March/April 2015 Waltz Time Newsletter


March/April 2015
At the still point, there the dance is.
- T. S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"
Happy New Year from Waltz Time! This newsletter offers a calendar of upcoming waltz dances and workshops, dance community news and informative articles.
Our newsletter is sent every two months and offers a calendar of waltz dances and workshops, dance community news and informative articles. We encourage your articles for our newsletter. Or tell us what would you like to know! Please send your story or suggestions for topics to
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. View Waltz Time's entire 2015 calendar on our web site.
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From all of us at Waltz Time

Musican of the Month — David Wiesler
Those of you who are young enough may remember the guy on "Laugh In" with the German army helmet and accent who said, "Veddy intedesting!" The same can be said of Dave Wiesler's story. Dave is that tallish, good-natured guy who has sat at the piano at the annual Ball and several of our Sunday dances every year -- for the past 20 years! In fact, he was with the original "house" band that played every gig the first year of our program (then called "Sunday Afternoon Waltzes at the Park," as he recalls, run by Donna Barker and Ken Haltenhoff), before they dispersed and formed several of the other groups that now play for our dancing. But let's go back.

Dave started as a lad in North Carolina by learning classical piano from his father, who, I think surprisingly and enlightenedly, also taught him to play by ear (without lasting injury). By high school, Dave had his own garage band playing the popular songs of the day and folk music (with a plastic guitar with a bent neck, no less). But Dave was a serious lad ("...was much older then, he's younger than that now") and went off to college (Carelton, Minnesota) to study science -- which he did with but one semester's diversion of chorus plus some contra dancing and a three-finger banjo. (He still sings well, too). Then he got a Ph.D. (Physics) and launched into a career of science -- IBM, NIST, NIH, teaching, etc. Starting in California, he ended up here in 1992 with NIST. Now to the "interesting" part.

He learned about and came to Glen Echo for contra dancing in 1992. Someone learned that he played and he took a shot with some others to play for some English country dances. Epiphany!!! Like "a job description," says he. He got to know more musicians (the usual suspects) and was invited to play. By 1995 he was playing with the house band for waltzes. For the next several years, so it went -- science work, play, and play. Oh -- then he fell in love and got married in 1999. The wife got a medical residency in Charlottesville -- a long commute for one or the other. Dave took sabbaticals from this, that and the other thing (work), they moved to Charlottesville and that was the end of his career in science. He dove into the music in C'ville, commuted to play for us and others and became one of the founding members of the Avant Gardeners, late of Charlottesville.

He and the Dr. moved to Delaware in 2002 (more commuting) and the first baby came along in 2005 (less commuting). For the past few years, Dave has been concentrating more than ever on composing. His groups play the songs for us -- check your dance card at the ball -- while being a homework/soccer dad (any piano teaching going on there?) in place of the hiking/camping of days of yore.

Dave has helped form more groups and played with more of our other local musicians than you can shake a stick at. I once read a book titled "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow". Not always -- but Dave is a blessed and happy fellow. Listen for the announcements of his compositions at our dances and and thank him afterward.
Paul Crumrine

The 32nd Annual Viennese Strauss Ball
An Evening with Strauss

Save this date: Waltz Time will present the 32nd 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.

The classical ensemble will feature OLDE VIENNA with Alexander Mitchell, Elke Baker, Barbara Heitz, Dave Wiesler, and Ralph Gordon. They will play a program of Viennese waltzes of varying tempos, with a sprinkling of other couples dances, including polka, schottische and tango. An introductory Viennese Waltz lesson at 8 pm is followed by dancing until midnight in the Spanish Ballroom. A Grand March, dance cards, refreshments, and Carousel rides ($1.25/person) complete a perfect evening! $20/person - all tickets sold at the door.

Photo by Candace Clifford

Get Ready for the Strauss Ball: Viennese Waltz Classes
You are welcome to dance any waltz style you prefer at the Strauss Ball on Saturday evening, May 2, but you may want to learn the Viennese waltz for variety and a new dance challenge! The popularity of the Viennese waltz is world-wide, and it is the dance from which all ballroom dances evolved. Instructor Mike Marcotte is offering a 4-week Viennese Waltz class on Thursday nights in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park. The 1-hour classes run from April 2 - April 23, 7:00 - 8:00 pm. For details or to register for the classes visit GLEN ECHO PARK CLASSES.

Upcoming Sunday Afternoon Waltzes in 2015
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. Visit WALTZ TIME'S WEBSITE for the complete 2015 schedule of waltzes.

MARCH 2015
March 1: VALSE IMPRESSIONS with Edith Coakley Stowe (fiddle), Carrie Rose (flute), Liz Donaldson (piano), Ralph Gordon (bass)

March 15: MARTY, STEVE, JOHN & ALEXANDER with Marty Taylor (winds, concertina), Steve Hickman (fiddle), John Devine (guitar, vocals), Alexander Mitchell (fiddle)

March 29: WALTZ WEAVERS with Alexander Mitchell (fiddle, mandolin), Carrie Rose (flute), Liz Donaldson (piano), Ralph Gordon (bass).
APRIL 2015
April 1: WALTZ MAGIC with Alexander Mitchell (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Barbara Heitz (flute), Liz Donaldson (piano), Ralph Gordon (bass)

April 19: ADDISON BLEUFONTE with Marc Glickman (piano), Andrea Hoag (fiddle), David Julian Gray (clarinet), David Lopez (drums)

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.