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Riot and Frolic
Interests: ballroom dancing, crafting, sewing, cooking, working out, running, decorating, reading, listening to music
Recent Activity
Hey guys. About a year ago, for some reason, I started recording the tiny exercises I make all my favorite students do on the regular (whether it's to introduce and/or reinforce a technique or kill time, you can decide for yourself). I put them on Instagram because FB was being... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
Yes, you. I've heard a variety of excuses for not wanting to take a one-on-one lesson with a professional instructor: I'm not ready yet. I'm not good enough. I don't know how to dance. That teacher only takes advanced dancers. I don't know enough. I don't want to compete. I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
just adverb \ ˈjəst \ Synonyms: merely, simply, only I’ve often heard this comment from leads when they’re about to attempt something that is not fully formed in their repertoire and/or are asking a follow to dance that admits not knowing the dance. But I’ve also heard it from follows... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
Along with my years doing pro-am, I had an excellent couple seasons doing am-am (two amateurs dancing together). While I enjoyed partnering with two lovely gentlemen, and we traveled to USABDA [now USADance] regionals and stayed in Minnesota for the infamous Nationals at Roy Wilkins Auditorium (NOT on a coast?!... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
“Pro-am” dancing refers to a teacher (a PROfessional ballroom dance instructor) and a student (an AMateur ballroom dancer) who dance together, usually in the oddly unknown ballroom dance competition circuit and who patronize the boutique industry of ballroom dancing. The student pays for lessons with the professional to learn the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
I’ve had the odd pleasure and horror of transferring my old dance videos (which were on VHS - YES, VHS) to digital recently and after looking over 20+ years of dancing, I am guaranteed to have some reflections to share with you. Get ready for SOME WORDS, my people. AND... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
I went for a run today. If you're in Minnesota, you might say "WHY?" because while it was a balmy 36º degrees out, it had also just snowed three inches. For those of you who are not familiar with snow and 36º, that means it was slushy. Like, inches of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
No, not that coveted six couple dance-off. I'm talking school, people. It's the end of the semester and it's time for your ballroom final. Get out your blue books and put on your thinking caps and take this SUPER SERIOUS and not-at-all-Christmas-themed QUIZ. [Click the words "Ballroom Final" below if... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
Long before I made a flowchart, I dreamed of making a silly quiz. Well, in the years since my blog was born (can this count as my eighth kid?), technology has made it easier. Therefore, for your Sunday internet scrolling pleasure, please enjoy this quiz and check out the companion... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
Lest one think I am a jolly penguin and all of the circumstances of the last six months have just rolled off my good-humor-insulated back, I am here to complain about all the crappy stuff that's transpired. Since March 13, when we had our somewhat eerily-timed and, retrospectively, final showcase... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
To celebrate nine years of the blog, here's some fun facts and greatest hits for you: after over 750 posts, half a million views, and quite a few guest stints, you'd think I'd have run out of things to say, BUT I HAVE NOT. this blog is older than five... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
In between applying for grants and loans and waiting for responses [… crickets… crickets…], I’ve been doing some reading and research about how to improve my business… when I’m not in business. Clearly, there’s motivation to do something. ANYTHING. Sadly, the biggest motivator is obviously money (which is definitely NOT... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
When drama is happening around the studio or the larger dance world, I like to joke that “we’re not curing cancer.” I mean, we’re not. And much of the politics of dancing IS trivial. But while I don’t perform heart surgery or do life-saving research, I know the service I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
Clearly, virtual/online/remote/video lessons are a popular form of dance education right now. Obviously, these lessons can’t run like your usual trips to the studio*, so here’s some dos and don’ts for this digital era: DO pick a specific topic Now is not the time to say, “Let’s do Cha Cha.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
A couple weeks back, I wrote about the expectations students should have for their teachers. Well, now look how the tables have turned! Here's the expectations for students (complete with bonus, interactive material at the end!): Be on time. Nay, be early, so you can have your shoes on and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
A word from my favorite podcast on dancing the allowable steps for the proficiency level you’ve entered… or not… Insanity Jane [some dancers]: I do know the law states that ignorance of the law means it don’t apply. Sparks [many officials]: Okay that’s exactly how it does not work. When... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2020 at Riot and Frolic
It's been a minute since I had a take on this, but I've been making this list since being a pretty hard-core amateur, part of a few amateur partnerships, a long-time teacher, and now a studio owner. That means I have a WHOLE LOT OF OPINIONS on this subject. Even... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2019 at Riot and Frolic
I am typing in rhythm to this song, obviously: Not progressing as quickly as you'd like? Seeing other dancers who started when you did zoom into higher levels? First of all, THAT'S OKAY. Stop comparing yourself to others. Dance is a journey, yo. Second of all, if you're unsettled by... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at Riot and Frolic
Notice I didn't say "How to be the Best Dance Partner" or even "How to be a Great Dance Partner" because DAMN, SON, there are a lot of ways to screw this up and I will settle for "good" IN JUST THIS ONE AREA of dancing. Don’t date Yes, I'm... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at Riot and Frolic
While unconditional love and patience and compassion and self-sacrifice are all hallmarks of a good mom, I think we need to declare a new trait. Because you know what's underrated and necessary in motherhood? Adequacy. With Pinterest moms, Instagram families, and the glossy filter of Facebook, few people are content... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2019 at Riot and Frolic
"Do I have to tan?" Newbies ask this a lot, either before (yay!) or after (unfortunately) their first ballroom dance competition. The short answer is yes. The long short answer is "because you have to". But the longer answer is pretty long, 767 words to be exact, but there's SCIENCE... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2019 at Riot and Frolic
I run three days a week. I have done this off and on for four kids (it's easier to say that than keep track of the years). Each morning, as I hit the sidewalk, I groan. Not merely an under-my-breath, mostly inaudible sort of groan, but a loud, full body,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Riot and Frolic
I wrote this with ballroom dancing in mind, but apply it to whatever you want. #1 Start While it might go without saying, to start doing something, you must actually TAKE THE FIRST STEP. HAHAHAHAHA. #dancejoke Ironically, the first step to dancing is NOT dancing. So switch apps on your... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2018 at Riot and Frolic
As far as post-partum dancing goes, I've been around the block a few times. Well, six times. I've basically run a marathon of post-partum dancing. And yet every time I hit the road after getting a new kid, I'm astounded by the facts of dance I'm faced with. Fun Facts... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2018 at Riot and Frolic
Sometimes I forget how life is after I bring a new baby home from the hospital. You'd thnk I remember by now, what with 5 of these experiences in my pocket, but NO. Since momnesia is real, I decided to make myself a graph as a visual reminder of what... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at Riot and Frolic