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If you familar with the names and talent of the 11 California instructors I have listed in the lower case letters ...imagine what fun if they were all at the same event ...Sal Gonzalez speeded into town, literally ...from the Central Valley to join The San Francisco Bay Area Choreographers for the Boots 'n' Buckles 3rd annual workshop and dance.
This Saturday workshop showcases the dances brought back from the 2 Memorial Day Weekend Events - Bonanza Bash, CA and Cowichan Goes Country, B.C.
New dances taught here from Bonanaza Bash II were: If My Friends Could See Me Now (Evelyn Khinoo), Boogie Woogie Blues (Trish Boesel), Sometime When (Jackie Snyder) and Some Hot Stuff (Chris Kumre). The rest of the dances were taught at Cowichan Goes Country, B.C. , exception is Heny Costa's dance Hoppin Mad which you can find on Henry's Website.
I struggle with putting my 'personal life' chit chat on the Net, but while thinking about my dancin' weekend ...I realized that it was a piece of 'San Francisco Bay Area History' that I want documented ...the word Swiss refers to Swiss Park in Newark, CA ...home of the Boot 'n' Buckles Dance Club ...known to be the home dance floor to Charlotte Skeeters and Neil Hale. Here is a peek of my stream of conscienceness to a Bay Area dancin' bud who was missing from 'the PARTY that ended the century' ...this first weekend in June ...
The usual crowd was at Swiss ...Bob played hot new stuff right at the beginning of the dance cause he knew we line dancers had been waiting around for the couple lessons to be over with ...You and Me and Cajun Girls and Gumbo and That's My Hat and Too Much Fun and Wasn't It A Party and Husbands and Wives and If My Friends Could See Me now and Unbelievable ....I remember those for sure were played early.
Ev found golden brown beanie baby doggies ...cockers with curly ears ...perfect for 'mangy old pups' at the airport last weekend when we were down for the BB. We bought them and took them dancin' for the first time on Friday ...DJ Bob saw us with them for Too Much Fun and then reminded us that we could also use them for Best Friends...oh yeah!..."we take our puppies every where"...that was pretty cool of him ...what a DJ!
Charlotte and Neil were there ...we did their dances. I was glad to get more practice watchin' Neil's boots for Whole Lotta of Peppas ...I still have to count that one and the music is fast for me ...you know Neil ...that Dude gets into it and seems to glide over the floor!
Neil brought over a dancer for me to meet ...Iris ...this dude was so awesome to watch on the dance floor, his boots twinkled across the floor ...the footwork was so precise, his hip bumps ...oh yeah! ...anyway, turns out he is Mr. Walkin' Wazi! His name is Michael Callahan, from Concord ...and he along with Dave Getty created the Walkin' Wazi in 1972. They were going to rock 'n' roll bars and tired of doin' free style ...so they made up this dance ...then in 1986 ...country western bars came into being around here and they started doin' this dance in their local bar ...he doesn't even own a copy of his own dance so we all will try to get a sheet together and get him to sign it! Pretty cool, huh!
11:25ish ...there was only the die hards left ...and this
is like so amazing, cause there is no way he could have
known, since he isn't on the Net and I never requested it
Bruce wasn't feeling good ...I think he has a cold coming on ...and Mike needed to stay home and catch up on stuff so E and B & Me ...had girl's day and night out!
sure was an eye opening experience for me to listen to
them talk about their hectic day jobs and how rushed
their teaching evenings are ...good instructors devote
hours of their time ...learn a dance, read the sheets to
make the dance clear in their heads, practice the
teaching words, give thought to choosing the 'teaching
music', listen to the 'real' music to find the 'start of
the dance' ...and then be in a terrific mood to greet the
class. AND that doesn't include the part about takin'
care of their evening 'family' responsibilities ...giving
the pet attention!, food, clean-up and conversation!!! I
was exhaused just listening! Geez, Iris ...I hope your
students appreciate YOU!
He took a look at some signed step sheets for me, vintage ones from the early 70's & 80's ...he recognized the hand drawn boots they were using on step sheets from that period and searched into his memory ...back 15 years at least he said ...and yes the name and documentation seemed familar to him.
O M G...we have found Mr. Cowboy Boogie, Flying 8, Texas Freeze, and Tush Push ...all rolled into one choreographer...his name is Ken Engel (Kentucky Ken) and he has sent me the signed sheets for LineDanceFun. Awesome discovery for linedance history and a great privledge for me to introduce Mr. Kentucky Ken to our country western line dance community.
Before we knew it ...Neil had to get changed and be ready to teach his workshop ...Gimme Back My Bullets. The music "Cypress Grove" by the Groovegrass Boyz ...does this give you a hint that this is hip hoppy stuff? ...all I could think about after seeing his demo ...look out John Robinson ...Neil Hale has discovered how much fun it is to 'get down' ...the jungle lunges (a polite way of describing Neil's gorilla walks including the hand motions) and the electric kicks and scoots in this new dance ...this is a Neil dance you must see him do! ...the dancers loved it!!! The story he concocted for the title of the dance ...priceless Neil B S! On stage, he was chideing the other choreographers on the dance floor about stealing all the fame from him and now he wants it back ...or something like that ...let me just say this "all da famous boys in the room 'got down' mimickin' those gorilla walks AND Neil doesn't even let on in the step description sheet about this "styling!"
Ev taught that new dance by Jackie Snyder (we met her at Pismo last year ...short, dark short hair, very peitit ...geez, she must be size 00 ...very good dancer ...bubbly personality) anyway her dance has to die for styling in it ...should have seen Chris doin' it! ...I wasn't paying much attention after we all danced Sometime When to the real music ...didn't know she was teaching two dances ...so I hurried out to the floor when I noticed she was still in her microphone and teaching more steps ...grief I was trying to figure out the steps she was explaining when I realized she was turbo reviewing her own dance. The floor was packed when the Headhunters started Singin' The Blues ...she has another hit dance here!!
Hedy taught Some Hot Stuff ...that's Chris' new dance that I saw at BB last weekend. I saw Chris and Hedy and Sal in the corner earlier practicing steps ...well let me tell you ...I was leading the pack when howling broke out durin' the demo when Chris and Sal started doing the last 8 counts of the hot stuff hip bumps ...Hedy rotates rows when she teaches ...I just stay in the back and watch the back row assistant ...O M G Chris Kumre was behind me, Sal was in Front and Charlotte was counting out the steps beside me (Hedy uses words primarily ...good God you should hear all her words in my head when we do her Younger Men dance!) am I lucky Charlotte is also a counter ...cause those 2 different grapevines are killers ...I love the dance ...I love singin' along with Donna when she says "gimme me some hot stuff baby tonight" ...I cherish my memory of learning this dance!
Charlotte demo'd her new dance with Michael and Michele on either side ...you know Iris ...watchin' them 3 'sell' this dance was worth 10 times the admission price to this event! No way would I ever have thought dancin' to Minnie Pearl saying "Howdy" would be something that I would want to do. The steps are classic Charlotte, the hand jive is well described in her sheet ...you will look as cool doin' the dance as we do!
We got to do the dance twice, second time as a contra dance ...really cool ...I had it down pretty good ...til MB joined in to be my across the way partner ...good grief you know me ...I start lookin' at the scenery ...especially the hand jive hip bumps stuff and I lost my place more than once ...speakin' of him reminds me....
You got to learn Michael's new dance in and I'm glad for you but believe me I was p..... when I learned that I had missed the teach of his dance at the Bonanza Bash II because IT was not written on the schedule nor announced during the showcase that it was his dance we were watching Lou Ann demo ...it was not until the dance when we were standing up front watchin' Lou Ann leading a packed dance floor that I recognized the steps that MB had shown to us at the Red Hot Kickin' Event in Ventura the previous month. He hadn't named the dance yet but told us that he was entering it in new choreography at Cowichan ...It never, ever occurred to me that it would be taught at BB simultaneously! Let me tell you the story...
I reamed Doug for not printing choreographers names beside the name of the dance on the schedule and for including non-original step sheets in the book of sheets that were for sell at his event, I apologized to Lou Ann for missing the class ...I know she teaches cuttin' edge dances ...I just didn't know she was teaching MY dancin' teachers dance ...but Iris I want you to know ...I got into MB's face big time on Saturday over this. He got back into mine (anyone watchin' us converse at these events sure do get a show) ...his bottom line is that I shouldn't be so snotty (my word not his) about which dance classes I take, events shouldn't be popularity contests ..."no event director publishes the choreographers name next to the name of the dance" ..."if a dance is good it will get around" ...
MY bottom line ...I don't like waking up at f...... four o'clock in the morning to drive or grab a plane to a workshop (never mind the cost) only to get there and miss learning a dance I know could be a sure hit on my home dance floor ...I'm a dancer, not an instructor ...I can be damn snobby about whose dances I want to learn ...If dancers in the class like the dance (and I did when we were all standing around watching you do it for us in Ventura) then I want the world to know it! My time is valuable to me ...I can't get to all lessons at workshops ...I need down time in order to be able to enjoy an event. I need social time to catch up with friends; I need time to network ...I am Doris hear me whine. ...besides DUUUDE there are many dancers at these events ...every workshop should be evenly filled with all the instructors gathering material for their classes.
Iris do you think I was a little hard on him? I know I treat him like my baby brother sometimes (I have one just his age...grins) but I really do value his opinion ...but I think he is wrong on this one. I guess I will figure it out when I go to my next event and I holler out "whose dance is this?"
We were so tired and hungry by 5 that E and B & Me headed for our lo-cal supper break, we did have time to stop for ice cream afterwards and ONE of us had the real thing! We got back to the event before the doors were re-opened, no problem, we practiced the workshop dances we had learned!!
Not long after the dance began, Mr. Cajuin Girls & Gumbo sauntered in ...Beth had to rub it in that we stopped for ice cream!! No worries ...he was having a great time catchin' up with all the other choreographers here tonight and the dancers from his classes.
O ...you know how the experienced classmates can be so cruel to the beginners ...I over heard one comment that really caught my funny bone concerning foot attire ...but I am to the rescue ...This is a public proclamation ...TTB has been graduated ...this was his first workshop experience and he passed with flying colors!
I got to fullfill my wish at this social ...was in a party attitude when I danced Wasn't That A Party next to Mr. Party himself and he congratulated me on finally gettin' the dance!
Bob was again the DJ, he played everyone' s new stuff and some of their classics ...it was like a 'family reunion' which was not planned. ...it was like 11 pm so fast and no one was wanting to leave! It truly was a party; a Boots 'n' Buckles classic!
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