How To Dance With a Partner
That is me Andrew Weitzen in the blue jeans leading klezmer dancing at the Florida Folk Festival.
I invented the ABCDs℠ to teach Israeli folk dancers how to dance with a partner.
The ABCDs turned out to be so effective that you can lead and follow
every step in every social dance that we know.
I am not a professional dancer.
I am a regular guy that likes to dance.
I was trying to solve a problem.
In Israeli folk dancing, the partner dances are choreographed.
The women memorize their part.
The men memorize their part.
Then the men and women get together to wrestle with one another to see who is right.
That is a joke but not far from the truth.
The wrestling causes a lot of problems.
These problems happen in all social dances.
When I moved back to my home town, I started organizing Israeli folk dancing and swing dancing groups.
I had been doing a lot of other kinds of dancing like Argentine tango, ballroom, cajun,
contra, country western, salsa, waltz, zydeco, and other social dances.
I felt there was too much emphasis on choreography.
I wanted to focus on communication.
In my Israeli partner dancing group, rather than have the women memorize their parts,
I decided to teach the men to lead and the women to follow.
Israeli partner dancing incorporates dances from all over the world, including American, Arabic, Balkan,
Brazilian, cha-cha, Latin, hambo, mazurka, polka, samba, salsa, swing, Russian, tango, waltz, Yemenite, and more.
Since Israeli dances are choreographed by professionals and since people are expected to memorize the dances,
the choreography is often more complex than most people normally do in any of those other dances done as lead and follow.
Experienced Israeli dancers know hundreds of Israeli partner dances which is a lot of choreography.
Any method to teach Israeli dancers how to dance with a partner
should work with many other dances.
In trying to organize the hundreds of pointers I had learned,
I found that what people were doing in lead and follow dances was inadequate as a means of communicating unambiguously.
Instead, I came up with a simple method for communicating all the steps.
The method works so well that women can follow every
Israeli partner dance without learning the steps.
The method also works for every other social dance that we have tried.
How To Dance With a Partner will transform how you dance with a partner.
My Fight With Hospice
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer,
my mother went under hospice palliative, home care.
I assumed she would be treated appropriately.
End-of-life care is for when you only have days to live.
At the very end, hospice essentially euthanizes you with morphine.
Palliative care is supposed to be different from end-of-life care.
Palliative care is supposed to be a multi-disciplinary approach
to help you with your condition while you are still living your life.
My family thought hospice was wonderful.
They were supportive of everything hospice was doing.
They had power-of-attorney over my mother's medical care.
I was horrified by what I saw.
Hospice drugged my mother into oblivion.
They treated her the same as if she was at end-of-life.
I was so dismayed that I wrote this book.
This is not a feel bad book.
This is an easy-to-read story that flows like a novel.
The main story line is my mother's treatment.
The book is complex reaching back generations to
family that came from Europe,
examining culpability of medical professionals other than hospice,
looking at the value our society systems place on life,
and exploring themes of family dyramics.
This is a cautionary tale to forewarm you should you encounter a similar situation.
My youth was well-spent on playing sports, games, chess, and Dungeons and Dragons.
I wisely neglected my studies.
My fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, entered our sweetheart and me,
without asking, in the University of Florida's dance marathon.
This appears to imply that I was known as the dance guy even back then.
After several years, IBM paid me eight months salary to quit.
They also gave me a $2,000 retraining stipend which I used to learn how to Scuba dive.
You never know what might be your new profession.
I started Israeli folk dancing when I was 31.
Salsa and swing followed, then everything else.
When I moved back to my home town, I gave myself
the job of promoting dancing in our community.
I like to take some credit, deserved or not,
for the awesome dance community we have here in Gainesville.
You can dance almost every night and you do not
have to drive more than a few miles.
Drop in when you are here.
Check out our dance calendar on
One day, middle-aged people started calling me sir.
I looked at a video of myself.
I always cringe when I see myself dancing on videos,
but this was worse.
What happened to my hair?
I used to think I looked silly dancing,
but at least I had good hair.
Life is better without vanity anyway.