Letters

Letters 08-24-2015

Bush And Blame Jeb Bush strikes again. Understand that Bush III represents the nearly extinct, compassionate-conservative, moderate wing of the Republican party...

No More State Theatre I was quite surprised and disgusted by an article I saw in last week’s edition. On pages 18 and 19 was an article about how the State Theatre downtown let some homosexual couple get married there...

GMOs Unsustainable Steve Tuttle’s column on GMOs was both uninformed and off the mark. Genetic engineering will not feed the world like Tuttle claims. However, GMOs do have the potential to starve us because they are unsustainable...

A Pin Drop Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 to a group of Democrats in Charlevoix, an all-white, seemingly middle class, well-educated audience, half of whom were female...

A Slippery Slope Most of us would agree that an appropriate suggestion to a physician who refuses to provide a blood transfusion to a dying patient because of the doctor’s religious views would be, “Please doctor, change your profession as a less selfish means of protecting your religious freedom.”

Stabilize Our Climate Climate scientists have been saying that in order to stabilize the climate, we need to limit global warming to less than two degrees. Renewables other than hydropower provide less than 3 percent of the world energy. In order to achieve the two degree scenario, the world needs to generate 11 times more wind power by 2050, and 36 times more solar power. It will require a big helping of new nuclear power, too...

Harm From GMOs I usually agree with the well-reasoned opinions expressed in Stephen Tuttle’s columns but I must challenge his assertions concerning GMO foods. As many proponents of GMOs do, Mr. Tuttle conveniently ignores the basic fact that GMO corn, soybeans and other crops have been engineered to withstand massive quantities of herbicides. This strategy is designed to maximize profits for chemical companies, such as Monsanto. The use of copious quantities of herbicides, including glyphosates, is losing its effectiveness and the producers of these poisons are promoting the use of increasingly dangerous substances to achieve the same results...

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Inside SwingShift and the Stars

Erin Crowell - November 30th, 2009
Inside SwingShift & the Stars
Dancers tell how they ‘bust a move’
By Erin Crowell
Northern Michigan radio dj Rich Nadeau regularly watches Dancing with the Stars -- it helps to get his hips moving.
The Fox FM dj is one of six local celebrities competing in SwingShift & the Stars, a local charity dance-off, a competition much like the popular reality show that wrapped up its ninth season last week. Competitors dance for the approval of the judges while raising donations for their chosen local charity.
This Friday will mark the third installment of the four-dance series, happening at the City Opera House in downtown Traverse City.

DANCING HURTLES
Most SwingShift competitors have had little or no structured dance experience; so they’ve been paired up with six local dancing experts who have plenty.
Nadeau is partnered with Liz Reincke, a member of the Michigan Dance Collective since 2005. Like anyone new to dancing, Nadeau had obstacles.
“I’ve had this problem to get my hips to move. They don’t move side to side or front or back,” Nadeau said at a recent dance practice.
And like any good dance instructor, Reincke had a solution.
“I made Rich hula-hoop,” she says with a smile, “and I gave him the Dancing with the Stars video.”
Reincke says the extracurricular activities have worked and Nadeau has loosened up.
“He picks things up very quickly,” she says. “Just because his hips don’t move doesn’t make him a bad dancer.”
For competitor Ramona Pleva, the dancing hurdle is memory.
“I have dancers dementia,” she says. “(In practice), we break the dance up one move at a time, depending on how complex it is; and I just can’t remember the steps sometimes. There’s a lot going on: muscle memory, posture, how you hold your hands, the look on your face.”
Pleva is partnered with Traverse City resident Ed Blackburn.
“(Ed) will tell me straight up what he thinks or what I need to do and I’ll do the same. Sometimes we bicker like siblings; but it’s all good,” she laughs.

SORE ALL OVER
For each competition, couples must perform different dances, which include the tango, waltz and bolero (which are slower-paced dances); and the cha-cha, salsa and samba, or higher-paced dances.
Immediately after each competition, couples are informed what their next style of dance will be for the following event. They then have a month to work on the choreography.
Couples practice weekly. For Reincke and Nadeau, it’s up to four days or five to seven hours a week.
“It’s difficult,” says Nadeau as he stretches before practice. “Dancing really takes a lot of stamina.”
Pleva agrees.
“Oh my gosh! My chest is sore, my hips, my inner thighs are sore,” she recalls after a two and a half hour practice the night before. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘You want me to put my leg where?”
Pleva is used to sore muscles -- or working on them, rather. Pleva is a massage therapist based in Traverse City, and she has traveled as a sports massage therapist for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics and the ‘06 and ‘07 Ford Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

ALL SHOW
In its first year, SwingShift was an instant success, raising close to $40,000 for local charities and bringing a national phenomenon to the local level. This year, the event is well on its way to attaining that number and beyond, says SwingShift creator Judy Harrison.
Many competitors agree it’s not all about who wins, but about the charities and just having fun.
“They’re all worthy charities,” says Pleva, a Rotary member who is representing Third Level Crisis Center. “It’s friendly competition. There’s a support system with all the dancers.”
At one of their evening practices, Nadeau and Reincke dance in front of a long mirror, focusing on the steps ahead of them. The two are all about the business at hand, until one makes the other laugh.
The feeling is contagious.
“Our last dance was the cha-cha,” Nadeau says. “It kicked our ass, but we looked good!”
Reincke smiles at her dance partner. “Yeah, we were Marilyn Monroe and Elvis out there.”


SwingShift & the Stars

Dancers and their charities include the following:

• Rich Nadeau & Liz Reincke for Cherryland Humane Society
• Ramona Pleva & Ed Blackburn for Third Level Crisis Center
• Diana Fairbanks & Hans Benghauser for Munson Healthcare Mammography Assist. Fund
• Susan McQuaid & Richard Dodge for Northwest Food Coalition
• Pete Currie & Erin Peck for Community Living Foundation

Don’t miss the third installment of the four-dance event series where six local celebrities and their dance partners compete for charity, happening Dec. 4, at the City Opera House in Traverse City. Doors open at 6:30pm, dance lessons follow at 7pm and competition begins at 7:30pm. For tickets and more information on dancers and their charities, visit swingshiftandthestars.com, or call 231-620-6246

 
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