September 2008

If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.

by Emma Goldman.
This from "Red Emma" - the "most dangerous woman in America."
Perhaps she danced with her lover, the man who tried to assassinate Henry Clay Frick.

Greetings from Waltz Time! This newsletter offers a calendar of upcoming waltz dances and workshops, dance community news and informative articles. We encourage your articles to our newsletter. Please send your story or suggestions for topics to staff@waltztimedances.org.

Waltz Time is an all-volunteer committee that produces the twice monthly Sunday afternoon waltz dances at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. The September and October waltzes are listed below or view the entire year's calendar at our web site.

In addition to waltzing at Glen Echo Park, there are other Park activities that we'll pass on to you. Coming up on Labor Day weekend are FREE events for all ages: the 38th Annual Labor Day Art Show, the Irish Music & Dance Festivities and the Partnership's Open House. Check it out below or visit the Glen Echo Park website for more information.

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.


Free Hambo Workshop

Don't stand around and watch other dancers glide and pivot through the hambo anymore! Learn this Swedish folk dance from experts Lisa Brooks and Dan Kahn, who will lead a FREE hambo workshop on Sunday, November 2, prior to that day's waltz with Rose by the Door.

The lesson runs from 2 - 3 pm, and the cost of the one-hour lesson is included in your paid admission to the waltz that day ($8 as usual). There's no registration - just show up at the Spanish Ballroom around 1:45 pm. BTW, we will still have our regular beginner waltz lesson at 3 pm, so stick around for that too - if you already know how to waltz, your expertise will surely help our new dancers and give them a fine introduction to the friendly spirit of our dance community.

Hambo History

The hambo is a classic Swedish couples turning dance in 3/4 time, but with a rhythm different from the waltz. The dance originated around the turn of the last century; the innovation at the time was that the couple opens out and moves forward after each set of turns. In the turn, in closed position, the woman and man perform different steps that nonetheless work together. In the old days, the hambo had a lot of svikt (up and down motion); more recently, the dance has become slower and flatter. There's no leap in the turns; the man's momentum turns the woman as she pivots on the ball of her right foot.

Every year, the hambo "world championship competition," the Hälsinge Hambo, occurs north of Stockholm. The competition begins in the village of Hårga, with hundreds of couples who dance first in a meadow, then in a soccer field, then uphill on an asphalt road, then down a hill and across a bridge; the finalists then dance on a wooden floor.

The old Hårga legend is that a fabulous fiddler started playing hambo at a party atop Hårga Mountain. As he played louder and faster, the people danced in an increasingly frenzied manner. Some noticed that the fiddler had a cloven hoof. Eventually, the people danced their feet off and died on the dance floor from being forced to dance by the fiddler - the devil.

Lisa Brooks and Dan Kahn will teach the less frantic (and less deadly!) form of the hambo at a free workshop in the Spanish Ballroom on Sunday, November 2. Details above.

Labor Day Weekend Festivities at Glen Echo Park

Enjoy Irish Music & Dance - Free!

Gas prices keeping you local over the Labor Day weekend? Airfares keeping you from a transatlantic vacation? Well, you can take an in-town trip to Ireland thanks to the festival of Irish music and dancing at Glen Echo Park, August 30 - September 1 in the Bumper Car Pavilion. The festivities are free and open to the public. Enjoy music and dancing by our local Irish community, experts in their craft:

  • Shannon Tide, a 5-piece Irish band
  • Billy McComiskey, button accordion
  • Jesse Winch and family, musicians and dancers
  • The Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance
  • Zan McLeod, guitar
  • Brian Gaffney, guitar/singer
  • Mitch Fanning, fiddle
  • Tina Eck, flute
  • Betsy O'Malley, banjo
  • Pete Moss & the Bog Band, a youth fiddle group
  • The Greater Washington Ceili Club, set dancers

The 38th Annual Labor Day Art Show

Along with the Irish festivities, visitors can browse the 38th Annual Labor Day Art Show in the Spanish Ballroom, beginning Friday, August 29 with the Opening Reception from 7 - 9 pm, and continuing Saturday through Monday, noon - 6 pm each day. Artwork includes sculpture, paintings, ceramics, glass, jewelry, photography, pottery, fabrics, furniture, and more. It's fun to just browse this beautiful exhibition, but bring your checkbook in case you see something you really like - most of the artwork is for sale. Visit Glen Echo Park's Website for more information.

Open House

While you visit the Art Show and enjoy the Irish festivities, be sure to also join the Open House to learn more about classes for all ages at Glen Echo Park. Visit resident artist studios, meet instructors, see visual arts and dance demonstrations and participate in free classes. The Open House is free and open to the public from noon - 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 30. Details at glenechopark.org.

Presented by the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Inc.

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.


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.