sernin: (ballroom_old)
Friday morning, I got up at my usual time and packed for a two-day vacation in Mountain View, Arkansas.
Mountain View is home to the Ozark Folk Center, a state park dedicated to preservation of Ozark heritage (craft, music, dance). I got to the center, and found my way to the first workshop (a bit late given my creative no-map-I'll-just-figure-it-out method of navigation), Southern Big Sets and then Unconventional Contras. One of the reasons that I love contra dancing is that everyone has fun. It was no different yesterday.

contra recap with photos )

It was in the Unconventional dancing that I got dizzy (dadgum swing-your-partner, circle left, swing your neighbor, ladies chain), and with complete lack of grace I fell flat on my ass. There wasn't much fuss, since I popped right back up and kept dancing.

Lunchtime came, and I headed to the sandwich shop with other dancers. I enjoyed a small peanut-butter-and-jelly with a really cold bottle of water. We had good conversation about others who were missing (heart attack, oh my).

I chose to take a nap after lunch rather than attend Long Lines, Short Dances. I went back out for Flamenco workshop.

flamenco with photos )

I then went to the Flatfoot & Buck dancing workshop. The leader from the first two contra classes is a well-known flatfoot and buck dancer from North Carolina. It was dark on that stage, so my photos didn't turn out well. I took some video with my camera, but I had my camera sideways (duh, can't turn the video counterclockwise like a photo).

I took the evening break and headed to the town square, looking for the little groups of musicians that always gather. After sitting for an hour, I gave up and went back to the folk center. Sadly, I realized that I missed the Jig Contest when I arrived at the auditorium early for the evening concert. The music was good; it makes me wonder if I want to take more weekend vacations in Mountain View since I enjoy it so much. After the concert, I headed back to the cabin. I realized that my right foot was having some sharp pain in the heel. I took a few ibuprofen and went to bed.

This morning, I knew my foot was in trouble. Instead of going to the contra classes and seeing the noon clogging show, I hobbled to the car and drove home. I've had an ice pack on my heel on/off throughout the day. Hopefully tomorrow I can walk on it without wincing. I need a speedy recovery, since Becoming an Outdoors Woman is next weekend.
sernin: (travel)
-good flights with lots of knitting; first time in a Carolina (Charlotte), if only through an airport with a 2-hour layover

-plane arrived 30 minutes late, but Molly and the Lumina were there to fetch me

-grabbed a pizza and headed to the house for the premiere of Survivor: Battle of the Races (did anyone else notice that while the contestants were yakking about breaking stereotypes, the production/editing were making them rather obvious?)

-late breakfast of pastry and soufflee for Friday breakfast; Tasty!

-walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg, from a not-interested-in-learning-about-history point of view; rock candy, ice cream, and sheep petting!

-seafood dinner, movie rentals (Matador and Take the Lead), and alcohol consumption

-another late breakfast of tasty pastry

-outlet store shopping, with purchase of red silk skirt and brown wallet

-more ice cream (cake batter and caramel milkshake - I almost urped in the parking lot)

-cheesy breadsticks dinner in the Colonial Williamsburg modern shopping square

-"Dance Our Greatest Diversion" program at Colonial Williamsburg capitol building; danced two contra dances and was invited to an unannounced dance on a plantation for the following weekend

-home cooked breakfast; eggs, bacon, biscuits, butter/jelly/syrup, grits

-walk the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, walking into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time

-all-I-could-eat seafood lunch

-more ice cream (Ben & Jerry oatmeal cookie dough double scoop in waffle cone - I almost urped in the car on the way to the airport)

-lots of kitty love and scritching over four days (love to Aslan, Miss, and Posey)

-bad flight from ORF to Charlotte, good flight from Charlotte to LIT (first time in many flights I've been asked to put my knitting needles away on that last one)

-happy critters waiting for me at home

update

Sep. 11th, 2006 10:41 am
sernin: (misc)

Left work early on Thursday, to run errands before traveling to my mom's house with black cat. Due to misfortune, I missed the window of visitation, and asked my mom to sign the book for me.

The 27th Annual Dance Festival at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View was completely fabulous. I danced. I danced contras and danced squares and (poorly) danced scottish jigs. I climbed the big hill five times. I watched cloggers. I watched flat-footers and buck dancers. I really enjoyed it, and plan to attend from now on.

Kitten was a good kitten while I was away. All of his toys were in the living room, which I think is cute/funny. He was very excited when I came back home, and got in some good snuggle time on the couch last night.

Go see Little Miss Sunshine.  It's really good.

I'm working my way through the Fall Preview Entertainment Weekly.  Lots of new shows that I want to watch, which is unusual.

Three days of work this week, including giving a first exam to the fall econ class. Then a trip to Virginia to see Molly for four days!

sernin: (ballroom_old)
At the ACDS dance I picked up information for the 27th Annual Dance Festival in Mountain View.  I think I'll have to take a day of annual leave so I can scoot up to northern Arkansas and enjoy the festival.

sernin: (ballroom_old)
I went to the contra dance last night.
sernin: (ballroom_old)
On Friday night, I decided to try out the Arkansas Country Dance Society fifth Friday party. With the not-so-spectacular experiences at Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dances, and the desire for more community, more acceptance, and more fun, I looked into contra dancing (thanks to [personal profile] aroraborealis).

I arrived just-in-time, and quickly found myself overdressed in the fellowship hall of a Presbyterian church north of the river. The men were wearing jeans, khaki pants, and shorts. The women were wearing long cotton skirts with simple cotton tops. Everyone had on comfy shoes. I placed my five dollars in the till, an ice cream bucket with a hole cut in the plastic lid. I looked to my left for an empty chair, and found one next to Mr. McDonald.  Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, there he was. Mr. McDonald is the fellow from BLS who has terrible halitosis, pants which don't quite meet his ankles, white leather dancing shoes, and a desire to father children. On this Friday night, he's also got more than 10 razor nicks on his neck. It doesn't take long for him to tell me that the country dancing is his favorite activity. (I figure out instantly that my friends are safe from his advances at the Latin Party dances that occur on the third and fifth Fridays.)

I sit for only a moment before a smiling woman crosses the room and greets me. As we introduce ourselves, I realize that she is the woman with whom I've chatted on the phone. She's the point of contact for the group, and she offered to be my partner for the first dance. She grabbed a pink ribbon necktie from a "Gender Bender" jug, and we lined up with the rest of the dancers.

The "band" is on the stage at the front of the room. Members who can play instruments are welcome to join the band. This night, there's a piano player, fiddle player, electric guitar player, accordian player, mandolin player, and other guitar player. Someone comments that it's a full band.

A nice woman in a cotton A-line dress, with her hair pulled up in a simple bun, has the same microphone headset that I see at the Ballroom dances. Just last week, I saw a flamboyant gentleman wearing a headset while teaching me the bolero. This night, I was watching a woman in very comfortable shoes hold the headset as though aliens had dropped it into her hands just moments ago. In one hand she held the headset in front of her with the microphone to her mouth. In the other hand she held a many-copied paper of a contra dance called Blackberry Vine. I learned the steps, managing to remember many steps from my college "folk and square dance" class. When the group had walked through the dance a few times, the band kicked in, and off we went. I was really enjoying myself, until my I stepped out of my left shoe. I should have worn comfortable shoes.

I spent the rest of the evening in my chair, talking to people, and absorbing the dancing. I didn't want to risk losing my shoe again, and wasn't comfortable enough to dance barefoot. I really enjoyed the evening, from the friendly conversation to the live music to the 9:25 last dance. (I go to bed with chickens. 9:30 is much more my style than 11.) Next week I'll return in my khaki pants, cotton shirt, and comfortable shoes.

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February 2014

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