February 2008

Waltz Time presents its first newsletter to our subscribers and welcomes you to our lively community of dancers! We plan to provide a monthly communication that offers a calendar of upcoming waltz dances and workshops, community news, and informative articles.

You may already know about Waltz Time's volunteer committee that produces the twice monthly Sunday afternoon waltz dances at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. But you may not know that you can view the entire year's calendar of dances, workshops, and the annual Strauss Ball at our web site.

Additionally, you may want to become more involved in this growing community by contributing to our newsletter, helping to manage the waltzes, or helping us host the 25th Annual Strauss Ball at Glen Echo Park. Simply drop us a line at info@waltztimedances.org or talk to us at one of the Sunday waltzes. In the meantime, please enjoy our first newsletter; if you'd like to opt out of our list, simply unsubscribe by following the link at the end of this page.


Dolley Madison: First Lady of Waltz

Dolley Madison, who occupied the White House with a husband named James, was a fun-loving, apolitical, gracious hostess of Washington D.C. for sixteen years. (She arranged gatherings for Jefferson as well.) Considered by many, if not the vast majority, as the queen of the Washington entertainment scene, those invited to her shindigs were sure to attend. She did, however, have one requirement for guests: they had to learn to waltz. And so they did, or at least tried to.

Which leads one to believe that she must be at the top of Washington D.C.'s waltz family tree. And for those of us today who love dancing in three-quarter time, it is quite gratifying to know that such a distinguished, joyful, generous, and genuinely charming person with a love of waltz is at the tree's pinnacle. The limerick that follows is an inadequate expression of our admiration for Washington's First Lady of Waltz.

Dolley the First Lady of Waltz
Loved fun, big doings sans halts
She had all move their feet
To a three-quarter beat
Instilling great fun with some schmaltz

Sources: "Hail To The Chiefs" by Barbara Holland, The Columbia Encyclopedia and
information gained over the years from sources not recalled.

Origins of the Waltz

When you walk onto the floor at the Spanish Ballroom and begin dancing in three-quarter time to the strains of the Gigmeisters or Blue Bamboo or any of the other exceptional bands that routinely play for the Sunday waltzes, you're continuing a tradition that dates at least to the 17th century. There's scholarly disagreement about where and when the waltz originated, but it's possible that some form of the dance goes back as far as the 12th or 13th century. There's no doubt, though, that the waltz was the scourge of the 18th and 19th centuries. Church elders declared the devil was in the dance, dowagers clucked in disapproval, scandalized matrons tried to restrain their daughters! Why? Because couples danced dangerously - disgracefully - close to each other.

What would the moral arbiters of bygone centuries say if they could see some of today's steamier salsa moves or a tempestuous tango? The contemporary folk waltz is considered tame by comparison. Nevertheless, those of us addicted to waltz know that when we're with the right partner, moving to enchanting music, waltzing is sublime.

In Memoriam: Elaine Washburn, 1945-2007

Our friend and fellow Waltz Time volunteer, Elaine Washburn, died September 25, 2007, leaving behind her daughter, Angela, son-in-law, Craig, and her adored grandson, Graham. Waltz Time and the swing dance community mourn the loss of our treasured colleague.

Contributions may be made in Elaine's name to either or both of these two funds:

Elaine Washburn Memorial Fund
c/o Jackie Vinick
FONZ, National Zoo
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 5516
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Elaine Washburn Memorial Fund
Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park
185 Park Ave., Binghamton, NY 13903

For what is it to die,
But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind?
And when the Earth has claimed our limbs,
Then we shall truly dance.

- Khalil Gibran -

Workshops with Lilli Ann Carey in the Merry Month of May!

Lilli Ann Carey, who taught workshops at the Spanish Ballroom last year, returns in the spring for workshops on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, 2008. On Saturday, she’ll teach three progressive workshops in cross-step waltz. The cost is $10 per session or $25 for all three (for intermediate-level dancers). Sunday’s two workshops will teach you how to integrate 19th-century flair into your turning waltz. The cost is $12 per session or $20 for both (for intermediate/advanced dancers).

Lilli Ann teaches several nights a week in Seattle and runs a monthly workshop program for Waltz Eclectic in Portland, Oregon. She teaches and promotes dance through her company, Dance For Joy!. She has also taught workshops in Atlanta and is a frequent instructor in San Francisco. She will be assisted by Jamie Shamseldin, a performer for several years with, among others, Danse Libre, a respected vintage dance performance troupe. More information will be available on our web site soon. Mark your calendar!

Upcoming Sunday Afternoon Waltzes*


February 3: NIGHT WATCH with Naomi Morse, Elvie Miller, Owen Morrison

February 17: TAYLOR AMONG THE DEVILS with Marty Taylor, Steve Hickman, Alexander Mitchell, Jonathan Jensen

MARCH 2008

March 2: ELIXIR with Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Jesse Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton, Owen Morrison

March 16: HONEYSUCKLE ROSE with Andrea Hoag, Paul Oorts, Liz Donaldson, Ralph Gordon

APRIL 2008

April 6: CONTRATOPIA with Pat O'Loughlin, Patrice Pakiz, Erik Sessions, John Goodin

April 20: TRIO CON BRIO with Paul Oorts, Jonathan Jensen, Elke Baker

MAY 2008

May 4: SQUEEZE BAYOU with Karen Collins, Brian Simms, Matt Levine, Fred Feinstein, Kevin Enoch, David Lopez

May 18: JUBILEA with Mary Lea, David Wiesler, Paul Oorts, Anna Patton

*Sunday Afternoon Waltzes begin with an introductory waltz lesson from 3 - 3:30 pm,
followed by dancing to live music until 6 pm. Cost is $8, including the lesson.

25th Anniversary: Evening with Strauss, Viennese Waltz Ball


A Benefit Dance for Glen Echo Park featuring OLD VIENNA with Dave Wiesler, Alexander Mitchell, Elke Baker, Barbara Heitz, Ralph Gordon, 8 pm - Midnight in the Spanish Ballroom. Viennese Waltz Lesson with Mike Marcotte and Donna Barker at 8 pm; Grand March, dance cards, refreshments; $15/person. Carousel rides until 10 pm, $1.

All events are held at the Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD and
sponsored in cooperation with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Inc.,
the National Park Service and Montgomery County, Maryland.