Posts Tagged dancing

DJ debut

I participated in the DJ challenge at the Beat two weeks ago, and apparently it was well enough received that I was invited back for a whole 1-1.5 hour set. If you want to hear me “spin”, come dance tomorrow!

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Dancing slippage

I rarely feel as good when I dance as I used to. I’m clearly much less creative. Maybe I’ll regain that spark this weekend at Emerald City Blues, but if not, I’ll have to consider more drastic measures. Will it help if I take a break for a bit? It might give me time to practice guitar again after so long. Or maybe resuming regular lessons would help. All I know is, dancing is getting less fun.


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In which Leon is disappointed in himself and others

I’ve failed at democracy. There are 5 pages of ballot, and though I’ve worked my way through the state propositions, the state representatives, and most of the SF propositions, I have no idea what to do about the judges, or the school board members. I wish someone I could trust would just tell me which of them are worthwhile, because it’s not nearly as clear-cut as, say, the governorship. I might just not vote on things I don’t know about, but I feel bad about it. I am not the sort of educated public our great nation requires.

In other news, the Giants won the World Series. That was pretty nice, and it was good to see the city celebrating, but when they kept honking for 3 hours, and then broke bottles, burned mattresses, and generally disrupted the city. I mean, it wasn’t horrible, and was probably pretty tame compared to what could happen, but frankly I’m puzzled and disappointed in people. Why does celebration require destruction? What makes you want to ruin other people’s things? And how can you keep celebrating after, oh, 10 minutes or so? Doesn’t it get boring after a bit? How long can you wave an orange shirt in the street before thinking, “I need to figure out how to vote tomorrow!”

Also disappointing was the dancer tonight who said she went out and enjoyed the riot, and how nice it was to see some anarchy. She enjoyed the mattress-burning and the bus graffitiing. Does no one think of consequences? The same people who get worked up that bus fares are expensive and city taxes are high go around making the city worse?! Dammit, you are responsible for the effects of your actions.

The only good news of it is that maybe happy San Franciscans will vote tomorrow, and that’ll tip the scales for the causes I support, like “No on 23 and 26”, and “Yes on 19”, and “Make that Fiorina person shut up.”

The dance tonight had a definite shape. The beginning was pretty good, in the middle I sucked, and toward the end I was connecting with my partners pretty well. I hate every dance with a disappointed partner, though.

Okay, time to go finish working out my ballot. I’ll stay up as long as it takes, for tomorrow I vote!

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Google dancing

Today there was Lindy at lunch at Google. I danced with some quite good follows, and forgot most of their names. But one of them introduced herself as Carla, and it was only after dancing with her that I realized it was Carla Heiney, one of the best-known swing dance instructors in the Bay Area. Indeed, she has national recognition and did choreography on So You Think You Can Dance.

If I’d known who it was, I’d probably never have asked her to dance, even knowing how fun it would be. I guess learning afterward was best, because it spared me a lot of “oh my god I’m outclassed” stress.


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Plantar Fascism

I apparently have plantar fasciitis, otherwise known as “a pain in your foot in the morning.” Apparently it’s because I have flat feet and overuse my feet without enough stretching. It’s interesting that this started when I wasn’t running anymore.

Moral of the story: stretch after dancing! Maybe just stretch every night.

Man, it sucks to get old.

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First-ever dance video

I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen myself dance on video. It’s okay, but I should record myself periodically–I can see a number of stylistic issues with my dancing.

So, this was a performance at the SwingCal graduation. Katrina and I mentored a group of students, and for graduation, we choreographed a little 30-second routine. Our students danced it masterfully: I think the only mistake I saw was my own!

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DJ skills

I would like to be able to DJ for blues dance events. I have taken the first steps, and now I have an appreciation for the music and the beginnings of a collection. However, my knowledge of the music is not as broad as I would like–I know a few songs that I really love, but I don’t have enough music to fill more than about a half hour. It’d be a good half hour, though!

I also don’t have the interpersonal skills needed. In order to be a useful DJ, you have to be able to read the reactions of the room. I haven’t put much effort into feeling a group’s mood, and I’m prone to be more sensitive to negative energy than positive energy, so I’m not sure I could redirect things well. I’d like to learn, but I don’t know how.

So, maybe after another couple years of dancing I’ll have the music and the talents for DJing. Until then, I’ll just appreciate those who already do.


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Happy, from Emerald City

I’m as happy as I can remember being lately, as happy as I’ve been since the last time I began dating. On the one hand, it’s a momentary thing brought on by a good meal and some mango nectar, but on the other hand it’s been a good weekend.

Sure, there were some people who were annoying–I was amazed to rediscover my ability to really be irked by a person’s tone of voice. But still, the lessons were good, and last night’s astounding dances were worth the entire cost of the workshop. I’ve only ever been quite so on once before. I was on fire! I was amazing! The people who walked away from me unimpressed were the easily-dismissed exceptions.

My favorite quote was from an instructor named Ogden. He and Amanda were teaching us about leading from non-traditional body parts, like by touching our partner’s shoulders or wrists. But he cautioned us about not getting too focused on using wrists: “Wrists are good as friends. But hands…!” It was the funniest moment of the weekend, which was hard after Topher and Mike’s class.

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SwingCal compliment?

I’ve been helping “mentor” at SwingCal, Berkeley’s student-run swing-dancing class. That means I don’t teach, but I dance with students and give them tips.

After the class, there’s some social dancing, and then too I mostly dance with students. One student was amused by my style and said, “You remind me of Will Ferrell.” The question is, is that a compliment or an insult?


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Yesterday’s good and bad

Yesterday I was mostly not in a good mood. I was full of that anxious feeling in which I want reassurance, and I was unable to quell it.

But at Shades of Blues, it all went away, and I felt quite confident. I got “dance-drunk,” where I didn’t have to think too much about the movements and just felt good. I’m glad I went.