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re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by Gene DeWald
9/4/2003  9:31:00 PM
Dear Ballroom Lover:
I have been teaching ballroom ever since I was in high school at the age of 15. I loved to dance and as a result took it up as a profession. Was I successful? You be the judge.At the age of 18 I won first place in the Chicago Citywide High School Ballroom Dance Championship. At the age of 22 I took it up seriously and took the professional division of the Sun-Times newspaper yearly Harvest Moon contest. 52 professional couples entered. I and my partner (later my wife) were asked to go overseas and entertain the us soldiers in the Azores, Morocco, Libyia, Tunisia, Arabia, Eiretrea, and Bermuda. After that we danced some in Chicago and then moved to California. Teen age classes 12 and over, dozens of them a year. Adults - 550 couples were enroled in one class at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (a big hall.)
Had my own ballroom/studio and had 50 couple in the class. Many stayed with me for 28 years. They still can dance up a storm today.
Iwould teach everyone that elegance is important...not step patterns. I studied stage presentation more than anyone else. I took up Argentine Tango 3 years ago and now because I was able to apply elegance, I dance with all the stars from such world-wide groups as "Forever Tango." Namely Miriam La Ricci. Mia Maestaro from the movie "Tango." She asked me to dance with her. When I asked her why would she want to dance with a beginner Tango dancer...she replied..."You have elegance in your dancing and move so smoothly. My head swelled and the same was said about me by Miriam.
I am egotistical, yes! Tell me...who do you know that is 78 years old. Out performs all in all the dances.I even auditioned for as a dancer in a background TV commercial.
The 2 ladies who auditioned with me I helped secure them the job as background dancers. You may have seen it on TV. It was for American Express Business Card. I too was picked. ENOUGH ABOUT ME! So when I suggest that the only way to get teens and middle age youth into ballroom dancing is to somehow expose them to it.
However, only sex. sensationalism and vulgarity is what the teen agers want.
Columbine and Sante massacares would not have occured if there was a ball-room dance class offered to the boys who did the shootings. No one ever picked on me in high school or afterward because I had a reputation of being a great dancer. Girls and guys were all friendly to me.
Ballroom dancing must be started at the age of 12. Not the sissy kind but the teens must appear in proper attire (NO jeans or grunge look.)
PTA is the one that must do it. Right now I am trying to get in touch with Arnold Schwarzenneger because he got proposition 49 passed in California that would offer after school activities. But his secretary told me that when the money is collected for the program it will be turned over to the Department of Education in Sacramento. STUPID!!!! It'll just for for sports and other programs that offers no social inter-action between teen boys and girls.
I am not giving up the fight to educate the teens how much fun and excitement ballroom dancing really can be.
I am meeting with a new CEO of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and Covention Center and he heard of my past accomplishments in the ballroom field and wants me to again conduct classes and put on dances with big bands. They will tear down a big convention hall and put up a 24,000 square foot ballroom. I have to get started immediately to promote all ballroom dances because there is not enough interest by the public in this field. I may even give free dance classes. The building will completed in 2007.
There are to many items to mention to you at this time. So if you want to look into all my ideas (and maybe I'll get some from you) call me anytime.
Gene DeWald - (626) 303 - 6252. I live in Monrovia, CA.
P.S. I'm fighting the Argentine Tango Community to only play melodious Tangos without any of their idol singers. Who by the way...have horrible voices and also - please fight to keep the Jazz influence out of the Tango and ballroom music.
This is also a project I am working on to REMOVE JAZZ MUSIC IT STINKS IN THE
BALLROOM MUSIC FIELD. I DANCE TO THE MUSIC AND IN THE MUSIC. .NOT TO SQUEAKY SOUR NOTES.WANT MORE - call or email: ballroom_dancing@earthlink.net
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