Charlotte Skeeters will be our featured instructor on May 24 at Swiss Park. It will be a delight to see Charlotte back at Swiss Park again; she taught the Boots ‘n’ Buckles-sponsored dance lessons there every Monday and Wednesday night for many years, together with Neil Hale; both are honorary life-time members of the club. But we haven’t seen Charlotte nearly as much as we would like, since she moved to Grants Pass several years ago.
Show up early, at 7:30pm or so, to catch Charlotte’s teach of her new dance Here’s To Love (A l’amour). Dancers of a certain age will recognize the music as a french-language cover of the classic song A Man Without Love; they’re likely to recall the 1968 version of the song sung by Engelbert Humperdinck.
All of Charlotte’s former students are entitled to a discounted admission price of $5. In addition, during the evening we’ll be playing five old favorites choreographed by Charlotte (and perhaps some others of hers as well):
Below are some music and dance videos of these classics.
Pencil Thin Mustache and Just… “Bob” are done to ballads sung by Jimmy Buffett. The song Pencil Thin Mustache contains a number of nostalgic references to the popular culture of Buffett’s childhood, including the mustache worn by the fictional character Boston Blackie. Boston Blackie, featured in a number of movies during the 1940s, was a reformed jewel thief who was always suspected by the police, whenever a daring crime was committed, and then had to solve the crime himself in order to clear his name.
Begin the Beguine is one of my favorite dances; the song was written in 1935 by Cole Porter. The word ‘beguine’ refers to a style of dance that originated in the Caribbean; a combination of Latin folk dance and French ballroom, it is similar to a slow rumba. Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell danced to an instrumental of the song in the movie musical Broadway Melody of 1940, and in the years since it has been covered by dozens of popular singers.
River of Dreams is done to the 1993 song of the same name sung by Billy Joel. The song was a big hit, reaching number 3 on the charts, and was nominated for the 1993 Grammy Record of the Year award. Midway through the song, there’s a slight pause that is reflected in a tag for the dance, and there’s a funny story about this pause. When Billy Joel performed the song at the 1993 Grammys, he paused the song at this point to protest the network’s decision to cut off Frank Sinatra’s acceptance speech. You can see it, 3:03 minutes into this youtube video: Billy Joel’s comments about ‘advertising time’.
Hasta Mañana is Spanish for ‘see you tomorrow’ and the song was originally performed by the Swedish pop group ABBA in 1974. Charlotte’s dance to this song has become a classic; a 32 count improver dance that is known all over the world. Doris Volz lists it among the top dances of 2000.