Sunday, March 25, 2007

Contra Dancing!

On Friday night I went Contra Dancing at Glen Echo Park! It was so much fun! :) Back when I was active in MyPC there was an event coordinatorm, Robert, who did a lot of Contra Dancing and been hoping to go with him, but I never did and he moved away. Then a few weeks ago,while hiking at Sky Meadows State Park, I met Andrew and he goes Contra Dancing and I decided that now was my chance!

Now I know you are asking, what is Contra Dancing? That's a hard question - it's so hard to capture into words! It's like a hybrid folk dance - with elements from English and French and Irish Dancing as well as some elements from Square Dancing, although it's def not "Country" like square dancing is. Most dances are done in two lines and you have a partner and two couples come together to form groups of four - you do the dance with that group then everyone moves down and you and your partner have another differnt couple to do the dance with - it moves fast though.

Most events have a beginners lesson before the dance starts - I found this very helpful, although the caller did give everyone a chance to review the dance and practice before the music got going fast. Once you get in the rythem of each dance it's hard to really think about what you are doing.

One fun thing about Contra Dancing is that you change partners every dance and you dance with pretty much everyone, so it's very social! Your partner is almost more of a point of orientation than anything else - helps you remember where you are in the dance and who you belong with! Maybe I'll think differently as I learn more about dancing, but that's what it seemed on Friday!

Another fun thing about Contra Dancing is the spinning! It is NOT for people who get motion sick as almost all the dances involve lots and lots of spinning! I didn't think I'd enjoy that part as much as I did, but I found that the faster the better when it came to spinning! There were a few dances that involved so much spinning that I couldn't walk straight...luckly Contra Dancing involves lots of hand holding also (prob for this very reason!)

Here are some links to learn more about Contra Dancing.... - This is the page about the dance here in Washington DC

I can't wait to go back next Friday! :)

Tagged by Susan

Susan has tasked me with telling you all about 7 songs I'm into right now....hmmm tough task...

The guidelines are: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are currently enjoying. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

This is a tough one since what I'm enjoying listening to typically changes by the day! Most of the time when I'm listening to my iod I have it on "shuffle" and I sometimes listen to the 1st part of a song then skip to the next one...these are the songs that I don't skip though (this week)....

1. James Taylor - (I've got to) Stop Thinking about That - This is from his greatest hits volume 2 album - I actually like this album much better than the 1st one. In fact pretty much anything on this album I like enough to play it everytime it comes up in my ipod!

2. The Samples - Shine on. This is an old favorite from Summer Camp. The Samples are a small band that has actually disbanded...they had quite a following in their day, I didn't become a fan until they were done but I still really enjoy this song and the whole album that it came from. Sadly this song seems to hardley ever come up when I shuffle my ipod.

3. Enya - Amid the Falling Snow. This is from Enya's latest album - Amarantine - and it's my favorite from the album. I did enjoy it more when it was snowing a few weeks ago!

4. Dave Matthews Band - Lie in Our Graves. I am a huge DMB fan and I recently discovered this song - it's on the "Crash" album which is one that I didn't listen to as much because a few of the songs just sound like noise and I only discovered this song when I uploaded the album to my ipod - I don't usually skip over DMB songs!

5. John Devner - Looking for Space. When I was a kid my parents listened to a lot of John Denver and I still enjoy him now! This song is from his "Greatest Hits Vol 2" album - which interestingly enough I like better that the first Volume! I really enjoy listening to John Denver when I'm going to the mountains - it just seems to fit!

6. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh!) or Dani California - it's a toss up since I like both songs so much! Again the Snow song was a bigger fav a few weeks ago when it was snowing! Both are just fun songs that I like to blast as loud as I can!

7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Eine Klein Nachtmusick. I like lots of classic music however most of what I'm familar with I don't know artist/title because my dad always listened to it, but I never knew what we were listening to! This is one of the few that I know what it is and I loaded into my ipod for some study music but have been enjoying it on my way to school in the mornings!

Now, who to tag....I don't think 7 people read this so no idea if anyone will see this.... I guess I'll tage Andrew L., John Z., Brenna, Liz J., Judy (I know Susan tagged you, but I don't think there are any rules about tagging twice...I'm tempted to tag Susan again 'cause she didn't say "no backsies!), Matthew S. - I know you are busy with college and all.... Let's see one more....I know...if you are reading this and I didn't name you then I tag you...leave me a comment so I can know who you are! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kennedy Peak

Yesterday I went on a lovely nine mile hike to Kennedy Peak in George Washington National Forest! Rain was in the forcast, however it never materialized, rather it was 60 degress and sunny! It was a wonderfully beautiful day, although it was very hazy and that hampered the views from Kennedy Peak. There was some snow and ice on the trail but nothing like a few weeks ago when I was sliding on my behind down the mountain!
Enjoy the pictures!

The river snaking through the valley is the Shenandoah River. This is looking east to the city of Luray.

The Traditional "Blue Ridge" shot!

On my way home from GWNF I decided to drive up Skyline Drive rather than going back via Sperryville. There was some rain moving in from the west which hampered the view somewhat, however I caught this view which reminded of the pictures on postcards and coffee table books! I actually took this picture by sticking the camera though the sunroof of the car!