Author: Kim Norland

BOXING DAY DANCE!

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Nick Martellacci is retiring and he will make his last appearance on stage at our annual Boxing Day/Boxer Day dance. This is always a great evening that will be made more special as we say say goodbye to Nick. In addition to regular all-level dancing, we will have some time to pay tribute to Nick and wish him well in retirement. To make it more festive, please plan on bringing some holiday sweets to share.

SAVE THE DATE – Monday, December 26 starting at 7:30 at PS3.

Musings from Times Squares oldest member

Looking through some old newsletters, I came across an article that bears revisiting. And since we will be meeting new people at our Dance Party tomorrow, it would be good if we all reviewed it.

The Pleasure Principle:  F. William Chickering’s Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Square Dance Behavior

What is square dancing all about?  Square dancing is all about pleasure:  the pleasure of calls well executed; the pleasure of a good laugh if your square does break down; the pleasure of social activity in a friendly atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation. To keep square dancing pleasurable, we must all observe a few guidelines.  After all, square dancing is a group activity.

Avoid drinking and drugs that may affect your reaction time and cause you to break down a square (or even cause serious injuries).  Most clubs discourage drinking both before and during dancing, as the smell of alcohol on the breath can be unpleasant to others.

Start out fresh. Shower, use deodorant, and brush your teeth.  Avoid eating strong smelling foods like garlic right before dancing.  This may sound corny, but it can make a big difference to your fellow dancers.

In most clubs, for each new tip dancers form new sets by squaring up randomly.  It is considered unfriendly and discourteous to pass by a forming square to look for another.  At the beginning of a new tip, introduce yourself to dancers you don’t know.  Friendliness is one of the best aspects of square dancing.

Once in a square, under no circumstances abandon it.  Exception: in a medical emergency or if someone is injured, of course you should use common sense. There is an accepted “emergency call for medical assistance”.  Members in the square should surround the ill or injured person with uplifted arms to notify the caller or other persons in charge.

Help your set dance its best.  Be friendly about it. If you see a need to direct a fellow dancer, be sure that you are correct, and be gentle in your assistance.  Think of the best interest of the group and be careful not to hurt the other dancer’s feelings.  Do not be too critical of the others.  This can ruin everyone’s fun if it results in bickering or a condescending attitude.

Remember, we all make mistakes, and the next one might be yours.  Be especially supportive of new dancers; without them our pleasurable pastime would die out.

Listen to the caller.  Do not talk when the caller is talking or calling.  Not only is it rude, but all dancers may need the information offered.

 

Crossover Weekend: Congratulations!

April 17, 2016

Congratulations! to Times Squares and Independence Squares for putting together a superb collaborative weekend of square dancing with the stupendous Chris Phillips from South Florida.  Months in the making, this “Crossover Weekend” involved coordinated efforts with both Club’s Caller Liaisons, Housing Hosts, the Boards, and Chris and his partner Tom.  The result was a high energy weekend with dancing Saturday in NYC, and Sunday in Philadelphia.  Clubs attended each other’s events, hence “crossover”.   As one dancer/caller in attendance noted, the event was special not only for the animated, energetic and creative calling by Chris, but for the spirit of comraderie and teamwork not only of the two Northeast Clubs, but of the dancers themselves.  Everyone worked together, as 8 people do in Square Dancing, to execute the calls correctly, and have fun with the very challenging choreography, spurred on by Chris’ enthusiasm.

Chris is known as a “Pioneer” in gay square dancing, learning how to call in the late 70’s and early 80’s when few if any callers would call to same gender couples.  In some places same gender couple traditional dance was actually an illegal and punishable offense.  Chris was a founding member of the South Florida Mustangs, which later led to the formation of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs (IAGSDC) in 1983.  It was a great honor to help work on bringing this man who should be an inspiration to all of us, in a rare appearance to the Northeast.  His website is http://caller4u.com/ which lists upcoming calling engagements.  Most important, he will be a featured caller at Independence Square’s next Fly In March 31-April 2, 2017 in Wilmington DE.   George V.

Musings from Times Squares oldest member

 

Why do you dance?

I like it….a lot.

Nothing brings me as much joy. Not even sex! (When was the last time you had an orgasm that lasted three hours?) When the music is good, the choreography interesting, the other dancers capable, it is near ecstasy – moving with the harmony of the spheres.

Too often, that is not the case. But even then, there is no form of physical exercise, no mental exercise, no kind of social interaction that brings me such pleasure. Moving to the music, I don’t remember my arthritis, my unpaid bills, my guilt (and often enough Left Relay the Deucy).

Sharing the moment with like-minded people is much more pleasant and a lot healthier than staying home to escape into mindless computer games or the last episode of Game of Thrones.

Walking exercises your legs. Dancing, your heart.

Come on! Dance with me!

Combo dance honors Amy Marcus

In honor of club member Amy Marcus, we are doing something special at our Combo Dance on March 19. From 4:00 until 6:30 Daryl will call Advanced and Challenge as usual, but we’ve invited Amy’s friends from the Israeli folk dancing group (her other passion) to join us for food, drink, and remembering from 6:30 to 7:30. Then from 7:30 to 9:30, they will join us in dancing. Danny Pollock, another of Amy’s friends and an extraordinarily gifted dance teacher, will join Daryl on stage. We’ll dance some Mainstream and Plus, and with the help of Amy’s Israeli folkdance friends, learn a few of their dances. Mostly we’ll have a chance to spend the evening trying to recreate the kindness and joy Amy always brought to the dance floor.

Amy Marcus, we will miss you.

Amy Marcus, our beloved fellow dancer passed away early Friday morning, February 5 after a long illness. She was a kind and caring spirit, who loved dancing and being with other dancers. All of Times Squares and indeed the whole square dance world will miss her ebullient presence and passion for square dance.

Her funeral will take place Sunday, February 7 at 10:00 AM at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th Street. Burial will be at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ. She is survived by her sister Wendy and brother Philip. The family will observe Shiva at the home of Amy’s late parents, 505 Brooklawn Avenue, Roselle, NJ 07203, (908-245-4609), at the following times:
Sunday: Following the burial until 6:00 PM
Monday: 12:00-6:00 PM
Tuesday: 12:00-6:00 PM
Expressions of condolence may be sent to the address above.