Monday, February 24, 2014

Entertainment Calendar

This week the Enterprise featured a nice article about the Beach House as a venue for Blues music now that Harry's in Hyannis has closed after three locations and many years.
That kind of recognition helps, especially when a good band is scheduled there, as they were last night. George Gritzbach's band was in fine form. And a reporter was there, taking pictures.
Then, my email note to the paper about my dance elicited a thoughtful reply offering a short piece, even asking for pictures. Joanne Brianna Gartner is starting off with a bang as Entertainment editor.
Though I am biased, I can't help but think that the arts are the way to go when news has become less important in print!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Carnival 5 minutes from my house

The Portuguese American Association at the Navigator, just off Sandwich Road, near Rte 151, held their first Carnival night, a bit early for Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, March 4 this year, but a good night as they almost sold out. As usual, the food was very good and plentiful. The bar features Portuguese wine. $30 pp, and we supported the club of which I am a member. Blog readers remember my efforts to expand the dance space.
The dance floor (too small and cut off by pillars) was overfull, but people didn't mind. Dancers sang along in Portuguese to folkloric style music, having a wonderful time mostly doing what looked like Polka. When DJ Luca called out Forro and Samba, dancers added torso movement.  We did Salsa, which takes the least amount of space.
The floor cleared at 9:00 for two showgirls in spangled bikinis, feathered head-dresses and hips decorated with feathers that shook off. Joe and I think they were really Brazilian, one white, one dark-skinned, partly because they seemed to have no choreography. Photographs with the girls were very popular, but my camera didn't flash. I posted a photo on facebook - too easy with that smart phone - of part of the show.
After the show, the music went to popular rap style. "Blurred Lines" is very good for Cha cha, but after that, the Beatles medley "Twist & Shout" and "Cupid Shuffle" were the only ones I recognized. The volume was too high, so we went home.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

the Grump

I was pretty grumpy, as usual when I return from a work week with my mother, so we went to hear Johnny Hoy at Grumpy's. Man, was that loud! And crowded!
Great band, great musical selections, great singing, even a second harmonica player, Big Richard, who wailed away. A nice crowd was there, but we couldn't talk.
At least my earplugs saved me from a headache.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Which storage room will we face?

It's not just closets for my mother. Her house, built for a rich family as a summer cottage in the Berkshires, has 10 bedrooms and a Study now being used as a bedroom. Two of those bedrooms are devoted to her stuff, not that all the rest of the house doesn't have carefully chosen treasures mixed with bargains and cast offs.
My sister convinced me to come and work with her. Ann is the only one that can talk our mother into any change. She is willing to understand what is important to our mother while the rest of us can't stand to face the piles of worldly possessions.
Hearing her renewed interest in the Catholic faith, I tried, "Lay not your treasures up where dust corrupt and thieves do steal," but she just felt bad about the things that had been spoiled by, say thieving mice.
We are going to pack up the doll collection and send it to a cousin who has expressed interest. Hopefully some of the dolls are worth enough money to pay for storing the others.

Monday, February 17, 2014

WCS & International Rumba

Lead and follow at arm's length - Ron says, "Get as far away from him as possible, not just because you don't trust him, but because that's the one thing he can't lead." He also said he'd get in trouble with the other dance teachers for saying that, but we always figure, if it makes sense, go with it!
And I really liked the discussion of trying to look like other dancers. As always, just try to be the best you can be as yourself.
I'm never going to look petite!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Opportunities for Valentine's Day and beyond

A smaller night planned for the 14th - his tennis that makes him happy and then try another restaurant that's been there for years, going along without us, Oysters II. I bet it will be crowded with those who remember oysters as an aphrodesiac.
A teen party organized by an involved dad didn't pan out - too many teens have jobs, and tonight they can make money. Maybe next week.
The 15th, Lake Pearl Ballroom with bunches of Cape dancing friends going as long as the snow holds off.
Sunday, Ron's beginner class in Argentine Tango goes for it.
Next Friday, Johnny Hoy at Grumpy's.
Then, next Thursday Alison Lissance and a great band in Woods Hole Community Hall with a clear space for dancing at the side. That was probably the first place we went dancing in Falmouth. Seems like there were blues bands there a lot in the Eighties. Plus WHFMS used to get Latin bands.  Folk dance, Contra dance, Modern dance.

Plan B for V

Snow has begun. Blizzard ahead. Special dance planned for weeks, the Valentine treat, cancelled.
Last night, Joe said  "Let's go out just in case the other Valentine treat doesn't work out."
So at Oyster's II, we found a lovely chocolate mousse.
We have our son, the one who is single, visiting, so I guess I'll try to make it for him.

Friday, February 7, 2014

"Love 'n' Dancin'", the West Coast Swing movie on STARZ

Years ago, the last time I saw Robert Royston, the movie was just finished. He plays the announcer at WCS competitions. His wife Nicola plays the mean ex-partner of our hero, a deaf dance teacher with a great heart who wins a beautiful sixth grade teacher away from her workoholic fiance. Nice to see some of my favorite dancers - John Lindo, Michael Kiehm, Benjy Schwimmer.
I was sorry to see so many lifts in the routines in the movie. They kind of break up the flow of the West Coast style, and certainly weren't part of the scene that I saw. Maybe it was just for the movie.
Anyway, corny, predictable, but fun. We get Xfinity On Demand inclusding STARZ as part of Joe's sports package.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

School time

Back at the high school for MCAS tutoring during the day.
The population of young people being trained in academics.
I wonder if the new superintendant would be open to adding dance to the schools.
What will the KIDZ initiative through USA Dance look like? Funding?
Finding the time is hard enough. The town administration has threatened to fire 44 people system-wide, mostly teachers and aides. The extra cost to the schools from special needs students takes the money from the rest of the population. A conundrum.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kiki Walks

Why are Kiki Walks a Gold step in International Rumba?
Ron says because it shows off your lack of style if you don't do anything with the show-off pose. Why bother showing her off if there's nothing to show?
As a leader, I enjoyed the bit of extra turn to set it up and the precision of the finish, back into normal hold where all of the other pieces of the dance fit.
Yay - Ron is back.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Helle Rusholt at DTCB

Helle Rusholt, coach of the BU Ballroom Team, was very good, outlining differences between the International and American competitive styles and giving us a teaching technique for Chacha lock steps.
She also stressed that dance as a creative art form should not have too many rules, though she certainly knows all of them since she was a competitor in the International DanceSport scene. She especially likes East Coast Swing as opposed to Jive, though Jive has its place for bouncy music.
A brief lecture set out her theory of judging dance, socially or competitively.
In first place came Musicality, the response to the music: tempo, timing, rhythm, phrasing and style.
Second was Beauty, which encompassed all the choreography, steps, feet, torso, arms, pointed toes, posture, and even the person's size and the colorful costumes.
Third came Connection - the partnering and communication between dancers. I actually think posture has to be part of this, but I didn't speak up.
Add these all up and the result will be Speed and Power.