Friday, September 30, 2011

Light Refreshments

Coming up: more events without the benefit of a cash bar.
Could Joe's idea of the "Designated Drinker" give us the option?
Joe says, "Since the dancers don't drink enough to keep a place with a dance floor in business, we could go down to the local gin mill, and pick up a guy to sit at the bar all night. We would buy him drinks and drive him home afterward. Win/win!"
I'm not sure the alcoholic himself wins, but it makes a good story, so Stop Analyzing, Ellen!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Announcement! PR!

This year, the Mary French Scholarship Fundraiser Dance will be held at Betsy's Ballroom, Forrest Road, Yarmouth on October 14 from 7 to10 PM. Most of the evening will feature open dancing to the excellent ballroom band, Trilogy, and ticket sales are limited to 100 to ensure an optimal dance experience for $25.
The feature showcase this year will be MIT Ballroom competition couple Ben Moss and Noelle Sun performing the Smooth dances, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot Viennese Waltz, and Quickstep.
Noelle Sun and Ben Moss both joined the MIT Ballroom Dance Team in the fall of 2006 and have now been dance partners for two years. After a successful first year competing at the pre-championship level, in 2011 they won the amateur adult pre-championship standard division at USA Dance Nationals and currently compete at the championship level in competitions nationwide. Noelle graduated with a degree in English from Wellesley College in 2009 and is now a first-year student at the New England College of Optometry. Ben received his Master's from MIT in 2009 and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Both of them are active leaders on the MIT team; Noelle coaches newcomer dancers and Ben is serving his fourth year as the team's captain.
Light Refreshments, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and line dancing during the band's breaks will round out the evening.
Tickets are available for sale by mail.
Mary French Scholarship Fund
c/o Janice Condron
PO Box 1384
Mashpee, MA 02649
For reservations contact Ellen at 508 548-0036

The Mary French Scholarship Fund has been established as a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering ballroom dance in the youth of Cape Cod by awarding scholarships for dance lessons in the memory of Mary French who lived in Falmouth and taught dance at her studio in Cataumet for over thirty years.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Schedule

I see people have pulled themselves together to take advantage of the fall season - a good showing at the studio, night school classes, and stretch classes.
I'm looking at conflicts - CCBD member dance the same Friday night as Rosh Hashanah, an opportunity to spend Fridays with my granddaughter, Mary French Memorial Dance Friday October 14, wedding preparation couples, possible tutoring, and
Grand Jury starting Monday. That last one is a big question mark. I made a couple of calls, but the word is, "You will find out your duty when you get here."
I'm loving the DVD/R that automatically records DWTS. (Bye, Elisabetta and Val)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Still thrilled

I took the feeling from the big dance into the next day.
Can't believe I couldn't give away a couple of tickets, even after 20 calls.
I'll have to talk it up even more next year.
And give feedback to Sgt. Kelly, as well as try to invite the young historical reenactor, Jason, to join us for more swing dancing. Last year, I hear, they had a choral group who sang for too long.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Camp Edwards Sock Hop

Decorations - an ice sculpture, hundred of crepe paper streamers, hundreds of balloons in a net! Halfway through the dance, they released the balloons, and we popped them for ten minutes! Then a lady with a dust mop cleared them off the floor for ten minutes so we could dance again.
Stage Door Canteen is a great band, but I wish they had stuck to the forties music because some of the fifties stuff got too loud, and the acoustics in the gym were not great.
Another highlight was dancing Swing with the young man in uniform who moved like a guy from 1944. No wonder the Brits fell in love with the dance. I should have gotten more than just his name, though he dances only Swing as they do in the Boston community. We went to one of the evenings where they danced only Swing all night, even when the song was much more of a Foxtrot or Chacha.
He pointed out some Germans who had come in their grey uniforms and the ladies wearing hats the whole evening, but unfortunately, they were just leaving.
A room of historical photos and artifacts was also interesting.
There were plenty of tasty little sandwiches, but the delicious cake went too fast.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweet Melissa at Grumpy's

We hadn't been to Grumpys since the spring, so the down home atmosphere filled with rockin' guitar, great vocals and dancing people felt fine. Leaving after the first set was good too. The girls with drinks had begun to fill the "floor".
The owner told me Toni Lynn Washington will be there at the end of October, maybe to be a regular like Weepin' Willie? The new seating makes it nice for music lovers to just sit.
Still need earplugs.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Marley Flooring

The roll up rubberized marley floor at the Conservatory, Falmouth, is great because it lets the beautiful maple floor underneath stay clean and smooth for Ballroom and for fancy events. Ballerinas don't slip in their toe shoes.
I even spent an hour re-rolling and cleaning it up. They are leaving half of it down for kids that will be easily rolled it out of the way at my next dance, October 8.
No guilt at talcum powder.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ladies Styling

As my Dance and Stretch class evolves, I see more ways it holds interest.
First, it is like Klara's Flexibility Class, a great mid-afternoon workout for Klara's Senior friends. I loved it, but Klara said I had to take the Modern Class at night.
Next, I want everyone to understand how important core muscles are. I couldn't enjoy Aerobics, Ballet or Yoga, but Pilates lets me concentrate on much of the same inner strength without loud music, strict rules, or silent spirituality.
Finally, my years of Ballroom let me lead the group in a warm-up as if it were a line dance and correct the little things that help my ladies look good while they are dancing.
And I still get to choose the music.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mildly famous

Maybe I could get just famous enough to be on DWTS if one of my relatives could do something. Come on, Sis! Oh, but you're not supposed to be a dancer already. Another dream broken.
Anyway, I did identify that fun song (in my opinion a Hustle), "Dynamite" Taio Cruz. He's got his brands on.
First I googled "dayo" which got me to Harry Belafonte's "Day-O" but I didn't give up until I found the DWTS music website - Kristin and Mark's Cha-cha, 9/19/11. West Coast Swing dancers use it - they use anything.
I hear Shirley Ballas (Mark's mother)charges $385 per hour to teach children.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DVD/R=easy DTWS viewing

Well, there we are. Comcast does it again - upgrades service.
Joe's sports mania put us in a category that now includes the DVD/R that I wasn't able to convince myself to get.
He says it's $5 cheaper per month - For now. The cheese in the trap.
DVD/R works very nicely. The picture was good. Fast forwarding ads worked.
The show was decent. No clear front runner yet.
I could switch back to the baseball game periodically to catch Jacoby Ellsbury's in-the-park home run. Go Sox.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ron's Salsa workshop

I was a bit punchy yesterday. Dance events Friday and Saturday, then Dance Teachers Club of Boston 9 AM to 2:30, my lessons with Ron, and then set up for the workshop/party. I don't usually laugh as much at Ron's jokes. Great fun, not at all "Public Humiliation," as he claimed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Our outdoor dance floor worked perfectly, and the weather cooperated. No rain, seasonably comfortable. Without lights, our dance party was from 4 to 6 PM, and lightly attended. Maybe in June, more people will be as inspired as I was by the beauty of the outdoor space. I heard dancing under the stars at Seaport was very nice, too, though it must have gotten quite chilly at night.
Forgot to take a picture.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ballroom Performances in Yarmouth

The event last night was very well run - we are sorry not to be able to share it with the community at large at the Cape Cod Mall as we have some years, but the performances moved right along. I don't expect to have to do as much editing, come January and my Ballroom dancing on Cape Cod 2011 show for local access cable.
We saw an excellent show with seven-year-olds, teens, and a formation done by our middle-aged group.
Next month college students will be represented at the Mary French Memorial Dance.
The twenty and thirty somethings are just too busy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Robert Fulghum's 'This I Believe'

Robert Fulghum wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. and lives in Seattle and Crete. 'This I Believe' produced for NPR by Jay Allison of Woods Hole.
"I believe in dancing.
I believe it is in my nature to dance by virtue of the beat of my heart, the pulse of my blood and the music in my mind. So I dance daily.
The seldom-used dining room of my house is now an often-used ballroom — an open space with a hardwood floor, stereo, and a disco ball. The CD-changer has six discs at the ready: waltz, swing, country, rock-and-roll, salsa, and tango.
Each morning when I walk through the house on the way to make coffee, I turn on the music, hit the “shuffle” button, and it’s Dance Time! I dance alone to whatever is playing. It’s a form of existential aerobics, a moving meditation.
Tango is a recent enthusiasm. It’s a complex and difficult dance, so I’m up to three lessons a week, three nights out dancing, and I’m off to Buenos Aires for three months of immersion in tango culture.
The first time I went tango dancing I was too intimidated to get out on the floor. I remembered another time I had stayed on the sidelines, when the dancing began after 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.”
Recalling her wise words, I took up the challenge of tango.
A friend asked me if my tango-mania wasn’t a little ambitious. “Tango? At your age? You must be out of your mind!”
On the contrary: It’s a deeply pondered decision. My passion for tango disguises a fearfulness. I fear the shrinking of life that goes with aging. I fear the boredom that comes with not learning and not taking chances. I fear the dying that goes on inside you when you leave the game of life to wait in the final checkout line.
I seek the sharp, scary pleasure that comes from beginning something new — that calls on all my resources and challenges my mind, my body, and my spirit, all at once.
My goal now is to dance all the dances as long as I can, and then to sit down contented after the last elegant tango some sweet night and pass on because there wasn’t another dance left in me.
So, when people say, “Tango? At your age? Have lost your mind?” I answer, “No, and I don’t intend to.”
(I missed the 2007 airing of this.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11

We wanted to be respectful on this tenth anniversary. The churches must have been full, but we have not been part of organized religion for many years.
I kept the day quiet, doing the best basic things, what we used to call Karma Yoga, picking the peaches and apples, pulling weeks, stacking firewood, washing the car, swimming, mending, making an apple pie, calling the granddaughter on Skype for magical pictures of the dancing three-year-old, having the neighbors over.
We try to remember without being as sad after ten years.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Highfield Prius Party

Great live music by the Conservatory mini-jazz band. Our local education director George Scharr plays the trombone. He had an associate on clarinet, his son on drums, another young man on the big bass, a third playing guitar. It was a wonderful acoustic sound with just a little amp for the strings. They asked us to dance and put out a terrific Rumba, the young men sight reading. Then we chatted a bit more, had wine, little sandwiches, and desserts, and did an encore, our lead and follow impromptu Chacha.
Mindy Todd picked the winners of the Prius, the bicycle and the Radio Flyer wagon. Joe did not win.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New floor

The Cape Cod Dance Center Annex has a new floor, Pergo (tm), dark, smooth and textured like wood, with padding. 9 AM Saturday, the ladies and I will try it out. A big improvement over the scarred linoleum over concrete.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mercury Retrograde

This month long astrological phase has been a catch phrase for some time when things go wrong, especially mechanically. If we're looking for something to blame, this idea is attractive. It does make you think about why things go wrong because often the blame rests on ourselves, on shortcuts we took and got away with for a long time.
AstrologyZone has good general advice. "Because to move forward it is sometimes necessary to backtrack and reconfigure our paths in life, it is important to reconsider, repair, reflect, and reconnect. Mercury forces us to slow down and fix what's broken, and in so doing, rethink things."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cape Cod Music Festival Review

Not well attended, but a nice event with collection of food for the needy.
I walked in for Siobhan Magnus in a Rockin' phase with 3 young men on guitars turned up way too loud. I wanted to watch her so I put in ear plugs to enjoy "Go Ask Alice" and "Put a Spell on You".
Then I went and got Joe who had been windsurfing.
Very good food vendors: Nimrod, Quick's Hole, Fiddlestix, Asia. They deserved a bigger crowd. $5 beer or wine
Daniel Byrnes was terrific and had that nice guitarist and saxophone player.
Chris Smithers did great folk songs for over an hour (a lot for me).
Ronnie Earl, formerly of Roomful of Blues, billed as world's foremost blues guitarist, has a solid band, the Broadcasters, and we loved the keyboard. Tons of Ronnie noodling around on the guitar, which is fun up to a point. 15 minute solos are beyond that for me.
Perfect weather, not too hot or cold.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saga of lost connectivity

It would be a long and weary tale.
The one highlight of excitement was just scary. Our son sat near the power lines all day Monday while we waited for NStar to cut off power. The power sparked and burned the underbrush, so he would shovel from wheelbarrow of damp earth. We had thought a hose would help, but our Physics teacher son said there was a possibility of arcing through the water.
Once the power was off, we went to generator and cell phones for the week. I went to the library once a day to use cyberspace.
The lady who does the listings in ArtsFalmouth was cut off as well, so she never was able to fix the date for my dance, and it was published wrong. Hate that!