I haven't written about dance for a while now. That doesn't mean I haven't been going, though! I haven't done my Sunday night classes since the end of July, partly cause of being away a lot in August, and then come the fall, I really wanted to work on brushing up on my technique and breaking any bad habits I'd developed before I continued to learn some new moves. I've been going dancing at LEAST once a week, and now I've signed up for something a little more intense...
So remember when I got all star-struck about dancing with Tessa a few weeks ago? Well I heard that her and Myles were having a special on a series of six private lessons, so I went in with a friend and splurged. I've had two lessons with Tessa so far, and they have been BRUTAL (in a good way, but totally intense! Isn't that clear?!). Nothing like having the Canadian champion of west coast swing (WCS) telling you to go ahead and dance with your partner, knowing that she is standing there looking on, taking mental notes about every little thing you do. Eekers!
Turns out she had a lot to critique. Uhm, yeah. It turns out I didn't even know how to put my FEET down on the FLOOR properly, and I apparently dance like Priscilla Pelvis. *snort* More on that one later, and on my homework from the first two lessons: 1) Dance with your fridge and 2) Stick a ruler down your pants. Suffice it to say that there's a whole lot of basics I need to work on.
So what does all that have to do with this weekend, you ask? Well. Let me tell you.
I'm going to my first ever dance convention. Kinda like dance camp. Except awesome-er.
It's an entire weekend of dancing, workshops, competitions and demos. As if that's not cool enough, the thing that's so exciting about it is that the best WCS dancers in the WORLD are coming. The top four couples, and many many other well known names - both from here and elsewhere - will be competing and giving workshops. If you search on YouTube for "west coast swing," you will see the names Jordan and Tatiana, Kyle and Sarah, Parker and Jessica, and Myles and Tessa come up over and over. They are ALL going to be there! Squeeee!!! And yes, I've gotten over my star-struck phase! ... mostly, anyway! ;) I'm excited to get to learn from these dancers and see them compete. They are absolutely amazing. (Their names link to a video of each, for some context. If anything, check out Myles and Tessa's. The first link is to a choreographed routine (they won!) and the second is to an improvised one.)
From 3pm Friday till the wee hours of the morning (I think they shut the dance down at 5am), then from 9am Saturday into the wee hours again, and then again from about 10am on Sunday till 6pm, I'll be dancing, learning, dancing, watching competitions, and dancing again. SO! FUN! (Then at 7:30 Sunday night, I'm going to see Rodney Atkins, Taylor Swift, and Brad Paisley from freakin' ROW 25 on the FLOOR!!!!!! Not really about dancing, but also part of the Best Weekend of Awesomeness EVER, so it totally counts!)
But even MORE fun (and excruciatingly terrifying)??? I'm going to enter my first ever dance competition on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!! Holy SHNEIKE!!! I'm entering the novice level Jack and Jill competition, which is where dancers sign up as either a leader or a follower, and then draw a random partner to compete with. Dancers are judged as individuals in the preliminaries, then as a couple in the finals. I'm not expecting to get into the finals, but still the experience will be totally worth it! I'm gonna dance with a number on my butt, baby!
Man, if you told high school me - whose only dancing experience was grudgingly doing the mandatory square dance unit in PE - that I'd be COMPETING in a DANCE contest? Wow, that would have been the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard in my entire life.
But that's me! Totally ridiculous. And TOTALLY PUMPED for this weekend.
UPDATE: Here's a video, cause I know you probably didn't click on those links! :) This is Myles and Tessa last month. The dance is totally improvised.
Update to the update: And just cause I can't stop... this one (NOT in the links above) is them doing Lindy Hop for the first two mins, then West Coast Swing. THIS is a fun video. It makes me grin every time. How she moves her body like that is beyond me.