Monday, February 28, 2011

Social Media

Use of blogs (here we are) and Facebook is increasing, seeming a good thing especially for the young people needing to be in contact, like the boomer generation of Egypt.
I'm getting the hang of it. Recently, I was happy to see a Facebook friend post a musical gig at Liam's that I would have missed. Events - here I come!
Networking is a good thing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More good kids

A 4H group this time. Chatting with the leader, I misunderstood them to be around 10 years old, but that must have been when they started the group. Young teens, dressed nicely, five guys in jackets, gals all dolled up. We were short of girls, so the Cape Cod Dance Center ballet program sent one over.
I abandoned my ideas for several line dances and went right to Swing. Then, since they were dressed for Waltz, we did box steps in dance position. Finally, Merengue, the perfect party dance.
Hope to do another lesson next month.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


C3TV Down Cape will air "Memories of Mary French and Willie Thorns"
Tomorrow, February 25 at 4 PM
Sunday February 27 at 7 PM
For the month of March on Sundays at 7:30 PM.
The program director says she has already fit it in a couple of places and will look for more "because it's a great show".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dance = Live Arts

Another radio show featured Bill T. Jones, choreographer for "Fela" among other things, and his new venture, a merger with NY Dance Theater to be called NY Live Arts. He believes more young people of today will join in if they are not saddled with the strictures of a classical dance education.
It's all brand new, so it remains to be seen how to get around the shame of public exposure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Deeper Meaning of Disco

On NPR radio, historian Alice Echols, disco DJ in a previous life, says disco was more than glitter balls. Disco, she argues, opened up American culture for gays, for blacks, for women.
I thought the whole point was the dance floors were full. Maybe mostly full of gays, blacks and women? John Travolta was the exception? I also remember his admiration for the Latino couple in the dance contest.

The comments by listeners were fun: the musician writing,"disco spelled the disconnect between live music and subsequent generations and the high gear shift of the music machine and industry run by non musicians."
And another musician, "Something missing from this discussion is how the development of synthesizers and other electronic musical gear, studio production techniques, etc. helped forge the disco genre. It's a relevant topic that pertains to more recent and evolving musical genre."

Anyway, I printed up her set lists, and listened on iTunes, but didn't want to buy any of the songs.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Slip Pivot

Ah, Waltz!
Last week, we got the slip part.
This week the pivot part.
The Hover Telemark seemed tricky, but next week should do it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Local TV

The TV program "Ballroom Dance on Cape Cod: Memories of Mary French and Willie Thorns" has been scheduled to play
Bourne local access cable channel 13 as follows:
Monday Feb 21 at 7PM
Tuesday Feb 22 at 12AM
Wednesday Feb 23 at 1PM
Friday Feb 25 at 8AM
Saturday 2/19 8 PM
Tuesday 2/22 1:30 PM
Mondays at 7 PM
C3TV and Sandwich do a month ahead, so March.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Further High School Adventures

The Spanish Club adviser asked me to come teach Salsa, so I rearranged my schedule for her, and got an okay group, not the Spanish Club, but the theater types showed up.
We were preparing for the Foreign Language Dinner, so I thought maybe they would be motivated to show off. But it's a tricky step and they were more in the mood to goof off. The week before February vacation is goofy.
When we were done, they wandered outside to slide on the ice.
At the Foreign Language Dinner, I'm going to teach merengue.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


is for amateurs.
Accomplishment has to do with work.
Tutoring in the high school again, I see talent devoted to Not Working.
A supreme example I met this morning will probably pass the MCAS, after all, he goes to school, arriving at 7:30.
I was surprised to be so skillfully distracted at such an hour.
The next period, another student and I discussed "Antigone" so he could rewrite his essay.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Twyla & Basics

Twyla Tharp says, "You can never get too many classes in basics."

Broadway choreographer, she wrote a book about the creative process.
Yesterday was my day with the lovely 2-year-old Sloane. We did the fabulous Providence Children's Museum where she is a member. The she needed a nap! I did too, but I checked out Sloane's mother's dance library instead.

I will quote Twyla to any students who feel they have failed if they aren't ready to go on to another step/class.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Ron Gursky: "I didn't realize these people were such sponges for technique!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Great Road Trip: Hepcats

For $8 pp (ridiculous), once a month, 8 times a year, Joe Perrone brings his great equipment to the Congo Church Hall in Fairhaven, and mixes from CDs. I haven't had a graphic equalizer myself since that heavy boombox died. He is serious about his music, and it's nice to listen to.
We had eaten where the locals do, Margaret's, the tiny place near the harbor, so we didn't bother with the food, which was nothing special, though plentiful.
The 30 by 60 wood floor is almost as big as Betsy's, and the same distance from my house.
Very low turnout this month, so he was happy to look for tunes we liked, and the floor had plenty of room. They have almost computer illiterate, so almost zero web presence.
He used to have a teacher from Providence who brought in a crowd, I think, Sarah Sloane, but she got rheumatoid arthritis. Damn!
CCBD - take notice!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fairhaven Wins!

Hepcats cozy monthly dance in the Congregational Church for $8 is 47 minutes away, Swing oriented but happy to accommodate ballroom dancers. Recommended restaurants, also cheap, are Elizabeth's, or Margaret's (BYOB).
Wrentham's Lake Pearl Ballroom turned out to be Friday (oops). Keep an eye out for dances there.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dance and Stretch again

Finally, I have set up another of the Dance and Stretch classes at the Cape Cod Conservatory. The Wednesday class is geared to both men and women of any degree of physical fitness. No mat work, but we will not ignore the abs. Stretches are important as is awareness of inner balance. My music makes it fun and our dance warm up can help the understanding of ballroom steps and styling. 2 PM is a good time for the retired or self-employed. $10.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spaghetti Arms

I was trying to describe the way a follower's arm can respond without adding a dimension of too much resistance, and I came up with spaghetti.
The phrase "spaghetti arms" is often used to refer to a complete lack of resistance, making leading impossible.
However, if we think of dry spaghetti, just out of the box, not boiled soft yet, maybe we can get her to think of her arms differently. The follower's resistance is delicate, firm, responsive, without offering enough resistance that the strand of dry spaghetti would break.
It does require some imagination because the proportions are so different, and arms don't break easily. You just have to treat them as if they would. And I just checked. Dry spaghetti will bend a bit.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Right Turns are "Natural"

Let's keep studying right turns since the rest of the world (besides USA) thinks they are the way to go.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lotsa music 'n' dancin'

More beautiful skating. If we get nice ice again, I'm going to organize some music.
At the tennis tournament social, they had a guitar duo with harmonica and vocals. Peter Antonellis must have been practicing. Winter is good for that.
My Conservatory crowd was great with some new grad students from WHOI as well as my many talented, serious and not so serious friends.
Onward to the Audible Local Ledger's fantastically successful night at the Navigator. Too successful for that tiny dance floor, but it was 11:30 by the time I got there and there was some room. I sat out the last rockin' song watching Moonlighters fans really get themselves going. Mary French used to say, "They'll sleep well tonight."

Here's more beautiful music -

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Guru vs Teacher

"A guru gives us himself and then his system.
A teacher gives us his subject and then ourselves."
from Adam Gopnik's article on kids sports in the New Yorker.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TV Show Memories of Mary French and Willlie Thorns

Done! Imperfect! That was a long haul. The many sources of footage in various media had various faults, some that could be fixed, all to be tied together somehow.
2/7/2011 at 5:00 PM
2/8/2011 at 12:30 PM
2/9/2011 at 11:00 AM
2/9/2011 at 10:00 PM
2/12/2011 at 5:30 PM
2/12/2011 at 9:30 PM