dance 5Unless you dance privately, when you think of ballroom dancing, you are most likely going to a wedding or some sort of party to dance. Dancing is a sport, like tennis. When you dance, it’s invigorating and challenging. In order to do it well, you have to study or take lessons, just like any sport. Dance has history like all sports.

Here’s some history about “Ballroom Dancing:”

dance800px-Vernon_and_Irene_Castle2Ballroom dancing is a dance that takes usually takes place at social gatherings. You can bring your partner with you, or you can meet a partner at the gathering, as in the 1940’s when there were the popular USO dances. During World War II USOs all over the globe would hold free dances for service members, allowing them to mingle with the community who were there to show how much they supported the military. It was a great boost to the popularity of ballroom dancing.

Ginger Roger & Fred Astaire

Ginger Roger & Fred Astaire

The Foxtrot was believed to be the first “slow step,” given the title from Harry Fox, a vaudeville dancer and comedian, who was believed to be the first to use the slow step. The first freestyle use of the slow step came into vogue around 1912, during the period of ragtime music. This marked a completely new phase of dancing where partners danced much closer together (more compact) and ad-libbed to the new and exhilarating music. Prior to this period, the Polka, Waltz and the One-Step were popular. In these dances partners were held at arm’s length and a set pattern of movements was observed.

By 1915, another change took place—new and melodic “pop” songs were being written—tunes like, “Oh, You Beautiful Doll” and “Ida” were the smash hits of the day. The public was quick to appreciate the change to a smoother, more rhythmic style of music, and their dancing began to absorb the better attributes of the older dances. From 1917 up to the present time, the accent has been placed on smoother dancing and individualized expression. By 1960, the international style of dancing was making its way into the U.S. ballrooms and many of the techniques were implemented into the American style Foxtrot. The main difference between the two styles is that the international style Foxtrot is danced entirely in contact maintaining the normal dance hold, while the American style allows for complete freedom of expression utilizing various dance holds and positions.

USO dances

USO dances

waltzDuring the 20th century, new dances were introduced to the ballroom. The Tango was derived from two dances, a solo dance from Spain and an Argentinean courtship dance that was originally considered taboo among polite society in Argentina. A moderated version of the tango had appeared before the First World War. Dances such as the American foxtrot (see that history above), quickstep, Afro-Cuban rumba, Spanish paso doble, Brazilian samba, Cuban cha-cha, jive and American swing also became popular during the 20th century, as new music styles and social rules changed and relaxed.

At the same time, there was an increasing interest in creating dances that could easily be taught from the new styles of dance and music, in both the US and Europe. Ballroom dances were becoming standardized, allowing the dancer to learn a number of standard moves that they could use with any partner. Dancers and professionals like Irene and Vernon Castle, and dance societies such as the Arthur Murray group were very influential. Later in the century, screen stars such as Fred Astaire helped to spread interest in ballroom dancing.


Dance Etiquette

Competitive ballroom dancing or dancesport began to overtake social dancing towards the end of the 20th century, with two main styles evolving: the International or WDC defined style and the American style. Dancesport had been around for some time, with a world championship being held unofficially in 1909. It first appeared on the television in 1960 and became very popular during the 1980s. Ballroom dancing has recently increased in popularity due to the presence of competitive dancing on TV across the world.

We joined a local dance studio. We are pleased with how they work.

You must visit my writer friend Patty Blount’s blog about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Gilles Marini.

So,danceuso3 do you want to dance?

Permission and thanks for some of this info goes to:



Clarence House Fabric

Clarence House Fabric

Clarence House is considered one of the foremost style-setters in the decorative fabric industry and is the first choice of many of the world’s top interior designers. Many of their fabrics retail for well over $400 dollars per yard.

Headquartered in New York City’s famed D&D Building, Clarence House has been at the forefront of the decorative fabric industry for over 40 years. They were founded in 1961 by New York designer Robin Roberts, who envisioned a company that would fill a void in the decorative fabric industry, a void that was created by the vast majority fabric companies refusing to take the necessary design risks to move the home decor business forward. Since the very beginning, Roberts has filled Clarence House’s line of decorative fabrics with imported fabrics never before seen in America. It wasn’t long after that that Clarence House decided to get involved in all aspects of the creative process by starting their own in-house design studio and making the now famous Kazumi Yoshida their head art director. To this day Kazumi still controls the evolution of each design from its conception to the finished product.

Clarence House Fabric

Clarence House Fabric

Not long after becoming involved in the decorative fabric industry they were quickly becoming world renowned for their extremely unusual and opulent designs. Although they are most famous for their hand screen-printing of fabrics and wallpapers, Clarence House also offers the highest quality velvets, brocades, damasks, silks, cottons, linens, sheers, trimmings and leathers. Throughout their years in the decorative fabric business they have supplied the fabrics for some of the world’s most famous museums, residences, and historic sites. Their name appears in every issue of any important interior design magazine available– including Architectural Digest, Florida Design, and Veranda.

Ideas for left over fabric

Ideas for left over fabric

With 16 showrooms throughout the United States and additional showrooms in South Africa, Canada, and Australia—Clarence House is on a well-earned course to achieve world-wide design dominance.

Unfortunately, unless you are an Architect or an Interior Designer you cannot buy directly from them.

That is, of course, only true if you don’t know the Design Diva. Having known the people at Clarence House for over 15 years she is able to purchase large amounts of exclusive decorative fabrics from them and bring them to you at extremely discounted prices.

Now isn’t that Divalicious?

Close up for use of leftover fabric-fun

Close up for use of leftover fabric-fun

Designer Fabrics Below Wholesale

The people who run Design Diva Fabrics have been involved in many of the design communities most prestigious organizations for over 30 years. OUR LOVE of interior fabrics fuels us in our worldwide search for the most unusual fabrics and trims available. From the luscious Velvets of Belgium and the magnificent Brocades of Italy to the intricately Hand Embroidered Silks of the Far East, we have it all. And as if that was’nt enough, almost all of our fabrics are normally available exclusively to designers and architects.

Now you would think that the fact that we are able to acquire these fabrics at all would be impressive enough to be our claim to fame, but it’s not. Not only do we get our customers fabrics that are normally not available to them; we get our customers these fabrics for a fraction of the price that a licensed Interior Designer would pay for them.

Have you ever shopped at the D&D Building 979 Third Avenue, NYC?




K.M. Weiland, Author

K.M. Weiland, Author

K.M. Weiland writes historical and speculative fiction. Following are her ten habits of the successful writer (with her permission to reblog) along with my thoughts as an artist.

Write everyday. Treat your writing like a job, even if it isn’t yet. Writing something everyday, even if it’s only a paragraph, keeps your creative pump primed and your inertia at bay. (Nora Roberts says this too, I heard her chat with Nora Roberts at RWA.)

GI Paint everyday, just like writing.

 Complete stories. Discipline yourself to finish every story you start. If you quit whenever the going gets tough, or whenever the shine of a new idea beckons, you’ll never finish a story. No one reads or buys half-finished tales.

GI  Complete your paintings.

Learn the writing rules. Writing is a craft that must be learned. There are excellent workshops and seminars online conveniently available and inexpensive. Read voraciously—all kinds, books on writing, join a writing organization online or local.

GI Learn the painting rules.

Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box

Break the rules. Once you have a solid understanding of the principles of fiction, don’t be afraid to step beyond their confines. Experiment. Think outside the box. Fiction is based on a set of basic tenets because they’ve been proven to work. If it stagnates, it dies.

GI Painting is the same.

Create your own inspiration. Pinpoint what inspired you and surround yourself with stimuli. Discipline, creativity, and persistence are a cure-all for writer’s (painter’s) block. Don’t allow writer’s block to become an excuse for giving up.

GI Create your own inspiration for your painting.Don’t slack on the hard stuff.

Not all of writing is fun and games, but if you want to create a polished story, you have to submit to the hard stuff, as well as the fun stuff. Don’t cut corners on research, outlining or editing. The extra work always pays off in the end.

GI Don’t slack on the hard stuff for your art.

Follow your heart, not the market. Art is a deeply personal expression. Write the story your heart has to tell. Conforming your work to the market, just for the market’s sake, will cheat both yourself and your readers in the long run.

GI  Follow your heart, and not the market for your art.

If we're growing . . .

If we’re growing . . .

Develop a thick skin. Criticism of our work can seem like a personal attach, but criticism—especially when coming from critique partners, agents, and editors—is a vital part of the process. Accept constructive criticism, learn from it, and use it to make your story better.

GI  Painting criticism is crucial to make your paintings better.

Set your stories free. When the time comes to send your stories into the world, learn to let them go. Your characters are yours no longer. They belong to everyone who reads them. Rejoice that you’re able to share them, say goodbye, and move onto the next story.

GI  Set your paintings free, give others the pleasure of your paintings.

Love what you do. We writers are a blessed bunch. Don’t ever forget that. The writing road has its own set of speed bumps—Isolation, loneliness, rejection—but benefits of spinning these webs of color and fantasy are more than just compensation!

Gail painting and writing

Gail painting and writing


GI Love doing your art, painting or writing.





What are some good tips for aspiring writers of fiction?

What are some good tips for aspiring artists?

My book, Indigo Sky, will soon be published by Soul Mate Publishing. I will keep you posted.

Below is my invite to my art show this Sunday, August 9, 2015

You are Invited . . .
Gail Ingis-Artist Invitational
Bill Millers Castle
Gail’s Exhibition is Indoor

Free admission
SUNDAY AUGUST 9, 2015 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Jungle Mania 11x14 oil/bd

Jungle Mania 11×14 oil/bd


Bill Millers Castle

Bill Millers Castle

 Directions to Bill Millers Castle
Bill Millers Castle is located at 834 East Main Street (Rt.1) on the Branford/Guilford town line between
Exit 56 & 57 on 1-95
Traveling North from New Haven on 1-95
Take Exit 56, turn left, travel ¼ mile and turn right at Chowder Pot Restaurant. Travel 1/4 mile to the Castle
Traveling South from New London on 1-95
Take Exit 57, turn right at bottom of exit and travel 2.3 miles to the Castle

Quote of the day from Goodreads:

The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

At the age of 16, English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (born August 4, 1792) was expelled from Oxford University and disowned by his father. The reason? A little pamphlet he wrote called “The Necessity of Atheism.”

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