* summer dancing with Alice Fulton

* Jimmy being told they are out of donuts *
* Jimmy being told they are out of donuts *

At the start of summer we started an old movie kick sparked by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much.  James Stewart is a champ in it.

Since then, we’ve done more Hitchcock as well as a few others.  The most surprising was Singin’ in the Rain – straightforward joy and spirit (with a few dance montages out of a really bad acid trip!).

* word to your soft shoe *
* word to your soft shoe *

It made me think of me and Ani’s first summer together.  We took a waltz class with her parents.  Evenings of following each other’s moves and learning something new together made summer feel like spring – in spirit at least.

The waltz became a part of our history that summer.

Alice Fulton’s poem below explores some of the history of the waltz – the real history, what it has meant to people, what all moves between people when they dance.


The Orthodox Waltz – Alice Fulton

Courtship, the seamless mesh
under taffeta havocs
of hoop skirt, smoke

hoops from his Lucky Strikes
her words jumped through.
Women dancing had the harder part,

she’d heard, because they must
dance backward.
He kept his ear pressed

like a safecracker’s
stethoscope against
her head, kept his

recombinant endearments
tumbling toward a click.
The lachrymose music,

his clasp and lust-
spiel, displaced her
mother’s proverbs.  How nimble

they were, those girls
gliding by on dollies.
What had her mother said

that sounded wise?  Was it
“Women dancing must be agile
as refugees with jewels

tied to their thighs?”


Happy dancing!


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