Friday, June 18, 2010

Gotta Have That Funk!

We watched with much glee and enthusiasm as  "Philadanco" turned that mother out last night. Think Prince, Parliament Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire mixed with Ravel's Bolero. Fast, energetic, kinetic, fast-moving and joyful dance. It was an "off" night for the International Ballet Competition, between Round I and Round II--a night for fun. And fun it was! (Thanks, Sue Lobrano...we love you!!!)

If you missed it (yes, you...the one sitting on the couch, whining that there's nothing to do in this town...), you missed a world-class dance company that had the entire audience on its feet, dancing right along with them. For only $10--just a dollar more than going to see a movie.

I went to a press conference yesterday morning where the semi-finalists who have advanced to Round II of  the USA IBC were announced. The cool part was that walking into the room, I heard so many different accents from a panel of jurors from 13 countries from around the world. It was so awesome to realize that Jackson is a place where an event of international importance happens. I wrote an article about it for

Nicole has been soaking in the IBC experience. She's been volunteering as a rehearsal hall monitor, which is perfect, as she has up-close-and-personal contact with dancers from all over the world. She gets to watch them rehearse, which serves as further motivation (as if she needs more) for her to work even harder. She also attended several of the Round I competition performances. How fortunate we are to live in a place where dance is so important. I like to think that her love of dance was born at Thalia Mara Hall. I used to take her to the IBC starting when she was in elementary school. She loved everything about it then, and she loves everything about it now. That gives me such a sense of satisfaction.

And let's not forget Joe, who I took to see The Will Rogers Follies and Stomp. Being six years younger than Nicole, and stuck at the dance studio all the time waiting to pick her up, he ended up in an all-male ballet class in the third grade. He danced in Madison's production of "The Nutcracker" as a Russian soldier.
He didn't mind doing it, mainly because he got to be with his big sister, and also because former Denver Broncos running back Sammy Winder was in the same production! He told the boys that ballet would help them be more coordinated for sports. Thanks, Sammy!

Now Nicole is sharing her love of dance with others. All this week she's been doing the choreography for the Rising Stars Theatre Camp in Ridgeland. Working with kids ages six to twelve isn't easy, but she's done a good job guiding them through several dance numbers that will be presented tonight in their production of "101 Dalmations."

It reminds me of when my dad used to take my sister and I to some of the most memorable events at the MS Coliseum when we were young. He was in the in the North Jackson Exchange Club, and if you've ever been to an event at the Coliseum, they've helped you park your car. They are the guys in the white jumpsuits and long flashlights. My dad would go park cars, and he'd drop us off to see the Royal Lippazaner stallions, the Harlem Globetrotters and the Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus. I always felt like I was watching something so much bigger than myself, amazed that just 20 minutes from home, I was being exposed to something so worldly. 

I appreciate my dad taking me to those events and others. They are events that stick in my mind. They are events that helped me realize at an early age that there was a big, big world out there.

As we approach this Father's Day weekend, may we all remember and honor our fathers, and the fathers of our children. To Papa Dale and my sweet Larry...we love you!

Blessings to all who read this!


  1. Hi Susan- i just wanted to tell you based on your recommendation I read & finished Neil White's book over the week end. It was diffrent for me but I thouroughly enjoyed it.

  2. Glad you liked it! The crazy thing is that it is a TRUE story!

  3. What a sweet post! They are so cute. I'm glad i found your blog!
    Have a pretty night!