-We try to teach "fundamentals" in all of our workshops - its where dancing happens (and where fancier moves break down). We teach "moves", in various skill levels so that people can gauge which workshops might be appropriate for their skill level - and be somewhat matched to their potential dance partners in the workshops.
We've changed our workshop schedule a little bit to try to accommodate the needs of the waltz community. We'll keep doing the beginning waltz and the intermediate I classes to keep an influx of new dancers. We'll continue to give the new dancers a more relaxed 1 1/2 hr beginning level workshop to gently welcome them into our dance community. And we have many devoted dancers with more experience who would like to expand their dancing experience. So, to cover more levels during our "Day of Workshops", we're shortening some of the later workshop time slots for the more experienced dancers. Our rational being that they need less time to get something new, and if otherwise then maybe they should be in the earlier workshops working more on the fundamentals? We do get a few requests for more advanced workshops, and we generally try to hold out until we feel like we've got critical mass to have a more advanced workshop and have it be both learning and fun! If you have requests for specific material / concepts you would like to see covered, please send us an email.
Day of Waltz Workshops
We're hosting a "Day of Waltz Workshops" on Sunday, May 22nd! The workshop levels are based on our 20 years of dance experience... (i.e. If you are guessing which workshop level to come to, we recommend coming to a lower level workshop than where you might think your skill levels are.) If you choose to do an earlier workshop and it is mostly review, then you may want to do the next level workshop too. We encourage people (especially leaders) not to take a second workshop if a significant amount of the material is new. Then go dance! That way they don't forget the first workshop material right away by overloading.
12:15 - 1:45 Beginning Waltz (fundamentals of the "dance")
2:00 - 3:00 Capes (Int I)
3:15 - 4:00 (Int II)
4:15 - 5:00 (Int III)
We're holding the topics open for the more advanced level workshops to see who is there and what they're up for...
In the beginning level workshop we work on the "fundamentals" that all of our other workshops are built on. If you have not done workshops w/ us before (Even if you are an experienced dancer) we strongly encourage people to do one of our beginning level workshops Even if you have done an "intro to waltz" workshop before an Orange Peel Waltz night, please attend our full 1 1/2 hr beginning level waltz workshop before attending our other workshops. If you are experienced, pay less... If you've attended an intro to waltz workshop at the Orange Peel - pay less... Its not about fees, its about being fair to the other participants in the intermediate workshops.
Please plan to arrive early to all the workshops to
find parking change shoes, and get
checked in (its has been harder and harder to
find downtown parking at each of these events) We need to end our workshops on time because other groups may be coming in behind us - so try to be there early so that we can start on time.
No preregistration: The workshops are open to anyone who shows up at the time of the workshop.
This means that there is no way for us to gender balance the workshops. For the most part, it has worked out in the past. We change partners often. If you are coming w/ a special partner and want to dance exclusively w/ that partner, our partner changing system can accommodate you staying with your partner. We think that dancing w/ different partners helps people develop dancing skills faster, so we encourage changing partners.
What to Bring:
Water (the water cooler in the hallway is shut down because it leaks.)
Shoes to dance in: Hopefully different (clean soles) than street shoes, but not necessarily.
Please check shoe bottoms for embedded debris before entering dance space
I recommend low or flat heals for ladies (for comfort reasons) - not high heals.
I find that leather soles w/ rubber heals work best on most dance floors (like a dress shoe),
My dance shoes are comfy rubber soled orthopedic shoes w/ cork orthotics that I had a shoe repair shop glue on a leather sole and a low
Some dancers wear "bowling shoes" - looks like a tennis shoe but has a suede leather sole.
If this is your first time, wear something comfortable and make due. If you're a long term dancer, and don't already have "dance" shoes,
consider the investment.
Info For New Dancers: After you come to your first workshop/dance if you enjoy it in a way that you want to develop waltzing skills... First, get some music and listen to it regularly (to get the music into your body). Next, workshops are definitely helpful, but lessons need to be balanced out w/ time on the dance floor applying what you've learned. So, a little workshop time, then some dance time and get comfortable with what you are learning, then come to more workshops to learn more if you like. The most important part of our workshops is the fundamentals, and even though most dancers primarily come to workshops to learn moves, our teaching process is to use moves as a format to teach the fundamentals, so if you come to a workshop and don't fully get the move (maybe because you think its over you head) you will probably still learn something about the fundamentals which will still improve your overall dancing... (and for any skill level, if you're struggling w/ a particular move, its almost always about fundamentals - posture, frame, connection w/ partner, leading & following skills, timing...)
Music: If you want to buy a CD of our style of waltz music: "Waltz Time" by Larry Unger has the most danceable music for new dancers. (Google it or maybe it can be downloaded through itunes?) He has another excellent CD called "Waltz Time II", but the first one is better for new dancers. And there are definitely other very nice CD's by other artists out there, some that are all waltzes, and some that have a waltz or two etc. Typical Victorian Era (Strauss etc) waltz music and ballroom music do not fit our style of waltz very well.
Please recruit new dancers: Our email list is mostly experienced dancers, so we're counting on you to recruit new dancers and steer them toward these beginning workshops so we can maintain a vibrant waltz community
Please do not wear perfume (or any other scents) to our workshops or dances - some dancers (including the instructor) are chemically sensitive
We're offering workshops on a donation basis - pay what you can pay / what the workshop is worth to you/ what feels right to you. These workshops are not "free" - they are a fundraiser for Living Compassion Zen Monastery and their Africa Vulnerable Children Project and we hope participants will give generously (as we are giving our best to you in the workshops.) All proceeds from these workshops are going to Living Compassion Zen Monastery. You can check them out on the web if you are interested or you can ask Scott. Living Compassion Zen Monastery is a non profit so donations can be tax deductible. I'm not really sure how that works, but there are a few tricks - two being paperwork & eligibility, which I am not eligible - hence I don't know how it works. If you are making a donation that you want to deduct, then write a check that has your address on it and the monastery will automatically send back the appropriate paperwork. If you are paying w/ a check, you can make it payable to "Zen Center". In the Africa Vulnerable Children Project, $12 feeds one of the children for a whole month (they've recently increased their sponsorship from 800 children to 1000 children). $400 covers a child for a whole year w/ food, education, health care, clothing and housing. The process involves employing & educating the people in the village to do the work - continuing to move the entire community toward sustainability, all while maintaining "their" sense of community.
Instructor: Scott Baxla