National Dance Day

July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


It’s that time of year again! Every year on the last Saturday in July, the country celebrates National Dance Day. This Saturday, July 27th marks the day of fun this year, with dance events going on around the country. EVERYONE is encouraged to do some sort of movement to celebrate the day – dancer or not. Many communities are hosting several events if you want to get out and dance, but if you’re a little too shy to be dancing in public, the Dizzy Feet Foundation (the originators of the event) have provided a couple of instructional videos for you to practice in your own home. Go to the Dizzy Feet Event Page for more information on these routines as well as the history of National Dance Day.

If you’re going to be in the LA area, or are looking for a reason to be there, you can also buy tickets to the Celebration of Dance Gala hosted by the Dizzy Feet Foundation. This is a great event that will feature some fantastic dance performances from So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, the American Ballet Theater and many others, as well as a black tie supper.  Tickets start at just $34 so the Gala is accessible for everyone that wants to come out and celebrate for National Dance Day!

Here are  two of the official National Dance Day routines that you can learn right at home!



Be sure to check out what your community is doing for this fun day that seems to get bigger and better every year!

Are you hosting an event in your community, or know of some of the events going on?  Post your community’s events in the comments section here and let’s get a list started!

Happy Dance Day!


Diamond Dance Turns Diamond – Again

June 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Diamond Dance May 2013 29 Private Frank

Photo by Saratoga Savoy

I always say there is magic in dance, in so many different ways. I’ve seen many wonderful things happen through dance. (That is something for another discussion, for sure!) But the other night, I was privileged to witness the sweet and romantic side of dance that provided a perfect memory for one special couple.

Setting: The Diamond Dance at the historic Saratoga Music Hall, hosted by the Saratoga SAVOY Center of Dance. The stars are out. The band is swinging. The floor is crowded with dancers of all ages enjoying a night out on the town. It could have been a scene from 1942, but it was indeed 2013. And one lucky lady got a very special surprise during the band’s break.

The DJ announced a snowball dance (one couple starts and then grabs more dancers at various points in the music), and in honor of Memorial Day asked a serviceman in the crowd to lead it off with his special gal. “Marry Me” starts playing over the speakers as the couple begins to dance. The rest of the crowd circle around them on the dance floor and no one else joins in. About halfway through the song, he drops to one knee and holds out the ring. The crowd cheers, she of course accepts, and they finish the dance.

The first thing every woman has said to me when I’ve told them this story is, “Ohhh, how romantic!” And indeed it was. It was the perfect combination of old-fashioned charm with a modern twist. A sweet moment that turned into a lifetime memory for Private Richard Frank and Sarah Guldner.

This wasn’t the first proposal the Diamond Dance has seen. In fact, it was the third. SAVOY owner, Dave Wolf, said that in addition to the 3 proposals, he also heard on a couple of occasions that the Diamond Dance is where people had a first date with their future spouse. What is it about the Diamond Dance that seems to bring all these couples together? We’ll probably never know, but certainly the combination of fantastic music; historic location; fun, laid-back atmosphere; and of course the magic of dance must have something to do with it. And apparently, the Diamond Dance was very appropriately named!

Congratulations Private Richard Frank and Sarah Guldner!

The Diamond Dance is open to the public and held every third Friday at the Saratoga Music Hall in Saratoga Springs, NY. Click here for more information, or to see other pictures from the engagement and the dance.

The Flurry Hits Saratoga

February 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

Gypsy dancer

Then you have to be in Saratoga, NY this weekend for the 26th Annual Flurry Festival, February 15th-17th, 2013.

From 7pm on Friday through 6pm Sunday, The Flurry is a celebration of dance and music from around the world and offers almost non-stop workshops and performances throughout downtown. With events for every level learner, there’s certainly a variety offered from Contra dancing, Cajun, Swing, English, Latin, HipHop, Indian, African, Waltz, Tango, Disco, Zydeco, Celtic, Balkan, Blues – the list goes on and on! Workshops and performances both run throughout the day and into the wee hours of the morning, but most of the dance parties are at night.

Literally thousands of people flood downtown each year for this festival. Even if you do not enjoy dancing, it’s definitely worth it to go and enjoy the sights and great music. If you’re there, be sure to stop by and say hi to SP’s Jenna Caputo while she is teaching at many of the Savoy listed events! Support the local restaurants and businesses while you’re out too – there are always great deals going on downtown during the Flurry. As any past Flurry participant knows, you never know what will happen at the Flurry!

To see the full schedule, or for more information on the various performers, tickets, and all the details, go to:

Photo credit: Alaskan Dude via photopin cc

International Film Festival This Weekend!

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment


The Ballston Spa International Film Festival (BSFF) invites everyone to the 5th annual free festival this Friday and Saturday, August 3-4 in Ballston Spa, NY to celebrate with the filmmakers and judges.

“Hollywood” doesn’t only happen in California!  Every year, a piece of Hollywood is celebrated right in downtown Ballston Spa as over 30 films are screened from around the world.  Besides the usual entries from California, this year’s festival also features films from Spain, Germany, England, and Russia, as well as films from prominent filmmakers and students right here in the Capital District.

Two of these local films are, in fact, gaining national and international attention!  Michael Feurstein, a local filmmaker who produces works ranging from festival-run shorts to national commercials and music videos, is screening his film, How to UnMake a Bully.  This film has already earned a Telly Award and several endorsements, and is currently being used in classrooms around the world as an instrumental tool for anti-bullying instruction and awareness.  At a time when bullying has been forefront in the media for both children and adults, the BSFF is very excited to be able to bring this special screening to the festival. Feurstein is also known for his cinematics for the Guitar Hero video game series, his acclaimed kids’ webshow,, as well as his work through Proctors Theater to bring media into the curriculum of local schools.

The festival will feature a second special screening of Dan Masucci’s film, DxOne. DxOne focuses on telling the story of a family that lives with Type 1 diabetes. As a generally misunderstood disease, DxOne clarifies the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 through a narrative dramatic film.  This is an emotional film that will touch those that have Type 1 in their lives, as well as being a story that anyone can identify with.  DxOne is gaining national attention and features actors Nicholas Masucci, Benjamin Busch (Homicide, The Wire, The Beast), and Yvonne Perry (As The World Turns, Law & Order: CI, Silk Stalkings).

In addition to the short film screenings both Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 and 9:00pm, there will also be a presentation of a special family film at 1:30pm on Saturday, 8/4 in the Ballston Spa High School auditorium. This 1986 film follows the adventures of 2 best friends – a cat named Milo and a dog named Otis, as they are propelled on a journey to find one another again after being separated.  Narrated by Dudley Moore, this rated G film also has enough fun for parents and grandparents to be able to enjoy alongside their kids.  After the film, there will be a led discussion on how music makes movies work.  Other weekend events include an open air photo booth, kettle corn, cotton candy, ice cream, trivia, games, after parties, and more!

The films are eligible for prizes in 8 categories and will be judged by a panel of Hollywood professionals.  This year’s judges include the people behind such projects as: Silence of the Lambs, Mystic Pizza, The Skeptic, Dorian Blues, Madeleine’s Mind, True Lies, The Age of Innocence, Sundance Film Festival, and Miramax Films. The awards will be presented to the filmmakers at the Saturday evening after-party at The Brickyard Tavern.

The BSFF is a rapidly growing festival that has very quickly earned an international reputation.  Catering to both filmmakers and film lovers, the BSFF is excited by the impressive exposure and annual growth each year.  The film festival’s mission has always been to provide quality, affordable, family oriented entertainment to the community while also providing professional opportunities for local students with a passion for film and television production.  Putting Ballston Spa back on the map for one of “the places to be”, the BSFF is proud to be celebrating its 5th year in the community, and is looking forward to continuing to grow the festival each year.

The festival is free and open to the public.  For a complete listing of the films and a schedule of events, as well as more information about the festival and sponsors, go to

The BSFF is presented by the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, a non-profit community organization committed to making the Village of Ballston Spa a better place to live and work, and to bringing quality arts and entertainment events for all ages to the community.  Funded in part by the Saratoga Program for Arts Funding (SPAF), part of the Decentralization Program, a regional Program of the NYS Council on the Arts administered by Saratoga Arts.  All proceeds go toward future festivals and other community events presented by the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association. For more information on events, the 2012 film festival, or sponsorship, go to

Hazel Dickens Tribute

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

In honor of the first anniversary of her death, there will be a tribute concert this evening to Hazel Dickens at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Hazel Dickens was a pioneer among women in bluegrass music.  Her groundbreaking songs inspired feminists as well as younger country artists such as Allison Krauss, Naomi Judd, and Emmylou Harris.  She also became an advocate for coal miners and working people through her music.  Among other awards, Dickens was the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Merit Award, and she was later inducted into their Hall of Honor.

Tonight’s performers include John Kirk and Trish Miller, Linda Schrade and Dave Kiphuth, Kevin Maul and Peggy LeCuyer, and Jonny and Annie Rosen.  The evening’s proceeds are being donated to support Caffe Lena.

For tickets and reservations:
For more information on Hazel Dickens:
Hazel’s Song, “They’ll Never Keep Us Down”:


Patti Rothberg Performing at Ballston Spa Film Festival

July 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

As part of the three day long festival, the Ballston Spa (International) Film Festival (BSFF) is pleased to announce the performance of chart topping musician, Patti Rothberg, on Friday, August 5, 2011, 11:00pm at Sunset Cafe in Ballston Spa.

Patti Rothberg exploded onto the music scene with her 1996 debut album, Between the 1 and the 9. The critically acclaimed album was an instant hit with songs that defied traditional genre lines and provided her audience with a unique mix of classic rock, pop, and new wave. Touring with such well-known groups as the Wallflowers, Chris Isaak, Midnight Oil, Garbage, and Black Crowes, Patti also performed on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her song, “Inside,” was #25 on the American Billboard, and “Treat Me Like Dirt” went all the way to #1 on the European billboard.

Patti made her way into the film world when a cover of her song, “Kung Fu Fighting” was featured in the 1997 movie, Beverly Hills Ninja, and “Forgive Me” was featured in the 1998 film, The Misadventures of Margaret.

Patti’s latest album, Overnight Sensation (2011), marks the reunion of Patti with her original producer, Dave Greenberg, and was mastered by industry legend, Herb Powers, Jr. (Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, Justin Timberlake).

Other BSFF events include free film screenings, fire dancers, Q&A session, panel discussions, live music, award ceremony, and after parties. The featured films include local entries as well as professional and amateur entries from Australia, Russia, Poland, England, Germany, Spain, and India. The short films are judged by a panel of Hollywood professionals with credits that include Silence of the Lambs, Mystic Pizza, Rudy, So I Married An Ax-Murderer, O, Illusion, The Skeptic, Big Brother, Oprah Behind the Scenes, Hell’s Kitchen, Bugs Bunny Superstar, and Dorian Blues. All events are free and open to the public. For more information on the films, talents, events, or sponsorship, go to

Hollywood Comes to Town at the Ballston Spa Film Festival

July 27, 2011 § Leave a comment


As Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Eva Mendes roll into town to shoot their movie, The Place Beyond the Pines, in Schenectady County, we are reminded once again how much Hollywood loves the Capital District.

Many films have been shot throughout the area over the years, including Seabiscuit, Salt, Scent of a Woman, The Other Guys, The Horse Whisperer, The Time Machine, Ironweed, The Age of Innocence, and Taking Woodstock (just to name a few!). And the historic village of Ballston Spa certainly has had its taste of Hollywood as well, with the 1973 Oscar winning movie, The Way We Were, partially filmed downtown and starring Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand. Olympic bobsled coach, Pat Brown, a native of Ballston Spa, was portrayed by John Candy in the 1994 movie, Cool Runnings, about the historic 1988 Olympic Jamaican bobsled team. And since Daniel DeFabio started the Ballston Spa (International) Film Festival (BSFF) four years ago, Hollywood has been taking even more of an interest in the area.

2009’s festival saw its winner of the Best Animated Short, French Roast, by Fabrice Joubert, win several international awards before garnering an Oscar nomination for the Academy Awards. This year’s festival again includes an Oscar nominee. The Gruffalo from Magic Light Pictures, features the voices of Helena Bonham Carter and John Hurt. Aardman Animation (Wallace & Grommet) also shows up this year with 2 new submissions. For the first time, the BSFF will screen a feature film. Mineville, shot in Essex County, NY stars Paul Sorvino, Michael Sorvino, and William Sadler in a period piece about miners fighting for safer work conditions.
This year’s festival features professional, amateur, and student films from around the world (including Mexico, England, Poland, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Germany, New York, and California) and right here in the Capital District. Locally, audiences will see submissions from festival veterans Dan Masucci, high school student Jacob MacAuliffe, Kevin Craig West, and Michael Feurstein among several other local names. Entries are in a variety of genres including animations, documentary, drama, and comedy.

The finalists will be judged by a panel of Hollywood professionals with a list of credits that include Silence of the Lambs, Mystic Pizza, Rudy, So I Married An Ax-Murderer, O, Illusion, The Skeptic, Big Brother, Oprah Behind the Scenes, Hell’s Kitchen, Bugs Bunny Superstar, and Dorian Blues.

The festival runs August 4-6 and is free and open to the public. In addition to the screenings, other festival events include fire dancers, panel discussions, photo booth, after parties, and music by Vesper and Billboard recording artist, Patti Rothberg. Plus, you never know who might just show up….


Thursday, 8/4/11
8:00pm Ballston Spa High School

By The Score – Mikhail Kanaev
Know Candy – Jon Russell Cring
Extinction II – Fernando Uson
Elephant Room – Silvana Jakich
Mineville – Lori Bailey

Friday, 8/5/11
9:00pm Wiswall Park

The Grufallo – Jakob Schuh, Max Lang
Olivia Explorer – Francesca Sophia
Montgomery – Rob Fried, Chris Common
Laybabb – Mike Feurstein
Frog and Buddha – Ron Taylor
The Astronaut on The Roof – Sergi Portabella
Grasshoppers – Julian Gorski
The Beauty Inside – Kevin Craig West
Woodstock – Kerri Rubino
Phenomenon – Shira Siegel, Max Gaba
Salvacion – Pedro Jaen
Coming Home – Aksel Stasny
Oh Sister – Susan Hippen

Saturday, 8/6/11
1:00pm Ballston Spa High School

Serendipitous – Anna Cardillo
Chicken Feed – Kathleen Carey, Kevin Craig West
Fresas – Jason Otenreath
Mindset – Katie Pyne, Carolyn Tan
The Man with the Spying Glass – Magda Olchawska
Fly – Alan Short
Communication Revolution – Chris Finn
Terrible Parkour – Mike Feurstein
The Trampoline – Dan Masucci
The Tale of the Dog Chew Toy – Jacob MacAullife
Resume – Jack Durnin
The Third Rail – Darian Henry, Michael Mejia
Blind Date – Nigel Davies
Phoenix Tears – Alec Acevedo
Men of Mamoni – Amy Seidman
Ven Dimensional – Alex Burnstein, Matt Nicoletta
El Cortejo – Marina Seresesky
Seeds of Hope – Mohamed Gardne, Imani Peterkin
Beyond Words – Armand De Saint-Salvy

Saturday, 8/6/11
9:00pm Wiswall Park (Includes a few words by the directors)

Mirror Image – Emily Foreman
Tale of the Dog Chew Toy – Jacob MacAullife
Seeds of Hope – Mohamed Gardne, Imani Peterkin
The Man with the Spying Glass (Clip) – Magda Olchawska
Bad Conscience – JP Whitehead, Matt Lingenfelter, Manu Berduc
Chicken Feed – Kathleen Carey, Kevin Craig West
By The Score (Clip)– Mikhail Kanaev
Boom – Manu Berduc, Matt Lingenfelter
Azan a Call to Prayer – Meena Bukhari

The BSFF is put on by the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, a non-profit community organization committed to making the Village of Ballston Spa a better place to live and work, and to bringing quality arts and entertainment events for all ages to the community.  Funded in part by the Saratoga Program for Arts Funding and by area businesses, all proceeds go toward future festivals and other community events presented by the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association. For more information on the films, talents, events, or sponsorship, go to

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