5+ years of teaching together, Joyce finally fulfilled her heart's desire:
in August 2002, she moved back to Boston, where she had lived for over 17
I have been very fortunate to partner with her: Joyce is a natural dancer.
She has the kind of rhythm and abandon that takes your breath away, and
puts you right in the moment of watching her: moments of pure joy.
We met in a Lindy Hop Class taught by beloved instructors Jean DePalma
(passed on) and Aswin Van Der Berg, in January 1997. But Joyce insists that
it was December 1996. (And there you have the summary of Joyce & Kurt
in one nutshell: we agree to disagree, and boy has there been plenty of
She asked me if I
would like to practice together. I had been looking for a regular practice
partner for some time: I had found some nice people, but I wanted to practice
a LOT! I said, "sure." We got together once to try it out. That
became twice, three times a week, four, five times a week, and sometimes
more, for weeks on end!
We started the
Cornell Swing Classes together: our first Fall 1997class filled up in
registration in 2 hours. We asked the Department Chair, Al Gantert, for
another section, and filled that one by the end of the day. The waiting
list went to over 300. Then THREE Intro sections, then a Level Two section.
We began studying Latin Dance: Salsa, Merengue, then Waltz, etc.
Together, we developed Jump Swing,
gradually discovering the ways most of our students felt comfortable dancing,
and the kind of energy most wanted to express. AND the way Joyce wanted
to dance as well: Charlestons, Jazz.
We have done some c r a z y things together: we danced to 50s Rock 'n'
Roll and did aerials on the back of a moving flat bed truck in a parade
in Big Flats. We performed Route 66 to the accompaniment of the Ithaca
College Jazz Choir, with aerials on a stage criss-crossed with microphone
cables, to a packed house of IC Alumni in Ford Hall. We danced all day
in Sam Goody's Record Store in Horseheads, aerials, the works: trying
to drum up interest in an Elmira Jitterbug Club. Live Dancing in TV studios
for the same cause. We went to New Jersey to dig up Steve Colinaro, a
regular from American Bandstand, to find out more about 50s style dancing.
And to Augusta, Georgia in our enthuiasm to learn more about Carolina
From our web bio:
"Joyce has a B.A. from Adelphi in Education. She has an extensive
folk dance background: Balkan, Greek, Israeli, etc. with over 20 years
of dance experience. Joyce is from Brooklyn NY, but Boston is her second
home. Her favorite extracurricular activity is working in her garden."
She has a garden in the back yard of her new Boston home by the Charles
River. I offer this Homage to my very dear friend and former dance partner Joyce Marks Codner.