Dancers Anonymous > yesterday's activities

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by fascination, May 10, 2009.

  1. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    ***Fascination, I take it you found the book, but just in case, it is by Julia Ericksen and is titled Dance with Me: Ballroom Dancing and the Promise of Instant Intimacy (NYU P, 2011). There are chapters on many topics we discuss on DF: the economics of ballroom, relationships between teachers and students, grooming/costuming/weight, gender roles in ballroom.

    The intimacy alluded to in the title refers both to physical intimacy (because dance involves close contact between bodies) but also to emotional intimacy in all of its forms. Part of the argument here is that what people pay for when they pay for dance lessons is in part that feeling of being cared about and having attention focused upon one (the teacher cares about me), and forming that personal connection with the teacher (the teacher trusts me and values the fact that I care about him/her). On a broader level, people also derive pleasure from being intimately involved in the glamorous world of dance (e.g., people's pride in familiarity with the names of top dancers, the prestige of particular comps, insider knowledge of all kinds).

    Here is the section where your pro comes up:

    "To attract teachers such as Mark, competitions award top teacher prizes to those who dance the most heats. For the DanceSport Series, a set of seventy competitions nationwide, teachers accumulate points from those they have attended. The teacher with the most points wins top teaher of the year. Students also accumulate points for participating in the DanceSport Series. The Ohio Star Ball hosts a dance-off for those with the most points, thus encouraging teachers and students to attend many competitions. The same teachers win top teacher awards repeteadly. In 2008, the top teacher of the year was Rauno Ilo. Born in Estonia, Rauno immigrated to the United States with his wife and ballroom dance partner, Kriistina. They competed successfully in the United States but did not reach the top, and when they retired, they opened a dance school in Indianapolis. While Kriistina stays home to run the studio, teach, and raise the couple's two children, Rauno spends many weekends across the country competing with students. At one competition, the 2009 United States Dance Championships (USDC), Rauno won the prize for top teacher overall and also won top teacher in each of the four styles. Since this is one of the most important competitions, prize money is generous. In addition to the fees his students paid to dance with him, Rauno's prize money for this one competition totaled $23,500.

    Sometimes, a teacher and a particular student become recognized as a couple who regularly compete. For example, Alain Doucet and his student Beverly Moore win every event they enter together in the ladies C age category, a scholarship category for students age fifty-one and older. In a 2009 interview, Doucet reported that they intended to enter nineteen competitions in 2010. Each time they compete, they do so in three styles in open gold and in the open scholarships. Their picture can be seen in color plate 8. This is an ideal many teachers aspire to; however, there are a limited number of students with the means or desire to compete so much.

    Men such as Rauno and Alain are at the top of the heap in pro/am circles; they raise the level of any competition they attend by bringing many students or by dancing with a student who is better than some professionals" (73-4).
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    oh...okay then...well, given that I was there in 2009, and it was a good year :)....I resemble that :)...thanks, I planned on ordering it but haven't been able to do so yet...I will say however, that as fortunate as I feel to dance with as talented a teacher as he is, there is a trade off in terms of stress...and I personally suffer no delusions of being special to him or to the dance world, nor are either of those things my goal....I just want to be a good dancer and I think he is my best opportunity for that ...
  3. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    See, what the book was saying did resonate with me.

    The book is not claiming that people take dance lessons solely to purchase intimacy; obviously, people purchase dance lessons because they want to dance. But if the argument is that people aren't just purchasing dance, but purchasing a relationship, and that they care about whether the teacher likes/respects/enjoys having them as a student --guilty.

    I did not choose to compete pro-am and then find an appropriate instructor. I chose to dance pro-am BECAUSE an amateur dancer whose dancing really spoke to me turned pro and I wanted the opportunity to learn from and compete with him per se. I would be lying if I said that I am indifferent to whether he values me as a student/human being or not. It is not the same kind of relationship that I have with, say, my dentist or my gynecologist, where she provides a service that I need, but there is no desire for any kind of personal relationship. (Indeed, I feel slightly uncomfortable when I run into my gynecologist socially and definitely do not seek out her company. And while I guess I do prefer to see her over other gynecologists because she delivered my baby, it's not what I'd call a huge preference/loyalty. And I feel even less loyalty to my dentist. I hope I am just another mouth to her.)
  4. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Spent most of the day reading Dance with Me (which I finished) and getting stuff done around the house.

    Later in the day:
    -Tried to deal with some arrangements for this November lecture I am tasked with planning.
    -Started reading a new book, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah.
    -Read with Child for about an hour and a half.
    (Yes, a lot of reading in this day. I turned my ankle on Monday, as you may remember, so I'm trying to stay off it, contrary to my instincts and inclinations.)

    7--Reported to work in academic regalia.
    7:30-9--Honors Convocation.

    Home. Wrote in diary. Bed.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    don't get me wrong....I think your impulse and experience is the best and proper one...and I agree that, absent other circumstances, that is what most of us want.....I just got burned the first time and, in the second case, it really isn't an option even if I was open to it....but there are merits to knowing where you isn't ideal...but I wouldn't know where to find least not in indiana, so I choose skill and a good work ethic....shrug...
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I also totally agree with you that, most of us are more satisfied when we have those sorts of relationships ...whether it be with our pro or our fitness instructor, etc...I see it all the time at the gym...I have a following because I cultivate it...I cultivate it by caring about the members of my is good for me not only professionally but personally, and it is good for them...ultimately though, I set the tone as the professional, and if it isn't there I had better be really good, or they will probably not stay...still, it is my choice....I am a pretty relational person....but I accept that not everyone is...
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yesterday...teach bike and bench....great to Kohler Wisconsin...dh drives while I read training manuals for the trainings I will be conducting in July for new instructors....we check into our room which is....impressive...we are in the carriage house, which is newly renovated and houses the spa....we have a charming room with luxurious bathroom (courtesy of the Kohler family) including tub for 4 and a waterfall shower...also a fireplace, a two room suite and a glorious bed.....we have a fabulous dinner (healthy thai wrap ...and a few cheese curds :)) and then the first of two scheduled 80 minute deep tissue massages plus a sauna and whirlpool....sleep like babies
    j_alexandra likes this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    doing today now as it has been full and I anticipate collapsing into a foam at the end of the night...

    up...luxuriate in bed for an indefinate period of time
    continental breakfast
    work out an hour on elliptical..@5 miles
    dh and I walk the shopping village and I check out the yoga schedule...we pick up items from the grocery for a ritzy indoor picnic (see food journal)
    dh goes to golf lesson, I futz around on df and fb, and read more of my Parker Palmer book on democracy which I have been meaning to finish for ages and which I love...also sit in huge whirlpool in the room and take an excellent nap.....
    buy father's day presents at golf shop and things for grandbaby
    lovely dinner at the golf course (crab cakes, one beef medallion, b/c 2 was too many, carrots and green beans and a square of potatoes au gratin)...neither of us has any idea where dessert would go...but dh picks up a chocolate covered strawberry on the way back to the room..
    we are currently resting up to walk to the cigar bar because it is only open tonight...I am only doing this b/c I am a good all of this relaxation has exhausted me...we agree to be in bed by 10
  9. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member


    Read quite a bit of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. It is excellent.

    1:30--Reported to work for graduation. Almost left my cap in the bathroom and had to run back for it!

    2-4:50--COMMENCEMENT! Longest one for my school on record. Three honorary degree recipients, one of whom gave a long, rambling speech. The other two were Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt. Turns out one of their sons, Jeffrey, lives in Target Community housing (for people with developmental disabilities; this organization has a special relationship with the college) and works in the fitness center at the college!
    The person sitting next to me's daughter was graduating, and she got to hand her daughter her diploma and get a photo with her up on stage. Nice. (Though that being said, I would prefer ChaChaChild stretch her wings and go somewhere else.) Professor kids aside, there were actually a significant number of people who work at the college with kids graduating, including some who work for housekeeping or are secretaries...because tuition is free for employees. It is a hugely valuable benefit. I find it enormously heartwarming. Upward mobility in action.
    Oh! And someone whose Senior Sem I supervised got the college's biggest writing prize for that Senior Seminar! So that was a highlight.
    But the ceremony was still too dang long. (Did I mention we sit on stage, and have to pretend to be well-behaved? Did I mention someone sitting two seats over from me started to have an asthma attack and had forgotten to bring an inhaler, and had to figure out how to get off the stage without disrupting the ceremony? It was that kind of day.)

    6ish--Back on campus for the famous end of the year party. I managed to get into a convo with the president where at first I planned not to talk shop, and just asked him if he was going to get in a real summer vacation (yes, Ireland) and he asked me the same back (yes, planning San Diego). Then I decided the heck with it, and floated a couple long-term ideas I have for the first-year sem program and he was very receptive and supportive!!!!

    The faculty kids at said party were playing, and eventually there became a game of "Chase ChaChaChild." To be clear: not chase in general; specifically chase my kid. She was sneaking around saying "I know this place like the back of my hand!" and wearing my leather jacket and sunglasses pretending to be a secret agent, and four kids chased after her, while two admiring younger girls were her back up spies.

    She informed me post-party that I should invite all those people over sometime.
    I told her I actually had been thinking about throwing a cookout for all my FYS faculty and families at the beginning of the school year, but that the dads of the kids she was playing with were not actually teaching in the program in 2013-14 and she said "So? Why does that matter?" Lol.

    Put Child to bed. Fooled around on the computer and thought about how glad I was not to be at a graduation ceremony anymore! Then bed for me.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    very cool that tuition is free for employees...wish Notre Dame had that policy

    NURDRMS Well-Known Member

    Yesterday - drive to Denver and watch daughter play in soccer tournament in the blazing heat. Managed to only sunburn part of an arm.
    Today - drive to Denver and watch daughter play in soccer tournament in a dust storm. Managed to get covered in grit.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sun...breakfast...go back to bed...workout...hit the little shops in the area, but really only get a few things from the "zen" store....lunch, df, fb...head off to a yoga class... sauna and whirlpool...back to room where dh and I order a movie and room bed at 10
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    monday (thusfar)...leisurely departure from bed...hotel brekkies...fb, df....workout....lunch, whirlpool sauna, 80 minute deep tissue...df, best guess is that the evening will consist of dinner out and then a quiet evening in the morning (probably followed by whirlpool and sauna)...then we will be headed forecast is not good for the trip...but I won't has been a great weekend
    samina likes this.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    saw "silver linings play book " last night...not bad...meh...planning on seeing "lincoln" tonight
  15. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    ^^I understand that Tal Livshitz and Vlada Semenova are in "Silver Linings Playbook." (I've not yet had the opportunity to see it, though.) I also heard from a friend that Tal and his new partner, Ilana Keselman, were terrific in the Rising Star Amateur Latin at Blackpool. "Mesmerizing" was one of the adjectives she used. I can't wait to see them at a U.S. comp! Hopefully soon.
    Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah.
    Child had playdate with one of her BFFs, who moved to a town about 45 mins away 2 years ago. They are going to camp in Baltimore together for the second year in a row, though, so that's nice. (Both are very bright girls who love to play imaginative games with toys: stuffed animals, Barbies, etc.)

    We went to the pool from about 1-4. The girls swam. Husband and I sat poolside in sweatshirts and jeans. It was too cold for anyone over 35 to consider swimming a great idea. The pool has a great playground too, which the kids enjoyed.

    We invited Child's BFF for a pizza party and sleepover, and her mom said yes, so the girls really enjoyed that. Sometimes, watching my kid enjoy her friends, I feel really happy. I hope she can have such great friendships her whole life long.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    they were...and that was enjoyable...but what the stars of the show did to dancing completely offset the enjoyment
    j_alexandra likes this.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the rest of the movie was intriguing but I felt like they edited too much of the story right out of it..still, there were some aspects that were fresh and interesting
  18. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    I am not even going to bother trying to catch up. My life recently has been:

    Have out of town guest for 10 days
    Lessons, some bad, some spectacularly good
    Gyro, rolfer, Yamuna Body Rolling (am quite pleased with YBR)
    Banking issues, boo, hiss
    Interpersonal crap up the wazoo, boo, hiss to the max
    Social dancing, incredibly, two nights in a row, didn't die of it; win
    Waiting for spring; still cold, and it's after Memorial Day
    Planning trip to London and Belgium in early September
    Starting to clear out storage unit, have been avoiding this and now I know why; it's a 10' x 8' x 5' room of emotional baggage, wish I could just dump it all (except the books, and at this point, maybe even those) (oh, and the kitchen stuff)
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member's rainy....time to go home....hotel home...catch up with a few folks...begin to ponder how the rest of my summer is going to go...lots of conflicting demands and ambiguous feelings...nothing horrible just not awesome either....apologize to animals profusely in numerous was.....tan...make a quick grocery run....pretty much couch warming the rest of the night
  20. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Double lesson with Nik. Ankle was still a bit iffy, but managed to get through the first hour without pain. Last 30 minutes it was acting up a bit, and I managed to wrench my shoulder on a turn as well, but I got through it.

    Read a lot.

    Grocery shopping even before 8 AM, then made a double batch of red bean salad for Child's upcoming camping trip (Thursday-Friday). The dog came down from upstairs when he heard me cracking hard boiled eggs. I think he actually has gotten accustomed to the fact that this recipe (which I make a lot, since Child loves it) involves hard boiled egg whites only and that I will feed him the yolks if he is around.

    Tried to work out things for this lecture I'm planning for November. Argh! It is proving really hard to find a workable date. I thought I had one, but the facility seems to be booked. Contacted Admissions to find out if they really need the facility in question all day.

    1-2:45--Weekly first year team meeting.

    3--Pick up Child.

    Eat. Read with Child.

    5-8:30--Child at dance. I finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. Best book I've read this year!!! Six sentence summary: Ifemelu and Obinze are bright, ambitious high school sweethearts and soulmates growing up in Lagos, who head off to Nsukka University with plans of a lifetime together. When repeated, lengthy strikes at the university derail their educations, Ifemelu heads off to America with promises of a scholarship that will largely defray her expenses, but Obinze cannot get a visa for study in the U.S. and eventually winds up overstaying a travel visa in England. In America, Ifemelu initially experiences culture shock and financial duress which tests her values and temporarily sends her into a spiral of depression during which she stops communicating with Obinze. She emerges stronger, and discovers race, a topic that didn't really exist for her in Nigeria, and eventually uses her outsider perspective to become a prominent blogger on the subject. Obinze, meanwhile, struggles to live under the radar in England. As the years go by and other romantic entanglements ensue, can their feelings for each other survive?

    The lively, nuanced characters and the many insightful, spot-on observations about class, race, and nationality in the U.S. and Nigeria make this an absorbing page turner, from the opening scene in which Ifemelu has to travel from leafy bucolic Princeton (where she is on fellowship) to Trenton to find someone who really knows how to braid African hair to its suspenseful finale. Highly recommended!

    That night, had a nice phone chat with my BFF. :)

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