Monday, April 30, 2012

My daughter-in-law's Modern Dance work
This one is her latest.
Our son's body of YouTube work is papa_dogo and includes more videos.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


We stopped in to see the granddaughter who said she liked my outfit for the Latino Gala. I said it wasn't all that flashy since I wouldn't know anyone there. We got to discuss "flashy", and she said she likes flashy clothes. We knew that. Sparkly shoes, dresses with petticoats that twirl, polka dots and hot pink, headbands and purple tights. When I found this dress at my mother's she was thrilled, and posed right away.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Latino Gala at Brown

Another interesting event. Joe had considered jeans because it was at a college, but this is 2012, and Brown, and the Latino Heritage Month with the Brown Latino Club -suits and cocktail dresses. We dressed nicely, not too flashy.
Our friend's son, a senior at Brown warned us that there would be student performances as well as Jesus Andujar and Grupo Sazon (sazon= ripeness or flavoring). Good performances, in fact. The Brown Mariachi Band played beautifully as we came in. We also saw the Latino Dance Troupe formation, one song only, good dancing.
Finally the band started. The bandleader told them to dance as if it were their Quinceanera - 15th birthday party when the Latina girls dress up and dance.
First, "El Quarto de Tula", a traditional Cuban song about putting out a fire. The firemen with their big hoses can take care of that girl.There was not a lot of agreement as to how to dance. Most of them haven't danced as partners much at all. The young men from the troupe were popular and the heavy-handed one managed to get the girls to follow.
For Oye Como Va, we did our Cha cha. Latinos don't Cha cha, but one couple must also do the Brown Ballroom Dance Team, so they joined us.
The floor was crowded for the Merengue, a dance everyone understands.
No one stood up for the slow dance.
$10 included dinner?! Donated by the Mexican and the Jamaican restaurants, we got rice and beans (what else), baked chicken or cheese flauto (fried burrito rolled skinny with cheddar filling), and a flan dessert. Soft drinks.
There was some confusion as to Order of Events, so the music started late even though the band was there. They thought they started at 7, but they got to eat. And it was over at 9:00. No alcohol fueling the party feeling.
Our friend's son was in the library working on a thesis paper.
We heard a Freshman speak, "Amazing, not only helpful but also life changing, etc." A Senior spoke very well about learning from your failures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good-bye Gladys Knight

It looked to me like her best dance ever. I have DVR (best invention ever) so I can watch at leisure (ignore Roshon completely) but the camera work was not as good as usual on DWTS. The 20/20 show gave us a look at how the camera man uses 16 cameras and chooses which one to use during rehearsal. Production quality is premier on that show. Go Disney!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Motown Week DWTS

Motown is much better than Rock Week, all 80s Rock, like in "School of Rock", an outlet for frustration. The Motown acts joining the show live was great - give them some of the cash this show generates. Human Nature, the white boy Motown knock-off, did very well, too, though I'm not sure why we need a white boy group doing Motown. What we need is African/American pro dancers, but since half of the pros are from Eastern Europe, I guess we have to get diversity where we can find it.
My favorite moments: Jaleel's dance, the Dance-off, Maria's dress of liquid silver.
I also watched the 20/20 special, "Backstage with DWTS". I loved seeing the costume workshops - a small one downtown for the men, a huge space for the women. Then they gave us the vital statistics - weight loss - Kirstie Alley, 30 pounds, has a supplement that is selling very well. She said Maks was "brutal".
Tom called him a "charm school drop-out" for the quip he made, "Our dance could be worse - if you had an ugly partner." It's true. His partner stood up for him, saying 85% of rehearsal time was positive, but that didn't make it into the package aired before the performance.
The opening number for the show was Gladys Knight, and it was cute. I hated Tristan's white piping on the purple suit. Ill advised. She should stay "just a little bit longer."
Maria and Derek were overscored, I thought. She strikes me as just a bit dull.
Roshon and Chelsie had a hard task: make skinny kid look sexy enough for Rumba, and their scores reflected that.
Donald Driver is another football player who does very well. I agree with Len that he could handle more content.
Mark and Katherine's dance didn't grab me either. Usually I love her. Maybe it was the music, unsuited to Samba. Or Mark's choreography. Or his over-dancing.
William and Cheryl got down on the floor together, but I didn't see the raunchy Len saw.
Jaleel was sharp and quick, right on top of the dance. He did Cha cha last week for the duel, Cha cha for the dance and Cha cha for the Dance-Off, so he was immersed in his style. I feel like she finally brought out the actor in him. Act like you're a ballroom dancer.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beach House

Gee whiz - they even refinished the floor. Maybe the Beach House likes dancers.
Ballroomers were there for the great band, Sunday evening Gritzbach. We made sure to eat and drink - pizza and beer for some of us - others ordered a more extensive selection. Got inspired, moved one of the tables, but not the other two empty ones nearer the bar. It's still primarily a restaurant.
The band added an electric violin - great sound - here's a photo.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Pleasant surprise at the Seacrest last night - a decent sized dance floor! They had promised me 8 by 10 feet, but it was 15 by 18 feet, almost 4 times the size. I got a nice little crowd, six couples who enjoyed the music, got the lesson.
The band was very good. They did the songs I asked for, "It's so Easy" and "Roll with It", (dance teacher propaganda) even though those are, they said, "Rock song" and theirs is a Swing group, specializing in Big Band style. The music they gave us for our demonstration was actually Foxtrot, smooth croony stuff, but you can do Swing to Foxtrot, and Jimmy and Vera did so, looking good. Eventually, when I asked him to, Joe went into a bit of swing too.
Lovely room there on the beach,Oceanside Dining Room. Great guacamole, mussels, and some passed appetizers, which ended up being dinner.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Dances

April 21 seems like the perfect date for spring dances. It's Earth Day, too.
Anyway, off to the Seacrest to add an activity to the West Falmouth Playground fundraiser, "Swing into Spring". Hopefully, I meet Jake Barry, the sophomore who got the whole deal going, along with a bunch of nice people.
Then we get to go on and dance at Betsy's Ballroom with the Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers, "Spring Fling" I'm glad I didn't try to run one myself.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wedding Tangos

We are just a bit of the current trend, the wedding couple performance. My older lady friends who remember other traditions note the shift from showcasing the inclusion of the parents. Perhaps too few of my generation are ready to step up.
Anyway, as I look at wedding videos on Youtube, the Argentine Tango ones are nicer than the line dance type, bride and groom matching steps.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DWTS Argentine

Wow. The three best dancers got to do Argentine Tango.
My daughter-in-law, the modern dance teacher, enjoys the show, especially on DVR for fast forward past all idle chit chat. She worked as a dance reviewer in NYC, so has a judging aspect to her viewing. In fact, she was considering if she could possibly express herself like Bruno. We noticed poor Len turning away to avoid being hit by the gesticulations.
Anyway, she would give the prize to Cheryl Burke. William Levy did nothing to take away from the dancing either.
My son noticed Maks, smooth yet powerful. Pretty much behaving himself in rehearsal as well. I liked how Melissa (the House on the Prairie) could pull out a headache to control him. A concussion has to be good for something.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Falling behind

The visit of my son and little family has taken up all the time I have after gardening and watering. I totally forgot DWTS! My husband reminded me when he noticed the DVR was recording the Results Show while he had the Celtics on, so I went to another TV while the kids slept and the parents went out for ice cream.
Gavin absolutely cannot dance as well as Jaleel, obvious to all. A fair result.
The Monday show will be fun to watch, soon, Argentine style dancing and tricks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Basics, this time with feeling!

A lovely group for Basics last night, the couple from 10 years ago happy to be reviewing, another with talent attending when they can, the young people who caught on right away, his mother who brought them and her boyfriend, the slow-and steady coming right along. This is why I hold classes with an open door policy - come back whenever you can, pay as you go or with a class card. New or review, they all enjoyed a bit of styling and the crossovers.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Best of Dance Teacher's Club of Boston

Winter is over and I'm not done copying tapes to DVD. At least I finished the huge backlog of dance tapes - last one, workshops presented by DTCB: Schwimmer, Pagan, and Russell Jackson etc. got room on the little disc. Now I can toss the big black boxes full of deteriorating magnetic tape.
A summer project - the family tapes. Visitors can enjoy the process with me. Or not.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

DanceSport Boston Seacrest

Wonderful floor at the Seacrest last night, Anne Marie Paul hired Bill Cameron's beauty from Connecticut. Nice music, plenty of room. We locals were half the crowd. Most of the Dance Camp people will be coming for the workshops tomorrow and the next day. Another dance there tonight, a $20 formal affair, or try out the new chef's dinner for a flat $50 on top for $70 pp. Hum... not gonna try to talk Joe into that. I lost my voice last week. It would be gone again!
The floor covers Ballroom I and II with tonight's dinner dance connected to the beautifully redesigned dining room that overlooks Old Silver Beach. Nauset Center, downstairs, is not being used. This is a much smaller crowd than the West Coast competition weekend that used to be held at the old Seacrest.
Meanwhile, I got the lowdown on the Salsa/Swing dance that was to be held tonight, but canceled. We were completely confused about that. Apparently, they have a bunch of salesmen going out to get conventions booked at the hotel in the off season. A Health and Beauty Conference was planned to include the fun event that would have been open to the public as well, but it never got off the ground. Just as well because two dances at the same time same location was weird.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Alcohol, a powerful drug

So I clicked on a facebook link "existential French cat" and got to MSNBC where you could see that a bit of alcohol can improve concentration
Also * Alcohol more dangerous than heroin, cocaine, study finds
Also * Daily drink or two cuts healthy men's heart attack risk
To the subject at hand:
"We can just imagine Budweiser's top brass high-fiving each other upon hearing that drinking alcohol before a test might improve your score (no, you're not sloshed, you read that right). In a study of 40 men, University of Illinois researchers found that subjects who downed two pints of beer before a quiz fared better than their sober counterparts. And not just a little better - the drinkers solved 40 percent more brain teasers than the teetotalers, and solved them faster. We're not advocating getting hammered before the LSATs, but if you've got a breathalyzer handy, the study says that the optimum blood alcohol level for enhanced "creative problem solving" is 0.07."
I believe from my observation years ago before dance lessons, that's about what it would take, three drinks before my husband would dance, and the Blood/Alcohol chart says that's .006, depending on your weight.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Argentine Tango

Interesting new venue for Argentine Tango dancers - Practica and Milonga in Marstons Mills Liberty Hall- Free!
Dancers of this style become obsessed.
Gotan Project's music was featured on DWTS, and is almost enough to bring me into the fold.
Meanwhile, I have a young couple who want to impress at their wedding, so I am embracing the close and tricky steps. The wedding gown could a problem for the fancy leg work, but we shall see.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Wow, Sherri cries easily. She began weeping before she was announced to go. I am glad she didn't have to do a dance-off. A quick kiss and good-bye. I don't think the dance-off is a good idea. If Melissa has to go, she won't really have the energy to fight for another chance.
Meanwhile, the show was very good. The dance interludes were better than ever.
Karina got to dance with the ballet star and show off a terrific Argentine Tango.
The DWTS Vegas show is a nice touch to the entertainment capital of the USA, featuring Sabrina Bryan who could have won a dance-off back in that season when we lost her too early. These producers don't miss a trick for using proven favorites.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rockin' DWTS

They love their Rock Show on DWTS. Gives them more scope for all the special effects they have been perfecting.
Certainly KISS fit right into the display. Loved Tom's comment, "Mimes Gone Wild"
In general, the overwrought sensibility makes me tired. Brooke's hair, too.
However, the Paso Doble is an exercise in overwrought emotions, so I could see that dance fitting in.
In particular, Maks and Melissa got the award for costume of the week, classic bullfighter and Spanish gypsy. Go Maks! Overpower that lady! Get killed and lie in a pool of red light! Then Melissa ended up in the hospital with concussion.
Purple Haze for Paso Doble. Did Jimi just turn over in his grave? Donald Driver has the best tattoos ever, like body paint, and he loved how he looked. Got 9s, wanted 10s.
Katherine probably couldn't win with Paso, having to get aggressive and learn a new dance, too. Welsh warrior, who me?(giggle)
Poor Cheryl lost her shoe, danced on anyway, but William lost points for lack of intensity. I really don't get 80's rock music. If I were voting, he'd get my vote because he doesn't either.
Roshon got Viennese Waltz for rock week, so the music was calmer, and they looked like the end of a Disney movie.
Derek got an ugly mohawk - is there another kind? a stupid mohawk anyway. Maria has a stress fracture but won't quit. Her disguise was nerd girl for all the show until she threw off the glasses, plaid skirt and dumpy blouse for a fabulous Tango dress and excellent dancing. The foot didn't even look taped up.
Jaleel is inconsistent, a liitle weird. What was the Mickey Mouse comment about last week? Now is not the time to diss Mick Jagger, either. I don't like Mick's dance style, but the hit song is "Moves Like Jagger", not Moves like George Jefferson.
Gladys did nicely, all I expect, and I loved her dress. I could wear that one.
Gavin keeps trying, even when threatened with duct tape on his mouth.
I guess I'd let Sherri go based on this week's dance, but we shall see!
I'll be watching on DVD/R again since the local coffeehouse has Bucky Pizzarelli tonight.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

another take on DWTS

Tom Osterland's choices(in order):
Katherine Jenkins – Welsh Opera Star with Mark Ballas – Where did she come from?
William Levy – Actor with Cheryl Burke – Is there a gender gap in the voting?
Maria Menounos – Entertainment Journalist with Derek Hough – Big improvement
Roshon Fegan – Actor with Chelsie Hightower – Hiphop can get him just so far.
Donald Driver – Football with Peta Murgatroyd – Inconsistent so far
Sherri Shepherd – TV Host with Val Chmerkovskiy – Points for personality
Jaleel White – Actor with Kym Johnson – He could surprise us – definitely motivated.
Gladys Knight – with Tristan MacManus – She’s got rhythm, just not speed.
Melissa Gilbert – Actress with Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Not this year Maks.
Gavin DeGraw – Singer with Karina Smirnoff – Should already be gone.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dance & Stretch

I keep trying to put more ab work into the class, but I get too into the dancing part.
The problem is that the class is only an hour. The little girls ballet will stop in June no doubt.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Brazilian Tango

A lovely wedding couple - they all are when they show up for dance lessons -
wants an excellent Argentine Tango, like this one they found on youtube.
I gave them the basic which is on there, and we will work on the tricks with Ron Gursky.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

better results show

This time Anna and Jonathan did a very moving Waltz for their friend who is dying of cancer.
The SYTYCD dancers showed off to a Travis Wall choreography.
And the Soap opera guy left. There was no reason to believe he would get better.
My husband watched Town Meeting downstairs, and they didn't even get to the the wind turbines. Rte. 151, sewerage, historical preservation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I did like the show, though I felt they did all 8s since it was 'personal story' week, "a story about someone who died or some sort of triumph or whatever, and it just feels manipulative." (Television Without Pity) The judges can't mark down a lot without looking insensitive.
There was more weeping than usual. Jaleel especially was a surprise because it wasn't a death. A re-birth for him, when he didn't have to be the nerdy clown Steve Erkel.
Derek was sexier than ever, but he shook his finger, "No, no, it wasn't really a kiss." He usually looks professional, but she had taken him to women's wrestling the night before, and was dressed as Aphrodite.
William Levy looked great, if maybe a bit sloppy in Salsa, the dance he already knew. The time in Cuba was hard, but healthy, I think. A loaf of bread a day is not starving. So what if you don't get butter? The bitterness is the inability to get ahead if you have ambition, which he does.
I liked when Len called him William the Conqueror, English history, then he said "Awesome", and Tom said "In Massachusetts we say Wicked Awesome." I'd forgotten Tom is from Boston area. Joe's aunt knew him. She's getting senile, so I probably can't finagle an introduction.
Len withheld the 10 from Katherine because of Mark's choreography. Who needs all that open work when the dance is so beautiful in the close hold?