Leveraging and Compressing Your Partnership

Deb and I are very excited to be teaching this Saturday and Sunday at Longfellows. West Coast Swing has two basic energies. One is leverage or leaning away from each other and the other is compression or leaning toward each other. They each have their importance in the dance.

Leverage gets us started on nearly every pattern. Without leverage you are line dancing next to or in front of your partner while holding their hand. This “away” energy often referred to as “V-frame,” can only be accomplished if both partners are on the same page. Saturday at 7pm Deb and I will get you on that page!

Compression, in WCS, happens less often but in a much more dynamic way than Leverage. It too relies on you and your partner being on the same page but it also requires more commitment and trust to really hit maximum power effectively. This “Toward” or “A-Frame” is what gives this dance its flair. Get Dynamic with Deb and I at 8pm.

Friday Night May 11th
WCS With Tessa Antolini
Beginner WCS 7:45pm
Intermediate WCS 8:30pm
Social Dancing 9:30pm
Forte Dance
123 Muller Rd.
Burlington, Ma

Saturday May 12th

WCS With Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan (Debby Monk)
7-8pm All Levels Leveraging Your Partnership ($20 Both lessons and dance)
8-9 Intermediate Compressing  Your Partnership ($15 this lesson and dance)
9-12am $10 DJ Mr. J
Longfellow’s Club JoEllen
524 Boston Post Rd
Wayland, MA
Sunday May 13th
California Mixer
6:00pm Two-Step Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan
6:45pm  WCS Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan
7:30-11ish DJs Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan

Longfellow’s Club JoEllen
524 Boston Post Rd
Wayland, MA

John Festa Swings In To Boston

John Festa Is Back!

Yes John Festa is coming Back to Longfellow but lets take a mental field trip out side of dancing and think about thrill rides for a moment. Why do more people ride roller coasters than Ferris wheels? Both rides go up and down but only one takes the rider right to the edge of out of control without going over. The Ferris wheel does not pack much of a punch for the thrill seeker. Roller coasters are the big draw at the amusement park because they are fast, intense, and no two parts of the ride are ever the same. This is what makes them so much fun!

When John Festa learned how to swing, the music was the draw. Dancing faster, holding your slot, and discovering new footwork variations drove dancers right to the edge without going over. They danced with speed, power, and needed tremendous control in their connection to keep the dancers on their feet and in time with the music. Pushing the envelope meant faster and more intense music. It meant giving more of your self to the partnership. It meant you could no longer do it alone. You needed your partner as much as they needed you and the only communication was good connection. Even if the song was the same, with the same partner, no two dances where ever the same and the scene exploded with dance junky thrill seekers.

In 2018 the music has gone the way of the Ferris wheel and dancers have taken to less footwork, less technique, and interpretive movements over speed, power, and control. As the song slows down your reliance on connection lessens. You can begin using visual clues and body language to lead and follow. There is less risk, more time to fix mistakes, and in my opinion way less fun to be had. You see, when you learn how to dance fast and accurate then choose to dance slow, you bring your connection skills with you.

Real Understanding

If you are tired of feeling like you just don’t “get it”or that you have been riding the wrong kind of ride, its time to experience the real thrill that is West Coast Swing. This is how I have asked John Festa to approach to this Saturday and Sunday’s workshops. You will leave having felt what “On the Edge” feels like. He opened my eyes over 15 years ago and he will open yours on Saturday and Sunday!

Here is the Facebook invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/434686613611907/?active_tab=about

Please click the link and say you are coming and share it on your own page. I would love to have a full audience for my favorite coach!

Saturday April 14th  WCS with

 John Festa!

7-8 PM All Level Class: Swing IT!

8-9 PM Intermediate WCS: Swing IT Harder!

2 Workshops $20 (includes Dance)

1 Workshop $15 (includes Dance)

($10 for beginner class or dance only)

9-12 WCS Dance with DJ John Festa

Sunday April 15th more great moves with

 John Festa!

6:30 -7:30 PM WCS with John Festa:

Connection with the Floor, Yourself, and then Your Partner

6:30 – 7:30 PM Beginner 2 Step with Steele Shane

7:30 – 11 PM Country Mix Dance

$15 any lesson(s) includes dance

$15 Dance only

Tessa, Larry, and Mr. Jonathan Oh My!

Friday, Sept 8th, 2017 (tonight)

Its the  Mr. Jonathan Show at Tessa’s Forte Friday Fun Night. She has come down with a high fever and does not want to infect the dance community. She will be home resting while we swing our butts off! I have a new 32 count pattern cycle that is easy and fun to dance. Plus over these last few years a great new partner passing WCS game, centered around the very patterns you will learn, has surfaced…Be prepared to be dancing (and possibly rolling) in the isles after this one of a kind experience!


Beginner WCS 7:45pm
Intermediate WCS 8:30pm
Social Dancing 9:30pm
Forte Dance
123 Muller Rd.
Burlington, Ma
Saturday, Sept 9th, 2017

8pm Intermediate Lesson W/Larry Mongeau
9pm -12ish General Dancing DJ Larry Mongeau
Longfellow’s Club JoEllen
524 Boston Post Rd
Wayland, MA
Sunday Sept 10th, 2017

6:30 – 7:00 PM Intermediate 2 Step with Mr. J

7:00 -7:30 PM Intermediate WCS with Mr. J

7:30 – 10:30 or 11PM Country Mix Dance with Mr. Jonathan

(Music will be a mix of Country, Ballroom, and WCS until we run out of people!)

$15 any lesson (s) includes dance
$15 Dance only


This Saturday I am DJing and Teaching for NHABDA in Milford, NH

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Milford Town Hall, 1 Union Square, Milford, NH

Take Rt. 101W to exit for Rt. 101-A West (Milford/Keene) OR Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3) to exit 7W (Rt. 101-A West). Follow to oval (center of town) and proceed around the right, but take your first right into the rear of the town hall. Parking is here and easier access for elevator to 3rd floor.

6:45 to 7:30 p.m. Country Two-Step Lesson by Mr. Jonathan
8:45 p.m. Showcase by Students of Anne Fleming’s Studio
7:30 to 11:00 p.m.  General Dancing to Mr. Jonathan, DJ

Singles welcome – dance hosts usually provided. Complimentary ice, coffee and desserts. Water will be available at a nominal fee. You may bring your own beverage and snack, however, alcohol and smoking are not allowed.

Make reservations NOW! Seating limited to 100 attendees.
CALL Betty at (603) 716-6791 (normal business hours) or e-mail to: getinstep@comcast.net

Admission:  $12. NHABDA members – $17. Non-members
Become a member at the dance for only $20. for the year and you’ll receive Footnotes, our monthly newsletter.
Late reservations and admissions at the door: $2.00 additional


To Move Someone Else, You must First Move Yourself

Donnie Burns To move others you must first move yourself

I was watching a very long dance lecture that featured Donnie Burns as the speaker. He said something that was so great that I have to share it with you! “You must move yourself, before you can move others.” This statement is really a double entendre.

In a lead and follow situation the leader should be focused on moving his own body from his center and connecting to his follower’s center so she knows to move herself, following his center’s movement. Blah blah blah…I know you have heard this statement formed in an infinite number of ways to explain what we all know to do (even if we never do it correctly).

Looking at Donnie’s statement from an artistic stand point. How can we expect to move/impress/inspire anyone with our dancing if we ourselves are not moved/impressed/inspired by our own dancing? Dance for your self, practice for yourself, move yourself every single day and you will foster that little rockstar that is in you. Once you do it for you, you can feel confident in showing it off to “them.”

Sunday, June 18th
6:00pm  2-Step Lesson w/Mr. J
6:45pm WCS Lesson w/Mr. J
7:30pm General Dancing  DJ/Mr. J
Longfellow’s Club JoEllen
524 Boston Post Rd
Wayland, MA
According to Wikipedia

Donnie BurnsMBE was born in HamiltonSouth LanarkshireScotland in 1959, where he attended Holy Cross High School. He is a Scottish professional ballroom dancer, specialising in Latin dance.

He and his former partner Gaynor Fairweather were 14-time World Professional Latin champions: this is by some way the record for this title.[1] They were also eleven times International Latin American Dance Champions, and this is also a record.[2] On their competitive retirement both were honoured by appointment as MBE. Donnie was undefeated in any competitive dance contest for nearly 20 years of continuous competition, a record in any major category of ballroom dance; this is now in the Guinness Book of Records. During this period he won major titles in countries throughout the world.

He is now[when?] President[3] of the World Dance Council.[4] He is a winner of the Carl Alan Award for outstanding services to dance and is widely considered the “Michael Jordan” of ballroom dancing.[citation needed] In 2008, Burns married swing dance and International Latin dancer Heidi Groskreutz.

Burns was the hero of the character Mr. Aoki in the 1996 Japanese film Shall We Dance?.

Burns also appeared during week 7 of the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars.