As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
Regarding the addition of new sponsors, I had asked Craig Ball of the White Heat Swing Orchestra to become a DanceNet sponsor only after he indicated how much business my website (or his webpage) sent to him. Actually, his reaction was amusingly stronger than that. :-) I wouldn't have wanted to ask someone to be a sponsor if my website hadn't help them. Naturally, this is only one factor in deciding if I want someone for a sponsor, but if you are going to use the services of one of my sponsors or someone who has a page on this website, please let them know you heard about them on this website.
Someone asked an interesting question. One woman, I guess, had her hair in a ponytail (I love ponytails on women. :-) ) and during a dance, her partner moved into position while she did a spin and he got whacked in the face with the hair (not that this has *ever* happened before). Her question to the general population is for suggestions as to how she should do her hair to avoid this problem. If you have comments (not necessarily suggestions), please write to me and I'll post some of the comments. Now, my comments: I think it's the guy's job to make sure that he doesn't put himself into that position. If she hits him, it's his fault. The guy should not make the woman feel as if she should change her hairstyle to accomodate him ("you look fine, dear."). Gee, I'm not even married. :^)
Bleyers are available from Teddy's in Central Square. Rick from Poughkeepsie suggested buying Bleyers "tight" because his experience says that the leather uppers stretch a lot; six months after he bought them, they were not snug enough but he loves the soles. The Teddy's store owner said that he's been selling the Rock 'n' Roll shoe, but wants people to check out the Charleston model soon.
The store owner of Teddy's (forgot his name) seemed interested in getting people to let him know what they want so he can try out a sample of them. The selection seems pretty good and I would suggest stopping by to see what they have.
If you are a dance teacher and you have your own website, please let me know if you post a new schedule. I do not make any effort to check out everyone's website because there are too many other things to do, including typing in all this material for the website. If those venues for whom I host a webpage (sponsor or not) have new information, I will know about changes and will announce them on the What's New? page. If you have your own webpage, I can only announce new information if you tell me about it.
Right now DanceNet On The Web is done on a computer that is set at 1024x768 at 16-bit color. For me the colors are clear and the pictures are viewable. The pages are done with the intention of looking appropriate on a 800x600 monitor. I do have the capability to test this website on 640x480 at 256 colors (8-bit color) and will probably do so at some point. If you have any problems viewing this website, please write to me and tell me what kind of computer you are using.
Then I went the Roxy.
Oh man, this was a truly bad evening. The Crescent City Maulers was just awful (you should have seen the word I was going to use). Everything they played was very fast and the music was cranked way too loud. Their sound man was of the type who assumed that louder was better. It turns out that their sax player can't even sing! (yes, he tried). It was probably the worse time I've ever had at the Roxy. Big Daddy said that they're usually better, but anything would be better than this. The place was packed more than usual because of the dance contest so the faster music didn't help. There were more than the usual flailing arms and legs that made dancing that much more dangerous. I had gone to see if I would like the band enough to buy their CD. Oh well.
I have a question. Is someone actually teaching ballroom dancers that Jive is really swing dancing? There were two couples in the competition who were extremely talented but they were clearly dancing Jive. All I could think of was that opening sequence from the movie Strictly Ballroom where that one couple was hogging the dance floor and blocking the other couples from being seen (that's the way it looked from the dj booth). If this had been a "Strictly Swing" competition, they would have been disqualified since their moves looked highly choreographed.
My pick at the beginning was Sara Fajkowski and her partner Jeremi Karnell as the eventual winners. They were clearly the crowd's favorite as the cheers went up on their appearance on the floor. Dave Cajolet and Kate Mullin came in second with Martin Fréchette & Suzanne Gaudet (one of the super-powered Lindy Twins) coming in third. Dave & Kate, in my opinion, looked much better dancing together than any of the other couples, but Sara has so much raw talent that she makes anyone look good and she did that tonight. However, I think her dancing up at the New England Swing Dance Championships in November was much better (with a different partner).
The judges were Aurelie Tye of Hop To the Beat Studios, Chris Johnson of Fred Astaire of Boston Studios and Ryles, and Jack Lynch who teaches swing at Johnny D's. I was disappointed that Susan Huppe who teaches at the Kinvara Pub on Mondays was not one of the judges. If the people who worked at two of the three preliminary events were judges, then they should have had all three locations represented. I was told that the competition was 2/3 weighted in favor of enthusiasm and costuming. Any confirmations?
It was the earliest that I've ever left the Roxy. The music was so loud that it actually started to hurt.
It's nice to see that West Coast Swing is alive and well in Boston. I went to Maxwell Ho's dance this Saturday and it was packed. Yes, I did go to a WCS dance and it was fun. Maxwell is an entertaining host and attracted people from Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York to his monthly event. Maxwell was dancing with some guy from NYC (I forget his name, but he's some "rising star" in the WCS scene and he reminds me of Robert Cordoba) and they both did a "up-close-and-personal" body roll that nearly made everyone roll over in laughter. Maxwell is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Ah...I feel better now. :-)
I want to thank Ron Gursky for letting us use Rugcutters Dance Studio for the workshop. I especially want to thank Ron for generously waiving the usual rental fee so the donations to the selected charities would be bigger. A volunteer from the students, Cynthia Ruzic, picked the two charities out of a hat (well, a cup). The profits from this workshop will go to The Salvation Army and The Boston Latin School Foundation. Thank you to the workshop attendees for their contributions to these charities.
I just got a length note about the "new" Lake Pearl Ballroom that I forwarded to the Lake Pearl people without the sender's identity. Also, I read some comment about the place that did not put Lake Pearl in a good light. Has anyone else had any experience with Lake Pearl recently?
There had been some new dance venues that didn't pay any attention to the the dancers , except to see them as a cash cow. Those are no longer with us. The existing venues must make sure they're paying attention to what the dancers want, not what the owners think the dancer should want. Thinking you know what's best for the customers is a sure way to go out of business.
As this website reflects the personality of the webmaster, it is viewed in different ways by different people. I have been accused of being biased in my listings (not true; I'm biased in whom I like). Someone else said that I was too neutral and needed to offer more opinions since I've been in the swing dance scene for 8 years and have seen alot and must have alot of stories to share. Some say I'm arrogant while others urge me to "fight" for them. If you have a strong opinion either way, please feel free to drop me a line with your viewpoint or talk to me directly. I'll write about any points that I feel are interesting to my readers (without your name, of course, for your privacy).
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