I want to thank each of you who has taken the time to read my musings about dance. I’ve had a lot of fun reading and researching various aspects of dance and sharing them with you. I set a goal for myself to write one blog a week for four months which I managed to do, even with all the other activities that vie for my attention! But with the holidays quickly approaching, I am going to take a break from writing weekly and add to this blog more sporadically. I hope you check back then and again, and please feel free to send me your thoughts and musings at

I will leave you with this poem written by an anonymous Confederate Soldier in the 1860’s.

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among men, most richly blessed.

May God richly bless each one of you!

Dancing on,

Debra Newby


My family attended the Moorpark Civil War Reenactment this past weekend – and what a great time we all had! We went with several other dear family friends and cooked over an open fire, slept in a canvas wall tent and wore hoopskirts. (Well, just the ladies.) My husband and girls even had the opportunity to play for Abraham Lincoln himself! But one of our most interesting experiences was to have an old fashion Ferrotype or “Tintype” photo taken of our family. The photographer was Will Dunniway, and you can learn more about this type of photo at

Through a wet emulsion process, a photo is made on a piece of black enameled iron. Some interesting characteristics of this photo are that the image is the reverse of how we actually looked in front of the camera. Also, this process doesn’t pick up the color blue, so everything that is in the photo that was blue appears white. That made for some odd looking eyes for my daughter and I! And the varnish they use for the tintype is made with lavender oil, and I catch a whiff of it every time I walk by the photo.

As the keeper of my family’s genealogy and old photos, I have old tin types of two of my great-grandparents as children that were taken in the 1800’s. I also have tin types of my great-great-grandparents’ wedding photos. I will treasure this new/old tintype of my own family for many years to come.

Also at Moorpark, we attended a wonderful Saturday evening dance for the reenactors where I learned several new dances that I will be sharing with our group at our upcoming Civil War Balls. There is always something new to learn and new to do!