06 March 2007

The End :'(

Well, this is it. I've admitted to myself that I never have time to update this blog. Even if I do it's more about the fact I had a good night rather than the night in detail. I'll still post dancing stuff on my other blog from time to time but it probably will be about as frequent as I'm currently posting on this (maybe monthly). I'll tag all my dance related things with Dance but blogger doesn't allow for tag based RSS feeds. Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to do so.

08 January 2007

End of 2006

I've become poor at updating this recently. It could be to do with generally being busy or laziness or a bit of both. Anyway the end of year was an interesting one for me. I decided that the music on a Tuesday night just seemed to be getting to me so I gave up Tuesday dancing (though I might still go to the occasional one like tomorrow). That had an interesting effect though. The last weeks of November and early December I found that I had poor Tuesday night dancing and great Thursday night dancing. Strangely when I gave up Tuesday I didn't have as great time on the Thursday. Do I need a poor night of dancing to remind me what a good night of dancing is?

I've finally got rather good at the penguin walk which is a lovely move. Like any kid with a new toy I've been using it in a lot of my dancing recently. Seeing just how fast I can get it or just how many turns we can do. It's great fun and I can't get enough of it.

Enjoyed the last couple of lessons in WCS a great deal. They had a set of really interesting moves and I had a few good freestyle dances which makes it all worth while.

I also went to the Edinburgh Christmas party which turned out to be great fun... I was worried that with Stirling on as well we would have lost a lot of good dancers to that (and we did) but there was still enough dancers I love dancing with there to make it all worth while. I did the cabaret for the last time. It was probably my best go at it with nothing really going wrong for me (like my horns falling off). Anyway it is good to be putting the nuns outfit aside.

They say you should start a year as you mean to go on (I have no idea who "they" are though) so I started it dancing. There was a New Years Ball (I went to one of these last year) which was enjoyable. It was a little busy for me (in terms of space on the dance floor) though when food was made available I suddenly had space to dance again :D. The cabaret there was also really good fun to watch. The guys doing YMCA seemed especially brave. I didn't enjoy wearing a suit to the event it was far too hot and before long I had changed out of it.

I've gone to one freestyle so far this year (I didn't make it for the lesson) which was very busy (I guess people are missing dancing) but also was good fun. I also went to Red Hot and Blue which was fantastic. They've started teaching a short blues lesson there as well which seemed to result in a lot of people turning up early (including us) which was great as it meant the night felt in full swing at nine rather than me turning up at ten or later. Saying that I did briefly pop to Asda half way through the evening to get some stuff; where I discovered that I am getting married, apparently. They might have gotten the wrong Gary though ;). Anyway good stuff, I'm looking forward to the next one though I have to say that the venue that they are moving to (the Route 66 one) is a little remote for my liking but it is a nice venue.

Anyway loving my time dancing and I'm hoping that this year is filled with exciting freestyle, weekenders and learning new things along with meeting some of the lovely and fantastic people that are part of the dance scene.

20 November 2006

Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday

Well quick post about the last couple of weekends which have been pretty fab.

Fife Party

I went to the Fife party to do a smaller version of the Heaven and Hell routine and get some freestyle in. We started out by going to a nice restaurant and having a lovely meal. Then onwards to do our thang. It's great how relaxed it felt doing the routine now, the competition really took the fear out of this performance even though we made some quite big changes to it.

It's was a quite quiet venue; as Bill has only just recently started there this wasn't a huge surprise. They really did a nice job with food and such and there wasn't a bar but soft drinks and water were laid out. It helped make it a nice atmosphere. Not surprising, given the time it has been running, that there are quite a few beginners there but they seemed good followers, Bill is obviously teaching something on the connection and other principles as they often seem to have grasped that. So it was a really nice night of dancing and I had quite a few complements which was lovely.

I got a dance with Bill a bit later on in the night. I like dancing with really proficient leads occasionally as you can feel what makes them such a good lead, something you can't pick up by just watching. Sure enough he was very smooth and I can see why he is so popular.

Tuesday Night Ceroc

I was looking forward to Tuesday night Ceroc as there was a special guest dancer there who I love dancing with. I had some good freestyle dances that evening in spite of the music which was poor and also, for the first time ever in my MJ history, too loud (I found my ears were slightly ringing at the end of the night). Still it was good fun hamming up Can't Take My Eyes Off You. Also there were new moves in the intermediate class and I mean I haven't done any of them before which was a nice surprise. I've forgotten most of them now but... oh well.

Dance Fever

I didn't go to all of Dance Fever just the Saturday workshops and party. Started out with a Lindy Hop class taught by Joseph & Trisha. I had previously done a blues class with them and they seemed a good laugh. They didn't disappoint here and had the crowd laughing loads. It was a fun class though I don't expect to take up Lindy any time soon. Next up was a WCS which was good but was aimed at beginners (which I still am but it was nothing new). I then did Bill and Fran's Blues class. I've done quite a bit of blues but only a couple of lessons. I took things away from that lesson and not just a couple of moves but a better understanding of the fundamentals. I'm always happy to practice my blues dancing. I did the Latin MJ class with Steve and Lindsay which was maybe over all to quickly to get everything in about the style. I missed the next class to relax and then finished with the WCS class to try and balance the numbers as there was a men's style class at the same time. I think I probably should have done the latter though. Steve, who was teaching it, had some interesting things lined up.

Anyway after going back to my lovely host's flat and getting some food I headed back out for a quick rehearsal in the evening before the party started. After some nice freestyle there was a brief Lucky Dip competition (which I didn't get anywhere in but that is expected :D). We did the cabaret (for the last time?) which was probably our best performance yet. There was also a couple of other performances which where amazing for two reasons. First they both looked good and second both of them had very little time to pull them together. Keith & Janey were involved in a car crash the day before and Janey didn't make it up (it's good to know that both of them and their child are ok) so Keith did the routine with someone else. James McLauchlan did a line dance performance with Ross and that was really fantastic to watch. Both men have such style and it was a really fab routine.

After getting glittered up for the glitter ball I danced the rest of the night away. Due to some exceptional dances I had a fantastic night rivalling the better nights I've had at Southport (and that's saying something). When I was dancing with someone she mentioned she wanted to applaud a dance I had with another woman earlier. That was lovely to hear and was interesting that the dance looked good from the outside rather than just feel good. Anyway I can only hope for more party nights like that. Afterwards I headed to my host's place. As I was packing the next day I realised that I forgot my dance trainers. Crisis of epic proportions! I went back to the hall and couldn't find them. Thankfully someone else did later and my trainers are in good hands which is great because I love them.

I couldn't end this without thanking the woman who gave me a place to sleep for the night and cooked me nice food and to all the women (and man) who I danced with for making it such a good evening.

31 October 2006

Saturday Night Party And Stuff

Yes, I really am still going to post about Southport. If I can remember anything that happened. Bet you are all sitting at the edge of your seats waiting.

Was at the Edinburgh Saturday Night Ceroc party on Saturday. Got there quite early... by quite early I mean before 10pm which is good in my books. Now maybe I've mentioned this before but I've been having problems with my ankle and knee for a while now and, along with making me feel like an old man, it means I try and be cautious while dancing avoiding any large leans or drops. As I felt my knee get painful on the night I really cut back on the footwork I was doing or any moves that might be bending that knee. I'm going to get to a physiotherapist at some stage in the near future but for now I'm going to take the informal advice I got from another physio.

Anyway that aside the evening was rather good. I'm trying to smooth out my lead more at the moment and quite a few women commented on it as delightful which gave a lovely warm feeling inside. Also there were some women up from that England place (they were there for a workshop that was cancelled which must have annoyed them). They commented that us Scottish boys seems a lot more stylish than those back home. I wonder whether that is true and, if so, it has something to do with the fact that many of the guys up here are very stylish and that raises the bar for the rest of us meaning that we work on style more too.

The music was a little too fast for my liking. I was hoping it would drop into a more bluesy set later on but it never really came. Other people seemed to like the set more than me so perhaps I was missing something or just looking for something else that never came.

Though it wasn't quiet by any means it was quieter than it often is and there was a lack of the people I often look forward to dancing with from the rest of Scotland :'(.

So I did have a good time. That was added to by it being the one year anniversary of my girlfriend and I. She requested a track for the twilight dance which was lovely.

20 October 2006

Scottish Competition 2006 and Britrock 2006

I figured I'd just bundle the two competitions that I recently entered into the same post.

Well the Scottish Competition was my second competition. Due to the fact I injured myself a while before and wasn't able to dance for a while I didn't enter into role reversal or intermediate as I originally planned. I did enter into Lucky Dip though I didn't get anywhere. I found the Friday night party a bit lacking. I don't know why but I did. Saturday daytime was quite good. The pacing was good in the event with plenty of freestyle in between the events and it was enjoyable to watch a lot of the other people compete. I had a great time on the Saturday night and enjoyed the addition of the blues room. I felt a little of a blues room hotshot in regards to the fact I pretty much moved to the blues room when it was open and stayed in there all night (which is more surprising because my favourite DJ was in the main room).

I had a friend from Aberdeen staying on the Saturday night. The car journey home was certainly interesting

Us all standing around waiting for the cabaret to start.
Anyway I also recently went to another competition down in Brighton. This time it was mainly to do a team cabaret that I had been rehearsing for. Before I went down I was a little nervous about it. I still feel I didn't quite have it all together and I felt I could have done with more practice time.

We won in the end. It certainly felt close. Amir had another team entry (though he wasn't in it) and they were very technically precise. They didn't do any team formations or such like which we did a lot of. Their approach was very different to ours, I guess, and it really depended on what the judges were looking for. Anyway I thought the other team did very well. It was interesting to see them do the beginning of their routine though as it is what Amir uses to teach one of his musicality classes.

You can, maybe, see the back of us dancing at:

The Friday night started with tracks that constantly ran into each other (like at a night club). This was rubbish as it made my I'll ask that woman to dance on the next track statement difficult to carry out and meant that when I did finally ask someone we kept dancing until we finally sort of just gave up. Thankfully that ended soon enough to let us get on with enjoying the rest of the night.

There was a fun class with a line dance (which was quite good fun) and a ceilidh (which was amusing given we were in the South). I also got picked on for not keeping the teacher straight when he got it wrong. That might have something to do with the fact that I was wearing a kilt on the Friday.

The freestyle on the Friday got better as the night went on and I was definitely enjoy it by the end. Dancing in a kilt was good fun and kept me cool (except for the ceilidh top which got very warm and later on I changed into a T-shirt). Enjoyed dancing with one new dancer in particular and had the last couple of dances with her.

The competition was quite good fun. Did Dance with a Stranger and Intermediate. We didn't get anywhere in either though that might have something to do with the fact that I always seemed to end up with my butt facing the judges or maybe just the fact that I wasn't dancing very well. There were some really great dancers there though and they were good to watch.

Loved a few of the showcases; in particular Amir's routine which was graceful and amazing. I've seen his performances on the Jango DVD but they weren't as impressive as the one I watched there. He got a standing ovation at the end and it seemed the most popular showcase though didn't win. I found this a little bit of a crazy decision by the judges but maybe I was missing something.

The day came to a bit of a stop for a while when there was a wedding service in one of the other rooms (downstairs) and our organisers felt that we made to much noise and would disturb the vows. As far as I could tell this was the Britrock people rather than the venue pushing for this and that was really considerate of them. The couple came up afterwards and did a dance for us which was lovely and really brave of them to do.

The early evening got of to a really bad start. After a bit I went back to the hotel (where I caught a bit of Strictly Come Dancing where they apparently were doing West Coast Swing though I'm sceptical to say the least). Got back and had a much better evening (including a few dances with another lovely dancer from down South). Was pulled away from the dancing to dress up for the cabaret (in case we won as we had to do it straight after the awards) which resulted in me missing so many great tracks :'(. Thankfully that was over with and other than possibly one of the worse performances of the cabaret I've done it went ok. Had such a lovely time for the rest of the evening with so many lovely dances with lovely dancers. I am glad it finished when it did though since my legs were aching and I had to get up early the next day to get back to Edinburgh.