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there's a party on the rooftop

I went to my first West Coast Swing (WCS) dance convention, South Bay Dance Fling this weekend. It was a lot of fun. I met some great people, and got a sense of what WCS dance competition is like.

I entered two Jack&Jill (J&J) competitions. (In a J&J competition, partners are randomly paired with each other, and dance three or four songs. Winners of successive rounds are randomly paired, until the last round where the final winning couple is chosen.) One was for newcomers (people who have never competed before), and the other is called "All-American", where anyone can enter regardless of age, gender, experience, etc. So someone who is learning the basics of the dance could be paired with a world-class dancer, for example. I didn't dance well in the newcomer J&J, mostly because I was hot, sweaty, and my pants felt very loose. (I have lost a lot of weight since leaving Equinix, and may need to drop down one waist size.) In the All-American J&J, I danced much better, because I was more focused and relaxed before the dance. (I have to credit Myles Munroe here for his "Dance Like a Dude" class, which reminded me of some things about body movement that I hadn't been applying, and gave me some things to do during a dance while the followers are styling or hijacking the lead. I didn't make it to the next round, but because there were more followers than leaders signed up for All-American, there were two heats in the first round, and I was asked back to dance the second heat. I consider that progress. I have to give a lot of credit to my ballroom dance teachers, because I wouldn't be able to do what I did without drawing on the skills and techniques they've taught me. I think if I learn how to apply more of these techniques to WCS, I will win some competitions. (Whether I will have time to do that is a topic for another post.)

This weekend was sort of a pivotal event in my life, as it encompassed some things from my past, present, and (possible) future. For example, some of the body movements in Myles Munroe's class are the same that were used by Motown recording artists back in the 1960s. When I was a kid, me, my sister, and my cousins (mother's sister's kids) used to put on little skits where we would perform things like Motown songs. One of the competitors was Jeffrey Leonard, an SF Giants player from the 1980s. I remember watching, listening, and going to Giants games in which the "Hack-Man" played. He danced quite well, in my opinion, and won several events. I wondered if he was trying to get onto Dancing With the Stars, and it turns out, this may be true. Also, seeing some of the younger kids do a very interpretive, freeform style of WCS (another topic for another post) reminded me of all the roller skating I used to do back in the 1980s -- being really into something (in addition to my career), spending a lot of time on it to try to develop skills.

I had an unsettling nightmare last night. I was a kid, riding in the back seat of a car we used to have with my sister. My father was driving. He ran off the road and into a wall, or something. I tried to pull him and my sister out of the car, but my father wasn't moving. I thought he might be dead. Then the dream ended. I started crying when I woke up. I suppose all of these ties to my past plus my father's health problems triggered this nightmare.

So, like I said, it was quite a weekend. A glimpse of things to come, perhaps.

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