randomashley

Archive for July 2011

Today marks the second annual National Dance Day.  To celebrate, I have listed my favorite dance movies of all time.  Enjoy!

10. Dirty Dancing (1987) – The late Patrick Swayze was wonderful as Johnny, the rebel dance instructor.  And remember, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”

9. Flashdance (1983) – If Alex (played by Jennifer Beals) can get into a prestigious ballet school after working as welder and exotic dancer, then anybody can!  Dancers everywhere wore cut-up sweatshirts after this movie.

8. Dancers (1987) – Mikhail Baryshnikov and Julie Kent starred as professional dancers making a film version of the famous ballet, Giselle.  The dancing was beautiful, and I still have my official movie poster!

7. White Nights (1985) – Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines are featured in this classic.  Who can forget Hines’ brilliant moves, Misha’s famous pirouette scene, or “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie?

6. Fame (1980) – Who didn’t want to be a student at the New York High School of Performing Arts?  I love how the film weaves the students together in their various genres.  And obviously, Debbie Allen rocks as Lydia!

5. Billy Elliot (2000) – This film shows how Billy, played by the unbelievably talented Jamie Bell, uses dance to find joy and overcome his obstacles.  It’s a fabulous story that you will never forget.

4. All That Jazz (1979) – This movie is the semi-autobiographical tale of the legendary Bob Fosse.  It’s a fascinating look into the world of Broadway.  The dancing is spectacular, and I absolutely love Ann Reinking as Kate.

3. Black Swan (2010) – This film was frequently advertised as a “psychological thriller”.  What a massive understatement!  The way in which director Darren Aronofsky uses the story of the ballet, Swan Lake, is genius!  Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are both incredible, and the dancing is heartbreakingly gorgeous.

2. Center Stage (2000) – The love triangle between Jody (Amanda Schull), Cooper (Ethan Stiefel), and Charlie (Sascha Radetsky) is played out on stage during the big performance finale.  This movie gives a realistic view of the pursuit of becoming a professional ballet dancer.  The dance sequences are amazing, and the soundtrack is awesome!

1. The Turning Point (1977) – This film has an outstanding cast with Mikhail Baryshnikov as Yuri, Shirley MacLaine as Dee Dee, Anne Bancroft as Emma, and Leslie Browne as Emilia.  The story revolves around the sacrifices that must be made to become a professional dancer and the conflicts that arise on the way to the top.  The dance scenes are excellent with Emilia and Yuri, and the cat-fight scene between Emma and Dee Dee is unforgettable!

I am really excited about an opportunity that presented itself today.  In just a few weeks, I will be teaching dance again!  As some of you know, I have been dancing since I was three years old — it’s my passion.  Consequently, I owned and operated my own dance studio for seven years.  And while I love using my science degrees to teach high school biology, I have missed teaching young children to dance very much.  My daughter’s dance teacher — who I consider to be a good friend because we danced together many moons ago — sent me an email this morning saying she needed someone to teach preschoolers at her studio.  So, it’s a win-win because I will be helping my friend AND getting to do something I truly love!

I am simply amazed by the quantity of questions that I am faced with on a daily basis.  Is it because I have an extremely inquisitive 9-year-old daughter?  Is it because I am a teacher?  Is it just me?  Is it because I question everything I do?  See what I mean … more questions!  Here is a sample of some recent questions from my daughter:

“Can I have another brownie?”   “How does the baby get out of your stomach?”  “Can I stay up until 9:00 to watch my favorite episode of ‘Good Luck Charlie’?”

This got me to thinking about all of the famous Shakespeare quotes which are questions:

“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”  “To be, or not to be, that is the question …”  “Et tu, Brute?”

This, in turn, caused me to think of funny questions from pop culture:

“Where’s the beef?”   “How you doin’?”  “Who let the dogs out?”

The problem with all these questions is that I find myself wondering if I have all the right answers?

If you haven’t had the privilege of playing Whac-a-Mole, you are definitely missing out!  Grayson has had this game for many years, and it has always been a favorite.  But, we haven’t played it in a while.  So you can imagine my surprise when she pulled it out the other night and asked me to join her.  I am so glad that she did because we had the best time, laughing hysterically throughout each game.  We bounced along to the peppy theme music, and we giggled at all of the silly sounds the moles make before you smack them on the head with your mallet.  This simple little game is an absolute blast, and I highly recommend it for kids and parents of all ages.

One of my Sunday School teachers recommended a book to our class a couple of weeks ago.  And, being a good student (aka, nerd), I made a note of the title and author in my trusty iPhone.  But, before I could seek this book out for myself, our teacher surprised us by buying copies for everyone and giving them to us this Sunday.

The book is In His Steps by Charles M. Shelton.  This novel was written in 1896, but it remains one of the most-read books of all time.  The story follows a group of people as they transform their lives to ask “What would Jesus do?” before every subsequent action.  It is a quick and easy read, but this book and its message will challenge you to examine 1) what does it really mean to follow Jesus?, and 2) what is the cost of discipleship?

I want to get more out of my blogging.  So, my goal is to post at least once a week for the remainder of 2011.  Consequently, I promise to use The DailyPost  and the community of other bloggers with similar goals to help me along the way.  If you already read my blog, I hope you will support me with comments, likes, and lots of good thoughts during this journey.

So, my daughter is at her dad’s for the usual every-other-weekend visit.  But, unbeknownst to me, she left this little note:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, since it’s Saturday, I followed the directions on the back of the note.  The instructions sent me to the voice memos on her iPod, where she had recorded a short message telling me that she loved me and missed me.  How precious is that?  It completely made my day!


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