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VATICAN AND The Largest Fraternal Organization in the World



Past Issues Table of Contents Cultural Guides Cover Stories Columns

February 14, 2002 Vol. 4 No. 11


Our Founding Father's Secret Society:
The Largest Fraternal Organization in the World

by Mina Diamos and Anna McWillie

To honor our Presidents, we at NoHo>LA started digging, and we heard that all the Presidents of the United States have been Freemasons. Then we heard that 44 of them have been Freemasons (how many Presidents have there been, anyway?) But our most reputable source states that 12 Presidents of the United States were/are Freemasons.

Nobody really knew much about Freemasons, except that they're father or grandfather was one and that they wear those cool looking hats called a "fez." Mystery surrounded what they were really all about, and many Freemasons were defensive when asked about their organization.

As we dug further, the walls got higher - dead Presidents and dark magic, secrets of the trade, secrets of the dead Presidents. One of their symbols is on our currency, the seeing eye in the pyramid. We heard that everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence was a Freemason, that all the signatures on our Constitution belonged to Freemasons. Have our founding fathers and leaders to this day been part of an elite secret society dedicated to keeping us non-Freemasons, mostly women, thieves, and murderers, in the dark?

The special handshake, secret initiation rites, women not allowed, it got us going, starting with myths dating back to ancient Egypt in The Secret Teaching of All Ages: an Encyclopedic Outline of Masons, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy by Manly P. Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society on Los Feliz. In this tome are the mysteries of mankind, starting with the god Hermes, the messenger, probably a collection of ancient people who wrote hundreds of books dealing with the science of what is called Hermetics.

In his introduction and preface, Hall explains why science and knowledge was shrouded in secrecy throughout ancient history, that it has to do with powerful knowledge getting into the wrong hands or discovery by a society which persecuted "pagans." The sacred truths were thusly presented symbollically so that only the initiated could understand.

The 17th century brought a reformation of learning, and the secret teachings of esoteric fraternities and medieval scholars obsessed with mysticism became mainstream (well, not quite, but coincidentaly, that is around the time Freemasons came into full documented history.) The irony, he states, is that now, "The young are no longer invited to seek the hidden truths, dynamic and eternal, locked within the shapes and behavior of living beings."

As to the character of our Founding Fathers, here are 6 Presidents who were Freemasons. (As far as we know, Abraham Lincoln was not a Freemason.)

George Washington - "First in War, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen". From farmland in Virginia, George Washington as a youth first turned to surveying as a profession, but the responsibiltiy of running the family estates of Mount Vernon soon fell on his shoulders, and for 20 years he enjoyed the life of a gentleman farmer. But his contented life was interupted by patriotic feelings and the call to arms in a war for independence. His leadership led to the office of the first President of the United States in 1789.

James Monroe - America's 5th president was from Virginia and a true patriot leaving college at age 16 to join in the battles of the Revolutionary War. He later studied law under Thomas Jefferson, which led to a carreer in politics. His natural aptitude in diplomacy won him an appointment as minister to France, but he opposed Washington's federation policy and was recalled in 1797. He became president of the United States in 1816 after serving as Governor of Virginia. The Monroe Doctrine established the separation of Europe and the Americas.

Andrew Jackson - was a soldier who stood against the British in our fight for independence. He was captured and held as a prisoner for a short time, but refused to shine the boots of the British resulting in a sabre's scar across his face. Noted for his interest in politics, he became a candidate for the office of Presidency in 1824 but was defeated by John Quincy Adams. His popularity never diminished, and when he ran for office again in 1828, he was elected our 7th President. His devotion to democracy and military exploits were valuable assets for candidates who followed.

James Buchanan - Elected 15th president of the United States in 1856, James Buchanan was our only bachelor President. Although a northerner, he defended the southerners' belief regarding slavery. However, he felt the institution was morally wrong and was active in the elimination of the proslavery movement, creating a split in the democratic party, thus paving the way for Lincoln's nomination as president in 1860. His many mistakes as President almost obscured the fact that he was a man of unpeachable honesty and of the highest patriotism.

Warren Gamaliel Harding - was our 29th president and a country boy from Ohio, who upheld the belief that America's chief concern should be America, and strongly opposed internationalism. In his approach to the White House he slowly overtook more popular candidates ending in an overwhelming popularity with his "front porch" campaigning. To promote peace by securing international understanding and good will was his aim as President of the United States.

Harry S. Truman - A farm boy from Missouri, he proved his leadership in times of emergency during his service in World War l. Harry Truman was one of our bravest Presidents, having to fill the shoes of Franklin D. Roosevelt after his death while World War II still raged on. This was a job Truman inherited as Vice President of the United States - left to clean up the mess while facing the issues of the "Cold War" in Korea and the advent of the atomic bomb. With a reluctant first lady, who preferred to live in Missouri with her mother, Truman accomplished a "labor of Hercules" as our 33rd president.

Rumored To Be Masons

Benjamin Franklin, Francis Scott Key,

Merriwether Lewis & William Clark,

Neil Armstrong & "Buzz" Aldrin,

Gene Autrey, Michael Caine, "Buffalo Bill"

Nat King Cole, Jack Dempsey, Walt Disney,

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Duke Ellington,

Gerald Ford, Henry Ford, Clark Gable,

Alex Haley, Franz J. Hayden, Bob Hope, Harry Houdini, Burle Ives, Al Jolson, Rudyard Kipling, Louis B. Mayer, Glenn Miller, Mozart, J.C. Penney, The Ringling Bros., Roy Rogers, Will Rogers, Peter Sellers, William Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, John Wayne, and H.G. Wells.

For a complete list of individuals purported to be Masons, check out the website: www.lodge542.com/famous.

Free Masonry
Truth and Fiction

by Lois Becker and Bryan Carrigan

A little grist for the grind stone: The Pythagoreans, the antecedeants for the Masons, once executed one of their members for leaking their secret knowledge (they thought they'd unlocked the secret of the universe and creation through geometry and such knowledge wasn't suitable for the un-initiated). Of course, if that member hadn't leaked the secret, we wouldn't have the pythagorean theorem, which is one of the secret codes of the universe. Makes you wonder what the Masons were sitting on, and what leaked out when, and how it changed the course of civilization.

The origin of Freemasonry is shrouded in the fogs of time and myth. Some take the stories handed down by the order as literal fact, while others interpret them on a more symbolic level. Throughout history, certain kinds of knowledge have been considered dangerous and subversive. Secret societies have sprung up as a way of keeping such "mysteries" alive among a select group, while protecting those whose ideas might be misunderstood and who might, as a result of their knowledge or beliefs, be persecuted by the authorities. The origin of Freemasonry is believed by some to be connected to these kind of ancient mysteries and secret societies.

Others claim the order is merely an "institutional brotherhood, devoid of secrets or mysteries, combatting superstition, seeking to create a bond of mutual helpfulness...[and] ever striving to establish itself as a vital factor in the intellectual, moral, and spiritual development of the human race." -Delmar Duane Darrah 33, The Evolution of Freemasonry

By locating its beginnings back many thousands of years, the myths of Freemasonry set the order above the laws of nature and, at the same time, appeal to the human appetite for the marvellous.

Pythagoras was a philosopher and mathematician. His forty-seventh problem of Euclid is a symbol in Freemasonry.

According to one tradition, King Solomon was the forefather of the order. The Temple of Solomon is the source of much Masonic symbolism.

During the Middle Ages, a simple monk known as Peter the Hermit made it his mission to rescue Christ's tomb from Moslem possession. His preaching roused others to action, and 600,000 men set out on the first crusade. Only 25,000 reached Jerusalem, but they captured the city and held it for nearly a century. One company of soldier-monks particularly distinguished itself protecting the thousands of pilgrims who came to pray at the holy sites. Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem, allowed them to live on Mt. Moriah, near the site where the Temple of Solomon once stood. From that they took their name - the Knights of the Temple or Knights Templar. Whatever one thinks of the Crusades, they marked the beginning of a process that set in motion vast populations, shook feudalism to its roots, and introduced Europe to new cultures and new ideas.

When Christopher Columbus brought the world further out from the darkness of the Middle Ages, he opened the way for the development of Freemasonry. The beginnings of organized Freemasonry date only to the year 1717. The organization was resented for its secretive, elitist nature and was a regular object of attack and ridicule from the 1720s on. The Vatican felt threatened by the Freemasons and did its best to destroy them. Queen Elizabeth I had the order thoroughly investigated. The resulting report was so favorable that gentlemen began to join the order.

Scottish Poet Robert Burns was made a Mason on July 4, 1781. Frederick the Great was himself a Mason and is reputed to have been the founder of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Empress Maria Theresa issued an edict decreeing that all Masons assembling in Vienna should be apprehended. But Emperor Joseph I, who was himself a member, exerted his influence on his brethren's behalf.

In America the early Lodges attempted to supplement their weak finances with lottery monies. An 18th century rogue named Joseph Balsamo, aka Comte Cagliostro, invented "Egyptian Masonry," combining his knowledge of occultism with his knowledge of Freemasonry. Cagliostro established lodges throughout Europe, even admitting women to his Egyptian Rites. But he went too far when he started a lodge in Rome. The Pope had him tried by the Inquisition and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He is still remembered as the greatest Masonic trickster of all time.

It is unknown when the first Freemason set foot on American soil. However, in 1827, while surveying Nova Scotia, Dr. Charles T. Jackson discovered a large flat stone, on which were engraved Masonic symbols and the date 1606, possibly the work of some early French pioneer.

In 1829 Freemasons were wrongly blamed for the kidnapping and murder of one William Morgan of Massachusetts, presumably for revealing the secrets of the order. This provided the perfect fuel for the Anti-Masonic movement, which swept the U.S.

When Freemasonry went from being an association of craftsmen to a speculative society, it took some of the old tools with it. The plumb, square, level, trowel, gauge, and rough ashlar were used by the society's early ritual builders as symbols to teach moral truths. Symbols and ritual practices from various other sources, including cultures, both ancient and modern, were added to the mix along the way. This has sometimes led to fanciful interpretations of the historic relationship between the Freemasons and the cultures from which they borrowed.

Freemasonry has been accused of trying to create its own religion, built around an imaginary character called the widow's son. But this character, a worker in brass, was never meant to replace the Messiah, merely to provide a model of Masonic integrity. Masonry is concerned only with improving the moral and social features of the individual.

Featured are a collection of turn-of-the-century Masonic fobs, from Serendipity on Magnolia. At left features an elk, representing many Elk's lodges, and the eye of God in the pyramid, the secret handshake, red, blue and white enamel on gold. At center is a gold fob bearing the compass and right angle representing Freemasonry. At right is a rare fraternal order fob with the Shriners symbol containing a ruby and inset with ivory and mother of pearl; the knight's face plate is movable, and the flip side features a skull and cross bones.

More fraternal order fobs can be found at Serendipity 3414 W. Magnolia Blvd Burbank 818-843-7944.

Building the Modern Masons

by Bryan Carrigan & Anna McWillie

To pair down War and Peace: Tolestoy's Mason character was a wealthy prince who turned to the Mason's when he realized his wife didn't love him. His life had lost meaning and the secret society filled the void, but not in a meaningful way. For Tolestoy and his character, his salvation came not through the love he thought he deserved, but the love he could give - when Napolean's forces burn Moscow, he risks (and I think loses his life) saving a stranger from a burning house.

Tolestoy was always funny that way. He kept searching for intellectual solutions to human problems, even though in every one of his novels, its the human solution that solves the problem. He kept writing 'em without ever believing the lesson he learned in each of his novels.

There has been a great desire over the past few hundred years to associate Freemasons with ancient occult practices and secret learnings. There is a correlation between the efforts of preserving science and knowledge suppressed during the Middle Ages and the high moral ideals of Freemasonry. But the origins of Freemasonry were really far more practical than the romantic and mysterious legends and allusions.

During the Middle Ages, the lodges of operative masons were wooden sheds at the construction site of a cathedral. The builders - stonecutters, masons, carpenters - kept their tools there, and probably rested there mid-day, but did not sleep there.

These lodges gradually became club house places, where the builders/workers would discuss business. The lodges began being regulated by local chapters, which started laying down rules for them. "The oldest known rule for a lodge was lain down in 1352 by the chapter in York," says Daniel Hoehr, The Bond for Friendship Lodge No 890 G.C., in "Remains of Medieval Operative Customs in our Initiation Ceremony."

These builders were labourers, recruited mainly from rootless people, often serfs fleeing from their feudal lords. They found shelter in towns as far away from home as possible, and if they were not found within a year and a day, they became freemen and citizens of the town, where, as such, they could find jobs building cathedrals and the likes of.

While the origins of the Freemasons is debatable, and much of their activities over the years have shrouded in secrecy, the present form of the organization is easily recognizable. One of their largest and most well-known activities is their charitable work. Collectively, the Masons contribute roughly 2 million dollars a day to charity, most visible in the form of the Shriner's Hospitals for Children. In addition, the pediatric medical care provided at these facilities is supported by Shriners, and the Shriners provide funds to support individuals with learning disabilities and eye, heart and auditory conditions. All of these services are free to the public. Shriners also provide financial support to families whose children are undergoing medical treatment.

Freemason lodges are found all over the world, to this day. It continues to be the largest fraternal order in history. Although only men can join, and membership cannot be solicited, there are affiliated organizations for women and young adults: the Eatern Star, Rainbow Girls, and Demolay for young men.

The various initiation rites date back to eighteenth century England, where the necessary qualities for membership in the organization were a belief in God and loyalty to the King. Candidates had to be men of "good report," and the Masons were forbidden from accepting the membership of thieves, murderers or those otherwise lacking in character. While these characteristics have blurred over the years as the Masons have spread beyond England and the Anglican Church, loyalty to ones country and religious conviction still remain important. However, the ideal quality for a candidate, that he be a man of "good report" has never waned, and the phrase is repeated heavily in the current initiation rites.

3rd Degree Freemason and Shriner Alan Galespie, of Philadelphia, states that Freemasons have to do with people who work with a ruler and straight edge, right angles, and that it is all about doing the correct thing. Freemasons avoid confrontation, have excelent ethics, do the right thing for society, and, by the way, love to sing and dance - party and have a good time!

Nothing but goodness and wonderful stuff - but don't try to discover or disclose their secrets, which are passed on verbally - that is an extremely serious offense definitely not to be taken lightly by anyone. Based on the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Golden Rule, it is open to men of every nationality and religion.

Asking Galespie why his father joined had Freemasonry with his brother-in-law when he was 35, he said, probably business reasons.

There are presently two rites practiced: the Scottish Rite and the York Rite. There are 3 degrees of Freemasonry achieved to become a Shriner. Achieving higher degrees, like Worshipful Master, has to do with learning and memorizing certain secret material. Andrew Higgs, of Le Petit Chateau restaurant in No. Hollywood, states that the Shriners stand for The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and that Shriners can graduate to the next level, becoming Jesters. He sees them as service clubs, like the Lions and the Kiwanis, engaging in charitable activities for the community. The highest possible degree is the 33rd Degree in the Scottish Rite and a Member of the Order of The Knights Templar in the York Rite.

For More info about Freemasonry

No Hollywood Lodge

www.lodge 542.com 818-755-9304.

The Philosophical Research Society

Library and Book Store 3910 Los Feliz Blvd


www.yahoo.com enter freemason

for many sites and locations of lodges as well as research materials.

Top Industry Insider Talks about Hollywood, Television, and Those Damn Racial Wrinkles

Interview with Yvette Lee Bowser

by L. Charelian

I recently had the privilege to sit down and talk with television writer/creator/executive producer Yvette Lee Bowser. Yvette has the rare distinction of being the first black woman ever to achieve one of the holiest of Hollywood grails: creating and producing a hit primetime sitcom. Living Single, which starred an ensemble cast including Queen Latifah and Kim Fields, ran on Fox for four years and now resides in syndication heaven. Another of her creations, For Your Love, currently airs on Sunday nights at 9:30pm on the WB. Because Los Angeles is a town driven and obsessed by the film and entertainment industry, and in honor of Black History Month (and because she is just a swell person) we share her story.

L How old were you when you created Living Single?

Y Twenty-six.

L Is that when you formed your production company, SisterLee Productions?

Y Yes.

L You started working for Mr. Bill Cosby on A Different World as an apprentice

writer. What did you actually do?

Y I was a glorified scrub. I got coffee, made sandwiches. I wasn't paid, but I had access to the writer's room where I was a sponge for a year and a half, soaking it all up. I contributed ideas for storylines and characters from the beginning.

L You're a Stanford graduate. Is working in television what you always aspired to do?

Y When you're young, black, and educated there are three things that you're supposed to be - a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer. I applied to law school, but never went. I got sidetracked serving sandwiches. (laughs)

L How did it feel the first time you saw your name in the show credits?

Y It was exciting. I was undercredited, and the recognition was overdue, so it meant a lot. But that's pretty par for the course in Hollywood.

L For Your Love, starring your good friend Holly Robinson Peete, has been on the air for how long?

Y Four seasons.

L Congratulations. Does Holly's character "Malena" reflect what's currently going on in your life? Is writing the episodes sort of like good therapy?

Y Writing is the best therapy, it's always been extremely cathartic for me. I've seen my life unfold on A Different World with the college years, and Living Single was about me and my experiences as a single woman. For Your Love is the second chapter. It deals with my relationship with my husband and my friends and their significant others. We've just started to get into the baby stories (Yvette has a toddler and a four-month old.)

L Is there an underlying theme to your work, or are you going for pure entertainment?

Y The theme is the truth. Honesty entertains. Certainly there are fantasy shows that entertain as well, but I feel I've been able to entertain people by telling honest stories exposing some of the truths we don't always want to talk about. That's the subject of my most recent development project, which is about a nuclear family that happens to be interracial.

L What can you tell us about that?

Y I hope to do a very funny, smart comedy that deals with race in an honest way. If I don't get this particular idea advanced this year I'll keep trying, because I think race is something that needs to be exposed and dealt with. Maybe if we can have a good laugh, we'll all be less uptight about it.

L Sort of like what Will and Grace has done for gay issues?

Y If we can have Will and Grace, we should be able to have an interracial couple on television loving each other and dealing with each other like anyone else. They will have specific issues that they'll have to confront being interracial, what I call "racial wrinkles." And there will be the kids who have to deal with the influence from both white and black cultures.

L What are your feelings about the television industry as a whole now?

Y I think there is still a racial divide, but there are those of us who continue to strive to close the gap. Often shows or projects in development don't last or get as far as they should because there aren't very many executives of color in a position to greenlight projects or support them. The press has made such a big deal over how blacks and whites have different viewing tastes and it's become a self fulfilling prophecy. I think we've seen plenty of shows over the years that featured African Americans that were watched by white viewers in huge numbers. The industry has created this phenomenon of separatism. The dynamic of segregation in programming creates "Must See TV" and what I call "Not For You TV," with black programs all sort of lumped together. Those nights that are programmed as "urban" nights can work very well, but they also deserve to be promoted as programs that anyone can watch.

L Which has given you the most challenges in this business - race or gender?

Y: Race. But I've encountered both. I've run shows for the last nine years, and often even though I have a certain amount of respect, I'll be sitting with male writers who work for me, and the male executives will be giving the notes and looking at them, not me. But I do feel that my bigger challenges have been racial.

L You once had a project in the works called The Miseducation of Piper Fein. At the time, you described her as a person who "takes adversity and turns it around for her benefit," a real fighter. Do you see that in yourself?

Y Absolutely. Actually, Piper was a pet project of mine that had tremendous creative differences involved. But it was so personal to me that I didn't want to make the substantial changes required. It's very hard to take notes on your own life.

L What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job? The least?

Y (laughs) I get to laugh all day long. I get to amuse people. I enjoy the family feeling you can have on a production, and I've been fortunate enough to have spent significant time on three shows where that existed. The least enjoyable aspect is taking notes from the studio and network, when they tell you what's not working, what they'd like to see. What can be tough about writing shows that are very universal is you'll often get executives who want to tell their story, they don't want you to tell your story. Then you have to be firm and say, "This is the story I know how to tell best." There's a lot of compromise, but that's part of the process and you come to accept it.

L Who or what has been the biggest inspirational influence in your life?

Y Self-determination.

L You are married to your wonderful husband Kyle, you have two beautiful children, the big house, your career in television. Do you feel you have "made it"? What does really making it mean to you?

Y I feel I have made it because I've made all of it work together. It's not always 24/7, but in the overall picture of marriage, children, spirituality, and career my life is very well balanced. I've found a way to stay grounded and feel I haven't really changed. That sometimes surprises people, and when they point that out, it makes me laugh.

L But a lot of people do change when they make it.

Y A lot of people do, but I don't understand that because I never expected to change.

L Your singular accomplishments in television make you a very rare bird. Since you've broken the ground, do you know of any other women of color who have joined you in becoming creator/producers?

Y Oh, yes, there are several. Eunetta Boone has "One on One" UPN, Winifred Hervey, "Steve Harvey" on the WB and "In the House," Sara Finney & Vida Spears created Moeisha, Susan Fales, my mentor Showtime. Felicia Henderson, So, they have done it, I was just kind of in the right place at the right time to be the first African American woman to create a hit show.

L What is the best advice you can give any aspiring up-and-coming producer/writer/

director hopefuls out there?

Y Don't lose focus of your own goals and what you want to say. Remember to maintain your integrity, and even more so your dignity because Hollywood will damn sure try to take it away. (laughs)

L Yvette, thank you so much.

Y Thank you.

An Evening Visit to Debbie Reynolds's Dance Studio

by Michelle Malik

Debbie Reynolds, darling of the MGM musicals of the 1950's, philanthropist, memorabilia collector, and tireless Vegas show woman, established The Debbie Reynold's Professional Studios in the late 1970s. Located far north on Lankershim Blvd., this dance factory is where some of Hollywood's brightest stars and a new generation of Hollywood hopefuls take lessons and rehearse for shows.

Transformed from an old post office and then a furniture store, the studio has a very seventies look to the exterior, an unassuming white front with an ominous dark strip around its center, something like a valley roller skating rink. At its entrance in the back, are two large opposing Egyptian bird-human sculptures, apparently souvenirs of the set of Cleopatra and a rusted, antique mail scale from the post office days. Upon entering, one is greeted with wall-to-wall lobby cards and souvenirs from Debbie's films and several autographed photos from well-knows who have taken classes or rehearsed there like Priscilla Presley, Patrick Swayze, and Phyllis Diller. Like most dance studios, Debbie Reynolds's offers a host of basic fare like basic and intermediate ballet and tap but is infused with a lot of modern dances like hip hop, jazz/funk, lockin' and breakin,' and turns classes. Salsa Brava also rents out a few time slots a week at the studio to teach eager movers and shakers enticing Latin steps.

An import from Kansas, spunky dance instructor Patsy Metzger has been with the studio for several years teaching jazz, tap and tumble classes to children and adults. Her students have ranged from TV's Blossom, Mayim Bialik, and Tia and Tamera Mowry and their brother Tahj. Patsy also recently choreographed a Jimmy Buffet concert. Patsy's kids' class for jazz is a group of ten to thirteen year olds who have their warm-up memorized, taking spins and leaps across the floor and sliding on their knees with protective shoulder pads. There are definite elements of ballet used, since, Patsy says, that ballet is really the basis for all dancing. Most of Patsy's students also take jazz and tap classes to have all their bases covered.

Rowdy Metzger, Patsy's son is one of the ballet instructors at the studio. His early Monday night class is small with a mixture of boys and girls. He emphasizes concentration, taut hips and shoulders and conducts his pupils in a complicated shifting of feet. Rhythm is essential, and he keeps time like a metronome, tapping the floor in time to the moves. In the older class that follows, Rowdy used a jazzy ragtime version of "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" on piano to emphasize a few choice steps to his students.

Ramon Baynes, a relatively new transport to the studio, is an intense, talented jazz funk instructor from Cambridge Massachusetts who has been dancing since he was eleven years old. On the night of my visit, Ramon choreographed his crew to a fusion of kicking, hip shaking, pointing and snake-slithering moves, where every muscle of the body was used. His students were intent as they sweated to a powerful Aaliyah tune.

Theresa Espinosa, who toured with Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, teaches hip hop classes at the studio. Her style includes a lot of funk and some jazz and modern dance influences. In addition to her regular warm-up and new dance routine instruction for each class, she offers a unique free style class once-a-month to her hip hop students, combining funky moves with the theory of hip hop. She encourages her students to be totally confident and not take themselves too seriously, to lose their inhibitions and find their own style. First she had them walk to the beat of a popular song, asking them to listen for the elements of rhythm that called out to each one individually and move to it. By the end of the class, she had her students, many of whom also attend Ramon's class, gathered around in a circle, encouraging each other as they each took the center - going all out with exciting, unique moves.

Chonique & Lisette teach a new flavor of hip-hop which incorporates cutting edge combinations of hip-hop, jazz, funky salsa, and even musical theater from their own backgrounds. Other faculty members include Lane Bradbury teaching ballet, Dante -hip hop, Chris Dupre -jazz, Eric Ellis -jazz, Flo Master -lockin' and breakin', Cindy Fancher -ballet, Stan Mazin -tap, Rosemarie Rand -turns, Thommie Retter -tap, Chance Taylor -tap, Nancy Valencia -jazz, Josie Walsh -ballet, and Nalani Wilson -beginning hip hop. Classes cost $10 for non union and $9 for union, however, the more classes you take the more money you will save per class.

Who would have thought that the charming gal who starred in one of my personal favorites Singin' in the Rain' would have offered so many diverse dances to an enthusiastic new crop of dancers?! Although Debbie is often on a project that takes her out of Los Angeles, she sometimes returns to her theater to rehearse for a show. So even though she isn't always around, the Debbie Reynolds's Professional Rehearsal Studio 6514 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood is open seven days a week with classes starting in the afternoon through evening. For more information, give them a call at 818-985-3193 and ask for the friendly studio manager Margie or e-mail them at drdancestudios@yahoo.com.

Telephone 818 769 8414 Fax 818 980 7463 Email nohonews@earthlink.net

5140 Lankershim Blvd, Suite One, No Hollywood, Ca 91601
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