Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This weekend, the first of March 2012

It never rains, but it pours? Friday CCBD's West Coast Swing lesson with Paul Lavalee.
Saturday my dance. Sunday, the start of a Ron Gursky International Cha cha series.

Monday, February 27, 2012


We did dance video with the granddaughter.
I saw the show with her at Salve Regine last week.
The little girl remembered more moves from her mother's dance than I did.
Sticky little minds.
Plus I was never good at choreography.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Teen Swing for the Over-served?

I looked again into Dancing Classrooms, Pierre Dulaine's program in NYC, and saw a greater emphasis on the under-served population of school children, thrust in an environment of multiculturalism. Then I looked at the high school kids I know with so many opportunities they have no time for anything more. Though acceptable as fun and worthwhile, they see no need to make time for dancing. It's too difficult to be seen as goofing off, which may be what they need more of.

Friday, February 24, 2012

TV Show Done

59 minute and 19 second DVDs are made to be delivered to other TV stations on Cape.
Folks to be informed. Keep promoting dance on Cape Cod.
The hour begins with the Willie Thorns memorial last January and runs five minutes before the title "Ballroom Dancing on Cape Cod".
Then, National Ballroom Dance Week showcases give us dreams of where dance can go: the 7-year-old couple and the teens with stupendous training. At the Mary French Scholarship Fundraiser Dance, we see the perfection of the MIT competition couple.
In between those clips, we see out local dancers enjoying live music and their company.
I appear to give out scholarships and tell the audience of dancers, "Look for yourselves on TV!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back from the work visit with my sister

It's kind of scary at our parents' house, so Ann and I are very pleased to have each other to laugh with.
We got our brother to count the coins found in the bottom of a dusty box under newspapers, catalogs, a 1955 style summer dress and some old toys - $92 in JFK half dollars, all worth fifty cents each, face value.
After recycling 20 boxes of newspaper, magazines, catalogs and charity requests, we gained quite a bit of space to sort the rest in, next time.
As for dance, we did stretch sessions in the mornings.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mardi Gras

So far 3 choices:
Liam's with the Mojoleros who used to be Buzzards Bayou before adding salsa to their mix. Tiny dance floor
Betsy's with Lestyn on Saturday. Great dance floor.
Mojoleros in West Dennis a place I've never been, O'Shea's - dance floor?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

more film!

I had forgotten Lee Bruce's footage of the Willie Thorns Memorial Tea Dance. Everyone was there - dancers like Tiny Catrambone and Jim Grevelis with a grace practiced over years.
This will mean another batch of editing, hours and hours. I can only stand to do 2 hours a day, so another week at least. Sitting in front of a computer is not natural for a dancer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dancing Classrooms

The "Mad Hot Ballroom" program seems to have evolved. They sent me a 12 page document that I'm printing up because I am totally fascinated with everything about Pierre Dulaine and the work with youth.
It says I would need a local "Pierre Dulaine", the warm, dedicated gentleman.
At least another male dance teacher or six. We have a couple on Cape.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cha cha with Ron

Great fun, our studio party. A new idea for crossovers - just looking at the dance creatively.
We had a lovely little family show up. I have known the mother for years - her father was a dance teacher. Her husband set it up, and they brought their two little girls who take Jazz and Hip hop at the Cape Cod Dance Center. They didn't learn the step itself, but they got a lot out of it in terms of how the whole thing works and had a great time.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jazzy Valentine

Roy Scott Band put together the dance in Lake Pearl Ballroon in Wrentham last night - a big success, tons of people. The band was competent and responsive, offering Waltz, Cha cha and Rumba though we had expected only Foxtrot and Swing.
I had a couple of ideas of how it might be better.
The huge floor was mostly covered with tables, while the space behind the pillars where tables belong, was empty.
The dance lesson was a waste since a hundred people crowded onto the smallish floor for nothing but basic. The dance teachers' efforts would have been better directed at guiding people to understand line of dance.
I helped organize seven of us, and we had the dinner, which was very good except the bread, but I have given up bread for a few weeks anyway. We had a reserved table in the dining room, but no reserved table in the ballroom, really more important to us.
I spoke to the dance teachers about the floor size, and will email the band leader.
If we go again, I'll make the effort to get seats on the dance floor, not at the back of the room.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Pilates teachers

These women are knowledgeable and observant who also work as personal trainers.
Working anatomy is their specialty, with an emphasis on balance and strength, backed by study of the charts of the muscles and their connections. Lori Martin, usually in Osterville, is on break.
Luckily for me, my daughter-in-law, another Pilates teacher, gave me some sessions with her teacher in Providence, so I am on track to relax the hip flexors.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shaking hands

A custom that has gone out of vogue, but "pressing the flesh" seems like a good way to talk to people about connection in dancing. A firm hand shake shows your willingness to engage with the other person, and I will ask students to translate that to the dance frame. Not the grip of the man's left and lady's right hand hold, but the connection on her back and on his shoulder.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back to Roots

My video tape project continues with the Best of Dance Teachers Club of Boston, as collected by Mary French and edited by me.
From 1989, Buddy Schwimmer, from southern California, the King of West Coast Swing who showed up on DWTS because 1)Lacey Schwimmer's father and 2)Now enormously fat, he is still light on his feet, an inspiration to Chaz Bono.
In 1989, he did technique pure and simple, without the tricks young instructors teach as the only way.
Then a one minute show.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Looking around at my dance last night, I was asked how many were my students - not something I usually count, but interesting. A minority are taking lessons with me at this time. Many former students, which made it nice for the lesson which didn't have to be just Basic (this is your left foot). The style of Waltz and Swing, and, ladies, if you still don't get the Latin action, come to Dance and Stretch.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

To Boston for a movie

Well, it was "Pina in 3D", which will not always be available. Two dimensions will still be good, and maybe not as intense will be good. I wept several times as the dancers expressed their anguish at the loss of their beloved teacher, who, being German, had constructed dances full of angst. Joy was expressed as well, fantastic scenes, humorous performance art on the streetcar, interviews.
Driving in was easy, but Parking - OMG - $30! Well, we got the matinee price on our entrance and only one short traffic jam due to a minor accident.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Zumba does not seem to be improving my lady students' ballroom skills.
I look at them, and they are rip raring to go. No internalization of power. Strength held in works better if you are the follower. Please do Pilates.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Pina" the movie

Just came to Boston after being released in Europe in April, this 3D study of modern dance directed by Wim Wenders should be terrific! I am rounding up friends to go to Boston to see it before it disappears from the 3D screen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Couples dancing

Another phrase for what I teach. After all, where's the ballroom?Yarmouth?
But I'm not changing the name now. "Ballroom Dancing" has worked for twenty years, the classes varying in size for no discernible reason.