June/July 2009

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Japanese Proverb

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. What would you like to know? 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 and the Annual Strauss Ball at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. The June and July waltzes are listed below or view the entire year's calendar 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.


Can Dancing Save the World?

Well, probably not, but if Matt Harding (Where the Hell Is Matt), – the irrepressible trekker who has circled the globe dancing "terribly" (his word) and urging throngs of people to join him – is right, it can certainly help us appreciate our common humanity.

Harding, whose videos on YouTube have been viewed millions of times, was heard recently on This I Believe, an NPR series of short audio essays, opining that his dancing adventures have changed the way he views the world. Seeing people "smile and laugh and act ridiculous" as they kick up their heels helps erase some of the fear or suspicion he may have of the "other."

Those of us who've been polishing the dance floor for a while could have told him that dancing is good for the soul as well as the body; that it builds bonds; that dancers don't even have to speak the same language to communicate. The great thing is that Harding's "bad dancing" is spreading good will.

Keep at it, Matt!

Free Two-Step Workshop, October 4

Prior to the Sunday waltz on May 17, Waltz Time and Flying Feet Enterprises sponsored a free tango vals workshop taught by Ellen Engle and Marc Shepanek. More than 70 dancers – both experienced and novice tango dancers – enthusiastically participated. A great time was had by all, and many thanks go to Marc and Ellen for teaching a fabulous lesson!

As part of Waltz Time's commitment to offer our dancers the chance to expand their dance horizons, we're presenting another free workshop, this time in two-step, on Sunday, October 4.

On that day, we'll present an afternoon of country-flavored waltzes and couples dances with a favorite local western band, the Oklahoma Twisters. Most of the dances will be waltzes, as usual, but with a western flavor; the band will also play a number of two-steps. To help you enjoy this engaging style, dance champions Linda and Mal Zerden will teach a one-hour two-step lesson at 2 pm. There's no need to register. Just show up at the Spanish Ballroom 15-30 minutes before the workshop begins. The cost is included in your admission to the waltz.

For those not familiar with two-step, it's perfectly suited to the 4/4 time music common in many western ballads, as well as more up-tempo western swing. The Zerdens have actively competed in national country dance competitions (UCWDC) since 1993. They are two-time Diamond Showcase World Champions, with their most recent world title won in the Netherlands in January 2002. The two-step lesson, from 2-3 pm, will be followed by the usual half-hour beginner waltz lesson from 3-3:30 pm. The Oklahoma Twisters will then play from 3:30-6 pm. The cost of either or both lessons is included in your admission to the waltz that day: $8.

The Zerdens first taught for Waltz Time's "country-flavored waltz" in October 2008, drawing a large crowd of neophytes and seasoned two-steppers who afterward enjoyed the music of the Twisters. If you missed it the first time around, this is your chance to join in the fun!

What a Ball!

We had a fabulous time dancing in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park on Saturday, May 2, as we celebrated the 26th Annual Viennese Strauss Ball! Dancers showed off their elegant attire as they joined the Grand March led by Ranger Stan Fowler.

They enjoyed a lesson in Viennese waltz and Schottische, munched on goodies from a wonderful dessert bar, rode the Carousel, and danced to their heart's content until midnight.

We are always looking for photos to display online, and so we invite you to send your favorites to staff@waltztimedances.org. Please provide your name so that we can credit you. Below is a collage of images from photographer Candace Clifford – we hope you enjoy them. Thanks to all who made this another memorable evening!

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.

JUNE 2009

June 7: WAVERLEY STATION with David Knight, Liz Donaldson, Ralph Gordon

June 21: TRIO CON BRIO with Paul Oorts, Jonathan Jensen, Elke Baker

JULY 2009

July 5: RHAPSODY with Marty Taylor, Alexander Mitchell, Dave Wiesler, Ralph Gordon

July 19: ROSE BY THE DOOR with Andrea Hoag, Marty Taylor, Liz Donaldson, Ralph Gordon

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.