In which the Salsa Girl Goes to Boston

I would love to provide a fully elaborated tale of my past week’s adventures. I really would, but you see I spent the weekend dancing rather than sleeping and now I’m in that rather fuzzy post-dance-event state where anything that happened before the wonderfulness that was the weekend has slipped right out of my skull. I’ve pieced some of it together from my calendar but it’s fragmentary to say the least.

So, after my last blog, I had a little nap and set out to Taj to catch the last night of live music before the new year. With Pete Nater on trumpet and Jimmy Bosch sitting in on trombone? Well suffice to say it was a seriously hot night in the city.

The following day I got the red back in my hair, bought a gorgeous red dress for 50% the original thrift store price which was probably at least 75% off the original ticket price, and spent the rest of the afternoon moseying about the Met. You see, my mom gave me the best Christmas gift I’ve gotten in a long while: a year long membership to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I am planning to, over the course of the year, slowly make my way through the entire collection. Hopefully, by the end will have finally learned something of art history; or maybe I’ll just stare at lots of pretty things and be none the wiser. Check back with me in 2018 for an update on that one.

Wednesday and Thursday saw the weather turn wet and a bit wild which lead to rather a lot of lazing about reading, packing for the weekend, and generally taking it easy. I did make a donation run to Goodwill which ended with a few more delightfully cheap tops. And then at long last it was Friday.

Friday morning I got up early, tidied the house, put the finishing touches on my packing job and set off for the bus station. Predictably I was hideously early, but I didn’t miss my bus, and after 5 hours zooming across Connecticut I was finally in Framingham, Massachusetts ready to get my westie on.

I don’t even know how to describe the weekend, but let me say this: it was the best damn New Year’s I’ve had in years! I ended up tagging onto the Boston crowd for accommodation and without a moment’s hesitation they adopted me into their crew and the party began in earnest. We ate pizza, drank rum in every possible manifestation, and danced our little feetsies off. On New Year’s Eve we all got glammed up for dinner and a show. For a crew of people who live in comfy trousers and Toms, westies still clean up real nice! Though predictably, shortly after 12, the room of gowns and suits did a 180 back to comfy clothes and flat shoes. It’s a marked contrast from Salsa, but I do love that in West Coast Swing, with the exception of competition, comfort is ALWAYS king.

Partly because I’m a silly face who lost her bag and wanted to wait until the lights came up to find it, and partly because my dance congress brain kicked, I ended up staying up until the very end of the night. Yup, I made it to the breakfast club which is an achievement that I frequently claim at salsa events but not so often at Westie. And then somehow I managed to get my crazy self out of bed and down to the ballroom in time for workshops the next morning. After workshops there were the Jack n Jill finals which at this particular event were spotlights for everything but the newcomer division. And then to top it off there was a same sex routine division which featured two routines full of that most magical of dance talents, lead switching. After all the competitions, there were awards, dinner at a local Irish pub, and then, the best bit of any dance event, the Sunday night party.

The Saturday ight Survivors

The Saturday Night Survivors

Sunday nights are my favourite. They are quieter, lazier, more relaxed and altogether better than any other night of the event and this one was even better than most. We had a quick nap after dinner which may have ended up with four to a bed—it would have been five but one fell out and decided that the floor was a perfectly adequate place to sleep. After the nap, there was dancing and massaging, gossiping and drinking, and even a bit of coquito made my an actual Puerto Rican mother which was substantially better than any I’ve ever concocted. It was a regular westie lovefest. I’m going to skip on naming names lest I forget someone, but I have to say that the East Coast westie community just blew my mind with their openness, warmth, and general awesomeness. There were amazing shows, brilliant dances, and just so much good fun. Big thanks to the organizers of: the event, the Boston room block, and my involvement in both (yes, even the quiet folks working behind the scenes, using their connections to find me a place to stay)!

And then after all that wonderfulness, it was time for another 5+ hours on a bus, only this time it compounded my existing post-dance stiffness into a properly ruined back and shoulders. I dozed a bit on the bus, but was still terrifically exhausted when I hit solid ground in a very wet and tourist filled midtown. I seldom feel so New York as I do when I’m weaving through tourists cursing their slow walking and selfie sticks. Midtown is such a delight.

When I finally put my sodden self to bed, I would spend 10 hours sleeping before my alarm finally roused me to wakefulness as required by my massage appointment. My lovely sister sent me a gift certificate for a massage and right after a dance weekend seemed like the perfect time to use it. It felt like it did me an awful lot of good but then I spent the afternoon hauling laundry up and down stairs so I might have undone it all. We shall see how I feel tomorrow. Anyway, that brings us up to now where I am lounging around enjoying the very last little bits of idleness before tomorrow when I head back to work. It’s been one heck of a good holiday.

Tired but happy,
The Salsa Girl


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