May 2009

Hail to The Waltz King
Say three-quarter-timers all
As shoes start to whirl

Dawson Bells

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 May and June 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.


The 26th Annual Viennese Strauss Ball

In just one week Waltz Time will present the 26th Annual Viennese Strauss Ball Saturday, May 2. This benefit event is always a highlight of the spring season, giving dancers a chance to strut their stuff in elegant attire – while supporting Glen Echo Park.

As always, there will be an introductory Viennese Waltz lesson at 8 p.m., followed by dancing until midnight in the Spanish Ballroom. A Grand March, dance cards, Carousel rides ($1.25/person) and refreshments complete a perfect evening. $20/person. Check Waltz Time for more details as we get closer to the date.

Please help: Waltz Time is a completely volunteer, nonprofit group. We don't have enough members to adequately manage this event, so please offer to help! For your time, you will get free admission. Please let us know at info@waltztimedances.org if you'd like to volunteer.

Brush Up on Your Viennese Waltzing!

You still have time to brush up on your Viennese Waltz before the Strauss Ball. The last class of the Viennese waltz series offered by Donna Barker and Mike Marcotte will be on Wednesday, April 29 from 7 - 8 pm at the Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park. The students have learned both left and right turns, and the change step, and the last class will provide practice, personal attention, and tips. Cost for walk-ins is $15/person. For full details, visit their website.

Please note that all styles of waltz are represented among our dancers at the Strauss Ball, and you are welcome to waltz any style you prefer!

Free Tango Vals Workshop, May 17

On Sunday, May 17, Waltz Time and Flying Feet Enterprises present a special afternoon of waltz at the Spanish Ballroom, featuring a flavoring of Tango Vals and music by the Gigmeisters. Also featured is a bonus 1-hour Tango Vals lesson with Marc Shepanek and Ellen Engle from 2 - 3 pm, followed by our usual beginning folk waltz lesson from 3 - 3:30 pm. Most of the music during the dance time will be the same folk waltz we know and love, but with some special selections of Tango Vals to add to your enjoyment.

So what is Tango Vals, or Vals Cruzada? There are several explanations that you will find among teachers and dance historians. Juan Carlos Copes and Luren Bellucci write:

    "Vals cruzado, also known as tango waltz, is the way Argentines dance to waltz music at a milonga (tango dance). It is essentially slow Tango Argentino steps and figures danced to fast waltz music. During the Ragtime Era, the same concept was called Hesitation Waltz -- tango steps danced to waltz music. But over time the dance has evolved in Buenos Aires into a beautiful form that can be as easy or as challenging as the dancer wishes to make it."

Kelly Ray and Lesley Mitchell of Philadelphia write:

    "The practice of dancing Tango steps to the fast waltzes that were composed alongside Tango in Argentina in the 1930s through 1950s is a relatively recent development in Argentine Tango. The result is a fast, smooth dance that joins the seductive and rhythmic melodies of waltz to the complexities of Tango. Tango Vals utilizes almost the same vocabulary as Tango, the biggest difference perhaps being that in response to the music the dancers tend to choose more turning steps, and also choose not to pause as they frequently do in Tango.

    So, how do we take Tango, a 4/4 time dance and fit it to 3/4 time waltz music? Most of the waltz music used this way is fast enough so that stepping on all 3 beats of every measure would be exhausting. One popular and relaxed solution is to step only once per waltz measure, on the accented beat 1 of 3."

You can research tango vals on the web and find some amazing videos of dancers of this fascinating waltz style. Two of my favorites are shown on YouTube. Feel free to watch Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa showing amazing footwork and moves. But my all time favorite is the incredibly effortless, floating quality of Tete Pedro Rusconi and Silvia as they improvise a vals at Porteno y Bailarin Milonga in Buenos Aires in December 2005 - it took my breath away.

Celebración de Glen Echo Park

Saturday, May 16, 6:30 - 11:30 pm
Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park

Waltz Time is a proud sponsor of the 2009 Gala in the Park, and we invite you to join us! Glen Echo Park's historic Spanish Ballroom is the inspiration for the Spanish theme of this year's Gala: Celebración de Glen Echo Park. His Excellency Jorge Dezcallar, Ambassador of Spain, will serve as the Gala's Honorary Chair. Honorees include Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Glen Echo Pottery, Marriott International, Inc., and Glen Echo Town Councilwoman Nancy Long.

There are two ticket levels:

  • $175 per person to attend the full event ($100 is tax-deductible). Attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception featuring a flamenco performance, a gourmet Spanish dinner, the awards ceremony, a performance by members of the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, Salsa dancing to Orquesta la Sensual, a Salsa performance by Latin Motion Dance Company, and free carousel rides.
  • $25 per person to attend the Salsa Dance portion of the evening. Attendees will enjoy a one-hour Salsa lesson from 8:30-9:30pm in the Bumper Car Pavilion, followed by Salsa dancing to Orquesta la Sensual in the Spanish Ballroom, a Salsa performance by Latin Motion Dance Company, dessert buffet and coffee, and free carousel rides.

All tickets will be held at the check-in table in the Bumper Car Pavilion.

You love to dance at Glen Echo Park, so please join us for a fun night while supporting the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts & Culture. Gala proceeds help keep all the programs, including our dances, alive and well.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please call Debbie Mueller at 301.634.2230 or visit Glen Echo Park.

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.

MAY 2009

May 3: THE FIGMENTS with with Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton, Owen Morrison

May 17: Special Tango Vals Dance, featuring the GIGMEISTERS with Ralph Gordon, Alexander Mitchell, Paul Oorts, Dave Wiesler

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

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.