Atlanta 2010 Update #5

Social dancing all weekend was SOOO DANG GREAT!! Friday night I drug mahself outta the ballroom at 3am, MAN I didn’t wanna leave but I had already danced one night, JJ’s were the next morning, and we still had two more all-nighters to go so I did the responsible thing and left. But it was REAL fun dancing.

Oh, except for one serious problem. The floor all weekend was horrible sticky. Some people wouldn’t dance on it at all either cause they had to perform and didn’t want to get hurt, or because after the first night every body part was hurting so bad they were afraid of going home in traction.  And I will say – I have returned home from this comp feeling more beat-up than any time in recent memory. My joints are a mess. I’m lucky I don’t have chronic ankle, knee, or hip problems or, God forbid, back problems. But the sticky floor was rough even on me.  But even with the slow floor social dancing was fun. Seemed like what people did to deal with the floor problem was come dance for an hour or so, leave for a few hours break, then back again for an hour. That’s what the smart people did, anyway. The dumb people, myself for instance, danced continuously for four days and are now paying the price.

But the music was so daggone good! Victor, Beth, and Festa. I’m not a big fan of shag music (or “Beach Music” as it’s called – I found out this weekend that shaggers invented the genre and the term) which was played in between shag divisions (and for late-night in the small ballroom, which I never went into even once) but Beach Music is certainly better than Lindy music.  With Beach Music I can at least bear to stay in the room without covering my ears yelling La-La-La. It’s mostly west-coast-able, too. Some even verges on pleasant. But our music, the west-coast music, was great. Great great great.

Annie Hirsch is so elegant, just gotta say that. Her hair is now all white – not gray, but shiny white, which she says she inherited from her father. She says she turned 80 and felt that maybe her multi-colored hair might now be too young looking (she had had these very chic brown chunks around her ears and at the bottom in the back). She’s just something else, Annie is. A real treasure.

Oh, here’s another complaint: WHY THE HECK DO WE HAVE TO SIGN UP FOR JJ’S AT 9AM SATURDAY MORNING?!? Thanks gawd I have Genieboy to send on errands cause if I didn’t I wouldn’t have danced in the JJ at all cause if you have to be up and presentable, as in one’s hair not looking like Bozo, Ronald McDonald or Buckwheat, cause if you have to be up at that hour to sign up for JJ’s then you sure ain’t gwanna be staying out dancin’ till 6am the night before, are you? The only other comp that does this to us is Dallas, who, when I asked them about it, said “Tha’s jest th’way we dew things ’round here. ‘S th’way we allus done it here at Dallas and we lak it and it works jest faaaan.” But come on. When GB got down there at 9 there was already a long line of pale raggedy unsmiling people slumped over in line on the floor. In pajamas. This is cause they scare the stuffin outta you “If yew’re not thar ‘tween nan and ‘leven yew not gonna dance in th’jack and jill, no ‘ceptions made” and they won’t even put out the sign-up forms until 9 o’clock sharp, and when they do all the wide-eyed raggedy people have to jump up out of their positions in line on the carpet to lurch and grab at the forms in case they only xerox a certain number and without a form you might not be able to dance in the jack and jill no exceptions made for that either. Good way to turn mild-mannered wcs dancers into frothing spitting barking psychotic lunatics filling in their jack and jill forms with blood.

Let’s see. Random conversations outside the ballroom Friday night (well, Saturday morning I guess you’d call it):

Courtney says what every American who’s gone over to France to teach has said: that the French are EXCEEDINGLY humble; deeply respectful and appreciative of anyone who’s been dancing for years, and that they are all hungry to learn every possible thing; that they consider themselves life-long students and recognize that learning is accomplished with constant repetitive practice, that improvement is made in tiny steps only and requires long-term lifetime commitment. What really seems to strike our allstars and champions who travel to teach in France is that top-level dancers in France (allstar level) are right there next to the beginners in every workshop, concentrating at least as hard, asking questions in the most humble way, not feeling the least bit as if it’s odd that they would want to learn from someone else at their level. Different. We don’t do that here. Here, if an allstar or pro teaches a workshop only beginners sign up. You don’t see top-level dancers taking each others’ workshops. Not sure why this is.

So let’s see, who else did I talk to. Beverly Salazzo, who is a shagger in addition to wcs (and who, with Michael Norris as her partner, just won the All-American in Milwaukee), and who said that she was feeling like she musta died and gone to Heaven – an entire event of both wcs and shag! She was smiling so hard I thought her teeth might fall out. She thinks Atlanta is too good to be true.

And of course I talked with wonderful beautiful more-perfect-than-perfect Yenni who said she’s gonna be doing a strictly with Brennar on Sunday. Oh oops wait. That was Deonna?

And I talked with Tori (not Torri) who says she’s going to start competing in country! How cool is that! With Ben Hooten! And because they both teach they’ll be dancing Division 1. Eight dances! In our day it was only seven, now it’s eight? Jiminy Christmas! Putting together eight separate routines. Holy Moly.

Guess I told y’all already about Friday comps, so that ’bout sums up Friday.

More soon …

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