Capital Carousels

A Choreographed Ballroom Dance Club

Blog | A Communication Board For Capital Carousels Members and Friends!

It's The Last Hurrah!


After being your webmaster for the past 5 years or so, this is my last blog post and website update. Writing this post does stir up some bittersweet memories, as I remember the countless hours put into developing the site as well as the growing amount of content that has developed over the years. The Capital Carousels website was primarily developed in the beginning as a method of communication for our club members. Somewhere our dancers could look to see what dances were on the dance program and just getting those tidbits of information on club events through the blog entries. Our gallery added a personal touch for our members to relive memories in pictures. Over the years, the website grew in content with a few areas I am particularly proud of. The expansion of our LINKS page showing not only organizations of interest to us, but also dance video sites, cue sheet sites, online instruction sites and videos to purchase information. This also recently expanded with Mike and Lyn's DropBox contribution which is so helpful for teaches we have learned at the club and subsequent information not only found on video, but also in document form! A few years ago, in an effort to create interest in beginner lessons, I developed a movie clip which could be viewed on our site here. That video was also posted to our Facebook Page (which I am also administrator of) and created a lot of interest in other areas of the round dance community as an innovative way to advertise.
Yes, the website takes a lot of work, with weekly updates required during the dance season and other bigger builds required at times, but to me, it was well worth it, as I know you all appreciated the site!! I heard it many times over these years and I thank everyone so much for the support shown me, and the pride we have had showing others in the dance community OUR WEBSITE! Many positive responses within our club and beyond for the site. That is what has made all that hard work, WORTHWHILE!
Although this is my last post and update as webmaster, fear not, as we have a very capable club member who will be taking over in a little under a week. Several months ago, Mike Cosham was approached to take over as webmaster and after some careful thought and a bit of ground work on his part, decided to take on the task! Mike has had previous webmaster experience with his church and for the past several months, Mike has not only duplicated my site, but he has also been performing the weekly updates along with me on his site. Mike's site will have a slightly different look, but he has taken special consideration to make sure that content is where you have found them in the past. Mike has used a different program for his site, but believe me, you will have no problem navigating his site. You will see Mike's new site effective next update (or even after the AGM if you are so inclined!). A special thanks to Mike as despite what I considered to be a big part of the transition for me (remember I do more than just webmaster for the club), his work and do-diligence with the project made the transition quite seamless! Thanks Mike! Also thanks to Arlo, who neither Mike or I could work without for his work behind the scenes with the web host. An invaluable contribution!
I leave the website in good hands and although I will not be involved with the club after this season, it will be a joy to go to the Capital Carousels website and see what is happening on the dance floor at Parkdale! Happy Dancing and of course…Happy Surfing on the Capital Carousels Website!!

End Of Year Dance Coming Up!


Can you imagine…next week we will be in May! Where has our season gone? Counting this coming week, we only have two weeks left in our regular season. Instead of starting anything new and no dance followup to practice anything new until next September, Pat has decided that we will have all dance days through the remainder of our season. We will get lots of chances to practice what we have learned this year as well as dance to some of our favourites. Also a chance to have some nice "downtime" for the next couple of weeks.
Our final dance of the season will be held on Wednesday, May 16 which will give everyone from both clubs a chance to get together! It will be an all dance night and at about the 1/2 way point. we will have a short club meeting to bring you up to date on next year's plans and elect next season's executive. At the end of the evening, we will have a chance for some socializing over some very tasty tidbits! We all are well aware that our members are great cooks and we are asking for everyone to bring one of their favourite finger food creations! Ian and Ann have created a signup sheet which will be on Gavin's desk at our coming dance days, so please sign up. My mouth is watering already! Of course, we are a dance club and there will be plenty of that going on, on May 16. Pat will have a dance program which will not only cover many rhythms we dance, but will be something for everyone whether you dance on Wednesday or Thursday. You can also expect many dances we have learned this season to be on the program. Donna will also be cueing the entire evening giving our sound equipment operators a well deserved break and a chance to enjoy the evening.
We hope you will plan to attend our final dance of the year! It's a great opportunity to get together as a club and just have fun, dance and talk about our summer plans. Come and join us for our final dance of the season and by all means….LET'S DANCE!!

Dropbox Unplugged!


Have you taken a look at our Dropbox site lately? Did you know we had one? Well, we actually talked about this in a blog entry several months ago, but I thought I would just taken the opportunity to refresh your memory!
This brainchild came to us, courtesy of our own members Lyn and Mike! As you know, Lyn has video'd demos and teaching segments at several Caper events as well as our regular club days. These include full demos of dances and in some cases, specific figures or sequences in a dance. All of this done as an extra learning tool for all of us. Mike comes in with his knowledge of Dropbox. This is one of those computer programs (otherwise known as apps) which allow us to store videos and other documents in a storage area called "the cloud", and we can have access to it, when we would like to view it! Mike and Lyn have also expanded what we store in Dropbox by also storing documents! For some of Pat's teaches, she provides a document at dances which covers some of the figures she and John have been working on during their teaches. Those documents can also be found on our Dropbox site! So if you have misplaced that document and would like to take a peek at it again, check on Dropbox. It's probably there. Ziggy has also been joining the bandwagon, by contributing some videos he has taken at the club.
Thanks so much to those of you who contribute material for our Dropbox site. They say there are many ways of learning. Some learn well by reading the written word. Some learn well by visualizing something. The material that is presented on our Dropbox site is not always available on other video sites and harder yet to find specific video'd figures or dance sequences with commentaries! If you haven't looked at it lately, please take an opportunity to revisit the site. You can find it under our "Links" page at the top of this page and go to the dropdown menu called "Dance Video Sites". You will find Lyn and Mike's Dropbox site toward the bottom of the page. Happy surfing!

Bustin' The Moves This Week!

Dance Blog

This week we started off two new teaches at Capital Carousels. On Wednesday, it was a West Coast Swing called "Lie To Me" and on Thursday, it was a Rumba called "Rhythm & Romance". As with the majority of new dances we learn, we have new figures to learn or different sequences to master. This week in our blog entry, we decided to talk about some of the key elements in our dances. Donna and Arlo will begin with the teach we began presenting on Wednesday, "Lie To Me". Ziggy and Jenny will finish our blog off this week by covering some of the key points in their dance on Thursday, "Rhythm & Romance".


This week's West Coast Swing teach is introducing us to a couple of new figures for our club, the triple travel with roll and the tummy whip. As the majority of our teach will be about the triple travel with roll, we decided to start last Wednesday with a clinic session on that figure. The Tummy Whip will be presented this week.

The triple travel with roll is a 3 1/2 measure figure. There are different ways to enter that figure, but the most common way is probably with an underarm turn which is modified. This underarm turn will start the same as a normal underarm turn but has three important differences at the end: (a) we omit the anchor step at the end and (b) we end in a right hand star with our trailing feet free and (c) the timing is now 1, 2, 3&4 only (the normal underarm turn is timing 1, 2, 3&4, 5&6). The important thing to note is that the cue will be "underarm turn with triple travel with roll". That cue is YOUR cue to modify the underarm turn. Please remember the "underarm turn" and "triple travel with roll" are TWO separate figures and not always used together.

The "ROLL 2" part in the figure doesn't seem like much, but there are a few things to understand that might help with this. Triple Travel with Roll is a figure that travels. A roll also travels as compared to remaining in place as a spin would do. To help this roll travel, you need momentum! At the beginning you are in a right hand star formation. If you and your partner push off one another in that star formation, this will help give you the momentum needed to do the ROLL 2. Good tone in your arms is needed for this-NO NOODLE ARMS! Also a good thing to remember, if you are in a right hand star, the momentum will turn you to your right. If you are in the left hand star, the momentum pushing off will turn you to your left. There are also 2 weight changes in a ROLL 2. When the ROLL 2 is over, you should be facing the same way as you did when you started the figure.
So when you are in the star formation and you push off one another, this will give you momentum to start your turn, step down reverse line of dance, keeping momentum to continue the turn and take your 2nd weight change down reverse line of dance to finish the figure. *NOTE THAT REVERSE LINE OF DANCE IS THE LINE OF PROGRESSION IN THIS DANCE BUT COULD ALSO GO DOWN LINE OF DANCE IN OTHER DANCES*

One of the key points is memorizing the sequence. We have a more in-depth explanation of the sequence in the "Encyclopedia Brittanica Version" and then just a basic sequence written out in the "Reader's Digest Version".

Encyclopedia Brittanica Version

  1. (In a right hand star with trailing feet free) SIDE-CLOSE-SIDE
  2. (In a right hand star with lead feet free) ROLL 2 (to the right) TO A LEFT HAND STAR
  3. (In a left hand star with lead feet free) FORWARD-LOCK-FORWARD TO A RIGHT HAND STAR *BACK-LOCK-BACK FOR LADIES*
  4. (In a right hand star with trailing feet free) FORWARD-LOCK-FORWARD TO A LEFT HAND STAR *BACK-LOCK-BACK FOR LADIES*
  5. (In a left hand star with lead feet free) FORWARD-LOCK-FORWARD *STAY IN LEFT HAND STAR* **BACK-LOCK-BACK FOR LADIES**
  6. (In a left hand star with trailing feet free) ROLL 2 (to the left) AND JOIN LEAD HANDS
  7. (With lead hands joined and trailing feet free) ANCHOR STEP

Reader's Digest Version

  1. (In a right hand star with trailing feet free) SIDE-CLOSE-SIDE
  7. ANCHOR STEP (ending in good WCS position-lead hands joined and lead feet free)

Memorization is a big key to this figure and practice makes perfect! This part will not be step cued by cuers so memorizing it is key! Remember in WCS you only dance in a slot, but this figure will be a LONG slot. A long stretch in your house would work such as a basement, a long hallway or other long slot area you might have in your home for practice purposes.

The last point we made was that throughout the triple travel with roll figure, you should be looking in the same direction at the end of each part. In this dance, for the man, it is reverse line of dance and for the ladies, it is line of dance. We should not be finishing any part of this facing the wall or centre of hall. This is particularly directed toward finishing the star formations in the figure.

We hope this might help you and remember that memorization of the sequence is key. Arlo and I will be doing some Triple Travel with Roll practice prior to our Wednesday 7PM start for those who would like the extra practice time. I suspect this will start sometime around 6:45PM or so. See you then!


Last Thursday, Jenny and Ziggy started to teach the dancers a Phase 4 Rumba, entitled, Rhythm & Romance. This dance was suggested by Donna. It’s very romantic (according to Donna); especially as the music is provided by Kenny G on his saxophone!!
Rumba is somewhat different than other rhythms in that there is no rise and fall as in Waltz and Foxtrot and there is no stepping with the heel first as in Tango. Steps are taken “ball-flat”. And one other aspect, the feet literally never leave the floor; in many instances it is only the toes that touch the floor. This is sometimes not easily done; even Ziggy has to constantly remind himself of this.
The dance is relatively simple in that Part A is danced three times and Part B twice; the second time as part of the ending. The Introduction consists of a through vine 7 to Aida then a slow switch in one (with the trailing foot) to the wall then hold. The vine is not done to the music beat, just do it when the cuer says to do it.
After the hold, you are cued to do a ½ basic to a full natural top. It is important in performing the ½ basic that the man turns ¼ turn to the right thereby facing reverse line of dance. This is important as otherwise it would be difficult to perform the full natural top and finishing facing the wall. The full natural top is done to a count of 9 (3 QQSs). The man starts by stepping behind with the right foot while the woman starts by stepping in between the man’s feet. Jenny’s “wagon wheel” tip was a great help for the ladies.
Next comes a “cross body to low butterfly”. In performing the cross body; at the end of the first QQS, the man should be facing the line of dance and the woman the centre of hall, i.e. they are a right angles to each other. After the 2nd QQS the partners are facing each other in low butterfly with the lead feet free.
The next cue is Slow cross swivel with Ronde (twice). The first cross swivel by the lady is to her left. She crosses with her right and she rondes with her left foot; keeping her toes on the ground!!! While she is doing that, the man shifts his weight to his left while looking at his partner. The whole movement is done slowly to the count of QQS. Then the lady does the same going to her right and the man shifts his weight to his right.
The next cue of consequence is “chase with underarm pass”. Remember men that you keep your left hand low for the first QQS and only raise if for the underarm turn on the second QQS.
Part B starts with a serpiente. Remember to keep the toes on the floor while doing the ronde. Later there is a “flirt” to a fan followed by an “alemana”. The second part of the alemana is normally QQS while the lady turns to the right. Instead, here she (and the man) does two “slows” while turning. Then, a cucaracha is performed (QQS).
The Ending is identical to Part B except there are no two “slows”. Instead, when performing the last three steps of the Alemana (QQS), the woman overturns to a “wrap” facing line of dance and hold. While overturning to a wrap, the lady is to bring her left arm across her body to allow the man to take her right hand with his right hand.
Jenny & Ziggy hope that you enjoy doing this romantic Rumba. They are usually available before dancing starts to assist when asked and this week, they will be doing some practice runs prior to our regular 10am start for those who would like this opportunity. This will probably start sometime around 9:30am or so. See you then!

Spring Fever!


The snow is melting! The temperature is rising! Soon our flower bulbs will be emerging from the ground! Ah yes….spring is here and when spring is here, we at Capital Carousels also head into our last session of the season. Our spring session begins next week. This will be a 6 week session. Wednesday will be from April 4-May 9. Thursday, April 5-May 10. The cost will be unchanged. $7/day per person for the session fee, or $10/person at the door. As the Wednesday group had a couple of snow days this year, if you had paid a winter session fee, you will get credit for those days towards your spring session fee.
We still have teaches being done during the spring session as well as one week for just dancing. We will also be welcoming back some of our friends who dance in warmer climates. We look forward to welcoming you back to the fold!
Looking to the end of our season, we will be having our final dance of the season and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 16. As per usual, this dance is open to our club members from both clubs. More details to come.
Speaking of more current topics, we will have brand new teaches to start off our spring session. On Wednesday night, Donna and Arlo will be teaching a new West Coast Swing. For those of you who attended the WCS Workshop that Leo and I did last June, this new dance will include the figures "tummy whip" and "underarm turn with triple travel with roll" we taught there. These are the only new figures in the dance. If you dance on Thursday and would like to attend, you are more than welcome! On Thursday, Ziggy and Jenny will be teaching a new phase 4 rumba with super nice music and a beautiful dance. This dance will certainly be a nice addition to our Capital Carousels portfolio of dances.
As a closing note, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Easter weekend. May you enjoy your weekend in whatever way you celebrate! See you next week!