Monday, June 30, 2008

Stanford Dance Weekend

It felt like it had been a while since I'd done one of the Stanford Dance Weekends so it was a lot of fun to come back to it this year. I came out of it tired, but not unreasonably so, and quite happy with the dancing and learning both. The dancey goodness included:  

West Coast Swing. Michelle Kinkaid taught four classes in this, so I jumped at the opportunity to try to recover some of my atrophied WCS skills and took all of them. They were good classes, but with a rather high talking::dancing ratio. I think her active/passive lead theory is really helpful, but will take a while to be able to apply properly. 

Musicality. This was the only class Lilli Ann Carey taught, but she deserved a lot more time (and space), I thought. I didn't really learn anything new there, but it's an interesting discussion topic and I wanted to see how she taught it, since it's a topic near and dear to my heart. 

Fusion Waltz. Ari Levitt was mixing things like tango and latin into his waltz. I only made it to one of his classes, but I liked it much more than expected, having been ambivalent about "fusion" stuff. (He's teaching it at Friday Night Waltz in a couple weeks, too, if you want to check it out.) 

Cha Cha. It was a bit of a risk taking a beginning cha cha class in the middle of all my west coast, but I did it anyway and didn't mess myself up too much. Joan said the term "Latin-phobic" in her class description was inspired by a conversation with me years ago. Glad I could help. :-) 

Cross Step Waltz. Richard, as always, wins the prize for clearest, most efficient teaching. The "new variations" class especially left me with a bunch of good stuff to play with (which really did all seem to be new). I got some good following practice in the lead-heavy pivaloops class, too. 

Dancing! The dances on Friday and especially Saturday night were some of the most satisfying I've had in a while. Though there were more people I would have liked to have there, I got to dance with some of my favorite partners (including my visiting sister), and with many nice new people as well (including several of the teachers), and it wasn't too crowded. I also had some of the most incredible flying redowas ever with Rowyn. Good stuff all around.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Rowyn and I are DJing Friday Night Waltz in Palo Alto tomorrow night. We'll have some current favorites, some old favorites, and some new or newish songs to keep things interesting. So if you like the kind of music we like, come and dance to some of it!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Not 30 Yet

For such a solid-seeming number, 28 turned out to be my most unstable, changeable year probably since 23 or so. (I realize now that it makes more sense if you realize that 28 is numerologically related to 10 - The Wheel of Fortune.) You can never really tell whether changes are ultimately good or bad, but some of them were certainly more pleasant than others. One relationship ended and another began. One job ended and has not yet been replaced, though that's still okay. I got another regular volunteer gig instead. I've been to four new countries. I survived an accident that my car didn't. I got 20/20 vision. I learned to meditate.

Looking at that brief list as a whole, I think I have a lot to be thankful for and happy about. There have been times when I've forgotten that, though -- times when I was too shaken by the things that didn't make me happy or thankful, or times when I was simply too caught up in the raw change and uncertainty to notice. It's been that sort of a year.

I don't have a lot of inherent associations with 29, other than it being some sort of morbid gateway to 30 (yeah, you over-30's can laugh at me). But it's also an 11 - Justice. So perhaps it will be a year for regaining focus and clarity, for doing the right thing(s) with confidence. I'll take that.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Only Malcolm

For Drawing Day today I decided to do one of the characters from my last novel. His name is Malcolm, and yes, the name was blatantly inspired by "only Malcolm" from Expecting Someone Taller. I'd been wanting to draw him ever since I wrote the story, so here he is.

Only Malcolm

Malcolm is "a very minor and worried demon" who takes the form of a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex wearing a shirt and tie. He's important to the story, if not to anyone else.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Draw Something This Saturday

Drawing Day 2008 This Saturday, June 7, is the first annual Drawing Day. If you want to join in, all you have to do is draw something (anything) and post it online (anywhere). If you "can't draw," draw anyway. It's fun. And/or think of something clever for me to draw, since I haven't decided what to do yet. (And I have been known to take requests.)