Cherry Hill hosts Germantown and Britta

As we are to understand it, sometime in early 2011, a conversation was overheard at the Sunday morning Germantown session discussing the attributes of the various sessions of Isreali dancing held around the Phila. area. No one at Germantown had been to The Cherry Hill session (and vice versa) except for one dancer who was struck dumb (both mentally and vocally) in trying to explain the differences between the Sunday morning Germantown session and the Tuesday night Cherry Hill session. In fits and starts, this web site became involved in trying to staddle this chasm and, in the end, quite unexpectedly, an offer was received from John Frank (whom this web site has dealt with in creating the Frankly Speaking script) to act as the lead in trying to get several dancers from the Philadelphia area (and especially the Germantown session), including himself, over to the Cherry Hill session for an evening of dancing.

Coincident to all of this, the Disk Coordinator website received an unusual request from someone who had never participated in Israeli dancing before asking for information pertaining to Israeli dancing in the Philadelphia area. This woman, Britta Spangler, a senior at Drexel University, had been informed about this genre of dancing while fulfilling her Drexel Co-op assignment and had become intrigued enough to inquire about the schedule of Israeli dancing in this area. If you like, you can see Britta's take on this by clicking here. This script that you are presently reading deals with the entire group of visitors to the Cherry Hill session.

Below we have reproduced our announcement of this in the next big event section of our welcome page. You can see that it references John in his role as lead and Naomi's class

And, so, this May 24th trip not only quenched the questions that several dancers have had about the Cherry Hill session, it also went a good way to resolving a Drexel Co-op assignment for the Drexel student mentioned above.

Now, let's start out with the particulars. Who are the players in this?

What was the preparation?

Finally, the big day, May 24th, arrived. By this point the expected number in this party was 5 for dinner and 5 for dancing. There was an attempt to meet at the Marlton Diner by 6:30PM. Of course, these types of schedules are theoretical and break down in the reality of traffic amid other things and this event's schedule was no exception. One pickup and travel arrangement went very awry. The car that was to pick up Britta at Drexel ran into the unforeseen situation that there was two 32nd & Market streets at the school (or at least two intersections claiming such distinction) and the schedule and timing for that car broke down very quickly. So, instead of a meeting at 6:30PM, the participants of the diner finally were all together at 7:00PM and, subsequently, were a half an hour later than expected in arriving at Naomi's session at 8:00PM.

Below, are several pictures of the participants of the dinner. Pictures were snapped as participants arrived and you can see the effect by scanning counter clockwise.

As stated above, instead of meeting at 6:30 at the diner, it was after 7:00 before everyone was in place. Now, to the left and right, we have some pictures from the meal at the diner. As mentioned above, several photos were taken as people arrived. We are sure the group would like to thank several of the waitresses for their indulgence as new members of the party would sit down and join those already in the middle of their meal. Several of the waitresses even took the pictures that you are seeing. John and Elaine Frank were very welcoming to all and, we are told, even related the story of how they met at Brandeis University when they were classmates. Obviously, someone made them aware of Britta's situation of being a student and this led John and Elaine into a discussion of a recent alumni reunion that they had attended just a week or two before. Looking at the picture, below right, we finally have the full complement of dinner participants, Lee, Elaine, John, Britta, Mark

And we were now onto the meeting with the Cherry Hill session. Naomi's class meets at Temple Beth Sholom, about 7 minutes from the dinner. Several cars were used to transport the participants and there they met up with Rob Malerman who had made it to the class on his own. Unfortunately, in terms of Britta, this party was too late for Naomi's teach of Hatzel Ve'Ani (translated to My Shadow and Me in English) and this teach centainly would have helped Britta learn the introductory steps to Israeli dancing. As it was, she was thrown right into the circle and tried to pick up the steps in a hurried manner, never an easy process as any Israeli dancer will relate. However, Britta showed a lot of spirit as did the rest of the party. Below, we hone in on several of those profiled above while they were dancing at the Cherry Hill session. (For those of you keeping count, Rob Malerman is the dancer in black, Naomi is pictured to the left (Britta's right) of Britta.)

Obviously, there were other dancers, the Cherry Hill regulars, in attendance. Someone snapped several pictures of the participants in the circle with the other dancers which we present below. For those viewing this who are not into this type of genre of dancing, keep in mind that every song in the Israeli dance repertoire has its own steps which requires a dancer to memorize at least a part of the step sequence (although one can look at what the other dancers are doing to get clues). There may be at this moment over 6000 Israeli dance songs and so it should not be a surprise that ,in moving from one session to another, one can run into unfamiliar dances. We think that our group from Germantown encountered some of this, and surely for Britta everything was new, but it seemed at least to one observer that they melded into the circle nicely and these pictures below so testify.

Although Naomi's session lasts till 10:00Pm, several of the party needed to leave early. Outside of the room where the dancing was occurring, a round of photos were taken to commemorate this first official encounter of Germantown dancers with those in Cherry Hill. A kind of "close encounters of the israeli dance kind", if you will. Of course, for Britta, it was all new and strange although even she indicated that she had enjoyed it. Below are these pictures taken by various people of various people and submitted to this web site.

Of course, the question comes in as to how successful was this evening? Generally, if people want to try things again, it stands to reason that the original event was a success. By that measure, we will proclaim this evening successful given that recently this web site put up the following next big event as indicated below. To be exact, the July 26th event was cancelled due to an unforseen emergency, but it has been rescheduled for Sept 6th. We don't know if this web site will cover this coming event of Sept 6th with a script and who knows, given weather, what will be the attendance? But, we end this script by saying that the event recorded here was a great success and apparently enjoyed by all who participated and this web site extends thanks to all who provided the information contained within this script.