yesterday's activities


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9-11--Composition instructors meeting.
Some chatting with fellow instructors after.

1-2:30--Read Senior Seminar of student who didn't hand it in until exam week. Submitted new grade. Student can now walk at graduation, as far as I am concerned.

3--Picked up Child.

Iced ankle and read Dance with Me: Ballroom Dancing and Promise of Instant Intimacy.
***Fascination: Your instructor is mentioned on pages 73-74! I think you would find this book interesting.

While thinking about the book, I did a little calculation of how much I spend on ballroom in a year. That was interesting too.

At some point, read with Child and iced ankle again.
Took Child to dance. Chatted with another mom.

Home. Put Child to bed. Wrote in diary. I think I iced again.


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I have added it is sobering....which is why I continue to add it up and continue to scale back...making dh acquire that book on his kindle we are going away and I don't think I can get the book soon enough ...and now curiosity is getting the better of me


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moving right along, before I have to post in the "ever been fired" thread....

regarding expenses, we have a child at northwestern (who also poses an immanent expensive wedding threat), a child in law school, and a, I have other considerations....(this doesn't even come close to encompassing the various other expenses that loom large upon the horizon...including some house repairs)...and the ballroom expense is cumulative...I have been doing this for 8 years now at a fairly respectable, it is time to be somewhat more prudent


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doing today the pillow calls....teach three classes...home to food and nap...laundry, dishes, pet care, back to gym but 4th class was cancelled, drop birthday gift off to friend and visit...home to food....soak in tub....pretty much done for


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8--At work, xeroxing stuff, in preparation for...

The session went well and I am SO happy (and relieved it is over).

9-9:30--Review of key dates in advising process and new student orientation.
9:30-9:45--What's new in 2013.
9:45-10:15--Explanation of new approach to flex sessions/College 101 type stuff.

10:30-11:30--Brainstorming to prepare formal document of learning outcomes for FYS.
11:30-12--Long term vision.


12:30-1--Advice to advisors.
1-2--Strategies for dealing with students in distress.
2-2:30--Title IX briefing.

Clean up, then home.

Read a little, but very tired.

Read to self (Dance With Me).
Read with Child (The Last Apprentice: Rise of the Huntress).

Wrote in diary.


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After 6 years of , do we, don't we, ahhhhh dance lessons, coachings, comps,,,I sucked it up,,,cut down on everything - and now? WELLA! a kitchen! yep, while not a "brand" new - we resurfaced, new hardware, new soft close hardware (OH HOW I LOVE THEE), New Doors in Cherry Wood Grain with brushed nickel handles, Pull Out Lower Cabinets, New One Piece Counter-StileStone (got rid of the ceramic tile with grout) with a custom undermount sink and a most beautiful glass and stone backsplash! Three Days, yep, three days it took,,,,and now, after wiping everthing down from the dust, mopping floors, we are out of our first new kitchen in 1989 updated to 2013!!!! YIPPEEEEE,,,,,Husband is incredibly happy yesterday,,,I'm exhausted but pleasantly pleased,,,,and Pro's wife,,,? well, she's lookin at him and sayin....cabinets that work would be wonderful in our kitchen! HA!! Ok, so I'm a little over the top about the finishing off of this job yesterday.
Dishes, dust, mopping, cleaning, made DH, sit and go through everything expired or not.
Picked up, put away and changed some locations around.
Made plans to knock out front door entry way pony wall and extend hardwood floor.
We started looking at pool remodeling.
DH has long talk with me, he inititates,,,,,"not looking for THE HOUSE for retirement anymore, it's about quality of life and if we stay here, great - we can always rent a house somewhere and give it back, my heart event was way too close for any kind of comfort,,,and while I always knew what was important to me, to us, this provided a direct spotlighted focus on what's important and it's not about "things" it's about quality of everyday life"...
ahhhhh, DH,,,,kissed his head, held his hand, went for a small walk.
Ran into all kinds of neighbors, dogs, a pack of squirrels....and spied the darn skunk that has been hanging out in neighborhood.
Aunts arrive from New Jersey, Father and step mom arrive, we laugh, talk, share stories and simply enjoy the day.
Aunts pick my roses and some herbs from the garden.
Step mom expresses disappointment over no artichokes yet, which she loves and always gets from me. ahhhhhh. hug.
We all pack for Lake Havasu, taking employees on annual long weekend water skiing trip. But really, they all end up inner-tubing all weekend.
Looking forward to getting out of here and floating on the Colorado River, Pulling Skiiers, Inner Tubing with the employees and their kids, bar-b-que at night, smore's....and the fulfilled promise that NO ONE is letting DH do a thing, at all...he is to sit, relax, stroll and enjoy. YES!!!! I love our employees...
This is gonna be a great holiday weekend...and safe travels to all!


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***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).


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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 ...


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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.)


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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.

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