A Hotdish Fierce Farewell

Few things aid in the celebration of the life of a 93-year-old family staple like that of a well-crafted, perfectly timed gift of a commemorative DDPP playlist. I attended Sunday DDPP on Dec. 3, distraught from the fresh news of the day; that my Great Aunt Narn had gracefully shuffled off this mortal coil. It seems that in the brief Den Mother huddle/hug outside, describing Narn’s unorthodox and long life, DJ Hotdish silently began to collect her mental playlist based on her impressions and interpretations.

Narn…there is so much to say about that sassy, fashionable, self-spoiling, never apologizing, spitfire. The never married, childless, world-traveling career woman literally did not have time to worry about what the rest of the world thought about her. I’m not saying she was thoughtless, but she was bulletproof. The vulgarity that fell from her perfectly painted mouth while airing grievances, directly followed by her full throttle, belly laugh, never failed to entertain me. When I, in my mid 20s, never married, childless, listless, asked her if she ever regretted not having a family, there was no pause in her reply of, “OH NO!” When I moved to Chicago with no job, no friends, and no knowledge of this city 12 years ago, she called me her hero. And at 93-years-old, still living in her own home, when my mom called her and asked her what she was doing, Narn told her, calmly, that she was sitting  at her table, waiting to die. The next morning when she didn’t answer the phone, she was found, having never left the table. She wasn’t being dramatic. She had decided to pass away. This women who was completely in control of her environment for over 9 decades, who collected a pension for 31 years after retirement, who was always there for my father, aunt and uncle during times good and bad times, the first person to send us a birthday and Christmas card each and every year, who’s favorite show on Netflix was Breaking Bad, is gone. When she sailed through her 80s with minimal trips to the doctor, multiple trips to the beach and keys to her car, it seems as if she just might have figured out how to beat the game of death. The news came almost as shocking as learning that a person died in their 20s. Almost.

I realized after she was gone that she is the reason that I, now at 42, never married, childless, still somewhat listless, felt my lifestyle is normal. The societal norms and labels were not a factor in my life. The expectations for reaching milestone ages and falling in line with others has never occurred to me. She might have just paved my way. And I didn’t know. And I didn’t get a chance to thank her. I didn’t get into a deep conversation explaining that we were, in fact, each other’s heroes when I spoke with her that final time on my lunch break. This past Christmas, I left her name on the cookie/card list and kept a space for her first Christmas card, by default. I am so grateful for her and for the fierce, thoughtful, independent and dedicated ladies of DDPP. And I thank you for having a dance with and for her.  Thank you, DJ Hotdish. Narn would have been quite fascinated with us all.

If you care to read, Narn composed her own obituary, so people could read her hand-picked highlights:

Margie R. Hahn, 93, of New Brighton, passed away peacefully in her sleep, at home, on Sunday, December 3, 2017.

Born August 26, 1924, in New Brighton, a daughter of the late Frank and Emma (Hill) Hahn, Beaver Falls. She was a 1942 graduate of Beaver Falls High School, attended Garfield Business School, evening classes and other computer and programming classes.

Upon her retirement in 1986, she had almost 43 years of service and a perfect attendance record with Babcock & Wilcox Tubular Products Co., in the Accounting & MIS Departments.

She was a 56-year plus member of the New Brighton United Methodist Church, serving on the Administrative Board, Trustees, Finance and other committees as secretary.

Margie was a past member of the New Brighton Century Club, serving in all the offices, past member of the New Brighton Historical Society, serving as treasurer and a senior member of the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation and past associate member of the Merrick Art Gallery. She was also a member of the Beaver Falls B.P.O.E. #348 Ladies Social Auxiliary, serving as secretary and treasurer. A past member of the CCC Bowling League, Ellwood City, she was a charter member of the Rolling Stones Golf Course League and past member of the Blackhawk Ladies Mini Golf League; she served in all the offices of the three golf leagues.

Through the years, Margie enjoyed her many vacation trips to Russia, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Mexico and many more to California to visit her brother and family.

She was preceded in death by a brother and sister-in-law, Richard Mary (Park) Hahn, Apple Valley, Calif., and a sister and brother-in-law, Virginia (Hahn) and Kronie Kruzic, East Palestine, Ohio.

She is survived by three nephews, Lance P. Kruzic, Irwin, Pa.; Jeffrey L. Kruzic and Nancy Harhai, Hunker, Pa., and Richard C. “Rickey” Hahn, Apple Valley, Calif.; three nieces, Paula (Kruzic) Yorke and Brian, Beaver Falls, Jackie Evancho Kruzic, Irwin, Pa., and Sheryl (Hahn) Leasher, Apple Valley, Calif.; great nieces and nephews, Courtney Kruzic, Illinois; Kelsey Yorke, Prague, Czech Republic, and Alex Yorke, Beaver Falls, and several more in California.

 

 

 

 

 

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DJ Murder Kitten provides a friendship trip through time

The reality is, few relationships of any kind last to a celebrate a silver anniversary, but there we were on 1/7/18, ringing in a new DDPP year,  lucky enough to feel the playlist of a 25 years of friendship unfold on the dancefloor. DJ Murder Kitten provided a well-rounded and heart-felt tribute to her bestie, and we couldn’t have been happier to be a part of it all. We laughed, we cried, and most importantly, we sweat. Hard.

Music is sometimes the only gift we can give to speak to what ails us. And it’s often a perfect means of communication.

It was really beautiful to witness and experience this exchange! YAY FRIENDSHIP! It’s a great start to a great year to come!

Thank you, team DJ Murder Kitten!

 

Dance Dance EVERYBODY: 10 Years of DDPP

We couldn’t have been more thrilled by the turnout at our end-of-the-year spectacular!

Dozens of fancy dancers, DJs and Den Mamas past and present, 90 minutes of great jams and tons of cheer could hardly fit into the walls of the First Free Church in Andersonville (Chicago.)

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But squeezed into that space like it was a pair of skinny jeans right outta the wash, and we. effing. DANCED.

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Thanks to all who made it out, and even if you couldn’t be there, we don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to retroactively be a part of the festivities! You can still buy a 10 Year commemorative Dance Dance Party Party Zine Zine (lovingly curated by Den Mama MC Escher)!

While you’re reading it, you can even treat yourself to a solo boogie with the Best of DDPP Playlist created by Den Mama DJ Disco Biscuit (linked below.)

Thanks for a great 10 years! Let’s do another decade!!!!

 

Re-Dancin’ With MC Escher

MC Escher here! I enjoyed a playlist I made back in July so much that I decided, WHAT THE HELL I’LL PLAY THAT THING AGAIN and mandate that everybody dance to those songs a second time. Everybody was so sweet and nice they sure made me felt (re)welcome (again). Thanks, ladies!

Just enough time had passed that I kind of forgot what was on  that playlist (but I did remember that I liked it). It was kind like a pre-screened (by me) playlist. And guess what? That’s the best part about being the DJ for a class: you get to play all your fave tunes. You too could have this wonderful experience of remembering and then forgetting and then remembering your fave songs if you sign up to DJ for a class. Might I suggest selecting a date on the calendar for a few months from now? That will give you just enough time to make the playlist, try the tunes out on the floor of your bedroom, kind of forget about it for a few weeks, revisit it, add a few songs, take out a few songs, listen to it on your head phones while racing around your living room floor doing knee slides, applying band aids to your bruises, finding a better remix of the original song you were going to include…Then after all the perfection, bring your playlist to class.

If you’ve been to class once and then decide you want to sign up to DJ we’re here to indulge you. Holler at us ddpp(at)gmail(dot)com to see what dates are open or approach us when you come to class.

The Toast-ess with the Mostest!

This has been an incredible #Dancegiving! All of the money you’ve given us in November (through December 10) will be sent directly to relief efforts in Puerto Rico. When’s the last time that your rendition of The Robot served such a worthy purpose?

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And to thank you all for your support, we wanted to make a toast…DJ TOAST!

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DJ Toast is no stranger to the DDPP dance floor and (as her name might have already indicated) she really brought the JAM.

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In fact, we danced so hard and felt so empowered that we had no trouble opening the jar all by ourselves ON THE FIRST TRY.

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A toast, a toast, to DJ TOAST! And a toast to you, you heroic warrior of dance! We hope to see you again very soon, but in the meantime, you can revisit these toasty tunes at your leisure:

DJ Playlist Impresaria Brought the Dancehall to Us!

When Playlist Impresaria introduced her latest masterpiece, she let us know a few things about herself and her taste…

“I love alternative music.”

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“I also love dancehall and ska.”

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“It might get weird.”

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Being the true master that her DJ name would have you believe, she was absolutely right, in the best way, on all counts!

We Wondered with Stevie. 😎

We unleashed our inner animals with Pet Shop Boys and Flock of Seagulls. 🕊️

We caught a “faya” with the Dancehall Kings. 🔥

And we loved every second of it. Thanks for bringing your unique flavor to our studio again, DJ Playlist Impresaria! We can’t wait to see what you come up with next. 🙂

DDPP Chicago 10 Year Anniversary Celebration!

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 1.05.53 PM10 YEARS OF DDPP & OUR ALL GENDER HOLIDAY PARTY! Once a year, we open our doors to everybody who wants to experience the greatness of DDPP. We rent a big space, extend the playlist to 90 minutes, and raise money for a good cause! All in all, it is a rip-roaring, foot-stomping, heart-palpitating GREAT TIME! At the end of the night, we will announce the total money we’ve been able to collect as a community to donate to Community Kitchens of Puerto Rico this season. In a (holiday) nutshell, we come, we sweat, and we feel AWESOME.

This Holiday Party is particularly special because we’ll also be celebrating our 10th birthday! Some alumni den mothers may be in attendance, plus some other surprises, plus Den Mother extraordinaire Liz Mason is making a zine about all things DDPP that will be available at the party!
To help us make this event a success, we encourage you to do the following: Get it on your calendar! We want to see your sweet faces and the sweet faces of your friends and family! Find the event on our Facebook page, RSVP, and share it!

  • DIFFERENT TIMESUNDAY, DEC 10, 5-6:30pm 
    DIFFERENT LOCATION
    First Free Church 5255 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL. 
  • DIFFERENT COST$10 Cash, donated to Community Kitchens of Puerto Rico
Every November & December we donate all $5 class fees to that organization, and we call it DANCE GIVING! This gives us the ability to get in great workouts as the weather turns cold while also doing some good for a community that needs our help!
Peace, Love, & Freak out Vibes,
DDPP Chicago: Courtney, Liz, Danielle, Cherise, Catherine & Mallory

Happy Hallowiggle from DJ Disco Biscuit!

Hey all!

DJ Disco Biscuit here! This year I had the terrific delight of crafting a Happy Hallowiggle playlist for the spookiest dance of the year. 🙂

The one and only decision I made when creating this playlist is that I would not include the “Monster Mash.” I know that this is a controversial move (since most people point to it as the most obvious dance jam for a spooky Hallow’s Eve.)

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NO. I reject it. The Monster Mash is a fun novelty hit, but never once in the song do they ever say that the ghouls are partying on Halloween night. As though Wolfmen, zombies and vampires only exist on Halloween?!?! SO SMALL-MINDED. It could just as easily be Arbor Day as Halloween, people.

Moral of the story: maybe I’ll consider putting “The Monster Mash” on my Arbor Day playlist.

Anyway, here’s what apparated into the studio to inspire our boogie feet that fateful night: