Monday, February 25, 2013

East Coast Florida dancing

From afar, I hear that Rio (pronounced ry-oh) Ballroom has changed since the usual teachers are traveling - Chuck in Rio de Janeiro. The former South Florida Swing Dance, now named "Save the First Dance" is chugging along with Mark Martin, former New Englander, hopefully teaching Hustle there these days.
Their weather has been perfect,Joe says, warmer than Hawaii.
I have plans to visit for the last week in March.
Here, I worked on Samba: the Corta Jaca and both lead and follow for the continuous turn for the lady, the Maypole.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Continuing my project

A dark and stormy night, but just rain, so I made my way to Plymouth with my HD camera and tripod to continue my quest for footage of nice places to dance. St Peter's Parish Hall is a nice space with only a bit of an echo. The lights are on full for the evening's lesson.
 John Peters taught a nice "Foxy", essentially my One-step with fancy moves tucked in. I wonder if there are advantages to starting to the side, as in this version - worthy of a discussion with Ron Gursky.
Anne-Marie and John Paul showed up to drop off flyers for their Seacrest dance weekend featuring John Peters. My TV show on Cape Cod dance venues will show places anyone can go, so I could film that, though it only can happen when they bring in a floor once a year.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Local Access Cable TV Shows

Yesterday I finished my production of the September 21, 2012 National Ballroom Dance Week Celebration.
I mailed some DVDs and will deliver more. Check the FCTV listings for times. Sandwich, Mashpee, Bourne, and C3TV down Cape will also show the footage of the lovely showcases at Betsy's Ballroom.

Then I went to Bourne to film the Trowbridge Tavern's Canal Room, a very pleasant venue. Stage Door Canteen is the band to see there, the third Thursday of the month.
The next TV show I do will be all the places on Cape Cod that are good for partner dancing. The floor was visible with just a small crowd. I guess people are tired, or out of town.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Our native Falmouth Sufi dancer was back for an intensive 5 day seminar. I only got to do the last day, yesterday. A room full of dance lovers connecting with the music. Healing was a theme. Since I am not injured, I was able to just meditate on the music. The emphasis on the spine is always relaxing, something I have added to my life already with spinal waves. As a 6 hour session, it was quite a different pace than the hour class I conduct.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Continuing Connection

Most of my students really seem to appreciate the emphasis on connection that forms part of every class I teach. Dance & Stretch classes will get the centering of the body that allows the ladies to balance into dance hold.
Only the teens didn't seem to get it. Partnering is tentative for them. I saw little response to my exhortations on how to make connections dancing. Then, we got evaluation forms back. Three with neat writing wrote that they would prefer not to change partners. I noticed a few that seemed to be boyfriend/girlfriend. I'm guessing it was the girls who complained.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Music supporting dance

Quote from Edward Villella. "Music becomes the floor the dancer dances upon."

Friday, February 15, 2013

I Praise the Dance

I praise the dance
for it frees people from the heaviness of matter
and binds the isolated to the community.
I praise the dance, which demands everything:
health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.
Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,
who are in constant dancer of becoming all brain,
will, or feeling.
Dancing demands a whole person
one who is firmly anchored in the center of his life
who is not obsessed by lust for people and things
and the demon of isolation in his own ego.
Dancing demands a freed person,
one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers.
I praise the dance.
O man, learn to dance,
or else the angels in heaven will not know
what to do with you.
Saint Augustine

Monday, February 11, 2013

Keeping going

I missed 6 dance/fitness opportunities for the storm that one weatherman says wasn't even a blizzard, except in Falmouth: yoga class, private lesson as a teacher, big evening at Lake Pearl Ballroom, private lesson as a student, Samba lesson with Ron Gursky, and George Gritzbach at the Beach House.
I got plenty of exercise shoveling snow and moving logs and branches, and am happy to say I seem to know how to work without hurting myself.
Impromptu floor time at a friend's last night was just what the doctor ordered

Cape Cod Dance Center just got power back.
Two hours of dance time tonight!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Of course I have a spare tire, but I don't know how many people feel the need for a spare stereo system. They are cheap now, so I kept a tiny one in my car. Apparently the car did not agree with it. Last night, when I forgot my Bose, I finally tried it. Horrible tiniest tinniest noise. I had Joe on his way with the forgotten bag, but my plan to start them with the easy stuff wasn't going to work.
I went to the teaching part of the lesson first, the difficult step, Waltz progressive. Then I sang, "Could I have this dance for the rest of my life." Not great. I think they forgave me.
I checked online, but actually since three boys grew up in this house, we had a spare set of computer speakers, much better.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Their decision

You always wonder what makes people turn out, for instance, for my dance on Saturday.

Choices are weighed against other possibilities. Adam Gopnik's just wrote about choosing in the New Yorker, remembering his advisor in college as he tried to decide whether to study art history or psychology. "Is it a hard choice?" the advisor asked. "If it's a hard decision, then there's always lots to be said on both sides so either choice is likely to be good in its way."
Hopefully they don't just decide to sit on the couch.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Non-dance evening in Hawaii

The day before we flew home, we took the road that ended in lava flow from the 1990 eruption that took out a community by the sea. A few houses were spared and some hardy souls stay on. One of them was selling cold drinks and Cliff bars out of her station wagon near a handwritten sign saying, "Hot Pastrami Sandwiches  Next Left".
 We parked and walked on to where a desolation of silvery black lava began. Barrier sawhorses were set up, and then an official road sign said, "Stay on the Road - Private Property Either Side". There was no road. We were walking on the cindery flow, beautifully marked with rope-like patterns, somewhat worn by human feet. Far ahead, we could see steam clouds where hot lava was hitting the ocean, somewhere beyond endless hills and valleys of grey rock. We agreed it would be interesting to go a little way along towards the cloud of steam. Perhaps over the next rise, we could see better.
Joe said, "Did you hear that?" and suddenly, a huge cloud rose up, so off he went twice as fast in his flip flops. My shoes were better, Clark sandals, but we were not prepared for the hour and a half we had been told it would take to traverse the desolation. I was hoping he would give up, but no, and in that wasteland, I wasn't going to desert him. Finally, after a half hour, he stopped to wait for me.  We saw two other people making their way. Then a sign, "Stay on Marked Path" but there wasn't a marked path, just some white marks, much smeared, maybe bird droppings, or volcanic debris, or worn paint, unevenly applied.
It took the hour and a half, until we could see the cliffs of the south shore and the red of the lava glowing behind the steam.
As we went back, somewhat cut by cinders, we saw groups starting out with a guide, all with hiking sticks that they would use to poke the hot lava. They would arrive after dark.
Thank God the lady was still there to sell me a green tea and a Cliff bar.
I might have eaten more, but I knew we had the boat trip.  Check out the crazy Portuguese captain's pictures
A stop at the thermal salt pool for a swim felt great.
Our boat trip, pre-paid, started at 7 PM at the only boat ramp on the south shore, just minutes from the thermal salt pool. We had brought some food for while we waited, but I didn't eat. I figured after a boat ride was a better time to eat.
At 7:20, Lava Roy brought his 5:00 passengers back. He said the seas had come up, so it had taken longer. Then he talked the lady who had had back surgery into not going. He mentioned seasickness. You have to take Dramamine a half hour before you set out, so I decided to rely on my dance trained way of keeping my inner ear level. It worked on the ride out, standing in the little cabin area.
When we got there and stopped motoring to view the red hot lava dripping down, I was done.
"Well, I'm going to throw up soon," I said.
"Sit over there! You'll feel better! Fresh air!" said Lava Roy, pointing to the foldable seat next to the rail.
And hetold the others, "Get your photos in!"
The seas had risen to 6 to 8 feet, making a miserable half hour. All I threw up was the green tea, and constant ocean splash and spray kept us clean. Eventually, I went into a trance. Riding in the car back to our little refuge was another miserable half hour wrapped in a towel since I took off the sopping wet clothes.
But I was better in the morning.
Joe said it was the best day of our whole trip.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Best Samba lesson ever

Ron Gursky cleared up a number of problems in Samba voltas yesterday at the Cape Cod Dance Center. Using humor and some very precise directions, he explained a step that has plagued my classes for my entire career as a dance teacher and even as a student. Logical technique really works with our crew of what we still call Intermediate dancers, after many years.
I remember after six years thinking I should classify myself as Advanced. I could see that was not the case when I compared myself to the others in that workshop. In dancing, Advanced means groomed for competition, and I will always be a social dancer.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Teaching 4 or 5 days a week

Love it! I came back to my great classes at the Cape Cod Dance Center,  got a couple of nice groups for night school. The fitness class during the day immeres me in body work.
This is my ideal job.