Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beautifying Your World: Planned Spontaneity in 3/4 Time

The other night I was shopping for music on the Country Dance and Song Society website and took a moment to scan their newsletter article archive. The title, "Spontaneous Waltzing in Public Places," by Greg Rohde, leapt out from the others, and I opened it immediately.
Ahhhhhhh! What a lovely, lovely idea--so uplifting, so easy, and such a positive way to respond to the ugliness in the world. And it goes hand-in-hand with wearing beautiful dresses and skirts, another good way that we can take a stand against our culture's embrace of ugliness!

I'm so excited, I'm ready to start organizing a group right now, but first, I think I'll learn how to waltz. Actually, I have plans for my family to start lessons in the next few weeks! Emma is already a pretty good waltzer from waltzing at the contra dances but is looking forward to the lessons just the same.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

The Concept

Mike Holdinghaus, a local musician, gets the credit for the original concept. He and his two fiddling daughters were looking for motivation to learn more waltzes. Mike imagined how wonderful it would be to play outdoors in public places so that a few waltzers could dance to their music, surprising and delighting any onlookers. “Waltz and Run” dancers would randomly appear here and there in flowing skirts with lovely music to twirl and glide and spin in front of amazed and appreciative civilians. We’d employ guerilla tactics to evoke joy and delight. News reports would lead with: “Another ‘Drive-by-Waltzing’ in South St. Louis…”. I took his imagination and converted it to reality. The concept was simple: waltzing in public places. Putting it together meant finding a venue, providing music and inviting dancers.

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