Sunday, December 21, 2014


"Dancing at the Movies"  -- it's my favorite compilation of the best dancing moments from these famous movies.

My writer friend, Peggy Bechko, sent me anther dancing at the movies -- different clips, but golly, great moments. Hold onto your hat -- you'll have fun dancing along with these scenes, too.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


When pressure is on you to do something -- start it, finish it, make a decision, confront an issue -- if you don't start, finish, decide, confront, you are immobilized.

There are two of you -- Grownup-you, and Child-you.

Grownup Em  has learned the rules, has had experiences, coped, handled, negotiated, choreographed, avoided, confronted, and accomplished many things.

Child-Em has needs, fears, impractical dreams, and expectations. She often feels quite small, vulnerable, and not very capable.

Child-Em  panics. Wants to hide, or sleep, or watch a dumb TV show.

Grownup-Em tells Child-Em what to do, or not do, and calms her by pointing her in a direction.

If you remind the child parentally -- patiently, logically, lovingly -- the child feels safer, and can even handle rather scary things. Therefore, the Grownup-you needs to guide the Child-you, into "Tackle one thing at a time."

The Grownup knows how to organize disorder into an orderly sequence of activities.

Like -- "One two, button my shoe,
Three, four, close the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight, close the gate.
NINE -- you're fine!
Ten is not the "big fat hen,"
It's just the end.

So LOVE the Child and coddle the Child,
Tell the Child in you "it's okay."
Help the Child push worries away,
Banish, make vanish all the fears --
And strongly advocate "no tears!"
The balm is being calm.
It helps the two of you
Unwind, and re-find
Peace of mind.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Here's me a few years ago, talking about my most favorite gift.

John Cullum is no longer in the show that I mention in the video -- "Scottsboro Boys," which was a cast, music, and a memory that stays with him. Off Broadway, or on Broadway, it's not the success of the show, but the family feeling he had with the actors, director, and stage crew that he cherishes.  

I feel the same way about my favorite gift -- it's  not very expensive, not very rare -- just a gift I was given in a light-brown manila envelope, stuffed with crinkled-up newspaper.

Why the gift is still my favorite, most cherished gift is not because of the way it looks, but what the giver figured out, and why the gift was chosen.

Friday, December 12, 2014


I am reminding you -- nagging, alerting, loudly informing you.  You have got to stand tall.

Yes, you may have seen this blog before. I nagged about this last year and the year before -- I haven't been standing tall, so I figure you probably aren't standing tall either.

Every morning I stand tall.

Around 6:50 A.M. I march into my dance studio-theater, striding with long, bold steps, looking straight ahead and beyond so that my head is high. I cross the 40 foot floor, hearing my sneakers squeak and dismissing my do-this- do-that morning thoughts.

If  "stand up straight" worked like a mantra, I'd be peachy fine -- perky, zesty, quite attractive looking. Alas, commanding myself like the boss, director, choreographer, doesn't work anymore.

(If you are slumped over, or dumpy looking, you can read what I've said about this in blogs I wrote back in 2009  --"SSS"  (Sit, Stand, Straight), or  "Promenade."  But I'm not encouraging you to click the links -- the fact is, I am older and wiser  and yes, a little more slumped now.)

How you look when you enter a room is more important than weight, diction, hair style, makeup, or what you're wearing. Even if no one sees you, it makes a difference. It's an inner thing of pride and confidence. When you like yourself, you think more clearly and accomplish more -- you do whatever you are doing better -- more efficiently, more skillfully, accurately and thoroughly.

How to stand tall:

Be a toothpaste tube. 

Squeeze yourself in the middle -- front, back, sides, all around. While you're squeezing count ten chimpanzees -- "one chimpanzee -- two, three," etc.  (One chimpanzee = one second.)

That's it. If you want to do more, toothpaste tube yourself  three times a day.

Then, three times a day, go to a wall.

Stand against it... heels,

back of legs,

your waist,

your upper back,

your shoulders,

back of your head.

And count ten chimpanzees.

If you want to do more, do this at least twice a day.

Truth -- what gets in the way of standing tall is the fact that most of the day, you are sitting. Therefore, try doing this three times a day.  Or, every time you are thinking of getting a snack, first, go stand against the wall and do this exercise.

Hey, if you are passionately concerned with how you look, or dispassionately realistic and not happy with the way you look, do the wall four to six times a day. It will definitely make a difference.