Sunday, April 28, 2013

40th Wedding Anniversary

No disappointments at the Eagle Event Center in Fall River.  The fantastic space is being lovingly restored. The band Stage Door Canteen did a terrific job.
Falmouth dancing friends put on a fine show, filling the charming dance floor with joyful expression.
The pot luck food was out of this world - thanks to all our friends and relations.
A joy to have my sister come from as far as Philadelphia! My brother from Stockbridge.
And all three sons, fine men, under our roof last night - Dave in from Montreal for a few days.
Joe gets kudos for setting up the space, and we all made it work - Thank You Everyone!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


How soon to teach spirals? She turns left in Rumba at a place where she first learned to turn right.
Takes a bit of getting used to, but looks really nice if she can pull it off.
Increases his options, but then he will have to be ready for the result of what he led..

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mix it up DWTS

The old formula, "Some are worse dancers", makes the contest more interesting than the All Star season. Last week, they even included a direct contrast to pros which I missed due to the Boston Marathon disaster.
Also, they didn't include complete geezers who can't move.
Two comedians who try was better than comedians in previous shows who couldn't try. One is gone.
Now the boxer is gone. He was cute, and I hope he keeps dancing, maybe with a new girlfriend who won't break his heart.
I love the two Utah girls who did so well on SYTYCD, the new pro teacher, Lindsay, and Witney who is in the troupe.
Only problem was my viewing it all on one night, the show I'd recorded and then the Results Show. My eyes were so tired I fell asleep before it was over. I missed several of the snippets of dancing they are putting in before commercial break, probably lead and follow for a pair like Mark and Witney.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


A trip to Providence College to see the latest work by a pair of young choreographers made for a nice expedition for me and the ladies. All women, but not obscure or sappy, not "student work" either - recital grade where all who enroll in a class must be put on stage. I was miserable when that happened to me as a student. 
a+b are Ali Kenner Brodsky and Betsy Miller who presented a mixture of gutsy and funny dances placed on competant and precise dancers. Modern dance is a favorite genre for me.
I wouldn't have known about it if Ali weren't my daughter-in-law.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

DanceSport at the Seacrest

Anne Marie and John Paul are back with their Boston crowd at the Seacrest this weekend.
The Welcome Ice Breaker dance last night was great fun, a smooth plywood floor laid over two ballroom spaces.
Very good music by a DJ Glenn something-or-other. Too many women, so Joe had more dancing time than me. The ladies were glad I brought him back from Florida in time.
The ballroom space is seperated for the workshops that are being held today and tomorrow taught by the Pauls, John Peters, Paul Russell, Audrey Jean. Everybody has two first names - their last names are usually used as first names.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring dancing

Hey, Joe is back from Florida, in time for the Seacrest DanceSport dance Friday night. Saturday, I go to Providence for Ali Brodsky's a&b performance. Sunday, we have another set of Ron Gursky's West Coast Swing lessons.
Monday, regular studio classes. Tuesday, Night School is in session again!
Will I have time for the garden?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ron Gursky & Nancy Murphy

Friendly Party

Sloane, age 4, and I set up the Cape Cod Dance Center party, a cozy affair with glitter picture decorations.
A new group, some very experienced, some just talented, went through a fun amalgamation of International Rumba steps. Not just one IRS, the day before taxes. None of our accountant friends attended, and as usual with these Sunday night parties, people didn't stick around until the stated hour of 9:30. Maybe they just get too tired with the amount of stuff they learn from Ron.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


In social dancing, there's the relative size of the partnered dancers, their skill, their comfort, their wish to show off, all expressed in terms of each other and the music. What have I left out?
Beyond the dancing with each other, there are levels of dance events, expressed with costumes and venues, producing showcases, competitions and Dancing with the Stars.
Sometimes I think about my grandaughter, age 4 1/2, who doesn't get much TV at all, and whether DWTS is what I want her to try to be like. Her mother, a modern dancer, will not be enrolling her in ballroom classes with the private lessons and the costumes, though she would be very good.
Then I look at a video on MTV, with extreme sexual posturing, taken into the mainstream with Beyonce at the Superbowl, and wonder where she will end up.
Right now she gets into her pink leotard and has me be the audience while she does her improvisation to her favorite song of the day. We found "Push My Car" on the CarTalk CD, a rocking tune about a car that breaks down. I am the "audience". If her brother, age 1 1/2, comes into the room chortling about a balloon, I must not be distracted from her. Another experience of a dance going on for too long. 90 seconds, people!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thank you Russell Jackson (and Maggie)

Finally got to teach a step I fell in love with a year ago, just after I finished a series of American Tango. Dance Teachers Club of Boston brought in Russell Jackson, a young Englishman who works at Avalon Ballroom. He's probably here because he was tired of being hemmed in by the International style that forbids couples to break hold. His stylish turn for the ladies in Tango works easily.
Meanwhile, in Basics, the young couple who chose "All I Want is You" have brought Polka to more dancers who come to that class for whatever I'm teaching. Why not?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Their Hearts Were Dancing

The line dance as danced in Jensen Beach and transcribed by Barbara
4 twinkles left foot first
4 Hesitation steps: fwd L then R, back L then R
Turn left three steps 360 degrees to face front again
Grapevine left
Rock steps LRL
Turn right three steps 360 degrees to face front again
Grapevine right
Rock steps RLR
Step fwd L hesitation then fwd R turn 180 degrees
Facing back wall step fwd L hesitation then fwd R turn 180 degrees
18 measures

I think it would it fit the music better in 16 measures - leave out a set of hesitations or a set of twinkles?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beginners - lots of them!

We love beginners, especially when they have a good time. They can leave early and give us the floor because it's tiring for them, taking in so much.
They do take a lot of time, and a new glitch in the iPod meant I had to keep hopping back to choose music.
What happened: I composed a playlist with a variety that would switch around - then by accident, I made the playlist be organized by genre so it was 3 Waltzes in a row, 3 Bachatas in a row, 4 Swing, 4 Rumba etc. not good for a party. Threw me for a loop for a bit there. I was so disappointed.
Next month St Barnabas - a larger venue. Hope they all come back!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


New insurance, new doctor, bloodwork - damn! Seems I have the underactive thyroid same as my mother, so I have a little pill to take in the morning. Maybe that's why my energy is up this morning.
Or maybe it's just springtime energy: gardening and cleaning.
Happily looking forward to my dance tonight, and to a couple of private lessons ahead of time.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Catching up after vacation

It seems as if there would be more hours in the day since it's just me here.
I haven't touched that quilt I started in January since I got back.
My first action was teaching at the Cape Cod Dance Center, straight from Providence airport to Falmouth and out the door again for a couple of terrific hours. Tuesday was Dance and Stretch - Wednesday a private lesson and a class at night.
I taught 6 hours at FHS, Math this time.
Dancing with the Stars took up some hours, though they were pretty spread out. I have one dance left to watch, YMCA. Dorothy Hamill in pain made the right choice to go last week. This week, I was pleased to see the non-dancer leave. Wynona never seemed to really try. Otherwise good entertainment even with  Prom Night theme. Jacoby Jones is unexpectedly fun.
Last night, Karen and I made the trek to the Zeiterion in New Bedford for Flamenco with Val Ramos Quartet, featuring a fabulous singer and the sister-in-law dancing. I miss Kati. The set up was almost perfect, the "Stage Door" having us all on stage with little tables and Sangria, like a Flamenco club, up close and personal. $25 tickets and they almost sold out, maybe a hundred people. In Seville, the clubs are small, but the stage is elevated enought that you can see the dancers' feet. 
And in other activities, I planted a couple of paw paw trees, goji berry, and sea buckthorn.
I made biscotti and Savannah Lace cookies for the Saturday Dance.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking for Ballroom anatomy, I found this

Moving like a dancer

This is an excerpt from Social Dance by Judy Wright.

Carry yourself like a dancer. Learn more in Social Dance.
Simply being aware of your posture while standing is only part of the image that you present to others. Dancers are movers. Thus, how you carry yourself while moving, which you do when you are walking or taking a series of dance steps, also says volumes about your self-confidence. The topics in the following sections are discussed separately, but you need to put all of them in action when you do the drills at the end of this learning step and later when you step on the dance floor.


People often think of correct posture as they think of the weather: Everyone talks about it, but what can they do about it? If you aren’t aware of your posture, then now is the time to check it and correct it. Visualization techniques are particularly effective ways to learn how to align your body. Try both of the following images. Which one helps you visualize proper vertical alignment? Perhaps other images come to mind.
  1. Stand with your hands at your sides, your feet no more than shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly flexed. As if you are balancing large blocks on top of one another, position your hips, shoulders, and head directly above your feet. Look forward with your head erect. It is helpful to look at an object that is at eye level. Think of expanding your shoulder blades, contracting your abdominals, and lengthening (rather than arching) your lower back. You are now in proper standing alignment.
  2. Imagine a plumb line (a string suspended from the ceiling with a weight on it to keep it vertical) hanging along one side of your body. Adjust your posture so that the outside of your ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle aligns parallel to the string. Check that your weight is evenly placed over both feet, your eyes are level, your spine is straight (especially your neck vertebrae), your shoulders are relaxed and down (not raised or lifted), your abdominals are firmly engaged, your hips are level, and your lower back is slightly and naturally curved (not hyperextended).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back Home from Florida Spring 2013

April 2 on Cape Cod is pretty chilly.
My last night of dancing was the best.
We went back to Plaza Ballroom in Palm Beach and there were too many men - for a change.
I still had to make Joe introduce me to the men he knows because they are reluctant ask a married woman to dance even if her husband is happily dancing with the other ladies. He has no such compunctions, but the one tall fellow confessed to me when he asked me to dance after I had asked him. I will ask tall ones, figuring they might like to stretch their legs a bit for a change.
The previous Saturday at Plaza, my first night in Florida, there were too many women. Joe suggested I ask a very good tall dancer not realizing what the young man was paid to dance with two women for the evening. He said he could only dance with me once. I didn't offer him anything, and believe that was proper, though he was worth it, trained by Suzanne Hamby when he first arrived from Haiti, a gentle soft spoken fellow.
Another dancer Joe knows gets $150 a night to dance with a woman. He was short, unsmiling, somewhat stiff, not anyone I wanted to dance with.
Sunday was the American pastime, Eating Out. Seafood overlooking the Indian River.
Monday very early, I took the train back to my bargain flight at Ft. Lauderdale - $10 for an hour and a half while a bus to Boston is $40. A plane to West Palm was $100 more, probably because Ft Lauderdale is under construction with ripped up floors and an hour's wait to get in the air. Who needs to sit on the runway with crying children for an extra hour?