Monday, July 07, 2008
West Coast Swing Dance Convention
This past weekend I experienced an almost perfect 4th of July vacation. For those of you who think a vacation isn't perfect without a fishing pole, you may as well bail on this post right now because there were no fishing poles at the 27th Annual 4th of July West Coast Swing Dance Convention at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.
The convention did feature two of my favorite activities-- dancing and shopping. I say it was "almost perfect" for 2 reasons: 1) it was 112 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix, and 2) I was a tad intimidated by the expert level of west coast swing dancing by many of the other convention attendees. Despite the oven-like heat and a few bouts of shyness, I had a great time, learned a lot, danced a lot, met new dancing friends, and was inspired to improve my west coast swing technique.
The convention is sponsored by the Greater Phoenix Swing Dance Club. They did a great job of organizing the convention, keeping everything on time, and hosting hundreds of swing dancers from all over the world. (One tiny suggestion would be a more detailed program--especially for the newbies like me.)
The Biltmore was a fantastic location. I have always wanted to see the Biltmore because I am a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and historic architecture. It was designed by one of his students Albert Chase McArthur.
You can see the FLW design influences everywhere-- the mission style furniture, the desert earth tones, the art deco touches, the use of distinctive angular repeating patterns in the rugs, woodwork, artwork, and block. Very cool. I took TONS of pictures, which will be uploaded to my Flickr site in the near future.
The vendors at the convention were amazing. There weren't very many-- maybe 10-- but they sold everything from orthotics to rhinestone-studded bras and discounted dance shoes.
I didn't buy a rhinestone-studded bra (although one of my friends tried to talk me into it) but I did buy sexy salsa shoes, not-so-sexy orthotics (at right mine are being made), flip-flops with arch support, and 2 sparkly tops. If any of you are swing dancers, I urge you to branch out and attend convention in your area. They are load of fun and great exercise.