I danced from 9 PM to 6 AM at Big Dance last night, for the 8th year in a row. After that many, staying up all night doesn't really seem like quite such a big deal anymore. It can still be fun, depending on who you've got there with you, but it's not the same kind of challenge it once was. Unfortunately, this year I was disappointed because a number of people I was hoping to see weren't there, and some people I would have liked to have around longer left "early." This is more of an issue at Big Dance than at regular dances, because by 5 or 6 AM, I really just want to zone out in nice "comfort dances" with favorite partners. Not to disparage any of the lovely people I did get to dance with, of course (thanks go to Rebecca for the Lullaby Gauntlet, and to Lara for the last waltz). But hopefully a lot of you people who do stay all night at these kinds of things know what I'm talking about. So I'm afraid I came away kind of less satisfied this year than others. That said, though, there were some definite highlights to the night.
First of all, major props go to Bob for organizing probably the best contra dancing I've ever seen at Big Dance. This is in terms of dancing, rather than music (since we had canned music, rather than live bands like we used to in the past), but the dancing is definitely the greater achievement. Bob has been working tirelessly to evangelize contra dancing around here, specifically in the Stanford community, and it really seems to be paying off. We only did 4 contras, and it was relegated to the fencing room (we didn't even get to use the gym this year), but we had a fantastic turnout, with lots of people who have had at least basic exposure to contra, and the dances went very well. We did real dances, too -- nothing very complex, but not too dumbed-down or anything, either.
In terms of performances, Decadance stole the show (though I quite enjoyed Swingtime and The Knotts Dance Company as well). First up was a lindy-hop/hip-hop combo sort of thing (lindy hip? hop hop?) which was very cool. But David's choreography to Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" was just an incredible piece of silliness that made me happier than anything else all night. Guys lindy hopping with each other, girls lindy hopping with each other, pillow fighting, all sorts of craziness. It was glorious. Deca is doing some sort of un- Spring Show on June 9th, so I'm hoping I'll get to see it again there.
I joined the flag waltz competition with Louisa, which turned out to be based on flag football. A decent idea for when the field was narrowed down to fewer people, but we got caught in a vicious mob right at the beginning and were out. Around 5 AM there was a tacky tango competition. I wasn't in that, but it was quite amusing to watch. Neal and Rainbow won that hands down. Her feet didn't touch the floor at all during the elimination round, but then during their solo he refused to dance and stood there like an obstinate pole while she danced around him. Funnier than it sounds, I suppose.
Anyway, I got to bed a little before 7 in the morning and slept till 1. Would have been convenient to have had all this while I was still on Ireland time, but I'll be back on track from this faster than from the jet lag.