Soggy Seattle

Seattle Easter Swing is here again, so here is a little story from my adventure at Easter Swing 2016…

Adventuring on foot in an unfamiliar city is always fun, but not so much when it’s raining and you’re not sure where you’re going, and IMG_2926especially not when the bus stop you’ve been standing and waiting at for half an hour turns out to be closed. On top of the frustration upon discovering that pertinent piece of information you’re shoulders are killing you because there’s no where to set down your super cute Vera Bradley overnight bag without it getting wet or dirty so you had to carry it the whole time. Did I mention it was raining?

After a couple long walks, another closed bus stop, and a kind bus driver who put us on the right bus, we finally made it to our destination. A little wet, a lot weary.

Several weeks prior: 

Sarah and I and a few others rented a cute little basement Airbnb in beautiful Seattle for a week to visit a friend and explore the city. Excitement! After dates were chosen and flights were booked we found out from a friend that Seattle Easter Swing was over the same weekend, and that she would be there. After some mental debate, I finally decided I was gonna do it. It seemed silly not to with the way the event was scheduled. Everything Jack and Jill related was happening on Saturday afternoon, including awards. The hotel was only about 20 mins away from where we were staying, and we had a place we could crash Saturday night so we wouldn’t have to pay for a full night at the hotel. It was the perfect fly-by.

So, early Saturday morning, my favorite traveling buddy and I left our temporary home and walked a few blocks to the bus stop, eager for the new experiences and excitement we both knew the day would bring. With the help of a handy little website for finding the most efficient routes and a few days practice under our belts, we were getting the hang of Seattle’s public transit system and found the hotel without a hitch.

But first, coffee.

 

Personally, I expected the event itself to be bigger, with more competitors, because of its location. For some reason I can’t explain, an event on the west coast automatically meant a larger event in my head, but I was pleasantly surprised. Being a little smaller, it was a good first west coast comp experience for me. Behind the event backdrop was a nice staging area, complete with dance floor and perfect for warming up while waiting for your division to start. Several of the couples took advantage of it and were dancing to the music playing for novice division after checking in. I remember watching them and thinking “Oh, wow, these girls are good. I don’t have a chance.” The level of dance among the follows was higher than I’d seen before, and their musicality was on point.

Now, I’m used to having at least a dozen or more of my dance peeps at the event I’m attending, so being at an event across the country, and knowing only one other person there felt very strange and a bit nerve wracking. Being nervous, I didn’t do much social dancing before all the comps got started, and then watching the follows warm up made me feel very out of my league and so even more nervous.

And even though I expected bigger, it was still one of the largest intermediate divisions I’ve ever been apart of. After prelims, makingIMG_2917 both semi-finals and finals, I was awarded 4th place. Saying I was shocked would be a great understatement. For a little while all I could do was stare at the little Easter egg resting on my knee and wonder.

Being awarded that 4th place egg showed me that I was right where I was supposed to be; that I could hold my own among those follows. It was an exciting confidence boost for sure, but it was also humbling. I remember, just a few short years ago, praying and hoping that maybe one day I would have a place where I could learn this dance I’d fallen in love with.

God answered my prayer, and more.

Not only do I have a safe place to learn and grow, but I’m a successful competitor, and many, many friends richer.

West Coast, I’ll be back.

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