Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Portland, OR, workshop and ball

We had a great time in Portland last weekend. I drove up there with three dancers from my class. Three more came up separately. So Boise made a good showing, seven in all. We even had some of the Portland dancers asking us to let them know when we had a big event, so they could try to make it out.

The teachers for the workshop were Bruce Herbold and Ruth Jappy. The musicians were the McCassons, a fiddler and piano. They were all wonderful.

The Level 2 (Intermediate and up) class had Ruth Jappy first. She worked us on technique and taught two really fun dances from the newer RSCDS books. I was pleased I already had the instructions at home for them. Both dances will be working their way into our class repertoire. Deceptively simple figures put together in challenging ways. And Ruth made some interesting points about listening and starting ON the beat, rather than early. It took my brain a few days for things to percolate down. That happens at weekend seminars. You absorb so much info, sometimes it takes a while to process through it all.

Bruce taught some cool dances - five of them! Once again, these were dances that seem simple enough when you read through, but dancing them was unexpectedly challenging. They were all from a book published by the San Francisco Branch, so of course we bought one.

The Ball in the evening was great fun, and the music was irresistible. I didn't quite dance every dance, so I got to take a lot of pictures of the others as they danced. I've put most of them on my site.

After the Ball was the after-party, up in the hills south of town. As usual the food was delicious, even after midnight! We stayed until nearly 2am. I drove back, and somehow missed the turn-off that would take us back to east Portland. So we went too far north on I-5, had to go back south, then couldn't find a way to turn around again until we'd nearly gone back to the freeway exit for the party. We finally managed to get onto I-84 going east, then missed the exit for our hotel. So it was after 3am before we got to bed. At least we didn't have to get up early.

We took our time driving home on Sunday through the Columbia Gorge, stopping at Multnomah Falls to walk up and feel the spray on our faces. We also stopped in La Grande, for dinner at Foley Station. That was a favorite place for hubby and I when I was sent TDY to Richland, WA, for a month while he and I were courting. An island of really excellent food in an area without many good restaurants or people to eat at them. Foleys must have to survive on tourists passing through and word of mouth. I certainly tell folks about it whenever I can.

So we got home around 11pm on Sunday after a loooong weekend full of fun. I'm finally feeling as if I've caught up on my sleep just today.

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