Saturday, December 31, 2011

1966 songs

WFPB Folk/Rock has a 45 year retrospective going - Bob Dylan, Donovan, Dusty Springfield, Byrds, Lovin' Spoonful, Mamas and Papas and there's the Beatles. None of it makes me want to dance. I guess the dance music was in other genres.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sales and belief

I constantly do a reality check on what I hear. That's why I like jokes that start, "A ____ goes into a bar, and ...", so I can go into a willing suspension of disbelief.
Sales resistance stems from that same trait.
Making sales sometimes involves leading people on into their own fantasies.
Often, ballroom dancing depends on that fantasy aspect of the activity, but the way I teach and promote classes does not.
I see people who have come from the hard sell studios, and I pull back. They will not see that from me.
In some ways, I'm sorry because the approach can work, and I truly believe that dance can enrich any life.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fitness resolutions vs Dance & Stretch

The gyms get the women thinking of being fit. Machines and regimens, a class every morning and every night of the week, working in unison.
I conduct a playful class, not enough all on its own, but more self aware, and the music is good. The drop-in policy means I need a much larger set of possible students.
My New Year resolutios is to find that larger group.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Get Some Dancing In

Thank goodness we went to see Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish at Grumpy's Friday night, since the dancing has been scarce. Can that man sing! It was bumper car dancing, but everybody had a good time, and I got my fix since there will be no place or time with all the family to visit and take care of.
Christmas was a lot of work for me. The turkey we raised and processed was wonderful, but I was in charge of the 7 hours of roasting, and the turkey soup the next day.
Then my granddaughter - after three days, playing with a three year old becomes work!
My official work as a dance teacher is much more like playing.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

The turkey is ready to be stuffed and roasted. Cookies are baked. Rooms are cleaned. Fancy treasures are displayed with an idea that they could find a new home. The gathering can begin!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finishing Up the Emu Oil

Emu oil sounds yucky but I got sold on it - hey, try a tiny bottle - at a craft fair a few years ago.
I used it a bit and saw no difference, but then it was almost gone, so I went on a tack to use it every day - Use It Up! I love finishing things. I read the latest brain science says this is an inherited characteristic that counteracts the procrastination tendency (also in your brain) that can be so prevalent and crippling.
As it happened, my new application method, drops on the back of my left hand before applying to my face, showed me the definite improvement where I could see it. I have ordered more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another room at our mother's house

My sister and I were a great team, and surprisingly, our mother was happy to accept the help in her messy "studio".
She had been skeptical that we would respect her stuff, but maybe she's realized space is another luxury, better than any of the fancy treasures she has accumulated.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Thinking about how people want to be transformed, but maybe not actually change.
Pilates uses that word, transform, and I begin to see how it works, remembering how I used to look at myself in the mirror and try to stand naturally to see how fat I really was.
In fact, having developed my core muscles, I expect to see myself as pulled in. It's not fake any more to hold myself the best way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Grand Jury is over

Three months of Fridays and I heard stories of the lowlife of Cape Cod - makes you wonder as you go about your business, what else is going on!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Baking

I've given up having cookies around the house because nobody loves them more than I do.
For Christmas, I get to make up bunches and put them in tins to take to the family reunion at the big house in Stockbridge.
I made mocha Russian Teacakes, mini ginger scones, my grandmother's ginger cookie, almond macaroons with ganache filling, Joe's mother's mundelbread, almond twists, and mini turnovers. When I called up Joe's mother, she said, "Mundelbread? I want fruitcake!" So I made fruitcake.
Helen's Great Ginger Cookies!
3/4 c butter, 1 c sugar, 1/4 c molasses, 1 egg
2 1/2 c flour (Here the 1/2 is added in, penciled on top of the c for cup, so last time I made them without the 1/2 cup and got more of a ginger snap than the ball cookie)
2 t soda, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t ginger, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t cloves
Melt butter, cool and add to beaten sugar, egg and molasses. Sift dry ingredients and add sugar mixture. Mix well, form into ball and roll in granulated sugar.
Bake 8-10 minutes at 350-375 degrees. Makes 5 dozen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

American Tango from Ron

The guy who has been teaching Argentine Tango will step back from the dance that has everything, he says, to let us just work on the slice of it that some of us enjoy, beyond T-A-N-G-O, but still marching along.
An addition to the American Tango on Sunday will be useful if we get it incorporated into the dance.
Often steps from a workshop just fall by the wayside, but this time with cool names - Media Luna and Flip, hey, they could be remembered. Thanks Ron!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Great shoes

Dancer's Place carries Bloch ballroom shoes now - a superior brand. I am very pleased with the little low heeled sandal - decent price, too!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Dimensional Dance Art - (looking for Christmas)- card)

I mean paintings and cards depicting dance. So far for me, I just like that one artist with two pictures, one with a maid and an umbrella, one with the couple in a fog set of pictures.
Okay, found them. Jack Vettriano's work called "The Singing Butler" and "Dance me to the End of Love" Idealized - the ideal of ballroom dancing.
My sister just went to a studio in Philly owned by a Tango aficionado. ( who said you're so close you feel your partner's heartbeat while dancing. "A tour de force: racing around intimately." She sees the dancers as they are, not as I would like to imagine them to be.
Other painters show overexcited or oversexed dancers, not depicting the calm, clear center that stays focused while the limbs move to the music.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

recording from DVR.....(DWTS over but not to be forgotten?)

We're in a changeover zone.
Not going back to VHS.
DVD/R player just died.
Now, do I go for USB storage or DVD storage?
Do I trust either one to last? If so, how long?
The new TV has output to a computer - that's promising except that I don't need a laptop devoted to video recordings.
And will the picture get shrunk or stretched?
DWTS, I hope to make a "best of", but no promises.

Monday, December 5, 2011

solid activity

Two hours of stacking wood, an hour of a private lesson, an hour of a group lesson, teaching for an hour and a half. Feels great.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big weekend in Falmouth

With two church fairs and a Farmer's Market, you could hardly park downtown. I was decorating the Conservatory, so it was almost over by the time I got there, and I missed the Congo Church, looking in at St. Barnabas because I wanted to see how the hall was faring in the season. A nice decorated tree.
The Woods Hole Renaissance Fair seemed smaller this year, but then again, I was late. I saw the parade of the Santas form for a march on Water Street.
Holidays at Highfield. Pageant at Highfield Theater. Christmas Stroll on Main Street.
My dance was small change in the midst of all that, but new dancers came in for inoculation. Hope they catch the bug!
Today: Christmas Parade, Mostly Men's Chorus performance, Ron Gursky's lessons, then I have a teen party with a great bunch of kids.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Not a Pilates mat class, really

I tried out a 9:00 class at Balanced Fitness because I like that time of day. We used the ball throughout. That was what I call a dull class. No individual attention, no core work that I could feel, no music. And yet it was crowded. Then I hear they're re-arranging the schedule.