Thanks for Having Me, 2009. It’s Good to Be Here.

January 7, 2009 at 4:01 AM (Dance, Goals, Musings)

Okay, so much for blogging at least once a day.  Granted, it was due to going home for Christmas, being with family (including my grandfather, who is doing SO much better, thank you!), running back to Boston to work for a couple days, then coming back home to be with my family a bit longer before my final semester of college.  Regardless, I’m sorry – I kind of missed keeping you all informed of my life’s happenings – and I’ll attend to my blog a bit more closely this year (particularly since my viewership has picked up).

Although 2008 certainly wasn’t my favourite year, it definitely ended on a good note.  I got to spend Christmas with half my family, the weekend after Christmas with the rest of my family on a beach in NY, and an afternoon with my best friend of 17 years before running back to Boston for New Year’s (Balera was hosting a Gala, and I had work at 7.00 A.M. on New Year’s Day).

Two days later I got to perform in our old formation at a swing event in Burlington.  I’ve always loved performing in our formation, but we retired it following a performance in July.  Since then, we resurrected it for Balera’s grand opening back in October, but had not bothered to rehearse it afterwards.  Suddenly we had another opportunity to perform it, and I was thrilled.  This wasn’t going to be a typical performance for us, however.  Usually, we perform for other ballroom dancers at a competition or showcase.  The thing about performing for a bunch of people versed in the same type of dance as you are is that although they may enjoy the show, it’s also easy for them to critique your technical ability.  This time we were performing for a different breed: the swing breed.

Despite being a partner dance, swing (West Coast, Lindy Hop, etc.) is not frequently grouped with ballroom.  More often it’s set aside with Two-Step, Argentine Tango, Salsa, and so on.  Although some ballroom dancers may be familiar with those dances, they don’t often train in them as extensively as, say, Waltz or Cha Cha.  Our routine consists of a Cha Cha, Rumba and Mambo.  At the end we explode with a Lindy Hop, which, you may notice, doesn’t fit into a typical ballroom dancer’s repertoire.  It certainly wasn’t in ours before we started doing this routine, yet there we were, about to perform it for a bunch of West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop dancers.  I wasn’t sure what would be more nerve-wracking: a being a ballroom dancer and doing a ballroom performance for ballroom dancers, or being a ballroom dancer trying to do a swing performance for swing dancers.

Post-performance.  We're sweaty, but we're happy and sweaty!

Post-performance. We're sweaty, but we're happy and sweaty!

As it turned out, the swing dancers were an awesome audience.  They cheered when we broke into the Charleston, and gave us a standing ovation as we exited the floor.  It was electrifying.  On top of that, I got to spend the rest of the evening working on my West Coast and Lindy (which was a ton of fun, by the way).

I went back home to my parents’ house just in time for another friend’s milestone birthday and spent the evening with her and her mother.  Since then, I’ve been unwinding: watching House, NCIS and Scrubs, reading George R. R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows, working on my 500-piece, double-sided Beatles’ White Album puzzle, editing my cover letter, and so on, and so forth.

My holiday has encouraged me to make my first Near Year’s resolutions, ever.  Typically I avoid them because I can never think of anything worth at least a year (or ideally, a lifetime) of effort, but I think these are worthwhile.

Try other dance styles when the opportunities present themselves.  In 2008, I was exposed to Modern (although briefly), and re-exposed to Standard ballroom, and loved them both.  In 2009, the first social dancing I did outside of Balera was West Coast, which was also a blast.  I’ve had access to a weekly Hip Hop class for months and have not gone near it.  I’m determined to change that this year.

Communicate with the people who matter at least once a week.  Being home reminded me that I have some really good friends and family here, and I’m all too wont to forget about them when I’m in Boston.  It really shouldn’t be too difficult for me to soend an extra hour on the phone or online a few times a week.

And of course, blog at least a few times a week, if not daily.

Happy New Year!

Today’s Tunes
“Where Do I Begin (Love Story) (AwayTeam Mix),” Shirley Bassey
“Hip Hip Chin Chin (Smooth Return Mix),” Club des Belugas
“Within You Without You,” The Beatles
“Such Great Heights (John Tejada Remix),” The Postal Service
“Agua,” Si*Sé
“Roda (Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Grateful Dub Radio Mix),” Céu
Tonight’s Distractions
Scrubs
What Would You Do?

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