|Michael Barr||A Waltz In Time
Here are the dances for Jan.
Beginner Class /Intermediate Class
Jan 4th South Side Shuffle/ Begin the Beguine
Jan 11th Cotton-Eyed Reggae Cowboy/ Larger Than Life
Jan 18th Cruisin'/ T T S Boogie
Jan 25th Black Coffee/ Sunset Stampede
Beginner Class /Intermediate Class
Jan 5th South Side Shuffle/ Begin the Beguine
Jan 12th Cotton-Eyed Reggae Cowboy/ Larger Than Life
Jan 19th Cruisin'/ T T S Boogie
Jan 26th Black Coffee/ Sunset Stampede
BOOGIE TIL THE COWS COME HOME
Saturday, March 25th, 2000
Hosted by Michele Burton and Michael Barr
Featuring: Line and Couples workshop classes
Workshops: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Workshop: 6:45pm - 7:15pm
Dance: 7:15pm - 11:00pm
Options: Workshop - Dance - Dinner
Dinner & Dance
New Boogie T-Shirt is available NOW!!!!!
Space limited - Dinner & Pre-Registration Deadline - March 15th, 2000 (but
Contact: Michele Burton - phone/ 530-824-6888
Michael Barr - phone/ 650-327-1405
Call for more details: registration forms, directions, hotel and other
......AND BOOGIE UP THE ROAD TO WHERE THE COWS ARE ALWAYS
MICHELE & MICHAEL
The 1999 Jamboree BC near Vancouver, BC, was a fine day and night of dancing. Bill Bader along with Grant Gadbois and a formadable volunteer staff put on a great event. This kind of event (one day workshop and dance) has such appeal. If there is any drawback it is the distance one has to travel to attend. For the local dancers I believe them to be in linedance heaven. For the travelers we were warmly welcomed and taken good care of by Bill and Grant.
The variety of the day and night keeps things very interesting. A choreographers competition is the basis for workshops. The individual and team competition along with demonstrations insert a change of pace and a time to rest the brain. The individual and team competition/demonstrations were fun, creative and for some a very brave thing to do. The rules are that there are no rules (for the demonstrations). Like the interpretive at the Golden Gate you just don't know what you will see.
Grant, who is a past CWDI World Champion linedancer, takes all of his experience and stretches the envelope to bring us something new and exciting. Swing gets a lot of notice, Grant has taken the music and put his steps & style to it. Then, with a set of wooden spoons and a change of pace to Holly Roller Music - Save a Prayer - by the Mavericks, we were taken to the heavens.
Michele Burton entertained us with two pieces of choreography. First her flowing waltz (Sweet Temptations by Terry Hogan recently seen at the Golden Gate) and then in a during a set of turns - off with the long skirt (appearing in a shorter version) and into her second piece, a hot hot hot number from the Seventies - It's Raining Men. This disco-AustinPowersesque-rendition of funk by Martha Walsh & RuPaul gave Michele the opportunity to try out her new moves. With her extensive background in Drill Team in the Eighties she was able to put together not only steps but very precise arm, head, and body movements to give this song a new and exciting dimension. John Robinson would be oh so proud.
Julie Molkner was a featured choreographer and had traveled many miles (from Western Australia) to be in the states for a number of weeks and then extended her stay to be at Bill's event. We are all glad she did as it was a good opportunity to meet her and see more of her work (Peace Train). I took her workshop for her dance, As Always, and liked the dance very much. In the few times that I was in her company during the Golden Gate I found her to be quiet and friendly. Give her a microphone and this lady becomes very animated and very funny.
Betty Clarke from Victoria, BC was the winner of the choreography contest (Hustle Bustle). Betty and her friends were very excited as we all were
So, with bits of
competition (all voted on by the dancers) and a demo here and
there and then a visit by Rick Tippe, ya just didn't want to miss
anything. Well done Bill and all in Vancouver!!!!!!!
Michael, San Francisco Bay Area
Classes in San Bruno and SanMateo
Tuesdays - San Bruno - 650/877-8868 - Allen School - 875 Angus Ave.
(Angus &Elm) 9/7/99 to 11/9 - $50 res./$55 non. $6/$7 drop-in [10 weeks]
Wednesdays - San Mateo - 650/5227440 - Beresford Center - 2720 Alameda de
las Pulgas 9/8/99 to 12/15/99 - $48 res./$60 non. - $6 drop in [14
Tuesdays / San Bruno-Beginner 7:15 to 8:30pm Interm. 8:30 to 9:45pm
Wednesdays / San Mateo-Beginner 7:30 to 8:30pm Interm. 8:30 to 9:45pm
Beginner & Intermediate Classes
SEPT7 & 8
COWGIRLS TWIST & COUNTRY WALKIN
AFTER MIDNIGHT & SATURDAY MATINEE
SEPT14 & 15
THE NEXT STEP
LISTEN (TO YOUR WOMAN)
SEPT21 & 22
MADLY OFF IN ALL DIRECTIONS
STRAIGHTEN UP & FLY RIGHT
SEPT28 & 29
-AN OLDIE- BOCEPHUS
*Curriculum is usually as printed but may change on occasion due to
class needs. Call to confirm. 650-327-1405
Special Guest: Jill Thompson, from England, will be teaching both the
beginner & intermediate class on Wednesday October 13th, at the Beresford
Center in San Mateo. Jill is one of England most talented teachers. She
has recently choreographed a dance with Charlotte Skeeters cal l'Be My
Guest'. She will be teaching this dance in the intermediate slot.
COMING EVENTS - 650-327-1405 for more information:
PISMO BEACH WESTERN DAYS DANCE FESTIVAL - SEPTEMBER 17-19
TWIN CITES LINE DANCE FESTIVAL - OCTOBER 2 & 3
GOLDEN GATE CLASSIC - OCTOBER 8-10
QUICK STEPPERS DANCE - OCTOBER 16
JAMBOREE BC - NOVEMBER 6TH [Call Michael for details]
DESERT SANDS DANCE FESTIVAL - NOVEMBER 19-21 [Las Vegas
Please call or email for more details.
all met back in the dining room at 9am for breakfast the next
morning. Then at 10am the workshops began (we loved this start
time). At 1pm lunch was served and workshops resumed at 2:30pm.
This schedule repeated itself throughout the weekend. It's hard
to know if we did more dancing or eating! Eating was just as much
fun as dancing, especially when trying to decide which spoon to use or wondering what "gataeux" may be. Even though most of the food was good, we would have to suggest passing on the fried bread.
We both loved the schedule. We had ample time to spend with new friends over our meals, plenty of time to get to workshops and a more relaxed feeling as teachers. The only thing that made us very tired was the fact that none of us retired for the evening until well past 2 or 3pm. The celebrating was intense and fun. The DJ's made sure of that.
Lots of energy, skits, dancing, demos, more dancing, etc. At the end of the Sunday dance and the end of the dancing part of the event we took part in some kind of ritual last dance which we never got the name of.
You sit on the floor, legs apart, scooting up close behind another dancer, then proceeding with the DJ leading exercises to some favorite piece of music. Although it was hard to bend too far over (body had had it by then) the group energy made it happen. The hall was filled with music, dancers rolling from side to side and forward and back and the colors of America flying everywhere. Something to experience. And it wasn't over yet.
met for breakfast the next morning (Monday) to say goodbye to
many who were able to stay over. We all packed up the cars and
caravans and went on our merry way. This was a really nice
closure to a fun-filled weekend.
One last thing about the event. The classes on Sunday were the same dances taught on Saturday. Personally we both liked it a lot. The dancers could then either take the same class as a review or take what they missed from the previous day. We thought it worked really well. We were able to have most of the dancers take our classes and do our dances.
(Michele's were - That's All She Wrote, new 2 step line dance. I See It Now - her waltz.
Michael's were - What's Your Name and Give It Up. Got a chance to do a beginner workshop and What Ever was taught).
Our thanks go to Viv and Malcolm Owen for making the weekend and our visit so memorable. We continued on to Viv's class the next night and to Ali and Dave's class ( our meal partners at Barton Hall ) the following night.
The rest of the trip was a bit more casual (as if it was not casual enough). With the help of Ambrose Donahue (a wonderful fellah from the London area who is a prominent DJ and works with partner Jill Thompson, one of England's best teachers) who secured 3 workshops for us, we had plenty of time off to be tourists.
We visited Wales and went in search of castles. We found them. With the help of line dance friends, Hedley Williams and his partner Val, we were shown the not so often visited west end of the country. We were treated to beautiful ocean views (with dolphins) as well as some of the prettiest country side and some of the skinniest roads we had driven on (yes, we drove on the wrong side of the street). We traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland a place which took our breath away. The city was a walkers delight. The architecture was breathtaking. We walked one day from 9am to 9pm and thought it was time to go back to our accomodations, although it was still very light out and wouldn't get dark until 11pm. This is definitely a place to put on your itinerary if you're a traveler.
Thanks Charlotte for making the suggestion.
Back to the dance world, we did workshops for Ambrose and Jill, Bill and Paula Bilby and Lewis Watson. This last one found most of the hosts of our previous workshops in attendance. We got to see familiar faces again.
Michele was really happy to meet up with some folks she hadn't seen in over a year. Ambrose and Jill had taken us there from their home outside of London. There is a motor way called the "orbital"(appropriately named since it circles London). We spent many an hour on this motor way and is the busiest roadway either of us had ever experienced. This road is called the largest car park in Europe.
(Our thanks go out to all of our hosts who made our trip so wonderful)
Our last night in England was spent dancing. We went back to Jill's class (she will be teaching at the GGC this October - don't miss her classes).
Not only did we want to be with her and Ambrose, this was their last night at this club which they had been at for 3 years. Jill had brought out many of the new dances at this club and had debuted many dances choreographed in the Bay and surrounding areas. We were honored to be there and to take part in this last evening with friends. Jill was in great spirits and was throwing one liners at me during a review of a dance. We played off each other and had a blast.
Michele and I were asked to perform our duo one last time (we had done this piece, choreographed by Michele and Simon Ward at most of the workshops). We had a ball and the dancers were very appreciative. Our last night was very memorable.
Michele and I saw old friends and made new ones on this trip. We met people from Ireland, Wales, England & Scotland. The beauty of the countryside (want to go to Ireland next), the richness of the history and it's people and the love of dancing makes this a wonderful place to visit, and visit again.
Time to update my bio. It has been a busy few years in the world of dancing and life in general. So, let me catch you up. I wrote a lot so get a drink and something to munch on...here we go.
My adult life has been spent up until the early 1990's as a hard working painting contractor with NOT a lot of joy in the work but, with a constant search for a place that my spirit could ring true and be happy. The work was very gratifying but, I was becoming concerned with the wear and tear on my body. I was talking with a dancing friend and we thought it would be nice to have a linedance division according to the number of wrinkles on ones face:>) 40 wrinkles or less......But I digress. Since I did not like the management end of things in the painting business I started to ease out to test the waters of something new. I think I had just had enough after 25 years. But now what of this spirit I spoke of above. What is that all about?
Inside I have long felt unfulfilled knowing I had not found what it was that satisfied me. But, don't get me wrong, I have much to be thankful for but this feeling was mine and mine along. My gut kept at me saying things like, "why can't you be happier and why can't you have a keener sense of harmony with how you spend your time on this earth". Pretty deep stuff wouldn't ya say (I spent time in India sitting by rivers contemplating the universe). I'm talking about really happy, you know, feeling at the right place at the right time with a sense of understanding. Well, I am 48 now and time is only going faster in my estimation, so this deep stuff needed some attention. As luck would have it there was a break through and Country Western Dance came barreling into my life. I know now that being willing to let go of some security was part of what I needed so I could let something else in. I was ready for it.
Country music, which I did not listen to very much growing up or as an adult, all of a sudden spoke to me in ways I could understand. First, it was the simple rhythms that woke me up to movement. Later I started to listen more to the words and that became a source of laughter as well as deep thought. With the need for a change I embraced CW dance and gave myself a gift of two years to explore it and to NOT paint houses. This was in 1992. The two years came and went and I have managed to find a way to keep doing what I love. I am much poorer then I was then but, you guessed it, I am much happier. I do pain on occasion and I do work for an Architect 3 days a week, but the rest of the time is devoted to my relationship and dance. I know how important I have made dance sound in these paragraphs and it is, but the most important aspect of my life is my relationship and everything revolves around it. When it feels like it is revolving to much around dance a few adjustments are needed. The adjustments are needed because they keep my perspective on what is most important.
Do, where did I come from and who has inspired my appreciation for movement? Well, I was born in New York City!!!!! You might say I was an unlikely character to become a CW dance enthusiast but stranger things have happened. It was West Side Story and it's amazing dancing that caught my interest. My home was full of music as my father was an accomplished pianist and worked all over the world (he passed away in 1983). My exposure to movement was also sparked from my mother's profession in her early life as a singer and dancer. These two artists grew up in the hay day of New York's exciting days of song and dance (Broadway). They worked in musicals and made their way in the big city. This is how they met. They married right after World War II and had my brother Richard a couple of years later. I came along in 1950 and my folks made the big move to the "burbs" and my mom became a housewife. Only later did she tell me she was scared to death and didn't have a clue how to do what was being asked of her. She toed the line of those days and was a stay at home mother. I will always be thankful for her being there but if we had it to do over Betty would dance and the needs of the family would have been taken care of, just in a different way. Easy for me to say in retrospect. For the longest time I hadn't a clue as to what my folks had passed on to me (clueless:>). I thank both my parents for my sense of joy for music and dance. I was able to thank my mother for giving me what has become my most cherished expression and this came before her death in August of 1997.
Living and working in Palo Alto, California, for the past 30 years has been a very nice existence. I do love California, it's weather and it's quirky lifestyles. I've spent a year here or there and traveled to lots of exciting places around the world. I've always come back to this place as friends and business contacts were here. It was a friend who called up and asked me to join her for a Country Western lesson over at the Saddle Rack in San Jose. This was in early 1992. I did not really like it to much as the bar scene was not high on my list. But I found myself looking through the paper for something closer to my house and found a class in Palo Alto. I went, it was great, I stayed, the end. Actually, the beginning. I met a group of people in that class that were like so many other groups around the country, people looking for a fun new activity in a place with a non threatening atmosphere for single people (for the most part). The commitment was to stand near someone for about three minutes and that was it. The teachers, Hedy McAdams and Ramon Zamora were very inspirational and most could tell that they had something to share. I saw Ramon dance "Zydeco Lady" and I had to learn it. As time went on I did what many have done and that is dedicate more and more time to the class. Being asked to become an assistant was jus natural. hedy shared with me what she had been learning for the past year or more since she had started teaching. Hedy was full of ideas and I helped bring them into focus in the classroom. Within weeks of each other we and others (Evelyn Khinoo and Mike Sliter) choreographed our first dances. Actually it was Mike Sliter who choreographed "Evelyn" for Evelyn's birthday that year (1994). A whole new world opened up for us all.
There was more to it then just that. I lived in the close proximity of Neil Hale and Charlotte Skeeters. With Neil's famous choreography and renowned DJ talents and Charlotte's enormous recognition as a teacher/judge/organizer/choreographer, I couldn't have found myself in a better learning situation. This was 1994. Even earlier you had Pat Nowland and Diane Montgomery along with their partners producing the first line dance competition right here in the Bay Area (as always there are many that make something happen and all names have not been mentioned). All of the people mentioned above have gone on to other heights in the world of linedancing. and actually that is just the tip of the dancing ice berg. The teachers and dancers that were the first to partake in this activity back in the early 80's are all responsible for the joy we share today. I never did get on in school very well but the kind of classroom I could always relate to was hands on, action oriented and simply friendly. This is where I went to school and I do believe they taught me well.
Charlotte and Neil started to travel to other countries and took mine, as well as other choreographer's dances with them. As a result the world opened up beyond our small borders and with it came an exodus to far off lands to teach and share our love for dance. Along with the very talented group of friends in the Bay Area, Michele Burton to the North, Sal Gonzalez and Donna Wasnick from the Central Valley and many, many others, we all ventured out into the wild, wild world and have had just "TOO MUCH FUN". It is opportunities like this that I like to take and thank them all openly for their love and support.
As my love for dance grew and I choreographed my first dance Black Dresses, I started to embark on an aspect of CW dance that was very personal. Choreography was and continues to be a most cherished expression. As my dances found popularity (the feeling is so wonderful seeing a room full of people doing a dance of mine) invitations started to come my way. I would meet people at the dance festival and exchanging ideas as well as dances was so much fun that I wanted to do more of it. As with all sides of any activity this one has a business aspect to it as well. To be invited back and to stay visible you need one of two things; first, a good relationship with the people in charge, and second, your work needs to be popular and fun. There is an aspect of the second condition that someone put into a phrase I think has merit, "flavor of the month". We all know how popularity comes and goes. I am aware of it. The world of teaching and demonstrating dances has an entertainment aspect to it and the audience and students become the boss. The group as a hole can be brutally honest. So, I thank my lucky stars and will always try to remember that my main place is in the classroom as a teacher and a student and the "world stage" is icing on my favorite cake (cheese cake - I'm allergic to chocolate :>).
Because my dances have met with some level of popularity I have, without my knowing, become knowledgeable about all kinds of things. I wish I knew so much more and so many more dances but I think I am more like the average dancer that only has so much room for so much information and so many steps. I do believe I have a responsibility to the dance world to give back more then I receive. As I try to do that I just want to be treated like anyone else. I get such wonderful attention that it is sometimes embarrassing. I will always be grateful for this time in my life.
I am asked a lot about my dances and which one is my favorite. As a personal expression it is hard to separate them, although there are some that make me laugh wondering what planet was I on when I made up a certain dance. But with time passing I have embraced one particular one a bit more then the others. With that introduction I would say "A Waltz In Time" has to be the one for special reasons. It is now the name I go by in the business world "A Waltz In Time Productions:. It became an expression of feelings which grew on me. I was able to perform the dance with 5 other friends as a tribute to my mother at the 1997 Golden Gate Classic. The song taught me (with the help of Michele Burton and Lori Wong) more about phrasing (it is an unphrased song) then any other has to date. The emotion of the song was so powerful that the dance took on a romantic and dramatic appearance and spoke to many dancers on the floor, myself included.
As with most people I think it's their new work that holds the attention at present. my last two dances, All-Right-A and Give It Up have been so much fun to do. They both have a step in them that is similar. The triple run in All-Right-A has been expanded on (I just wasn't done with the move) with the quad run, of Give It up. There is a different feel to both which in it's self is an interesting experience. The music for All-Right-A, in The Summertime, was such a fun piece that the steps really came easily. The steps to Give It Up came from a slow Night Club Two Step song by Garth Brooks, You Move Me. The song not being phrased in such a way that it would remain friendly to the dancer dictated to me to find another piece. I had never had the steps first and then found the music. After about 100 CD's I found it and it hit right on the money. The song is by the very popular Dixie Chicks from their hot CD, Wide Open Spaces. The song, cut 12, Give It Up Or Let Me Go was written by Bonnie Raitte. I like her style and with the Dixie Chicks singing with country flavor and the instrumentals having a strong country sound the song jumped out at me. It is a perfectly phrased 48 count song that was a delight to find. Give it a whirl, but don't Give It Up (couldn't resist).
New and wonderful challenges are popping up all the time. One of these challenges is to demonstrate and compete in duo's. This is really new for me. I am a very free spirit on the dance floor and am not used to dancing in unison and as similar as possible to another dancer. But, with hard work and a humble state of mind I have made some headway. Thanks to Michele Burton and her vast experience in this kind of choreography and competitiveness I have taken on the challenge and have started performing with her. I need new challenges and the level of dance that Michele asks for is keeping me busy. Michele also manages to keep it fun. I have competed a few times in line dance events and hope to find the time to do more. I would like to continue to travel to other places, to share and experience this great form of dancing. My classes in San Mateo and San Bruno are going well. The class is such a great place to hone my teaching techniques and get input from the dancers. The dancers that come to my classes want to be taught in a fun way and couldn't rally care to much about video's, traveling to far off lands and competing in duo's, etc, but that is what I love them for. It keeps me grounded and in touch.When they do find out about the other activities I am in...they are so very supportive.
In this past year much has happened. England, Canada, Australia. Boy, am I lucky or what. I have toured in these countries and had an absolute ball. Before going to Australia in the summer of '98 I put together two instructional video's with most of my dances on them. I added a few dances from friends; Terry Hogan, Michele Burton, Vicky Wenc and Charlotte Skeeters. The project was more difficult than I thought it would be but, I got it done and I actually look forward to doing it again down the line. With the video's came other items that seemed to fit with the direction I was going in. That direction was to do things that would enable me to continue doing what I love to do. So, I have gotten into the world of sales. Not my most comfortable world but I am getting use to it and taking it in stride.
The avenues to take in the Country Western dance world are endless and will take a lifetime to discover. I hope to see many of you along the way.
Thank you all and I will see you on the dance floor.
A WALTZ IN TIME PRODUCTIONS:
VIDEO'S - CD'S - STEP DESCRIPTION BOOKS - HAT AND SUCH!!!!!
Thank you Doris @ linedancefun.com - you B the D for dance!!!!!
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