Christmas carols are a remarkable musical lot. Like a great deal of music, they embody a sense of the universal but, at the same time, can be uniquely redolent of a particular region. Carols can range from the sacred and sublime to the playful and dancelike. French carols (or “noels,” as they are called), for example, tend to be quite different from those with English, Spanish or Italian origins. So what of these vaunted carols? They have actually been around for a very long time. While a first-century Roman bishop, Telesphorus, is often credited with introducing the custom of celebrating Christmas with songs, the word “carol” derives from the Italian “carolare,” a medieval ring dance accompanied by singing.
WomenSing: The women’s vocal group presents “The Season of Light and Joy,” varied collection of songs; 4 p.m, Dec, 14 at First Congregational Church, Berkeley; 8 p.m, Dec, 17 at Saint Mary’s College Chapel, Moraga; $10-$30; www.womensing.org, Triple Ho Show: presented by San Francisco radio station ballet leotards for toddlers KMVQ-FM 99.7; with 5 Seconds of Summer, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Charli XCX and Jessie J.; 8 p.m, Dec, 3; SAP Center, San Jose; $30-$135, www.ticketmaster.com, Aimee Mann’s Christmas Show: With Ted Leo and other guests; 9 p.m, Dec, 5; Fillmore, San Francisco; $35; www.livenation.com..
“One of the reasons I picked Arthur Murray was because the environment is very professional, and the students are all really nice,” she says. “I’m kind of a nerdy type, and I feel awkward and out of place at nightclubs. And with my job, I don’t have much time for a personal life … so I sort of have to choose between dating and dancing. Dancing’s more fun.”. Of all of the lessons offered at Arthur Murray–from classical dances, such as the Viennese waltz and foxtrot, to the rhythm dances, including the rhumba, cha-cha, swing and salsa–Truong says the Argentine tango is her favorite. Though she lacks a regular partner, she says she always finds someone to dance with at the studio. “All of the instructors are available after the group lessons, so I don’t have to worry if I don’t have a partner. And I can dance with the other students, too.”.
Singing kiddie hits, playing peekaboo and encouraging the children to count along with the reps holds off the inevitable meltdowns, Moms rave that these techniques also help engage the kids, so they’re learning during class, ballet leotards for toddlers too, “My 2-year-old and 4-year-old push their baby doll stroller around, and then they stop to do push-ups and mountain climbers,” says Meagan Buczek, beaming, The 35-year-old mom is 22 weeks pregnant with her third child, but that’s not keeping her from attending classes — and also instructing three a week..
More than 3,100 acres of open space has been protected by John Muir Land Trust, in partnership with public agencies, private foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors. Eighty-seven percent of its money goes to land acquisition, conservation and environmental education. Volunteers are always welcome in a variety of areas. JMLT supporters, volunteers and staff will celebrate their accomplishments this year and learn about future plans at the annual JMLT open house in early November at their headquarters in Martinez. Visit jmlt.org for more information.
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