One of the biggest expenses in ballroom, or any dance, seems to be the shoes, costumes, makeup. Last night Lulu was dancing and could only make it through two group lessons. She came over to me with that waver in her voice where I know she’s about to cry and said “my feet hurt.” Usually I tell her to just suck it up and get back to waltzing, but I happened to look down at her feet. Oh wow. Both upper foot was a stage 1 pressure ulcer with imprints of her shoe straps. Poor baby. It’s time to purchase another pair of shoes. Stephanie ballroom shoes: $115. Comfort while promenading, priceless.
As Promised: My First Guest Poster- Rumba September 28, 2011
This post was written by my nine year old daughter Lulu, who has been ballroom dancing for a couple years now. This post is mostly unedited (well, spellcheck) so you could enjoy her point of view as a dancer of Rumba.
Hello I am the guest blogger. First I would like to lay down the tracks of saying I am a ballroom dancer and I am going to be writing about Rumba from anine year olds point of view. Why I am writing about it from a nine year olds point of view is because I am nine. When I am asked to define the word Rumba I would say rumba is a Latin dance and it is a basic dance that you learn first or second from your instructor. If I
could rate the Rumba on a scale of one to ten I would say for the umpteenth time probably about a four. I think that people think I am special in a way of thinking ‘’ Oh she’s so special and fancy because she dances. I guess we have to treat her like a princess!’’ Why I can’t really stand this is because really it’s kind of annoying because they think your fancy but I can’t help but not brag because there is just too much to think about with fourth grade homework and having fun with and just going with the flow and being your normal self with your friends.
Now I must say that learning Rumba for the first time is kind of scary because you’re one on one with your partner and you just get butterflies in your stomach and you feel like you’re going to lose your stomach like you’re on a rollercoaster ride and you just can’t take the rollercoaster anymore and you just want to sort of relax but you can’t. The second time doing Rumba is really cool because you think you know it but you’re still a bit nervous.
My first time dancing Rumba was at Bluegrass Dance Center. My second time dancing Rumba was at Arthur Murray Lexington in Winter White
Extravaganza and I felt so confident and I smiled at the judge so hard I couldn’t smile for about an hour! In the end I ended up doing very well and moving up in dance. My third time doing Rumba was also at Arthur Murray Lexington for the Medal Ball. I was again very, very nervous. My fourth time doing Rumba was actually very calm because I did very well and knew the dance very well! But I cannot take all the credit because I have to give 60% to my instructor and I have to take 40% because I refuse to take any more credit if there is a hundred percent I get 40% and he gets 60%. I love to dance and I think Rumba is my fourth favorite dance!
Well I think that I’ve covered great ground so far and I think that Rumba is a great Latin dance but really I think the most passionate Latin dance is really Salsa because you follow your partner exactly and you’re right in rhythm with them. Before I drone on and on and on going into how I’m getting off subject I must say, Adue!!!
Three day week at the studio… September 27, 2011
Which means my butt will be fused to the couch there about 10 hours this week. So you people have a lot to look forward to…lucky readers!
Unfortunately I can only bring you this short preview. My day job demands that I constantly speak to humans today and figure out what is ailing them, instead of sitting behind my laptop.
So long for now…people are waiting.
Olympic Pole Dancing? September 26, 2011
Ok, when I watched a YouTube vid on the competitive “sport” of pole dancing, I really expected scantily clad girls in stripper heels strutting their stuff on stage and swinging around on a pole. Ohhhhhh Emmmmmm Geeeeeee was I WRONG. These competitors have abs of titanium and skills beyond anything I have ever seen. All I can say is wow.
However, the Olympics? Is this a sign of the times? If they marketed the “pole dancing” under another moneker and placed it in the gymbastics category, maybe I can see it happening. It truely is something that requires agility, endurance, and hercules like strength. It will be an intersting thing to see of they get in!
The first dance, as promised in this educational series, that I am going to learn about is the Rumba. Why? This dance was the first one that Lulu took my breath away performing back when she was just a Bronze I dancer. She had been dancing only two months when her instructor siad she was ready to perform in an exhibition called Winter White ball. The event was an all day, six hour, watch everyone perform kind of day. My heart was pounding the entire time (plus I was on call, so I was freaking out that I would be called out to see a patient and would miss her performance.) She was giddy, nervous, all smiles. This by no means was her first time dancing in front of a crowd. For six years prior she had been dancing, performing, and competing in jazz, ballet, tap, and musical theater. She tends to be one of thise kids who thrive on attention and loves the limelight. When she danced, my heart was racing and tears welled in my eyes. She had found her niche in the world of dance, and from that moment forward I have known this is what she is supposed to do.
The modern international style of dancing the rumba derives from studies made by dance teacher Monsieur Pierre (Pierre Zurcher-Margolle), who partnered Doris Lavelle. Pierre, then from London, visited Cuba in 1947, 1951 and 1953 to find out how and what Cubans were dancing at the time.
The international ballroom rumba is a slower dance of about 120 beats per minute which corresponds, both in music and in dance to what the Cubans of an older generation called the bolero–son. It is easy to see why, for ease of reference and for marketing, rumba is a better name, however inaccurate; it is the same kind of reason that led later on to the use of salsa as an overall term for popular music of Cuban origin.
All social dances in Cuba involve a hip-sway over the standing leg and, though this is scarcely noticeable in fast salsa, it is more pronounced in the slow ballroom rumba. In general, steps are kept compact and the dance is danced generally without any rise and fall. This style is authentic, as is the use of free arms in various figures. The basic figures derive from dance moves observed in Havana in the pre-revolutionary period, and have developed their own life since then. Competition figures are often complex, and this is where competition dance separates from social dance. Details can be obtained from the syllabi of dance teaching organizations and from standard texts.“
- ^ Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing 2004. 100 years of dance: a history of the ISTD Examinations Board. London. p62
- ^ Julie McMain’s Glamour Addiction notes that Pierre Margolle’s professional name was Monsieur Pierre; he and his partner were commonly referred to as “Monsieur Pierre and Doris Lavelle”; therefore some writers have incorrectly assumed that Pierre’s last name was Lavelle.
- ^ Lavelle, Doris 1983. Latin & American dances. 3rd ed, Black, London. The introduction tells the story of Pierre’s visits to Cuba, but with inaccurate dates.
- ^ Laird, Walter 2003. The Laird Technique of Latin Dancing. International Dance Publications Ltd. p9, puts it like this (after taking a step to side) “Transfer full weight to this foot allowing the pelvis to move sideways and back so that the weight is felt to be near the heel of the standing foot. The knee of the supporting leg is locked back.” This description incidentally illustrates the difficulty of describing body movements in print.
- ^ bronze and silver medals of dance teaching organizations. (Medal examinations (dance))
- ^ Lavelle, Doris 1983. Latin & American dances. 3rd ed, Black, London.
- ^ Laird, Walter 2003. The Laird Technique of Latin Dancing. International Dance Publications Ltd.
- ^ McMains, Juliet E. 2006. Glamour addiction: inside the American ballroom dance industry.
Another site, “The Dance Store Online,” has some interesting information: “In Rumba, three steps are taken during each measure of music. In other words, three steps are taken to four beats of music. The steps are actually taken on beats 2, 3, and 4 of each measure and knee straightening, weight transfer, and turns are performed on the intervening half beats. No step is actually taken on count 1, but hip movement does occur on count 1. In American style Rumba, the step timing is sometimes counted quick, quick, slow; quick, quick, slow.
In International style Rumba, the step timing is counted 2,3,4-1, 2,3,4-1. Recall that stepping action only occurs on counts 2,3, and 4. Hip movement and spiral turning actions occur on count 1. Learning to count the music correctly is the first big hurdle for beginners. Students are seldom able to dance the Rumba correctly until they are able to count it correctly.”
The Rumba box is danced in America, but is nixed in thee international style. Lulu dances the box, which I think is so confusing. I am NOT a dancer… Any time I have attempted to learn a dance I have failed miserably. Maybe one day she will drag me out to the floor to learn more with her, but not today. That’s another peice of dance momma drama all together.
My first guest poster will be Lulu herself…she is a writer as well who has her own blog that highlights her favorite things: reading, dancing, living life to the fullest. Her assignment on my site is to tell all of you, from the perspective of a nine year old ballroom dancer, what the Rumba is like to her.
This blog is not about YOU. (In light of recent events.) September 25, 2011
Or anyone you know or think you know. Just because you know someone who is a Dance/Basketball/Football/Pageant/Baseball/Any other sport mom or dad, it’s not about them. I know hundreds of sports parents, and when I write, I might *depict* charactaristics of the generalized categorization of that tyep of person, but I do not write about “real” people. Any author does this. And when I say I *work* with a person…one must remember, that if you know me, I have about seven different facilities I moonlight at any given day. So for those of you who think I am writing about you or someone you know, you’re wrong. Know what they say about making assumptions, right?
The purpose of this post is that a fellow dance mom blogger removed her site. I’m guessing someone at her studio caught on to her blog and made ASSumptions that all the sarcastic posts were a depiction of them, so was ordered to remove them or else social damnation would ensue. Recently, something a bit similar happened…someone at one of the many facilities I work in read my blog, and because there was a sports parent who also worked at the facility, and that was the only one they knew of that kind, they ASSumed that was the only sports parent of that type I knew as well, so I MUST have been writing about that person.
The record has not been set straight, and I probably will not bother. One Problogger on Twitter quoted something the other day that rang very true to me: Something at any given time that one posts online is apt to offend someone. So this is the extent I will “worry” about it. A short, simple post to let all my readers know that 1) I am not writing about you unless you want me to, 2) if I am spending time writing about you, count yourself lucky, because I’m thinking about you, and 3) If I am discussing you in a negative light, you probably deserve it, and the First Amendment and Intellectual property and my attorney all say that as long as your name isn’t used, all’s fair in love and war.
The world of dance is very vast. There are countless blogs online, books available, and forums to read that the more I devour, the less I realize I know. Competitions, gown regulations, stoning, makeup techniques, dance steps, partnering… What have we gotten into? There is a lot I need to learn, really quickly. So, there will be an educational element added to this site in addition to my rants and feelings that I have been subjecting you all to. This will be a lesson for us all, I hope that those interested in the world of ballroom can appreciate and take something away from this. In addition to some educational material, I will be bringing in guest writers and interviews as available. Enjoy the new addition to Dance Momma Drama!