April 24th, 2004

menorah dance

NEFFA, part 1

penk and I got to NEFFA fairly early last night, so we were able to park nearby, which was a boon! I think it's great that they provide shuttle service from a larger parking lot in the area, but it's a huge pain in the ass, not to mention time-sink, to deal with it. I'm wondering if we manage to leave early enough this morning if we shoudln't try to get the nearby parking today, too. We'll see.

I started with a session on Balkan Village Dances, which was really interesting but completely nonintuitive for my body. My brain got it, and went, "Oh, sure, that's easy," but my body just didn't relax into it at all. The rhythms didn't make sense to it, and even though the steps were easy, I kept getting off. That was a somewhat frustrating way to start the evening, but...

The next session was Blazing Contras and Squares. I started out with wolfkitn and had a really fabulous contra -- it wasn't too difficult, so things were coming back to me. And then there was a square, which always confuses me. It's weird, 'cause for the most part, squares are all the same moves as contras, but I find the layout of working in a square more challenging. I think this means I need to do more squares, but last night wasn't the night for it. So, I muddles through that, and then muddled through another contra where my partner and I ended up in a big cluster of people who didn't understand what was happening for the walk-through, but... by the end of the song, we got it, mostly. This pattern continued, of doing OK, but not really relaxing into and getting the groove until fairly late in the evening.

Fortunately, by the end, I did feel like it was starting to come back to me, so I'm hoping to get there this morning in time to do some warm-ups before the medleys, and, with any luck, I'll feel my gears are greased enough to do a medley!
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menorah dance

NEFFA, part 2

Okay! It's back!

We parked in the outer lot today, and were at the festival by a little after 11, so I was able to do a few contras before the medley at noon. We ran into sandhawke and hawkegirl and their clan right at the entrance, and I got to do a dance with sandhawke that I think I managed to show him moderately well, other than flubbing it a bit at the ends. I had a great partner for the medley -- a good dancer and energetic and connected*.

After that, penk and I did some round singing, then went for lunch, and then we kinda crashed. I developed a headache and some sleepiness, and he was feeling pretty zoned, too, so I semi-napped on his shoulder in the auditorium before wandering out to see the daughter of my former coworker do a performance with a rapper group (a form of Morris dancing, apparently), but we missed it. Rats.

I was planning to do a salsa session, but it was slow getting started and it seemed like mostly experienced salsa-ers, so I went back to the main hall, where Rum and Onions was playing. I didn't know the band, but they were darn good, so I jumped in for two really really excellent contras, one with scholargipsy, and one with someone completely unknown to me, both of them very good. Whee! So it was in those two dances that I felt like my contra skills really clicked back in for me. Yay!

*In other contra commentary, I'm realizing (probably again) what a difference it makes to dance with people who are connected, especially with eye contact. There are dancers who aren't connected at all -- no eye contact, and they don't really seem to pay any attention to the people they're dancing with. They might be staring off into space, or over your shoulder, or whatever. That's annoying. Then there are the dancers who are clearly having fun, but who don't really get that link. They usually are better dancers and seem to be enjoying themselves more, but still don't click. That's okay, but not great. The ones who I really like, good dancer or no, are the ones who are having a great time, and who love their partners, if only for the time you're dancing together. There's a connection, a click, that just brings a beautiful energy into the dancing.
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Meme, courtesty of darthsunshine, for those who want to take the time to do it :)

1. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
2. When and how did we first meet?
3. What was your first impression?
4. Do you still think that way about me now?
5. What do you think my weakness is?
6. What makes me happy?
7. What makes me sad?
8. What reminds you of me?
9. If you could give me anything what would it be?
10. How well do you know me?
11. When's the last time you saw me?
12. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
13. Do you think I could kill someone?
14. Describe me in one word.
15. Do you feel that you could talk to me about anything and I would listen?
16. Do I make you nervous?
17. Would you let me stay with you if I needed somewhere to go?
18. Would you be comfortable being alone with me?
19. Are you going to put this on your livejournal and see what I say about you?
20. What would you change about me?