Author: Warren Livesley

Independence Squares Celebrates the Holiday with their Glitter Ball

For the first time in many years a full square of Times Squares dancers traveled to Philadelphia for Independence Squares’ holiday dance, The Glitter Ball. Our members ranged the full gamut from Mainstream to C-1, and no matter what level they danced everyone had a great time. Dayle Hodge was at his peak and did some fancy calling that was fast and fun.

The Philly club has decided offer pot luck dinners only at special events like this one. The food was abundant and there was a vast array of desserts. I tried everything that had even a hint of chocolate. Sharing a meal is such a good way to meet new people and spend quality time with old friends.  Maybe Times Squares should try to reinstitute a pot luck event once or twice a year.

If you want to become a really good dancer, you need to have floor time to perfect your skills. This is one of the best fun ways to improve. As the holidays roll around next year, think about asking one of the dancers who attended this year if you can go with them. I know there was space for more people in the cars that went down last Saturday night. And they still charge only  $10 admission!

Independence Squares Celebrates the Holiday with their Glitter Ball

For the first time in many years a full square of Times Squares dancers traveled to Philadelphia for Independence Squares’ holiday dance, The Glitter Ball. Our members ranged the full gamut from Mainstream to C-1, and no matter what level they danced everyone had a great time. Dayle Hodge was at his peak and did some fancy calling that was fast and fun.

The Philly club has decided offer pot luck dinners only at special events like this one. The food was abundant and there was a vast array of desserts. I tried everything that had even a hint of chocolate. Sharing a meal is such a good way to meet new people and spend quality time with old friends.  Maybe Times Squares should try to reinstitute a pot luck event once or twice a year.

If you want to become a really good dancer, you need to have floor time to perfect your skills. This is one of the best fun ways to improve. As the holidays roll around next year, think about asking one of the dancers who attended this year if you can go with them. I know there was space for more people in the cars that went down last Saturday night. And they still charge only  $10 admission!

Do you have a Times Squares T-Shirt that we can display at Peel the Pumpkin?

At the last Independence Squares fly-in I noticed a display of t-shirts from the beginning of their club to the present. It was great to see how the designs have changed over the years. It would be great if we could do the same thing for Peel the Pumpkin this year. I looked through my closet, and I have the two t-shirts pictured here (I tend to discard those I can no longer fit into. It’s depressing and I have limited closet space).

If you have a t-shirt that you’d like to have displayed for that weekend, please let me know. You can send a photo or a description to wlivesley@gmail.com. I promise to treat them gently and return them to you in the same condition that you loaned them.

Alain Buzzard hosts a new Plus Class

 

Given his colorful socks and outlandish costumes, I’ve always wondered what Alain Buzzard’s apartment looks like.  I finally got a chance to see it when he invited me to help angel the new Plus dancers whom he’s teaching in his home. Energy is high and everyone is laughing and having a good time, as Kim Norland and I help ready the new dancers to dance full Plus at our upcoming fly-in. We took this photo with everyone holding up an item from Alain’s “apartment of curiosities” at the end of our first session.

Heartfelt thanks to Alain for offering to teach the group as well as provide a space for us to dance.

Fan-tastic White Party

So nice to see so many club members and visitors from Northern New Jersey and beyond at our White Party.  Five squares of dancers, which included three squares of Advanced dancers, had a great time dancing to Dayle Hodge’s upbeat tunes and always enjoyable choreography. White fan decorations, white clothes and white food all embraced the theme. George Voorhis posted this wonderful video on our club’s Facebook page.

Michael DiBella’s share of the 50-50 was $130. Maybe we should change his nickname from “Ping” to “Ka-ching!”

Fan-tastic White Party

So nice to see so many club members and visitors from Northern New Jersey and beyond at our White Party.  Five squares of dancers, which included three squares of Advanced dancers, had a great time dancing to Dayle Hodge’s upbeat tunes and always enjoyable choreography. White fan decorations, white clothes and white food all embraced the theme. George Voorhis posted this wonderful video on our club’s Facebook page.

Michael DiBella’s share of the 50-50 was $130. Maybe we should change his nickname from “Ping” to “Ka-ching!”

Swing and Mix 2017: The IAGSDC Convention in Palm Springs CA

Over the Fourth of July weekend 825 square dancers from the US, Canada and Japan flew into Palm Springs, CA for the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs’ (IAGSDC) annual convention, “Swing and Mix 2017”. One third of Times Squares’ members attended this “hot” event. Even though the high temperature was close to 120 degrees, the locals insisted that was OK because it was a “dry” heat. I can tell you, at that temperature, it does matter how dry it is, it’s still way too “hot”. But many of us cooled off by the edge of the hotel’s outdoor pool watching the bathing beauties promenade by, or jumped in the water and joined the pool tip.

Squaring through in the pool

I remember when we first started dancing we would dance for hours and dancing from 9 AM to 11 PM hardly seemed enough. Now that we’re aging and can’t do that anymore, the convention organizers are beginning to adapt.

I noticed that this year you could spend as much time touring as dancing. Busloads of dancers avoided the heat and left before dawn to dance in different places around town on what’s called the Fun Badge Tour. Others took the aerial tram to the top of Mount San Jacinto and danced high above the valley floor, or went to the high desert and danced among the Joshua trees.

Fabulous ladies!

Of the many tours offered I chose the Mid-Century Modern Architectural tour. It was fun to see how Zsa Zsa Gabor and Elvis desecrated otherwise beautiful houses to make them more “theatrical”. Still others, owners who hated modern architecture, covered the walls with stucco, added red tiles on the roof and (voila!) recreated Spanish colonial.

825 strong and having a great time.

To encourage people to keep dancing, special-interest dances were offered. Along with contra dancing to a live band, there was square dancing for millennials, women, and people of color. Among the more unusual offerings were the Magic Underpants tip (self-explanatory), and the Moonshine tip (nudists). Note: for those who were wondering, the callers are naked and you’re not allowed in the room if you don’t strip. There’s even a guard at the door. My husband, Kian, and I attended the tip for legally married couples. The gay community must be taking marriage for granted because there wasn’t even have a full square while we were there.

Can you identify the biological female in this photo?

To honor dancers who have attended conventions faithfully the IAGSDC bestows medallions. This year Betsy Gotta and Darryl Murphy both received 20-year medallions and a 10-year medallion was awarded to Mike Ryan. Congratulations on their dedication to dancing!

Upcoming conventions will be in Seattle (2018), Philadelphia (2019) and Denver (2020). None of the member clubs expressed interest in hosting the 2021 convention so IAGSDC board members and former convention chairs will do the organizing and the tentative venue is Minneapolis, MN.

Promenade Back Home

It was great fun to reunite with dancers who have not been dancing for a while. Upwards of 60 people attended our Promenade Back Home with Todd Fellegy on May 20th at PS3. We hope they will come back and dance with us again in the future. Everyone was so happy to see old friends that they could hardly stop socializing long enough to dance.

To take advantage of the perfect weather, we left the front doors open and the music and movement lured in many passersby. Once inside they were invited to dance (dragged into a square). They all found it more fun than they would have thought, and hopefully went away with a better appreciation for the modern square dancing that we all love so much.