Well, it's all over. I'm on my way home, after my first Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, and a wonderful weekend it was. A weekend of dance, conversation, (more dance) caller geekery, (even more dancing, including exposure to many dances I hadn't done anywhere before), and some wonderful conversations with friends new and old.
What is it about this weekend that is so magical?
The magic is in 4+ generations worth of dancers dancing old and new dances together. It's in the connection through the left hands in a simple courtesy turn or a promenade. It's in weight given and received and always perfectly balanced It's in dancing Money Musk for 20 minutes to amazing music...a whole room of people rocking the house with the balances. It's in getting to do dances that I probably wouldn't encounter anywhere else, either because they're not in the style of dances that get done at most of the dances I attend, or because they're more complicated (or less complicated, or "worse" still have no swings (like Money Musk). This weekend, though we did them all. Old and new and almost everything in between.
During the dance last night, I found myself thinking that by the metrics of many dancers at "modern urban contra dances", the dancing there would be "low energy", or "old fashioned." The energy there is definitely different. It's less abut kinetic energy and more about connection and community.
Overall, though, this is really a weekend about the people. I danced with and talked with people of all ages and from lots of different parts of the country, all of whom share a love of contra and square dance -- many of whom were present for significant portions of what we of the younger generations would term it's history. One regret that I have is that I didn't get more of a chance to spend time talking to some of them. I suppose that's just another reason that I should be back there next year!
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