November/December 2010

I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it
as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance.
I just put my feet in the air and move them around.

Fred Astaire

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 September and October Sunday waltzes are listed below; 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.


Dancing Makes Good Science

Scientists are into dancing! In one study, two psychologists found that babies spontaneously get down when they hear music and other rhythmic sounds. The study suggests that the impulse to move to the rhythm may be instinctive. The scientists found that babies' limited motor control means their movements aren't always on the beat, but when they do manage to synchronize their flailing limbs, they smile more. The obvious conclusion is that dancing makes us feel good. But why? Does it matter? Isn't dancing its own justification? Send your comments to Waltz Time.

In another recent study, scientists declared that a good male dancer stands a better chance of attracting female attention than his more klutzy counterpart. (Apparently English scientists feel the need to underpin the obvious.) The scientists asked students to dance spontaneously, fed their moves into a computer, then created a three-dimensional avatar for each young man and asked women to rate their movements. (The avatars remained faceless, to make sure the female judges weren't reacting to physical attractiveness.) For these discerning women, a good dance performance made the man more sexually appealing. You can see footage online. Be sure to take a moment to view and rate for yourself the avatars dancing in chick-luring and chick-repellant modes, as well as videos of some famous movie sequences, including (of course) John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" and Kevin Bacon in "Footloose." Singin' in the Rain didn't make the cut, but the smooth elegance displayed by hoofer extraordinaire Fred Astaire could still make many a female movie-goer (or contemporary YouTube watcher) long to be a coat rack.

In the meantime, we eagerly await the expansive, expensive scientific study that will prove a good female dancer attracts male attention.

The Viennese Christmas Ball

Friday, December 3rd, 7 pm, $95
Washington Golf and Country Club, Arlington, VA

Celebrate the season, Friday, December 3 at a grand Viennese Christmas Ball presented under the gracious patronage of His Excellency, the Ambassador of Austria and held at the elegant and historic Washington Golf and Country Club, known as the Club of the Presidents. Join in the famed Radetzky Grand March and dance the Fledermaus Quadrille No. 6 as done at midnight at the grand balls in Vienna. Champagne reception, extensive Austrian desserts buffet and Austrian wines. Washington's celebrated salon orchestra, Con Brio! will perform the world's favorite Strauss waltzes, polkas and ballroom music from around the world. Opening Ceremonies will be presented by Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy performing the same Fledermaus Quadrilles that have been danced for generations before the famed Vienna Opera Ball. It promises to be a delightful performance!

Tickets: $95. To request an invitation: Mrs. Robert Bocek, 540-882-4808, mbocek@verizon.net. Please mark your calendar and do invite friends and colleagues to join us for this Washington tradition.

Winter's Eve at Glen Echo Park

Winter's Eve at Glen Echo Park will be held on Saturday, December 11, starting at 6 pm. This is a free event that fits dancers' schedules quite nicely. Come by before the dance and enjoy free refreshments, browse the holiday art sale in the Popcorn Gallery, visit art studios, and try your hand at glass blowing!

The evening includes free craft activities for the family, choral performances and sing-along, hot cocoa bar and fresh popcorn, and a special opportunity to make a blown glass ornament for teens and adults, age 16 and older. Family craft activites end at 9 pm, but some activities will remain open until 10 pm and later.

There will be a reception at the Holiday Art Show in the Popcorn Gallery, and you may browse artwork, purchase gifts, and meet some of the artists. Take this opportunity to tour the studios of our Resident Artists and learn about their visual arts programs, upcoming classes and artwork for sale. The entire event, except for the glass ornament making, is free and open to everyone.

Make your own blown glass ornament: This year individuals, or couples will once again have a special opportunity to learn, firsthand, the fundamentals of glassblowing by creating your own glass ornament (see the photo, top left above). You need to sign up on December 11 as soon as you arrive (the earlier the better so you can get on the list). The sessions run from 8 - 10 pm or so, and you will make an ornament under the supervision of Paul Swartwood of the Glassworks Studio. Cost is $26.50 for the session, including all materials for making your ornament. You can also just observe the glass blowing demonstrations from 6:30 - 8 pm, and for adults, there will be wine and refreshments at the Glassworks studio, in the Caretaker's Cottage down the path from the Ballroom. The entire evening promises to be fun and enlightening, and you might just find the perfect holiday gift for someone special.

Upcoming Sunday Waltzes in 2010

Sunday Afternoon Waltzes begin with an introductory waltz lesson from 2:45 - 3:30 pm, followed by dancing to live music until 6 pm. Cost is $10, including the lesson. Dances are held in the Spanish Ballroom unless otherwise noted.


November 7: FOOTLOOSE with David DiGiuseppe, Pete Campbell, Jim Roberts

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


December 5: SOME ASSEMBLY with Donna Boylan, Paul Miller, Joe Klausner, Mary Flora

December 19: TERPSICHORE with Elke Baker, Liz Donaldson, Ralph Gordon

Mark Your Calendar for Sunday Waltzes in 2011!


January 2: CROWFOOT with Jaige Trudel, Adam Broome, Nicholas Williams

January 16: NIGHT WATCH with Naomi Morse, Elvie Miller, Owen Morrison

January 30: TRIO CON BRIO with Paul Oorts, Elke Baker, Jonathan Jensen


February 6: BAND TBA

February 20: BAND TBA

All events are held at the Spanish Ballroom (or Bumper Car Pavilion where noted), 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.