Waltz expert teaches basics to latest craze

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2002

Waltzing conjures up visions of the ballrooms of Vienna and grand parties in ante-bellum mansions. This weekend, a master of the dance will lead a three-day workshop on waltzing, from the basic steps to the latest ballroom dance styles.

Richard Powers, professor of vintage dance at Stanford University, will teach a series of four waltz classes culminating in a dance Sunday afternoon. The weekend workshop, for beginning and experienced dancers, is sponsored by the Juneau International Folkdancers.

Powers is an expert in American social dance and has choreographed scenes for dozens of stage productions and films. He has researched and reconstructed historic social dances for 25 years and is currently a full-time instructor at Stanford's Dance Division. In addition to teaching, he directs the 70-member Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble. He's led workshops in Europe, Asia and throughout the United States.

The first waltz class will be 7 to 10 p.m. Friday in the ballroom of the Elk's Lodge. Saturday classes will meet 9 a.m. to noon and then 2 to 5 p.m. at the Elk's Lodge. Sunday, the dancing moves to the Juneau Dance Unlimited Studio in the Scottish Rite Temple and meets 10 a.m. to noon. At 3 p.m. Sunday there will be a ball for dancers to practice all they have learned.

The workshop will begin with the basic waltz step and lead to the latest ballroom dance craze: the cross-step waltz. Dancers are encouraged to bring a partner, but a partner is not required. Fee for the weekend is $40 per person. Dancers may attend individual sessions for $12. For further information or registration, please contact 364-2334 or brucebotelho@hotmail.com.

This workshop is sponsored by the Juneau International Folkdancers and is supported in part by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

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