Waltz, without a blink I go
Waltz, to the Devil's ballet
Waltz, to Mephisto."
-- The Misfits, "Mephisto Waltz"
Yes. I really did pick that quote just because it has both my name and the word "waltz" in it. I'd have picked something even more vintage... but Franz Liszt didn't have the decency to include lyrics in his version.
I've been learning to waltz! I'm still not great, but I'm enjoying it and I managed to hit Vintage Invasion the other day. Vintage Invasion is held on the 4th Friday of every month at the Finnish Brotherhood Hall in Berkeley, and it's only $7 to get in ($5 if you're a student).
Whether you're an old hat at ballroom dancing or (like me) you're still learning to not count out loud, V.I. is a nice relaxed experience. Just a bunch of people learning to and loving dance (some of whom I hold in quite high regard). Everyone is quite pleasant and the music ranges from classic "waltzes" of the 19th century up to some fairly modern pieces that happen to have the right beat to make them perfect for this sort of thing!
The dance starts off at 8 p.m. with an hour-long waltz class for those who are still learning or just need a refresher. You'll also have chances to dance the tango, salsa, cha-cha, and polkas (during which some folks also like to kick out an ceilidh in the middle), though you might need to learn those elsewhere.
If you're interested in picking up waltz basics, I cannot recommend enough DJ Persephone's Vintage Waltz class every Tuesday down in Oakland at the Lake Merritt Dance Center (alternately referred to as the Lake Merritt Senior Center). Persephone (often accompanied by her main squeeze/helper Charles) offers a fairly solid "beginners" course at 7 p.m. And if you attend for a couple of months and feel like you want to move up, you can sign up every month for a month-long set of advanced courses they offer at 8 p.m.
And the price (at $8/person) is a pittance, especially for the value. Seriously, folks. That's a hard one to beat. [EDIT: the $8/person rate is for just the beginner's class. If you're interested in taking more the advanced classes, you are required to sign up for a whole month of classes for $36, but you are free to come "warm-up" at the beginner's classes for that month for free.]
If you're planning to go to PEERS or Gaskell ballroom events (as I am), this is a good combo for both learning the moves and then putting them into practice in an actual dance-scenario.
As an example of where this could prove useful: Steampunktoberfest! Which is happening on October 6th! I'm definitely going to be there. And if you also want to hit Steamstock out in Richmond on October 7th, you can buy a double ticket that gets you into BOTH EVENTS!!
And if you buy your tickets through this Steamstock link, some of that money will come back to SFGothic.net thanks to the beauty of FanFueled ticket vending.
You can go to something awesome AND support SFGothic.net at the same time!
Other cool stuff coming up in the near future:
- 08/04 - Cabaret Perilous! at the Uptown Nightclub - featuring the ever-lovely Unsinkable Molly!! (Oakland)
- 08/04 - Wicked Lounge at the Blue Lounge (Santa Cruz)
- 08/07 - Slick Idiot at the Elbo Room (San Francisco)
- 08/10 - Dark Shadows at the Cat Club (San Francisco)
- 08/11 - The Cell returns! At the Prop Box Studio (Oakland)
- 08/12 - Dead Can Dance at the Greek Theater (Berkeley)
- 08/17 - Roadside Memorial at Sub-Mission (San Francisco)
- 08/17 - The Witching Hour inaugural club night at the Cat Club (San Francisco)
- 08/18 - Club Nocturne at the Prop Box Studio (Oakland)
- 08/24 - Dark Shadows at the Cat Club (San Francisco)
Hope to see you in the shadows, kids!
-- Mr. M.