Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Contra on steroids

It was my first-ever Northwest FolkLife Festival event in Seattle, WA this past weekend. It was everything it promised to be and more.

International flavors, foods, music, people.... I was looking forward to some non-stop dancing with other folks who love it as much as I do.

The first dance started at 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a break for lunch and I took another break of about an hour mid-afternoon when the English Country dances were taking place. 

It was like contra on steroids. Each line was made up of at least 160 folks and there were usually five or six lines... there was no way you ever made it to the top of the set if you started at the bottom.

But I danced with lots of wonderful dancers from Ohio, Calif., AZ and other distant locales. Some of them had established a tradition years ago to come for the entire weekend to dance and watch.

And there were folks from our local dance communities of Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Bellingham that I had danced with before as well.

Worn out after the last dance, I hobbled over to the Armory to watch tango demonstrations and then went to the car to take a nap until 7 p.m. when the Scandinavian dancing started.
Dancers from many different places
came to Seattle for this weekend.

I enjoyed watching and doing a few dances, but I had realized it was just not possible for me to dance in the evening with the same energy I'd demonstrated earlier in the day.

And I missed seeing the Whirling Dervishes from Turkey, the Indian folk dancing, Hungarian musicians, African folk drumming and much, much more. But I had a great Greek 'hero' from Athena's.

Between walking and dancing, I took 17, 582 steps the entire day. According to my rough calculations, that is about eight miles.

Carol's husband said I had danced from Everson to Deming and back. Quite possibly, but the surface was considerably easier on my legs and feet than the roadway.

All I know is that by Sunday, I knew I could not dance any more... so I headed up to Bellingham to retreat and recover.

I enjoyed my visit with my very dear friend, we picked some cherries, laughed and suddenly it was time to head home to my cats who are less upset by weekend wanderings now but they still let me know how irresponsible they think I am to go away from them.

Next year I think I will have been in training enough to go the entire distance of dancing every day... at least that's my goal now. Wonder how many miles that will add up to?


  1. Good for you! I try to walk at least 2-3 miles a day to keep my boyish looks. Seems to be working. But I probably couldn't last more than an hour dancing right now. Judy and I are impressed.

    1. I think once I got "into the swing of it" (pun intended) it was easy to keep going, but after stopping for the second time I realized how tired I was and I just couldn't see the point of pushing on for more miles or more dancing. It was the first time I had my fanny pack with the pedometer running, so it was interesting to see how easily I could accumulate steps.