A new season of dance!

A new year is upon us and we have all (hopefully) settled nicely back into campus. Now it is time to get out and DANCE! The first meeting for RSDS will be this Thursday, September 1 at 7:00 PM  in the RMC Grand Hall. Come and join us for a free introductory lesson & meet and greet. There will be FOOD!!!

Dances that we cover this year include:

  • Tango
  • Waltz
  • Salsa
  • Cha-cha-cha
  • Samba
  • Foxtrot
  • Two-Step
  • and much more

For more information please email Anya or Cameron (RSDS Presidents): rsds(at)rice.edu

Everyone is welcome, so please come and bring a friend! We look forward to seeing all of you!

DWO 2009 a smashing success!

Dances With Owls was a smashing success. Teams from all across Texas – including UT, SMU, A&M, and UofH – joined us for a night and a day of excellent dancing, fellowship, and competition.

Some of the comments I’ve heard so far are:

“Thanks again for everything. We had so much fun on Saturday!!!! (There is not an amount of exclamation points that could express this fully :D ) Is your club looking at going to any other comps soon?”

“I was very excited to hear other schools, specifically A&M & UT , say what a great comp this was and that they so much fun – and they would definately come back next year.”

“You an RSDS did a great job hosting the event and getting other campuses to come see what Rice is about!  Great job and fabulous event!”

“This was literally the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”

Event Co-Chairs Emilia Stepinski and Autumn Allen deserve rounds of applause for juggling all the details and preparations for this event. Our deepest appreciation also goes to Super-Awesome Team Mom Pam Shefman, Scrutineer Drew Shefman and Emcee Pat Walsh. (Without their experience and wisdom, we’d all be in way over our heads.) And lastly, thanks to all the folks who volunteered throughout the weekend. DWO is an entirely volunteer-run comp, and without our dedicated members and friends, the event simply couldn’t happen. So thanks to everybody. I’m really proud of this event, and I hope you are, too!

p.s. Thanks to all the dancers who joined us from the Houston community and other collegiate communities state-wide. We hope to see you next year!

shuttle to RGA for tango TONIGHT!

Argentine tango classes begin tonight!

For the next five weeks, tango expert Indre Rapalaviciute will be introducing us to Argentine Tango fundamentals for social dancing.

Classes will be held Wednesday nights, 7:30-9:00pm (Sept. 16 – Oct. 14) at the Rice Graduate Student Apartments.

If you have a car, you can drive to meet us there. (1515 Bissonnet St.) Parking is free.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR, you can take the shuttle from campus. The shuttle ride is very short and easy. Just catch the Rice Graduate Apartment bus on the lab side of the inner loop (i.e. at Keck, or between the RMC and Geology building) and ride over.

Argentine tango is a very versatile dance that focuses on the connection between lead and follow. It is a really fun, expressive, and social dance, and I hope you’ll come learn with us this evening!

tango, tango, and more!

In this issue: two ways to get your tango fix, plus discounted parking, and one more reminder about the blues workshop… Read on!

1. RSDS tango is starts next Wednesday…

When: Wednesday nights, 7:30-9:00 (Sept. 16 – Oct. 14)

Where: Rice Graduate Student Apartments (1515 Bissonnet St.)

How to get there: You can drive, OR take the Rice Graduate Apartment shuttle (3 min. – super easy) from campus.

What: Argentine Tango fundamentals for social dancing (Milonga).

More info on the website: http://rsds.rice.edu/argentine-tango

2. Insomnia Milonga this weekend

RSDS is hosting the Houston tango community’s Insomnia Milonga this Saturday, 10:00pm to 3:00am, in Farnsworth Pavilion.


Admission is free for RSDS members.

3. Discounted parking passes

RSDS can provide discounted parking passes for community members who drive to campus and wish to park in the Central Campus Garage under the Jones business school (very near the RMC). If you’re interested, talk to an officer before/after classes.

4. Blues workshop this weekend

The workshop on Saturday includes beginner and intermediate blues/fusion classes, taught by pro blues dancers Chris Mayer and Campbell Keatinge-Clay. Admission is free for Rice students who are RSDS members, and only $60 for community members. Register online.

More info: http://rsds.rice.edu/blues-workshop

welcome back / pie-and-dance TONIGHT!

howdy everybody, and welcome back!

RSDS is getting into gear for the fall semester. I can’t wait to see yall on the dance floor again!

Our first event, a meet-and-greet info session & free dance, is TONIGHT (Tuesday) at 7:30 in the RMC Grand Hall. There will be pie. We’ll dance until 9:30… or maybe (probably) later, who knows.

BALLROOM meetings this year will be TUESDAYS in the Grand Hall:

6:30 beginner ballroom classes (open to students and community members)
7:30 practice time
8:00 intermediate ballroom classes
9:00 advanced classes
10:00 free dance until the cows come home

SWING is meeting on THURSDAYS in Miner Lounge, starting this week:

7:30 beginner swing classes
8:15 practice / free dance
8:30 Swing Sampler classes
9:30 intermediate swing classes

TANGO will meet on WEDNESDAYS at the Grad Student Apartments. Shuttle service is available from campus. More details TBA.

All the schedules and details will be up on the website: http://rsds.rice.edu

I look forward to seeing yall tonight and in the coming weeks!


Fall 2009 Update

Classes are starting soon:

Ballroom = Tuesdays 6:30-10:00, RMC Grand Hall
Tango = Wednesday evenings, TBA
Swing = Thursdays, 7:00-10:30, Miner Lounge

FREE DANCING! Every Tuesday, 10pm-midnight

TUESDAY, September 1 will be our first ballroom meeting. It’s a meet-and-greet dance, with pie from House of Pies!

More info coming soon…

Swing Sampler class, February 5th

Starting this Thursday, the Swing Sampler class will sample a four-week Balboa course taught by Terry and Van. Balboa (or just “bal”) is great for fast songs and is quite different than the other types of swing dance we offer, so check it out.

IMPORTANT: For these four weeks, the Sampler class will start at 7:00. This means the open dance time will begin before either class starts. However, if you can’t come that early but wanted to go over something before the Jitterbug class, you can still come 30 minutes before Jitterbug starts — Hank and I will both be at Bal and can easily step to the side with you to work on something. We’ll revert to schedule-as-usual after Spring Break.

6:30-7:00 Open Dance time (bring music or requests if you got ‘em!)
7:00-8:00 Swing Sampler: Balboa with Terry and Van
8:00-9:15 Beginners Swing: Jitterbug


Terry and Van are alums with three Rice degrees and many years of social dance experience between them. They are active contributors to the local swing dance community. They organize dance events, teach classes for non-profit dance studios, and have performed in shows as part of the Houston Swing Dance Society’s Hep Cats dance team. They are looking foward to their fourth year of teaching Balboa at their alma mater.

What is Balboa?

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balboa_(dance)

“Balboa is a form of swing dance that started as early as 1915 and gained in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. It is danced primarily in close embrace, and is led with a full body connection. The art of Balboa is the subtle communication between the lead and follow, like weight shifts, that most viewers cannot see. As a result, Balboa is considered more of a ‘dancer’s dance’ than a ‘spectator’s dance’.

Balboa is danced to a wide variety of tempos. Because the basic step takes up such a small space, Balboa can be danced to fast music (over 300 beats per minute). Balboa is also danced to slow music (under 100 beats per minute), which allows more time for intricate footwork and variations.”

Examples of Couples Dancing Balboa:

All Balboa Weekend 2008 – Jack & Jill Competition

All Balboa Weekend 2004 – Randy and Kara

Seattle Balboa Swing Championships 2008 – Group Dance

What We’ll Teach at Rice:

We can’t promise that you’ll look just like those dancers in the videos but we can promise that you’ll have fun. During our four one-hour sessions we will focus on the core Balboa steps that emphasize clear weight shifts, groundedness, and body leads. You can think of this class as teaching you the basics of a popular jazz-era dance while at the same time you are practicing fundamental dance principles that you can take back to your jitterbug, Lindy Hop, west coast swing, blues, Charleston, etc.

RSDS discounts for the Houston Tango Festival!

This week (Thursday Jan 22- Sunday Jan 25) is the 2nd annual Houston Tango Festival held in our beloved student center.
RSDS is co-sponsoring the event and therefore RSDS members get special discounts to attend the festival.
Here are the discounts:
(1) Early bird pricing for RSDS members at the door for all full passes (this included the 50% off for students and additional 20% off for RSDS members)
(2) 20 Free Spectator Passes for the Friday night milonga.
(3) 50% discount on a-la-carte prices for milongas and individual classes.
(4) Free Milonga passes to RSDS members who volunteer 3 hours of their time at the festival. Those interested in volunteering should email Diana at dianacan@earthlink.net by noon on Thursday.
In addition to these discounts RSDS will subsidize $20 for the first 10 RSDS student members who purchase a full festival pass, full milonga pass, or full day pass.

If you are interested in a Free Spectator Pass for the Friday Milonga, email me. First 20 people to email get the passes.
If you are intending to purchase a full festival pass, full milonga pass, or full day pass and want to receive the RSDS subsidy, email me. First 10 people to email and then prove purchase of a pass at the festival will receive the subsidy.
Info on the prices and schedule of events for the Houston Tango Festival can be found at http://www.houstontangofestival.com
This is a great opportunity to learn Argentine Tango! Please, RSDS members take advantage of this Festival!

Argentine Tango starts Jan. 14

Welcome back everyone!

Ballroom, Argentine Tango, and Swing lessons all start next week (see the Class Schedule for more info). Tango is doing things a bit differently this semester… here’s the details:

  • Tango will be held off campus this semester. Don’t worry; it’s not far. The Rice Graduate Apartments (1515 Bissonnet) are ten minutes walking north of campus, or the shuttlebus that says “Graduate Apts” will take you straight there. There is limited parking in front of the building, or you can park on some of the surrounding residential streets. This means:
    • We have more space!
    • We get to use the new surround system audio there.
    • No parking fees!
  • We have an intermediate class. This is especially for all those who took Indre’s class last semester. We’ll continue where we left off (with some review, of course!)
  • Classes will run in cycles of five weeks each.
    • Whew, less weeks to commit to!
    • We’ll learn new things in each cycle, so feel free to take both.
    • Hey, if you like the first cycle, bring all your friends to the second. =)

See you next week!