sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So Pinewoods.

First things first, I successfully managed to have no down time in which to send postcards. Seriously, every time I wandered down to the camphouse porch, there would be people there having interesting conversations or playing board games or willing to teach me juggling tricks. It was absurd. I read exactly two pages of my book, and those were in the five minutes between being fully packed and having my luggage outside before camp, and my ride arriving.

Camp was really good. I don't think I'll be able to get across all the good. I used my gazette to take notes, but I don't think it'll necessarily help.

It was also extra busy this year. Last year, I was the jobs coordinator, which is actually a pretty easy job at camp, as long as everyone else is on top of things (which, they're collectively like eighty-five or ninety percent.) Most of the work is done before camp, in sorting out who's gonna do what.

This year, I was the dining hall manager for session one (and just had normal jobs session two). This means I officially had to be at the dining hall 35 minutes before every meal, and a reasonable length of time after. Because I was raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, all my ideals about leadership are stolen pretty much entirely from knights and mercenary companies and sailing ships and all the leaders are good and noble and pure. Or in other words, I won't let my troops do anything I wouldn't, and I won't leave to have fun until every one of the rest of them can do so as well.

I don't know if anyone especially noticed or appreciated that part, but I had a goodly number of people coming up to compliment me, even into session two, when I was no longer in charge of anything. Apparently I am clear and concise and enthusiastic and the only person at Pinewoods Camp capable of speaking into a microphone1. I pretty much think I'm just really bossy and fascinated by people and process. Figuring out the optimal ways to get plates out, coffee made, dishes served, everything washed, etc is a lot of fun.

But that still made for a lot of busy, not to mention actually having to wake up and be conscious enough to be in the dining hall by 7:15 to make sure my coffeemakers were there. It took me only one breakfast to start bribing myself with sugary iced coffee drinks from the camp store in order to get up in the morning. Tuesday morning breakfast2 was the happiest I've ever been to sleep through gingerbread pancakes.

In the second session, I actually had a really convenient job schedule: Greet people as the came in on Monday. Clean up after the Pinecones party on Friday. There we go! The rest of the week I had off, to recover and rest and be less busy.

So I took almost all the Highland classes, one Technique and Critique class, several pond classes3 and several more Hanabi4 classes. Being as that wasn't enough, I also organized a ceilidh act (that involved like, actual talent and practice since we were performing one of our demo team pieces), donated, and then had to deliver, a leg massage to the auction, and ran a beginner's waltz lesson.

I only had one sobbing breakdown once this year, and it may well have been because I was _way_ too busy to have any more. Also may well have been because I am ever so gradually getting better at the precarious balancing act that comes my romantic and platonic lives.

I have run pretty solid into the wall of "oh yeah, I only got three hours sleep last night because Pinecones party", so I'm gonna maybe give a more detailed report later. I had a _really_ good time this year --easily my best Pinewoods yet. Gonna try and do some unpacking while I still have _any_ motivation left. Ta!

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Decidedly not true, but some of the praise ran effusive. It's also worth noting that no one else had completely shot their voice after only four days of camp.

2: The second meal I was officially off duty --session 2 started between changeover lunch (me) and Monday night dinner (Dan).

3: Pond class is, as you may guess from the name, the class you spend in the pond. It often comes directly after another class, especially Highland.

4: YO BOSTON GAMERS! We have apparently been pronouncing this wrong, at least if we are going with the assumption that the Japanese fireworks themed game has a title that is the Japanese word for fireworks. It is more of a "hanna-bee" instead of the "hah-nah-bee" we've been saying. The more you know!


PostScript: I did pick up a bunch of postcards from the camp store, so, you know. Maybe you'll get one sometime soon anyways.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
It was a long time ago that I made the decision for myself that when I wanted to dance, I would dance. I am not willing to lock down something that brings me joy, just because it's "weird" or other people wouldn't understand.

And so when it started raining, I dashed outside to bring my bicycle indoors, and then after, just stood there for a moment, feeling the warmth of the pavement through my bare feet, and the cool of the rain as it fell against me. I had my ipod on.

I danced.

Two songs worth, on the sidewalk and in the street, just leaping-twirling-moving, alone save the music in my head. Mama nature gifted me a perfect summer thunderstorm, I reciprocated the only way I know how.

(My gods ask for nothing save that I love myself, and become powerful, and use that power for the good of all. I try so hard to be better. Dancing helps.)

I did not hurt anyone. I did not get in their way. I paid enough attention to remove myself from the path of traffic (vehicular or pedestrian). I did something that made me happy-solid-real, and I refuse to be bound by others who would call me strange. I am not meant to dance alone in the rain on an empty street? No. That's not me.

If I am given the choice between following society's unspoken dictates, or dancing when I feel like doing so, I will pick the dance, every time. Because I am the kind of person who, when she wants to dance in the streets, does so.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So, as a counter to my mopey "wah, misogyny!" post from yesterday, here are two things that are not sexist and making me happy right now.

First off was Squares on Tuesday. Tech Squares does very difficult variations on the mainstream/plus level of square dancing, and so if you are not quick-witted and quick on your feet, it's easy to get very overwhelmed and lost if you learned to dance with a different club. This week, we had multiple visitors in town.

I wound up in a square with two pairs of out of towners, and three other tech squares members. Our caller was showing off everything he's got (apparently at other clubs, the caller is not the enemy? Who knew.) and our square was, um, flailing. To put it mildly.

I don't have the intrinsic brain for squares like many dancers I know do, I can't hear a call and know where everyone is supposed to be at the end of it. But I am one sweet hell of a dancer, and as bossy as any oldest child ought to be. I was not going to put up with my square falling to pieces all over the floor.

And so I did my level best to keep us moving and everyone approximately where they were supposed to be. And after the dancing was all done, [personal profile] majordomo comes up to me and grabs me by the shoulders.

"I love your brain!" he says, and hugs me, and I damn near break with glee 'cause that's all I ever want to hear from folk and I don't get it near often as I'd like.

***

So, I had to go off to a warehouse today, and while we're there, I get to see an *amazing* forklift in action. We're talking a "lift 8' x 8' x 8' crates 10' off the ground and drive around like that" amazing. I haven't wanted a piece of construction equipment so bad since I got to drive a backhoe.

(As a complete aside, y'all do know I once got to drive a backhoe around, right? BEST EXPERIENCE OF FOREVER YEP)

And the guy driving it around gets out, and notices me eyeballing it something fierce, and no thought or pause launches into an explanation of how rad it is, using technical terms and showing me all the bits. He didn't let me drive it (but then again, liability), but he in no way dumbed himself down for the silly girl(apparent).

(nor, when I was helping move boxes later, did anyone give me a "here sweetie, let me help you with that." This sounds so insignificant and common fucking decency, but I wouldn't have to be astonished by it if the opposite didn't happen so damn often.)

So yeah. Plus one for TOTALLY EXCELLENT warehouse guys. Also for amazing forklifts.

And that's all she wrote.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Photobucket
Last Waltz, taken by Kevin Hollenbeck.

This is...damn. That ballroom (and attached house) has been in mom's/mine friends group for...whuf. My entire life plus some?

That ballroom is almost definitely the place where I experienced my first waltz. My first polka. My earliest forays into couple dancing, when I was eight-nine-ten-eleven-far too young to appreciate the form. It's where I came back to when I started being a dancer again, all through college --every trip to Maryland was arranged to see if I could stack it against a dance night. There was Oella too, but there's something magical about that house, all purple and beautiful and with the whiteboard listing dances and the guest book listing dancers.

That ballroom hosted the first dance of my first pair of dance shoes.

(And let's not even get started on the Grand Marches. I am an outright fucking *snob* about marches, for better or for worse, and it's all because I have been doing this since I was just a kid. Every month. With astounding dancers. If your grand march does not wind all throughout the house and up the stairs and back down again, just don't even talk to me, I'm not interested.)

And...Alex and Renee are selling it, which is totally their prerogative. Apparently it's going to a contra caller, so at least the ballroom will still be used as it should be and not turned into a basketball court or rec room or torn down entirely. But...it's leaving the group who taught me how to dance. And I missed my chance to say goodbye.

Last Waltz.

Always such a difficult concept, but never before has it felt so final.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
NEFFA is today. It is dancing. It is ALLLLLLLL the dancing. Forever. Or at least from tonight at seven PM until Sunday at like six or seven or something.

WHAT DO I PACK OHMYGOD.

And as an important side note, do I bring Senator Lemonsnout to come dance with me? I mean, I want a way to make sure all the Homestucks can find me because I have been thoroughly satisfied by the amount of "Homestuck?" "Homestuck!" conversations I have been having lately (like seventy-five percent of which are facilitated by having a scalemate attached to my belt.). Maybe I could just bring my Snowman hat, but then it will get stolen and worn by other people and I will freak out about lice and be very sad.

This is what it is like in my head all the time, of course. Homestuck and thinking about my hair.

The downside to bringing Lemonsnout is that he's currently, erm, a bit tied up since it was appropriate to the last con we attended together. But that might serve as a good way of finding a *different* sort people I am often interested in having conversations with. Although seriously, the collar has a proven track record of finding me people I like at NEFFA, so I could leave it at that. Unless I am too lazy to untie him which is likely, because face it, it's me. (And because I'm damn proud of that karada.)

ANYWAYS, now that I have thoroughly digressed into Homestuck (seriously Sor, you are a little bit pathetic sometimes, you do know that right? I mean, I know it's the first time you've ever really been part of an active fandom, and that it excites you, but still! Except that it makes you happy, and sometimes you even create things because of it, and to be perfectly honest, creating things is amazing. So I think we're going to be okay with this, and not call myself pathetic because I am happy. OKAY, GOOD, YAY ACCOMPLISHMENTS.) I still have the problem that I have no idea what to pack.

I also have the problem that I write a lot of things in parens and they render my entries a little bit less readable, but y'all can DEAL with that. HA. But back to my original question:

What do I pack for forty-eight hours of dancing, interspersed with playing games, lying around in the sunshine if there is any, and SOCIALSOCIALSOCIAL?

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Sketch of me wearing one of Zaphod's outfits from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie (Zaph-me)
I would like to inform the internet that Kevin's peas are frozen.

This is specifically for reasons of google, that's why.

Square Dancers are weird, is the usual reason for this sort of post.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So this weekend was the annual Tech Squares weekend hosted at East Hill farm up in New Hampshire. It was just under forty-eight hours of dancing, gaming, good food and excellent socialization. I slept for approximately five of them.

As a reference, I currently know the Modern Western Square Dance calls through A2. Square Dance levels go Basic, Mainstream, Plus (where anyone who graduates Tech Squares knows); Advanced 1 and 2; Challenge 1, 2, 3A, 3B, and 4.

Because I think it might be a more interesting way to do this sort of thing, awesome-good-meh-bad-ugly list! Reverse order, to end on a positive note.

I use a lot of terminology that I don't bother to define. Do ask if you need help with a phrase! )

Overall assessment? Doubledoubleplusplus, and I *will* be back next year for more. Thanks to everyone there who made it just about perfect, and I can't wait to see you all again --next Tuesday, next month, or next East Hill!

~Sor
MOOP!

PostScript: Everyone kept complimenting my earrings. I have all the yay!
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
So here's the thing. I was talking at it some with Nurit and Tracy over second breakfast, and it has reawkanened my urge to actually _do_ this thing. So let's talk about this thing and see if it gets anywhere good.

I want to host a regular dance night. This would be a chance to do quote "the kinds of dances I like, in the ways I like." unquote. It would probably happen once or twice a month, depending on money and time. Gender would be strictly uncoupled from role. You wouldn't have to bring a partner. The dancing would be both set stuff (SCD, vintage, contra, squares?) and couples stuff (waltzing, polkas, one-steps, swing). The secret project name1 for this idea is Oella North2.

1: I enjoy giving names to secret projects. I almost never use these names publicly (despite the fact that I could), but I do enjoy having them.

2: Oella prime would, of course, be the bi-monthly dancing that happens at the Westchester Community Center in Oella Maryland or something. It is run by Larry, largely because he wanted a space to do the sorts of dancing he enjoys mot, in the ways he likes. It's the best thing ever, despite being very very small, and I miss it dearly.


In a perfect world, I would be able to find a space that would fit...let's say ten couples or three squares/SCD sets. It wouldn't cost more than about 150$ for four hours (which would probably be no more than three hours of dancing with some time before and after for set-up and socializing). It would be T accessible, and on my side of the Charles River. In a really perfect world I would have a better job, and be able to just pay for this space once a month without worrying about if the donations hat3 got enough money to cover it.

3: Which is to say, I would be hoping for/expecting people to toss me some money, which I would then use to host more dances or buy delicious food or whatever.

Now, there is a space on the fourth floor of Porter Exchange that is perfect in size and location. I need to find out if I can rent it, how much it costs, and if there are alumni advantages, because I really want to do this. If I can't rent that space, I want to find out if there's another good place that would meet my semi-arbitrary parameters. And then comes the hard part.

The hard part is planning dances. My general theory is that they'd start as...not private, but not exactly largely announced, either. I would invite a bunch of friends, and welcome them to invite other friends, but I wouldn't be making announcements at other dances, or passing out flyers.

The dances that would happen would be, officially, an assortment of things I liked. It would depend who would be around to dance with me, but I would be encouraging/hoping for doing some more challenging figures and applications. There would be a fair amount of waltzing, and polkas.

I would like it a lot if there could be teaching --I could do some, cross-step waltz4, some Scottish Country5, maybe some Regency, a little bit of one-step or polkas...but that's it. Swing, blues, contra, squares, lindy, ECD, international, flailing...all of those would have to have other people be willing to come in and teach.

4: Although I don't know a ton of variations, so that would be frequent harassment of Susan de Gardiola and perusal of YouToobs.

5: Except I'm not certified to teach, and I don't know if that means the RSCDS6 will send its goons out to kneecap me. I don't want to be kneecapped!

6: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society


Or we could just play the music and let people go for it. But honestly, I want to have teaching. Especially as part of the genesis for this is the idea of having a space to do Scottish Country where no one cares about your gender or who you're dancing with. I love the Springstep class, but man, it is upsettingly heteronormative sometimes. I want to be able to dance as a gent with an male person as my lady, and they simply won't let me ("think of the newbies!").

Regardless of how much teaching actually goes on, I don't think it'd be suggested as a group friendly to complete dance beginners. If you don't get the fundamentals of moving yourself to a rhythm, giving weight, and not crushing your partners' hands...maybe you should dance somewhere else for a bit.

I think I'm about done babbling for now, so I'd love to hear thoughts if anyone has them.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
I don't seem to have ever actually written this story down before, although I tell abridged versions of it relatively often. So here, have the explanation of how I started Scottish Country Dance.

My first semester of college (fall 2007) was a pretty great time. I was making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and spending a lot of time just wandering around and exploring the world. You don't know what freedom is until you've moved six hundred miles away from home.

One of the people I was spending a fair amount of time with was my friend MagusMarc. He and I had met about three years prior, at Origins, chatted online for a while, lost track of each other, and remet at Balticon '06. From there, we were talking regularly and became pretty good online friends. When I moved to Boston, it turned out that he lived just about a mile away from Lesley. He was my only local geeky friend, and one of my only adult friends, and in general a nice alternative for when the college kids got too immature or mainstream for me.

As it got towards Thanksgiving, my computer was starting to act up a little bit. I assumed nothing too bad was going on, and when Mr Belm picked me up (I stayed the night after Thanksgiving at his place) he offered to run some computerwizardy on Seren1 for me. The computer proved to be more a challenge than he could endure, and so I left it with him on Sunday --he let me borrow his clamshell2 so I'd have a computer for school, and agreed to take Vera off to the mac store.

On Monday, I was out and about with some college friends, when I received the phone call from Dave. Seren's hard drive had self-destructed There was no chance of getting _anything_ off it, and the drive would just have to be replaced.

I was devastated.

I had gotten the laptop at the end of August. I'd been using it exclusively for three straight months, and everything, everything, was gone. All my photos, all my bookmarks, all my college work, all my writing, and most importantly, Behind the Walls version 2.0. My diary.

Since we were in the area, I politely excused myself from Dominik and the twins. I walked to Marc's house, and knocked on the door. "Distract me?" I whimpered, recalling other times when he'd been good enough to give me comfort.

"Well, I'm going dancing soon." he replied, and that made perfect sense to me. I went along with him, to Scottish Country Dance, and had a good enough time of things (despite having the worst possible shoes). And that might have been it. Except.

On Wednesday or so, I got my computer back with a shiny new hard drive, and a surprise external drive (early Christmas gift). I named her Vera Serenfreude, based on Dan and Tho's suggestions. She is a wonderful wonderful beast, and even if she's getting old and cranky, thank god she's managed to get old.

The following weekend, I went home to Maryland. There were several goals for this visit --surprise mom, surprise Veronica, go see Rocky Horror and the LRHS play3. There was also one major thing that happened that hadn't been planned --I broke up with kSatyr, who I had been dating for about ten months at the time.

From noon Sautrday to noon Sunday I spent equal numbers of hours crying and sleeping.

I believe the actual number is something like "three"

BtW 2.1, 2December2007

So Monday I was back in town4. and I again show up at Marc's. I tell him what had happened, and I ask. "Distract me?"

From then, it was a tradition. I danced three weeks of December, went home on break, and came back and danced every week after. I kept dancing even after Marc stopped being able to make it, even after he moved away. I've dragged as many friends as I could (and Tricia and Jesse both _stayed_, at least for a little while!) and don't intend to stop. Due to Scottish, I've found two partners, gone to one con, and eaten slices from *way* too many cakes.

It's been four years now. It's one of the things I enjoy most in the world. And while I hate that the impetus had to be a tragedy, because those tragedies led me to dancing, they were absolutely worth it, every bit5.

Cheers.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: "Don't you mean Vera?" Keep reading.

2: one of these. I still want one _so bad_. Such a comfortable laptop!

3: Unfortunately the only one I made after I had graduated LRHS. I feel bad about that.

4: And my arrival back in Boston is a different strong memory --the first time my heart ever sang out that I was Home.

5: There are parts of the story that I never tell, but that you might know anyways. SCD, and everything and everyone I've gotten from it? Yeah. Yeah, they're worth that too. Every. Single. Fucking. Bit.


(Apologies to anyone who saw this twice --it didn't want to crosspost)
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
I don't seem to have ever actually written this story down before, although I tell abridged versions of it relatively often. So here, have the explanation of how I started Scottish Country Dance.

My first semester of college (fall 2007) was a pretty great time. I was making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and spending a lot of time just wandering around and exploring the world. You don't know what freedom is until you've moved six hundred miles away from home.

One of the people I was spending a fair amount of time with was my friend MagusMarc. He and I had met about three years prior, at Origins, chatted online for a while, lost track of each other, and remet at Balticon '06. From there, we were talking regularly and became pretty good online friends. When I moved to Boston, it turned out that he lived just about a mile away from Lesley. He was my only local geeky friend, and one of my only adult friends, and in general a nice alternative for when the college kids got too immature or mainstream for me.

As it got towards Thanksgiving, my computer was starting to act up a little bit. I assumed nothing too bad was going on, and when Mr Belm picked me up (I stayed the night after Thanksgiving at his place) he offered to run some computerwizardy on Seren1 for me. The computer proved to be more a challenge than he could endure, and so I left it with him on Sunday --he let me borrow his clamshell2 so I'd have a computer for school, and agreed to take Vera off to the mac store.

On Monday, I was out and about with some college friends, when I received the phone call from Dave. Seren's hard drive had self-destructed There was no chance of getting _anything_ off it, and the drive would just have to be replaced.

I was devastated.

I had gotten the laptop at the end of August. I'd been using it exclusively for three straight months, and everything, everything, was gone. All my photos, all my bookmarks, all my college work, all my writing, and most importantly, Behind the Walls version 2.0. My diary.

Since we were in the area, I politely excused myself from Dominik and the twins. I walked to Marc's house, and knocked on the door. "Distract me?" I whimpered, recalling other times when he'd been good enough to give me comfort.

"Well, I'm going dancing soon." he replied, and that made perfect sense to me. I went along with him, to Scottish Country Dance, and had a good enough time of things (despite having the worst possible shoes). And that might have been it. Except.

On Wednesday or so, I got my computer back with a shiny new hard drive, and a surprise external drive (early Christmas gift). I named her Vera Serenfreude, based on Dan and Tho's suggestions. She is a wonderful wonderful beast, and even if she's getting old and cranky, thank god she's managed to get old.

The following weekend, I went home to Maryland. There were several goals for this visit --surprise mom, surprise Veronica, go see Rocky Horror and the LRHS play3. There was also one major thing that happened that hadn't been planned --I broke up with kSatyr, who I had been dating for about ten months at the time.

From noon Sautrday to noon Sunday I spent equal numbers of hours crying and sleeping.

I believe the actual number is something like "three"

BtW 2.1, 2December2007

So Monday I was back in town4. and I again show up at Marc's. I tell him what had happened, and I ask. "Distract me?"

From then, it was a tradition. I danced three weeks of December, went home on break, and came back and danced every week after. I kept dancing even after Marc stopped being able to make it, even after he moved away. I've dragged as many friends as I could (and Tricia and Jesse both _stayed_, at least for a little while!) and don't intend to stop. Due to Scottish, I've found two partners, gone to one con, and eaten slices from *way* too many cakes.

It's been four years now. It's one of the things I enjoy most in the world. And while I hate that the impetus had to be a tragedy, because those tragedies led me to dancing, they were absolutely worth it, every bit5.

Cheers.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: "Don't you mean Vera?" Keep reading.

2: one of these. I still want one _so bad_. Such a comfortable laptop!

3: Unfortunately the only one I made after I had graduated LRHS. I feel bad about that.

4: And my arrival back in Boston is a different strong memory --the first time my heart ever sang out that I was Home.

5: There are parts of the story that I never tell, but that you might know anyways. SCD, and everything and everyone I've gotten from it? Yeah. Yeah, they're worth that too. Every. Single. Fucking. Bit.


(Apologies to anyone who saw this twice --I had to repost due to crossposting issues)

Pinewoods!

Jul. 18th, 2011 12:30 am
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So behind on everything. If you had adventures this week you'd like me to know about, please link or explain in comments (or e-mail if they're that sort of exciting.)

Pinewoods was Truly Excellent. It felt wonderful and homey and kept me busy enough that I didn't even notice that I wasn't online. (Seriously, it wasn't until I got home and realized I was missing a week of "what are people up to" that it hit me.)

there's a fuck-load more detail under here )

And yes, I will be doing everything in my power to make sure I go back next year.

~Sor
MOOP!

(Pee-Ess: You'll notice I didn't bother to explain any of the SCD terminology or nothin'. Just ask if you really want to know, and I will try to give examples!)

1: Rah rah rah-ah-ah; Alle-Allemande; Pas-Pas Pas-de-bas; That's a Scottish Dance!
sorcyress: A character from a comic about the maintenance workers of the universe, holding a thumbs up and saying "MOOP!" (Zonker-MOOP!)
So, let's talk a whole bunch about dancing, now that I have ranted at Marc some, and so I have removed all the anger and returned to just frustration.

First off, and mostly unrelated, I feel there ought to be a seminar at things like NEFFA and Flurry which just goes through some of the beginning dance things that can apply to multiple dance forms. Things like "Give weight" or "the most important part of a figure dance is ending in the right spot". Also, up is towards the music, down is away from the music, heads are the people facing or backs to the music, sides are the people with their sides to the music.

Though in all honesty, I can distill all of dancing into three things that everyone should know: Get to the right spot. Give weight. If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.

***

Second off...heh. Yeah.

So, today was the Regency tea dance, where I was again specifically asked by one of the local1 dance historians/teachers to never dance the lady's role while dressed as a gentleman (or perhaps to never have a male partner dance the lady's role while I danced gentleman, which is a problematic distinction, so out of charity I will assume I was asked the first2). The reason is for the sake of the newbies --fine, whatever, it is indeed easier for a new dancer to identify the gentleman and lady's sides of the dance when the people on them are appropriately garbed.

However, if you are going to require me not dance in the lady's role while a gent, then I am going to require two very important things from the dance community at large.

First of all, I require gentlemen to stop asking me to dance. This happens at least once at every ball I go to, and tonight it happened three times for the same dance, which is exasperating, offensive, and time-consuming. If a gent asks me to dance, I must politely explain that I am a gentleman3, disentangle myself from him, and find an eligible lady. This wastes my time, and it wastes the time of my fellow gentleman.

To the end of the dance masters and mistresses, perhaps the best thing you can do to discourage this is to refer to me properly, as a gentleman, when explaining dances. Saying something akin to "and then you will dance with the gentleman across from you --or the lady dancing the gentleman's role" while referring to me4 does not encourage your dancers to treat me as a gentleman.

In more blunt terms, when I put on the full tailcoat et al, I am not a lady dancing the gentleman's role. I am a goddamned gentleman, and I will dance the gentleman's role, except in the most dire or intriguing circumstances.

The second thing I require is that, if you insist that gentlemen may not dance together, ladies may not be permitted to ask one another to dance until and unless there are no unpartnered gentlemen.

Oh no! This is terribly sexist, isn't it? Why can't ladies ask each other to dance? Well, because if all the ladies on the floor are dancing with each other, and I am left alone at the end with another gent, our choices are to not dance, which goes against every reason I am here5, or to split up another couple, which always feels *terribly* rude to me. Perhaps the other couple is a pair of old friends, who do not see or dance with one another near oft enough. Perhaps one of the other couple is not comfortable dancing with men. Perhaps one is trying to learn how to dance the role of a gent, or is more comfortable doing such. Certainly, they may be quite pleased to be split apart, but especially when they flocked to one another in the early stages of choosing partners, it feels cruel to demand they separate.

So, if gentlemen are not allowed to dance together, then the ladies must wait until all the gents who wish to dance have partnered before joining hands. And certainly, a lady may ask a gent (and I am always honoured and pleased when it occurs to me) in order to expedite this process, but she may not be allowed to ask another lady until there are no unpaired gentlemen.

Now, for what it's worth, I think that second rule is complete and utter bullshit. When I am clothed as a lady, or clothed gender neutrally, I often ask other women to dance, in either role, because there are many people I like dancing with, and not all of them happen to dance the gentleman's role. I am fond of this ability.

Furthermore, I am perfectly willing to dance with another gentleman. Honest. I won't freak out or feel I've lost out on an important flirtation6, or feel otherwise cheated. I know many gentlemen --male, female, or queer identified-- who feel the same way, and are perfectly willing to dance either role with another gent.

And no, I'm not even encouraging male/male dancing7 (though I will happily get argumentative about that as well). I am simply pointing out that you cannot insist gentlemen not dance together unless they are in surplus, and still allow the ladies to dance together whenever they please, thereby potentially locking gentlemen out of the dance entirely.

***

Mostly unrelatedly, I also refuse to ever follow the rules of gentlemen not dancing together when it comes to couple dances at balls or other dances where there are very few of such, like only a single "last waltz". Nine times out of ten, the person I bring to dance with me is male identified, so I am _damn well_ going to dance the "special" dance with him. There is no gentleman's or lady's side to throw off the newbies with, and if it's a special important "dance the last waltz with your sweetie" dance, I see no reason why charity towards an inexperienced or unpartnered lady is more important than me getting to dance with my special important sweetie. If that makes me cruel, I happily accept the title8.

***

Almost entirely unrelatedly, it makes me weary that I so often get into conversations about costuming, and someone assumes that I am clearly looking for advice or resources to put together a proper lady's ballgown and corsetry. Um. No, I'm sorry, I am wearing this tailcoat and waistcoat because I prefer to dance the gentleman's role9 identify as a gentleman at Regency events. It is not some sort of hand-me-down "pity" garb, that I am only using until I can get an appropriate gown. I know this is a huge gender-issues clusterfuck of a thing, and will probably not be fixed in my lifetime, but man, it hurts so stupid much every time someone invalidates my masculinity by insisting or implying that I am clearly a lady, I just happen to be wearing guy's clothes.

Um, beyond that, the tea dance was fun, albeit simple, and I should never be the best dancer10 at a Regency event, that is just heinously wrong. There were delicious cookies. People complimented me on my garb, and my ludicrous non-period hat (FEATHERS).

Also, word on the rumour mill is that maybe there might be some sort of Regency-for-Scottish-dancers in Boston sometime (knock on wood), so hopefully that will happen and more of you will be available. If not, I will just have to dance with you otherwise, huzzah!

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Where local covers the upper half of the east coast

2: If you are saying that I *may*, when dressed as a gentleman, dance in the lady's role without that being problematic in terms of confusing newbies, where a cisgendered male dressed as a gentleman dancing the lady's role *would* be problematic in terms of confusing newbies, then you are NOT ALLOWED to use any variation on "because newbies cue off costumes" for why gentlemen and ladies should stick to their own sides. Because my costume is decidedly and distinctly male.

I don't know that this happened. But I also don't know that it wouldn't happen, and I find that offensive as a genderqueer person in general, and as a male-identified dancer specifically.

3: It _maddens_ me that I have to do this. It is not like I am wearing a relatively genderneutral t-shirt and jeans. I am in knee breaches, hose, a shirt, waistcoat, cravat, and tailcoat, and somehow people still assume I am dancing the lady's role? I am not talking about friends wanting a dance with me, I am talking about complete strangers who come up and ask me. What. The. Hell.

4: I'm not clear if this actually happened today, but it has certainly happened before, and even if the teacher was referring to one of the lady-identified people dancing the gentleman's role, I got more than a few glances from around the room.

5: I go dancing to dance. Everything else is secondary. I don't give a shit about your costumes, your food, or your gender roles, all I want is music and a dance.

6: I have been made livid about certain conversations in which it was pointed out that you can't have genderbalance by having a fem/fem couple, one of whom always dances the gentleman's role, because the women who danced with that female-as-gent would feel "cheated" out of a dance with a "real" male. Which is one of the reasons I've been told I can't go to Newport as a boy (in order to increase my chances of getting in). I shit you not, that is some queerphobic bull-fucking-shit right there, and I don't pander to *phobes.

7: As in, men specifically making a point of asking other men to dance, at the beginning of the "finding partners" portion of a dance, (as opposed to the end when there are no other available partners) which, yes, I suppose could technically deprive two whole ladies of dancing. Because they can't possibly dance together. Because --I shouldn't start this rant. Basically, it boils down to "everyone should learn every part, because then everyone can dance more".

8: Is Kat perhaps bitter about two assemblies ago? Noooo, how could such a thing be true!

9: I feel I should point out that in all truth, for all dancing, I prefer to be as ambidancetrous as possible --dance as evenly split down the lead/follow (or lady/gent) line as possible. However, if I am formally dressed in the costume of one gender or another, that means I am much more inclined to be dancing the role I'm presenting.

And I do really love dancing the gent in Regency. There's a lot of flirtation, gentlemen get more and better solo sequences, and I happen to prefer vests to basically every dress ever. Now that I think of it, I should change the wording up there --regardless of what role I dance, I vastly prefer to dress the gent.

10: [livejournal.com profile] genarti may very well have had the footwork and figures better than me, and there were certainly a few of the EA/CVD folks who both knew what they were doing, and had the springyness to support it. But I was decidedly in the top tier, and that is _insanely_ inappropriate for my skill level, and that of the people I know.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
The other night, after dancing and hanging out with the roommate and eating Berryline (mmmm, pumpkin pie flavour), and picking up my bags and walking to the Harvard T-stop, I found myself in an interesting place.

That place was standing in the middle of a subway car, with no more than about six other people, scattered throughout. And that place was with my ipod on, and listening to music, a thing I have not done a lot of lately.

And when the bouncy music started, I looked around the subway car and dropped my bags on an empty seat.

And danced.

I danced like an idiot, bobbing to the music in my head, piped in through my broken little earbuds. I twirled and hopped and one-stepped and stamped, and found myself grabbing and rebounding from pole to pole. I danced like an idiot, flailing about in a most excitable manner, doing something best described as "rocking out".

And I got some odd looks from the other subway patrons, and I got other odd looks when I transferred to the silver line and found enough space to do more of the same (though there was also the man who smiled at me, when I glanced at him between thrashing to Bad Romance) but you know, I will take all the odd looks in the world. Because who cares if it gets me odd looks --I made a choice about the kind of person I wanted to be, and I am incredibly happy about which I chose.

Namely, that you can be the kind of person who wants to dance on the subway, and does, or you can be the kind of person who wants to dance on the subway, but doesn't. And oh sure, sometimes there will reasons you can't --it'll be too crowded, or the music just won't be right-- but all in all, I am incredibly satisfied with who I am.

Because however else I exist, and however else I feel about myself, I love myself when dancing, and always will. I've been dancing by myself behind closed doors before too long. It's time to stop worrying that other people will judge me for something that brings me joy. Fuck 'em.

I am the kind of person who, when she wants to dance on the subway, does so. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
I don't wanna go to physics class, I wanna go back to snugglin' Brenton before he leaves for a month and then I want to play with my bicycle which means roam around and get a helmet and lock and stuff even if they are going to cost me a zillion dollars because dude, necessary.

Have I mentioned here that I have a bike now? This is basically the most exciting thing ever, and I will give you a better reaction tomorrow, which is officially play on my bike for the first time day (after therapy and before homework).

Anywho, gonna sundriespost later today, as well as try and refine the thing I wrote last week after Tech Squares so it is a little less abrasive (I got...ranty about dancing of various sorts) also, apparently I have to fight Kendra sometime because two couple dances should start ones and threes zohmgod1. Yeah, aforementioned unposted post talks about that some too, as that seems to be my current campaign.

ANYWAYS, I should throw a bag together properly so that I can go to class and then to Diesel (where I will write my words for the day and arrrrrrg notime) and then to Tech Squares and then to...somewhere. I don't know. Byeeee!

~Sor
MOOP!

1: This is me being passionate about SCD, meaning ninety-five percent of you can safely ignore it. Also, she's probably right, in terms of the dance being properly done and remaining in the established formalities of the form, but I'm also inclined to say that I'm probably right, in terms of everyone getting to dance as much as possible.

In short, I am sorry Kendra, I like you and do not actually want to fight.

Ruth.

Jul. 28th, 2010 12:32 am
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
I danced on my grandmother's grave today.

My mother's mother, who died before I was born, before my parents ever even met, and who I have interacted with, as it were, exactly once prior, when I was very young. But all of a sudden, we've a reason to be in the middle of the country again, and time, and mom was able to find that the cemetery was not very far away at all, only a couple hours drive.

So this morning mom and I left the house and drove for many miles, and arrived all of a sudden at a little patch of green and stone in the middle of the world. We drove up to the family plot, and we took pictures of the headstones while my mother told me stories of relatives I've never known and linked the family tree together for me.

I sat for a bit by Grandma Ruth's headstone, and talked at her, in my own way. I was honest, about the poly thing and stuff, and I think she's okay with all of it. Everything I've ever heard of her makes me like her.

And before we left, mom and I took hands and we danced on my grandmother's grave, three generations of women named Ruth, and it was nice. It was right.

(I find it interesting that I can't define the characteristics that make a situation feel "right", but even so I attach an importance to making sure my world feels thus.)

And that's me. Someone remind me to go back and visit again in another decade or so. I've a precedent set now, after all.

~K. Ruth
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So, the other day I was going through old 750words posts and stuff, and pulled out a bunch of things that I thought were worth saying in public.

A lot of them are kinda depressing, because I think words often flow better when they've got a pinch of melancholic to them. But here. It's like a sundries post, only just with things I've written.

Author's notes are in italics




There is a boy.
Who likes me and other girls.
And likes me more _anyways_.

***

Being loved by someone sweet and devoted to me is nice, and I love them all for it.

But being loved by someone sweet and devoted to me over other girls is just a whole different realm of exciting. And of course, we don't actually have much of a romantic relationship at all, but still.

I've never been the girl who wins before. It's the scariest damn thing, but gods help me, I like it.

Yeah, this was really startling when I realized it for the first time, and I still kinda refuse to believe it's true.

And of course, there is no "winning" in poly (except maybe making everyone involved in your relationship scheme happy) but there's also not quite a word to express what I mean here. I am perfectly content to be right where I am in all the relationships I'm in --hence the reason I'm in them-- but sometimes it's nice to realize all a sudden that someone thinks you're special enough to set aside a girl who is clearly hotter and more interesting than you are.





...then it just hurts more and I am tired of it hurting _more_. Things aren't supposed to keep hurting more. Shouldn't pain level out at some point?

Yes. Yes it should. I think this particular pain might've gotten close to level for now, the problem is just that level is a lot of pain, and so I can only lock it away for so long before it rages at me again.

What, no, I'm not emo, nope.





I hate because the only other option is to hurt, and this hurts so bad I'm not sure I can deal.

I don't remember who or what I hate here. Very plausibly myself.




And really, if you don't have all your words sorted out beforehand, if you don't know what you're going to say, what's the point of trying to say it anyways? I'm a fucking writer, if I can't put a problem into words, there's probably not much of a problem in the first place.

...and even if I can put it into words, I'm a cynic, and a victim and extremely clever. If I can put it into words, I can figure out arguments against the problem until it no longer exists, or boils down to just me being a tiny idiot. And no one but me can fix me being a tiny idiot.

And this is why I am not very good at speaking up when there is something wrong in one of my relationships. If I can sort it out on my own, because I was just being silly, why would I bother my partner?

Yeah, I'm _really_ not good at this relationship thing. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.





And when the going gets tough, I am presented with one option -to overwhelm myself in sensation.

Tense certain muscles past any reasonable point, shut my eyes tight, or stare meditatively into something lovely, or run and run until the body runs out of energy, or most used of all, drown my internal monologue in music.

I drown myself in music all the time. Hell, let's be honest here, it's one of the most useful coping mechanisms I currently have in order to fight bottom. I get sad, I pump on the Next to Normal, or s00j, or Vienna, or whatever else I've got, and I make the sad, if not go away, at least have to struggle past the noise to actually get to me.

It's a really really nice coping mechanism. It also means that I'm going to be deaf before I turn thirty.

My made up mind was not put here for you to try and change. Cheers, s00j.




But the best part of today is that I've hit upon two separate things that make me incredibly _incredibly_ happy.

The first is pretty logical. Giving Blood. Me donating a pint makes me both incredibly pleased with myself, and punchy as fuck due to the light-headedness. I am okay with this state of affairs, especially if it makes me unlazy enough to go give blood more often than the twice yearly I've been doing.

Speaking of which, I'm almost eligible again. Anyone want to go to the red cross with me this weekend?




I am amused by Hyde, protecting me from the ghosts that lurk for hours after I read anything creepytastic, no matter how far I remove myself from the immediate.

"Don't worry dear. There is nothing in this house as scary as I. Except maybe for you."

Oh, excellently played you delightful fucker.

y'all do know who Hyde is, right? He lives in my head and gives me not terribly good advice. Because I am, say it with me folks, a little bit broken.




I am, for the first time in my life, willingly sitting out while actively at dance.

I just...don't feel like dancing. I'd say maybe I'm tired, except I know I've danced in physically worse shape before --and that's not even counting on the sprained ankle!

No, I just can't cope with the idea of doing more dances tonight. There is apparently a point where the pain of dance overtakes the pleasure --I know, I didn't realize it could happen either. But there is, and I've finally hit it.

***

I don't want to sob in the middle of the dance hall, in the middle of a waltz. I don't know that I could explain why if I did. I do know that I don't ever want to have to. I hate crying, I hate the pain, and I hate people giving me sympathy, because I hate being weak enough to need other people.

All I want is to just be strong enough to survive independent of outside forces. Maybe that means I need to break up with everyone, not have outside forces that affect me any longer. GO LIVE IN A CAVE AND BE A HERMIT, SOR!

I am such a whiny cunt1. It is beyond me why anyone at all gives a damn about me in the first place. :P

Cunt explained below. No, you don't get an explanation for the rest of it. But this is a pretty common mental path --emo -> yelling at myself for being emo.




Dog and I get along well, and that's really really important.

I need to remember that having friends who I can bitch about the odd parts of my life to are a really crucial thing for me to have. I also need to remember how much I appreciate having friends who will slap me down when I am using inappropriate language, or otherwise being an elitist jerk. (see also, Jesse glaring at me when I used bitch. I want to give him a cookie and a hug for that alone)

Dog is awesome. I really want to hang out with him more this fall, when I'm back in Boston.




(I don't know how to feel about the fact that I'm using Amanda right now for a little extra bit of stability. She is a fucking idiot. But her art, when it's good...

It's good. It's the best. Right now I am angry and hurt and sad and scared. And that is the perfect mood for listening to Amanda, because she will reinforce the parts that are okay to be reinforced, and she will eradicate the parts that need to just Go Away.

I use music to blank myself out. She's really really good at that.

Hate the artist, love the art? I don't even know anymore. It is so hard to be a good person sometimes.)

Can we have an Amandadebate-free space in my journal comments? I'd appreciate that.

Yes, this is all just because I handle arguments extremely poorly, and I can't freak out and walk four miles in this state.





I find it telling that I've had two boys in a row who were just for sex. And I'm in love with both of them.

Sex is a bit of a misnomer --I have what the Shakers2 call an "unsullied cunt", which is apparently terribly valuable and should be protected at all costs. But boys who I am into with the kissing and such, and not the romantics. And...yeah. My traitor of a heart has started to sigh wistfully, and doodle our initials together on my school notebooks.




The emotion involved, this is more than sex. Sex is just endorphins and dopamine. Waltzing is...joy.

So, I almost just wrote "fucking _this_" as my author's note. Which means that I just tried to emphatically agree with something I wrote. So, uh, yeah, I'm a bit of an idiot.




~Sor
MOOP!

1: This is not a word that I should use. It's a slur, flat and simple, and I should not use it to refer to myself (which I do, occasionally), or any other woman (which I don't.)

That being said, there are a lot of things I call myself that no one else may touch, and yes, cunt is one of them. There's a hardness to it, all edges and corners and sharp, and in some moods, the words I feel that fit best are the words that fit this hardness.

2: See also, Shakesville here, and the specific origin of the term unsullied cunt here.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
NEFFA!

Because I don't have my standard tweet-form con report to make here (I made like five tweets all weekend, and half of them were directed towards [livejournal.com profile] ncarraway), I'm going to liberally steal a page from Sparr's book, and give you a Awesome/Good/Bad/Ugly report.

So, The Awesome:
*Budding friendship with [livejournal.com profile] zombie_dog is going Very Well Indeed, and it was really nice to have NewFriend energy to fall back on when the con got overwhelming, since I think that might be the one sort of social interaction that actively recharges me.
*I rock the hell out of a cross-step waltz, and Susan deG ran an intermediate workshop this year which I rocked the *hell* out of.
*Friday night had a really excellent contra-waltz1 and a *really* excellent contra with this just gorgeous hippie-boy who had that perfect knack of looking straight into your eyes and making you feel like you're the only woman on the planet. We chatted at various other points, and I gave him my card, so maybe I'll get to keep in touch.
*Afterwards, going to dinner with peeps, and breaking out the magnets for them to play with.2, 3

The Good:
*So, the other Monday at SCD, the really good dance teacher was all "so, you suck at pas de basque setting, actually" and I was all "oh nooooooooooooes" and have been trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. The good is that, due to all the contra, and the fact that I balance using pas de basque, I got so much practise in. I think I kinda know how to correct myself, I just need to make that the habit (instead of what I've been doing wrong) and then polish!
*Contra in general is pretty good.
*Gender-free contra! Also, the fact that I can easily dance contra while switching roles with my partner.
*Snuggling with Nurit, spending time with Persis and David.
*Last contra with Alex

The Indifferent:
*No kissing.
*Dancing a contra with the abovementioned hippie and a friend of his in varying configurations of two of us being the lead and the other being the follow.
*Last waltz with a guy I barely know from Concord, which might have actually been the most perfect partner I could've chosen.

The Bad:
*No [livejournal.com profile] ncarraway to kisschat with. Or kiss. Or chat with. I honestly can't say which was better offhand.
*No at least two or three other people who I would've loved to see
*Didn't actually manage to dance with [livejournal.com profile] springiswrath which is a damn shame
*Barely hung out with Susan, which is also a shame. Maybe at Balticon we'll get in a good gossip session.
*Being worn out of energy for most of Saturday was harsh.
*Not enough dancing.

The Ugly:
*Subtly breaking down crying while watching friends do dance performance was PRETTY SHITTY, LET ME TELL YOU.4
*Also, not having a shoulder to break down onto like the last time I did this (coff, NEFFA2007, whatnow?)

There might be more, but I've got a job to go do, and I wanted to turn into a civilized human being first. Aieee, late late. Ta!

~Sor
MOOP!

1: I get elitist about contra dancers and their complete inability to waltz --yes, yes, doing all the flourishes is rather pretty, but can you go in the direction of the line of dance? Please?! So yes, I will occasionally waltz with contra dancers, but I get fairly frustrated as they are too busy being flashy to either waltz as well as I'd like them to, or bother trying to learn what I have to teach.

2: No, you didn't miss one. Due to the nature of how I'm putting this together, the footnotes are out of order as well.

3: "Magnets? What magnets?" Ask Sparr --he gave me 200 of these at Arisia. They are *awesome*.

4: Will I go into more detail on this later? Maybe. I'm working on putting all the right words together into an essay about my emotional responses to waltzing (especially cross-step waltz), but it's nowhere near done, and even when it becomes done, it might be far too personal for me to actually post.

In short, waltzing with people I have an intimate relationship with, has started to hurt. And I have many many thoughts, so I probably will try to post, but yeah.

If we've waltzed in the last three months, and I've looked like I wanted to cry, I probably did. *shrugs*. And that is life, and I have no intentions of stopping waltzing, no matter how much it hurts, because I have *never* been good at that whole self preservation instinct.

(And because during the act, while I'm moving, while I am actively dancing it is impossible to cry. Being fourth couple in a Scottish set? Oh sure, the mopey parts of my mind can take over. But while I am actively moving? I am fine forever.)
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So, I'm gonna be at NEFFA this year. Last year, I connected my phone to twitter for the very first time, and made a NEFFA report out of all the tweets I made over the weekend.

This year, I don't have a working phone, and I find it unlikely that I'll have Vera anywhere near at hand at any point during the actual dancing. So, you're gonna have to settle for whatever I can remember after the festival is over.

In the meantime, be good! If you're looking for me, I will be working:

Media Wrangler -- Saturday 1:00-3:00PM
Media Wrangler -- Saturday 5:30-6:30PM
DJ, HS auditorium -- Saturday 8:15-9:30PM

And I hope to be dancing at:

Scottish Country Dance -- Friday 8PM
Intermediate Cross-Step Waltz -- Saturday 11:00AM

In addition, I'm probably gonna do a damn lot of contra dancing --roughly whenever I'm not busy doing other things.
Yes, curling up in cuddleheaps full of people I like definitely counts as other things.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
So, Monday at dance! I wind up grabbing [livejournal.com profile] _meej_ to dance, for logical reasons --he's fun, and a good dancer, and I don't dance with him nearly enough.

He runs off to grab a drink of water, and I go find us a set. Common courtesy in Scottish Country Dancing states that when the lead is not there while the sets are being formed and counted, the follow stand in the lead position, so as to make it easier to tell how many couples there are. I make a point of doing this, because it's polite to the couple doing the counting, and makes a lot of sense.

For whatever interesting reason, I'm distracted, and don't notice when DJ comes back. So there's a moment, where we're both standing together on the lead side of the dance. We banter, and I take a step towards the follow side.

"I mean, do you want to lead?" he offers, totally sincere.

And so I did. A female lead, which is not totally unbeknownst, and a male follow which almost always is. I thanked him generously after the dance, but I feel it bears repeating here, because honestly? Helping me fuck with the highly gendered lead/follow conventions at dance means SO MUCH to me.

There are reasons to keep a male/female split for set dances, most of them having to do with helping the beginners identify where in the dance they need to be facing at any given time --saying "face the ladies" is a little visually easier than a new dancer trying to remember which side exactly is the follow side, as well as keeping up and down and across the dance all in their head at the same time.

But when you're in a group of people who have some idea of what they're doing? There is no reason1 that women can't lead or men can't follow, and I really do appreciate it every time I see it happen.

((And remember kids! If you know how to lead *and* follow, that means you have twice as many potential people to dance with as the people who only know one!))

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Okay, fine, if we're being really pedantic I'll accept "Allemandes" as a reason. But it's not a boy/girl reason, it's a short/tall reason --it is damn hard for me to lead a significantly taller guy in an Allemande, it's impossible to tell where the hell the arms go. But there are work-arounds for that, and like I said, doesn't have jack shit to do with gender except as far as your average woman is shorter than your average man.
sorcyress: xkcd panel with a single character alone at the computer and the text "Some nights, typing *hug* just doesn't cut it." (xkcd hug)
I realized, on further consideration while seated in the stairwell where I am not meant to be, still not home because the promise of safety was too tempting, and then the floor too distracting, that I have not had a final waltz tonight.

(I sat, very specifically out, and was told by a friend that he saw why I had such high standards for waltzing.)

And so, nevermind that dancing was long done an hour ago even, and my muscles are cold, and I am wearing sneakers and jeans, I determine that indeed, a final waltz is in order. For want of a proper partner, I select myself, and for want of a band, I polite request that Miss Vera Serenfreude volunteer. She complies, and so a song is played.

And some nights, it helps to wash the pain away with good cheer, and I applaud those nights with a full heart when they arise. But others, it is recognized useless to even try, and truly, the best way to fight some moods is to let them win.

Freedom is being alone. I fear liberation.

Which is not quite appropriate, but the pain in the words is there, and even if it is not my exact pain, it helps. I howl along in points, and sob at others, and more important than any and all else, I dance. It is not a pretty dance, or organized, or well thought out, but it is perfectly honest, and when it comes down to it, honesty is more important than aesthetics when one's partner is themselves.

And so I leave this message for you, Sorceress Katarina R. Ruth de D. de Whimsy de A. de MOOP! den Boston den Earth den MOOP! ged Athe ged Gaea (because such messages sent to the future must have all the appropriate names and titles listed, lest they arrive in the wrong hands.)

Dance. Give your pain to movement, and nevermind that you are cold and ache and have vision blurred by tears. There has not been better therapy devised by mortals or gods for you than this, and you would be ill advised by your self to attempt a faulty substitute. Shut the doors and pull the shades and just fucking dance.

It helps.

~Me.
MOOP!

((And to those who wonder and worry, the dancing was preceded by writing, for if dance is my therapy, writing is my sanity. The words are harsh and made in pain, but the messages are there to be sorted on the morrow. More stable responses will be made, Conversations will be had, and everything will be better tomorrow, simply by nature of the fact that I will have traveled through time until I reach such a day, and the sheer idea is a delight all by itself. Think of tonight not as a problem, rather the first step of a solution. Good day and good night.))

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sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Katarina Whimsy

November 2014

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