The teachers and sponsors for the Weekend have been deeply involved with teaching, researching, performing, and/or promoting Ragtime Era dance for several decades. They share a passion for the music and dance of this era, and their collaboration on the event promises to make it a memorable occasion for you!
The Colorado dancers once again welcome Richard Powers, one of the world's foremost experts in American social dance. He has been researching and reconstructing contemporary and historic social dances for over thirty years, and is currently a full-time instructor at Stanford University. Selected by the Centennial Issue of Stanford Magazine as one of Stanford University's most notable graduates of its first century, he was also presented the Lloyd Dinkelspiel Award for exceptional contributions to education at Stanford.
In addition to his Stanford responsibilities, Richard is busy teaching workshops across the country and in Europe, and is a popular teacher in Japan where he has returned over 20 times to teach workshops. Informative, clear, and with a sense of humor, Richard brings a deep knowledge of dance history and a wonderful philosophy to enhance your dancing experience.
We also welcome back Angela Amarillas, who has assisted Richard in his classes and workshops for many years. Angela, who was Stanford University’s first Dance Minor, is a graceful and knowledgeable dancer who shares Richard's passion for historical and vernacular social dance. Richard and Angela have taught and performed in Rome, Prague, Venice, London, Paris, Provence, and St. Petersburg, as well as across the United States.
Richard and Angela's collaborative teaching style is 1+1=3! We are delighted to share this very special commemorative weekend with their expert teaching, historical perspective, and joyful execution of dances from the Ragtime Era.
Marilyn Chartrand, prior to moving to the Bay Area, California, lived and danced in the Boulder/Denver area for nearly three decades. She was active in the leadership of the Boulder International Folk Dancers, and performed with and directed the Narodno Ethnic Music and Dance Ensemble/Tapestry for 15 years (which included a Richard Powers choreographed Ragtime Suite). She collaborated with Jim X Borzym on the Tea Dance and Columbine Ball series throughout the 1990's. She has been a vintage dancer for 25 years, attending vintage dance events both in the U.S. and in Europe. She has hosted Richard and Angela in Denver/Boulder ballrooms every 1 – 2 years since 1998 for waltz, historic tango, and swing weekends.
Jim X Borzym has been a vintage dancer since the early 1980s, and founded American Vernacular Dance in 1988. Jim X. teaches couple dances, calls contra dances, and hosts social events with live music. His areas of special dance expertise include waltz, swing, tango, foxtrot and contra dance. Music interests include piano, concertina, and song, as well as ragtime, early jazz, and pre-war popular music. He was the sponsor of the long-running series of Columbine Balls, and has organized and directed the Denver/Boulder Tea Dance series since its inception 20 years ago.
Watch Your Step! Vintage Dance Vignettes is a Boulder/Denver vintage dance group that performs, makes presentations, and instructs American social dances of the early twentieth century. The troupe amuses and informs the public through the presentation of dances from the past, some of which—like the Foxtrot—evolved into the ballroom dances we know today. In addition to many other organizational tasks for the weekend, Dorothy Vernon, Director, serves as our weekend registrar, and she and Susie Reisser, along with Marilyn and Jim X., will be sharing their period costume expertise ahead of the Ball.
Historical note: Where was she built? Ever since its foundation in 1871, the White Star Line had ordered its new ships from the shipyard of Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The design and construction skills of the yard were outstanding, and the workforce took great pride in the many famous ships they built. Construction of the Titanic began on March 31, 1909, and work progressed at a furious speed from then on. By May 1911, the Titanic was ready to be launched. (Her outfitting took another year.)
In April 2012, Belfast will open its Titanic Belfast exhibit, a magnificent modern museum building designed to mirror the stunning stature of the grand lady. The exhibit will unfold the story of the engineering achievement represented by the grand Titanic.