As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
The Boston Swing Dance Network has been bringing you quality live swing music for your dancing pleasure since 1986...19 years now. It seemed like only yesterday that they had their 10th anniversary and now we're headed for the 20th. Long before most of the other regular swing venues showed up, the BSDN was packin' 'em in as it was *the* place to go swing dancing every month as the promoters Roger Weiss and Claire Schlosser scoured the country to find the very best bands that fit their exact criteria for what a good swing dance band should sound like. Many of the popular bands appearing in the Boston area first played at the IC dances long before the "fad" hit the country in 1997.
It would seem appropriate that the BSDN return to the fold at this time as September seems to be the start of the dance season. While most people lament the end of summer, I see it as the beginning of a whole new season of dancing. The BSDN monthly dance was the second dance that I went to (my dance studio's dance was the night before) and I remember standing around at the back of the old Church of the Immaculate Conception hall in Cambridge (hence, the "IC dances") in my suit & tie; my future dance partner came along to drag me off the back wall and made me dance and I haven't stopped dancing since. This first dance of the season always seems like homecoming to me where I get to see all the friends who had disappeared for the summer.
Mark your calendars: September 10 at the "IC Dance" in Watertown.
I had the privilege of attending the wedding of Colleen Bender and Matt Wright this weekend down in Connecticut. This is another "dance wedding" as they met on the dance scene and their on-the-dancefloor relationship became a relationship for life. It was a nice touch that the tables at the reception were not numbered; instead, they were labeled with names of swing songs and "Stompin' at the Savoy" was the table closest to the dance floor. But you knew these newlyweds were really dancers when they went out for their first dance as husband and wife: there was the beautiful bride...in her elegant gown...wearing her pink suede Adidas Superstars dance sneakers, chromed, of course.
When there's a big crisis and everyone's looking for someone to blame, and one politician stands out and says "Let not play the Blame Game...", you can be sure that he or she (the politician) is the one whom everyone is blaming.
On Saturday, I realized that it would cost quite a bit to fill my gas tank for the trip so I decided it would be worth making the journey into South Station to grab a bus into Northampton. In Northampton, the dance is within walking distance of the bus stop and there would be plenty of great places to eat when I got there. The trip took 2 hours and 45 minutes, a bit longer than a car ride because of the 4 stops in between, including the switchover in Springfield, but it was a reasonably relaxing trip as I got to go through a month's worth of mail during the ride. And a friend of coming in from the other direction so I got a ride home.
There's a neat little restaurant in Northampton that I'd recommend. It's a little quick-meal place called "¡ Cha Cha Cha !" that was originally a Mexican restaurant...that then got bought out by someone Chinese...and is now owned by some Indians...so Tex-Mex with Chinese and Indian influence. I mean, my meal was a burrito...with curried chicken in it. A great place for a good cheap meal.
The dances are held at the Sacred Heart Church on Route 5, not all that far from the old place, in a less formal setting than the Center for the Arts. The only thing I miss is the air-conditioning (or at least I think there was air-conditioning in the old place).
The band had good energy with their R&B and rock 'n' roll music. It was clear that the local dancers was familiar with the band as I saw many WCS dancers and not much in the way of die-hard lindyhoppers. This band would be great for a WCS dance.
One thing that I noticed at these venues away from the city (Boston, that is). The dancers out in the "suburbs" don't seem to have an issue with acknowledging that they might know more than one dance (or are willing to dance more than one dance). In the city, there are more specialized dances (Lindyhop vs WCS) where you don't see much in the way of other kinds of dancing. At the HOSS dances (likewise with the Hartford Swing Dances), you're more likely to see people dancing waltzes, foxtrots or even two-step during the breaks.
On this trip I met with and danced with some very nice people. I'm glad I went and will do so again in the future. It's also an interesting way to meet new people and to encourage them to come into Boston for dancing.
Ever use one of those on-line dating services? A friend of mine was showing me a certain one and told me that people can see if you check out their profile. She was wondering why so many women looked at her profile. I told her they were checking out the competition.
Went to a bachelor party for a friend this weekend. Two different friends getting married on the same day (not to each other) and their bachelor parties were on the same night. Got abandoned by the van shuttling everyone down to Providence but I caught up with everyone at Dave & Buster's and then dinner at the Capital Grille, and then on to the typical bachelor party merriment that I *thought* went out of style.
As I drove home late that night, I couldn't help but remember Bill Cosby's great line for these situations:
"If you're hungry, you don't watch some guy cook a steak!"
It was a busy week as I also went on a 25-mile hike through western Massachusetts (part of the Metacomet/Monadnock Trail). I was thoroughly disappointed that I didn't lose any weight on this hike, but at least I didn't finish a bottle of Advil this time.
The things I remember most were: