Friday, March 12, 2010

Celebrating Good Times: Weekend in Vancouver

Celebrating good times always generates more joy in life. I went on a weekend trip to Vancouver this past weekend for a Salsa Festival and had a wonderful time. The positive energy from the weekend is still with me days after the event.

I write this entry as a tribute to that wonderful weekend: to the event itself, the venue and the people who made it all possible. This is my way of showing gratitude for good times and hopefully share some smiles along the way.

I'm presenting a montage of moments in no particular order...

French toast with butter, syrup and jam is a great way to start a road trip.

On the dance floor while dancing a bachata:
Him: "Are you from Vancouver?"
Me: "No"
Him: "Are you from Toronto?"
Me: "No"
Him: "Are you from Heaven?"
Me: "ah... no, I'm from Seattle."

Best cha-cha of the weekend was with someone from Seattle and I think I only did a true "basic" step in the whole dance and the rest was just playful improv and a wonderful connection with the music! Now that's dancing!!! (thank you!)

Favorite move from Kizomba class: Quick, quick, body roll and bump AND the same body roll and bump after a Salida ... oo-la-la!

1st time dance experience with a beginner: This lead seemed to think that he had to step on every count INCLUDING the half counts in between so his feet were moving double time. As a result of his nimble steps, we were drifted like a life preserver on semi-busy waters. I had to occasionally steer him away from some collisions but I don't think he even noticed. Surprisingly, he led the turns and cross body on the right timing so it wasn't a bad dance but it was certainly a new experience.

7-wat merengue with fellow Seattle-lites: I wish I had thought to ask someone to video tape the thing - it was quite impressive.

Casualty moment: I got whack on the chest by another follow's forearm as she was styling. It was kind of like a mild karate chop and then off she went leaving me quite surprised. Oh well - no harm no foul.

Favorite Hip Hop routine from Groovy G's - these boys were TIGHT! I got a big kick out of the fact that they received one of the loudest ovations at the end of the night.

OMG moment: Eli and Yen's routine - YOWZA!!!!

OMG moment: Shaka Brown doing his solo number in nothing by tights and jazz shoes ... (moment of silence to appreciate and remember)... I'm sure I'm not alone in my admiration for his physique, musicality and dancing skills. Oh my what a view!

ALMOST OMG moment: In a bachata where my lead and I do a turn finishing face to face, as he leans in to bring me into a close embrace, our lips barely touch as we then move side to side marking time. I'm not sure if he noticed it or not but I decided to just go with the flow and chalk it up to a nice little twist on a "mwah!" dance.

"How did he do that?!" moment: One of the B-boy groups that danced had a head spinner who was AH-mazing! He spun on his head wiht bent knees and then, keeping the same speed, straightened his legs and continued spinning: on his head, no hands for quite a few more revolutions. OMG!!!

I LOVE that all dance was celebrated, not just Salsa. There were performers who did hip hop, modern dance, ballet, folk dance, tango, hustle and jazz. It was a wonderful thing to do and added a lot of great flavor to the evening.

Despite the fact that being at a congress means meeting people from other places, it was always a pleasure to see a friendly face from Seattle. My best dances for the weekend were with some of my favorite Seattle leads. Mwah! I am so lucky I get to dance with these guys all the time!

While dancing the day I returned to Seattle with one of my favorite leads, I incorporated some new moves inspired by the salsa festival and the look of appreciation on his face was such a high. He said "More, More!" while his eyes popped open wide with a smile on his face. Later on he came back to tell me that the dance made quite an impression on him and was one of the more memorable dances of the night - whohooo!

Ciao for now.

"There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them."
~Vicki Baum