July/August 2008

Dance with all the might of your body, and all the fire of your soul,
in order that you may shake all melancholy out of your liver;
and you need not restrain yourself with the apprehension that
any lady will have the least fear that the violence of your
movements will ever shake anything out of your brains.

by Lola Montez, "Hints to Gentlemen or the Art of Fascinating"(1858)

Greetings from Waltz Time! This newsletter offers a calendar of upcoming waltz dances and workshops, dance community news and informative articles. This summer issue combines the months of July and August, and we will return to our regular monthly newsletters in September. We encourage your contributions to our newsletter. Please send suggestions for topics or a story of your own to staff@waltztimedances.org.

We want to pass on information to you about the Then & Wow Celebration, the annual festival event at Glen Echo Park. Learn all about the history of Glen Echo Park, see vintage cars dating from 1901 - 1960, meet the Bowie Baysox Mascot, learn Salsa, ride bumper cars, and more! Read all about it below.

Waltz Time is an all-volunteer committee that produces the twice monthly Sunday afternoon waltz dances at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. You can view the entire year's calendar of dances and workshops at our web site. We hope you enjoy our newsletter. At the end of this page there are additional links that you can use to forward this newsletter to a friend or to unsubscribe.


Waltzing and Dance Etiquette

We're happy to report that there are no dance police patrolling the ballroom to enforce "rules of the floor." We expect that our dancers will comport themselves with dignity and civility toward each other. That said, here are some unofficial conventions and customs that have evolved over the years.

  • Follow the line of dance. If you want to employ a different style, move to the center of the dance floor.
  • Circulating, i.e. dancing with several partners throughout the afternoon, is the norm. This will hone your dance skills by exposing you to different styles and mannerisms.
  • If you're an experienced dancer, we encourage you to dance with novices; if you're a "regular," we encourage you to dance with newcomers. Remember how it felt when you were a newbie! Be gracious and courteous.
  • It's considered impolite to refuse one partner and accept another for the same dance. If you decline a dance - for any reason - the respectful way to behave is to sit or stand on the sidelines for the duration.
  • In the heat of a Glen Echo summer, it's a good idea to wash your hands frequently - for your sake and your partner's. During the course of a steamy afternoon, you may need to change your shirt or blouse, so bring a spare. Be sure to give extra attention to hygiene, including dental.
  • At the end of a dance, be sure to thank your partner.

Regard for your fellow waltzers will go a long way toward insuring a true "community" of dancers.

The Wicked Waltz

As we mentioned in our February 2008 newsletter (see newsletter archives), the waltz was roundly criticized by the moral arbiters of the 18th century. After the dance's debut at a ball given in London by the Prince Regent of England, a land of strict moral codes, The Times remonstrated in an editorial:

    We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last ... it is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressure on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.

A fatal contagion indeed.

Do You REALLY Know All About Where You Dance?

Learn about Glen Echo Park - Come to Then & Wow!
Saturday, June 28, 11 am - 5 pm

Then & Wow is an annual celebration of the Park's past and present! Enjoy a combination of historical exhibits, amusement rides, dancing, theater and much more:

  • vintage car exhibit organized by Robert Patch
  • arcade games and PRIZES!
  • meet the Bowie Baysox Mascot and play T-Ball Extreme
  • Salsa, Irish and International dance lessons and performances
  • facepainting, mini-golf, hula hoop play, art projects
  • chronological history of the Park in photo displays
  • learn about the park through NPS exhibits
  • ride the carousel and take little'uns on kiddie rides
  • drive a bumper car (really!) in the Pavilion
  • see the historic trolley car
  • browse the resident artists' exhibits and the Popcore Gallery art sales
  • share your Glen Echo Park stories
  • learn about the Park's current programs

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! You can help out too - the facepainting is a real hoot, the kids are so cute, and you do NOT have to be an artist to do this for our little faces. We have a sample book that shows lots of images for simple and complex designs - hearts, rainbows, and smiley faces are easy - YOU CAN DO THIS! We also have other very easy volunteer jobs - and you'll get a free lunch and carousel ticket. To volunteer call Emily Mah at 301.634.2233 or email her at emah@glenechopark.org.

The festival is open to the public, free admission. Rides and some activities will require ticket purchase ($1 each or 12 tickets for $10).

Presented by the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture. Call (301) 634-2222 for more information or visit www.glenechopark.org.

Local Warming

Now that summer has hit the DC area with its customary vengeance, remember to drink plenty of fluids while you're dancing and to take frequent breaks if you become overheated. A drink such as Gatorade, which replaces electrolytes, may be useful, but anything that will help you stay hydrated is beneficial.

But please, don't take those drinks onto the ballroom floor - you'll save the wood and keep your dance shoes in tip-top shape!

Upcoming Sunday Afternoon Waltzes

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.

JULY 2008

July 20: TERPSICHORE with Elke Baker, Liz Donaldson, Ralph Gordon

NOTE: Waltz Time is hosting just one Sunday afternoon waltz in July.


August 3: CABARET SAUVIGNON with Paul Oorts, Karen Ashbrook, Andrea Hoag, Dave Wiesler

August 17: BLUE AMBER with Mary Lea, Anna Patton, Karen Axelrod, Ralph Gordon


September 7: WALTZING STARS with Alexander Mitchell, Marty Taylor, Liz Donaldson, Ralph Gordon

September 21: NOTORIOUS with Larry Unger, Eden MacAdam-Somer, Paul Oorts, Ralph Gordon


October 5: NIGHTINGALE with Keith Murphy, Rebecca Tracy, Jeremiah McLane

October 19: THE OKLAHOMA TWISTERS: An Afternoon of Western Waltzes with George Welling, Jeff Reynolds, Ira Gitlin, Dave Giegerich, Bill Mason, Tom McLaughlin

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.