Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout 2013

After years of not traveling further than San Francisco, all of a sudden last year Chris and I decided to leave our bubble and start traveling to dance events - I left one job with over 2 weeks of vacation time saved up and realized that not using it was the dumbest thing ever (yes, they paid me out, but it wasn't worth it). We've been invited to teach at several out-of-state events in this last year, and we love teaching, meeting new people and seeing a few sights, so we're trying to take advantage of as many opportunities as we can. And now that we're meeting people who live all over the world, we need to keep traveling so that we can see (and dance!) with them.

Last weekend we went to snowy Denver for Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout. Now, Chris and I were both born and raised in Southern California, and we are NOT built for snow. I went to college in Iowa, but that was 10 years ago now (yikes!) and it was a small town and small campus so I didn't have to deal with a car. So of course the first time we venture out to Denver, the town is hit with the biggest snowstorm of the season!

We were prepared for cold weather, but I forgot how darn WET snow is. I SO did not bring the right shoes - I only had one pair of flats with me. 7-Eleven bags to the rescue!

But that said, we still had a great time! RMBB is a fab event - we always had it on our list of events to go to, sooner or later. The music is great, the venues are pretty, and good/NICE dancers always turn out. We taught two classes (advanced Balboa and LA Lindy Hop) and I was in 2 contests - just the right amount of obligations for a fun weekend away. (Teaching and competing *are* fun, but sometimes you don't want to keep an eye on the clock.)

Here is video footage from the two contests I was in - enjoy!

Open Strictly Balboa - 
Chris & Beth, 1st Place
(For my family members who only want to watch our spotlight, that starts at 9:52 ;)

Invitational Jack & Jill -
randomly paired with Andreas Olsen, from Sweden, whom I met only the previous night!
(Andreas and my spotlight starts at 5:08)

Big thanks to David Bradford for the video footage and for the great dance we had! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Floweruary the Last

I knew this already, but I'm REALLY bad at daily challenges. :) I kept up Floweruary until the middle of this month, but I realized I'm not a very flowery girl, and I felt weird taking photos of repeats. Oops! So here's the final installment - maybe I'll stock up on flowers before next February (but probably not).

Clockwise from Top Left:

Floweruary 8th - tiny flowers on a hat pin. And sushi.

Floweruary 9th - listening to a book while Chris is at work. Then off for some dancing!

Floweruary 13th

Floweruary 16th - Air Raid!

Floweruary 14th - Valentine Candy and a fake Ivory rose ring

Floweruary 11th - Yellow Fakelite Rose Earrings

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Floweruary 1st-6th

I'm participating in Floweruary this year, the daily challenge to wear and post a photo of a flower. I've taken a little liberty with the challenge and expanded it to a few different types of vegetation. ;) I was going strong with the challenge until today, but I plan on getting back on the wagon tomorrow!

Clockwise from Top Left: 
Floweruary 1st — at Rusty's Rhythm Club
Floweruary 2nd - Breakfast at the Beach. Cherries started as flowers, so I'm calling it good.
Floweruary 3rd - At the Car Wash
Floweruary 4th - Monday was a repeat of Saturday, but with less enthusiasm.
Floweruary 5th - little hair requires a little barrette.
Floweruary 6th - palm tree and a fresh hair cut. 
These pins live in that empty spot behind me most of the time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cal Bal Classic 2013

The weekend before last was the California Balboa Classic, a new Balboa event in Los Angeles with classes and dances. Originally intended as a small event for locals, word about this one spread like wildfire and the workshops sold out within a week or two, even after an entire extra class track was added! And people even flew in from other states! I'm SO excited about this new event - I've felt for a long time that LA needs a dedicated Balboa event, and I'm so glad that the response was so good.

Like the hams we are, Chris and I entered the Open Balboa and Swing contest - "Balboa" and "Swing" here referring to their 1930s & 40s meanings where Balboa was only closed (chest-to-chest) position, and Swing is anything that separates from your partner.  I had a TON of fun with this contest - there were several rounds where we were told to demonstrate musicality, showmanship, etc. A lot of Balboa contests tend to emphasize one end of the spectrum or the other, but it was nice to have both in this one.  I just hope it didn't go on too long for the audience!

Here are the videos I could find - they're linked from Facebook instead of YouTube, so I hope they work for you.

Open Balboa & Swing Classic Finals - Warm-up

Open Balboa & Swing Classic Finals - Chris & Beth Spotlight

Open Balboa & Swing Classic Finals - Fast Battle

And finally, Chris and I got to take home these GORGEOUS glass trophies! First Place, and the couple featured in the photo are 2 of our dance heroes, Hal and Betty. We stole several of their moves for the Fast Battle, and I will proudly display this in honor of them and all of our old-timers.
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