead of time, which was nerve wracking, but seemed to work out okay. I mostly had to ignore them while they tried to fall into the dance. They have no East Coast Swing, so there aren't any wires getting crossed.

Anyway, maybe I should be doing something about the marked lack of West Coast Swing on Cape. I know people get frustrated. I'm sure Doug & Kim and Debbie Israel have seen that. Steve & DeeDee don't even dance it themselves.

Lately, I haven't offered it to any but the advanced class, and now they're getting pretty good.
Need to feed in another batch. Fridays in the winter?

Monday, November 8, 2010


My husband has an observation from his years playing sports.
If you go into your game thinking you're better than you really are, you end up playing worse than you really can.
I remember getting my come-uppance at a dance camp for amateurs back in the 90s. I'd been teaching for a few years then and thought I must be getting on to Advanced, not realizing how hard the high level amateurs work.
Back to beginners!
Self awareness and humility can help you improve, and
pride goes before a fall.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


A big group of non-ballroomers showed up last night, and we appreciated their energy. The excitement of the new is infectious, and it's all new to them.
I love that format at the Conservatory that invites all levels to participate and keeps it simple enough that they are comfortable. Then they leave early, giving us the whole floor to fill up with whatever we're interested in.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


On their last night party, I showed my night school a tape of DWTS Best 10 dances out of 200 shows, a feature I would buy on DVD, but I was not that pleased with the effect on the students.
Neither inspirational or instructional.
The amateur competition video I usually show is unpolished dancers strutting their stuff, off time, getting dropped, etc. showing imperfect but fun times, which is what beginners aspire to.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bent vs. Flexed Knees in Tango

Len Goodman made a good point that I was ready to present to students last night.
The video personnel caught Kurt Warner's choppy movement for us, and he was bummed out. He and Anna, who I like, got to bicker on camera about whose fault it was. As she recalled, he was having a hard time keeping his knees from straightening, so she didn't go into the difference between "bent" and "flexed" which is a matter of ease. Dancing should look easy and graceful.
A look of confidence should be conveyed by an upright head, not a hunched protect-the-neck position as is useful on the football field, as Emmet Smith pointed out.
I do like how that program ends up relating the dance to life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What, missed the show again?

I even checked ahead of time to see the time, and noticed it was one and a half hours which turned out to be because of election coverage sandwiched in. But I didn't notice it started an hour earlier than usual. I could have made a tape of Team Apolo's Chacha and enjoyed it more than the jerky abc.com transmission. Kurt looked even better.
Got home from the last Tuesday night school class - the party - and turned on to see dapper Tom talking about Taylor Swift who has been on before and stands pigeon-toed as she sings: the anime/manga look? After that it was just the results and Rick Fox went, which was okay if not my choice.
Watching online I found the Most Dramatic Moment Award very entertaining, including Marie Osmond's acceptance onstage in Vegas. Best Worst Dancer was also just the right amount of those horrible train wreck dances. Male Pro Dancer Transformation revealed we prefer shorter hair on men, so that could have been cut, whereas the Judges' Moments were just too great for words, even though nobody "won".
The Stars of Dance Mary Poppins number featured a very promising song, "Step in Time", an idea I can really get behind.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

200th Episode

Another recording snafu - they started early! Adding in all the guest judges and their best dances and celebrity team captains takes time. I watched on line and thank you, abc.com, but it's still a jerky transmission.
I have fallen in love with Brandy. Finally she seems to be able to get over the embarrassment of a sexy dance, which Bristol never will. Next week, I will actually vote.
And politically speaking, national elections will be over, so we can let Bristol go.
Jennifer did beautifully, but is talking about quitting, and may still crash and burn. She is a loose cannon that way.
I'm guessing they want a man in the finals, so Rick and Kyle have to stay since they are improving more than Kurt.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ron's Sunday Foxtrot Class

After all these years, a brand new step in Foxtrot.
Fallaway Natural Turn.
Concepts within concepts.
Some of the students may not really get it this time around.
But what else is new?