Women of all ages

Just this week, I read something. It was about a topic that comes and goes from my consciousness these days. It was a beautifully written blog about aging as women and losing our voice in feminism. I decided that even though I can’t say it as well as this woman, I want to say something. I’ll share the link. It’s well worth looking at, because she says it so beautifully.
As a women under 50, I don’t feel the full effect of this yet, but I see and feel it coming, and I want to pay homage to some of the women that I admire so greatly. The women that I want to emulate…in and out of dance and in life….all over 50. They are true mountains. I can’t imagine ever being as strong or as beautiful as them, and not because they haven’t aged, but because they are still relevant even with the aging that society often perceives as negative.
I think we can all agree that youth is highly valued in our society; in the media, in music, in dance…really in anything. Let’s be honest….our bodies don’t always work the same way  as we age, and what we could do in our youth might not be as easy as we pass our middle ages. But also as women, we look in the mirror with disdain at the sunspots and lines on our faces that were created from a life well lived. I hide my greying hair with the boxes of hair color I purchase at Walgreen’s, yet  I’d like to think I have  more to offer than shiny brown hair or a youthful face. So here’s the tiniest look at some of the women I have known, and most definitely look up to. Women that I hope one day I can join the ranks of. All of them over 50 and still vibrant and as relevant as ever.

I have to first mention, Brigitta Winkler. A tiny woman of power. I wrote about her once before, and I’ll say it again. Brigitta runs without fear. That will forever be how I view her. She dances on her own terms. She lives life beautifully. You can go back and read about her in my blog, so you already know how I admire her. I wouldn’t say she’s any more or less relevant now than 20 years ago. I do know that tango wouldn’t be what it is in the United States and Europe without her. I do know that she is relevant to women like me right now. She advocates for women to dance on their own terms.  We must lead and follow, and we must build a sisterhood in tango. She has participated in and created tango retreats just for women like this one at http://www.tangodonna.com. These are the places where sisters grow and mature. Tango can be a wonderful place to mature, IF we let ourselves go there, because it gives us the chance to continually learn, because it’s difficult, it’s subjective, it’s intuitive, and it’s personal. We can look at a young dancer and get excited and think…oh I wish I were like her, or we can look to ourselves and say I want to be MY best where I’m at right now, and I want to grow from right here. I look to Brigitta when I think about claiming my own dance. Be brave…explore, play, get messy, and run…run without fear.

When I look back on my college experience there is one person that stands out. Her name is Dr. Theresa Martinez,  my most admired college professor (who truth be told was probably only in her 30s when I knew her, but I believe she is still wowing students in her sociology courses on race and gender, now in her 50s). She is a woman who grew up in a large poor Mexican American family, and still managed to plow through school and receive her PhD at a young age. She amazed her students with her ability to memorize all 70 or 80 of our names the first day we entered her class. She had no cheat sheet. She just talked to each and every one of us sometime during the course of that first hour. Then on graduation day, in a room full of maybe 1-2 thousand behavioral science graduates, she hugged each and every student that had passed through her class…even if it was only one class…one quarter. Her class is the reason I don’t completely fear writing anymore. I learned to share my thoughts and ideas there. We were a community, because that is what she fostered with every single person that entered her room. Be brave. Have Empathy, even when you might not think you can. HAVE EMPATHY!

“Communities are built by women. It’s not about the houses we build, and sit 50 feet from each other. It’s about  the building that happens when we do things together as women”.  I met Barbara Zakarian when I began Tango. She dances with more awareness than any dancer I’ve ever talked to. She can describe every part of what she is feeling inside her own body as well as the body of the person she is dancing with. I realize that it is a great skill to be so very observant of yourself and others; not just in dance, but also in life. How wonderful if we could all apply this philosophy to our own  lives. Closing our eyes to the things around us, does nothing for us in the end. Only in our desire to be aware, can we move. Maybe Barbara cultivated this skill over time, or maybe she has always been this way. I don’t know. But I do know many women AND men are not so very aware as she. Be brave. Observe and keep your eyes open. You’ll only fall on your face if you don’t!!

My Grandmother, Jan Bennett, who is not my grandmother through blood, but my grandfathers second wife spent her career working for Orrin Hatch, and later Bob Bennett. I lived with my grandparents when I was 18 (I’m sure a great joy for them as they  had already  spent years rearing 10 children collectively…they were patient to say the least). Working for these men, and being mormon,  she has always had more conservative political views than me, but not in a pushy way. I remember when election time came around.  You better believe she made sure I was registered to vote. She took me to the polls for the first time at 18. Not one time did she ever tell me who to vote for. Nor did she ask who I had voted for when I was done. She just wanted me to participate. Period. Always always participate. Be a part of things. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned what a fascinating woman she is. She worked for conservatives yet counted women of planned parenthood and the like as her colleagues….equals in every way. Her greatest work was for women and children and participating is how she has lived her life. Be brave. Participate. Participate when it’s easy, and participate when it’s damn hard.

The last woman I think about when I think of women that I want to emulate, is Lee Chemel. A woman who has been an example to me in so many ways. I can’t come close to expressing them all. Lee has a career as a director in television. It’s a field that’s so dominated by men. I wasn’t around her in the workplace, so I can’t say if she was “like a man” or not. It doesn’t really matter. She did it the way that worked best for her, and  I know that she has held her ground in an industry that’s dominated by men and in love with youth, for many years. I met her when I was a  naive 20 something, as her nanny. I watched her as a mother and thought…wow! What an example she is to her kids! Over 50 then, she was and still is strong and open, thoughtful and creative, and always on the move. But the most important thing is that she didn’t sacrifice the ones she loves. After 13 years away from her, I still look to her for guidance. She has experience and an understanding about life that I am only starting to grasp. She meets her challenges head on, and I feel safe and grounded when I am in her home.  Her whole family is very precious to me, and I cannot imagine my life having never known her or them.   She has raised a family with her spouse and done some of her very best work in the years since 50. At 71, she is continues to be one of the most vibrant and relevant people I know. Be brave. Follow your path. Follow it when there are logs and bushes and trees and stinging ants and mud and animal  shit…and no fucking path at all. Keep going.

Sometimes I think I get a little bit sappy when I talk about the women that I admire and adore. I can’t help it. That’s part of who I am, but this isn’t about me telling anyone that will listen what to think about these women, or that they should admire these women for the same reasons that I do. This isn’t about condescending statements like…oh, isn’t that sweet. This is more about starting the discussion… realizing that these women exist in all of our lives if we look more closely. Life doesn’t soften and quiet at 50. It might just get louder. It might get more vibrant. We might have more to say. We might have more work to do, and I hope with all my heart that I’m up for it, at 42 and beyond!

And here’s that other link…enjoy.

http://feministcurrent.com/11036/aging-while-female-is-not-your-worst-nightmare-2/

 

 

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Sometimes things just fall into place

This past weekend, Nicholas and I had the opportunity to dance at not one house concert, but two. It was kind of a last-minute deal, and it most delightfully fell into our laps. Nicholas received an email from Megan Titensor, asking him if we would be willing to dance at her house concerts. It would be an evening dedicated to cello music, and Megan had worked earnestly for months on music completely from Argentina. With that in mind, she ran with it and created a complete theme focusing first and foremost on music, but then with us  secretly in her back pocket, she topped it off with dance and food that are always known to be associated with Argentina.

Nicholas and I were both excited at the prospect of dancing at such a unique event, and of course we jumped at the chance. Who am I kidding anyway?  We all know I love having a chance to perform and dress up.  Megan’s plan was to play works from Astor Piazolla, and Alberto Ginastera. Piazolla is probably the most famous tango composer, especially among non tango dancers, but this Ginastera…well I personally was unfamiliar with him. Interestingly, he is actually one of the most famous classical composers from South America in the 20th century. But, I’m more familiar with the North American and European guys, so it was a real treat for me to find someone so new and interesting to me. I found Ginastera’s music captivating! It was interesting, different, and lovely all at the same time, and it really did move me. One of the great things Megan did, was to put together little bios on both of these great composers, as well as engage the audience with little stories between each piece…either personal or about the music. It kept everything lively and moving. Then to everyones surprise, and our delight, she invited all to watch us do a of couple numbers in the hall…Now, let me first say that Megan “warned” us we would only be dancing in a hallway. When we arrived, this hallway was more like a grand hallway. The ceilings were high, the staircase was grand (perfect for quick seating in a pinch), and the floor was amazing. It was a wonderful oak floor (beautiful to the eye and to the touch), and it was made for dancing. Well, maybe that wasn’t the original intent, but that would be my intent.

So with all her work, both evenings turned out beautifully. The music was beautiful, the artist was engaging (and glamorous..I’ll just add that), and we had a wonderful time performing for such fun and interesting people. I’m always grateful and amazed at all the opportunities I get to meet new faces. Indeed, people are my true love. Thanks for including us in your fantastic event Megan!

I’ve been thinking

So this girl here (me) loves a good story. Really, as long as it involves us humans and how we interact with the world around us, I’m a happy camper. Stories connect us all across various cultures, across vast distances, and even through long past or distant future time. A good story helps us take away logic and reason and operate on a more primitive and connective level, because lets face it, life isn’t logical. Life is messy and sad and joyful and full of sorrow and pain and triumph. It picks us up and sometimes slams us on our head. Sometimes it feels like we are on a roller coaster and we just want to get off, but this is one ride we can’t get off of. Relating, connecting the dots, weaving a tale, all help us find a way to enjoy the roller coaster ride, or at the very least… tolerate it. We see others, and those that have gone through something similar ( or we think of our own past experiences), and we think…ok, I can take another day. Someone else understands.

But, all this love for a story has yet to make me a true storyteller. Don’t get me wrong…I have a lot in my head, but somehow it just doesn’t translate into something great on the page. I’ve got loads to say. A little about my favorite tango dancers, Chicho and Juana…. a friend in the tango community, my thoughts on why I think creativity is as important in art and dance as anything,  but let’s be honest. I’ve been in a funk. How do I share these things? I’ve started and stopped about 10 blogs over the last 9 months. I’ve written others completely, only to languish in my files. All of 4 have seen the light of day in that time. What’s ok to say? Am I revealing too much? Is my underbelly showing? Is my subjects underbelly showing? Will someone be mad or hurt? Is the subject matter appropriate for this blog? Does anyone care? What the fuck? It’s my blog!  Who cares? These questions keep everything safely locked away, and…completely inexcessible. A storyteller lays everything out for all to see. The soft underbelly is there for everyone to take a stab at if they want.

Ira Glass once said, in the beginning, he was a good enough storyteller to know that he sucked. He just had to keep sucking until he got something good. Do I dare to dream that I know I suck? Maybe I’m there. It gives me hope at least.

I admire those with a poetic heart. I believe the great poets of our time are mostly musicians. Maybe it’s the singer in me. Well, it almost definitely is the singer in me. But that aside, it goes without saying that Jeff Tweedy is one of the great poets today. He’s like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dillon, but not… If you listen, he will get under your skin in a way that you just can’t explain. And yes, his underbelly shows! When asked, he said, you get a group of musicians in the studio, and you have to make a bunch of crap. A load of crap. Then, after a while… you’ll find something good. So, there is a thread of consistency here. My descriptive words, suck and crap might be mine….I can’t completely remember who said which words. But you see, their thought process is the same. You have to struggle and work and fail before you can have something worthwhile.

Yeah…I’ve been listening today. Ruminating. Thinking. Daydreaming. Hoping in a way that only a daydreamer would. Silly to some, but hopefully connecting to someONE.

Anyway, what’s all this nonsense about? Just to say…I’m still thinking. I know I suck, and that’s ok. Maybe it’s even good. I still have things to say about dance and music and passion. I’m still here. I haven’t forgotten. Now I need to practice. You can love what I say or hate what I say or most likely… be totally  indifferent to it. And of course I don’t want to be cliché, but life is beautiful. Even if it almost never makes sense. Underneath all the crap, there is something special. But, we have to dig for it and work for it.  And if we share a thought, good or bad, we might just make it through.

So, now I dig.

What we make of it

This weekend, I attended a memory celebration of a young man who is important to me, because of his influence on my 9 year old daughter. Joseph Lohr was my daughters climbing instructor this year at The Front Climbing Gym.

This little girl has been on the move since she could sit up. Always looking to the next step, she has  been unhappy with where she is at the moment. As soon as she could sit up in her little tub she was pulling herself out of it (OK, it was the sink and she used the faucet to pull herself out). When she learned to crawl at 8 months (not particularly early), she decided she didn’t like that, and started walking 3 weeks later (very early in my opinion). As a mother, I watched nervously as she would run at 11 month. When she was 14 month she decided the monkey bars looked pretty fun and jumped for them when I wasn’t looking. Luckily, she made it. Suffice it to say, I had my hands full, and had no idea how to direct this energy of hers. With another baby on the way, I was ill prepared for this high energy and explorative child. One day (when she was about 5), the pediatrician  said to me, “you know, dance is great, but this girl needs to climb”. Enter, The Front.

I’m no climber. I was a “delicate” and quiet child. But I must say, every time I walk into that gym I am awe-struck by the graceful beauty that I see on the wall….especially with my girl. Come on, I’m a mother. She’s fantastic! Every week I walk into the climbing gym…watch my girl warm up doing 4 or 5 climbs, and then leave her in the hands of Joe, Kat, and Ben. Every day that I came into the gym, Joe was there. As I think about it, his face was the one that greeted us most often. We chatted for 5 or 10 minutes every time I entered …. he was always smiling, kind, energetic, but most of all understanding. Joe was understanding of this high energy, high needs, and sometimes difficult girl of mine. Maybe he saw something of himself in her…maybe he was just naturally patient, whatever it was she never seemed to phase him. On Monday, May 10, Joe Lohr died in a backcountry snowboarding accident. I found out friday when Kat emailed me to let me know that there would be a hike and climb, and then later a remembrance celebration. Telling my girl was difficult. Tender hearted, she did not take it lightly. Yes, she shed many tears. I knew that she needed to go. On this rainy saturday we hiked with 70 or 80 other people up Ferguson Canyon to a favorite climbing spot. People chatted and introduced themselves to each other as they talked happily about Joe and how they knew him. He loved the outdoors and climbing, but his passion was the snow. He loved the climb and then floating down the mountain on his snowboard. In fact, most of my short conversations with Joe revolved around the snow up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Later that day, I took the girls to Eggs in the City where Joe’s  friends and family shared memories and funny stories about him.

The truth of this young man, as many saw it from the sidelines, was that he loved life. He embraced every aspect of life and made the most of it. From every story that I heard, he was a person of curiosity and joy. He lived in a way that we can all learn from. I think of how we have our passions, our desires, our strengths, weaknesses, and ultimately the things that drive us…the things that we wake up and get out of bed in the morning for. For some of us, it’s nature. It’s being a tiny and insignificant part of something bigger than ourselves. For others, it’s the sheer sensory experience of life…the wind, the rain, speed, heights, being ice-cold or roasting hot…pushing our limits. For some of us that dance, it’s about expressing music in our bodies… The physical manifestation of sound; the joy that comes with the feeling of being connected and a part of the music. Everyone of us have something…something that drives us in our every day life. Even when our days are mostly mundane. But I guess what we really need to learn is how to make time for the things that matter. There is after all, only now. It’s sobering to think about.

Maybe tomorrow will come and maybe it won’t.  I love music. I love dance. I love people. I love nature. There is so much to be in awe of, if we just take the time to make life a priority. I’m no Buddha. Most of the time, I fumble through life. And I’m not saying go out and risk everything for a thrill. I’ve just had a thoughtful weekend. Love your friends. Love your life. Love your passion.

 

 

Dance! For the Love of Tradition

In my life I have been lucky enough to meet some fascinating people.

About a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to attend my first WorlDance show. My 12 year old was in it with her character dance group through SLC Ballet. The children had rehearsed for hours over the fall months preceding the show. My daughter was especially excited, because she had just joined the studio’s youth company and knew it was an honor to do this EXTRA performance. The extra rehearsal and studio time would pay off with bonus stage time. Always a plus in my family…this genetic mutation that somehow changes panic and apprehension for being in front of an audience into a rush of adrenalin and joy, has been passed down through my mother, skipped me, and entered my daughter. She simply loves being on the stage.  I sat down in the audience that night, and watched the stage fill with folk dancers from around Europe and Asia, traditional Persian Dancers, and listened to traditional Persian music. This show was the labor and love of Eastern Arts (also known as the couple Katherine St. John and Lloyd Miller). Through their perseverance, the WorlDance show has been staged annually for over 15 years. They are the creators, producers, directors, they participate in it, and feel passionately about it. It’s an endeavor that has been hard-won over the years.

Misunderstood in the west, Persian culture and dance have been played out as very 2 dimensional. We look at belly dancing as the only dance coming out of Persia or the middle east. Yet somewhat paradoxically, we only pay attention to the extremism we hear about in the news and forget that the people in the middle east come from cultures as diverse as those in Europe. As westerners, our history includes the intellectual traditions of Greece and Rome, the art of the renaissance, the various folk traditions within Europe,  all the different foods that come from our various homelands, and all of our different European religions. Though we see all this within ourselves, somehow we neglect to see  the complexities of cultures beyond our own. I suppose this is a perfectly normal human trait. After all, we only have our own eyes. We feel trapped within ourselves. But, there are things that bring us together as human beings. We share common desires for ourselves and our families. We want to grow. We want to stretch. We want to love. We feel isolated, but we are more alike than different.

I couldn’t possibly share all the nuances of Persian culture with you. The simplest reason being that I don’t know and understand them myself. I can however share Katherine and Lloyd with you.  It is their love of this culture from Persia that fuels their desire to share it with the rest of us….to make Persian culture more understood and more 3 dimensional.

As a jazz musician, Lloyd Miller lived quite the bohemian life in the 50s and 60s. He played with many of the great jazz musicians of that time across Europe. But, because Lloyd lived in Iran for 7 years his passion became Persia; the music and the people. Eastern Arts was born in Paris in 1960. He brought this child of his here to Utah in 1963. Lloyd; multi lingual and multi instrumental is a force of his own.  A tower of creativity and passion, he is gifted and genius, but Lloyd alone was unable to convey the true nature of his passion to the public of Utah. That is until Katherine St. John came into the picture in the 1980s. Katherine created a foundation that all their  passions could stand on. It is her heart, kindness, determination, and hard work that has brought success to their program and cause. I would say that together, these two great people have created something completely unique and one of a kind.They have a synergy in their work that is visible to the casual observer.

When I found out SLC Ballet would participate in the show for a second year, I had a twinge inside. Hmmm….maybe that desire to be on stage didn’t skip me. It simply lay dormant for a while. Ya….I already knew that. Anyway, I emailed Katherine asking if there was a place for my dance in the show. I’m quite sure she and Lloyd were baffled at what to do with my request. My dance is from South America. Their hearts are in Persia. It would not be an easy request to fill, but a month later I received an email from Katherine asking me if Nicholas and I were still interested in being in their show. She lay the plot of the shows story out for me. A man from Persia has a dream of a beautiful woman. He travels the world in search of her; in search of love. In the moment they created this storyline, they created a place for us. We had 2 performances lined up in the 2 weeks previous, not knowing that WorlDance would pan out, but it was an exciting prospect: to perform on a large stage with my children and 200 others. The night was full. It was surprisingly calm backstage, for all the dancers, as well as for us.  I was excited about the dance, and I was calm.  It was a fun night…a night of shared experiences, friends, family, and opening up to new possibilities.

Thank you Katherine and Lloyd for your passion, your work, and your willingness to share.

Lovely Hillary

From my earliest memory, I remember wanting more than anything, to be a dancer. That dream took nearly 40 years to materialize for me. And it most certainly is different from what I envisioned as a 4, 7, or 16-year-old. I had given up on my own dream of dancing for 20 years of my adult life. So, before I ever knew I would be able to  dance in my own life, I promised myself that my children would be given the opportunity to dance. Now… obviously, whether they decided to use that opportunity was entirely their choice. I had also promised myself that I wouldn’t force them to dance (only that they had to try it out and see if it fit). But, I didn’t want them to feel like they had ever missed a chance to participate in something that they love. I wanted my children to dare to dream. In dance that means you have to work hard and find the right people as mentors and trainers.

I moved to Salt Lake at the end of 2005. I had no idea where to send a child for proper  ballet training. A year later when I decided to enroll my eldest daughter in ballet, it really was just a matter of convenience. I drove by a studio frequently, and they had the biggest banner. That was it. Though it became apparent very quickly that this was the wrong place for her to be. It took me 2 years to find the “right place”, but after attending a street fair, I settled on a man in the avenues. He was friendly, charismatic, charming and handsome. He was a beautiful dancer himself. And, he seemed like he wanted to train the children well. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the right fit either. Mid semester, he decided that he didn’t want to work with little kids anymore. He wanted to focus on his teens that could compete, leaving all these little girls out in the cold. And this was only 2 months before the spring recital. As parents, I think it’s safe to say, most of us felt hurt and a little betrayed that he would do this at all, especially in the middle of the year. But! I think we soon decided we were better off, because what we ended up with were a couple of women that knew what they were doing, AND  they cared about the children.

Mattie Do, Terry Davis, and Hillary Van Moorleghem stepped in and picked up the pieces of a shattered partnership. That was four years ago, and I’ve been happy with them ever since. Terry and Hillary together have been like a married couple…working 6 and 7 days a week to create SLC Ballet: a ballet studio that parents can feel good about…  knowing that their kids will be trained safely and properly.  The girls and boys are taught in a way, that if they choose, the children can actually take the technique and skill with them when they get older. I say this, but you have to understand that the studio isn’t just about training. These women love our children. They took about 9 little girls almost 4 years ago and built a studio, literally from the ground up. Now they have around 100 students of all ages, as well as a successful adult program. The reasons for this success seem obvious. They bring in teachers that are professional dancers. They work long hours. And I think most importantly, they care about balancing love with rigorous training. Hillary will now move on to fulfill another dream, and though I am sad to see her  moving on…as a dancer with dreams, I understand she has to follow her heart. Justine Sheedy-Kramer will fill her shoes. I don’t know Justine well, but like Terry and Hillary she is dedicated to the kids and dedicated to the studio mission. I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. But I want to leave my impressions of Hillary before she embarks on her adventures.

Tall, beautiful, young and soft-spoken it could be easy for some to overlook Hillary as a driven and strong woman. But that’s exactly what she is. As a dance major at the University of Utah she has no background in business. What could have easily faded away 4 years ago, has grown tenfold because Hillary IS a skilled business woman. It doesn’t matter if it’s her training or intuition, it works. She has a wonderful product to sell…excellent teachers that care about kids. But without business savvy, skill and drive, this studio could have faded long ago among the hundreds of other dance studios in this city. Lets face it, in a culture with large families (and lots of them) a lot of parents look for convenience. Being one of the best, doesn’t always mean you will succeed in  a saturated environment. Hard working, Hillary sets the example for her students and demands no less of them. Working with small children can  be overwhelming at times. It could be easy for things to escalate and get out of control in a room full of  4 and 5 year olds, but the little ones know even with her gentle nature, she demands respect and full attentiveness. It’s fascinating for me to watch her command attention with the little ones while never raising her voice.

Hillary is also a strong supporter of the arts and being integrated in the larger community. She brings the kids to fairs, libraries, and any random arts event. This has helped them in so many ways. Now Hillary leaves for 6 months to dance and travel Australia, South America, North America, and Europe. I will miss seeing her at the studio. I will miss seeing her at our tango class (yet another example of her desire to try all kinds of dance and to integrate the various art communities together). I’m grateful for the time she has been here enriching the lives of us around her.

And I’m so pleased that Hillary leads by example. It’s ok to dream, even as an adult…that these dreams take hard work, and that we can always grow. I learn from this incredible young woman.

Safe travels Hillary. We can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

Mod a Marcus and Eric

Several weeks ago, I walked into Mod a Go-Go. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I’d driven by the place every day for three months, and I was dying to actually go inside. The big window is so inviting. It’s open and well-lit. It simply screams…come in! Take a look around. Sure enough, I walked into something special. You see, when you go inside it’s not just a  furniture store. Mod a Go-Go is an environment. The first person I met was Eric Morley, washing his lovely big windows. I then walked in and Marcus Gibby promptly introduced himself. He pointed me around the store and then mentioned there was a gallery upstairs. I went upstairs and my very first thought was…I want to dance in this space!!

This is what I saw as I went up and around the corner.photo(11)

Marcus and Eric have the space set up so that it’s open and airy to showcase art. Partners in life, they decided to plunge in and became partners in crime. And this was  just a few short months ago. Funding this gallery/shop mostly on their own, and putting their own sweat into it, they’ve created a space that is unlike any other in town. It’s signature Eric and Marcus. Eric is the business guy while Marcus is the artist. It’s a great fit. So, being the chatty person that I am, I walked back downstairs and told Eric (he was manning the shop at this point) all about my fantasy of dancing in their loft. We chatted. We laughed. Talked kids, art, dance, and the trials of opening a new business. I left with some local pottery and thought…I will definitely be back. I was in fact back a couple of hours later with my daughter. She had been itching to get inside the store as well. The shop had already been rearranged. And we all laughed at my prompt return.

Anyway, When I went back a couple of weeks later for some glassware, I had no idea that these two guys were going to make my fantasy a reality. I walked in and Marcus said to me, “We’ve been discussing our November gallery stroll and we think you would be a good fit with your dance”. They had a whole Mad Men theme planned and thought that Tango would go nicely with the formal ambiance of the evening. Of course I was super excited and immediately called Nicholas: my dance partner. We went in together a couple of days later to discuss speakers, music, and the general layout of the evening.

The rest, of course, is history. I showed up in my best Tango meets Mad Men attire. Nicholas came armed with the awesome music of Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Carla Bruni, Ella Fitzgerald, all colors of Tango music, and my favorite… Stan Getz. We had a grand time meeting new people and dancing in their beautiful loft. Thanks again guys!

Enjoy a little taste of the evening.