Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Midwestern Bal Swing Festival

Matt shows off his big feet IMG_1256.jpg

I have had a very busy weekend here in Omaha attending the Midwestern Bal Swing Festival held by the Omaha Jitterbugs. I can honestly say I've never done this much dancing in my entire life. The whole weekend consists of three days of classes, three nights of social dancing, and around four separate contents for such things as open swing, pure balboa, bal swing, and the big apple. On Saturday I came up to have dinner with Viv and our friends Ben and Sarah down at the Olive Garden before heading over to the Eagle's Lodge for a night of dancing. On the left I've comparing my big old feet to the shoes on sale with Viv, and on the right Sarah is about to crash underneath Ben's fedora.

Matt, Viv, and Daniel Eric and Robin

On Saturday I took a bunch of workshops, including classes on shag, collegiate fox trot, and then after lunch we did some basics in pure bal and a variant of bal swing before going upstairs for yet another workshop on a different kind of balboa that I didn't quite understand. After the classes, we went out to Old Chicago, where I got to meet one of Viv's longtime friends, Robin. She, Eric, and Viv are notorious among the jitterbugs as something of a Pirate Threesome, and this was the first time they'd been reunited at the Eagle's Lodge for a year or so. We also got to meet Robin's adorable little baby Daniel and her husband, Tim. Viv was responsible for bringing both of them together at a party some time ago, so it was very cool to see the fruits of her labors all cute and spitting up.

Saturday night was an especially big night for Viv as it was her first time competing in a dance. She and Mark took to the floor in the Bal Swing contest and did an amazing job cutting up the floor. They had some pretty stiff competition from some real pros from around the country with years of training, but they were able to hold their own, no doubt about it. You can see the video of their performance here.

Update: Home movies! Over the weekend, I took plenty of video using my little digital camera, and I was able to capture some highlights from the events that took place and put them up on YouTube for you all to enjoy.
  • Bal Fest Highlight Reel: See some clips from the contests we had and some bits of a bal swing workshop.
  • Baby Daniel: A bunch of us met at Old Chicago to see Robin's baby boy Daniel.

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