Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

And I've been having more fun lately than the law allows, as evidenced by so much time elapsing since my last post! I went to West Coast Swing lessons last week, the first time I've really explored that dance. As with most dances, I enjoyed it tremendously, but it doesn't come close to replacing Latin or traditional Ballroom as my favorites.

Then I had family visiting for a few days from Texas and Louisiana and we were on the go constantly. There's a lot to see and do here in southern California. But I didn't have on my dancing shoes, not even once, while they were here.

The other thing that has taken a lot of my time lately is a new project I've been working on. (In fact, still working on, and from the looks of things, will be working on for quite some time before it's finished.) If any of you have a dog, want a dog, love a dog, or know someone who does, I'd love it if you would check out my first-ever, built-from-scratch website. It's still under construction, so some pages are still empty, but I'm so proud of what I've managed to put together.

It's a site dedicated to all things doggie and you can find it at: www.justsaydogs.com. Thanks to all of you for continuing to support my blog, and I'll be back to discussing ballroom topics very soon.

Until then, keep dancing!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ballroom Dancing-Salsa in Southern California

When I say Salsa, I'm not talking about the hot sauce! I'm talking about the hot dance! I've taken a number of ballroom dance lessons over the years, but somehow never got around to learning Salsa dancing. Well, last night that changed. I finally had the opportunity to check out one of the casinos in this area that offers FREE Salsa lessons!

I was a bit skeptical on my way there, wondering if it would be a waste of time. You know the old saying, 'you get what you pay for', and I knew nothing about who was teaching or how much they actually knew. After two hours, I left with no less than 10 Salsa steps added to my dancing repertoire, and was thrilled to have found a new source to fuel my love for dancing.

I also learned that the instructor has a website, which I checked out when I got home. It's a great site, full of great information and some terrific links to other sites. His name is Luis, and Latin rhythm seems to flow in his blood. Check out his site! icandance.com

Another site definitely worth a look-see is peoplewhodance.net I discovered this one while navigating through Luis' site. If you're in Southern California, be sure to visit both sites and discover how much dancing is going on, and how many places you can find lessons, even in the absence of traditional dance studios.

No matter where you live, if there are no studios in your area, do a little research....you may find there are dance lessons available in some unexpected places. After coming home from the casino, (where, by the way, on my way out I stuck $5 in a slot machine and won $12!) I discovered, with the help of icandance.com , I can take West Coast swing lessons at a Senior Center on Monday nights, Ballroom lessons at a local restaurant on Tuesday nights, and Salsa lessons at two different casinos on Wednesday and Thursday nights! Some require a nominal fee, and some are absolutely free!

See you on the dance floor!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ballroom Dancing in the UK

BBC goes ballroom 'Dancing in the Street'
Friday, June 9 2006, 10:01 BST - by Daniel Saney

The BBC invites budding ballroom dancers to take part in Dancing in the Street, an extravaganza with the celebrities from Strictly Come Dancing. Workshops will be held at six venues across the UK where hopefuls can show their skills to the judges. A selection of the best dancers from each will then return for a masterclass with Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke. One competitor from each location will then undergo two days of training with their celebrity dance partner in London in preparation for Dancing in the Street.

The partners include Erin Bogue, Andrew Cuerdon, Hanna Haarala, Nicole Cutler and Matthew Cutler. The 90-minute show will then be performed in front of a live audience in Trafalgar Square and broadcast on BBC One. Anton said of the event: "Dancing for an audience of millions live on BBC One is a wonderful experience. I hope we're going to find some undiscovered talents so we can give a spectacular ballroom performance on stage in Trafalgar Square."

BBC Talent stresses that applicants need only enthusiasm and raw talent rather than qualifications. Hopefuls should visit bbc.co.uk/newtalent for further details, or visit one of the following open workshops before 10.30 a.m.:
Monday, June 26 - Belfast, Ramada Belfast
Tuesday, June 27 - Edinburgh, The Hub
Thursday, June 29 - Blackpool, The Globe Theatre, Pleasure Beach
Sunday, July 9 - Cardiff, Cardiff International Arena
Monday, July 10 - Exeter, University of Exeter, Dept. of Drama
Tuesday, July 11- Ipswich, Corn Exchange

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Father's Day is June 18th-Give him the gift of dance!

Do you have a hard time finding the perfect gift for the men in your life? Father's Day is nearly here, and I have a last-minute gift suggestion. A gift certificate from your local ballroom dance studio. Nearly all studios offer them, and if your favorite studio doesn't, then pay for a session of group classes in his name for him to take at his convenience. Or arrange for a couple of private lessons for him. He can schedule them whenever they will best fit into his busy routine. There's no worry about size, color, or if he already has one. It's a perfect choice if your dad is in another city. Contact a studio in his area and have it mailed to him. If you're fortunate enough to live close to your dad, perhaps an offer to attend the classes with him would be the greatest gift of all.

Think there's no way your dad would ever take dance lessons? He might just surprise you, maybe even surprising himself and a few others in the process. Maybe it's something he would never do for himself, on his own, but with a thoughtful gesture from his child, he may be willing to give it a try. If he's married, I can promise you his spouse will be a willing partner and source of encouragement. If he isn't, what a great way for him to meet some lovely women and be able to socialize in a non-threatening environment. Studios always welcome singles, and unattached men are an especially treasured addition to their clientele.

What if your dad is already actively involved in a studio, or is already taking lessons? Doesn't matter. In fact, that may be even better, because you know he will love and use a gift of more lessons. Other suggestions for those of you with 'dancing dads'--consider dance music to practice by, dance videos, a pair of dance shoes, a new shoe bag, or a folding shoe brush (a great site for that is located on the left-hand side of this page).

Whatever you decide, just be sure to show your love and appreciation for your dad on his special day.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ballroom Dancing-Going Techno?

Recently I ran across this article about a robot you can ballroom dance with, and wanted to share an excerpt. I'm not sure how I feel about it, although at least you wouldn't feel embarassed if you missed a step or two! I'd love to hear your opinions.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 Posted: 10:47 AM EDT (1447 GMT)
(CNN) -- Those with two left feet may soon be able to take ballroom dancing lessons from a partner with three wheels. The world's first ballroom-dancing robot is set to take to the floor for its first public performance this week at the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan.

Developed by scientists at Tokhuro University, the Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR) is able to predict the steps of a human partner based on body movement and react accordingly on its three wheels.
The 1.65 meter robot has a female face, wears a ballgown and comes in bright pink and pastel blue plastic. A male version is also being developed.

Although it can match the movements of a human partner's upper body, Professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, who led the team behind PBDR, said it could not yet perform dance steps. The machine forms part of the 10-day Prototype Robot Exhibition, starting June 9, which gives robotics companies and academic departments the chance to showcase their visions of a future in which robots are a part of everyday life.