As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster. The opinions expressed here are those of the DanceNet webmaster only.
I finally got to fulfill a wish of mine of putting my new tap shoes to good use by getting my first tap lesson with Julia Boynton. I know some excellent tap dancers/teachers in the Greater Boston area (watching Bob Thomas and Josh Hilberman *practice* together was an unbelieveable experience) so I didn't know who to ask about a lesson. A couple of tap-knowledgeable friends included Julia's name on their lists for suggestions. While Julia doesn't normally give private lessons, some tearful pleading and heavy flattery convinced her that maybe I was serious about this stuff. I doubt if hosting (though not editting) the Tap Boston website had an influence on her. :^)
Besides the basics of tap dancing, I learned one thing about private lessons. Anyone with a seriously short attention span or someone who needs time to "process" the information they're receiving is going to have a less-than-easy time with a private lesson. Unlike a group lesson, there are no breaks and no time to practice while the teacher focuses on someone else. As soon as the teacher says, "do this!", you have to be awake and ready to dance. I hope I didn't frustrate Julia too much. :-)
Oh yeah, besides learning the difference between a "flap" and a "shuffle", it was interesting to find out that learning to tap dance was also about learning how to make *music*. :-)
Don't forget that this website hosts Sharon Kass' Tap Boston website. If you're a tap dancer in the Boston area, you should have this website bookmarked.
A typical situation that you might see at the supermarket every day is the scene of a shopper picking through each and every green bean on the shelf. I mean, they're determined to leave their fingerprints (well, sort of) on every single green bean that you and I might buy after them.
I see little old ladies do this all the time. I also see young well-off professionals who take their time to examine each one.
I have to wonder if these people think that they outsmarting the store by getting their money's worth by getting only the best green beans out of the display and leaving the dregs for us normal folks. At this time, green beans are about $1.49 a pound, or 99 cents per pound when on sale.
My take on this situation:
However, that's not what bothers me about this situation.
I remember, as a young kid, one of those eye-opening lessons of life that my mother taught me. At dinner with plates of food on the table for the family, we were told to pick or to scoop food out of the entree serving dishes from the area directly in front of us. I couldn't pick out the choice item from my sister's side of the plate and leave the rejects for the rest of the family; that would have been rude, whether it be with family or with friends.
Remember in the movie, The Joy Luck Club (based on the bestseller by Amy Tan), where a daughter is arguing with her mother about how the mother doesn't know a thing about her? And the mother tells her that she notices everything, especially at dinner time with the relatives where the daughter let everyone else go first and picked only the food in front of her while the other daughters dug through the whole entree plate to find the best pieces to eat? Yeah, we were taught that lesson and we were taught not to be selfish with family and friends and that carried over to the way we deal with people.
That guy I saw at Starmarket today was Chinese (at least I think he was Chinese; hell, they all look alike to *me*. :-P ) I wanted to go over and tell him that his mother would have been ashamed of him.
The supermarkets will have certain magazines at the register: People, Us, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Soap Opera Digest, and so on.
These aren't the sort of magazine that most self-respecting male shoppers will read (...in public, that is). I have long wished that the big chains stock Popular Science or Popular Mechanics, though I suppose Sports Illustrated is intended to appease the gender with the Y-chromosome, but some of us just aren't into sports.
Anyways, I was standing in line at Home Depot the other day and the line was long and I looked over at the book/magazine rack: the usual home improvement magazines, Electrical 1-2-3, Do-it-yourself Plumbing, Landscaping, and so on. All of a sudden I realized that this was the first time that I got stuck in a checkout line and there was reading material for a *guy*. There is a God.
In case of many of those regional- or national-level professionals, one would assume that they might need to keep up "appearances" to demonstrate their commitment to professionalism to their work. These people are the ones for whom dancers pay money to see or from whom they take classes. These professionals need to act as if it were a privilege, not a given birthright, for them to be invited to show up at an event.
The situation which invoked commentary from a local dancer was an event where some big name dancers showed up to teach, perform, and judge some dance contests. At one point, a large group of them were sitting out in front of the audience in denim jeans and a couple of the guys hadn't even bothered to tuck their shirts in their pants. This demonstrates some level of disrespect for the dancers who pay their attendance fees which are used to bring in the dance professionals. The customers are entitled to some level of effort on the part of the professionals to come prepared, not just to "show up".
Those who are in the public eye have a responsibility to be an example to the rest of the community. If the professionals show up dressed like slobs, then the rest of the community will think that this is okay and follow suit. This is a bad trend.