In Which There is a Westie Weekend in Washington

Can it be? A Monday blog? Have I managed to drag myself back onto schedule? Yes, despite being swung over beyond belief, I am apparently going to write you all a blog. On a Monday. For the first time this month. Take a moment. I’ll still be here when you recover from the shock.

So what sort of silliness do I have to convey to you this week? I suppose I’ll probably start with work on Wednesday and go from there. I hit hump day hard with a busy day at work topped off by a late meeting that saw me dragging my carcass out of the office about an hour later than usual. Scintillating stuff, I know. After work, I had hoped to attend a ballet class, but the sleepies won and I decided to take a nap in the hope of recovering my civility and a touch of sanity before heading out to Westie Wednesdays. I’m not sure how successful I was. It was a R’n’B and Blues night which tends to make me more of a socializer than a dancer. I’m not saying I don’t like blues, blues can be really fun, but a whole night of it? With almost no contemporary? It’s just not my thing. Perhaps I’m a bit too picky about music.

I wish I could say I was responsible about my sleep needs, but who are we kidding. I need way more sleep than I’m willing to give myself. Here’s hoping I’ll someday adapt. But until then…Thursday saw me slogging through the work day with the combined sleep debt of Swinging New England topped off with a late night at Wednesday Westie. I made a detour to the doctor around midday to stock up on the corticosteroids, β2 agonists, and now also leukotriene receptor antagonists that keep my wallet empty and my lungs full—most of the time. I so love chronic illness, it’s the tops.

When I finished up at the office, it was time to head off to tutoring where the only one tireder than me was my poor student who has taken to nearly falling asleep in his book. But we marched ever onward, with regular breaks to stand up and shake ourselves back awake. I then headed into Midtown to fit in a last practice with my woefully sick strictly swing partner before the weekend swept us off to Washington for more westie. We managed an hour before I had to run to catch the pharmacy before closing and hustle home to pack a bag and try to catch some z’s before my weekend adventures kicked off for real.

Come Friday, I found myself in Secaucus mere minutes after 8am. How I got there, I do not entirely know because once I arrived, I found myself shockingly challenged by even the simplest things. I had forgotten that Secaucus requires you to scan your ticket to enter AND exit the station. When I remembered this fact, about a minute and a half into my awkward shuffle about in the turnstile wondering why it wasn’t letting me through, I reversed back out of the way to find my ticket. Once I found the magic barcode, I headed back to the turnstile all geared up to display and be free, which is how I ended up standing awkwardly before the reader hopelessly wiggling and angling my phone trying to make it register. God bless nosy, helpful, entirely too busy to waste time New Yorkers/New Jerseyians. One sailed past me leaving doppler affected assistance in her wake: “it’s red, you need a green one.” Who knows how long I’d’ve remained trapped in Secaucus without the passing assistance of a flying businesswoman. It was one of those days.

Once we’d gathered the full carpool crew, we headed for the highway south to DC. Five hours or so later, we pulled into the hotel, checked into our rooms, and headed down to Kyle and Sarah’s connection intensive. It would be the first two hours of an excellent dance weekend. From the workshops to the comps to the parties, Dave and Kay put on one heck of an event. I love a lot of westie events, but Dave’s events just have a production value that is far above and beyond anything else. They livestream the ballroom to your hotel room and post results on the same; the backdrop and lighting are always just a cut above; and the staff are fantastic. I have no complaints. I did however manage some spectacularly unlikely results in my comps.

After ranking top three in the Jack ’n’ Jill prelims while having what felt like the worst dances of my life, I then failed to make it through semis with four dances which felt absolutely divine. As an additional bonus, it was the same five judges for both rounds. I cannot explain, but I’ve clearly got some work to do. Strictlies on the other hand went unexpectedly well. It was Patrick’s and my first intermediate strictly and our expectations were suitably low. But somehow despite illness, exhaustion, and inexperience, we managed to make finals and we weren’t last! I mean, we were close, but not dead last! So again, there’s plenty of work to do but we certainly landed on the pleasantly surprised side of that competition.

In addition to the classes and competitions, there were also shows—I cannot express how impressed I was with Jenna and Za and of course the inimitable Patty Vo—new friends, good food, great dancing, awesome DJs—including one of my all time favourites, Koichi—and very little sleep. On Saturday, we rounded up a crew of New Yorkers for take out from a ridiculously famous little Chinese hole in the wall. Apparently it’s Bush Sr’s favourite restaurant in the DC area, and by god was it ever good. We couldn’t get a reservation but we did get two Beijing ducks and a whole host of other delicious things from the most unassuming little strip mall Chinese restaurant. It was entirely worth the nearly hour long drive to pick it all up.

And then, as a final cherry on top of the weekend, my ridiculously talented friend, Mandy, managed to pick up her third first place in a row which has now lifted her safely up out of my division into advanced. I think the entire intermediate follower division is excited for that they might have a chance at first again but the leaders must be devastated to lose their chance to draw her. She’s a beast in the best possible way!

But just as soon as it had begun, it was over and we were back in the car heading North. My 6am and 7am bedtimes came back to haunt me with a terrible vengeance and I spent most of the drive to PA fighting back the sleepies. Once we got the bus in Wescosville, I was out. I drifted in and out of consciousness all the way back to the windy, frigid streets of New York. Though I had my heart set on a slice from Williamsburg Pizza, by 10:30pm on a Sunday, the pickings were slim so I settled for a mediocre bagel and a nosedive into my mattress.

Today saw me clawing my way through the workday in that beautifully dysfunctional state that can only be described as swung over. I managed to squeeze some modicum of productivity out of my wooly head and then fled the office to gather strength for my weekly yoga class. I could skip it, but it’s so darn good, I just can’t bear to ! So I pulled on my yoga pants and set off for the class. It was even better than expected. We were doing hips and hamstrings, which after a dance weekend were in sore need of attention. I’m not sure I’ll be able to move tomorrow, but I feel deliciously like jelly just now, especially with a bellyful of my favourite $8 bowl of pho and the last dregs of clearance Halloween candy that I’ve been hauling around to events for the last two weeks. And now, with full belly and exhausted body, this swung over salsa girl needs to get her butt to bed.

The Best Kind of Tired,
The Salsa Girl


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