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Riot and Frolic
Interests: ballroom dancing, crafting, sewing, cooking, working out, running, decorating, reading, listening to music
Recent Activity
This is what is called "click bait" in the internet age. Aimed mainly at my dearest dear darling collegiate students and suspiciously self-sufficient amateurs, this one's for you. Things you can learn the week of a competition What times do I dance? What does the floor look like in the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
Hey babes, I'm going to leave this here and then come back later with OPINIONS and FACTS. Go forth and practice. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
I have taught many group classes. I've underestimated it to be around 3,000 group classes. Beginners to advanced, 3 to nearly 300 people, teacher training, formations, weird gigs at corporate events, high schoolers, collegiate... you name it. And like a sailor at sea, there's calm days that go according to... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
I've noticed a phenomenon in syllabus levels of ballroom dance competitions where a couple (or a student, in a pro-am situation) will make several cuts in competitive events and as they get closer to the final, their dancing changes. Their dancing becomes MOAR. MOAR ARMS. MOAR SMILES. MOAR HIPS. MOAR... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
Happy Blogday (like Happy Birthday, but for the birthday of my blog). 11 years ago when Gordon was at Emerald Ball, I decided to start this ol' thing. And just because I haven't posted for a second doesn't mean I have any less thoughts on what happens on the dance... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
What the heck is Gold anyway? Now that we've talked about Bronze and Silver, let's cover the ye olde Gold. I have se-ve-ra-l (yes, four syllables) issues with my previous blog post. Where I talk about the Wild West of ballroom: VHS to digital Where I relate the Sam story:... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
To tell you too much about me, I am a INFJ and Enneagram One and I rank "exceptionally high" in conscientiousness in various personality tests. In other words, invigilation might be my favori;;te thing. In the ballroom dance competition world, invigilators observe syllabus events (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) to ensure... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
Are you a Bronze dancer looking for the next challenge? Are you a Silver dancer who is wondering what you should know? Are you wondering what you'll be working on? Here's my three cents on the fine Silver level of ballroom dancing. This is based on a blog post from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
There are events which are hard to judge. Namely, syllabus collegiate and amateur events. [cough, cough] I love the collegiate scene: youth and enthusiasm are a great combo to witness doing most anything. The problem is most college teams' dance education comes from group classes, which are TERRIFIC, but also... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2022 at Riot and Frolic
At a recent ballroom event, I was hired to write, what I shall call, “sheets of encouragement”: a few comments about participants’ dance skills and presentation that had positive and helpful feedback. Key word: positive. WHILE I MEANT EVERY WORD I WROTE in those critiques, in “my spare time” during... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
After you've taken a few ballroom dancing lessons, you're not a beginner, but are you ready for Bronze or Intermediate? Let's explore that land between Beginning and Intermediate and what bridges you need to cross from one to the other. This is based on a blog post from November 25,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
This episode is based on the post from June 3, 2021. John Danaher is a badass. Here's some of his words: About teaching too much His long ass IG posts Skill acquisition, one of many My favorite journalist: Smarther news Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
This episode is based on the post from October 22, 2011. The floorcraft blog is here: How to Floorcraft The Toothbrush Exercises are here on the blog and here on YouTube (horrifying, horrifying YouTube). Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
This episode is based on the post from April 27, 2021. If you'd like to catch up on the Social Etiquette series, check this out. If you'd like to ask me a specific question or add to the "terrific vs. terrible social dance stories" post, email me at Here's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
Whether you're new to the social dance scene, or you're a little rusty, or MAYBE YOU JUST NEED A REMINDER, here we go: Before You Go Hygiene Steer clear of the onions, garlic, and spicy, delicious sausages for the 12 hour period before you hit the dance scene, hit the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
This episode is based on the ancient blog post from July 20, 2012. Feel free to use the internet to look up "social dance etiquette"... or look here on Saturday. And when I said "us" in this episode, I meant "you". LOVE YOU. Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
This episode is based on the blog post from April 18, 2019. The articles I mention from SK Dancesport are here: pros and cons of fake tanning products And here: the perfect tan GUYS. ALL MY FAVORITE TANNERS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED. But honestly, self-tanners have come a long way, so... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
When you first take up ballroom dancing, a regular night at the studio sort of looks like a bunch of normal people doing sort of similar things to what you're doing. Maybe the instructors are a little bit more ... Technicolor than you are, but everyone is speaking the same... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
How do you go to a competition or prepare for an event and feel great about it? SET GOALS. WORK ON GOALS. I elaborate on those ideas in this week's episode. I'm on Apple now! This episode is based on the blog from September 13, 2013. This book is worth... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
I'm going Big Picture on this one, because it's been a tough year and there's a short list of things that have helped me enjoy it. And no, even when I get to actual things, nothing is sponsored and I still don't have ads, but if you want to buy... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
Still waiting for Apple Podcasts to accept me at the cool kids' table, but Spotify is up and running. This episode is based on this blog from November 10, 2015 with a important aside at the end (there's also some good links in the original post). It's a short one,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
This is has nothing to do with how to write a resume, in case you came across this on a Google search. Or the Olympics. For years, I've come across dancers' resumés and bios where people have billed themselves as Champion of So-and-So/Professional Blah-Blah-De-Blah/World's Greatest of Whatever. And I love... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
Coming soon to Apple and now on Spotify, here's my voice, reading what you may have already read. In perhaps a timely reminder for some locals, Episode 1 is "Things You Can Control at a Ballroom Dance Competition". Star Wars references abound, my friends. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
A few years ago, I loved reading a particularly snarky, but helpful parenting column on some website. The author I enjoyed most had three kids [maybe I did as well at the time] and was so funny and practical. A few months down the line, she admitted she never took... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2021 at Riot and Frolic
Several years ago, we had newly leased and renovated an old ballroom in Saint Paul. We were working 10am - 10pm Monday - Saturday, teaching many private lessons, practicing 10+ hours a week for national competitions, hosting 1-2 group classes a day, and holding ballroom dance group classes for private... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2021 at Riot and Frolic