Category Archives: Music


Greensboro dancing, NC dance lessons, Dance classes, Dancing with stars, North Carolina dance studios, Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Tango, Foxtrot,Waltz, Cha Cha, Salsa

Greensboro dancing, NC dance lessons, Dance classes, Dancing with stars, North Carolina dance studios, Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Tango, Foxtrot,Waltz, Cha Cha, Salsa

Greensboro Dancing has reached a new height, one might say a celestial height, with Stellar Dancing.

Want to dance like the stars? Stellar Dancing provides dance instruction and coaching in Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Tango, Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha Cha, Salsa, Rumba and other popular dance steps. Stellar Dancing management has been involved in studio management and instruction in Greenboro, Orlando and Houston as well as in numerous competitions. World class resources are available if you are seeking the highest levels of competition and professionalism.

Stellar Dancing is a Greensboro, NC based dancing instruction and coaching company. Dancing with the Stars has brought dancing to the forefront of the American entertainment and nightlife scene. The word stellar evokes images of stars performing.

From the dictionary:

Stellar:  of or relating to the stars;

composed of stars;
of or relating to a theatrical or film star;


From the website:
“At Stellar Dancing, we offer a wide range of instruction in Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Wedding, Freestyle, Jazz, Country-Western, and Hip-Hop including styles such as: Rumba, Cha Cha, Tango, Argentine Tango, East and West Coast Swing, Fox Trot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Salsa, Mambo, Bachata, Cumbia, Samba, Merengue, Bolero, and Theater Arts.

We offer taylored programs for social dancing, weddings, individual, and athletic/fitness based instruction, choreography, and performance based instruction and training. No expensive dance packages or contracts. No obligations. Just enjoyable expert training with expert results. Contact us now and start learning how to dance today.”


Michael Wells, Dancing Orlando, Stellar dancing with Michael, Kristin Wells brother

Michael Wells, Dancing Orlando, Stellar dancing with Michael, Kristin Wells brother

Michael Wells is a native of North Carolina and brother of HGTV Smartfix host Kristin Wells.

From Stellar Dancing:

Michael Wells, brother of HGTV Smartfix host Kristin Wells, and a star in his own right, will be at Fred Astaire Orlando for the Grand Opening on Friday, November 5, 2010. Michael brings his own style of stellar dancing to the studio as well as his other talents.

Michael Wells is a North Carolina native. Michael joined the Fred Astaire organization in 1997. Michael has worked in Banking, IT and Marketing during his interval away from Fred Astaire. He is currently managing the Fred Astaire studio in Orlando, FL.
Fred Astaire Orlando announcement:
Dancing Orlando.
Fred Astaire Orlando Open House Friday, November 5, 2010.
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM  

Reception, Hors D’Oeurvres , Performances. Free Admission.

to confirm attendance and availability.

Meet Michael Wells (brother of HGTV Smartfix host Kristin Wells) and other stellar dancing professionals. Learn to dance like the stars.

Charlotte dining, restaurant reviews, Maestro bar and Bistro, Pineville NC

I am getting to be a regular at Maestro Bar & Bistro, a great restaurant in Pineville NC, just south of 485 in Charlotte. My lady and I started out riding our bicycles from Park Crossing and rode around the back side of Carolina Place Mall. We ended up in Pineville and were close to the Maestro restaurant, so we decided to stop. It has been a beautiful day today in the sixties, so we sat on the restaurant porch. Pam, part of the husband and wife team waited on us and we had a good chat as well. Every time I eat there I am amazed at how good the food is. Ok, I had a burger and mixed vegetables. The burger was incredible and the vegetables are unsurpassed in taste. Even the bun that the burger was served on was delicious. Pam’s husband, the chef has won awards for his pastries, but he is an incredible all around chef. Pam tells me they are considering having music when  the weather is consistently warmer. They have a great location for outside seating and also have plenty of parking.

I highly recommend the Maestro Bar & Bistro.

Julia Maulden, Habitat for Humanity, Julia’s Coffee Shop

I just read this incredible story and wanted to pass it along. Julia Maulden was an incredibly giving person and very active in Habitat for Humanity. The coffee shop adjacent to the Habitat Restore on Wendover Ave in Charlotte NC is named for her. Help continue her legacy of giving by visiting Julia’s Coffee Shop and the Habitat Restore. It is a great way to help yourself while helping others. The following is taken directly from the coffee shop website:

“Julia’s Coffee Shop is named after one of Charlotte’s pioneering public servants, Julia Maulden. As the first volunteer executive director, she helped get Habitat for Humanity started in Charlotte. She not only worked on the first Charlotte Habitat home, she also brought Jimmy Carter to the Optimist Park Neighborhood for a fourteen house Build-a-Thon.

Julia grew up poor in the segregated South, borrowing and working her way through Greensboro Women’s College during the Depression. That experience, combined with her religious beliefs shaped the course of her life. She said, “You can’t just sit around loving your neighbor abstractly; you have to get out and do something for him.”

Her public service began in Kannapolis with the local Girl Scout movement where she helped to build the Girl Scout camp that still bears her name–Camp Julia. In 1945 she was named Kannapolis’ woman of the year.

In 1960 she moved to Davidson, North Carolina with her family where she became active in the school system for her kids. Her involvement led to her eventual membership in the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board, which lasted from 1966-1974. This time proved to be an extremely turbulent period, when people were openly at odds over the desegregation of schools. With her firm beliefs, she became a strong advocate for integration, despite the risk and ridicule it involved. “Her innate intelligence helped her see the world in broader terms than most people around her,” said her Reverend, Will Terry. Julia’s determination to fight for what she knew was right earned her Charlotte’s Woman of the Year in 1973.

At the age of sixty she resigned from the school board and spent the next eighteen months in the Peace Corps teaching children in the African Nation of Zaire in a very challenging environment. When she returned, she spent the next chapter of her life bringing her former students to the US and paying their way through prominent schools such as Columbia University and Davidson College.

In 1991 she told the Charlotte Observer’s Tom Bradbury that to ask yourself, “Am I better off,” is the wrong question. “Are we better off? is the question.” Because of Julia, we know that the answer to that question is “Yes.””

Visit Julia’s Coffee Shop website at:

Ray Hicks, Rosa Hicks, jack tales, NC mountains, traditional story telling

If you want to know about the real people of North Carolina, the old times, of struggles to stay alive, and of the oral traditions of story telling, passed down and transported from the British Isles, study the life of Ray and Rosa Hicks. Ray passed away a few years ago. I had an opportunity to visit Ray and Rosa through a mutual friend and sadly, did not make it to their home on Beech Mountain before he died. Ray Hicks was one of a few remaining NC mountain men, passing along the old traditions of story telling, moutain lore, herbal medicine and life in the mountains before times got easier.

Ray and Rosa Hicks were featured on public tv in North Carolina on UNC TV years ago. I have a copy of that documentary and I treasure it. The show opens with a haunting banjo tune and a misty view of the mountains where they lived. The Hicks are shown in their daily life on Beech Mountain, living life the old way, carrying water in from the nearby spring house. However, much of the show centered on Ray and his animated telling of the jack tales. Ray has received numerous awards and was considered a national treasure. Ray also sings traditional songs, some of which are sung in a blues type way, from the gut, revealing hard times and suffering. People like Ray and Rosa Hicks are hard to find these days. Down home folks that are hardworking, genuine and unpretentious. As Ray said to his audiences, I am just the way in front of you as I would be at home and indeed he was. The last genuine man.

To learn more of Ray and Rosa Hicks, go to:

To learn more about  North Carolina Click here


North Carolina music, old time, bluegrass, Bach

North Carolina has a rich music tradition that goes back hundreds of years and evolved from music traditions from the old world in places like the British Isles and Africa. My own love of music began in my childhood and covers a broad range of styles from Bach to bluegrass. I play a little guitar, banjo and fiddle. I believe some of it is in my blood. My grandfather played the fiddle and played for square dancers many years ago. I am a member of the High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association, and if I can spend more time in Greensboro, I hope to jam more with them.

I have been very fortunate in my life to encounter interesting and sometimes famous people. In the late seventies, I was teaching at a community college in the piedmont of North Carolina. Frank Profitt Jr, traveled the state sharing his old time music, much of it passed down from the British Isles as part of a oral tradition. His father, Frank Profitt, sang and played the old music and ballads. In the years leading up to the folk revival of the 50’s and 60’s, people would come to North Carolina to experience and record the old songs. One such song was Tom Dooley, which was made famous by the Kingston Trio. Frank Profitt Sr sang and played this song, but he sang it as Tom Dula, based on a real character that was hanged for killing Laura Foster. Tom Dula and Laura Foster lived in the North Wilkesboro NC area near the mountains. Frank Profitt Jr sang and played the song for us as performed by his father.

Another song that Frank Profitt Jr sang for us was 4 nights of a drunk. It has 4 stanzas, each relating the nightly return of the drunken husband and what he believes he sees upon returning home. The song is humerous and I still remember the words. A few years ago, I was listening to NPR and music from the British Isles. They began playing the same song, but it was the original version that was carried to America. Same theme, with slightly different words, but immediately recognizable.

To learn more about  North Carolina Click here


Mukilteo Booksellers, Mukilteo WA, Puget Sound

Ok, I know, this blog is all about North Carolina. However, we are still in Everett Washington and I am going to post one more article about this area. We just got back from Whidby Coffee Shop, which overlooks the Puget Sound across from the ferry landing. This is one of my favorite coffee shops in the US with great coffee, a world class view and friendly people. We even recognized a mother and daughter from Whidby Island who played in the first annual music festival there a few months ago. The daughter is a superb violin/fiddle player and aspires to be a symphony conductor someday.

After we left the Whidby Coffee Shop, we visited the Mukilteo Booksellers next door. I have traveled over much of the US and I do not remember a better used book store. The selections were varied and of a higher quality than I usually encounter. Everything was organized well and the furnishings were appealing. The proprietor was very friendly and we discussed a variety of topics including our mutual love of books and books that we recommend. In addition to the wonderful selection of used books, there are new books and I bought one. I highly recommend the Mukilteo Booksellers and the combination of this great bookstore, coffee shop and scenery makes this a must visit location from Seattle or points beyond.

To learn more about Mukilteo Booksellers, visit