Video of the November 2011 Victorian Grand Ball

This is a 5 minute video of the November 26th Social Daunce Irregulars Victorian Grand Ball. Purists beware. The last dance is not any dance in particular, but a pastiche of three different set dances, done to a completely unrelated piece of music.

Persistent PowerPoint Presentation Problems

ImageI have provided A/V support to a wide variety of programs and have done countless of my own simple and complex presentations over the years and I think it might be useful to set down in writing some of the issues that come over and over again. Perhaps, if I document them, people might be less likely to repeat the errors of the past.

I will focus here on technical issues. Stylistic issues like not burying your head in your notes and reading in a monotone or in that odd, artificial sing-song style many people take on when presenting; or not filling your slides with text; or not reading your slides verbatim; I address that here.

All of these technical problems, by the way, are preventable if you just do a run through on the equipment that will be used in the presentation. If you attend to these issues before hand there will be less last minute fixing required -- or horror of horrors; less likelihood of a presentation being wrecked and sunk on the rocks of technology.

Lanterman Ukulele Rendezvous - An Experiment in Event Non-management

On Sunday, May 29th 2011, we will premiere what I hope will be the first of many "Lanterman Summer Whites Picnic and Ukulele Rendezvous" annual events.

This event is a bit of a departure for me. My previous productions have been characterized by structure, scheduling and organization. A certain amount of latitude was provided for creative people to be creative, but we always knew whose job it was to do what, when. That is not the case here. This event is deliberately unstructured, and is intended to be more like a party - where the guests are not passive observers but ARE the show.

Dancing - 1899 Dance Manual by Marguerite Wilson

This is a very nice compilation from the end of the Victorian period, which provides some choreographies for many of the most popular figure dances.

Drupal Basics - Computers in Libraries Presentation

Attached are my PowerPoint slides for the presentation I gave on the basics of Drupal at the Computers in Libraries conference on March 22nd 2011 in Washington DC.

Southern California Vintage Dance Facebook Groups

ImageThe following are some suggested Facebook groups you can join to stay better connected to the particular sorts of historical dance that interest you.

Speaking at Computers in Libraries 2011

ImageA note to my library peeps. I will be speaking at "Computers in Libraries 2011", March 21-23 at the Hilton Washington in Washington DC. I will be discussing the installation and use of the Drupal Open Source content management system.

Walter Nelson

Useful Waltz Tunes for a Beginners' Dance Class

In presenting a waltz class, it's often difficult to know what to play. A waltz recording for a class, especially a beginners' class, needs a few basic attributes.

  • A clear, unambiguous beat -- especially a nice strong downbeat. Your beginners shouldn't have to search for the beat.
  • A stable tempo without a lot of changes. I am not a devotee of the ballroom dance "Strict tempo" mindset, but your beginner students really need something reliable.
  • A moderate tempo. With beginners, you don't want a crazy fast tempo.
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