What's In A Name
& Dan Finch
Roundalab has a Golden Classic titled Cario Mio. There seems to be a
problem, though, with that name. Cario is not a word in Italian,
Spanish, Portuguese, or French, cuer Annette Woodruff points out.
Annette, who lives in Belgium, thinks it should be renamed to Caro Mio.
Caro Mio means “my dear, my darling.” “Keeping Cario Mio is as shocking
as using “my dearling” as the title,” Annette has said.
To add a complication, there are six other dances called Cario Mio. The
name appears to come from the record all of them were choreographed
from, Star 128, that was called Cario Mio.
Annette noted that her research shows there is one dance that gives its
music source as the same Star record but is correctly title Caro Mio,
in spite of the music source. Additionally, another two dances refer to
the Ross Mitchell version of the same music, and both the cue sheets
and music are correctly titled Caro Mio.
The issue has come up now because Roundalab members will be deciding
this summer whether to approve a “standardized” cue sheet for Cario
Mio. The dance was written in 2002, a Phase II waltz by Yasuyo Watanabe
of Japan. It became a Golden Classic after being voted onto the
Roundalab Classics list for five years. All Golden Classics have
approved Roundalab head cue sheets. RAL started doing that in 1990 to
help teachers work with older cue sheets, often written only in step
The proposed standardized cue sheet for Cario Mio lists the music
source as both Cario Mio, Star 128, and Caro Mio, from Ross Mitchell’s
25 Top Waltzes album.
The original music, from which the Star record and the Ross Mitchell
music were taken, is titled Caro Mio and can be traced back to Handel.
Versions are found on Pavarotti’s repertoire list.
Questionable translations aside, what does it matter what you call a
choreographed dance? By whatever name, the cue sheet should list the
source of the music, with enough detail spelled out so that you can
find the source even if the name of the music is different from that of
“I’m not giving up on [changing the name] Caro Mio because it’s nice
music that deserves respectful identification,” Annette wrote to
She does have a way of getting changes made. “I had to fight patiently
for a long time to eventually get Apres l’Etreinte properly spelled,”
she wrote. That phase III+1 foxtrot/two step was written to music by
Engelbert Humperdinck called After the Lovin’. The choreographer
decided to translate that to French. It showed up originally as Apres
l’Entriente. The problem here is that “entriente” is not a word,
according to Annette. Round Dance Magazine further complicated the
issue by deciding that the non-French-speaking needed some help and
added under the name on its published version of the cue sheet “Aprey
“Isn’t that awful. And simultaneously, very funny,” Annette wrote.
There was also an issue with Rainbow Connections, a Phase IV waltz by
Jim & Bobbie Childers. They had permission from Ross Mitchell to
use the music--called Rainbow Connection.
Rod and Susan Anderson were writing a phase VI version to the same
music about the same time, Bobbie recalls. The two couples discussed
how to keep the two dances from being confused. Bobbie said she liked
the idea of Rainbow Connections “to connect all of us as dancers.” The
Anderson version became The Rainbow Connection.
We could go on. Lots of choreographers find the original music names
too long. It shouldn’t matter, as long as the original source of the
music is identified on the cue sheet. As much detail as possible should
be used because many versions of a song can be found online, depending
on when it was recorded.
We used the music, Sam You Made The Pants Too Long, twice. Once we
called the dance, Sam’s Pants, for a phase VI foxtrot, and then we
named the phase IV version (our Hall of Fame dance) Sam’s New Pants.
The cue sheet for both of them references the source of the original
music, Casa Musica’s Ballroom Fantasy CD.
We did it again when we used Anne Murray’s Make Love To Me, using that
name for the phase IV west coast swing and calling the phase VI version
Make Love To Me Again. The full name of the music was printed on each
Annette’s concern is slightly different. Saying “cario” vs. “caro” may
seem like a small issue, but to a person versed in French, it is
troubling enough to campaign on an international level to make the
change. She has recruited a Japanese cuer to try to get Watanabe’s
agreement to change the title.
The misspelling of an English title doesn’t happen very often because
somewhere, someone will notice and change it, she said. “Foreign
titles? Far fewer people around who might notice.”
“Americans live in a country so large that they don’t need to get
interested in another language,” Annette wrote. “Once faced with a
foreign word, why would they care whether the word is right or wrong?
This is why I am very much against using foreign titles and I’m begging
everyone to translate the titles into English before publishing.
There’s nothing wrong with After the Lovin’--and everyone can spell
it,” she added referring back to Apres l’Etreinte.
Using foreign words can be a trap, Annette added. “Etreinte” as used in
the lyrics correctly translates to “the loving” but an “étreinte” means
simply a “hug,” she explained. A big difference to anyone involved in
it. She signed off her note to us with “Big hug (Grosse Etreinte)” to
make the point.
From a club
newsletter, February 2022,
in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, March 2022. Find a DRDC Finch archive here.