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Lucas Weismann

Paddle Your Own Canoe: A Book Recommendation

1681630-slide-slide-4-the-creation-of-a-classic-character-how-ron-swanson-became-ron-swansonThose of you who are familiar with the TV show Parks and Recreation will be familiar with Nick Offerman.  He’s the actor who plays Ron Swanson mustachioed misanthrope who grudgingly gives advice and a listening ear while masticating meat.
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The Blues Dance Project – Unit 1 – Week 2 – Featured Artist: Howlin’ Wolf

Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf) grew up the son of divorced share croppers.  He was kicked out of his mother’s home at a young age when he refused to work for 18 cents per day.  He was sent to live with his mother’s brother who treated him badly and then around age 14, he ran away and found his father’s family; supposedly walking 85 miles barefoot to reach him. His father loved him and they were happy together.

He learned to play guitar from a popular musician of the day, Charley Patton, who taught him how to use the guitar and “might” have given him his nickname.
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Being a Good Conversationalist on the Dance Floor

A Student’s Question

1234563_10151804089575376_1567122219_nThrowing this in an email because Facebook will manage to lose it. I don’t know if it’s a class thought, a “help me sort this out for myself by talking about it” thought or something to look at in a lesson but…I’m hoping maybe you can at least help me stop making my brain spin every time I think about it.

So, when I was watching you and Ruby dance, the topic of matching your lead vs being given space to stylize came about, and Ruby commented that the less her lead gives, the more she matches/less flashy her movements are because she has little to respond to from her lead.

Is there ever a point in a class to address that sort of topic? Especially as follows are developing their own styles, we definitely get conflicting messages about styling vs matching. Plenty of times we hear “match your lead” and then in solo classes “move with the music” but at least with a number of MN leads, there’s an assumption that if they place a follow in open position, she is not supposed to match the lead except in pulse.

Personally I agree with Ruby that, sure I can make stuff up and solo, but I’d like to have something to react to from my lead. As dancers, I think we get a lot of “match your partner” and then also “leads, listen to your follow/let her do her own thing” (as far as I can figure out, those aren’t the same thing) and it gets super confusing and frustrating when you think one thing will happen when you place a follow in open and that thing you want, but didn’t explicitly lead, doesn’t happen.

I suppose the gist of this is: how does a lead successfully communicate that he wants a follow to do her own thing, and how does a follow explain, short of having a conversation prior to dancing, that maybe she wants or needs her lead to give her feedback?
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Small Victory: Social Engineering I – The Coffee Shop

Earlier today, I was working with one of my regular collaborators in New Wave, a coffee shop near Logan Square in Chicago this afternoon.  When we arrived they were playing some of the New Wave that inspired their name and decor.  After a few songs, the music changed to something vergin on Free Jazz that I enjoyed, but my partner did not.  After awhile she went up to the counter and asked them to turn it down so that she could work.  The barrista did as requested, but he did it grudgingly and then shortly there after switched the music to some truly appalling punk that did not deserve the vinyl it was pressed on.  In addition, he cranked the volume to a level that made it impossible for us to speak at less than a low yell.

After three or four songs, my partner asked me to see if I would do any better, since I tend to be a bit less abrasive than her in confrontations.  I agreed.  There’s something about low-quality punk, caffeine and the Adderall that I take to combat my ADD that made me feel as if I wanted to break things into tinier things.

I took a minute or two to think and here is what I came up with to improve my chance of success compared with our last attempt.
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