Thursday, August 30, 2012

My, oh, my they can dance

A very impressive show last night. I was sorry to see Will go. He is so large for a dancer - and I can relate to that. Also, he danced so seriously for a change and in a metaphorical number that really worked. I love metaphors. I remember my modern dance class as a teenager, wanting to add a meaning to our upcoming performance, but being overruled by another, better, dancer - "Why can't it just be a dance?" Because.
Cole was scary, as he can be - martial arts is scary!
Chehon is from Chicago (!)- adopted by some odd old people - the mother has fire engine red hair. Both his solo and the Tango piece blew me away. I actually voted for him, punching in the 855gohim number and everything.
I also voted for Eliana who has more depth to her movement than any other girl there. She nailed the quickstep better than any SYTYCD dancer ever.
We lost Lindsay, but her dance, with Alex, was not as remarkable as Witney's with Twitch, who blew last week's partner away. Tiffany is a lovely wisp who stayed.
We also still have Cyrus who almost kept up with Melanie, last year's winner.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Round Dancing

Watching on youtube, I saw an odd mix of English teaching and square dance.
In Colorado, an Englishman calls out International figures on top of the lush Rumba music to couples dressed like cowboys.
Their website details significant information, well expressed, about how to make competition dancing work, complete with anecdotes about International judging.
The choreography is called out, so the couples don't actually need to lead and follow.
The man doesn't need to remember what he's doing, and the lady doesn't need to forget to anticipate.
I'll stick to what I've got, with fewer steps and the music given greater significance.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Harold and Meredith Sears on Ballroom Hold

This and many technical articles are gathered by a round dancing web site.
Round dancing means the dancers know what comes next, but they still use lead and follow, so these articles analyze the way partnered dance really works.

Closed Position—

The fundamental dance position, and the one in which you can feel most connected, is Closed Position. Good connection and smooth lead and follow come from a toned frame in the upper body and contact at the hips (diagrams for some positions are available in the table below).
In the Smooth Rhythms, such as Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, and Quickstep, you face each other, offset, each to the other's right and each looking to the left, over your partner's right shoulder. Think of the space between your partner's head and right shoulder as your "window," and try to look out of that window at all times. You will be tempted to gaze into your partner's eyes. After all, you are in each other's arms, the light is low, and the music is romantic—but don't do it. Keep your eyes left. If you look right, you will drift right and invade your partner's space. Then you will start to bump and step on each other’s toes. Stay in your own space, and look out of your own window. A forward step with your right foot should slide neatly between your partner's feet.

Now, stretch the right side of your torso a little, without crunching or collapsing your left side, and so move your upper body (not your hips) even more firmly into its own space. Arch back just a little, not by leaning away at the waist, but by filling your lungs, lifting your chest, and rotating your shoulders up and back. Be careful not to lift your shoulders stiffly and tensely toward your ears. Don't arch so far back that you appear to be searching the ceiling fixtures for cobwebs.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Road Trip

We went to Fall River last night. I get confused and had thought it was in Fairhaven, so I was ready to give up. Luckily Joe was ready to drive. - an hour drive for a dance in the most unusual venue I have seen.
Downtown Fall River, deserted at night, and not all that busy in the daytime, I think, in an office building, is the Eagle Event Center, built as a Chinese restaurant in 1929 inside a big block of a building. Lost for the depression, I guess.
A replica of the dining room of the steamship for the Fall River Line, it is a jewel box of a room, a carved gallery surrounding a sunken dance floor - not too large, but we only had 40 people there. The cathedral ceiling could have been painted like the theaters from that time often are.
We spoke to the owner, wondering why the arts people haven't used it as much as it deserves. He kind of shrugged and said Fall River is like that.
The Narrows seems to do well.
A student at the Swansea Arthur Murray studio rented it out and used the Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers site for some publicity.
Good music and a nice system to play it. The acoustics are premier.
Our Cape people were almost half of those attending, so we had friends.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dance Floor, specialized party equipment

A dance floor is the icing on the cake for a party
Unless it's a dance party, when it's the cake itself.

Food is wonderful, drink is great, both facilitators for good times.
Friends to talk to between dances are the icing on that cake.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Vintage swing record

At an old fashioned barbeque last night, the hostess set up her turntable.
I found the "Struttin' with some Barbeque", a Louis Armstrong number done by Walt Gifford's New Yorkers. Walt Gifford was her husband's cousin from Boston, DC, and Yarmouth.
I'll copy to the iPod before returning theLP.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Your Ten Favorite Dancers!

I can remember most of them. Cole the martial arts cutie, Keon the Swiss ballet hunk, Will the goofy looking one, Cyrus hip hop guy who did a what-do-you-call-it leap in the air with a beat of the feet, and George who looks so babyish and got cut this week.
For the girls, first and best was Eliana dancing with Alex, the one who got an injury just as we were falling in love with him. Eliana did AMAZING, as they say. Both ballroom girls are still with us: Lindsay with the interesting face and Witney, though she was in the bottom two, pretty girl named for Whitney Houston though she is white and the name isn't spelled the same. Audrey got cut - her hip-hop was feeble, especially compared with her partner Twitch. So who is the last girl of my Ten Favorite Dancers? Tiffany I cannot picture.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

End of summer events

All my company left.
No more needy mother-in-law
No more delightful (and needy) grandchildren.

Spirit of Santana
This evening at 6:30pm at Lillian Gregerman Bandshell, Onset
Saturday, the Eagles Hall in Fall River - set up by a new ballroom teacher in an unknown venue with his music choice.
And on it goes. Unless my parents need help...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Creative Outlet

As householders on Cape Cod, we get asked for too much at times - and we like to share our perfect part of the world with our friends and family.
But when do we fit in the dancing?

Stage Door Canteen's appearance at the Trowbridge went by, and it looks like Battleship Cove won't happen for us either.
Luckily, I have scheduled a lesson for myself.
Thank you, Ron Gursky.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good old American Foxtrot

Great music, lots of flexibility in what steps to use, not too fast, not too slow.
Styling makes any of the steps look and feel better.
I love review. Revisiting the old steps with technique that I can put in. My students have the ability to take it in!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

P-dence Musicians @ Rhodes on the P

A lovely Tuesday evening at the wonderful ballroom, not as crowded as last time, perfect number of people for the floor.
We did especially well by getting a group of eight dancers for a table with our dinner (we brought) on the mezzanine.
Of course, the balcony includes tables and plenty of dance floor for a different experience. Even a bathroom up there. What a great place.
Air conditioned, too!
Many of the old standard swing band numbers both from the Ensemble and the 16 piece band that alternated on the big stage. If it got too slow, another set of musicians was playing at the same time in the foyer, next to the bar.
Many untaught dancers reminding me of the old Sons of Italy.
As the evening wore on, people looked better and better - either they warmed up or those who couldn't really dance went home.
Some excellent dancers including some teachers - a good place for an independent teacher to scout for new students. The handsome young man in blue jeans surely impressed a number of single ladies. He impressed me.
Cheerful overweight Lois left us a flyer advertising lessons in Mansfield, party hosting and a tenuous connection with Louie Van Amstel of DANCING WITH THE STARS.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Working on dancing

The way summer takes over your life on Cape Cod, I found dance was losing out.
So I made time and got myself to Jacob's Pillow for the free performance, part of my trip to see my family at my parents' house, and to escape from them for a couple of hours. The piece was conceptual - commissioned by a bunch of mathematicians - quite beautifully danced on an outdoor stage overlooking a valley.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The flow of the Waltz

Waltz rises and falls like the waves on the ocean.
Like sailboats, couples travel diagonally along, tacking or jibing.
All contained in a ballroom with a circle like a Waterpark's lazy river.