Category Archives: dance

Cross-step waltz Albuquerque

Cross-step waltz Albuquerque
Sundays 12:00-2pm
Lloyd Shaw Dance Center (large hall), 5506 Coal Avenue Southeast, Albuquerque, NM 87108
An hour lesson for new and reviewed material and an hour of open dance:

12:00-12:15 open waltzing (warm-up/beginner lesson)
12:15-1:15 lesson (learn)
1:15-2:00 open waltzing (open dancing/practice)

$5/person (suggested)
Gary Diggs and Erik Erhardt, instructors
Join the Facebook group

Cross-step waltz Albuquerque is a new dance group meeting every Sunday 12-2pm at Lloyd Shaw Dance Center in Albuquerque organized and taught by Gary Diggs and me, Erik Erhardt.  I’d heard about the west coast cross-step phenomenon, danced the follow role with a couple California leads at dance camps, and dreamily watched YouTube videos over the previous couple years.  At last, my moment arrived with the arrival of Richard Powers and Angela Amarillas from Stanford University to Albuquerque to teach a cross-step waltz workshop the weekend of October 12th, 2012, hosted by the Albuquerque International Folk Dance Foundation.  Cross-step immediately became my favorite dance form!  Soon after, Gary approached me to co-teach a class with him.  Because Gary knows all the fancy moves and I connect well with beginners, we play well together and offer something for everyone.  We welcome beginners and experienced dancers, alike.  Each class is structured with a fifteen-minute warm-up/beginner lesson, a one-hour lesson, and forty five-minutes of open dancing/practice/one-on-one touch-up.

For a lovely online preview, search for “Richard Powers Cross-Step Waltz” to find his social dance page including an uncut three-minute video sequence with many of flowing variations and a generous description of the dance, its history, and hundreds of variations (in active development).  Next, of course, come cross-step with us (especially gents)!

Erik Erhardt teaches couples dance and calls contra and English country dance in New Mexico and around the country.

Pinewoods Swing into Summer, 2012, a better Hambo workshop

I’ve been lucky! I was invited to teach couples dance at five of the six dance and music camps in my summer schedule (AZ, NM, MA, CA, MA, AZ) and was invited to give a day-long waltz workshop in Tucson, AZ!  I can hardly believe it.  To Eric Black and Diane Zingale, who both believed in me to lead couples dance at AmWeek 2011 and got me started (and invited me back for AmWeek 2012), I have much gratitude!  Thanks also to all the organizers (Deb Comly, Lisa Bertelli, Chuck Gordon, and Eric Black) who trusted me to create a fun and engaging learning experience.

A better Hambo workshop

Chuck Gordon invited me to teach Hambo with Heather Carmichael at Pinewoods, Swing into Summer. The two one-hour sessions, and the support of several dance angels (experienced hambo-ers), absolutely helped the success of the workshop. My experience is that a single one-hour workshop (or even 1:15) isn’t quite enough to get the dance into the feet of the dancers.  But one hour to get solid on the components and their synthesis (Dreyfus model levels 2 or 3, advanced beginner or competency), a night of rest and maybe practicing the turn in free moments, then a second day of dancing over and over with many dancers gives enough time and thought to ascend to level 4 (proficiency).  I think even two 45-minute session are preferable to one 1:30 workshop or even a single 2-hour workshop.

From the experience, I still feel engaged, joyful, and inspired because of the direct and special way I could connect in the community, watch the dancers grow in the two hours, and facilitate the mutual nurturing and compassion between the dancers as many went from “what’s hambo?” to, “let’s dance”!

Heather and I thank Emily Troll, Mary Lea, and Julie Vallimont who played a series of lovely tunes as we all got to dance as a mixer for a solid 40 minutes of the second hour — my most successful hambo workshop!

Dance: 2012 spring newsletter for Friends of the Guiding Star Grange

I was touched to be invited by Val LaBelle to write the article below appearing in the 2012 Spring newsletter for the Friends of the Guiding Star Grange. It was almost 15 years ago that I became a dancer on the Guiding Star’s floor.

Old-time contra dancing, tradition and modernity in New Mexico
by Erik Erhardt, a New England transplant

At first glance, walking into a contra dance in New Mexico will have the look and feel of dances we experience all over the country: groups people in brightly colored clothing laughingly catching up since the last dance, a table with a small cashbox and dance fliers, a stage with musicians and technicians preparing the sound, and a buzz of anticipation for a fun evening of dance (and sometimes song). But if you’re from New England, as I am, you’ll start to notice little differences reflecting the culture, music, and style of the southwest. Cue harp strumming as we go back in time…

Continue reading Dance: 2012 spring newsletter for Friends of the Guiding Star Grange