A Report from Judy R. (an excerpt from WLDN)

Thank you Judy for submitting this entry to the World Line Dance Newsletter!

SUBJECT: IRA WEISBURD WORKSHOP, PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, OCT. 20, 2012
From: Judy

Curiosity and fidelity – two traits that can make things happen. One can kill the cat the other could save it. The one enduring image of IRA WEISBURD for me was his wedding video which he posted in this newsletter, the one where the rabbi asked Diane if she would take Ira for her husband and before she could answer asked her if she’d like to exercise her lifeline and poll the audience. That scene sent me reeling off my chair with laughter. I thought that a guy who could make fun of himself at such a solemn moment and probably the most important event in his life must be way up there in the stratosphere of “cool”. I was curious to see this cool guy in person and decided to go to his workshop. Also it was being put up by DOLLY URQUHART, GRETA SUMAGANDAY and BRENDA SHATTO of the Wine Country Linedance and these ladies are way up there in my regards. Fidelity dictates that I attend the workshop. So on a perfectly gorgeous Saturday afternoon when the sun was at its shiniest, I drove once again over the Golden Gate Bridge to Petaluma while the seductive scenery beaconed me to get out of my car and commune with nature while in my ear I could hear my friend asking “you’re going to Ira’s workshop? That’s for beginners, there’ll be mostly beginners there and the teach would be very slooooooowww.” I like all dances, beginners or whatever and we do beginner dances at least every 3rd dance at our clubs. But as I was driving, I started questioning myself “do I really want to spend 4 hours of this beautiful day dancing beginner dances?” I was mulling that question when I realized I have reached my destination. I stepped into the ballroom and WHOA! the room was full and prancing in a big circle dance called CHI BALLA MIXER, 32 ct. beg couple mixer done to polka music Chi Balla by Orchestra Mario Riccardi of Italy. Millie Dusha was there doing her woohoos and there were a lot of intermediate dancers which translates to intermediate dances during open dancing in between teaches. The prospect for the afternoon had made a 180 degree turn.

On the stage was the cool guy all in black against the black curtains of the stage. They had to put a big white panel behind him so he can be seen. Ira taught SAMBALERO, 32 ct. beg/improv to samba music Mueve by Orchestra Bagutti; WHEN I DANCE, 64 ct. high beg/improv foxtrot linedance to Seduction by Frank Sinatra; BEAUTIFUL, 32 ct. high beg/improv rhumba to La Belleza by Marta Sanchez; CHA CHA SUAVITO, 32 ct beg/inter to Baile De Suavito by M. Gomez; and WHIPPED CREAM, 44 ct. 1 wall beginner to Whipped Cream by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. Yes, all beginners but very well choreographed done to very danceable music and simpatico and guapito IRA teaches in such an even, affable, suave style, things just flowed pleasantly by. He chose his dances well, for the very beginners, I imagine, it was challenging but not daunting and for the more advanced, it was soothing and relaxing where they could just let their body do the dancing and enjoy the music. DIANE, who became his wife by virtue of a decisive vote by their wedding guests, was his able assistant and back wall. For the open dancing in between, we got to do a mix of intermediate and beginner dances (yay!), to name a few: Beautiful In My Eyes, Boys Will Be Boys, Half Past Nothing, Caballero, Seduced, Night Nurse, Something in The Water, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Silk and Satin and Dream On Texas Ladies both by Evelyn Khinoo who was there. The afternoon went quickly by. It wasn’t the outdoors but the indoors was just as pleasurable. The hall was festive with decorations and balloons, perfect temperature, bountiful food and drinks, great raffles prizes, the most gracious and friendliest of hostesses and wonderful dancers. As for the cat, curiosity didn’t kill it, it gained one more life to the 9 it already got and fidelity for the ladies went up another notch. Let’s drink, I mean, dance to that.

Judy Romanenkov
judybmr@sbcglobal.net
www.jbmrpaintings.com

A Report from Judy R. (an excerpt from WLDN)

Thank you Judy for submitting this entry to the World Line Dance Newsletter!

SUBJECT: WINE COUNTRY LINE DANCE EVENT with WILL CRAIG & BRYAN McWHERTER, PETALUMA, CA, 4/7/12
From: Judy

The morning was so clear, the colors so crisp that driving through the Golden Gate Bridge to Petaluma was so pleasantly perfect. The international orange bridge looks redder than ever and newer. She’s only going to be 75 years old next month. On Sunday, May 27th the big celebration happens. But they’re a little more cautious now on account of what happenned on her 50th anniversary. They closed it on May 27, 1987 to vehicular traffic expecting some 50,000 people to come for a walk on the bridge. Well, 800,000 showed up, more than the entire population of San Francisco. People were eyeball to eyeball. The weight flattenned the arch of the bridge by almost 10 feet at midspan and the 17 mile per hour winds swayed it from side to side. Claustrophobia and nausea all around. Oppss. Never again. You can’t subject a lady like that, no matter how young, to such extreme metal fatigue and to take away her charming curves, now really. So now the celebration is going to be around it and under it but not on it, with historic watercraft parade, music and dance stages on the waterfront, art installations, films, etc. and culminate with a spectacular fireworks show. That’s a little follow up on my last year’s report on the WCLD event where I mentioned the bridge’s upcoming 75th birthday.

No sooner had I said “what a delightful drive” when my car slowed down to a crawl. Freeway accident. So I arrived later than last year’s late. BRYAN McWHERTER was in the middle of teaching his BABY, OH BABY a 32 ct high beginner dance to the song Back In Time by Pitbull. WILL CRAIG before him taught his dance PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, a beginner dance to the same song. This was followed by workshops on techniques first by Will on Chacha (isolate your ribcage), waltz (rise and fall), hiphop; then Bryan on proper foot position, turns, spotting, head position.

Then it was lunchtime. There was open dancing by request and also in between teaches. I requested DOMENICA. When it was called, I rushed to the front. The music started. Nobody was beside me. I looked back and nobody was there either. In the past when this happenned, I retreated to my seat. But this time I thought I’d risk dying of embarrassment dancing all by myself rather than stop the music. It’s the English version of the beautiful Italian song “Diamante” by Zucchero.
Well, I survived and discovered that linedancing not only helps with my physical and mental wellbeing, by golly, it has given me a thicker hide too.

After lunch, the adjoining room was opened for beginners’ workshops. Will and Bryan took turns teaching intermediate and beginner dances. WILL taught 5 gorgeous intermediate dances: ONCE UPON A TIME, so new, it’s his first teach, 32 ct  to Princess of China by Coldplay; BREATHING, 64 ct  to Breathing by Jason Derulo; WORLDWIDE, 48 ct to International Love by Pitbull; the hit (love this dance) WATCH IT BURN to Adele’s Set Fire to The Rain (if this is not thinking outside the box lyrics I don’t know what is), and MAKE YOU DANCE, 32 ct to Tonight is the Night by Outasight. He also taught 2 more beginner dances: AWAY WE GO, 32 ct to Forever Road by Darius Rucker and I DON’T WANT TONIGHT 24ct to Don’t Want This Night To End by Luke Bryan, and an intermediate dance by Harlan Curtis, BITE THE DUST.

BRYAN taught his 64 ct intermediate dance ACCORDION LOVE (which I love) to the song Stereo Love by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina, HI-A-MA-CHA by Rachel McEnaney (we’ve been dancing this for awhile around here); 2 more of his beginner dances: MILES AWAY 32 CT TO 93 Million Miles by Jason Mraz and CHASING
YOU 32 ct to I’m Yours by Straight No Chaser and HOLLER OH BABE by Frank Trace.

These two young men are remarkable not just for their big talent but also for their enormous energy and stamina, especially Will. He taught 10 workshops during the day, reviewed his dances during the open dancing at night, emceed and danced with us, then gave a hearty rendition of GOOD MORNING BEAUTIFUL. He can sing too!  Bryan taught 7 workshops, cracked jokes and managed to turn 30 that night. I don’t know how he got to be that age, baby face and all. He was presented with a birthday cake and an even bigger birthday card which he opened looking for a check. It was a joy having two of the nicest and endearing choreographers around.

If these two guys have the energy and stamina, the three ladies behind the Wine Country Line Dance are indefatigable to match. GRETA SUMAGANDAY who DJed the entire event – the cutest DJ ever and for playing Domenica when there was only one person on the floor, she’s gotta be an angel too. DOLLY URQUHART, who greets you with such warmth like receiving a special guest to her home and making sure the food tables are abundantly stacked – there were sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, dessert, coffee and tea. I didn’t even need to go out for lunch, they had delicious vegetarian sandwiches. The ballroom temperature was perfect and the tables nicely decorated with balloons. BRENDA SHATTO, superb dancer and teacher. Big THANK YOU to you and your many volunteers and supporters for a most enjoyable event.

Next year on Feb. 15-16, Wine Country is hosting NIELS POULSEN. When somebody comes from that far across the Atlantic, let’s respond in kind. Come wherever you are, no matter how far. That’s easy for me to say since I’m only a stone’s throw away, but come anyway:):):):). Come and visit Petaluma, the perfect little city, so they say; site of American Graffitti, not far from San Francisco which also has a rich movie history. See you there next year and take care.

Judy Romanenkov
judybmr@sbcglobal.net
www.jbmrpaintings.com

A Report from Judy R. (an excerpt from WLDN)

Thank you Judy for submitting this entry to the World Line Dance Newsletter!

SUBJECT: REPORT ON WINE COUNTRY LINE DANCE WITH GUYTON MUNDY & MAURICE ROWE, MAY 14, 2011, PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA
From: Judy

To give you the entire picture, I would have to start with the drive through the Golden Gate Bridge. The lady turns 75 next May (preparation for a big birthday bash is underway) and although she had lost the distinction of being the longest span in the world her fame persists. She constantly refreshes her lipstick red color (the official name is international orange) though lots of times she hides it behind a veil of fog. Yet even that adds to her looks. Of course it helps that where she sits is incomparably beautiful. On one side is the magical San Francisco Bay and on the other is the mystical Pacific Ocean where the deep blue water meets the pale blue sky. Then you enter the rainbow tunnel into lush Marin valley, you pass rolling hills and distant mountains and with your favorite music in the background, before you know it you’re there and in my case, late. It’s one of the reverse laws of nature – the closer you are to your destination (Petaluma is only 32 miles north of SF) the later you tend to get there.

Maurice had already finished teaching his beginner dance, FOHAWK (32 cnt to Peacock by Katy Perry) and Guyton was in the middle of his beginner dance, LAZY!!! (32 cnt to The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars). Guyton? Beginner? Well, he calls it high beginner, there are turns, repeats and restarts and you need to throw in attitude when you do the bounces to make it look real good. Then this was followed by a technique teach by Maurice on chacha steps and turns and then technique by Guyton on hiphop steps and arm movements. Maurice was right on when he said that he and Guyton are like Yin and Yang of dance. Guyton dances close to the ground, Maurice lightly touches the floor. It’s an inspired pairing, like Gene Kelley and Fred Astaire. After lunch, Guyton taught MMM DADA!!! (the exc. points stand for degree of difficulty), SLINGIN’ MUD (another phrased dance but without the !!!), MY MOTIVATION (this was a surprise teach at the Boston Showdown, then it was so fresh it didn’t have a name yet) and the finale was another very new dance it also didn’t have a name yet. So new that he had to check himself every now and then and sometimes change the steps. Another great dance from Guyton, no arm movements, more in line with You’re Amazing and Perfect. Maurice taught ENDLESS DREAMS to Dream Big by Jasmine Sullivan, BLACK SWEAT (a !!! dance, 64 cnts, phrased), 3-D (beg, to Bad Girl by Massari), and finally MEGA SEXXY (Imp. 48 cnts to Hey Sexy Lady by Shaggy).

There was open dancing in between the teaches and then after dinner from 7-11PM. JOHN TRENTACOSTI provided the music the entire event. A taxing task to say the least yet he did it with a smile on his face to everyone that approached his table and even jumped on the floor to start a dance when we floundered. There was a printed dance list for the evening with room for dance requests and for and the open dancing during the day he of course had what makes bay area DJs the best in the world, a printed list of dances that one can initial for requests and if your dance is not there, a space to write them in. This makes our DJs very much in tune with the dancers and nobody is left sitting out the dances unless one prefers to.

There was a drawing for a Canon camera (everyone got a raffle ticket with their name badge) which Trish Boesel won but taking possession of the price was another matter. She had to go wrestle it from Greta, they were evenly matched but you know who won that one. There was also raffle tickets for a cash prize, bottles of wine (this is wine country, naturally) and posters of the Golden Gate Bridge. Maurice added that there is one more prize and sweeping his body with his hand, said “you can get this for 30 minutes”. Guyton, not to be outdone, offered 3 hours for the next 30 years.

The event was held in the Veterans Memorial Bldg. auditorium, a huge space, high ceiling, big stage and perfect wood floors, enough space for lots of tables, a shoe vendor, a complimentary massage corner (cured my sore shoulder from too much digging and planting in the garden), a snack table laden with healthy food, hot coffee and tea, flowers and balloons all around giving color and a festive air to the affair.

Maurice turns 31 at the end of the month, so there were 2 huge birthday cakes enough to feed all of Petaluma and not just any ol’ birthday card, but a poster card where everybody can sign. With his handsome seamless face and lithe physique, I signed “Happy 18th birthday”.

Petaluma, where American Graffitti was filmed, with it’s historic buildings and victorian houses, it’s vineyards, dairy and chicken farms, has been dubbed as the “perfect little town”. Well, they just had a “perfect little linedance event” there thanks to the organizers: ANITA J., DOLLY U., BRENDA S. and GRETA S. who went over and above what one would normally expect from an event given the price. Speaking of price, we went for dinner to Gourmet Garden Buffet restaurant and true to its name, there was endless selection of dishes from soup, salad, sushi, dimsum, main courses of meat, seafood and vegetables, desserts and fruits and everything I had was tasty all for $12.99. Coming from SF, it was a sticker surprise!

After that perfect sunny spring day, I said goodnight to the grand dame as I drove through her in the rain.

Judy Romanenkov
judybmr@sbcglobal.net
www.jbmrpaintings.com