Winding through Washington

I've been in my own home for about a week. I made a conscious effort not to decompress from the inertia of the road trip. I used the opportunity to leave River in the comfort of home while I did some much needed errands and lightened my carload by several items that I've decided aren't necessary anymore. But I didn't unpack any of my bags. I continued to live out of them, but in my house.
I did this because I know from experience that it takes a big effort to get the inertia going strong enough on these trips that I find myself flowing through it.

So it was much less jarring than usual this morning, as I packed up the car for Act 2. I was ready for it. I was so confident, that I didn't even allow any time for hitting traffic. (when will I learn?). Fortunately, I ended up having enough time to stop for gas and to sit in the small amount of traffic I did run into and arrive at the studio at exactly the moment I was shooting for.

From Seattle, I drove up through Lake City and took US-2 all the way to Leavenworth.

It's a beautiful highway, and I passed so many tempting river access points! I've done this before, too. I keep telling myself to remember to allow a full day to make the 2 hour drive with all the stops.

But I arrived at the space just as my host, Gayle and some of the students were arriving. I went to take River for a walk and gave him his dinner before we went into the studio for class. He stayed quietly in his crate while we took the Amazing Nia journey through the USA.

This was a benchmark location as they were one of the contributing communities to the routine. And they hold the distinction of being the largest group that came together to collaborate on a single piece of choreography. I wonder if that's why I almost never stick to the same plan when I'm teaching it.

It's the FloorPlay song, Weather Storm. And at first I tried to do exactly what we had come up with last year, but it met with lots of resistance, so I kept fussing with it. It's been many things, but I still retain the main themes that the community established. I keep it tight but loose.

One of the students after class told me that he thought Carlos was speaking gibberish when he described the concept of being tight with your choreography but loose with your delivery of it. In Nia we call that concept "Loose, But Tight." The student said that today, in my class, he finally felt what it meant to be Loose, But Tight. I describe it at knowing exactly where I'm going to place my foot or direct my arms, but playing around with some of the things I might do on the way to getting there.

As an interesting side note, I learned the concept originally as Tight, But Loose. Carlos said he got the phrase from a rock band that he didn't want to name. At some point, Nia changed the word order and began using the phrase Loose, But Tight.

After class we went to a BBQ place where we could sit outside with River. I blogged about O'Grady's here. Gayle and her husband picked up my delicious dinner, which was nice of them.

My motel was still three hours away, so after dinner, we said good-bye in the parking lot and I hit the road. I was back on beautiful US-2 and went east so I could go down through Wenatchee.

I ended up in Richland. Tonight was the first night I got to flash my AARP card at Motel 6. And she seemed genuinely psyched to see it. She happily entered my number and offered me free Wi-Fi (usually a $2.99 charge that I opt out of and use my iPhone as a hotspot). They also offered me a late check-out; 2pm instead of the usual 11am. I teach in the morning, so I'll be out well before 11. I declined it, but it's a nice perk to have.


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