Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Juno's Storm

Juno was top female god in the Roman pantheon, wife of Jupiter. Top storm here with as much snowfall as I have ever seen and winds like a hurricane.
One big pine missed the car. Those tall pines just snap.
Fewer trees came down than the hurricane, maybe because so many have fallen already, or maybe because there weren't the mini tornados. Also, the snow was relatively light as it came down, though it packed down quite a bit. Luckily I have been working out, so I could do a lot of shoveling.
They say there were fewer power outages because the snow was light. But I also believe a lot of work has been done on the poles and wires recently
Those who ski are sad that the snow is so useless here in the flatland.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mind/Body Weeekend

Before the really busy season starts, I got myself to Sujata's yoga class at the Cape Cod Dance Center Friday. I can recommend it as she is cheerful, knowledgeable and careful. I still don't like Yoga much. As I say, "Maybe if there was music?" But most Yoga people prefer the concentration to be silent. She spoke of "Bliss vs. Contentment", and hoped we were finding it.
I went on to teach three hours Saturday. Contentment.
Sunday was equally lovely. I started with Dunya's Dance Meditation. Recovered from flu, she had her energy back, so we moved steadily to great music and ended with a meditation on gravity and breath.
Then, our Quickstep class was just hard enough to stretch my brain.
A private lesson did the fine tuning for the all important frame.
On home to pick up Joe, and we went to an excellent Swing band, part of Woods Hole Jazz at the Community Hall. Dance space at the side is enough for Swing, especially since three couples in all used it. Hetty Kate on vocal and Gordon Webster on piano are the charming band leaders, singing tunes from the thirties that should be standards, but are completely new to us.
We bought two CDs and hope to see them again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright

I got an advance copy from my librarian sister-in-law, and it's now published.
Nice story, continuing characters from another novel, I saw at the website.
Somehow I thought a ballroom dance themed novel would be a first try from someone in love with the activity, but I think she just did her research, taking classes in order to weave a story around plausible plot lines involving young Russian dance teachers and middle-aged women.
For the newly widowed rich protagonist, dance is better than sex, and she does not fall into a relationship with a younger man. The "studio whale" (a woman who keeps the studio afloat with all her private lessons and competition fees) does.
I learned Kim Wright's favorite dance songs: Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" for Rumba and "You Give Love a Bad Name" Bon Jovi's Tango.
I liked the phrase, "Optimal Frustration", a state where you work through difficulties with vigor.
I liked how she congratulated the men who dance even if they are no good at it.
Descriptions of heels, thousand dollar dresses and make-up did not make me want to do competition.
Three new dance quotes:
Neitzsche said, "I would only believe in a God that knows how to dance."
Confucius said, "Never give a sword to a man who can't dance."
And Groucho Marx, "Wives are people who feel they don't dance enough."
That last from the golden age of partnered dancing.

A side plot with a Hospice patient was nicely written as well. A discussion of CTD, an acronym for a doctor's phrase, Circling The Drain, "funny, cruel and accurate. Because I've always imagined our lives to be funnel shaped. They grow narrow as we age and we all begin to swirl faster and faster."

Friday, January 16, 2015

Startin' back up

I got things going quickly this January - no trips to work around this year.
My dance regulars are almost all there, looking good.
The beginners haven't got it together yet after the holidays, as Mary used to say.
Night School has a nice feel for the rhythms of people's lives. Those classes start the last week of January. I look forward to them - you never know who you'll get.
I just read Len Goodman's (head judge, "Dancing with the Stars") breezy autobiography. He writes how great it is to get a cross section of society in dance class.
I loved his description of the camps by the seaside that the English all used to go to - perhaps still do. They would have contests: ping pong, Miss Lovely Legs, singing, and all, including dancing, so he and his partner cut their teeth against social dancers before going on to win championships. I went to one as a dance camp back in the nineties when my oldest boy attended college in England - Junior year abroad. That was the year of a comet, shining above the hills.
The TV show is almost done - has to be before I start back at FHS tutoring MCAS, also the last week of January.
Took a class in the new software - Wow! The improvements are fabulous. This show will be without the upgrades, no post-filming zoom yet...
Can't believe I forgot to update the website until now, since the beginning of December.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hips etc

My dance experience with Dunya , Sufi dancer, goes back decades.
She is a local girl, and we shared a dance teacher, the inestimable Klara Koenig, who took her as a young woman to New York City for auditions.
Dunya is presently living in Woods Hole, and offered a dance meditation series for January, an opportunity I would not miss, and it started yesterday.
I scheduled the ice skating on our pond early so I could skate until my toes and fingers were cold, and then drove down to the little quiet (in the winter) village.
She is recovering from two hip replacements, so we started easy, standing in free movement to her superb music. I love following her, like going to a performance but you don't have to sit still.
What was the problem that she had to have the surgery?
Shallow hip sockets - known also as hip dysplasia, a condition that can make it easier for the ballerina to lift the leg "to the ceiling" with what is known as extension. The doctors told her the dancing had allowed her to continue with normal movement longer than would have otherwise been possible.
Hypermobility of the joints can be a problem - not mine!
Her website

Friday, January 9, 2015

The New Year 2015

Fast away the old year passed.
Starting off cold, here on Cape Cod, causing my husband to dream of the southlands as we approach the age to become snowbirds.
This year, classes started right up with students eager for their favorite activity.
Ron Gursky's Argentine Tango dancers are back.
New dancers are putting together their options.