Monday, August 29, 2011

Ziplining amidst the pines of Waukeela.

I start my ascent. Note the cabin rooftop.
Let's put the height of this thing in perspective. Note the lack of cabin rooftop.
I expected to jump from the teeny tiny platform.
You actually launch from a seated position.
It feels like you're falling so you scream, then you're gliding and then because I'm me, there was posing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's dance camp, not the CIA

I like Fruity Pebbles.
I like Pop's Pizza.
Pop's pizza with Fruity Pebbles topping?
Probably not.

Next week, I'm going to experience two other things I like at the same time:
Swing Dancing & Summer Camp (dance event in summer camp setting).
I hope it tastes as good as it sounds.

Registration for the camp felt a bit like applying to college. I had to indicate the class level most appropriate for my skill. I was also asked to list every instructor, private lesson, class, workshop, exchange, camp, event I ever attended. Plus one reference.

The placement process feels like ripe territory for further exploration through the lens of Behavioral Economics. When my paper on this topic is published in a high profile journal and I'm at cocktail hour at a conference this will be the backstory (I dont even know if they have cocktail hours at conferences - if they don't they should).

I appreciate the intention of the questions & inquiries. The event organizers are trying to manage class size, lead/follow balance and make sure the dancer is in the track that will benefit their dancing (instead of their ego) most. I've been in classes with folks who have over or under estimated their ability. I've been that person. It's not good for anyone.

I do wonder the extent to which self assessment, the sum of your dance activities and the opinion of an instructor is indicative of your skill. I grant they are likely good indicators (I'll stay away from any discussion of statistics/modeling since this blog is supposed to be about adventure and drama). For my upcoming event the dance organizers took it upon themselves to contact many of the instructors listed on my registration form and I very much wonder the value in doing that (to say nothing of the intrusiveness of it). I think it's worth listing I took a class with "so and so" at "xyz" but would not expect "so and so" to necessarily recall me, let alone my dance skill. Even if they could speak to that my dance skills are not static (though sometimes my dancing is).

I'm no dance class admissions counselor but onsite auditions and observations seem like the best way to make an assessment. And many dance events require on-site auditions for the advanced levels. That approach does propose a bit of a planning challenge in not knowing exact class size and follow/lead ratio but enough events do it I have to imagine they've figured out how to manage it.

For example, the camp I'm attending required a video submission prior to the event for dancers who wanted to be in the advanced track. They put a cap on size and track is closed.

I put myself in the lower part of the intermediate track (after the fact someone who attended the event and has a vague sense of my dancing suggest I track up within intermediate). On my registration form I indicated I had no problem being moved up or down if deemed appropriate by the instructors. I noted that class size and ratios might not allow for that but was advised by the organizers that was not a concern for the intermediate level.

So, why then, all the fuss?
I'm half expecting they'll be talking to gym & music teachers from my elementary school.
This is a dance camp. Not the CIA.

And my dance camp classmates better be my mirror image.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I've still got sand in my shoes

I'm home now
And things still look the same
I think I'll leave it till tomorrow to unpack
Try to forget for one more night
That I'm back

Monday, August 15, 2011

Skidoo Wild Blooper and Space Walk

Tonight's move: Skidoo Wild. All I have is a blooper that bears no resemblance to the move (though it was an attempt) because falling is just funny.

I felt so cat-like landing on all fours.
John probably felt more like "London Bridge is falling down. On my head."

Right foot red!

We also practiced the double flip we learned last time. In slow motion. In space.

You Tube recognized the brilliance of the moves, predicted views in the millions and offered me large sums of money to place ads on this video. Actually You Tube just recognized the music.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I want a party with rooms full of laughter

Ten thousands tons of ice cream

And if I don't get the things I am after.
I'm going to scream.

Monday, August 08, 2011

I guess I like Spin Art more than Skee Ball.

My birthday, birthday is tomorrow (at 11:34 EST to be exact) but the festivities began on Sunday with a "Stupid/Retro Party Games Birthday Party" featuring an assortment of silliness and including Spin Art which is probably as close as you'll ever get me to crafts.

Spin Art was a very demanding celebrity guest. I had to drive to a Toys R Us in Cary on Saturday during tax free weekend. I felt like a guy in Victoria's Secret. A little uncomfortable, a little intrigued.

The last time I came anything close to a similar situation was simply starting to open the door to a Chucky Cheese on a weekend afternoon (down time, wanted to play Skee Ball) and closing it based solely on glimpse of the volume of children and a nanosecond of the noise from within.

With that, an extremely unexciting video.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I want a ball. I want a party. Pink macaroons and a million balloons. And performing baboons and ... Give it to me Rrhh rhhh Now!

A little bit of my inner Veruca Salt comes out during my birthday party.

Haven't been to Connecticut in a while and lyrics aren't my strong point.
So, here's the real deal.

Veruca doing this number is up there with Meryl Streep falling down the stairs during "Death Becomes Her" on the list things from Jon (my brother) and Jamie's childhood that are just as funny today as they were when we were ten.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Look out Camp Hollywood 2015, here comes, er. Nevermind.

Practiced the double flip tonight.

In an effort to make it more dance-like we wrapped some moves around it. The Little Miss Sunshine's were rocking out to J-Lo in another part of the gym so we went with it.

I've got a birthday jam coming up so in an effort to get the aerials out of the gym we tried a single flip on a floor that doesn't talk back.

Take One

Closing Time (listen for the janitor closing the door and the encouragement of cameraman)

I've got lots to work on but my focus in my landing and keeping my left hand to myself on the flip.

Aerials Blooper. Not quite as funny as Meryl Streep falling down the stairs in "Death Becomes Her"

But funny nonetheless.

Ben and I did the move successfully several times, but there's not as much entertainment value in that.