Dancing in the moonlight

I am going to be a one man Broadway production pretty soon.  Not only do I sing in a choir but my wife and I also ballroom dance.  Tamara really wanted to branch out from the two dances I am familiar with; the two-step and the seventh-grade shuffle.  We found a course in the Penticton Parks and Rec. guide so we gave it a shot.  We really like it and now are enrolled in the advanced class.

The basic course comes in two flavours.  In one you learn the jive, cha-cha and foxtrot and in the other you still learn jive and cha-cha but foxtrot is replaced by the waltz.  The instructors are great and they break things down really simply.  We ended up taking the basic course 3 times because that was the only course offered.  By the third time we had learned pretty much all the moves they were teaching but I highly recommend taking the basic course at least twice to you can pick up all the dances.  The waltz and foxtrot have similar moves so you can apply a lot of what you learn from one dance to the next.  Learning the basics is really key to building up your repertoire of moves.

Over the winter the instructors put on a smaller class for couples who had taken the basic course and were looking to pick up a few more tricks.  It was really fun and it really expanded on what we have already learned.  The current advanced class is very interesting and quite challenging.  In this class I find you have to break away from the standard footwork and then find a way to get back into it.  In the basic class your feet basically keep doing the same thing while you spin around each other.

The one challange I wasn’t really expecting from dance was how hard it is on my brain.  I find I really have to think hard about my feet, the next move I want to do, my posture, and the rhythm.  I have a hard time pointing my brain in two directions so I find it quite challanging.  I can see why dancing would be a good thing to continue to do as you age.  You do get some physicall activity and it really is a mental work out as well.

It has been a very fun experience and I totally recommend it to anyone.  I am not sure when the next class is but you can find the latest Penticton rec. guide here. http://www.penticton.ca/city/parks_rec/default.asp  Check it out and have some fun.

The doctor will see you now

We last left our heroes batted and bruised after an encounter a large gelatinous cube.  The party decided to rest and heal before continuing on.  They heard some noises during the night but they were able to sleep un-interrupted.

Once they woke they made their way to the sealed door.  They combined the two halves of disk they found.  Once inserted into the door the disk acted like a key, letting them open the door.  The room behind was lit with an eerie light.  It appeared to be some kind of laboratory where strange medical experiments were performed.  The heroes were greeted by a par of forsaken shells.  These were the skins of unfortunate victims who were brought back to life by some evil necromancy.  They lunged at the heroes and their attacks drained the very life essence from the party.  Also in the room was an extremely vile creature.  It was a mass of discarded bones and organs which was brought back to life in the form of large beast.  It bit at the heroes with its massive jaws.  Hesikiah tried to turn back the abominations but his prayer went unanswered but luckily the horrors we not immune to blows from Kava and Sarge.  Hesikiah was able to keep the party on their feel with his healing prayers and did manage to some damage with his sacred flame.  Kane, in his usual fashion, blasted the enemies.  He was very effective using his signature Cloud of Daggers.

After destroying the horrors of the lab, the heroes opened a door at the far end of the room.  Behind the door was a library.  Here, another pack of undead dogs charged the party.  Kane also managed to spot a couple of ghouls waiting in ambush for the party.  There was also an odd jar sitting at the far end of room.  As Hesikiah and Kane dealt with the dogs and Sarge dealt with the ghouls, Kava took a pot shot at the Jar.  As he hit it, a voice screamed in the heads of the party.  The jar contained the brain of some powerful person.  It started to float around the room, blasting at the minds of the party.  It grabbed the mind of Sarge and turned him against his allies.  The louder the Jar screamed the louder the mirror yelled back.  The party was able to wrestle their minds from the jar.  Kava managed to get an arrow off and pin the brain to the bookshelf behind.

The party was victorious, or at least they think they are.  Kane noticed a major shift in the magicial fields in the room once the brain was dead and Hesikiah seems to be getting very antsy as he plays with the mirror he has carefully stuffed into his pants.

Took a sentimental journey

This weekend, my wife, my grandfather and I joined about 35 other people in the Sage Valley Voices annual spring concert. This year’s concert was a blend of music from the 40’s and 50’s.

As with all our concerts, our costumes match the period. My wife was wearing a 40’s era dress and I was wearing dark jeans, a white t-shirt and leather jacket in a 50’s greaser style. Grandpa was sporting a white sport coat with a pink carnation. All in all the costumes looks really good.

We performed two shows over the weekend and both had a great turn out. The Oliver United Church was pretty much packed both nights. The show started out with music from the 40’s. We sang hits like ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo,’ ‘Sentimental Journey,’ ‘There is Nothin’ Like a Dame’ and many others. We ended that era with a beautiful piece called High Flight. It is the musical interpretation of a poem written by a RCAF pilot in WWII. It is a beautiful poem and it works very well set to music. It is probably my favorite piece to sing.

Between the eras we had our guest choir come up and sing. This year we welcomed the Naramata Community Choir. They sung three pieces which ended with a song called ‘Sanctouce’ (sp?) which was a piece commissioned by a parish in Vancouver. It was a really neat piece and if you hear of a choir singing it near you go check it out. It is moving both musically and spiritually.

We then started into the 50’s era with a medley of ‘Rock Around the Clock’, ‘Rockn’ Robin’ and ‘Blueberry Hill.’ I have to say that in general I enjoyed singing songs from the 50’s more than then 40’s. I think it is because I can relate to the music a bit better. The 50’s era was presented like the audience was listening to the radio so in between songs we threw in commercials from the era. We are lucky enough to have twins who sing in the choir so we had them do a double-mint gum commercial. They, and the rest of the commercial actors, were a hoot.

So these are just a few high-lights and musings from this concert. I want to give a big thanks to those of you who come out to watch the shows. It is much more fun to sing for a crowd then just singing to yourself. We are now off for the summer but will be starting again in the fall preparing for our Christmas concert. We may even have a 4th generation (at least in the crowd) this winter at the concert. It depends on how well behaved he/she is. Please post your comments below.