Ballroom Dancing Musical Quotes

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Dancing, at its best, is independence and intimacy in balance.
Donna Goddard (The Love of Devotion)
Dance less in motion and more in spirit; awaken the dreamer within.
Shah Asad Rizvi
If movements were a spark every dancer would desire to light up in flames.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Show me a person who found love in his life and did not celebrate it with a dance.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Life is an affair of mystery; shared with companions of music, dance and poetry.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Music does not need language of words for it has movements of dance to do its translation.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Soar like an eagle beyond skies of heavens reach; as wings of dreams dance with winds of reality.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Dance resides within us all. Some find it when joy conquers sorrow, others express it through celebration of movements; and then there are those... whose existence is dance,
Shah Asad Rizvi
When the melody plays, footsteps move, heart sings and spirit begin to dance.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Evil Hall had been transformed into a magnificent ballroom, glittering with green tinsel, black balloons, thousands of green-flamed candles, and a spinning chandelier streaking wall murals with emerald bursts of light. Around a towering ice sculpture of two entwined snakes, Hort and Dot stumbled through a waltz, Anadil wrapped her arms around Vex, Brone tried not to step on Mona's green feet, and Hester and Ravan swayed and whispered as more villainous couples waltzed around them. Ravan's bunk mates picked up the music on reed violins as more pairs flooded onto the floor, clumsy, bashful, but aglow with happiness, dancing beneath a spangled banner: THE 1ST ANNUAL VILLAINS "NO BALL
Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1))
The ceaseless motion and incomprehensible bustle of life. Feigenbaum recalled the words of Gustav Mahler, describing a sensation that he tried to capture in the third movement of his Second Symphony. Like the motions of dancing figures in a brilliantly lit ballroom into which you look from the dark night outside and from such a distance that the music is inaudible…. Life may appear senseless to you.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
Revisiting the music of one’s youth is part of the reunion with self. Whatever your parents may have thought of the music, however the music may survive the test of time, if it was the music you listened to in high school or college days, then it plays forever in some ballroom of your mind. You can still mouth the words and do the dances.
Robert Fulghum (From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives)
At the end of a workday I still had plenty of energy left to compete against Yank for the neighborhood girls. My secret weapon against Yank was my dancing. Most big men are clumsy and heavy-footed, but not me. I had a good sense of rhythm and I could move every part of my body. I had very fast hands, too, and good coordination. Swing music was sweeping the country and social dancing was all the rage. I went dancing six nights a week (never on a Sunday) to a different hall every night. That’s how you learned the dances. You learned by going dancing. They all had certain steps, unlike today where you just make it up as you go along. After the war, one of the jobs I had was a ballroom dance instructor. In
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
The band in the ballroom announced the cover of a special request, and after a pause, the woman's voice sang out the breathy first line of Etta James's "At Last." Chairs barked as guests rose to greet the champion of all wedding songs, the one that always brought indifferent or fighting or estranged couples to the dance floor for momentary reconciliation.
Mira Jacob (The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing)
She can’t explain or quite understand what it is that is special about dancing with Harry. When he opens his arms to her, he is so sure, the way he holds her, not too hard, not too soft. Like coming home. Where she belongs. The way he moves her. They are a part of the music. Their bodies fit together, move like one person. Perfect. The way a man and a woman must feel, she thinks, when they are in love. He makes her feel beautiful, too, like when he assures her that someday she will be good enough to be a professional dancer. Harry must know, because he is the best dancer, the best teacher, a girl could have, patient and gentle. She is lucky that he believes in her. That is how she feels outside his door.
Alice Sherman Simpson (Ballroom)
We see the old women again. A laugh that is a little too forced and shrill jazz music have made them start. One of them whispers, worried: “Perhaps ... we should go and see ...” “The youngsters don’t like it when we are obviously watching them, and besides, what can we do? It’s us, the adults, with our suspicions who put evil thoughts in their minds.” The other lady (hesitant): “All the same, my dear, we’re meant to be chaperoning them.” We see the ballroom where about twenty couples are holding each other tightly and dancing a sensual tango in the semidarkness. Nadine, the young lady of the house, wearing very modern clothes, notices her mother and her aunt coming over to them, and tells everyone in a playful whisper: “Yikes! The cops are here!
Guy de Maupassant (A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time))
Magnus’s head was tipped back, his shimmering white suit rumpled like bedsheets in the morning, his white cloak swaying after him like a moonbeam. His mirrorlike mask was askew, his black hair wild, his slim body arching with the dance, and wrapped around his fingers like ten shimmering rings was the light of his magic, casting a spotlight on one dancer, then another. The faerie Hyacinth caught one radiant stream of magic and whirled, holding on to it as if the light were a ribbon on a maypole. The vampire woman in the violet cheongsam, Lily, was dancing with another vampire who Alec presumed was Elliott, given the blue and green stains around his mouth and all down his shirtfront. Malcolm Fade joined in the dance with Hyacinth, though he appeared to be doing a jig and she seemed very puzzled. The blue warlock who Magnus had called Catarina was waltzing with a tall horned faerie.The dark-skinned faerie whom Magnus had addressed as a prince was surrounded by others whom Alec presumed were courtiers, dancing in a circle around him. Magnus laughed as he saw Hyacinth using his magic like a ribbon, and sent shimmering streamers of blue light in several directions. Catarina batted away Magnus’s magic, her own hand glowing faintly white. The two vampires Lily and Elliott both let a magic ribbon wrap around one of their wrists. They did not seem like trusting types, but they instantly leaned into Magnus with perfect faith, Lily pretending to be a captive and Elliott shimmying enthusiastically as Magnus laughed and pulled them toward him in the dance. Music and starshine filled the room, and Magnus shone brightest in all that bright company. As Alec made for the stairs, he brushed past Raphael Santiago, who was leaning against the balcony rail and looking down at the dancing crowd, his dark eyes lingering on Lily and Elliott and Magnus. There was a tiny smile on the vampire’s face. When Raphael noticed Alec, the scowl snapped immediately back on. “I find such wanton expressions of joy disgusting,” he declaimed. “If you say so,” said Alec. “I like it myself.” He reached the foot of the stairs and was crossing the gleaming ballroom floor when a voice boomed out from above. “This is DJ Bat, greatest werewolf DJ in the world, or at least in the top five, coming to you live from Venice because warlocks make irresponsible financial decisions, and this one is for the lovers! Or people with friends who will dance with them. Some of us are lonely jerks, and we’ll be doing shots at the bar.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Via Negativa Sometimes it's too hard with words or dark or silence. Tonight I want a prayer of high-rouged cheekbones and light: a litany of back-lit figures, lithe and slim, draped in fabrics soft and wrinkleless and pale as onion slivers. Figures that won't stumble or cough: sleek kid-gloved Astaires who'll lift ladies with glamorous sweeps in their hair— They'll bubble and glitter like champagne. They'll whisper and lean and waltz and wink effortlessly as figurines twirling in music boxes, as skaters in their dreams. And the prayer will not be crowded. You'll hear each click of staccato heel echo through the glassy ballrooms—too few shimmering skirts; the prayer will seem to ache for more. But the prayer will not ache. When we enter, its chandeliers and skies will blush with pleasure. Inside we will be weightless, and our goodness will not matter in a prayer so light, so empty it will float.
Mary Szybist (Granted)
Lady Cameron,” he said, playing his role with elan as he nodded toward Ian. “You recall our friend Lord Thornton, Marquess of Kensington, I hope?” The radiant smile Elizabeth bestowed on Ian was not at all what the dowager had insisted ought to be “polite but impartial.” It wasn’t quite like any smile she’d ever given him. “Of course I remember you, my lord,” Elizabeth said to Ian, graciously offering him her hand. “I believe this waltz is mine,” he said for the benefit of Elizabeth’s avidly interested admirers. He waited until they were near the dancers, then he tried to sound more pleasant. “You seem to be enjoying yourself tonight.” “I am,” she said idly, but when she looked up at his face she saw the coolness in his eyes; with her new understanding of her own feelings, she understood his more easily. A soft, knowing smile touched her lips as the musicians struck up a waltz; it stayed in her heart as Ian’s arm slid around her waist, and his left hand closed around her fingers, engulfing them. Overhead a hundred thousand candles burned in crystal chandeliers, but Elizabeth was back in a moonlit arbor long ago. Then as now, Ian moved to the music with effortless ease. That lovely waltz had begun something that had ended wrong, terribly wrong. Now, as she danced in his arms, she could make this waltz end much differently, and she knew it; the knowledge filled her with pride and a twinge of nervousness. She waited, expecting him to say something tender, as he had the last time. “Belhaven’s been devouring you with his eyes all night,” Ian said instead. “So have half the men in this ballroom. For a country that prides itself on its delicate manners, they sure as hell don’t extend to admiring beautiful women.” That, Elizabeth thought with a startled inner smile, was not the opening she’d been waiting for. With his current mood, Elizabeth realized, she was going to have to make her own opening. Lifting her eyes to his enigmatic golden ones, she said quietly, “Ian, have you ever wanted something very badly-something that was within your grasp-and yet you were afraid to reach out for it?” Surprised by her grave question and her use of his name, Ian tried to ignore the jealousy that had been eating at him all night. “No,” he said, scrupulously keeping the curtness from his voice as he gazed down at her alluring face. “Why do you ask? Is there something you want?” Her gaze fell from his, and she nodded at his frilled white shirtfront. “What is it you want?” “You.” Ian’s breath froze in his chest, and he stared down at her lustrous hair. “What did you just say?” She raised her eyes to his. “I said I want you, only I’m afraid that I-“ Ian’s heart slammed into his chest, and his fingers dug reflexively into her back, starting to pull her to him. “Elizabeth,” he said in a strained voice, glancing a little wildly at their avidly curious audience and resisting the impossible impulse to take her out onto the balcony, “why in God’s name would you say a thing like that to me when we’re in the middle of a damned dance floor in a crowded ballroom?” Her radiant smile widened. “I thought it seemed like exactly the right place,” she told him, watching his eyes darken with desire. “Because it’s safer?” Ian asked in disbelief, meaning safer from his ardent reaction. “No, because this is how it all began two years ago. We were in the arbor, and a waltz was playing,” she reminded him needlessly. “And you came up behind me and said, ‘Dance with me, Elizabeth.’ And-and I did,” she said, her voice trailing off at the odd expression darkening his eyes. “Remember?” she added shakily when he said absolutely nothing. His gaze held hers, and his voice was tender and rough. “Love me, Elizabeth.” Elizabeth felt a tremor run through her entire body, but she looked at him without flinching. “I do.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
My mother never seemed to listen to much music, but she loved Barbara Streisand, counting The Way We Were and Yentl as two of her favorite films. I remembered how we used to sing the song "Tell Him" together, and skipped through the album until I found it on track four. "Remember this?" I laughed, turning up the volume. It's a duet between Babe and Celine Dion, two powerhouse divas joining together for one epic track. Celine plays the role of a young woman afraid to confess her feelings to the man she loves, and Barbara is her confidant, encouraging her to take the plunge. "I'm scared, so afraid to show I care... Will he think me weak, if I tremble when I speak?" Celine begins. When I was a kid my mother used to quiver her lower lip for dramatic effect when she sang the word "tremble." We would trade verses in the living room. I was Barbara and she was Celine, the two of us adding interpretive dance and yearning facial expressions to really sell it. "I've been there, with my heart out in my hand..." I'd join in, a trail of chimes punctuating my entrance. "But what you must understand, you can't let the chance to love him pass you by!" I'd exclaim, prancing from side to side, raising my hand to urge my voice upward, showcasing my exaggerated vocal range. Then, together, we'd join in triumphantly. "Tell him! Tell him that the sun and moon rise in his eyes! Reach out to him!" And we'd ballroom dance in a circle along the carpet, staring into each other's eyes as we crooned along to the chorus. My mom let out a soft giggle from the passenger seat and we sang quietly the rest of the way home. Driving out past the clearing just as the sun went down, the scalloped clouds flushed with a deep orange that made it look like magma.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
And then the world stopped and there was nothing but Rose as she slipped from the crowd to stand before him. Grey forgot about Lady Devane. He forgot about everyone but her. She wore a mask, but even if he hadn’t recognized the hair and the dress he would have known it was her. He knew her scent, the shape of her mouth. He recognized her by the way his heart rejoiced at her nearness. She stared at him, her mask doing nothing to conceal her wonder. “Why are you here?” Grey smiled down at her. Did she notice that he’d pinned the rosette from the gown she’d worn their first night together to his lapel? “Because I hold you above my horse, my fortune, and my pride.” Her brow puckered. “I beg your pardon?” “Those were the traits you said you required in a husband, were they not?” Her face relaxed, and he thought he saw a glimmer of understanding in her dark eyes. “Yes. I believe they were. You came here just to tell me that?” He laughed. Her face was so bright below the edge of her mask, her eyes damp and warm. It broke is heart-and buoyed it as well-to know he was responsible for all of that. “No. I came here to dance with my wife. And to do this.” He took her face in his hands and kissed her in front of the entire ballroom. He didn’t care about the gasps or that everyone could see. He didn’t care what they said or whether or not his behavior was proper. He was a duke, damn it. A scandalous one at that. When he lifted his head, Rose’s eyes fluttered open. Her breath came in short, gentle heaves. “I’m very glad you decided that could not wait until I get home.” Grey offered his arm. “Shall we?” “There’s no music.” But she took his arm anyway. The orchestra had stopped playing shortly after he walked in. Grey turned his gaze in their direction, nodded at the leader and once again the room was filled with music.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
The music had started, the couples had begun a promenade, but Mr. Nobley paused to hold Jane’s arm and whisper, “Jane Erstwhile, if I never had to speak with another human being but you, I would die a happy man. I would that these people, the music, the food and foolishness all disappeared and left us alone. I would never tire of looking at you or listening to you.” He took a breath. “There. That compliment was on purpose. I swear I will never idly compliment you again.” Jane’s mouth was dry. All she could think to say was, “But…but surely you wouldn’t banish all the food.” He considered, then nodded once. “Right. We will keep the food. We will have a picnic.” And he spun her into the middle of the dance. While the music played, they didn’t speak again. All his attention was on her, leading her through the motions, watching her with admiration. He danced with her as though they were evenly matched, no indication that she was the lone rider of the Precedence Caboose. She had never before felt so keenly that Mr. Nobley and Miss Erstwhile were a couple. But I’m not really Miss Erstwhile, thought Jane. Her heart was pinching her. She needed to get away, she was dizzy, she was hot, his eyes were arresting, he was too much to take in. What am I supposed to do, Aunt Caroline? she asked the ceiling. Everything’s headed for Worse Than Before. How do I get out of this alive? She spun and saw Martin, and kept her eyes on him as though he were the lone landmark in a complicated maze. Mr. Nobley noticed her attention skidding. His eyes were dark when he saw Martin. His recent smile turned down, his look became more intense. As soon as the second number ended, Jane curtsied, thanked her partner, and began to depart, anxious for a breath of cold November air. “A moment, Miss Erstwhile,” Mr. Nobley said. “I have already taken your hand for the last half hour, but now I would beg your ear. Might we…” “Mr. Nobley!” A woman with curls shaking around her face flurried his way. Had Mr. Nobley been making visits to other estates while he was supposed to be hunting? Or was this a repeat client who might’ve known the man from a past cast? “I’m so happy to find you! I insist on dancing every dance.” “Just now is not…” Jane took advantage of the interruption to slip away, searching above the tops of heads for Martin. He’d been just over there…a hand grabbed her arm. She turned right into Mr. Nobley, their faces close, and she was startled by the wildness in him now, a touch of Heathcliff in his eyes. “Miss Erstwhile, I beg you.” “Oh, Mr. Nobley!” said another lady behind him. He glanced back with a harried look and gripped Jane’s arm tighter. He walked her out of the ballroom and into the darkened library, only then releasing her arm, though he had the good grace to look embarrassed. “I apologize,” he said. “I guess you would.” He was blocking the escape, so she gave in and took a chair. He began to pace, rubbing his chin and occasionally daring to look at her. The candlelight form the hallway made of him a silhouette, the starlight from the window just touching his eyes, his mouth. It was as dark as a bedroom. “You see how agitated I am,” he said. She waited, and her heart set to thumping without her permission. He wildly combed his hair with his fingers. “I can’t bear to be out there with you right now, all those indifferent people watching you, admiring you, but not really caring. Not as I do.” Jane: (hopeful) Really? Jane: (practical) Oh, stop that. Mr. Nobley sat in the chair beside her and gripped its arm. Jane: (observant) This man is all about arm gripping.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
The dress and the dance and the music, all together, meant you could turn a daydream into something real, for those three minutes on the floor, his hand holding yours, your knees brushing his thigh. You could be a dream woman, and your partner could be the man of your most romantic fantasies.
Lucy Dillon (The Ballroom Class)
L. Wilson, editor of the Chicago Evening Journal; and General Henry Eugene Davies, who wrote a pamphlet, Ten Days on the Plains, describing the hunt. Among the others rounding out the group were Leonard W. and Lawrence R. Jerome; General Anson Stager of the Western Union Telegraph Company; Colonel M. V. Sheridan, the general's brother; General Charles Fitzhugh; and Colonel Daniel H. Rucker, acting quartermaster general and soon to be Phil Sheridan's father-in-law. Leonard W. Jerome, a financier, later became the grandfather of Winston Churchill when his second daughter, jenny, married Lord Randolph Churchill. The party arrived at Fort McPherson on September 22, 1871. The New York Herald's first dispatch reported: "General Sheridan and party arrived at the North Platte River this morning, and were conducted to Fort McPherson by General Emery [sic], commanding. General Sheridan reviewed the troops, consisting of four companies of the Fifth Cavalry. The party start[s] across the country tomorrow, guided by the renowned Buffalo Bill and under the escort of Major Brown, Company F, Fifth Cavalry. The party expect[s] to reach Fort Hays in ten days." After Sheridan's review of the troops, the general introduced Buffalo Bill to the guests and assigned them to their quarters in large, comfortable tents just outside the post, a site christened Camp Rucker. The remainder of the day was spent entertaining the visitors at "dinner and supper parties, and music and dancing; at a late hour they retired to rest in their tents." The officers of the post and their ladies spared no expense in their effort to entertain their guests, to demonstrate, perhaps, that the West was not all that wild. The finest linens, glassware, and china the post afforded were brought out to grace the tables, and the ballroom glittered that night with gold braid, silks, velvets, and jewels. Buffalo Bill dressed for the hunt as he had never done before. Despite having retired late, "at five o'clock next morning . . . I rose fresh and eager for the trip, and as it was a nobby and high-toned outfit which I was to accompany, I determined to put on a little style myself. So I dressed in a new suit of buckskin, trimmed along the seams with fringes of the same material; and I put on a crimson shirt handsomely ornamented on the bosom, while on my head I wore a broad sombrero. Then mounting a snowy white horse-a gallant stepper, I rode down from the fort to the camp, rifle in hand. I felt first-rate that morning, and looked well." In all probability, Louisa Cody was responsible for the ornamentation on his shirt, for she was an expert with a needle. General Davies agreed with Will's estimation of his appearance that morning. "The most striking feature of the whole was ... our friend Buffalo Bill.... He realized to perfection the bold hunter and gallant sportsman of the plains." Here again Cody appeared as the
Robert A. Carter (Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Behind the Legend)
Would you grant me the honor of your first dance, Lady Rose?” Can you manage it? he seemed to be asking. She looked around the ballroom once more, trying to decide what was best. She supposed she could either dance with Lord Ashton and show everyone that she was no longer an invalid . . . or she could remain in a chair beside the wall. “Only if you dance with Miss Sinclair next,” she countered with a smile of her own. It was a reasonable enough request. “If Miss Sinclair is willing, I should be very glad of her company.” He sent her a charming smile, which made Evangeline’s fan flutter faster. “Of course, I would be happy to dance with you, Lord Ashton,” the young woman agreed. Her expression turned worried, and she continued, “But as for Lady Rose, I fear that—” She stopped abruptly, and looked perplexed, as if to remind them both, She cannot walk. But the moment Iain extended his hand, Rose took it and stood slowly. He gave her a moment to steady her balance, and then she leaned against him when she took her first step. Her eyes fixed upon his with a silent plea, Keep it slow. At least then she could hide her heavy limp. She heard Evangeline give a soft gasp, and there were murmurs all around them. It took all her concentration to walk, but Rose leaned against Iain, determined to keep her balance. “There’s a lass.” He smiled at her, allowing her to set the pace. Her heart hammered faster, and she felt the eyes of every guest staring at her. Never in her life had she felt so self-conscious. Though she had longed to take her first steps with Lord Burkham at her side, now she was beginning to reconsider. Iain was the man who had helped her to walk again, and of anyone here, she trusted him not to let her stumble. He knew the limits of her endurance, and she could confess when she needed to stop and rest. “You look grand this night.” He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as they moved closer to the dancing. “Thank you.” She had worn a sky-blue gown with a full skirt and a lace shawl to cover her bare shoulders. It wasn’t the most fashionable gown, but her grandmother had deemed it quite appropriate for the evening. Because she expected me to remain in a chair, Rose thought. No one expected me to dance. “Do you think you can manage this?” Iain asked. His expression revealed the sincerity of a man who didn’t want her to be embarrassed. “Only if it’s a waltz.” A quick-paced dance would be quite beyond her balance. But right now, this was about proving herself to others. She wanted everyone to see that she had overcome her illness and could walk again. She took one step that was too heavy, and stumbled forward. Iain caught her immediately and halted, waiting for her to regain her balance. Her cheeks burned, and she blurted out, “I am sorry.” “Don’t be.” He brought her to the edge of the dancers, nearest to the wall. They would be away from the others, and yet, she could join in. The music shifted into a lilting waltz, and he rested his hand against her waist. “If you begin to tire, step on my feet. Your skirts will hide it, and no one will notice,” he advised. He’d
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie (The Earls Next Door Book 1))
You said to get involved with people, that I can’t learn about connections in a vacuum.” I agreed. “So what’s not working?” She pulled a long list from her purse. “This,” Linda said, “is a list I put together of all the involvements I’ve had in the past few months. And nothing’s happening.” I read the list, which looked something like this: Dancing lessons: ballroom, disco, and line Sports: sailing, rollerblading, golf, and tennis Music: opera, modern, and piano lessons Art: ceramics and museums Spiritual: Bible study, worship, and missions Career: Ongoing training, night school to earn an MBA “What are you grinning at?” Linda asked me. I wasn’t even aware I was smiling. I told her, “This is a proud moment for me. I’ve never met a real live renaissance woman.” “Now I’m really confused,” Linda said. I explained, “Linda, this is the most well-rounded, comprehensive, and exhausting list I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine how you can even get up in the mornings. But it’s not solving your problem. “These are all great activities, designed to develop you and help you in your life. But each of them is primarily functional, rather than relational. Their goal is competence in some skill, or recreation, or learning more about God’s creation. But relationship isn’t the goal. These are ‘doing’ things, not ‘connecting’ things.” Linda started to get it. “You know, I’ve noticed that I am talking to people at these activities. But all the talk is about tennis or management theories. I’ve wondered when someone in the classroom was going to ask me about my emotional and spiritual life.” “Don’t hold your breath,” I said.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
The theme of music making the dancer dance turns up everywhere in Astaire’s work. It is his most fundamental creative impulse. Following this theme also helps connect Astaire to trends in popular music and jazz, highlighting his desire to meet the changing tastes of his audience. His comic partner dance with Marjorie Reynolds to the Irving Berlin song “I Can’t Tell a Lie” in Holiday Inn (1942) provides a revealing example. Performed in eighteenth-century costumes and wigs for a Washington’s birthday–themed floor show, the dance is built around abrupt musical shifts between the light classical sound of flute, strings, and harpsichord and four contrasting popular music styles played on the soundtrack by Bob Crosby and His Orchestra, a popular dance band. Moderate swing, a bluesy trumpet shuffle, hot flag-waving swing, and the Conga take turns interrupting what would have been a graceful, if effete, gavotte. The script supervisor heard these contrasts on the set during filming to playback. In her notes, she used commonplace musical terms to describe the action: “going through routine to La Conga music, then music changing back and forth from minuet to jazz—cutting as he holds her hand and she whirls doing minuet.”13 Astaire and Reynolds play professional dancers who are expected to respond correctly and instantaneously to the musical cues being given by the band. In an era when variety was a hallmark of popular music, different dance rhythms and tempos cued different dances. Competency on the dance floor meant a working knowledge of different dance styles and the ability to match these moves to the shifting musical program of the bands that played in ballrooms large and small. The constant stylistic shifts in “I Can’t Tell a Lie” are all to the popular music point. The joke isn’t only that the classical-sounding music that matches the couple’s costumes keeps being interrupted by pop sounds; it’s that the interruptions reference real varieties of popular music heard everywhere outside the movie theaters where Holiday Inn first played to capacity audiences. The routine runs through a veritable catalog of popular dance music circa 1942. The brief bit of Conga was a particularly poignant joke at the time. A huge hit in the late 1930s, the Conga during the war became an invitation to controlled mayhem, a crazy release of energy in a time of crisis when the dance floor was an important place of escape. A regular feature at servicemen’s canteens, the Conga was an old novelty dance everybody knew, so its intrusion into “I Can’t Tell a Lie” can perhaps be imagined as something like hearing the mid-1990s hit “Macarena” after the 2001 terrorist attacks—old party music echoing from a less complicated time.14 If today we miss these finer points, in 1942 audiences—who flocked to this movie—certainly got them all. “I Can’t Tell a Lie” was funnier then, and for specifically musical reasons that had everything to do with the larger world of popular music and dance. As subsequent chapters will demonstrate, many such musical jokes or references can be recovered by listening to Astaire’s films in the context of the popular music marketplace.
Todd Decker (Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz)
Her feet ached and the music threaded a painful throbbing into her brain, but she danced on.
Kate Stradling (The Heir and the Spare)
and my patients have told me about many other ways to get themselves in synch, ranging from choral singing and ballroom dancing to joining basketball teams, jazz bands and chamber music groups. All of these foster a sense of attunement and communal pleasure.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Kel has chosen a dance partner. He walks past me, arm held aloft, clutching Rosalina’s hand. It’s as if the entire ballroom takes a collective breath. “What in the realms is Prince Keldarion doing with that human?” my partner sneers. Kel sweeps Rosalina in his arms and the music slows, a passionate lilt filling the air. A small smile creeps over my lips. Inside, my chest eases for the first time all night. “He’s dancing,” I murmur, “with our girl.
Elizabeth Helen (Bonded by Thorns (Beasts of the Briar, #1))
One of the many foolish things about the fools who compare writing about music to dancing about architecture is that dancing usually is about architecture. When bodies move in relation to a designed space, be it stage or ballroom or living room or gymnasium or agora or Congo Square, they comment on that space
Robert Christgau
choral singing and ballroom dancing to joining basketball teams, jazz bands and chamber music groups. All of these foster a sense of attunement and communal pleasure.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Nesta is a wolf who has been locked in a cage her whole life. 'I know,' Cassian said. She was a wolf who had never learned how to be a wolf, thanks to that cage humans called propriety and society. And like any maltreated animal, she bit anyone who came near. Good thing he liked being bitten. Good thing he savoured the bruises and scratches she left on his body every night, and that her unleashing when he was buried in her made him want to answer with his own. Elain leaned forward. 'You only think you know- you haven't seen her on the dance floor. That's when Nesta truly lets the wolf roam free. When there's music.' 'Really?' Nesta had told him once, when he'd dragged her out of a particular seedy tavern, that she'd been there for the music. He'd ignored her, thinking it an excuse. 'Yes,' Elain said. 'She was trained in dance from a very young age. She loves it, and music. Not in the way I enjoy a waltz or a gavotte, but in the way that performers make an art of it. Nesta could bring an entire ballroom to a halt when she danced with someone.
Sarah J. Maas (A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
While they didn’t talk much, the atmosphere wasn’t strained. Tense a bit, alive with the electrical attraction humming between them, but it was a good tense. Leo put some music on the radio, and when Foreigner came on, she couldn’t resist singing, and to her delight, Leo joined her, his deep baritone wrapping her in a sensual velvet glove. At the end of the song, she laughed. “I can’t believe it. You sing.” “No I don’t.” “You do too! I heard you.” Again, he shot the most deadly smile her way. “But I will deny it if ever asked. Think of it as my deep dark secret. I like to do karaoke, usually in the shower where no one can hear.” “Why hide when you have a great voice?” “I also have a membership in the no-pussy club. If I don’t want my status as a badass revoked, then singing is out. As is ballroom dancing, buying feminine products, and wearing pastels.” “Sounds chauvinistic.” “Totally, which is what makes it fun.” “Fun how?” “Because it drives the lionesses nuts.” “I thought you were all about keeping the peace.” A massive shoulder rolled as he shrugged. “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to have a little fun.” The wink he tossed her had her giggling again.
Eve Langlais (When an Omega Snaps (A Lion's Pride, #3))
With the Allies on the advance nearly everywhere and invasion talk in the air, London was a welcoming place for young airmen who were taking the fight to Hitler’s doorstep. The first stop for American airmen was usually the nearest Red Cross Club, where helpful volunteers made bookings free of charge at commercial hotels or at one of the Red Cross’s own dormitory-like facilities. After checking in and dropping off their kits, most men headed straight for Rainbow Corner. Located on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Piccadilly Circus, it was a place as close to home as a GI could find in all of England. Administered by the American Red Cross, Rainbow Corner had been designed “to create a strictly American atmosphere.” There was an exact replica of a small-town corner drugstore in the club’s basement, where ice-cold Cokes were sold for a nickel and grilled hamburgers for a dime. Upstairs, in the grand ballroom, servicemen danced with volunteer hostesses to the driving music of soldier bands—the Flying Forts, the Thunderbolts, the Sky Blazers. There was also a lounge with a jukebox and a small dance floor with tables and chairs around it. Lonely GIs dunking donuts in fresh coffee would loaf there, listening to the latest American hits. Rainbow Corner never closed its doors. The key had been symbolically thrown away the day of the grand opening in November 1942.
Donald L. Miller (Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany)