Seattle 2015 Update #8 - Riots and Cherry Blossoms
Here in DC spring is so dazzling we're walking around in a daze.
Cherry blossoms! Cornflower skies! Sneezing!
Baby insects floating on air! Pink petals blow in the door! Birdies chirping!
And the streets of Baltimore are on fire.
The city has erupted in riots. Decades of neglect and despair until one gentle spring day ... an explosion.
Almost a month since Easter Swing - still haven't unpacked my suitcase.
Some dancers don't bother unpacking because what's the point? You just have to repack it again in a year.
I have a friend - fast, efficient, doesn't sweat the small stuff. Gets to the hotel, opens suitcase, dumps everything on the floor. Perfect! Clothes, shoes, toiletries - it's all right there. Easy to re-pack, too. Three minutes and boom! Back in the suitcase.
Speaking of travelling.
For all you non-US dancers, I have a recommendation.
A GREAT trip to the US.
Come next year for Seattle Easter Swing (March 24th-27th 2016)
And the next weekend for City of Angels (March 31-April 2nd, 2016)
And the next weekend after that for SwingDiego! (May 6-May 8th, 2016)
Can you beat THAT?!? Me thinks not.
The Three Week Epic US West Coast Extravaganza!
Your head might fall off from too much fun. But worth it, right? Who cares if you'll never walk again.
An experience you'd never forget.
Come with a gang of friends, dance three weeks no sleep, hobble home happy.
And immediately start making plans for the next year.
But seriously, can you imagine a better visit to the US west coast scene?
All three of these events are very "international-friendly" feeling, too. Seattle makes a special point of welcoming dancers from outside the US.
Seattle! You'll love Seattle! I discovered so much on my visit that I never knew about this cool city, or about the dance community there.
They're friendly - all jokes about the famous "Seattle Freeze" aside.
The hotel is fantastic - Hyatt Regency Belleview is a 4-star luxury hotel with one of the highest ratings ever given on TripAdvisor. Close to the airport, right downtown, in the heart of the most wired part of the country, trained staff, great restaurants, and a breakfast buffet to blow your mind.
And Seattle! So cool. I discovered that Seattle is many people's favorite city in the United States. Who knew? I didn't.
More about Seattle the city ... later.
For now ...
Here are highlights from this year's Easter Swing that are still hopping through my mind like Easter bunnies:
Kyler (Kyle and Sarah's younger son), who is not shy. Celebrating his birthday on the mic and exploding into spontaneous dance.
Royston: "That was more footwork than the entire Allstar/Champion Strictly"
One smart, delightful little guy they have there. The ballroom was in stitches.
Matt Richey competing in Allstar, running outside and down to the hotel on the corner to compete in the Lindy event there. Sprinting up and down the street between the two events all weekend.
The craaaazy breakfast buffet! Christina Wagner on Friday morning:
A packed social dance floor. Early in the morning, all day between divisions, all night until the wee hours. Never saw it rest for a moment. How did the deejays survive?
Ben Morris charging up to the DJ booth to interrupt Easter Sunday Gospel Hour with a Passover version of Uptown Funk
Two ostensibly normal men - trying to be as tall as one colossal, Brobdignagian, Alcyoneus of a man.
Robert on the mic, joking how Benji - in dance and also not in dance - how Benji searches for that uncrossable line - between acceptable and not acceptable ...
And then crosses it.
Benji demonstrating by charging and leaping across the floor. So full of life and glee, aware of every nuance - every just or unjust - funny or cruel - thoughtless or intentional - brilliant or mundane -- every moment and reverberation of life.
The routines! Nine Rising Star! Seven Showcase! Ten Classic!
The Golden Eggs! Gorgeous trophies!
Jim: "For our anniversary this year, these eggs were specially blown. Wait. That didn't come out right."
Angie's very funny, nearly unintelligible, description on the mic, of this cool Seattle Space Needle app:
Jim in the corner shadows behind the podium. That final moment - after ten years, his last moment - on Sunday night, as Robert said "Thank you all! See you next year!"
His quiet face. Misty eyes. Whispering softly to himself or to the emptying ballroom,
"I guess that's it."