Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sometimes we plan

I really want this new class to succeed but it isn't. I can't figure it out. But it could be that by offering it on a Saturday at mid-day I'm putting it in the wrong place. Unfortunately for me, this is the only time the studio is available and that I want to teach it. Ah well.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I think therefore I dance . . .

I think but that isn't the all of it. I dance as I think, I think as I dance. The coincidence is wonderful to me. I marvel at the wonder that my body can find the movement in the music while my mind explores the meaning of the movement. It didn't always work that way. As I was learning how to dance in the formal way, I thought too much about what I was "supposed" to do. My mind got in the way. But gradually my body took over and I began to recognize what I was doing, what I was capable of doing. I left behind the awareness of what I didn't know and the obsessive concern for what someone else thought.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I owe it to Skippy . . .

that my first eletter came out today. I tried to keep it simple. Thanks for coming, see you next week. I am still enjoying the feeling of teaching a class again. Studying the differences and similarities amongst the various steps we do to swing has been my main avocation for years. Now I'm finally ready to teach again. I could say I owe it to Skippy and it would be true. She introduced me to the idea as a way to keep the dances separate. And I am taking the idea another step forward. I show the students the differences and similarities as a tool and that keeping them separate is the way that they can use to dance the current dance floor mix of swings: East Coast, Lindy, Jitterbug, Balboa, West Coast and One-Step, successfully.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

First Saturday . . .

is the name of my new dance workshop. I think I may have borrowed the idea from a teacher of Lindy up north of here. The swing workshop is free, and draws a crowd. I then form the classes that follow out of paying students. The first session drew 18 and six signed up to continue. I am offering it as seminar of swing: lindy to west coast, jitterbug to one step, with the east coast in between.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I just

want to say something about the way dancing makes a person feel. It's on my mind because of the Lindy workshop that I went to last night. I started off on the edge of things and it was clear to me that it wasn't going to be the fun that I thought it would. But then we circled up and did some warm up footwork and then chose partners to learn the routine. I recognized it immediately and so again I was ready to be bored. Only I wasn't. As soon as we began working on it, my partner began to smile. and this made me smile. And I still am as I remember it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Planning is everything.

So we are set to begin in October. The Jitterbug Club will meet once a week to dance, and to learn anew, and answer some old, old questions about Swing dancing. The sub title of the course is "Master Your Swing".

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Never Let Go , , ,

I know that time has passed since I made the claim that I was starting a Jitterbug Club. And that could make it seem as though I may have given up because the first meeting did not go so well. But actually, what happened was that my summer commitment to the fair season just interrupted the start up. So get ready to jump and jive folks 'cuz the dance world needs us.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I am starting a Jitterbug Club. And the main reason is that the local dancers and dance teachers are using a one swing fits all dance step to dance to our live local dance music. It feels so wrong to be hearing up tempo blues swing music and see the dancers use West Coast to interpret it. Or even worse, to have your partner think she's dancing West Coast and there is no slot and she doing a rock step. It's flat out ugly. And the local instructors who should know better encourage this by teaching West Coast as though its a slowed down version of East Coast Swing.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Judge Judy, Judge Rheinholt, Bud Cort . . .

Oh my God, I laughed out loud as Micheal's droll description of the mock trial sequence on Arrested Development played itself out. And even as I watched, I couldn't help but think about the terrible judge's dilemma developing on Dancing With The Stars. What the hell are they going to do when Jerry Rice wins the competition because he receives the most popular votes? Each week the judges have scored him lower, and each week the voters have placed him higher. It's tough enough that both Drew Lachey and Stacey Kiebler are very equal but with Jerry in the mix the show's really liable to end up even worse than last time.

Meanwhile, I really feel that the show itself has matured well beyond expectations. The Barry Manilow version of Unchained Melody with the slow motion montage of the competitors dancing in the background made me feel as though the screen was in fact dancing with me. And the developing dialogue between the dancers and the judges is absolutely educational to any dancer wanna be. Something you rarely get in real competitions is a direct conversation with the judges. You may get their scores sans comments but never get to explain what you and your choreography were about. So Jerry with his broom sequence and George with his Zorro mask, and Stacey with her angry countenance are all quite useful to a dancer watching the show in order to learn. And I like it that the pros are starting to talk back too.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Things get worse . . .

I have begun to limit my dancing time. I think I'm hoping somehow to avoid the past. When my shoulder began to ache year around, I had to give up beach volleyball. Before that, when my knees were so sore that I couldn't land from a jump or walk up stairs, I gave up surfing and sold my car so I could continue to play basketball. Through it all, my driving need has been to keep on being athletic. So I've reached a point where it takes two days for my body to recover from a night of full out dancing. But as the saying goes, if I ain't dancing, I'm dying.

So things get worse but with luck I'll be on the dance floor when the light flickers out and the bluesman wails his last song.