Ok, so the tea party was awesome. Best event ever. Steve and Rebecca deserve mad props for putting together this event. It was great. My hilights:
I danced with Tybaldt.
I was Demetre's prop.
My monkeys represented in the lindy comp.
We arrived Friday just in time for me to jump into a workshop with Mary Ann Nunez, which wasn't everything I'd hoped it would be, but I like the way she moves, so it was good to be able to watch that for almost an hour. I also met some nice westies in the lesson. After that, I took a nap while Joelle and Brody went to lindy workshops.
We ordered pizza which got to the hotel just in time for the evening comps, which were great. It was the champions' crossover jack and jill, where the best westies get paired up with the best lindy hoppers, and they have to dance both. All the champions' events are really just to put on a show. They ham it up, probably mostly because they know we love it. It's great to watch. It's also fun to see your favorite westies try to do lindy hop, and vice versa. Some are great at crossing over, and others just get this really scared look on their faces...
Friday night was some good dancing. I spent most of the time in the main ballroom (westie), and got some good dances, the best was a dance with Tybaldt. He's one of those superstars without a huge ego, who loves to dance with everyone in the room. So he asked me to dance. And I was all nervous about it because, well, he's Tybaldt. But he started off in closed with his head bowed, which translates into, "don't worry, this is going to be good." :sigh: Hazel is one lucky woman.
I didn't stay up too late Friday night because I wanted to be up for a 10am workshop with Demetre. Helene and I got there, and when everyone paired up, we didn't have partners. Aww. Too bad. Hehe. When Demetre asked for a volunteer to help him show the moves, I wasted no time. It was awesome. I got to dance with Demetre the whole hour. He taught cool stuff, too: toys (steps) to play with for followers, and how to lead playtime for leaders. And he's such a feel-good lead. It's like a big hug. Oh! And after, when I thanked him, he thanked me, and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. :doubleSigh: Blake came in at the end (she was teaching the next workshop in that room) and saw me dancing with him, and winked. Hehe. Later, she told me, "I saw you dancing with Demetre. Don't you just love him?" I agreed wholeheartedly, and she added, "Yeah, well don't love him too much." Hehe.
Next I took Big Apple with Dave and Kim, which was fun but went really fast. Big Apple is a line dance... but it's done in a circle... sometimes... and sometimes it's not choreographed, people call out moves... but in CT we (they) do all choreographed steps. So what Dave and Kim taught was kinda related, and kinda something I'll never use. But it was fun anyway.
And then I was going to get another workshop with Mary Ann Nunez, but I ended up in the Robert and Deborah room, and realized that Deborah was going to do her warm-up, so Helene and I decided to do that because Deborah is hot and I love her warm-up. I want to do it every day. And I would buy the video, except it's $35, and that's a lot of money for one video, especially when you don't have a VCR. Oh, and the rest of the workshop was good too. They taught syncopations, including one really cool one on an underarm turn. Near the end of the workshop I was dancing with a cute boy from Syracuse who said, "Let's dance later, ok?" :swoon:
Saturday afternoon were the Jack and Jill prelims. Jack and Jills are competitions in which you enter as an individual (as opposed to a couple), and you're matched up at random, and you have to dance to whatever they play. (In strictlys, you enter as a couple and dance to whatever they play. Then there are ones where you pick your partner and your music, and those are usually coreographed=>boring.) So after miles of debating, I entered the newcomer west coast J&J. It didn't turn out so well. First of all, there were something like 45 followers and only 14 leaders, so my odds weren't great. I was already worried about the leads because I didn't know any of them, and it's newcomer, so they're probably not very good. (Of course, the same could be said for followers, but since it was so uneven, each lead got to dance with at least 6 follows, so there was more of a chance for them geting a good one at least once. Plus, it's easier for bad leads to move up to novice, since there's fewer of them.) So with the luck of the draw, I got two not so great leads. They were both nice, and not unpleasant to dance with, but they weren't on par with what I'm used to, and I spent the whole time focused on following and didn't get to have fun. So basically, they were my two worst dances of the weekend, and although I have videos of them, they're nothing to be proud of, so I'm not putting them up. Sorry. So blah blah, I didn't make finals. Rob did, though, and he got 3rd! Yay Rob! And there were a ton of other monkeys doing a ton of other dances, and they looked great and some made finals and looked great there and some of them even won stuff! So yay monkeys! And I would write more about them, but it's my blog and I'm a self-centered little brat, so there.
After the J&Js we went to the pool and it felt SO good. Yay for jacuzzis. We got so many lindy hoppers in the jacuzzi that it overflowed. Hehe. Then we went to dinner at Kowloon, this crazy big Chinese restaurant on US1. We went there last time (New Year's), and miraculously, as we finished our food, a band came out and started playing swing music right next to us. As in, across the aisle from our booth. And there was a dance floor! And it was decorated to look like the dance floor was on a boat! So cool with that. We danced. So we went back this time on the off-chance that there would be a band again. Sadly, some monkeys went earlier than we did, and they missed it. But we sat about 5 feet away from where we were last time, and the band came out at the same time (9pm), and they cleared the dance floor. And we danced. Yay! But only 2 songs. We wanted to be back for the evening comps.
Saturday evening was the champions' Jack and Jills. They were pretty good. A lot of the lindy hoppers drew their regular partners, which seems unfair, but it was fun to watch because they got to do moves that they probably wouldn't do with other people. The westies were fun because John Lindo always puts on a good show. And of course Tatiana isn't bad, either. After the comps was a full night of dancing. I'm not kidding. Except for a few breaks for dance juice, I was on the floor until 6:30am, and got to bed at 7. It was a good night. And I got to dance with one of the good leaders from my J&J. Yay late night dancing.
Needless to say, I was zonked on Sunday. We got up just in time to check out, then went to watch Blake's syncopation workshop. She's so great. Then we planted ourselves at the monkey tables to watch J&J finals. There were some fortunate pairings, and our lindy kids really made that work to their advantage. Rob and Chandra kicked butt. Yay! Then Joelle, Brody, Ruth, and I snuck out before the strictly finals and made our way back home, where I promptly fell asleep. Phew.
So, good times. I can't wait until November for Swingin' New England, so I might end up going to Liberty Swing, even though it's not a crossover event and it's way expensive. I've heard the Johns put on a good party.