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July 2003 - Nr. 7


The Editor
Elizabeth Kuehn
Brahms Violin Concerto
Rachel Seilern
Multiculturalism Day
Hier O.K. Berlin!
KW and Beyond
A Gift of Music
STV Weiss-Blau Bayern
Dance Experience
German School
Young Philharmony
Willkommen in Toronto
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Diefenbaker Award
Financial Advice
CeBIT America
German Peace Prize
June 17 Uprising

Abtanzball at Kessler’s in Waterloo

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

Anyone remember dance lessons? You know, Gesellschaftstanz (Social Dancing)? Goes way back to the teenage days in Germany, when everyone learned the Samba as a teenage routine? It is right here in Kitchener – European Style. Complete with Abtanzball. (Graduation Dance). And it is not intended for boy meets girl (not so sure that wasn’t the original purpose in teenage days). Here and now, it is to learn how to dance. For the joy of Cathy and Rick Arthur - a sumptuous feast for the eyedancing, for exercise (beats stationary exercise equipment anytime!!), to refine your style, to compete locally and internationally, or just to have fun. South American Dances of all kinds, Swing, ye ole Foxtrot and Waltzes, Jitterbug, Chicken Dance, you name it. All you need is a willingness to learn.

Horst Kessler leads the dance experienceWatching the result of Horst Kessler’s teachings is pure joy. You can see the various stages of advancement (or beginnings). You can see the progressive success. His teaching methods are at the same time funny and serious, but never embarrassing. He demonstrates (don’t let that paunch fool you). If you draw him into a conversation you immediately know that dance is his passion. The entire history of whatever dance you choose, he knows where it comes from, how it developed and how it is done today. And that is why he is a full member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (CDTA) with A+ standing.

Horst Kessler (seated in chair) and his graduatesDepending on your background and experience, he places people into various categories. Gesellschaftstanz is where you begin, as in Dance 101, 201 and 301 - you know what I mean. After that it gets into what Horst calls "Hobby Dancing": Pre-Bronze, Bronze and Silver. Then comes Vorbereitungs-Training für Tournier Tanz. (Preparatory Training for Competitive Dance). One or two couples in Kessler’s Studio of Dancing are in this category.

Cathy and Rick Arthur, for example. "We have been here with some interruptions for 14 years," explained Cathy. "At the beginning you may not plan to advance to this level, but with time we developed a desire to perfect our style". Will they advance to Gold? "Who knows, but not likely. You need to be world class for that. And you need to have time for daily practise". To see them dance, you can see talent, experience and … a lot of practise. A sumptuous feast for the eye.

To be sure, if you have it in you and you are ambitious, Horst will draw it out. But if all you want is Gesellschaftstanz (Social Dancing) and want to enjoy the pure pleasure of knowing how to – single or as a couple – Horst will teach you the rhythm, the steps and well, yes, how to use your entire body, including swinging the hips. The elegance of that is breath-taking. The pleasure priceless.


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