Monday, November 4, 2013

Around Town: Tuba players and belly dancers

Every so often I post like crazy on Facebook.

This week, my Facebook friends were totally digging the belly dance photos from cousin Ruthie's wedding.

Ruthie is an amazing woman who, in her early 20s, decided to raise her niece and nephew after their own mom died. And now, years later, she has found her soul mate, the love of her life, in Leonel.

Leonel, among other things, is a drummer. He performs. He teaches drumming. He leads drum circles. Many of his friends are musicians and dancers.

So it was no surprise that the wedding procession included drummers, a man wearing a kilt and a sporran, and a belly dancer.

One of the dancers was from the award-winning Beach Belly Dance and Arts Studio. The studio's website explains that “the true origins of belly dance are shrouded in timeless mystery. It is reputed to have begun in ancient matriarchal societies as a ritual therapy dance for fertility and child-bearing.”

We are all aware of how live acoustic music can transform the energy in a room. The dancers had the same effect. There is something magical about watching bejeweled women of all shapes and sizes undulate to the drumbeat. During the dinner, several dancers, including a lady from Sri Lanka, dedicated dances to the happy couple. Afterward, when the DJ took over, we were all in the mood to dance.

The next night, we attended the Thursday Club Welcome Back Barbecue. A disclaimer: I am a past president of the club and presently its vice president. The club donates $8,000 to $10,000 in scholarships annually to La CaƱada teens who are high school seniors.

There are many, many good clubs and organizations in this town. We have Rotary, Kiwanis, Tournament of Roses Association, Assistance League and Juniors. There's the Trails Council, the LCF Chamber of Commerce, school associations and numerous churches. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Indian Guides and Princesses. Take your pick.

The Thursday Club, however, is unique. What made the Thursday Club Welcome Back Barbecue on Sunday extra special, apart from the historic clubhouse and patio, was the music.

Alas, no belly dancers. Alas, no drum circle. However, Otis Hutchins, the husband of club member Pat Hutchins, brought his entire Wright Stuff Jazz Band and inspired us to dance.

The tuba is an amazing instrument. The tuba, as the young poet Ana Bo¿icevic writes, wakes before the man.

Valley Sun

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