Month: May 2012

There’s No Painting in Dance Class!

I find myself giving a lot of pep talks these days.  Whether it’s telling my high school students to stop obsessing over another dance team’s costumes/props/anorexic talent and start focusing instead on their own performance, reminding my middle school kids to breathe when they’re hurrying out of one costume and into the next, or telling my first graders to “get their wiggles out” so they can focus, I’m pretty much in perpetual encouragement mode this time of year. Which is why I can’t believe it when the following little scenario played out in one of my creative movement classes earlier this week. The School’s year-end concert is just around the corner, which means I’m responsible for putting together a “demonstration of tasks and gross motor skills” for each of my two classes and a “finale dance” for those beach balls who will be moving on to Kindergarten next year. Of course not all of the graduates are in the same class—that would be too easy—so this week we’ve been shuffling the schedule around to allow …

From the Olive Garden to Africa

The good thing about having a boyfriend is that when your family makes its annual Mother’s Day pilgrimage to the Toms River Olive Garden, you have an excuse to cut out early.  The bad thing is that if your boyfriend comes from good stock, which The Wedding Date does, he’s going to have several grandparents of his own to contend with. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  On Saturday afternoon, I drove my brother’s truck into a wall.  A few hours later, I attempted to bake a double batch of butter pecan cookies (so that I’d have something to bring to The Wedding Date’s parents’ house) and even though I’ve been using this particular recipe since high school, the results were nothing short of horrific. Later that evening, The Prodigal Son (aka Tech Support, aka my younger brother) came for a visit and because he’s now a long haul trucker and doesn’t make it home all that often, my mom made steak and steamed clams for dinner.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to actually …

I’m Not Actually Being Chased…

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  In fact, I’m surprised it took this long.  Lately, you see, I’ve been reviewing as many as three shows a week for the Philadelphia Dance Journal.  I love it—I get free tickets and my editor is super cool and sometimes I get to see naked people or drag queens (or both on the same night, which is when I really love my job)—but it’s a lot to keep straight.  Especially when I’m also teaching, rehearsing or directing student rehearsal three nights a week too. Four o’clock rolls around and my usual thought is, “Hmmm… I know I’m doing something dance-related tonight but where? New Jersey or Philly?  Downtown or in the suburbs?  Traditional venue or some hole in the wall somewhere?” As such, when The Wedding Date arrived on Thursday night to accompany me to the farewell performance of Jeanne Ruddy Dance, I instructed him to drive to the Jeanne Ruddy Performance Garage. Makes sense, right? If you’re a choreographer who’s fortunate enough to own your own …

Damn it Does NOT Feel Good to be a Lannister

You know you’ve gone off the deep end when you start talking in your sleep about tiles—not bathroom tiles, mind you, but gaming tiles.  Little cardboard thingamajigs depicting quarries or cemeteries or, in the case of Game of Thrones the game, House Lannister strongholds. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry: neither do I. And I spent an entire weekend trying to figure it out. It all began last New Year’s when The Wedding Date found a kindred spirit amongst the guests at my parents’ Martini Bar Soiree.  Upon discovering their mutual obsession fondness for Game of Thrones, it was decided that I would A) Start watching Game of Thrones, B) Start playing Game of Thrones, C) Devote an entire weekend to the consumption of wine enjoyment of said board game. Initially, I was all for it. That was before I learned that Game of Thrones was just one of several board games on the agenda. First, we had to play Settlers of Catan. And just when I thought my brain …

A Rock Obama

Because I get a kick out of trying to turn my preschoolers into “global citizens” at the tender age of three, we have a world map posted in the dance studio and every once in a while, I’ll trade Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes for a little civics lesson. “Where do we live?” I asked a few months ago. “Earth!” one of my particularly astute three year olds shouted. I’d been going for “Philadelphia,” or perhaps the “United State of America,” but I had to concede that she was in fact correct. “Very good,” I replied.  “We do live on earth.  But can anyone tell me what country we live in?” “A-rock Obama!” was their unanimous response. “Good guess!  But Barack Obama is the president of our country.  Can anyone tell me the name of our country?” After several well-intended but incorrect responses (Philadelphia, North Philly and “the ocean”), I finally cupped my hand to my ear, thereby signaling a temporary suspension of our usual “raise your hand” rule, and prompted “The United States of…???” …

The Gamer’s Girlfriend

In just a few hours, The Wedding Date and I will be on our way to Maryland.  It’s our first weekend away since we went to Boston back in January and considering how my schedule this time of year makes me want to kill myself (or at the very least quit everything in which I’m involved) I. CAN’T. WAIT. We’re going to my folks’ place on the Eastern shore and we’ll be joined by another couple—friends of mine—for an entire weekend of (wait for it…) GAMING. And hot tubbing. And drinking. But mainly gaming. I’m not really sure when I turned into a gamer. I suspect, however, that it all began when I agreed to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the movie theater.  Watching Star Wars.  In 3D. And although Star Wars isn’t strictly related to gaming, it’s a slippery slope. Granted, then term “gamer” should probably be reserved for an individual who knows how to play more than one game (which I don’t), or who has done something other than lose at the one game …