Gringos bring tap dancing to Costa Rica

first_imgFrom the print editionThe dancers glow in the evening light as they raise a graceful ruckus with their tap shoes. It’s a nontraditional extracurricular activity for members of a small municipality outside of Grecia, and in fact, it only arrived recently with two gringos who are pretty nontraditional themselves. Bill and Doreen Potter visited Costa Rica in 1992 for what was supposed to be a short scuba diving vacation. They never went back to Colorado. “We just fit into Costa Rica,” Bill says.After living in various places around the country, they settled in Cajón, northeast of Grecia, in the Central Valley. Now, the couple teaches country line dancing and tap dancing once a week at the community center. Out of their own pockets, they bought dozens of pairs of shoes to outfit their pupils. Doreen also finds the music and choreographs all the dances. “The music and dances have to be lively or they get bored,” Doreen says, but clearly she is up for the challenge. It is a great pleasure, she says, to watch them grow and absorb the new things.Back on stage, the kids repeat their dance routines again and again, preparing for a performance the next day at school. A handful sport bright-blue, team shirts announcing them as the Cajón Tappers. Joselin Rodríguez wipes at a stain on her daughter’s team shirt. She brings her kids to dance class every Wednesday, even though they have to trek home is in the dark. It’s worth it. “The kids love dancing,” she said. “They stay active physically, and it keeps them occupied and out of trouble.”Throughout the practice, kids come and go. School lets out at 5:30 p.m., and a half-hour into the practice a few more students rush in. They’re still in their school uniforms, and they’ve also donned tap shoes to join the practice. When it’s over, the kids form a line while Doreen hands out cookies and a few items from her garden. Today it’s a bag of limes, which the kids will bring back to their parents. “If they didn’t have this … [they’d be] working in the family’s coffee plots,” Doreen said. To reward the Cajón Tappers’ hard work, Bill and Doreen fundraise to take the kids on trips to a bowling alley or roller skating rink in San José, as well as a Christmas party. To get the money to hire a bus and pay entrance fees, the Potters and other foreigners in the neighborhood hold an annual garage sale.“The community loves it, they’re always asking when the next sale is,” Doreen said. There is no fee for the kids or moms to attend the classes.After class, Monica Bolaños, 10, munches on cookies with her sister and cousin, who also dance. Bolaños is captain of the Cajón Tappers. Her clean movements and sharp memory for the routines stand out, and other dancers follow her lead.“I like dancing and never want to stop,” Bolaños said. “My friends dance bachata but not country and tap. I’m trying to get them to come to practices.”After packing up the makeshift dance studio and humoring a few moms who also want to learn some moves, Bill starts home in his car. When he encounters a few of his pupils on the side of road, he stops to give them a lift. Dropping them off at their home, he sticks his head out the window and quizzes them on the time of tomorrow’s performance.“Ten o’clock,” one girl says.“Noooo! Twelve! Twelve o’clock,” Bill hollers.The girl giggles and nods. As Bill drives away, the girls’ brother shouts, “At ten, right?”The family bursts out laughing, teasing Bill. He shakes his head and heads home. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Thats just another if to dictate the Cardinals

first_imgThat’s just another ‘if’ to dictate the Cardinals’ decision-making regarding their quarterback situation over the next year. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Until the Arizona Cardinals find a potential replacement for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer, these things will continue coming up.Like ESPN did leading into Tony Romo’s eventual departure from the Cowboys a year ago, the network is looking ahead to another big-name quarterback’s next landing spot.This week, the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins couldn’t come to an agreement upon a long-term contract, making the signal-caller a free agent following the 2017 season. Which teams might be interested in signing Cousins next offseason? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 25 Comments   Share   center_img ESPN’s Dan Graziano listed the Cardinals among 10 potential landing spots for Cousins.If Carson Palmer retires after the season, Arizona’s 2018 cap space will be in the mid-$40 million range and the team will have a clear need. The landscape here is difficult to predict, because coach Bruce Arians’ future is uncertain as well. But the Cardinals didn’t draft a quarterback and could be in the market.Despite a trio of health scares spanning the preseason through the end of the regular season, Arians, who is currently making the rounds on a book tour, has said he feels great. Nonetheless, his future has been intertwined with Palmer’s since both arrived in 2013.For the quarterback, much has to do with how he performs — and how he physically feels — throughout 2017 after a relative down season in 2016 followed up an MVP-worthy 2015.Should Palmer retire, it’s likely Arizona fills its quarterback hole with a draftee or free agent; unless backups Drew Stanton or Blaine Gabbert can prove themselves to the coaching staff this season.And if a post-Palmer Arizona team hopes to continue fighting for a playoff spot, the 28-year-old Cousins might be the most high-profile addition available. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu wa

first_imgArizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu waits his turn to run drills during an NFL football organized team activity, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the team training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) GLENDALE, Ariz. — Admittedly, Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu is not a patient man. Yet, over the course of his four-year NFL career, he’s had to learn patience.Dealing with one injury after another has forced Mathieu to accept the time it takes for the body to heal without complaining or getting upset.“I guess I’m becoming a patient guy,” he said, smiling.Mathieu didn’t have much to smile about last season. Coming off a knee injury, his second in three years, Mathieu hurt his shoulder in Week 8 at Carolina. He missed four games in the second half of the season before ultimately landing on injured reserve in Week 16.Mathieu played in a career-low 10 games and finished with 36 tackles, also a career-low.“Physically I’m fine,” he said Sunday. “Obviously last year was a tough year, for all of us, so I think all of us, we have to gain that confidence back. We know we’re an extremely talented football team. I know I’m extremely talented…just working on that confidence because last year was a tough one.”The 2016 seasons of Mathieu and the Cardinals mirrored each other. Neither could quite reach the level of performance from the year prior.It wasn’t without trying, however.Mathieu, though, was never himself following a 2015 ACL injury in Week 15 at Philadelphia that ended a Pro Bowl and first-team all-pro season. The Cardinals, meanwhile, never recovered from a 1-3 start and went 7-8-1, their first losing season under head coach Bruce Arians.The start of training camp offers both Mathieu, 25, and the Cardinals a redo.“I feel good,” he said. “Just easing back into it, working back into it. Just gaining that confidence back, which is extremely important for me. Obviously, it’s a real important camp for me. Expectations are high for myself, so really just going to take this time to work on fundamentals and like I said, gaining that confidence back.” It’s early, but how close is Mathieu to becoming a confident player again?“Yeah, it’ll come. Making the plays, all that will come,” he said. “Just really trying to take this time to work on my fundamentals, work on my technique and work on things that I may have lacked on last season. That’s what training camp is for, so that’s what I’m going to take this time to work on.”One noticeable change already in camp: Mathieu is playing up near the line of scrimmage, where he’s been the most effective since the Cardinals made him a third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.That production was missing for much of last season.“It’s exciting,” he said. “Obviously getting back blitzing, being back in the box. I’ll see how I feel once the pads come on (Monday). Obviously, it’s exciting for me. I think it plays a big part in me gaining that confidence back as well, so I’m excited about it.”Still, it’s going to take time. And that’s where Mathieu must remain patient.“To be honest, I don’t think I’m past (2016),” he said. “Last year, it just seemed like we didn’t play consistent enough, we didn’t make enough plays and I think all those kind of things affected confidence. It feels good to be back out here competing again, so hopefully the confidence and making the splash plays, all those things will come.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 7 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter – / 14last_img read more