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Archive for the category “creating movement: tales from the dance floor”

Ready for round 2

So I had high hopes after my last posted, but that lasted about 24 hrs. The second bout with nausea was worse than the first by far, but I hope that it will begin subsiding now. After all, I am only a week away from the 2nd trimester.

Anyway, this past weekend I flew down to San Francisco for my first dance convention in 2 years! I was extremely worried about how I would fare, but once I stepped into the airport in SFO I was feeling pretty darn good. Except for a couple of scares, I managed to keep my eating schedule up pretty well and I had a blast. I didn’t dance too much, and yes, I actually competed! I didn’t make finals, no surprise given my hiatus and nerves, but it was still fun and like riding a bike. More so, I had fun just hanging with the girls, getting caught up on all the goings on and just getting away from it all. After a horrible day back on Monday, I am doing much better and feel up to writing. I am hoping that this pattern will continue, but I can’t guarantee anything.

Besides dancing, talking and just generally relaxing, I picked up my knitting needles again. Yay for fall weather! I have this gorgeous Cascade Yarns baby alpaca chunky yarn in dark plum that I have been trying to find just the right pattern for. Well, I found it and this is what I have started making.

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This pattern is knit flat, which is kind of refreshing. I am knitting the extra small size and adjusting for the extra bulk of the yarn. I chose to knit this with dpns because I found I could easily break up the two sections (lace and cable) without using stitch markers which I always end up dropping.

The pattern can be found here: Gentle Teresa and her blog can be found here

I had one hiccup that I had to redo because I was watching my friends give a dance workshop, but other than that, it is going beautifully. I think I will be very happy when it is completed.

Progress updates to come!

Home Sweet Home

After five days we have arrived home. Why is it that we call it a vacation, when I am more tired than normal? Granted I stayed up really late Saturday night exercising my creative brain cells, but even still I never sleep well or probably eat as well. Anyway, back to Saturday. Friday night I went to a girlfriend’s house and we spent a good chunk of time creating the play list of the Saturday night dance. I had fun listening to music which always gets my creative juices flowing.

Saturday night was the main event and was quick to remind me why I miss dancing in California. Even the beginners in California are better than the beginners back home. It is part of why I haven’t danced much in the past year. I had some fabulous dances and felt like I was getting back into the grove of things. Back home I am a big fish in a very small pond. In California, I am a minnow in an ocean. Personally, I prefer the latter situation. It is one that is ripe for inspiration and constantly forces you to improve and grow. I miss that. Dancing is a funny thing. Once I get that taste, it’s like an addiction and I want more. After just one night of excellent dancing I am thinking about attending a dance convention again. I’m not sure if I will be able to afford it, but it sure is tempting.

This weekend wasn’t entirely about dancing. I did find other opportunities to explore my creative side. We went to a park where a flock of peacocks live. It gave me a great chance to practice my photography.  Now if only I had a macro lens.

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Even though we had a great weekend, I am glad to be home.

There’s a First Time for Everything

Yesterrday we left town for a vacation to the Bay Area. I love visiting. I have so many good memories and some of my closest girlfriends still live there. Sometimes I’ll hear a song on the radio and it will trigger a memory and it makes me feel carefree and happy.

Anyway, tomorrow, I am leaving my son with my husband and in-laws for two nights! Yikes. The longest I have ever left him was six hours when he was only a couple of months old and we were looking for houses. I haven’t left him for more than two hours since and never overnight. I’m sure everything will be fine, but it does make me nervous. I hope he will be okay without me, but at the same time I hope that he misses me. While my husband and in-laws will be running around chasing after a toddler, I will be hanging out with my girlfriends. Friday night will be catch up on everything night and Saturday is the main event.

For the past three years my friend and dance extraordinaire Melissa Rutz has put on a west coast swing dance in San Francisco. It is always in July and previously I have always been consumed with cherry harvest. This year, I finally get to go. I am looking forward to seeing all of my California friends, and hanging out sans kid.

If you are in the SF area and would like more information, you can check out Melissa’s web page: http://www.melissarutz.com/swingalicious.html. My good friends Courtney and Sean are teaching the lesson and Rachel, my extra special good friend (she doesn’t like the term best friend, and anyway that spot belongs to my husband, so she’s extra special) is DJing along with Melissa, so the music is going to be extra awesome. It’s going to be one fun night!

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Photo credit: David Lim

I have always loved to dance.  As a little girl I would occupy myself for hours on end dancing to the radio, tapes, even records.  I didn’t matter what the songs were as long as it made me want to move.  I danced all though high school.  In college I tried out for the dance team, but didn’t make it.  I was crushed, my identity was suddenly fuzzy.  Who was I if I wasn’t dancing?  I struggled with this identity crisis until my Sophomore year when I discovered ballroom dancing.  It was fabulous.  I learned all the smooth dances (except the quick step), but fell head over heels in love with the spicier Latin dances.  After college I was even a member of a salsa troupe in Sacramento as I pursued my Masters degree.  While I still love salsa, the one dance that has stuck the most is west coast swing.  I think it’s the openness of the dance, the ability for the follower to create movement within the structure of the dance, and the variety of music (blues, pop, oldies) that hooked me.  That and a handful of really awesome women and a few men who have become amazing friends.

Like all things, what goes up must come down.  It is a very costly hobby, unless you are one of the few fortunate enough to make a living off of it.  So, I took a break, birthed my son and became a mother.  Now that he’s almost a year old and sleeping through the night (yay!) I was getting the urge to get back on the dance floor.  I was nervous, but excited and thank goodness for muscle memory.  I was concerned that I had forgotten how to dance, how to move, how to create, but it’s kinda like riding a bike.  I lost myself in the music, laughed and poked some fun at my friends, and had a great time.  And honestly, it felt great to go back to doing something that I have loved for so long and it’s nice to know, that it will always be there for me.

Here are some videos of some of my favorite dancers:

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