Click here for some great visuals: dance addendum 2003
And now we come to 2003. A slow dance year for me, one of frustrations, until a burst of energy in the summer, almost all of my dancing seemed to consist of Reservoir Lounge Mondays. Almost no mentions of Dovercourt House. Oh, and a personal war between myself and a dance teacher. And some comments on SARSstock. And the year I published my only book – and tried to sell it.
January 18, 2003
Subway South of Downsview
Went to 412 Richmond East for a Lindy Hop lesson. It was perfect.
Monday February 17, 2003
On train from Downsview
It’s very snowy out, but I’m heading to the Gladstone. Bradley needs my $7, and the boy’s got to dance. We will see who shows at the Gladstone. Who knows?
Streetcar picked its way along Queen forever, got to Gladstone at 8:05. Bradley didn’t actually go on until 8:20, first set a little less than an hour. No food at Gladstone, which is why I am here. No hard liquor either, it seems, just beer and wine. I also ducked the cover charge, so Roma gets the money Gladstone might have. Only one actual follower, so no dancing for me. Sigh.
Sunday March 9, 2003
Subway South at Downsview
The Dovercourt dance with the Toronto Jazz Orchestra and Melissa Stylianou was packed, and I got eight dances in and sold a book.
Saturday March 15, 2003
St. Andrew Station
Successful TSDS Lindy night at Argonaut Club, once I clambered over the icy paths to get there. Mandi and Alana taught Rueda, and then an inefficient and crowded beginner lesson (130 people!) New York Laura arrived at the beginner lesson and immediately proclaimed me the cutest guy in the room, which sort of made my night. Spontaneous praise doesn’t come my way that often. Laura really impressed with the book, nearly sold her one but she didn’t have enough cash. Danced a lot, with Laura, Ann, Rebecca, Teresa, Bonnie and a few others, including a cute thing in a furry tank top named Sharla who was a lot of fun to dance with. I think she was there with the “Meet Market” group that showed up. Another lovely dancer who I will never see again. I left at 11:30, and I have my standard post-dance pizza craving.
Saturday March 22, 2003
Subway South at Downsview
Monday night at the Reservoir, where I spent a fortune – $13.50 – on a gin and chartreuse – I don’t know why it was so expensive. The place was pretty deserted because it was St. Patrick’s Day.
Tuesday March 25, 2003
Subway N. At Union
Reservoir went well. 3 and a half dances, one with Alana, and the other 2 and a half with a woman whose name I can’t recall. It was nice to dance with Alana, and she kept stroking me when she wandered by me – which felt good. Charlie was there with his Toronto room-mate, apparently he has been staying in Toronto and taking a welding course. His friend was somewhat stunned by the Lindy scene, and everyone having an extra pair of shoes. I had only water to drink – apparently the waitress is ignoring me now. All I wanted was coffee – it’s probably good I didn’t have any.
Sunday, April 6, 2003
Dundas Streetcar near Ossington
I went to Lula Lounge tonight. I thought I was getting there late, but ended up in the bulk of the lesson, taught by Mandi Gould. Only four dances, one with Ann, who is looking for a better job – and two with Deirdre, who I don’t remember but who took lessons with Lisa Jacobs at Dancing on King in 1999! New York Laura came and went without dancing with me – then I left, with the remains of the San Pellegrino bottle I bought. I think that’s illegal, but I wasn’t wasting the money. I hope it doesn’t leak.
Saturday April 19, 2003
Subway North from St. George
I get to Dovercourt Dance about 11:00 P.M, just it time to see Peter Renzland lead the bunny hop while wearing bunny ears – quite a sight. Much consumption of chocolate by others. Dances with Bonnie, Rachel, Donna, Amina, Ann Mayer, and finally, after she arrives at 12:15, with MK.
Monday May 5, 2003
Subway North near St. Andrew
Reservoir Lounge the deadest I have seen in years. No dancers except me, Peter Renzland, and Renzland’s girl. Granted it was raining with thunderstorms off in the West, but I can’t account for it. Perhaps Mondays at the Reservoir are doomed? I really need to dance on Wednesday, now.
Wednesday May 7, 2003
Lula Lounge, Dundas Street West
Despite all my best efforts at killing time, I’m still here too early. Alex and the Alleycats go on at 9 P.M. Lesson in progress.
Monday May 12, 2003
Subway North of Museum.
Tonight was Reservoir. Still pretty deserted, but Alana Hock showed up as promised and I got two dances in. That was nice.
Saturday May 24, 2003
Subway South of Wilson
Damp, foggy morning. Against all rational sense, I am off to another dance weekend – or at least the Saturday of one. This time, the Rhythm Hot-Shots form Sweden. My first lesson since my February melt-down. I must be firm – if these don’t work, then I give up the lessons and resign myself to forever in high-beginner stage, blissfully ignorant of the vistas ahead of me. After five years, you would expect I know something, but I don’t.
St. George Station
There is a baby screaming, the last thing I need. I’m in a foul mood -everything started late tonight.
11:54 on Train.
Especially, the 10:00 performance on the Harlem Hot Shots started at 10:40 P.M., and much of it put me to sleep. Too much tap. I only had two dances, one with someone who couldn’t follow and a disaster with Moira. What good are lessons if you can’t relax on the floor? Too many bad decisions. NO MORE DANCE WEEKENDS!
Tuesday May 27, 2003
Reservoir fun – four dances first set, one in the second. Two dances with Jacqueline, a management consultant, who started dancing in March, was at the workshop, ordered an Apple Martini which she didn’t finish. Two other dances with Nancy, whose name I just re-learned. In the set break, Peter Renzland and I finished the Apple Martini. He swore it was gin and I vodka. He asked whether History could be written without opinion. I agreed that it could.
The news this morning – Mondays at the Reservoir are cancelled. Damn!
Monday June 2, 2003
On train, Downsview Station.
In the middle of the week, I learned that Reservoir Mondays have not been cancelled, so off I am again!
Tuesday June 3, 2003
Subway North at Osgoode
First set of Reservoir I only had once dance, was turned down by Rachel and spilled half my rye and ginger. But I stayed and it was worth it – three dances second set, all very nice. Rachel was with a friend who came in swearing she wouldn’t dance – so she only danced twice, such is the persuasive power of Aidan Fisher. A nice large crowd for Gordon Webster’s last night on piano – the band can’t afford him on the lean stretch to come – although by all appearances tonight, Monday may be on a rebound. I feel pumped. I actually walked to St. Andrew instead of King, and I may walk home. The TSE was up 80 today, and I made lots on paper. On the down side, my nose still burns from cigar smoke.
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
94 Bus from Wellesley Station
Went to Nathan Phillips Square for second set of Swing Shift Big Band “Salute to Seniors”, including one dance with Rebecca Senese. Alana, Jacqui, and two guys performed on stage and Alana and Jacqui also came down to coax seniors to dance.
June 16, 2003
Subway – Downsview
I hope some women turn up at Reservoir tonight. I haven’t danced in ages.
Two dances first set with Jacqueline, that management consultant – I had to look up her name from a month ago. We also danced a third one to “Volare” – canned during the break. The latter dance was East Coast – apparently Jacqui learned Jive a while back. She seems interested in me, I spent the beginning of my evening sitting alone and she sought me out and invited me to come sit near her. Very interesting. Solomon Douglas also showed up in the set break.
Friday June 20, 2003
After “Flame of New Orleans”, I felt the night was still young, so I walked to the Reservoir, got there before the band started, sat in the alley for most of the first set, drinking and eating. Service slow, waitress quite absent-minded. Spotted Jacqueline near end of the first set, but could not pry her away to dance. She found me during the break. I think she wanted to dance, but I waited until the second set, three dances, two with Jacqueline, two in the alley, which was clear enough to dance because a large group had moved a table. A good night, if a bit late.
Saturday June 21, 2003
This must be where street festivals go to die. Almost no-one here for Jennifer Vallenylene (sp?), backed by Sol Douglas, Terry Wilkins, and Scott Nielsen. Tom and Silke are dancing, trying to avoid the road kill on the street. The road is officially in a traffic calming zone, placing a stage across the road is certainly an experiment in extreme traffic calming.
Monday June 23, 2003
Donwsview Station, Southbound
Apart from leaving my hat behind in Seeley Hall, Saturday and Sunday were a lot of fun. The Toronto All Star Big Band drew a very small crowd Sunday Afternoon, but the music was good. Their promoter told us a story about one of their singers being detained at the border on a recent Buffalo trip. Off to Reservoir tonight, lets hope the weekend didn’t exhaust everyone.
Tuesday June 24, 2003
Subway South of King
Reservoir very slow first set, only one dance. Large crowd arrived during break, but everyone paired off so quickly the first danceable song of set 2, which convinced me I didn’t really want to dance. So I left.
Tuesday July 1, 2003
The Reservoir was packed, tomorrow (today!) being a holiday, the dancers were out in force. Six dances, three each set, first song with Alana, also Rachel and Anne Mayer. The place was beastly hot, and the dance floor insanely crowded, especially because of all the amateurs dancing too. Otherwise I might have danced more – there were enough willing women.
Tuesday July 8, 2003
St. Andrew Station
Walked from Reservoir to St. Andrew with Sean Grossberg, on his way to his car at King and John. Reservoir was indifferent. Chris Plock was absent the first set, Terra Hazleton was in command. All the music was danceable but no-one was there. No-one except Jo from Ithaca, in town on her way to St. Catharines. She was with someone, so I didn’t ask her – she asked me. That was my only dance the first set. Second set lots of people but Chris Plock played all his undanceable garbage. Finally, to “All Right, O.K, You Win” I danced with Christina, one of Solomon’s new students who has also danced in Australia. It turned out to be a long version that exhausted both my repertoire and me.
Monday July 14, 2003
Reservoir entertaining. Chris Plock away, so the Jake who isn’t Jake Chisholm headed up the band and did a pretty innovative, and experimental set, including a neo-Brechtian waltz version of “Mac the Knife”. A few danceable tunes early in the set, but no followers, and then the music sped up. I left right after the first set because I have a dental appointment Tuesday morning. Ran into Jacqueline on the street, gave her my e-mail again.
Monday July 21, 2003
Music at Reservoir danceable but not enough followers. Two dances first set with Anna Mayer, but left after being of second set.
Monday July 28, 2003:
Subway leaving Downsview
To get here I had to take an elaborate detour around a police line blocking Sheppard and Faywood. Some horribly burnt car was involved. Didn’t stop me from heading to Reservoir Lounge.
One dance each set. Too many men, but a reasonable crowd.
Wednesday July 30, 2003
Sheppard has never looked so loopy, thanks to the huge concert at Downsview Park today – Sars-stock T-shirts on sale – every church and empty lot open for parking, lots of spontaneous sidewalk entrepreneurs and people, people, people. Me, I ‘m going to Nathan Phillips Square for a free concert, then later this evening to Reservoir Lounge for Bradley and the Bouncers. I have no idea if I will be able to get home.
Subway South of Yorkdale
I never thought I’d see it – so many people walking up the Allen Expressway. Some of them have waved at me – one gave me a peace sign. I’ve saluted a few, it’s been quite remarkable.
Thursday July 31, 2003
Subway South of King
Reservoir started out very slow – no women for the first three songs, but it picked up and by the end there were women. Two dances first set, three in the second before I left. Two dances with Rebecca Senese, one with Nicole who is singing at Tuyen near Yonge and Sheppard. I forget the other two women’s names. Now the hardest part – getting home – already I am seeing concert-patrons heading for their homes.
Bathurst Station – on 7 Bus
A lot of stunned-looking people on the Bloor line between St. George and Bathurst. And then a bedraggled lot stumbling half-blind off the southbound Bathurst bus here at the station. Once we get moving, northbound should be a breeze.
North of Eglinton.
All southbound Bathurst buses packed with pepole, as was an Eastbound bus on Eglinton West – everyone going every which way!
Monday, August 11, 2003
Reasonable first set at Reservoir. Chet Valiant combo fronted by Jake of Big Rude Jake. They did “Seventh Avenue”, which I had never heard live. Three dances, two with Natasha. No action second set, so I left.
Monday August 18, 2003
Subway South near Wilson
First entry since Sudbury trip and blackout, described elsewhere. I called the Reservoir and they reported business as usual, so I decided to go down.
Chris Plock and Terra Hazleton back again tonight. Pretty sparse dancing crowd. Two dances first set, and then I leave.
Monday September 15, 2003
I’m just too efficient at eating. Any sane person could have killed an hour at a Mexican restaurant, but not me, so I am way too early here. Especially if the dancing crowd gets here at 10:40 P.M. It would be really nice to get some dancing in the first set. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Tuesday September 16, 2003
Well, everyone showed up late in the first set and it looked like I was going to be the odd one out, but Alana sat near me, so all the others did as well. And Alana had insisted we dance, so I had to stay for set two to dance with her. And I managed a second dance before I left. During the set break, Cheong, the bass player, was shanghaied by Alana into sitting with us. Sol Douglas sat in with the band on the second set.
Monday September 22, 2003
Subway S. Approaching Wilson
Worst night at Reservoir in recent memory. I left before the band brought the hat around, even. No dancing, next to no crowd. I should probably give up on it all.
Monday September 29, 2003
Subway North of King
Reservoir Lounge was packed with people and dancers, but I got there about 10:30 and there was no good place for me to sit. So I left at the set break at 11 P.M.
Monday October 6, 2003
Subway North of Union
Reservoir empty again this week. Odd, it was packed last week, but two followers in the first set and three dances, albeit two of them with a young one who doesn’t dance very well. At least the floor was empty. Chris Plock said they are changing the format in November to funk and reggae – and no longer will they pass the hat. That will probably be the end of my Monday patronage at the Reservoir.
Saturday October 11, 2003
Subway Northbound from St. Andrew
My aunt and uncle and I had a nice dinner at Jalapenos and then we drove to the Argonaut Club. The lesson was horrible, which annoyed me because I had recommended TSDS to my uncle. One positive was that I discussed northern matters with Suzanne Jordan. I left without dancing, walked to Queen to catch a King streetcar to the Design Exchange for Terra Hazleton. This was good, danced with Ann Mayer and Nick’s Laura and New York Laura (who joked that someday our dreadlocks would lock together while dancing) and Juliet and an older lady named Judy and a girl from Vancouver and probably a few others. 10:30-12:30 was enough, busy wekeend ahead.
Subway North from St. Andrew
About 7:00 P.M. I decided I was fit to dance and left for Design Exchange. I arrived at 7:45 P.M. and a few people were already dancing. I got a few in before Barbara Morrison went on. She was really good, but I got fixated on a few women who were very busy so I only danced a couple times to the band. It was enough to cause me to sweat profusely. By 10:30, just after the band stopped, I was done and decided to head home. Woodstock tomorrow, and then more dancing!
Sunday October 12, 2003
On Subway, Downsview
Back from Woodstock and on to dancing.
St. Andrew Station
Design exchange O.K. I got there about 8:30. There were only a few people there and all the lights were still on. Eventually a dance emerged. Swing Gang went on at 10:05 and were their usual annoying six-minutes a song selves. I danced a fair bit, perhaps less than I could have, but I’m reasonably happy.
Monday October 27, 2003
Subway North from Union
My last Monday at Reservoir for some time to come. Next week they are going Funk, R+B and Reggae. A tableful of gorgeous young Russian girls, none of them with the confidence to dance. All the women who dance show up too late. I get tired. No dancing for me, no energy for the second set.
Wednesday November 5, 2003
Busy night at Reservoir, but not a lot of dancers. But Jacqueline, all in black, spotted me and invited me to sit with her. We danced one on an empty floor, and two more the first set. Two Lindy and one ECS. Trevor also there, he got four or five in with her. Very nice. I could have had two more, but after three dances, with the same girl, I’m out of moves. But she dances well.
Friday November 21, 2003
Subway South of Downsview.
Didn’t write notes at the time, but I did go to see Bradley at Reservoir on Wednesday. Good night, four dances with four separate women.
Thursday December 18, 2003
Subway North of Eglinton West
Went to Reservoir for Janice Hagan – it was a dancer named Robin’s last night. I only danced twice. The floor was crowded and I was concerned about protecting the six seats the dancers had secured. Tyler Yarema played an awesome piano solo. I left about 11:15. Ann Mayer had advance info about the next T.O.E., and I introduced two interested wanna-be swing dancers to Jacqui. Ann called this “pimping” but that’s only if you get paid for it!
December 22, 2003
Subway South of King
Reservoir was packed for Bradley’s “Christmas Show”, but not with dancers. A lot of well-shaped women in Santa’s helpers outfits – red with white fur at the collar and sleeves – but few of them were there to dance. Only two real followers and a lot of men, so no dances for me. Still, very pretty eye-candy and Bradley’s music was still fine.