Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Outing - Full Swing Christmas Party

On Saturday night Luke and I headed off to the Full Swing Christmas Party (Full Swing is the place where we learn swing dancing). And what an evening it was! So much fun. The organisers did such a wonderful job. The venue was this cute little vintage hall at Breaker Bay in Wellington. And honestly, it was like travelling back in time. The old hall, the ragtime band, everyone dressed up in vintage clothing; just some good ol' fashioned fun. So let's travel back in time, shall we - sepia photos and all.  Of course, you can't dance on an empty stomach. First things first: we had an amazing pot-luck BBQ.

As you can see below, the hall was beautifully decorated with fairy lights. So pretty!

We had live music from the Roseneath Centennial Ragtime Band, who were in a word awesome (I loved the old piano, such a neat sound). In fact, they were so amazing that we bought their CD. At times I thought they were personally trying to kill us due to the sheer speed and length of the songs they played; at times the dancing felt like it was more about endurance than enjoyability. However, they sounded great and were good fun, and at the end of the day that's all that matters. Also, when I asked a new friend of mine what had changed his mind about going home early, he said "The band told me I wasn't allowed to leave." Later on I found out they'd actually offered to give him a ride home. I thought that was so sweet.

There was also a traditional lindy circle. This is when everyone gets in a circle in a tagteam fashion, and you steal either the lead or follow. It went for a long time, which gave most people a go, including those who normally chicken out in these kinds of things (i.e. Luke and I). :)

This photo was snapped by Clive J Pigott of Artful Dodge Photography, and I have to say it's a keeper.

But one of the highlights for me was the Jack & Jack and Jill & Jill competition. Now, let me explain. Sometimes at these sorts of events, they have a Jack & Jill competition, which is when you get partnered with a complete stranger and have to dance in front of everyone. The winner is crowned based on audience appreciation. However, this time they decided an interesting twist would be making guys dance with guys and girls dance with girls. Interesting and hilariously entertaining. Luke was asked to put his name down because as always there weren't enough guys, and I thought I might as well register for the girls too.

The Jills were up first, and I was lucky enough to be partnered with an amazing dancer, Alisha, who fortunately knew how to lead. (Phew!)

We decided the only way we would win was if we really hammed it up. So ham it up we did.

And amazingly, somehow we managed to win the Jill division. I only gave the audience a little encouragement  to cheer... Well, I encouraged them a lot, actually, but you know it's up to them whether they respond or not.

Next the Jacks were up. I swear I almost cried from laughing. While the girls were quite co-operative with each other, the guys were less so. And the general consensus from them was "Following is hard!" But to be fair, quite a lot of girls have at least tried leading (due to the lack of guys), whereas not many guys have ever experienced following. You can see Luke in the back of this photo.

I then saw Luke, who had been following, get picked up by his lead and twirled around the dance floor. I apologise for the blurriness of this photo, but I was laughing very hard.

Unfortunately, Luke and his partner didn't win despite his acrobatics. However, Alisha and I were in the finals. I have never danced so hard in my life, but it was really fun and exhilarating. The song we were performing to changed to blues style (a type of dance neither of us had learned before), but we gave it a shot and won! Mostly due to Alisha's amazing leading abilities.

It was an awesome night. 

Until next time :)

PS: Alina also made this adorable little signature for me. So cute!

1 comment:

  1. Hannah, you sure know how to enjoy yourself! And what a dancer! Not surprised that you won :)