On February 2015

February is named after Latin term februum, meaning purification

February, along with January, were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar

February is the month limited to 28 days during common years, yet 29 during leap years – but all months have a 28th day

February starts on the same day of the week as March and November in common years, and on the same day of the week as August in leap years

February ends on the same day of the week as October every year and on the same day of the week as January in common years only

During leap years, February is the only month that ends on the same weekday it begins

February, the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of August in the Southern Hemisphere

February is the only month than can pass without a single full moon – but not this year.
Full Moon 3rd 6:09 pm (Eastern US); New Moon 18th 6:47 pm (Eastern US)

February symbols

  • Birth flowers: Violet and the common primrose
  • Birthstone: Amethyst symbolizing piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity
  • Zodiac Signs: Aquarius (until February 19) and Pisces (after February 20)

February is a month for national celebrations in Dominican Republic, Estonia, Kuwait, Serbia, and Sri Lanka

Movies with February in the title include Summer in February (2013) and The Curse of February 29th (2006); plus documentaries Black February (2012) and February One (2009)

February is for promoting African-American History, pulling your sofa off the wall, returning carts to the supermarket, dog training education, a healthy heart, jobs in golf, feeding birds, indoor air care, therapeutic recreation, mending a broken heart, time management, responsible pet owners, wise health care, and youth leadership

February is for celebrating the Cricket World Cup, women inventors, library lovers, parental leadership, weddings, my birthday, spunky old broads, and Black History

February is for increase awareness in AMD/low vision, hoof care, prenatal infection protection, Marfan Syndrome, marijuana, children’s dental health, pet dental health, spay & neutering, and teen dating violence

February is for appreciating expecting success, barley, grapefruits, Florida strawberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, hot breakfasts, canned food, snacks, pies, and potatoes

February is for embracing blah-busting, adopting a rescued rabbit, my birthday, baking for a family, beating the heat (in the southern hemisphere), loving buses, condoms, laugh friendly, and relationship wellness

Are any days in February special to you? Which songs do you enjoy?

On Waltz

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Did you hear the 1-2-3 pattern in the beat?

The waltz is a fun, elegant dance, but the truth be known, it is not easy

Waltz music is in 3/4 time (three beats per measure), whereas most dances are in 4/4 time

Waltz music should provide an easy to hear 1-2-3, 1-2-3 pattern, with the first beat heavier (more pronounced than the others)

In many steps, dancers elongate the second beat

Today, waltz is associated with flowing gowns, tails, and sophistication, but its roots are as a dance of 16th century peasants in eastern Europe

Here’s a chance to learn the basic step

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The word waltz is from the old German word walzen, meaning to roll, to turn, or to glide

Waltz became fashionable in Vienna in the 1780s

As the dance spread across Europe, religious leaders vehemently opposed the dance, thus proclaimed it as vulgar and sinful

Acceptance in England was even slower, but opposition waned because Queen Victoria was a good dancer and enjoyed waltz

Waltz received a big boost when Austrian composer Johann Strauss wrote numerous waltzes

Waltz first came to America in the early 1800s, yet it also received religious opposition – but to no avail as society accepted waltz by the 1850s

Here’s one of our favorite waltz songs, Come Away With Me by Norah Jones with Jonathan and Anna on DWTS (listen for the 1-2-3 beat)

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In dancehall settings, waltz moves counter-clockwise around the floor with a rise on the second beat

Waltz looks best with long, controlled strides to move the floor

Social dancing is not choreographed – it’s lead and follow … yep, the male leads and the female follows …. Ladies, would any of you have a problem with that?

Today there are two prominent styles: International Standard Waltz and American Style Waltz

Major difference is that in international style, the dancers always stay in closed position (in hold), while American style breaks hold for spins, turns, and other steps (This was very evident to me on my trip to Italy early this year)

Viennese waltz (shown later) is also in 3/4 time, but at a much faster tempo with a lot of turning (thus I don’t do Viennese because of motion sickness)

Other styles include Scandinavian, Peruvian, Mexican, Cajun, Tango vals, Venezuelan, Contra/Freeform, Valse Musette, and Cross-Step

The next set of videos are to some of my favorite waltz music – Enjoy!

Still Me (American style)

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Theme from Cider House Rules (International style)

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She Dances by Josh Grobin with Tony and Julianne on DWTS

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Nocturne by Secret Garden

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Here’s a beautiful Viennese Waltz, which is much faster, but the 1-2-3 beat is still prevalent