Charlotte Part 1 - The Woodstock Experience

BOY was it nice to sleep today. Not only did I sleep as late as I wanted, and woke up naturally, but I also took a nap before heading to class. It was also nice not to load any luggage or drive anywhere.

It was going to be Woodstock again today, and it was an outdoor class! My vision for the routine in general is to do it outside, in the rain, and get in the mud. And also for people to come who haven't paid and have it be crowded and chaotic. So in Charlotte, there had been rain the night before, and forecasts were calling for rain. But it was hot and sunny and partly cloudy all day. In fact, some students who were going to come, didn't end up coming because of how hot it was and they thought it would suck to be all hot and moving around.

And I don't blame them. I got to the Belle Johnson Lake Park about an hour before class so I could run around in the grass with River beforehand. I got sweaty immediately, without even running too fast. And then, by the time we were done, and I had been running fast, I was actually out of breath for longer than I'm used to. The humidity sucks. But the lake was beautiful and I liked the ducks. River didn't care. He did smell their poop, though. For a long time; he thought that was fascinating.

Once his tongue was hanging out far enough, I packed him back up in the car and drove around to the other side of the Rec Center where we were scheduled to be. It was a concrete stage, right next to the lake. The cement was cool from the constant shade it got, being covered by the high, sturdy roof. The lake gave off a nice breeze. It was actually very pleasant.

Lots of beautiful people showed up.
And many of them really did dress the part.
I swear Janus Joplin was there.

 One kid came, too. For some reason, this is the third child that has taken this routine along the way. And it doesn't happen to me that often, but three times so far with this routine. (The boy today wasn't in the spirit, he was on his iPad the whole time.)

I was able to work the Spiral of Love today.
I think it needs a lot of people to really work well. It worked great today and I probably didn't have enough people in Myrtle Beach. Plus today, I cheated and kind of told a few people what I was doing. I think I need to do that, though, otherwise it makes no sense.

I make an effort to minimize my cuing in this routine so that it supports the FreeDance focus. But I do have choreography. In some cases the choreography is very compelling and everyone joins me, and at other times, they're more inclined to do their own thing. But the choice is theirs. Even the transition from the free form stepping in to the choreography in the first two songs is very subtle and gradual.

Today, when we're boogieing with Sly and the Family Stone, I noticed that everyone was scrunching up into the back of the stage. I needed to emphasize the moving forward part of my movement, but I didn't want to make it a cue. I kept demonstrating moving forward with my body, but it didn't take. For some reason the moving backward part worked really well, though.

I'm having so much fun with this routine.  I never know what to expect. At one point, I ran out off the stage, onto the grass and some of the students did the same. One ended up in a tree!! My favorite part of today was when it started to rain. First there was a bit of thunder and then it rained just for a few minutes, but enough that we could run out and feel it. We could see it landing on the concrete and in the lake. We could smell it and it was perfect!!

After class we went to eat at a place called Trio's because they had just opened up a new patio that was huge and dog-friendly and no one knew about it. It was empty, and it wasn't technically outdoors, either. It had plants and trees in it, and some sort of frosted glass walls and ceiling with plants behind them. It seemed outdoorsy. They didn't mind River being brought through the restaurant and sitting with us back there.

I got a delicious, guess what?  Cheese Burger with Swiss. Terese, my host, and Sherrie, my other host, and four others all had a nice meal as River sat patiently. He really liked one of the women and lied on her feet, which is his highest compliment. She was a gentle soul, who had cats at home.

Toward the end of the meal, River was getting visibly antsy and wouldn't rest. I felt bad, I sort of had to rush the meal to an end, but I hadn't fed him and it was three hours overdue. I figured he was hungry. But once we got out to the front of the restaurant, he bolted for a tree and then spotted a better one nearby and immediately made one quick spin, squatted and pooped. I'm glad he is so well housebroken, and that he didn't think the outdoor section of the restaurant felt like outdoors, either.

I ran to my car to get a plastic bag, and everyone in the party took my cue and quickly dispersed. I had intended to give everyone formal good-byes, but they were gone. I hope they didn't think I was rude. I enjoyed all of them, and some of them I won't get to see in tomorrow's class in the same town.


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