Now go out and dance!
Because Patrick Sawyze said so.
All weekend long, even.
Unfortunately, there’s no photographic evidence.
You may ask yourselves then, if one shags in the forest and there’s no picture of this, did one really shag?
You’ll have to take my word for it! I was so busy shagging I didn’t have time to take a lot of pictures.
This past weekend we hosted the 7th annual Shag Explosion, a weekend dedicated to Collegiate Shag.
The event wasn’t as well attended as in previous years but it was fun and people went back home happy. And I was ecstatic because this is the first Shag Explosion in 5 years that I haven’t been injured or convalescing from major surgery. I was very rusty but it was great to practice single and double time Shag.
I also did two hours of badass acrobatic training on Saturday morning and now muscles that I had totally forgotten they existed are screaming at me in lactic acid rage. It’s awesome!
I’ll leave you with one of the very few pictures I took. It’s of my daughter and one of the NYC instructors that came for the event.
The weekend was very stressful, for financial and logistic reasons, but I had a great time even if I now have to pay the consequences.
Long live Shag!
As I said I would , I spent this past weekend in Quebec City. Went for a dance event called Swing-A-Dance
Drove there in a bad snow storm and what would have normally be a 4.5 hour trip turned into a 10 hour drive. We got there very tired but in one piece.
Once there, it was a blast. Great conversations and great dances were had!
I am very grateful for the fact that I can dance. Considering all the health issues I have, I consider myself very lucky. Sure, every time I dance I’m in pain but I much rather be in pain and dancing than to not have dance in my life!
We didn’t win. We didn’t even place. But we got mad reviews from other dancers and great feedback from the judges.
But let’s rewind.
One of our teachers came to us with a project last November: A Short Showcase Competition.
We have several competitions during the year but they are mostly in the Jack & Jill format (you sign up alone and are assigned a random partner) or the Jitterbug format where you sign with partner but do improvised dancing. We thought a short Showcase competition was a great idea and went along with it. The date was set for January 19 and the number of entries was limited to ten couples.
Apparently, there was a void in Ottawa for showcase competitions (where you sign up with a partner and perform a choreographed routine) because as soon as we opened registrations, it got sold out in a matter of hours.
This were the Contest Rules:
My daughter suggested I did a Blues choreography with Stefan, one of our up and coming students. It’ll be a lot of fun, she said. I’ll help you with it, she said. So we registered.
Then Christmas came, I got very sick and my daughter went to Colombia.
That’s when I panicked. It was January 2nd and I didn’t have a song, I didn’t have a choreography and I didn’t have a daughter to help with.
The holidays are over. It’s back to work for me today.
And now that I have my dance thinking cap on, it’s time for me to start thinking about events I would like to go to this year. It’s funny because my calendar if filling up quickly without me even trying.
First, I’m going to Swing A Dance in Quebec City in February. Mainly because Natalia was invited back to teach (this time around with boyfriend). She came back last year saying she had loved the event. So, since those two are going, I’m going too because the trip is free for me :)
Can’t say that 2012 was a good year but in all fairness, it had some really good things. Going back to dancing and training was one of them. Finding Satchie, that adorable little craziness of a cat was another. My little DC vacation, a childhood dream come true is one of the highlights of the year, for sure.
I lost some friends but I made a few others. I laughed, I cried, I dance, I ate, I saw good movies but I was also very sick for a long time. All things considered, the balance is good, I think.
Nonetheless, I can’t say I’m sad to see 2012 go. I lost more than I gained.
Thankfully, the good things are so good, that they’re enough to allow me to look back and smile. I did win a medal this year, after all. Also, I didn’t break myself this year. This is the first no-injuries year in a long time. That must count for something, right?
And I got to perform the Sailor Girls routine again. That was cool!
Plus! I got to be part of the Canvas of the Minds family. That’s pretty cool too.
Oh, and of course, how could I forget… We all survived the Mayan Apocalypse! D’oh!
The above photography is from the book Dancers Among Us by Jordan Matter Photography. There’s a little bit of a funny story (OK, not really funny but there is a story) about the photo, though. The actual photograph does not have the caption. Someone alerted the artist about it being circulated without the proper credit.
The following paragraph is from Jordan Matter Photography Facebook page:
This image of Tenealle Farragher was making its way around the internet uncredited until someone alerted me. And a good thing they did! When I contacted Dance World (a dance store in Dublin, Ireland) and asked them to credit us on their Facebook post, they did even better than that- they ordered 100 copies of my Dancers Among Us book!
I’m happy Mr, Matter is getting his due credit. I can only imagine how beautiful the photographs must look in the book. And of course, I am happy there’s a book about about dancers. Furthermore, I’m thrilled two swingdancers are also featured in the book.
That’s how I heard of it, actually. Because NYC Lindy Hopper Evita Arce posted this picture on her Facebook wall:
As Mr Matter puts it:
Even after all the posts and articles, there are still over 50 NEVER BEFORE SEEN photos in my Dancers Among Us book, like this one of international Lindy hop stars Michael Jagger and Evita Arce. There are many more gems that you won’t find anywhere online, so what are you waiting for? Dancers Among Us is the perfect last minute holiday gift!
Here’s a favourite of mine: A cabaret piece by the best female Lindy Hoppers in North America – including my daughter and Evita Arce, that was part of Followlogie 2011. Don’t think it’s just motherly pride when I say my daughter is the prettiest of all ;)
Followlogie is an annual weekend event for women* only (know in the Lindy Hop world as follows, thus the name) where we gather to learn from the best female dancers all the secrets of the trade. There are workshops, panels, dances, competitions** and a big show on Saturday night. The video was part of the show.
* Or men who dance as follows
** I competed with the Dynamite Girls that year and we placed third :)
I don’t understand how I end up always over-scheduling myself…
Oh, right, I remember now. I have ADD
So, I’m teaching tonight.
The teaching scheduled goes out every three months. We get the first week of January, April, July and October. Among the other dates, I was scheduled to teach on Dec 15. No big deal.
THEN, all the previous Dynamite Girls that are still team members were invited to a cooperative project with SD’s new all-girl team The Hot Tamales. Awesome! I was more than happy to join them. Then it turned out they were planning a performance on December 15. I was very happy. We’re bringing the Sailor Girls routine back to life after a couple of years of sabbatical. Did my brain raise a red flag? Or course not! Why would it bother remember I was teaching on that date too?
AND THEN, I signed up as the DJ for the last set (11pm – 1 am) of all December Saturdays. I love deejaying plus I can use the extra money. Again, did my brain bothered checking the calendar. Hell, no. The bastard.
As a result, tonight I am teaching, performing AND deejaying.
It’s going to be a looooooong night.
Granted, it’ll be fun, but very long. From 8 pm – 1 am.
And -as it that weren’t enough, tomorrow I have Balboa practice from 12-4 pm, immediately followed by a mandatory All-Teams practice with a special Street Dance class and a Team battle afterwards.
It’s all very exciting and I’m very much looking forward to all of that but on Sunday night, I’m gonna need someone to drag me home and put me to bed.
See you on Monday, I guess.
But for now, this Sailor Girl needs to go get ready for the party!
We’re reviving this choreography for a little project. That was the first routine we took to the Canadian Swing Championships and we got 2nd Place with it!
It’s been a while since I last performed it and I’m very excited about donning my sailor costume again.
Can you spot me?
Footnote: Also, I thought it was very appropriate for my 300th post. Never thought I’d reach 300 posts when I started this blog some two years ago. A big thank you to all of you, my readers, for keeping me going with your encouraging likes and comments.
An A list movie about Mental Illness?
Believe it or not, it’s true. And with Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Limitless, the A team) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, X Men: First Class) no less.
Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a former teacher who struggles with bipolar and is trying to get his life back after being hospitalized in a mental institution for eight months.