|Photo by Joelle Friend|
Am I refering to colours or styles of food?
This is where I think, "Slivers, I don't know where to even begin describing them."
I know I've talked about it before.
But it's a kind of earthy-slowish (sometimes)-connective-sensual (not sexual by my means) partner dance. Noo! I didn't even describe it. That was a weak attempt.
Try again: It's about listening and responding and completely connecting with another human being and stilling your own busied heart and mind and shutting down your thoughts so you are in tune with what they are trying to communicate to you.
I found a video for you.
Fusion dancing (which cross-overs a lot and meshes in with alt-Blues) is a bit more hazy to describe, or perhaps easier. Take different dances. Smash them together. Fusion.
Like, I remember the other night where a partner and I pulled off (well, he pulled it off, I just gleefully followed) a solid polka-base with blues bites in the middle and hints of lindy hop (maybe, sure seemed like it) all to a tune which later I discovered was that Perry-girl.
You can throw together tango, blues, lindy, balboa, salsa, hip-hop, tecktonik, and whatnots (I like to throw in clogging). The Seattle fusion scene seems to be heavily, heavily blues-based, though, from my experience. Sort of an unrestricted blues, almost sliding from fusion to alt-blues. I know there holds a lot of potential when colliding the multiple forms, but I haven't experienced too much deliberate combinations. Or, perhaps I have and didn't know it. I love how open and creative the venue is, though. Oh how I love that.
The music varies widely (Seattle is a wee bit too dub step heavy for my tastes, that I can say, but the other night had some pretty adorable tunes. I could've vomited teddy-bears all over the dance floor and that would have been a-ok in my book).
So we've got that covered. And now the story begins.
I had already danced 9 hours that "weekend" (weekend, for me, starts on Thursday and goes through Monday). Contra. Contra. Contra. And all that sweaty spinning had done was left me craving more dance.
Sunday came and left me with three options: flash mob, contra, fusion.
The contra costs $10 and was out of budget (if only they had a student rate, they would have me).
I wasn't totally in a mob mood.
But fusion. Hmmm... I'd been to Om Fusion a few times with mixed results.
But I needed to dance that night, it cost only $5, and Maggie was hosting! And, after the previous weekend, I wanted to get back out on the partner-dance-floor.
The Trip Over
Om Culture, where we dance, is only 13 miles from my house via bike. It's a little over an hour bus ride and around an hour (including stops to fix bike-problems) bike ride. With this idyllic weather we had been having, I knew Silas was going to get me there.
But, he's been finicky lately.
A few grimy hands later and he was a lot better and set to go.
I packed him up and set off, leaving my rain gear behind.
Of course, within the first 3 minutes, it started to sprinkle.
I peddled onward.
I've been waiting for the Burke Gilman to be open since last Sunday. They closed off the trail near my house and the detour was inconvenient and left me frequently opting for the bus.
The air smelled incredible.
Birds were everywhere... and so were cats.
And I want to write in capitals BECAUSE LIFE FELT SO PERFECT.
It was warm enough that I could peddle on in just a thin summer-dress and feel fantastic.
But... Silas was a bit unhappy with me. He sounded like a seal giving birth (I verified this on YouTube).
I hopped off to see that I had, indeed, lost a screw. Oh bother. A hair-tie was used to get me to Metropolitan Market where I nabbed nine twisty ties from the produce department. I swirled three together, twisting them into a more solid wire that I used to the parts together. I then used a Velcro band to further hold the apparatus together.
A few times, I had to get off to retwist, but we made it to Om by 8ish (when I was aiming for) and I felt refreshed.
Om Fusion Arrival
I walked up the door and first person I saw was Brandon. What is that kid doing here? He's supposed to be in Boston. Surprises are fun. As I was running to get my favourite swung-to-the-back hug from him, I spotted another super-familiar face - Miss Joelle! Holy cow! She's mah best frehnd. And behind her was Maggie!
The thing is, dear world, is that I keep my worlds seperate. Completely seperate.
If you're in my dance world, I'm probably not going to drag you into my college world or exchange world and vice versa.
Joelle is Oly/Exchangie world and she's aware of the split divisions and luckily, pretty chill about it. But, BOOM, the world's collided.
This collision was smooth and wonderful and super tasty. Joelle, meet Seattle-dance-community (which you already knew but we hadn't collided there together before). Seattle-dance-community, I am proud to introduce to you my best friend, Joelle.
I know I need to grow up in the worlds-colliding-area. Give me time.
Reflection of Past Fusion Experiences and Why I Wasn't Keen on Them
In the past, my experiences in the fusion community were't positive. I loved alt-blues (similar to fusion but every dance-bite tastes has blues dripping from it), that's much of what I've done, but fusion was different.
It's only now that I realize what was up back when I first experienced fusion on April 10, 2011. I remember leaving felt as if someone had sat me down and asked me the hardest questions they could ask and we had had an emotionally draining conversation in which they were the ones that benefited.
I left feeling drained physically and emotionally.
I spent the night trying to follow leads who weren't leading. And, when I did find a lead that could lead, my brain was so off-kilter that I'm sure it was unsatisfying for them. In this thought I was preoccupied, worrying about them having a good time and thus, miser-izing myself. I was so focused on trying to do well that I couldn't just relax, enjoy myself, and respond intuitively.
I go to dance for that sweaty brain-shut-off goodness where I can let go of pre-occupations, and I felt that my fusion experience was not fulfilling that criteria.
However, Om Fusion on March 25th, was tippy-top-terrific for me. Someone said that it was an unusually fantastic night, perhaps because everyone was back for Spring break. I hand't been in a while, but after a positive blues experience the previous week, I slipped into a must-dance-nightly-habit that I might elaborate on later.
And We Danced
Before heading in, I corrected my thinking.
I went to dancing knowing that you sometimes have rockin' dance chemistry with someone and, well, other times it just doesn't come naturally. I also reminded myself that all leads lead differently and trying to conform to each one perfectly was not a burden I had to put on myself. Based on feed-back, I'm not the crappy dancer I thought I was. I have a lot to learn, yes, but I'm learning that it is not a miserable chore for folks to dance with me. In fact, sometimes they enjoy it.
And this is where I would gush about what a beautiful time I had.
I felt relaxed (brain) and energized (body) and ecstatic.
But, what pushed me over the top into joy-land was when I could tell that I was making my partners happy. When they said, "Amazing," or made sure we danced later in the night, then I felt good knowing I had helped them feel good.
Twirled and dipped and lifted into outer space.
No. Not really.
I have not yet gone to outer space.
For two hours after dance, I couldn't stop randomly laughing and smiling. I was riding that dance high out.