Thursday, April 30, 2015

Audacity - the free program

Downloaded Audacity - no problem.
No odd pop ups have shown up to disrupt my computing experience.
So far so good
For years, I have wanted to dance to "Play that funky Dixieland, pretty mama, gonna take you by the hand", but it was part of a long lyrical piece that was not as danceable. Maybe if you did modern dance. Then it goes into that truly Swing riff.
Also "Listen to the Music" is nice, but maybe too repetitive. Preachy, after a while.
So I made a "Doobie Mix". Now to see how it goes over.
I have a dance Saturday.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Let's see: Dancing on the Radio?
Anyway, I meet a student of the WCAI radio producers course today.
Some background sound from Ron's classes
Interviewing me maybe.
And as many leads as I think she can handle for a piece on Seniors and Ballroom Dancing.
Not that we're all Seniors...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Road Trip to Balera

Joe's return from Florida includes a trip to see his mother, so we did a bit more, going 20 minutes west to Balera, touted by my fellow dance teachers as the nicest ballroom in Boston.
The neighborhood is semi-residential, but the signs were clear.
Then there it was, a converted garage, and they kept the huge door that trucks used to drive in through, very useful when we wanted some fresh air.
Inside, a big beautiful floor, mirrors, a great sound system, and a huge crowd.
Everyone came for Robert Royston who teaches precisely and brings news of the latest trends in the West Coast Swing world. Neil Klein, whose regular space, a converted church, is right around the corner was DJ.
Friendly people, great music, good dancers - all I ask for.
And with West Coast, people can really use the space efficiently. Keep to your slot and nobody gets hurt.
The owners of the studio, competitors Basil Issaev & Liene Apele, run Friday dances, and their first anniversary of buying the business is coming up May 9 with a big party.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My dance partner has returned

Joe Brodsky drove up from Florida Wednesday.
Now to figure out how to visit his mother and get in a bit of dancing this weekend.
Tonight, he likes his tennis.
Sunday Ron Gursky will be at our studio.
How about Saturday? Maybe Robert Royston and West Coast Swing at Balera, Wayland. Or Lestyn Gilmore at Occasions, Raynham. Or George Gritzbach at the Beach House, North Falmouth. 
Good to have choices.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Teaching Truth

On our way to the dance last night, my friend the librarian said, "You can't give people information until they need it." Certainly I've heard that before, but, as is contained in the statement, you can hear things at one time and they won't resonate.
I immediately thought of my lovely wedding couple who chose a song at 40 measures per minute- Chet Baker, "Let's Get Lost". I wasn't sure of how to start!
He was expressing anxiety, so I put on a super slow One-step, Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is." for dance hold without worrying about what your feet are doing. We couldn't stay there too long - after 15 minutes, he started worrying again! But he could walk without stepping on her feet.
Time to get into a Foxtrot. He didn't need any more information about One-step.
"Let's Get Lost" has a fairly soft bass line and the singer plays with the beat more than most dancers would like. I suggested some classic Foxtrots for practicing. On the wedding day, they have a band that can slow it down and give it more bass.
That's as far as we got. She is hoping for a Fred and Ginger feel to their dance. They don't need any more steps yet. Two basic traveling steps. Get comfortable! See you May 2.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Zoologic by Lostwax Multimedia Dance

I am so happy to have a daughter-in-law who is an active modern dancer. Ali Kenner Brodsky is a member of Lostwax, based in Providence, which just presented the world premiere of Zoologic through FirstWorks. We were in the RISD auditorium, reminding us that Providence has a couple of world class universities to fuel creativity. Parking was easy, too!
The multimedia included drones, video of animals projected on several screens and brought on stage with special monitors, a poetic and dramatic text written by Tahlia Field, recited and projected, fabulous costumes, and great dancers. Not just Ali, but also Shura Baryshnikov looking more beautiful than ever, Katie MacNamara, and Sydney Skybetter.
Thank you, Jaimie Jewett, artistic director, for bringing together all that talent!
This show has 'legs' and should go far. The premiere is just this weekend, but we can look for performances in the upcoming months.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Trend

This past year, the private lessons have picked up quite a bit. I never know why. The advertising stays the same, mostly internet presence these days. Private lessons are harder to keep track of, but very pleasant. Unfortunately, they are less likely to join the community of dancers. I hope the two couples who scheduled time before Saturday's Spring CCBD dance will. Our USA Dance members are a friendly bunch.
Wedding couples get too busy. I love the pair, married for 3 years, now preparing for a favorite niece's wedding.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

DWTS again

Sad that people I used to be able to talk about the show with are not watching any more. I need an outlet so here it is, my blog. I used to write about DWTS all the time, but then I sort of ran out of new things to say. But I didn't get tired of watching the dances. I still reference the male teachers when male students claim they cannot get the Latin hip action. Of course, they could. It does take some time and concentration. But those guys don't even watch the show.
Anyway, I was pretty charmed by the Shark Tank guy, Robert something. He seems to be in love with Kim - who wouldn't be? She is dismissing claims of a romance. And there they did a very convincing Rumba. The judges were criticizing his hip action, and he starts a bit of it just standing there, seemingly unconsciously. Looked good. I would probably hate him if I watched Shark Tank.
The music is good this season, too. I've been taking notes on a program outline made up by one of my fellow teachers in Dance Teachers Club of Boston. She made it as a score sheet, but I don't think the week to week scores are meaningful. I love to know what popular culture is responding to, without having to listen to popular radio.
Sorry to see Keo, the South African, go so early again. His partner Charlotte, the model with the huge boobs and nice voice, didn't seem to be concentrating. Off on her cell phone in the middle of practice, lining up other jobs. Doesn't DWTS pay enough? Surely it does. She is the one who was on the video game ads for Game of War that showed up when I finished a move in my online SCRABBLE game.
Mark Ballas is showing an artistic side, better taste than his old ideas like the monkey suits. His partner, the youngest competitor ever at 14, is keeping up well so far, though last week, she talked about trouble breathing - asthma?
The shirtless craze does nothing for me, oh well.
Derek is appearing at Radio City Music Hall and just meeting his partner, Olympic gymnast Nastia, for 3 days a week. She's okay with that, not having given up her place at college for the show. She has to practice with Henry half the time. Does this count as "phoning it in?"
The one I hope leaves soon is the Bachelor guy, with Whitney.
Had to express myself!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Coming out of hiding

The dance business is starting to pick up again. Asking people to do anything but fight the weather was hard for a few months there, with March only a little better than a brutal February.
My regular students kept me going. West Coast Swing continues to capture the imagination.
Now beginners are showing up, talented young ones who are loving East Coast Swing.
Finally, this Saturday, after two cancellations, I will be able to have a dance.
In other news, the ice broke in Round Pond and piles of plowed snow are shrinking.
I might plant peas if the wind lets up.
Good Friday, April 3, 2015