Lacey drove down from Portland yesterday and picked up Quena on the way so they could come to Big Dance, and we all fortified ourselves beforehand with many fine yummies, courtesy of Antonia's culinary wonderfulness. We ended up being somewhat late to the dance, but given that it was an all-night affair, that's not so bad as it could be.
I arrived just in time to see the performance of Kari's new choreography, which was fantastic. It was a 3 girls & 1 guy swing dance to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and I think I actually like that song a lot more than I used to after having seen that dance. Well done, Kari!
Lacey and I entered the helium balloon cross-step waltz race, which involved holding a balloon between the partners' bodies without popping it or letting it go, while trying to cross-step faster than the other couples. We took third place (again, this seems to be my usual designated place in dance competitions) and won Big Dance T-Shirts, which was a good prize since we probably would have been buying them anyway. My favorite competition of the night though, was the swing dance. It started out looking normal, with couples just swing dancing and getting eliminated down to five finalists. But then for the finals, each couple had to draw a card out of a hat, which assigned them a prop they had to incorporate in their dance. That was brilliant. The couple with the pool noodle won, followed by the couple with the umbrella. Lacey and I thought it would have been hilarious if Neal had been listed as one of the props, but he wasn't.
Around midnight in the dance studio there was as special guest performance by Vienna Teng, which was neat because she's a Stanford alum and has a pretty good fan base there. She's not really used to playing for dances, I think, but she got enough danceable songs together and it was fun to have here there. There ought to be a tradition of getting her back for Big Dance every year.
At the top of the list of memorable dances, I'd have to single out the polka I did with Eric, to Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy. That's a fun polka any time, but dancing it with Eric and and getting to sing along with him completely unleashing that awesome voice of his was just incredible. That was around 4 AM or so and I probably lasted the last two hours of the dance with a lot more energy because of it. Heck, I'm still a little buzzed, just thinking about it.
On a slight tangent: I've noticed something recently about my dance preferences. I would still say that waltz (particularly cross-step) is my favorite dance, with swing rising rapidly these days as I get better at it. But it seems that a lot of the most memorable dances these days, the ones that really make me go "wow!" are polkas. Maybe that's just because so much energy can be packed into them. To really do it properly can take a lot out of me sometimes, so even if they were played more frequently, I wouldn't dance them all. But that does mean you can get a lot of bang for your buck on the good ones.
But there were a lot of good, non-polka dances last night as well. It was fun to dance with Quena and Lacey, which I don't get to do very often. I had a lot of fun swing dancing, and there were also a few excellent waltzes. I also got several compliments on the musicality of my leading, which was very nice. I don't think I've been doing anything different than usual, but people seem to be noticing more recently for some reason. Regardless, it's gratifying.
I got to sleep a little after 7 this morning, but only managed about four and a half hours before I woke up, though I napped for an hour later on. And now it's bedtime.