Friday, 16 April 2021

An Alphabet of Dance Benches 2022

 An alphabet is never easy to do. You commit yourself to the 26 letters, unless you're writing in Tamil, in which case the alphabet has 247 letters and then you've got some serious work to do. 

It's World Dance Day on April 29th so I wanted dances and benches.

I needed some help so I've brought in some keen dancers from my community here in Fribble-under-Par. One is Heinrich, who comes from Slapbummel in Bavaria, where they are very good at those dances where you smack each other in the leiderhosen. 

As a contrast, Innocent is the daughter-in-law of Lord and Lady Brassica. Here she is doing her Dance of the Seven Veils. 

Heinrich: I am seeing only two veils here.

My husband, His Excellency: I'm not looking at the veils. 

I'm going to start the alphabet of dance benches now. I don't want to wait another minuet minute.

A is for American Smooth

Here are Fred and Ginger all decked out for a glamorous twirl. 

His Excellency: I don't know anything about dance but I know what I like and I certainly like the Veil dance. 

Note to contributors: Can we keep the comment to a minimum please. We have a whole alphabet to get through. 

B is for Ballet

Of course. Ballet and benches go together like a pas de deux.

If you're a prima ballerina, a bench is a great place to practice your five positions.

His Excellency: I'd be interested to see those positions. 

No, we're moving on. 

B is for breakdance

Yeah, after the ballet we're gonna have a breakdance party.

Heinrich: Some of us are preferring B for Bear. Bears can dance you know.

I don't approve of animals dancing. 

Heinrich: Speaking as a bear . . . 

No animals dancing. That's final.

Innocent: B is for Belly dance.[/MyBonnieDesigns

Heinrich: These are very attractive bellies. 

Of course B could be for Ballroom, or Bhangra or Bolero. But we're skipping those because . . . 

C  is for Charleston

Or clog or country or Cossack or cabaret or chachacha. 

I thought C was going to be a Cakewalk but there are a lot of C dances. It's hard to know which one to choose. 

His Excellency: In my view, C is for CanCan

Heinrich: I am liking a different cancan.

Maybe we should ask Innocent which she prefers. 

Innocent: I like a distinguished older man. Charles Dance.

His Excellency: A distinguished older man? That describes me perfectly.

Yes, you're old enough to remember disco. When it was groovy. That's in the 1970s when there were a lot of Bad Girls who Loved to Love Ya Baby.

His Excellency: That's the way uh huh uh huh I like it.

D is for disco 

His Excellency and I were tripping the light fantastic with Donna Summer and KC and the Sunshine Band.

His Excellency: It was Dirty Dancing in those days.

Nowadays it's an embarrassing Dad Dance at a wedding.

E is for Erotic 

Heinrich: In Bavaria we like erotic. 

Alright, Heinrich, but there's no bench here. Just saying.

His Excellency: I quite like erotic as well. Josephine Baker comes to mind.

Josephne Baker IV Danse 1928, Alexander Calder

Heinrich: Too skinny for me. In Bavaria we like a little fleisch.

There's NO BENCH!

F  is for Flamenco 

It has to be. Twirly skirts, sexy shoes, voices that send a chill down your spine. Fabuloso!

Innocent: Flamenco is a dance of passion. I have plenty of passion.

I'm sure you have, Innocent, but I'd like to keep en pointe with the alphabet.

Heinrich: For F I'd have said Folk.

It's true, Heinrich, there are a lot of folk who like to stomp around on benches.

What about Foxtrot? 

F is definitely for Foxtrot

Whoops! This is a fox bench, true enough, but these people are reading the Sunday papers. Nothing to do with dancing.

His Excellency: I'm getting a bit fed up with this fandango now. I'd like to see more dancing girls. 

Heinrich: I am thinking G is for Gangnam Style.

Definitely not. 

G is for the Gay Gordons 

His Excellency: Imagine Highland Flinging on a picnic table with all that stunning scenery.

Heinrich: I thought Scottish dancing was done in a foursome?

His Excellency: A foursome sounds like fun.

We're going solo now.

H is for Hula 

And Hawaii and Honolulu.

Innocent: I've got myself a grass skirt for the summer. I think it's a trend that could catch on.

His Excellency: Aloha! This raises some interesting prospects for mowing. 

I is for Irish 

Innocent: I did my Riverdance for St Patrick's Day.

Heinrich: I am not seeing a river.

Never mind, Heinrich. Troy gave us a sprightly jig.

His Excellency: In my opinion Innocent wears the St Pat's look much better than Troy does.

Heinrich: I am agreeing but I still don't see a river.

I is also for ice dance.

His Excellency: Ice dance leaves me cold. 

Innocent: Yes, ankle boots are sooooo last year. 

J is for jive

And jiggerbug. 

dancers by Jenny Clayden, my photo

And jazz. 

Especially modern jazz where you just make it up as you go along.

His Excellency: Is this one of the five positions?

I don't think so. The shoes are all wrong. 

K is for Kabuki 

Innocent: Isn't that the religion Madonna is into?

No, it's a Japanese dance which involves elaborate costumes and a lot of makeup.

Men do it too. Here are a lot of kabuki men on their bench.

His Excellency: They need to get off their benches and bring some energy to this dance. 

Heinrich: A good smack with a stick would work well. 

L  is for Line Dance  

His Excellency: This isn't really Line Dancing as we know it though, is it? There are no boot scoot boogies going on here. 

Well, they're in a straight line and they're all facing the same way. 

Heinrich: Sounds like line dance to me. I am bringing my cowboy boots.

What about Lindyhopping?  

Innocent: Too retro for me. When I dance I like to look hot!

His Excellency: When I look at you dancing I am overcome with heat.

Heinrich: Me too. All this dancing is making me want to sit down on a dance bench.

His Excellency: Is there such a thing as a dance bench? 

There certainly is. This is the Anyroom dance bench console from Thailand. 

It has 34 legs and a great sense of rhythm. 

Then there's the Pink Dance bench from Sweden. It's got its sweats on and it's ready to shimmy.

Heinrich: We're only half way through the alphabet you know. You British are so inefficient. 

Ok, ok. Thanks for reminding me. 

L is for Lap Dance.

Innocent: This is my mother-in-law doing an unseemly lap dance with Troy in her beach hut last summer.

Um, the less said about that the better I think. 

M is for Morris

Innocent: Morris who?

Morris Dancing, of course.

Heinrich: Ja, I am liking the Morris dancing. All those bells and shouting, and whacking each other with sticks.

Heinrich: Also a lot of drinking outside the pub. 

This pub just happens to be The King's Bench. My kind of place!

Innocent: I'd prefer that M was for Merengue. That's a delicious Dominican dance where you hold each other very close and . . . 

Do you mean meringue?

Heinrich: I am liking the look of this. 

His Excellency: The juxtaposition of dancing and cream is an interesting one.

We're not going there. 

N is for No Dancing 

Sometimes, for one reason or another, No Dancing is allowed.

On tables, for instance. Or on benches.

Innocent: It's a shame, because people like dancing on benches.

I have no idea what this means but I like the benches bit.

O is for circle dancing

Lots of traditional dancing is done in circles. 

Joining hands and dancing in a circle is a great way to connect with each other.

Heinrich: In Slapbummel we let go of hands sometimes and give each other a good smack on the backside. 

Can we move on to P now please?

P is for Polka 

Innocent: No. P is for pole dancing.

Oh, like the May pole.

Innocent: No, like the pole pole.

Heinrich: A Pole that comes from Poland?

Innocent: No, of course not. A pole dancing pole.

Goodness. Who'd have guessed there are so many kinds of poles. 

Innocent: P could also be for Private Dancer.

His Excellency: I like the sound of that.

Heinrich: I am liking this Dance of the Two Veils! 

I wonder who this is though?

Q is for quickstep

His Excellency: There's no picture here.

I know. I couldn't find a picture of anyone quickstepping. It's too quick. 

Heinrich: How about this?

It's an interesting blur, Heinrich. But dancewise, this could be anything. Rock and Roll. Or Rumba. Or Russian.  

R is for Russian

There are many different kinds of Russian dances. Most people know The Nutcracker and also the Russian dolls.

His Excellency: I'm not keen on those Russian dolls. They're so full of themselves.

S is for Sattriya

His Excellency: This is an attractive girl but there is no bench.

I like to think there's a little bench under her skirt. 

Heinrich: Maybe S is for Square Dance. 

His Excellency: This is neither a dance nor a bench.

I know. It's a picture of you.

His Excellency: This is an invasion of my privacy.

Innocent: His Excellency is not a dancing kind of guy, is he?

Not really. It's my imaginary friend Miggy who's always up for a boogie.

We're doing S still. Street dance. Salsa. Samba. Swing.

His Excellency: This swing is neither a bench nor a dance.

I know. It's a bus stop. Best I could do.

T is for Tango

Argentine or otherwise.  

Facade by Jenny Clayden, my photo

His Excellency: For some reason tango always makes me think of playing footsie under the table.

Innocent: The tight-fitting tango dresses are so sensuous. And the shoes are gorgeous.

Heinrich: Ja, I am feeling the heat of Buenos Aires trickling down my

Some rain to cool you down then. 

U is for Umbrella

And Gene, and Kelly, and Singin' in the Rain.

work by Jenny Clayden, my photo

Dancing in the rain too, of course.

Innocent: This is a beautiful philosophy of life. 

Lots of people enjoy dancing in the rain.

Heinrich: We are having lots of rain dancing in Bavaria. Also snow.

If it were me dancing here I'd like to have some clothes on.

Heinrich: We're well hard in Bavaria. No need for clothes.

V is for Village

His Excellency: What, like Village People?

Heinrich: Y-M-C-A, it's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A! 

No. Like Village Green. Lots of traditional dancing takes place on the village green.

His Excellency: That chap on the bench looks more interested in drinking than in dancing.

Well, that's often the way. People like to let themselves go when they dance.

W is for Whirling Dervish 

Troy learned this dance when he was in Turkey.

Innocent: He had to rescue my mother-in-law. She collapsed in a heap when she tried to do the dance of the Seven Veils.

I guess she did six veils too many.

Heinrich: For W I'd like to see a waltz.

You're pronouncing that Valtz, Heinrich. And we've already done V.

X is for, um, one of the shapes you can make when you're dancing 

Remember Saturday Night Fever?

Innocent: Fever will do nicely. I like a dance where you feel the heat.

Y is for Yippee! 

Dancing is such fun that it makes you want to dance.

Heinrich: This girl is too angular for my appetite. I prefer a fraulein with a bit of fleisch.

His Excellency: I disagree with you there, Heinrich. In my opinion a woman can never be too rich or too thin.

Josephine Baker IV 1926, Alexander Calder

Innocent: I'm very thin and very rich. And titled. Lady Innocent Brassica. It has a nice ring to it don't you think?

Enough! I'm trying to finish the alphabet. 

His Excellency: 'Yippee' for Y is a new low, even for you, Seashell.  

Well, you try thinking for something for X, Y and Z. They're always a problem when doing alphabet lists. 

Fortunately, though, there's a good dance one for the letter Z . . .

Z is for zumba

Here we are at our class in Fribble-under-Par. Our zumba teacher is Rawlings Benchleigh-Press, the guy in white. 

We don't look anything like this zumba class, do we? 

Tough luck, guys. That's the end of the Dance Bench Alphabet. Isn't it brilliant?

Heinrich: I am preferring the dance of the veils if worn with leiderhosen.

His Excellency: Not enough dancing girls in my opinion. 

Well, however you get your kicks, enjoy World Dance Day! 

sculpture by Jenny Clayden, my photo


The first photo of dancers and benches is from the University of Minnesota Theatre Arts and Dance back in 2005. It's a performance called Dance Revolutions, with choreography by Joe Chvala, Carl Flink, Marge Maddux, Charles Moulton, Zoe Sealy, and Shapiro & Smith. Photos are by V. Paul Virtucio.

Heinrich is from Slapbummel in Bavaria. Mungo and Miggy and I visited the Alps last summer and got high on Alpine Benches. Fortunately, Heinrich was there to guide us through it. 

Innocent is Lord and Lady Brassica's daughter-in-law. She has emerged from her convent nursing dresses benches into something of a fashion icon and she's also a brilliant dancer: Irish, bellydance, hula - there's not much she doesn't do. She's always a hit dancing on carnival benches. You should have seen her at the Rio Olympics! But just how innocent is Innocent? Some say the veil only adds to her allure.  

Pink is one of our favourite bench colours here on Benchsite. The girl in pink dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils is from Skye Donardson's Second Life back in 2010. Skye loves to find interesting avatars, costumes, poses, and build a picture around them. If you see her in-world, she'd love to have you say Howdy! She's a bit on the shy side, and she startles easily, but she's pretty friendly once you get to know her. 

I have two husbands. One is Mungo, my imaginary husband, who features in lots of other Benchsite stories, but not this one. This one includes His Excellency, who has a reputation for destruction, even when he means well. He's a philosopher and, to say the least, not a very practical person. You can appreciate his difficulties if you know his history.

Dancing on benches is quite a big thing here on Paradise Island. You can see what else we get up to at  If you want to know who's who and what's what, here's a guide to my family and friends and a few other hangers-on

American Smooth - American Smooth is a dance which incapsulates all the glamour of the 1940s. Fred and Ginger are from Debbie Ritter at Uneek Doll Designs.   Debbie makes dolls of all sorts of fictional and real people. She has hundreds of celebrity dolls and figures from throughout history. Debbie's blog about her work as an artist is at

Ballet - The black and white photograph of a woman on a bench is from the Altea Ballerina Projekt in Dresden back in 2013. It was taken by Frank Janowski aka frank vonproofit. He takes gorgeous photos of dancers. 

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was a prolific French painter, one of the founders of Impressionism. He loved painting dancers. He also painted a lot of dancers on benches, such as the beautiful pastel Two Dancers on a Bench, completed in 1905. Other dance paintings with benches include:  In the Dance Studio 1897, The Dance Class 1873, Two Dancers in Yellow and Pink 1910. You see? I could have filled up this dance blog with Degas paintings.   The painting is in the public domaine.

Dancing Bear - I heartily disapprove of dancing bears, or indeed any animal dancing not of its own accord. That includes most animals dancing I think. The dancing bear in the story is a painting on a wall and he appears to be dancing on a picnic table. He looks happy enough, so that's ok. The 2010 photograph is by Stanley Forthright, who does benching when he can. I don't think that's the same kind of benching I'm doing here though.   -

Belly Dancers - Bonnie Gordon-Lucas from Bloomington, Indiana does her own bonnie designs at These include handpainted silk textile art, whimsical works of art, beautiful personalized birth certificates, marriage certificates, ketubahs, signed archival quality reproductions of original paintings, epoxy tiles, downloadable graphics (instant downloads), and note cards for any occasion. Bonnie also has some clever children's books, some of which she has written and illustrated herself. 
Breakdance - The We're gonna have a breakdance party bench was photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2014. Reykjavik is quite a party town apparently. The photographer is FortuneCookie, who currently lives in Berlin.

Charleston -  Erte (1892-1990) was a French Russian genre painter, who is the artist of the lovely Charleston couple.  And by the way, you might like to know that the Charleston was banned in New Jersey in 1916 because  it was believed that it caused broken shins. 

CanCan - The CanCan girls in red are from Mairead Fitzgerald's Second Life back in 2008. Though the girls, apparently are from 1890 when cancan was in its heyday; think Paris, art cafes, The Moulin Rouge. 

Heinrich's view of CanCan is somewhat different. Think Red Bull, the Old Truman Brewery in Spitalfields. It was 2005 and the Red Bull Art of Can Exhibition, photographed by Damien du Toit.

Disco - Stick People Dancing on a Bench is a work of light graffiti by glenneroo, who is currently based in Vienna. glenneroo does a lot of portraits and he gets around; he has sets from all sorts of places, and a whole set of light graffiti photos as well.

Dirty dancing - the legs dancing in mud were at the Indigo Festival in Israel in 2011. The photograph is number 511 of 633 taken by Eyal Levkovich, who is a bookseller in Haifa.  

Dad Dancing - Jenna Gregory is an artist and graphic designer based out of Hamilton, Canada. She creates unique prints that usually focus on cute and strange characters, the dream of escaping to the woods and mountains, and other weird and wonderful things. One of these is the strange Dad Dancing Potato which I saw in her Etsy shop at Visit to see more of her work.

Erotic Dancing - Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was a Czech painter who did art nouveau and allegory painting, among other things. The painting called Dance 1898 is um, a dancer, painted in 1898. Very art nouveau, darling. Very beautiful, and just a little bit erotic, depending on your point of view. The painting is in the public domain.

Josephine Baker (born in 1906) was an American dancer who made her way to the Folies Bergere in Paris. She became famous for her erotic dancing in a short banana skirt and beads; Ernest Hemingway called her "the most sensational woman anyone ever saw". She also worked for the French Resistance in World War 2, was a civil rights activist, and the first black woman to star in a major motion picture. She inspired much art, including the wire artwork by Alexander Calder (1898-1976).   

Flamenco - Flamenco is passion and ruffled skirts and sweaty brows and brilliant shoes. What's not to like? The blue flamenco dancer on a bench was at the Santa Fe Folk Art Market in New Mexico and July 2008. It was photographed by Denise Womack-Avila, who lives in Santa Fe.

Folk Dancing - The folk dancing over the bench took place at Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington in 2013. Leavenworth is a beautiful town in the Cascade mountains, designed like Bavarian village. OK, it isn't in Bavaria, but in all other aspects, you might think you were in Garmisch Partinkirchen. Heinrich would approve I think. The photographer is P.A.H. who lives in  Seattle.

Foxtrot - I could no doubt have found a good foxtrotting photo but it wouldn't have a bench in it and it wouldn't have been as brilliant as Sunday Morning on the Fox Bench, an original illustration in graphite, ink and coloured pencil. It was given to me by Peter Harren, a children's book illustrator from Minnesota. Since then it has become a firm favourite on Benchsite and is one of the 31 Things you can do on a bench. The fox bench and other delightful drawings are in Peter's shop at

Gay Gordons - Helen Beaumont says Dance like no one's looking, then show
everyone on the internet. That's the title of her photograph, taken at Lock Hourn in Scotland in 2008. I don't know if it's the Gay Gordons - probably not since you need a partner for that. Helen is Glaswegian and has  medical aspirations, a head full of nonsense and a tendency to procrastinate. She also owns too many watches. For more Scottish dancing, see Three Scottish Weddings and Some Benches.  

Hula - The native Hawaiian hula girl was photographed around 1890. The author is unknown. The source is Hawaii Vintage Photos 
at  The photo is in the public domain and I saw it at

Irish - For St. Patrick's Day this year we were treated to a display of Irish benches and dancing by Innocent, and also by our friend Troy, who comes from Dry Heaves, Minnesota. It was reel-y great. 

Troy's occupation is Pilgrim. He speaks a lot of languages fluently and he's a great dancer. He was in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day and for Thanksgiving he was in Turkey. Where will he rock up next? 

Ice Dance - The Russian ice dancers are Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, photographed at the European Championships in Warsaw in 2007. The author of the photograph is Uwe Langer.   If you're partial to the cold, there are some brilliant Frozen benches here on Benchsite. 

The Jive/jitterbug shadow dancers are from the papier mâché works of Jenny Clayden, photographed at her Figured Out solo exhibition at Quay Arts in Newport, Isle of Wight in 2015. Jenny Clayden lives on the Isle of Wight and she designs and makes figures of all sizes in papier mâché. From life-size down to thumb-size, these are character studies rather than cartoon figures. She previously worked as a theatre designer in London where she made props, puppets, masks and a pantomime horse, all in papier mâché. Her approach is dramatic and colourful but she also develops the more serious aspects of her themes. Let's keep Dancing was a theme from a previous exhibition. In this story my photographs of Jenny's work include: the jive/jitterbug shadow dancers, the tango dancers (Facade), the shadow of the man with an umbrella.

Jazz modern - A Life in Red is the woman on the bench kicking her legs in the air. She was in Marseille in 2011, photographed by Marcovdz

Kabuki - Kabuski is a classical Japanese dance drama in which performers wear elaborate costumes and makeup, and the drama is highly stylized. It dates from 1603 and continues today. The first photo in the story is a painting of Kabuki actor Iwai Kumesaburo as the Geisha Otsuma in a summer silk kimono standing by a bench. The artist is Gototei Kunisada. It was published in the 1800s and in the possession of the Allinson Gallery at  

The Kabuki men on their long red bench were photographed in 2008 by Chris Lewis, who lives in Seattle and travels widely in Japan and elsewhere 

Line dance -  Vasily Surikov (1848-1916) was a Russian realist artist who   painted Dancing Girls in 1883.  This work is in the public domain.  

The PlusZ Ranch in Redmond, Oregon is just a little bit western. Inspired by the nature and history of the Wild West, the creative people at the PlusZ Ranch use old stuff like cowboy ropes, worn horseshoes, barnwood, and antique barbed wire to make lovely, rustic things. One of them is the Cowboy boots bench, which reminds me of a gas station we used to go to in Seattle when I was a child. The gas pumps were under the cowboy hat and the cashier lived in the boots. Boy howdy, we loved going there! Sorry, I digress. The PlusZ Ranch shop is at

Lindyhopping - Created in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s, Lindy Hop is a dance fusion blend of African American and more formal European styles. Here is a brilliant video To mark World Lindy Hop Day on 26th May Brighton Lindyhoppers braved a blustery, rainy, Bank Holiday Monday and danced on Brighton Beach. Here is a brilliant short video of that day.  The video and poster photos are from Dominic Alves at  

Dancing Bench -  The thirty-four legged Dance Bench is  a unique bench from Thailand. The careful placement of each individual leg gives Dance rhythm and dimension. Because none of the angles are identical, it seems to move constantly. The designer is Waranyu Sirikaorop 

The pink bench is called Pink Dance. It's from the intriguing design shop Ugly Cute in Stockholm. Ugly Cute organizes workshops, lectures, seminars and exhibitions in their office space on Kvarngatan 14 and they produce a lot of interesting stuff. Pink Dance is one of the most unusual benches I have seen for a long time.  For more pink benches and benches in fifty shades of grey see

Lap Dancing - Lady Brassica is happily married to Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly. However, last summer she and Troy had quite a thing going on down at her luxury beach hut. To call it lap dancing is not really accurate though; how much lap dancing can you do wearing heavy wool crocheted outfits from Studio Ballyfrumpy?

Morris Dancing - The jolly Morrish dancers are the Exeter Morris Men. They were photographed in 2006 in the grounds of Wells Cathedral by Adrian Pingstone. The photograph is in the public domain.

The sitting down Morris dancers were at the King's Bench pub in Castle Acre, Norfolk in 2008, captured by  Nick Ford, who is a photographer from Norfolk, UK.

The Morris dancers with sticks under K performed at the Chippenham Folk Festival in May 2015.

Merengue/Meringues - The rainbow coloured merginues were made in the work test kitchen in 2012 by talented food stylist Val at  Fahara F put them on Flickr at

No Dancing Bench - The No Dancing bench was photographed in Orlando in 2008 by Chad Miller at

The woman dancing on a green bench was photographed in 2010 by Matthias Weinberger, physiotherapist from Germany.  Matthias has several quotations on his profile, one from Aristotle which is particularly apt for dance: "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance". 

The Yo Dawg guy appears in quite a few memes (1,979 to be precise) and I don't understand any of them but hey, it's about dancing and it's about benches so it does the business as far as this blog goes. Plus he's got 18,151 views on this one so he must be doing something right.

O (Circle dance) - Round Dance in the Village was painted in 1874 by Russian realist artist Aleksey Savrasov (1830-1897)  

Dancing children - the statue of dancing children is at the entrance to Fort Wayne Zoo in Indiana. It was photographed by Valerie Everett in 2006

Pole Dancing - We have everything here on Benchsite, even pole dancing sloths. Sharp Shirter in Cleveland, Ohio offers animal t-shirts for men women and children along with pullovers, sweaters iPhone cases & art prints. They are intrigued by the relationship between humans and animals and all the issues about who is eaten, owned, protected or feared. Sharp Shirter doesn’t attempt to give answers to any of these relations but they certainly create some interesting questions. Like, should sloths be pole dancing?

May Pole Dancing - The May Pole dance image comes from Project Gutenberg'sThe Panjandrum Picture Book, by Randolph Caldecott, released in April 2009. The terms of 
Project Gutenberg are as follows: This eBook is for the use of anyone 
anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may
copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg        License included with this eBook or online at

Quickstep - the black and white blurred photo is clearly a dance and the title of the photo is Pareja, which means Couple in Spanish. It was photographed by Roberta Zouain in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Russian Dancers - Lois is not in Russia, she's in Cardiff in Wales. At her Etsy shop, Oakend Originals, she offers a little bit of everything from vintage collectables to crafting supplies and original art pieces. She has jewellery, 
accessories, books, toys, homewares, linens, embroiders, paper ephemera and souvenirs. The Russian dancers are an instant download vintage embroidery/applique pattern from 1935. I want one!

The Russian dolls are my own, bought at an Intourist shop in Leningrad way back in 1988. Mungo and I spent several weeks in the Crimea, Moscow, and what was then Leningrad. In the late 80s Richard Branson, he of Virgin fame, started a hotel in Yalta for some reason which now escapes me. We got a free Virgin beach towel with the holiday but all that's left of the trip now is the dolls and a photograph of a lot of Russians standing up to sunbathe on the beach in front of the hotel.  

Sattriya is one among the eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. Sattriya has remained a living tradition since its creation by the founder of Vaishnavism in Assam, the great saint Srimanta Sankardev, in 15th century Assam. The core of Sattriya Nritya has usually been stories, an artistic way of presenting mythological teachings to the people in an accessible, immediate, and enjoyable manner. Traditionally, Sattriya was performed only by male monks in monasteries as a part of their daily rituals or to mark special festivals. Today Sattriya is also performed on stage by men and women who are not members of the sattras, on themes not merely mythological.

Square Dance - the empty square is a portrait of His Excellency which appears throughout Benchsite. It is the only picture I have of him because he is a very shy person who does not like being photographed. Apologies to those of you who wanted gingham skirts and hoe-downs. 

The portly statue dancers are not His Excellency and I. They are in Kungsholmen in Sweden, photographed by Kristen Lund, in 2011. Kristen is an expat from California who was living in Sweden for a couple of years and, with other expats in Sweden, kept a blog.  

Swing - Bruno Taylor is a London designer who created Playful Spaces, such as the swing in the bus stop. It is one of the amazing bus stop benches shown in 2013 here on Benchsite. Bruno Taylor is interested in design in its social context and works for Design Against Crime and other public organisations. He describes himself as passionate and committed to design and innovation which tackles social challenges

Tango - The papier mache tango dancers are by Jenny Clayden, as above. 

The tango ad and benches were in the Paris Metro in 2008, photographed by Peter C, who lives in Roeselare in Belgium 2008

Joel Haas from Raleigh, North Carolina is a steel sculptor and benches are his speciality. The bright red Love Seat is a steel garden bench commissioned by a Raleigh, NC couple as a Valentine's Day present.  Joel's studio is at

The shadow of the dancer with an umbrella is also by Jenny Clayden.

Dancing in the rain - the dance in the rain sign is from Backdoor Survival, who is very, very serious about survival. Want to know how to make a rocket stove out of a coffee can? Need tips on how to survive anything? This is the place.

The joyous kids dancing in the rain were in Mumbai in 2012. They were photographed by Dinesh Obareja, who works in risk management in Mumbai and would like to just drop everything else and go clickety-click.

The dance statue in the snow was at Riga, Latvia in February 2012 . It was photographed by Pablo Andres Rivero, who is a researcher and lecturer in La Paz, Bolivia.

Village Dance is a painting by Ivan Generalic (1914-1992), who was born in Koprivnica in Croatia  

The Whirling dervishes may not actually be dervishes but they are certainly whirling. The title of the abstract painting and collage is Dance 1980, a work by Turkish Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid, who was born in 1901 in Istanbul and died in Jordan in 1991.  

The exercise sign was in Central Park, Helsinki in 2005. It was photographed by Tomi Tapio, who lives in Helsinki and loves to photograph squirrels and cats.

Yippee - Yeah, I know, this is the weakest link in my dance alphabet.  Dancing up a Storm is the hot girl, who is Torley in Second Life. I'm never sure if Torley is the avatar or if she is the creator of the avatar, or both. Anyway, it was way back in 2007  

Zumba - Mungo and I are very keen zumba dancers. This isn't our group though.This is a group in Germany.  Our teacher, Rawlings Benchleigh-Press, was a barrister in London before he gave it all up and came to Paradise Island to be a life coach and personal trainer. Rawl can explain all the recent changes in Bench law, plus he's got some great lawyer jokes at

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