2011 New Years Resolution: Blog More

January 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM (Musings) (, )

This totally goes against what I said last night to someone about making quantifiable, easily measurable resolutions (for instance, I also plan on squeezing back into my college jeans this year).  I’m also not much of a “New Years Resolutions” gal, so it looks like 2011 is going to be a wild and wacky one for me.  Moving on . . .

WordPress Emailed me my “2010 Year in Blogging,” and considering that at the height of my blogging I was posting at least four times a week, it was pretty disappointing to have not even blogged once per week this year.  In my defense, 2010 was pretty hectic for me, but I still should have been able to make time to at least get 52 posts taking up space on the Interwebs.  I’ll target doing that this year (Hey, wait: that’s easily measurable!  Hypocrisy averted!).

While I’m thinking about it, let’s back-track a smidgen.  I think I promised an update on my progress at Racepoint a few posts ago, and of course, that never happened.  It’s been just over three months – I’m up for my quarterly review this month . . . already? – and I’m still honeymooning.  This is a particularly good thing because otherwise I would be much crankier when my alarm starts harassing me at 5.00 AM every day.

My clients are pretty nifty: I’ve two in tech and one in healthcare, and while your eyes may begin to glaze over if I begin to discuss them in detail, I love learning about their industries and working with them, especially having known absolutely nothing about any of their products prior to starting at RPG.  Try asking me about personalised knee replacements, now!  Wait, where are you going?

Today’s Tunes
“Blankest Year,” Nada Surf
“Consolation Prizes,” Phoenix
“Lake Michigan,” Rogue Wave


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Here, Take a Dance Class!

January 13, 2009 at 9:39 PM (Dance, Goals) (, , , , , , )

For the record, I would have posted last night, but WordPress was experiencing some technical difficulties, which only served to intensify my love-hate relationship with technology.

So you’ve made your New Year’s resolution.  Perhaps it was to drop the love handles, meet new people, or try a new activity, or perhaps it was a bit more specific.  Perhaps you resolved to learn how to dance.  Regardless, if you’re in the Greater Boston area (or around there), I’ve a solution for your resolution: group classes at Balera School of Ballroom Dance in Newton, MA (and, the crowd goes wild)!Balera School of Ballroom Dance

Balera is offering brand new group classes to kick off the new year, and they’re open to everyone, regardless of experience level (and no partner is required!).  Learn how to waltz, tango, salsa, cha cha, and hip hop in one of Boston’s finest dance venues, boasting a 4000-square-foot suspended floor.  Drop-ins welcome; no pre-registration is required.

Why would I want to take a group class?

Group classes offer affordable dance instruction in a comfortable environment with other people who are at a similar experience level.  You will have the opportunity to dance with multiple people and test what you’ve just learned while the teacher provides guidance and further instruction.  It is an excellent way to learn new steps and dances, or to hone your skills with steps and dances you’ve already learned.

Golly, that’s swell!  What classes is Balera offering now, and when can I take them?
Classes take place on weeknights after 6.00 P.M.

Beginner Social Dance
When: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 7.30 P.M.
What: The beginner social dance class is for all experience levels, and is targeted towards those who have had little to no prior encounters with a dance floor.  Students learn how to lead and follow, and steps that will navigate them around the dance floor.
Dances: cha cha, salsa, rumba, merengue, hustle, swing, foxtrot, waltz, tango, and more!

Intermediate Social Dance
When: Wednesdays, 8.15 P.M.
What: if you feel as though you’ve mastered the basics of social dance, then perhaps it’s time to look into an intermediate class.  Participants learn more complicated steps in the dances they’ve learned in the beginner class.
Dances: cha cha, salsa, rumba, merengue, hustle, swing, foxtrot, waltz, tango, and more!

Bronze American SmoothGroup Class Taught by Rob Glover
When: Mondays, 7.30 P.M.
What: Although a beginner class, Bronze Smooth classes focusing on developing the technical prowess of dancers who want to improve their execution of the American Smooth dances.  It is excellent for competitive dancers as well as beginners who want to solidify their dance foundation.
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot

Bronze International Standard
When: Tuesdays, 7.30 P.M.
What: Although a beginner class, Bronze Smooth classes focusing on developing the technical prowess of dancers who want to improve their execution of the International Standard dances.  It is excellent for competitive dancers as well as beginners who want to solidify their dance foundation.
Dances: waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep

Advanced American Rhythm
When: Fridays, 7.30 P.M.
What: You’re pretty solid in your mambo, or so you think.  Russell Lee Jackson teaches students the details of American Rhythm that will allow them to develop impeccable technique, lead, follow, and styling.  This class is for competitors and serious social dancers.
Dances: cha cha, rumba, swing, bolero, mambo

Hip Hop
When: Mondays, 9.00 P.M.
What: this class is open to all experience levels and abilities, and offers new choreography every week.  Participants have the opportunity to learn the popular dance moves seen in the videos of today’s popular tunes.  Be sure to stay hydrated: this class will get your blood pumping!

When: Sundays, 11.00 A.M., Wednesdays, 9.00 P.M.
What: home of the former RLJ Formation and Showdance Team, this special 1.5-hour class focuses on the performance aspect of dance.  Participants learn choreography weekly and perform at studio functions.
Dances: all

Beginner Argentine Tango
When: Thursdays, 6.30 P.M.
What: Thursdays belong to Argentine Tango at Balera!  Fernanda Cajide teaches beginning dancers the steps required to navigate their way through their first tanda.  No dance experience required!

Advanced Beginner Argentine Tango
When: Thursdays, 7.45 P.M.
What: Once you’ve learned the bare essentials of this intimate dance, sharpen your skills further in the advanced beginner class.  This is also a great option for dancers with prior partner dance experience.

Wow!  Those classes look amazing!  Who teaches them?

Russell Lee Jackson
Russell Lee JacksonCo-Owner and Co-Founder
Russell hails from Manchester, England and has been deeply involved in dance since the age of 5.  While originally trained in International Latin and Standard and Showdance, Russell has also added American Rhythm and Smooth, Argentine Tango, hip hop, Lindy Hop, salsa and West Coast Swing to his repertoire since coming to the United States in 1996.  He has trained Boston University, Brandeis, Harvard, and MIT’s ballroom dance teams and is a Qualified Adjudicator.
Classes: Advanced American Rhythm, Showdance

John Nigro
Co-Owner and Co-FounderJohn Nigro
Johnny’s role models, some of ballroom’s greats (including current coaches Charlotte Jorgensen, Erminio Stefano and Luana Conte) have inspired him to share his enthusiasm, passion and understanding of dance in his teachings.  He believes that dance should not only be expressive, but an enjoyable experience.  Johnny continues to compete in Pro-Am competitions throughout the United States and Canada, and is available for ballroom instruction as well as showcase and competitive choreography.
Classes: Bronze International Standard, Showdance

Fernanda Cajide
Fernanda CajideFernanda was born and raised in Buenos Aires.  She inherited the passion for tango from her granfather, an authentic milonguero.  In Buenos Aires, she has danced with some of the finest dancers in today’s tango scene and in many popular venues, such as La Cumparcita and El Viejo Almacen.  Fernanda’s deep knowledge of the tango salon style makes her a stunning interpreter of the authentic Argentine Tango.
Classes: Beginner Argentine Tango, Advanced Beginner Argentine Tango

Rob Glover
Rob GloverRob began his dance career at a young age after first attending one of his grandparent’s line dance classes in his home town of Liverpool, England.  Since then, he has trained at the Chilterns Stage School and Merseyside Dance & Drama Centre where he studied ballet, tap, jazz, Latin, modern, national, ballroom, disco, double work (pas de deaux), and contemporary.  He has also passed LAMDA and Guildhall examinations in acting and speaking of verse and prose, and has the option to teach.  In addition, Rob’s dance repertoire includes poppin’, lockin’, tickin’ and breakin’, as well as couples’ dancing styles from the 1900s through today.  In 1996, Rob was a chosen contestant on the UK’s “Strictly Dance Fever” (known as “So You Think You Can Dance” in the States), and has toured the UK, South Africa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London’s West End.
Classes: Showdance

Vivian Lessa
Vivian LessaVivian has been dancing since age 12, and has an incredibly diverse background, which includes African, Arabic, ballet, Chinese folk dance, Flamenco, Indian, International Latin, Japanese, Russian and Western.  She has competed in both International Latin and American Rhythm as well as Professional Showdance both in the United States and Internationally.  Vivian’s students range from first-time dancers to seasoned competitors who compete at championship levels.
Classes: Bronze American Smooth

What are you waiting for?  Class is in session!

Balera School of Ballroom Dance
105 Rumford Ave.
Newton, MA 02466

Today’s Tunes
“Ziggy Stardust,” David Bowie
“Fragile,” Sting
“Put a Penny In the Slot,” Fionn Regan
“Primavera,” Santana
“Born Losers,” Matthew Good
“October Nights,” Yellowcard
“Wish I,” Jem
“Dancing With Myself,” Nouvelle Vague
“Moving Forward,” Bitter:Sweet
“I Don’t Want To Wait,” Paula Cole
“The Music of the Night,” The Phantom of the Opera
“Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop,” Landon Pigg
“Pony (It’s OK),” Erin McCarley
“Baby’s In Black,” The Beatles
“In the Middle of the Night,” Billy Joel
“Such Great Heights (John Tejada Remix),” The Postal Service
“I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango),” Grace Jones
“Everything,” Michael Bublé
“Um Segundo,” Bebel Gilberto
“Cracking the Russian Codes,” A Beautiful Mind
“If I Could,” Seal
“What If?” Coldplay
“Slide,” Dido
“Sultanas de Merkaillo,” Ojos de Brujo
“Bounce,” Timbaland Feat. Dr.Dre, Missy Elliott & Justin Timberlake
“I Will Remember You,” Sarah McLachlan
“Ridiculous Thoughts,” The Cranberries
“New Light of Tomorrow,” Husky Rescue
“Duel of the Fates,” Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

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