We try to teach "fundamentals" in all of our workshops - its where dancing happens (and where fancier moves break down). We do 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're changing the "Cost" element of the workshops. "By donation" fundraiser does indeed get interpreted as free, and that is not our intention. We're now going to ask for a sliding scale donation of $12-20 per person for one workshop, or $20-30 for 2 workshops, $25-35 for 3 workshops (this would be too much instruction for most dancers for one afternoon). The intention is to raise funds for Living Compassion Zen Monastery in Murphy's California and their Africa Vulnerable Children Project.
What you are getting: 20 years of teaching experience, full duration of workshop listed (due to short breaks being designed into the schedule between workshops for transitions), and you get to support a really great cause. (Please feel free to read about it on their website.) If we're not raising funds for this cause, we're not going to offer the workshops. (The previous 2 workshop efforts didn't raise enough $ to cover the rent, and we've not been inspired to do them since last May...) If the cost of the workshop is an issue for you, please talk to the instructor, and we'll work something out. And of course, if you have more, please support our cause w/ a larger donation.
The Beginning workshop is designed to be more relaxed for new dancers and is a full 1 1/2 hrs duration. Higher level workshops are for more experienced dancers who theoretically need less time to get something new, and if otherwise then maybe they should be in the earlier workshops working more on the fundamentals? These later workshops also tend to have fewer dancers.
Day of Waltz Workshops
12:20 - 1:50 Beginning Waltz (fundamentals of the "dance")
2:10 - 3:10 Turns (Int I)
3:15 - 4:00 Let the music move you (all levels)
4:05 - 4:50 Cross Step (Int III)
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. This is a new space for us, and there is supposedly ample free parking nearby, but we'll be competing w/ lingering church goers who are using the space before us. It is also a little challenging to figure out where to enter the building. Use the red doors to the main sanctuary that you first see when approaching the building. (This is not the door that the contra dancers use for the Monday night dance.)
From the CAS website: Headed west, there is a traffic light on Patton at Bear Creek Rd: look for the Malvern Hills sign & turn left. You'll see a red brick Presbyterian Church on your right as you turn: tucked behind it, at the "wedge" intersection of Mimosa Dr & School Rd is OUR red brick building, the home of the Center for Art & Spirit at St. George's.
Parking: Please allow ample
time to find a parking space that may be far away and walk to the CAS space.... There is ample parking around the building, but much of it may be occupied by lingering church guests who will be in the fellowship hall after their service. (We are NOT entering the building through the fellowship hall where the Monday Night Dancers usually enter).
No Partner is necessary to participate in these workshops.
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 anyway in the workshops.
What to Bring:
Water bottle w/ secure cap. Otherwise it is not permitted in the sanctuary where we will be dancing.
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 rubber heal. 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.
What not to bring:
Food or open drinks are not allowed in Sanctuary.
Smokes - no smoking on the church grounds.
Perfumes/ Colognes, scents (or any other scents) to our workshops or dances - some dancers (including the instructor) are chemically sensitive.
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
We're offering workshops as 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 (after expenses) 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