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Robert Abrams
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West Coast Swing
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Party for the 10th anniversary of the Barry Z Show at Guastavino's

by Robert Abrams
December 19, 2002
344 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 980-2455

Party for the 10th anniversary of the Barry Z Show at Guastavino's

Robert Abrams
December 19, 2002

Tatiana Byron organized another great party tonight (December 19). While not strictly a dance party, the music was infectious. It leaned towards club music, but it was very danceable. As club music often does, it variously leaned towards hustle, cha-cha, merengue and samba. Guastavino's is a magnificent space under the 59th street bridge (409 East 59th Street in NYC). While technically there was no dance floor, upstairs in the VIP area there was plenty of space to dance. The floor is carpeted, so make sure you are wearing leather soled shoes. If you try to dance with rubber soled shoes, you are likely to grip the floor too much and twist your ankle, unless you completely abandon your floor pressure, but who wants to do that if you can avoid it?

Most of the people in attendance were standing around drinking. They were clearly enjoying the party, so there is nothing wrong with this. Even so, this was a party where not only was the recorded music very compelling, Tatiana had arranged for several drummers to play. These drummers pounded their hearts out, and their rhythms were completely in sync with the recorded music playing around them. How could anyone stand still in the face of such music? There were some people who were swaying to the music, and one person who looked like she might have some training in classical Indian dance given the particular quality of her hip movements. There was one couple who were dancing some fairly competent looking swing for a few songs.

The party had numerous attractive people. The women anyway. Someone else will have to comment on the guys. One of these attractive women turned me down when I asked her to dance by saying that she was already dancing. This is a common reaction at this sort of party. At a dance event you might still get turned down, but at least she would understand what you were offering. The second attractive woman I asked to dance said yes. That's batting 0.500, which as Marcus Brooks would say, is pretty good, especially since one's prospective partner would have to overcome the understandable anxiety of being the only couple on the floor (I have six years of training, so I am fully prepared to make a fool of myself).

This most gracious of women had enthusiasm and proved quite capable of following even-timed swing.

After she excused herself and headed towards the bar, I got respect from a guy standing on the side who clearly knows from cool, so the risk was worth taking.

The party also featured a performance by a cast member of "Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway". The VIP area upstairs had a large window looking out on the underside of the 59th Street Bridge, which was worth buying VIP tickets if you are into architecture.

The bottom line is that if Tatiana invites you to a party, you would be advised to accept. If you are the sort of person who goes to a party to dance, you should bring a partner, or a group of friends. If you are the sort of person who doesn't dance, you should still bring a group of friends.

To find out about the next party, check out Tatiana's website at www.4playmedia.com.

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