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I find myself getting annoyed about my kid’s bullheaded response to something, and then I realize it’s probably because I set some unnecessary rule, or stated the opposite of his preference too forcefully freed studio pointe shoes. I try to stop doing those things by asking myself if the thing I seem to care about really matters. DEAR ANONYMOUS: I’ll let you drop the mic on this, thanks. This was adapted from a recent online discussion.Email Carolyn at, follow her on Facebook at or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at

The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, now in its 39th season, is an intoxicating kaleidoscope — vibrantly-hued costumes, soulful live music and exuberant dancing that spotlights cultures from around the world freed studio pointe shoes. It feeds all your senses, even ones you didn’t know you had. Discover this mind-expanding experience over the next two weekends, as the festival is presented for the first time in its history at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House. “Our festival is unique in the entire world,” says co-artistic director Carlos Carvajal. “It includes the best performers from all different ethnicities. While other festivals bring them in from other countries, ours are all local.”..

With the Bay Area’s breadth of diversity, it is home to internationally acclaimed artists such as extraordinary percussionists Zakir Hussain and John Santos, as well as flamenco dancer La Tania. All three are performing in the festival this season. CK Ladzekpo, the event’s other co-artistic director, invited Santos and his sextet to collaborate with the Alayo Dance Company, led by local Cuban choreographer and dancer Ramón Ramos Alayo, on “Festejos Caribeños.” The music starts with a New Orleans funeral dirge and piano interlude, builds to a rumba, with a brilliant call and response from the horns, and concludes with a dense, spirited salsa and street-style Cuban Carnaval rhythm that brings the crowd to its feet freed studio pointe shoes.

Santos says, “The form has strong roots in Congo, Yoruba and Abakuá societies. It expresses Cuba’s violent colonial history and carries the courage of Africans and Afro-Cubans who dared play the outlawed African rhythms. It continues to evolve as vibrant expression and living resistance.”. During the festival’s second weekend La Tania will give her farewell performance before retiring freed studio pointe shoes. Her fluid arm movements, expert flicking of her long ruffled train and the gravity-defying swirling of her shawl are mesmerizing for audiences. If you haven’t seen her lately, do yourself a favor and catch this performance..

The festival was launched in 1978. Executive director Julie Mushet explains, “Grants for the Arts, which distributes the city’s Hotel Tax Fund, saw all these dance groups but didn’t know how to help them. Instead of giving small grants to lots of them, they started the festival with the idea that it would be a better use of the money.”. The only person who has been continuously involved since the start — award-winning lighting designer Patty Ann Farrell — says, “I never thought it would be long-term because it was a city-funded project. Every year I was amazed I would be hired again. The performances were in cultural centers all around the city freed studio pointe shoes. It was a good thing we were young, because … two of us would change the floor and bring in lighting and sound. We’d set up, rehearse, do the show. When it was over, we packed it all up in the truck and went on to the next one..

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