Archive for Swing it!

Shim Sham in Maine!!

On the lighter side, here’s avideo clip of a number of friends doing the shim sham in Maine for Frankie Manning’s 95th birthday!! 😀

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Takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

It appears that all my spirituality is going towards politics these days!

Hate to see the nation being run by a hack
Dig the situation that he dug in Iraq
Half the population wants to give him the sack
And now he’s lookin’ round for somebody else to attack
We need somebody great to get us back on the track

So we’re takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Choo Choo, Change to believe in
Woo woo, we can achieve it
Choo Choo, Change to believe in
Takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Now that global warming is a matter of fact
The only real question is just how to react
The new administration needs the guts to enact
Drastic legislation, leave the planet intact
We can’t be foolin’ round with some Republican Mac

So we’re takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Choo Choo….

He only gets his money from your regular macs
Doesn’t take a penny from some whackity PAC’s
For bringin’ folk together he’s the man with the knack
And he’ll supply the hope and inspiration we lack
Cause he’s the best we got and did I ….mention he’s black?

So we’re takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Dancing around the world


watch it in high quality (click the link beneath the screen) – 5 million plus viewers can’t be wrong………..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY

and here’s the nytimes piece that lead me to it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/08/arts/television/08dancer.html?scp=1&sq=matt%20dancing&st=cse

Neuroscience of Dance

I haven’t read this article, but a swing dancing friend of mine did and this is what she had to say about it:

The July 2008 issue of Scientific American contains
an article titled “The Neuroscience of Dance”. It describes the
authors’ efforts to map regions of the brain involved in dancing. I
didn’t see any startling or amusing revelations, but a couple of
findings that confirm what you know from common sense:

(1) “The ability or rehearse a movement in your mind is indeed vital
to learning motor skills” (i.e. actively watching the teacher and
imagining yourself doing the move is a good idea);
(2) “the more expert people become at some motor pattern, the better
they can imagine how that pattern feels and the more effortless it
probably becomes to carry out.” (i.e. the better you get, the easier
it is to learn new stuff.)
(3)When you tap your foot unconsciously to a rhythm, the signal from
your ears bypasses your cerebral cortex and goes directly to your
cerebellum and thence to your feet. (Gosh – doesn’t that sort of
define “unconscious?”)
(4)They theorize that dance “began as a form of representational
communication” because its brain activity patterns are closely
related to those of music and language.

BUT the MOST interesting info. came from a sidebars to the article.
In 2007, other researchers found that tango dancing improved mobility
in Parkinson’s patients. After 20 tango classes, subjects “froze”
less often, had better balance and were less at risk of falling. I
betcha these benefits apply to everyone who dances1 Also, when
knocked off balance, trained dancers right themselves far more
quickly than untrained subjects. “As the brain learns to dance, it
also apparently learns to update feedback from the body to the brain
more quickly.”

I had a marvelous weekend swing dancing my little heart out! It would be amazing to find a guy who loved to swing dance with the enthusiasm and joy I see in my favorite dancers AND he was interested in learning to follow. We could dance together and develop a routine where we switched lead-follow. Now that would be cool. Sigh, one can dream.

I saw this on a T-shirt and loved it: “Friends don’t let friends worship celebrities.” Amen! It’s much better to worship dance Gods and Goddesses in our midst. 😀

Love of Dancing

Have I mentioned how much I love dancing?  Lindy hop, blues, balboa to be specific.  Occasionally I go dancing feeling kind of blue and hope dancing will cheer me up.  Sometimes it does, but sometimes the simple expectation that it is going to cheer me up is confronted by the dismal reality of my loneliness.  However, there are times when I just go dancing because it is what I do to get away and be in my own little world, doing something I enjoy.  Last Friday was one of those night.  I met up with my friend Ra for dinner and had jolly time getting caught up on the gossip of the swing scene and his various women.  Then we went to the dance and I found myself in demand as a skilled follower with men almost fighting to dance with me!  AND I got to dance with Ri at least TEN times!!!  [Sigh]

Who needs romance when you have dancing?  A clean, 3 minute relationships with his complete attention, connected to each other and the music, creating free-flowing movements of the soul.   I’d much rather have that sort of relationship: no strings, no obligations, no emotional baggage, no messy sex with side effects of pregnancy and STDs.  When the song is over, so is the relationship.  A lingering rosey glow…or a sigh of relief, depending on the partner.

I suppose there are benefits to life-long partners: commitment, support, children.  I envy the folks I meet who have been married for 62 years.  However, when those kinds of relationships fail to find their way in to your life, a great outlet is dancing!  How ironic.  In the past, people used to go to dances to find their future spouse…

The Contrast

I was struck by the contrast between C and S.  I went on the road trip with C and it was a blast because with both swing dancing addicts.  It was laid back, more concerned about comfort (and money) than about environmental concerns and health.  Then I went to visit S in VT and she is ALL about eating vegan and minimizing her environmental impact as much as possible.  I feel somewhere in the middle.  I used to be so upset by our society that I didn’t want to do anything in order to decrease my environmental impact, however, my life was miserable.  Now, I have dancing to look forward to and make me feel alive.  (I’m not only the president of the SDSDA, I’m also a client.  😉 )  I’ll drive for hours just to go dancing.  Sometimes I feel guilty, but more often than not, I’m so happy after that the gas ($ and emissions) and time are totally worth it.  Human contact is important.  I’m lucky to have found a hobby where I can maintain my integrity (no bars, bump n’ grinding or prostitution), enjoy great music and the different flavors of various dance partners, and laugh a good deal.  It’s my therapy.

I can appreciate we should do what we can to minimize our impact on the Earth, however, I’m also under the impression that the Earth can take care of herself and once we use up all the oil, the human race will be on to a new era of civilization and it will be a fascinating adventure.  Until then, I’m going to enjoy my swing dancing where ever I can get it!!

PaintJam

WOW. I had to watch it twice!

Let the rivers of praise flow forth or hold your tongue. Either way, grace will not be a stranger…

 Yesterday just may have been my last time teaching swing dancing at UNH.   That first year I was a member, discovering the joys of dancing and the pleasant company of people who share my passion.  Then I was president/instructor for 2 years, teaching new people, putting together 1 or 2 dances and making sure the club didn’t disappear.  Last year, my first year in medical schoo, I drove 1 hour to instruct every Weds.  And this year I have been down a total of 5-6 times because they have other people to instruct (I was getting stale…), they’ve had 4 dances, 2 with live bands and the club is absolutely flourishing.  I am so proud.  Last year, they were grateful to me for instructing on a regular basis.  This year, I was grateful to be given the opportunity to instruct.  I regret not saying a few words at the end of the lesson to share with the club how much it has meant to me, to be a able to instruct, but also the fact that there are so many more people swing dancing at UNH than in all of the 5 years I had been a part of the swing club.  It really is phenomenal.  Well done ladies!

Yesterday, a classmate showed his grace by declining to answer a question.  The reason I asked the question was because he implied he had some issues dealing with an administrator at our school.  I enquired as to why he had such an opinion and he did not answer.  He smiled (sheepishly not arrogantly), shook his head as he was deciding what to say and walked away, turning back only to put his hands together in the prayer position and bow as if to say “I respect you and your question, but I do not feel comfortable answering your question.”  I have a great deal of respect for this classmate and I would never push him to share what he knows, but it makes me wonder about the administrator…

Not gonna feel guilty!

My roommate is trying to make me feel guilty because she has 6 exams next week compared to my one and I’m going dancing in Boston tomorrow night!  Forget the guilt part!  I went through HELL last year.  What was that lesson Steve taught us?  To sympathize is to jump in the hole and empathize is to give them a ladder.  Well, I ain’t jumpin’ in and she ain’t climbin’ out!!

AND I might help table train medical doctors (MDs!!) at an Osteopathic workshop near Boston on Saturday!

AND the “Peaceful Warrior” movie is coming out this weekend based off the novel “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”.  AND I got free tickets!!  Who CARES about a flipping exam!  Life is good!   Actually, I do care about my exam, but I have to maintain perspective.  😛

AND I’m feeling some renewed energy about changing the world through Osteopathic Integration with a new website put together to guide students through the survey process, new connections I’ve made, possibly going to the AOA House of Delegates meeting in July AND the newest book on my shelf: Interface; Mechanisms of Spirit in Osteopath by R. Paul Lee, DO, which includes references to spirituality as well as the latest research in physics/energy research!!!  I can’t wait to read it.  Just need to learn about Ovarian cancer first.

Which reminds me of the extremely tragic movie “Wit” I saw last year that made me cry for hours because of the insensitive bastard of a doctor who was doing oncology research, cared only about the cancer and not one iota for the patient.  Cancer HAS to be related to emotional strains.  And what about physical distortions that cause alteration in gene expression?  HELLO!  Osteopathy!  Not everything can be explained by DNA mutations or hormonal dysregulation.  If I wrote these textbooks, I’d be embarrassed.  There are only so many times I can read “etiology unknown” before I go bananas.  Why aren’t these even suggested as a possibility?  Women who are single, nulliparity (no kids), obese, diabetic, and hypertensive have increased risk of endometrial cancer.  They probably didn’t control for women who dance regularly and laugh a lot, but still, sounds like these women are lacking in love. Conversely, those on oral contraceptives and/or IUDs (intrauterine devices- also contraceptives) have a decreased risk of cancer, probably because they’re gettin’ some lovin’.   Has this been looked into?  I’m probably just naive, but damn it!  At least it gives me HOPE!!

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