So I believe it is time to write a post that has been in my head for almost a year but was too painful to put into words.
As some of you know, I had to stop dancing about a year ago, due to generalized intense joint pain.
For those of you new to my blog, I used to train, compete and perform with, teach, deejay and do social media for Swing Dynamite, a Swing Dance school in Ottawa. In fact, Ottawa’s only dedicated Swing Dance school.
Anyway, it was as if all my joints had suddenly decided to give up on me.
My ankles, my knees, my hips, my elbows, my wrists, my knuckles, my shoulders… even joints I didn’t know I had* hurt.
Not that I was any stranger to pain, mind you. Pain can even be considered my longest lasting friend, considering it started when I was 11 and I met my oldest friends when I was 12 back in 7th grade.
Every time I danced, I was in pain. Every time. But I also got a lot of joy out of it. The joy exceeded the pain by far so I danced.
However, it got to be that the pain over-weighted the joy so I had to stop. Continue reading →
Another dream come true for me in less than a year. It all started with DC, last August.
Then, out of the blue, I ended up getting this fantastic gift from my daughter (with a little help from her boyfriend): A trip to San Francisco!
It all started with a family wedding invitation to B & N. The wedding was happening in Sacramento but B & N were encouraged to fly into San Francisco. N knew San Fran was in my Bucket List and invited me to tag along but I couldn’t manage to make it fit in my budget. Continue reading →
Swamped in work and still at a very uncertain period of my life in all fronts so I really haven’t had a chance to do much writing. Well, that’s not actually accurate. I have done a crap load of writing, just not for this blog.
Plus I’m always very busy having 533 conversations with myself.
From the ADHD – Tales of an Absent-Minded Superhero FB Page. If you haven’t visited that page, you must do so as soon as you’re done reading my post, yo!
Did you know I keep three blogs and write for another three? And that’s not even counting Tumblr.
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!
Friday Night Dance. Photograph by Francois Beauchemin Photographe
Dancer Tenealle Farragher photographed by Jordan Matter in Washington Heights, NYC
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:
Lindy Hoppers Evita Arce & Michael Jagger photographed by Jordan Matter
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 :)
On Friday, there was the 13th Anniversary dance of the Ottawa Swing Dance Society (OSDS). As a former Executive member of the OSDS I usually attend these anniversary dances but this time around I was extra excited to go because they had my absolutely favourite band – the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra playing for the night. It was amazing. I danced like crazy from 10:30 pm till 2 am. I wanted to stay till the end (4 am) but common sense told me I should go to bed because I was performing the next day with my team.
So, begrudgingly I listened to common sense -what a pesky little thing common sense is, and went home.
I made sure I slept enough and ate well.
It was a good night at Saturday Night Swing. All the teams did great and I’m overall happy with my own performance. Then I did a ton more of social dancing, deejayed the last set and went to bed at 2 am again, only to rise and shine early the next day because I had to be at the studio for a Blues workshop.
It was a good weekend.
Without further ado, here’s the video of the performance. It’s a very simple routine because it is a bootcamp one. Competitive routines are longer and much more complicated. FYI, I’m in the front line, black dress, red flower on my hair.
I had one of those “I feel sorry for myself” moments last night. Kinda.
At Jam Crew practice last night, we were given 10 minutes to practice aerials with our partners. I heart aerials. It’s probably what I like the most about Lindy Hop. I find it exhilarating being thrown up in the air while turning and doing all kinds of cool stuff.
Anyway, my partner and I practised for a while but we were good so he wanted to take a break. I grabbed my water bottle and while taking a sip I let my eyes wander across the room. I watched all of the other couples work on their aerials. All the TNTeam Couples are learning really cool ones and I felt a little surge of anger. Which is the reason why I have always wanted to be part of that team.
It’s so hard for me to look at all those dancers who have been dancing for just a year or two. All of them, I watched take their first dance steps, some of them I even taught their first steps. And now they are either way on their way to be better dancers than me or are already better.
I was so smitten by my Smithsonian experience that I never said anything about ILHC.
It was a great weekend. I didn’t get to dance a lot. Other than the three songs at the Lindy J&J and the other three at the Balboa J&J, I only had about four social dances.
Which is pretty pathetic for an event of this kind. The live music was amazing and the best dancers of the world were there. Problem is, there is always a line up of women for every good dancer and I just wasn’t in the mood for staying in line. Besides, since I don’t travel that much for dancing, I’m not very well internationally known.
What I did do, though, was catching up with old friends. And of course, making new ones!
On Friday night, first thing we did, my daughter and I, was to get a vintage hairdo done by Alicia Vance of Bella Braids