Category Archives: dancing joy

Sleepless, in Seattle

I love Seattle. I could live on Capitol Hill. it is beautiful and green and well thought out, with views, and parks and dancing and meteors.

and they dance FAST. brilliantly. until 5 in the morning. oh yes, I was sleepless. dead on my feet, in complete and utter heaven. happy like a bee in honey.

not to mention it was 40 degrees sunny the entire weekend. not ideal dance weather for a city which should promise super amounts of gumboot rain. everyone looked like sea monsters approximately 30 seconds after they entered those sweltering ballrooms. and even then, the band and djs were merciless. 200 bpm an average pace. STFO heaven for Vivi.

the live music made my weekend. dancing to live music is so much more real. It is just so much more… dancing! the give and take of energy between dancers and a band playing the music you want to hear makes the room feel a little electric. zingy, in the tips of your fingers.

But I especially love Seattle because of the people. what a warm, welcoming, down to earth bunch. I felt so immediately at home, and most importantly, able to chillax and be my wacky self 😀 a far cry from LA where the number of superstars and competitions lent a tense atmosphere to the dancing. this was just about the lindy hop…. and boy can they hop!!

so three days of intense dancing flew by, leaving me sleep deprived, on another plane with muscles not talking to me….

but here I am in the east bay of San Francisco!

expect many a post on the beauty of Berkeley and how ridiculous this whole shenanigan is, but for now,

here is our stadium…

and here is a group of us relaxing n the sun in front of the Campanile (giant clock tower thing with views like heaven.)

Berkeley is something else…

so, on another note, they have this idea in the bay area that science learning should be joyful and fun. (Harris: “but science IS fun!!!”) they express this in the form of several museums around the place, in which they teach weird and wacky magical/science things in awesome ways. I play in there for hours.

today we hiked up a RIDICULOUS hill, 3 new friends and I, to this museum. I will have thighs of STEEL upon my return, I swear it. the landscape here never considered a naive australian tourist, used to miles of flat flat flat.

one of my new friends is Nathan, whose favorite sandwich is chicken salad. the other one is Joy, with whom the reason for my friendship is self explanatory 🙂

on the way up the hill, I found cherry plums, fresh off a tree, and nearly broke something scrambling to pick them. they were warm in the sun. there was juice on my fingers. 🙂

Post Camp Hollywood JOY!!!

wow. i mean, wow, man.

not sure where to start, but to keep this short and sweet, I just had one of the best dancing experiences EVER. ever!

status of any dancing ego I might ever have had = DEAD.  seriously.

I left melbourne thinking ‘yeah, i’m a vaguely competent dancer! I might even be pretty good at what I do!’

LIES! the number of super super uberstars who live in LA is almost unreal. there are 5 or 6 troupes here, each one rehearses at least twice weekly, and man, it shows. these people can DANCE, like ive never seen anyone dance.

it blew my mind!!!!!

dancing in between band sets in the big ballroom. this is a relatively empty floor!

just to summarize the highlights of the 4 nights and three days solid basically without sleep, I have to say, the Saturday night was the craziest thing i’ve ever seen.

the pro lindy comp, the showcases, they were INSANE. yes.

but none of them had ANYTHING on th UJC. the underground jitterbug championships. 2am. in a dim back room.

this was the nastiest competition i’ve ever ever seen. it was DIRTY, CRAZY,  think hellzapoppin type war. its not judged on skill, timing, technique.

this was pure entertainment. 😀

even before it actually got crazy, one couple flipped 14 lampposts in a row. in a row! everyone was yelling and counting them….

people were throwing money into the circle, and the music was jumping-at-the-woodside fast, and the crowd and the dancers were going nuts. people were just pulling out the most complicated and spontaneous areials ive ever seen, and STFOing like freaking CRAZY!

I kept expecting someone to pull out a knife 😀 carla heiney was in her slip, and kevin’s shirt was off, and laura keat was bleeding from her lip, and they were swinging out into each other to try and push each other off the floor, or trying to steal each others partners.

it was unbelievable. insane. freaking hardcore!!!!!!

and then it was 3am, and I was dying of exhaustion, but after seeing that, how can you NOT dance???!!!!!!

every night there was a gypsy jazz jam circle with jonathan stout (swing music god, plays weekly here) and mike faltesek and others, including this 17 year old clarinet player who is one of the most talented people ive ever met. (which, after knowing one bonita williams and others of her excellent calibre, is saying something!!) and every morning before class there was yoga warmups.

so, can anyone actually think of a way to make me happier? I challenge you! ive been here a week, it feels like a lifetime. LA is an amazing place.

In other news, i’ve made some new friends who are letting me stay with them, about to meet up with some old ones, am off to venice beach today and to seattle tomorrow afternoon!

this whole thing is a little too amazing for comprehension.

hooray!!! 🙂