Sunday, January 04, 2009

Lindy Focus-Pocus

What can I say? It was a magical weekend :)

I wrestled with the decision to go to Lindy Focus. Would I regret cutting short family time, especially since Heather was just back from Spain and I hadn't seen her since September? Would it be an unwise financial decision? Finally, with the encouragement of my friend Jeremy to just go for the weekend with him and his girl Nancy, I bit the bullet. The event had intrigued me ever since I heard about it at Southern Belle. And I was really looking forward to dancing with the fun leads I'd met at SBSB.

I was not disappointed.

Let me qualify that. As a natural critic, I can always find things that can be improved. Say, the floor, for instance--squares of rented laminate that were unnaturally sticky. Or maybe floors in CO are just unnaturally slick. Either way, I had shoe nightmares most of the weekend (which led to fun late-night Wal-Mart shoe adventures so I'm only complaining a teensy bit!).

But overall, I was not disappointed! I had a blast, danced well, met some really cool people, took my first private lesson (Bill Borgida, you're amazing!), and came in second in my first real J&J! All on little to no sleep! It's amazing what adrenaline and good music can do.

The J&J was one highlight of the weekend. Leading up to the event, every time I thought about competing my heart would start racing...and I hadn't even registered yet! I can perform choreography in front of a packed theatre with barely a flutter, but the mere mention of a Lindy Focus comp and my heart started tap dancing! Becoming a better competitor is something I'd like to work towards this year, so I knew the Beg/Int J&J had my name on it if I decided to go. And the funny thing was, when I was actually there, in both the prelims and the finals, I was cool as could be. Nary a palpitation to be had. The prelims were really fun...and HUGE! 30 couples! Congrats for everyone for putting themselves on the line and going out for it. I thought I'd danced well and hoped to be in the finals but you never know what the judges are looking for.

Remember when I said my heart stayed calm through this whole process? Scratch that. At the Sat night dance, when they announced the finalists and called my name LAST out of all the dancers, I was about to have a heart attack! But I was excited to be paired with Sam and he and I pretty much tore it up :) I'm glad it was all all-skate style but I would have loved to watch my fellow finalists in action. What a rush! Hearing a roomful of dancers cheer you on, knowing they all want you to do your absolute's a pretty awesome experience. Try it some time.

I did get to watch the other dancers in a video someone took of the finals. Correction: I will be able to watch them, when I stop watching myself :) I forget how great (read: brutal) videos are as teaching tools. For instance, I HATE MY FREE ARM IN SWING OUTS! What's with the stupid flexed wrist? At one point Sam and I were off the screen except for my stupid wrist that would show up every 5 secs! I almost couldn't watch it. My 1-&-2 is still a little bouncy and I need to relax my feet when I step. I'm my own worst critic, though, so the mere fact that I thought I looked decent is a good start. I'm so glad to have seen it, so I can begin to work through my little quirks. And I'm thrilled that, quirks and all, Sam and I placed second! This is quite an accomplishment in my book, as Lindy Focus is a pretty important event and there were lots of good dancers both dancing and judging. And the feedback we got from the advanced dancers after the finals was really encouraging. Thanks to Karen especially! You really know how to compliment!

Ok, this is getting long and it's getting late. Maybe I'll continue on this topic another day; maybe I won't. But to sum it up, I was really, really sad to leave on Sunday night; it felt so...incomplete. I didn't get nearly enough dances with my fav guys, but I guess there's always next year. And next year, I'm staying for the whole thing, so y'all come back now, y'hear?

Monday, November 24, 2008


Bananas hate to travel
(they get bruised on all the bumps).
Their nerves start to unravel
and they're widely known as grumps

They quickly lose all muscle tone
(their posture starts to slip).
They simply have no backbone
when you make them take a trip.

They hate the car, the plane, the bus
(they'd rather stay and sit).
But, strange enough, despite the fuss,
they sure do love to split!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fine, we are social creatures. Now stop bothering me.

Why is it that there are some people you can spend your whole day with, talking, not talking...just living life...and it's so easy, almost like they're an extension of yourself. Your relationship glides. And then there are other people, people with whom having conversation is like pulling teeth. The awkwardness is palpable. You breathe it in and it chokes you. Words don't come. Not constructive words, anyway. You simply want to yell, "Why are we fighting for this? Why can't we just say hello and move on and drop this facade that we are actually involved in each other's lives?" Actually, you don't even want to yell. You just want to calmly state the obvious. It's not worth expending the sort of passion that yelling requires.

But we are social creatures. We are, even if I often want to run and hide and put up a sign that says "Not today, please." There is an appearance we must uphold because it is woven into the fabric of community, even if it seems false. And, are blessedly wrong, and that conversation you dreaded becomes something indescribable. Something totally and completely unexpected is exchanged, and you lend or gain insight that brings pure, fresh air rushing in, blowing your hair about and swirling your skirt around your knees. Sometimes this happens, and it is extraordinary. Hope for these moments keeps me fighting through all the stagnant small talk, as much as I hate it.

But, still, often I fail and just head for the nearest exit.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fridays: A Haiku

A concept I am lacking.
Facebook is like crack.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The dentist and I are not friends.

Inhaling the dust of my tooth as I sit,
My mouth in an oversize O,
I stare at the light
And try hard not to bite
The hands working under my nose.

I feel nothing. I’m numb from the lip to the gum
As my tooth is attacked by the drill.
My mouth tastes of rubber;
I try not to blubber.
The hygienist tells me, “Sit still.”

Breathe in. Now breathe out, I silently chant.
Don’t panic. You’re doing just fine.
I unclench my fists,
Let my insides untwist
To the lullaby of the drill’s whine.

Enough with the drilling!
Just finish the filling!

(Hours later)

The work’s finally done.
I still can’t feel my tongue
As I walk to the front with a frown.
The receptionist files, looks up with a smile:
“Now, when can we schedule that crown?”

*Luckily for me, the crown part is just poetic license :)

**PS. Thanks to my 2 "fans" who inspired me to blog again! May this post not make them wish they had kept their mouths shut...

Friday, November 02, 2007


I don’t know about you, but my dawn doesn’t break.
No, it seeps through the cracks in the quivering night
that can no longer hold all those stars.

Do fingers of morning peel layers of evening
til nothing remains but the flimsiest fibers
of dark in unreachable corners?

Bottom to top, deepest midnight is rent,
silently, silken, with pussycat claws
and left in a ball by the stairs.

Either way…
If anything’s broken, it’s darkness, not morning.
The fire of sunrise sets darkness to dancing.
And dancing’s the nightbreak of dawn.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My eyebrows and other dramatic things...

About two weeks ago, my dance company had a visiting choreographer spend a week setting a piece on us. (For those of you scratching your heads, setting a piece on us means teaching us a dance that usually has already been choreographed). I had just injured my leg in a tragic cirque-du-soleil-style rope incident and was limping around with a large bandage covering the 4-inch long rope burn on the back of my right calf. Great timing, huh? So, we got the rehearsal schedule and to my great surprise I had been given a solo and would have the first rehearsl with Danika. Now, don't get me's great to be given a solo and I was pretty excited. But Danika knew I was injured and had even seen me limping around. So I was a little confused as to why she had chosen me as the soloist.

We met for rehearsal that Friday and began the evening discussing the intent of the solo. I learned that I'm supposed to be a sort of 40's Bela Lugosi-type female character. A bit freaky, a bit over the top. "Jan told me that you learn quickly and have a great eye for detail," Danika shared. "But when I met you and saw your eyebrows I knew you'd be perfect for the part. You have very dramatic, expressive eyebrows." !!!! Who knew that I would one day have my eyebrows to thank for a solo? So, in closing I'd like to thank my grandpa, whose thick, arched eyebrows I inherited, and my mom for teaching me how to pluck them into sophisticated, dramatic submission. I wouldn't be where I am today without you both. Thank you.


In other unusual news, Colorado was humid on Friday. I was not at all pleased with this turn of events. Nor was my hair. But a light brown bucket hat sprinkled with skull-and-crossbones and a teal cotton batik tie made in Malaysia (like me!) redeemed the evening at Alli D's hat and tie bday party! Very dramatic if you ask me...