Molly and Marcus Tasanasanta, the co-owners of Blue Moon Ballroom at 1213 Cornwall Ave., recently made what Molly says was "a rough decision" - to close the venue on March 31.
The space, which opened in March 2008, has offered group and private lessons in ballroom and Zumba. Molly says Marcus will teach private dance lessons and Zumba fitness classes at another location that will be rented hourly. Information will be posted on their two websites: BellinghamDance.com and ZumbaBellingham.com once the new location is set.
Marcus specializes in social dance lessons for all levels, and also teaches wedding couples to dance. The couple will hold their fifth anniversary and farewell studio dance party Saturday, March 2. The event will be open to the public and Molly says they "would love to have everyone come say goodbye to the studio that we had the pleasure in meeting over the years."
"This is a sad time for us and very bittersweet," she says. "We deeply appreciate your support over these last five years and have enjoyed making new friends and spreading the passion of dance within the community. We are looking forward to having more time to spend with our children Dylan and Emma in the evenings and maybe even getting out in the community to dance for 'date nights' (woohoo!), but we will definitely miss this chapter of our lives."
She says that if any dancers have credits with them, such as private lessons, introductory packages, gift certificates or Zumba punch cards, please contact them as soon as possible so they can schedule them before they close. Lessons and classes will carry on as scheduled through March.
STUDENT FILM CONTEST STARTS FEB. 14 AT PICKFORD CENTER
Terri Krantz is in her sixth year as director of the Guerilla Film Project, which was begun 10 years ago by Alice Clark, now executive director at Pickford Film Center, and Krantz sent me an update on the project, which gets under way at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the film center, 1318 Bay St.
Terri says there are teams of high schoolers from Bellingham, Blaine, Sedro-Woolley, Anacortes, Mount Vernon and as far south as Snohomish. She's excited to have a team from Ferndale for the first time.
Here's how it works: Two props and one line of dialogue will be released on the project's Facebook page Thursday and the teams are off and running until Sunday, Feb. 17.
The students will turn in their completed films by 11 a.m. and the judges - a local group of professional filmmakers, educators and film experts - will judge them at the film center's large theater starting at noon, open to the public.
Judges will give a cash award to the top three films, and the audience also votes for their three favorites, so the teams can win a double prize, and often do. Cash awards are $100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third. Details: pickfordfilmcenter.org.
SWING CONNECTION, JAZZ SINGERS HOST POST-VALENTINE DANCE PARTY
This just in from Don Phillips of Bellingham's Swing Connection big band. Don says Valentine's Day falls on Thursday this year but the romance will continue Saturday, Feb. 16, when Swing Connection and the Whatcom Sound Jazz Singers present a Valentine "afterglow" dance party from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom at Leopold Retirement Center, 1224 Cornwall Ave.
The evening will showcase seven women from the vocal ensemble, accompanied by the band. In addition, Swing Connection will provide swinging arrangements of romantic standards.
Admission is free for Leopold residents; for everyone else, a $10 donation would be greatly appreciated.
Don says Swing Connection will be busy through June with special concerts, including the annual Bob Storms Extravaganza on March 17 at Bellingham First Baptist Church; a concert of cowboy music with the Mount Baker Toppers Barbershop Chorus on May 11 at Whatcom Community College's Syre Center; and a concert June 29 with the Saxquatch quartet of reed players, also at the First Baptist Church. Details: swingconnection.org.
POETRY CONTEST PEGGED TO HOME AND GARDEN SHOW
The Building Industry Association of Whatcom County is sponsoring an unusual poetry contest open to Whatcom County students in grades six through 12. The deadline is Feb. 21 for judging, or March 2 for display only at the Whatcom County Home and Garden Show, March 8-10 at the Northwest Washington Fair and Events Center in Lynden.
The contest rules:
Poem must be on the topic of home or garden
Poem can be inspired by the color name on a single paint chip, a group of paint chips or a palette of colors.
Poem can be illustrated with the paint chips used as inspiration
Winning poets will be invited to read their poem live on the radio during the Home & Garden Show, and all poems will be displayed at the show.
Details: go to biawc.com/homeshow and click on Contests & Promotions.