After missing BridgeTown Swing last year when I attended WordCamp Portland, Jenni and I looked forward to reuniting with friends and getting back on the dance floor this year. Jenni’s parents were generous enough to babysit our girls for four days, and the BridgeTown Swing (BTS) staff were also generous by gifting us event passes for my work on the event website.
BridgeTown Swing is one of our favorite west coast swing events. We’ve won competitions, worked behind the scenes, and shared spectacular social dances with each other at BridgeTown. I went in this year with some hopes and expectations that were unreasonable and surpassed.
I have to give props to all the volunteers who pulled the event together in a few short months. Even with a solid foundation and several experienced staff members, Bridge Town Swing (BTS) had some big internal changes this year, but I believe the new direction will be good for the event and the Portland Swing Dance Club.
Jenni and I had planned to go to BTS for Saturday afternoon, after Gerry and Amy’s wedding in Oregon City. We couldn’t justify the cost of attending the event in full, but since we were in the area for the wedding, visiting our dance friends afterward was a no-brainer.
On the Sunday before BTS, Greg Krolicki, the new event director, called Jennilyn and offered complimentary guest passes for my work on the Portland Swing Dance Club web site—in particular, the BTS section. It was a very generous of him.
Hey matey, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day! We be eastbound to de airport, see…going fer some loot at Bridge Town Swing. Perrrhaps we’ll stumble upon some golden treasure…
Our lil’ lass will be gettin’ her dance legs! Arrrg! It’ll be grrreat seeing our friends, pillaging de midnight buffets, and gettin’ a little booty swayin’ in ourselves. Can’t say we’ve been out to de dance floor much dis year, da baby keeps us at port most nights, arrrg…cleanin’ poop decks and de like. Still, can’t keep a good pirate anchored!
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
– Friedrich Welhelm Nietzche
“Everything has rhythm. Everything dances.”
– Maya Angelo
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
– Martha Graham
“I would not know what the spirit of a philosopher might wish more to be than a good dancer.”
– Friedrich Welhelm Nietzche
“The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.”
– Mata Hari
“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.”
“Here’s my new favorite name to say: Jenn-e-lynn Lim,” – Grace Killelea, BridgeTown 2006 M.C.
Last year’s BridgeTown experience is a hard one to beat. Not to say that this year was plain or boring, but going in to BridgeTown 2006, I knew I could not expect a repeat of last year’s magic.
Jenni and I were asked to do a little west coast swing dance demo at a friend’s retirement dance party. We picked out a song today and practiced a little before the improv dance. We took my company camera, the Canon SD300, and recorded a short clip of one of our practice dances.
At BridgeTown Swing 2005, Jennilyn and I won tickets to Reno Dance Sensation 2006 when we placed first in intermediate and novice jack & jill contests respectively. When I looked at the dates of Reno, I was pleasantly surprised that our first wedding anniversary was the same weekend. What better way to celebrate our first anniversary than to go dancing? How about dinner, dancing, and a show?
Jenni and I spent President’s Day weekend in Sacramento attending the Capital Swing convention. I took my first shot at intermediate Jack & Jill since winning first in the novice division at BridgeTown Swing 2005. I graduated from being in novice for almost three years, and like moving up to middle school, the excitement of new opportunities and higher expectations rattled my stomach. I used to be at the top, and now, I’m back to the bottom. The best thing about being at the bottom is that there’s only one way to go—upwards.
Val once told me that Marco said that you’re not the same dancer after a dance convention. I wholeheartedly agree. I think that anyone who spends an entire weekend reuniting with friends, learning more about their craft, being inspired by champion dancers, and dancing with people from all around would hardly remain the same dancer. Then, if you compete, you’re also spending the weekend looking for partners for strictly swing, dancing with other people around your level for Jack and Jills, changing outfits each round of competition, dancing until the sun comes up, and wondering if you’ll be awake for work the next week. How can anyone stay the same?