Mile High Blues 2011, Denver

Something Mike Falsek said when we were in Seattle for Roots: “If you’re not making strange noises in your head while you do it, you’re doin’ it wrong.” 

We went to Denver for Mile High Blues, and once again I found that missing the parts of the exchange that I wanted to miss made the parts I attended much more worthwhile. I missed the Friday night dance (due to getting up a 4:30am EST to fly to MST), one of the Saturday afternoon lessons (to read The Neverending Story and eat a red velvet cookie), and Sunday’s classes (to soak in the Denver sunshine – of which there was much).  And in return, I didn’t find myself wishing I wasn’t in class, everytime I was around people I enjoyed being with people, I had two fabulous nights of dancing, and I learned a new game, courtesy of David, Clyde, and Ruth, all of whom were convinced I could be converted.

The lesson learned: be who you are.  If you are an extrovert who recharges by constantly being with others, or a type-A who wants to “do the whole program,” or the sort of dancer who gains energy from dancing (even at 4:00 in the morning) — then do so.  I am none of those things.  I need to take time for myself, break the schedule, and rest when I need to rest. And I have a richer experience when I do so.

Moving on from what I didn’t do to what I did do, I’ll go over the highlights.

We stayed in Golden, CO, a small, pedestrian-friendly town in the foothills, about 20 minutes west of Denver.  To the west was Lookout Mountain, and to the northeast and southeast, respectively, were North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain.  Saturday afternoon our hostess, Steph, drove us up Lookout Mt. so that we could see the surrounding area.

The event was entirely blues (YES!  It had been since BamBLOOZled in December and I was a little lindy hopped-out.)  To start with they did level testing for the two top levels – masters and advanced.  For the very first time, I placed into the advanced.  The green wristband indicates my superiority over all creatures and superb wonderfulness. 

The classes (that I attended) were well taught.  I was particularly pleased to have a good experience with Joe and Nelle‘s class.  They are very widely liked in the dance community, but through a series of unfortunate events, until MHB I had not had a good experience with them.  I took classes from them when I attended an event that was very poorly organized and another at which I severely lacked sleep and generally had a not good experience, and while I thought the problem wasn’t them, it was very good this weekend to have evidence in their favor.  I also attended classes by Dexter & Michelle and Chris & Campbell.

The dances were excellent. I had a surprisingly high number of dances with other women. It’s a fun way for same-sex friends to spend some time together at a dance, since most of the night is spent with the opposite sex in the traditionally-gendered lead-follow roles. I am finding that the more time I spend in this community, the more I realize that these are fabulous people with whom I want to be friends. And while dancing is great by way of introduction, talking and doing something that is non-dancing (a meal, a game, coffee) helps to grow the friendship.

Which brings me to the final note of the trip – an excellent lunch spent at Jelly – with David, Clyde, and Ruth.  The four of us ate really wonderful food, talked, and played a game called Dixit, which I will forevermore love. Many, many thanks to the three of you!

These are some of the cards – aren’t you just dying to play?

Photo Credit:  I actually took some pictures for this trip, but as I wrote this, Doug Sutton posted the pictures he took of the weekend, and they are so much better than mine (very nice Nikon SLR vs. camera phone), that I have to use his.


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