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Janet Carlson
Janet Carlson is a writer, editor and ballroom dancer. She is author of a memoir, Quick, Before the Music Stops: How Ballroom Dancing Saved My Life (Broadway Books, July 2008). She has worked as a magazine editor and writer for thirty years, most recently as Beauty & Health Director at Town & Country, and as Beauty Director at SELF Magazine prior to that. She has written articles for O, Real Simple, Elle, Redbook, and Departures, among other publications. Carlson started training in ballroom dancing during her college years at Yale University, then competed around the country for seven years before giving up dance to pursue her magazine career. She returned to the ballroom twenty years later, and won a silver medal at the Ohio Star Ball in 2010. She lives in Westchester County, New York. More at:

Entries by Janet Carlson

Why Did Dr. Fredric Brandt Die?

(7) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 4:52 PM

Since I heard that Dr. Fredric Brandt died I've been angry about the bullying he endured, being portrayed as a sort of mad scientist in various media, most recently on the TV show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. We've learned that Dr. Brandt suffered from depression. That surely...

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Is Your Child a Mouth-Breather? There's New Help at the Dentist

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 6:19 PM

"If you can see or hear your child breathing, that's a problem," said Dr. Benedict Miraglia, a dentist in Mount Kisco, New York, who spoke at a recent seminar, "ADHD and The Role of Sleep," in Hartsdale, New York. Seeing or hearing what should be silent and invisible is a...

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Death, Taxes and To-Do Lists: You Can Take the Sting Out of One of Them

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 8:19 AM

There are two kinds of people in the world the way I see it: those who like to get the chores done before they play or relax, and those who prefer to relax first and put off the work until "later."

Both attitudes have their righteous aspects, so I'm...

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Buying Gifts For Your Ex: Is That The Spirit?

(179) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 3:55 AM

Last year during the holiday shopping madness I always fail to avoid, I found myself at Chef Central with my daughters, whipping out my charge card to pay for $150 worth of gifts they'd selected for their father, his longtime girlfriend, and her two children. A wine carafe, some stemware,...

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Up With Stereotypes! Is Defining a Real Man Today Really Politically Incorrect?

(3) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 4:02 PM

I had dinner recently in Massachusetts with two men: one whom I referred to as "Real Man" in a blog entry here last December, and the other his good friend from Vermont who was in the area when I happened to be visiting as the leaves were changing...

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A Manual for Men: Let's Talk Real Men

(2) Comments | Posted December 4, 2010 | 2:18 PM

My last post on men provoked a slew of comments -- over 500 -- which was exciting to me because my usual posts about ballroom dancing and other hot topics have gotten about three or four comments; ergo gender relations are far more important in the grand scheme.

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Men In The Post-Women's-Lib World: Should We Give Them A How-To Guide?

(568) Comments | Posted November 7, 2010 | 11:56 AM

Men are in the news lately -- have you noticed? I read with interest the Sep. 10 Newsweek piece "Men's Lib," about "reimagining masculinity" for our modern age, and I read with equal interest Lisa Belkin's piece in the Oct. 24 New York Times Magazine, "Calling...

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More Fathers Present; Sign of Our Times?

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 3:16 PM

I ducked out of my office in NYC early the other evening, at 5 pm sharp, in order to drive like a bat out of midtown up to Westchester to catch my daughter's JV volleyball game for the first time this season. She'd complained twice, "Mom, you haven't seen me...

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Real Ballroom Dancing for Regular People

(6) Comments | Posted September 4, 2009 | 5:22 PM

Anyone who hears I'm a ballroom dancer invariably says, "Oh, I'm dying to start ballroom dancing." And then they explain why they haven't, or why they gave it up after a couple of disappointing lessons. I feel bad; I want them to get into dancing. I'm not sure why. I...

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Why A Freckle Could Be The Death Of Me

(3) Comments | Posted July 15, 2009 | 12:37 PM

Once upon a time, there was a new spot on my left palm. A tiny, pale-brown freckle-thing at the outer base where the hand meets the wrist. I nonchalantly mentioned it at my annual mole-check in 2006; a biopsy showed it was benign.

A few months ago, the shadow-scar that...

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Popular Mechanics: A Modern Woman's Heartthrob

(2) Comments | Posted February 11, 2009 | 4:43 PM

I never thought I'd fall for a handy man, but as my ballroom dancing teacher used to advise, "Be mindful of your expectations. They can get us into trouble." I felt sheepish at first about appreciating M so exuberantly for (among other fine qualities, I insist) his ability to fix...

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It May Be Time to Redefine Family

(2) Comments | Posted January 5, 2009 | 5:22 PM

Roger Angell wrote a wonderful story for the New Yorker a few years back in which he redefined the notion of extended family for our modern times, and I'd like to second that emotion. I liked his story a lot -- perhaps because I... related!

Like Angell, I include...

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My Trip to Google's HQ

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2008 | 5:36 PM

I was invited to Google at the end of July to speak at the company's Authors@Google program at the legendary headquarters in Mountain View, California. The idea was to promote my just-published memoir, Quick, Before the Music Stops (How Ballroom Dancing Saved My Life). The authors program is...

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Quick, Be Here Now

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2008 | 3:06 PM

No sooner had I finished writing a book called Quick, Before the Music Stops than I found myself in the earliest stages of a long distance relationship with a man who kept saying, "Let's take things slow." Geez, okay. But because I have an impulsive streak, I was frustrated,...

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Why Am I A Ballroom Dancer? Mom Made Me Do It

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2008 | 11:32 PM

Three years ago, when I was taking a lot of notes after my ballroom dance lessons so that I'd remember what to practice at home with my broomstick, I figured that the ballroom craze, which was only dawning then, would build. I also decided that it was now or never...

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How Ballroom Dancing Saved My Life

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2008 | 3:11 PM

My ballroom dance coach has been talking lately about how important it is for me to make myself available to him. No, not available in that sense. He's referring to my presence as half of the "us" that we create moving around the floor, doing a foxtrot or a waltz....

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