walt - weekend with awesome local teachers

Last Saturday, I was standing by the dance floor, taking in the music from the Storm and the Fire on stage, watching the dancers. I was bursting with joy and said so to Kyle, next to me: "Look at our blues scene! Look at it!" "I know", he said with a smile.

A while ago I came up with the idea to have a choose your own adventure-style workshop where all our local blues teachers (there are ten of us) would teach themed classes which the participants could choose from. I thought it would be good for our community, to spend a weekend together, taking classes together - because otherwise you only ever take classes with the people on the same "level" as you. I wanted people to meet, so that it would be easier for everyone to ask each other to dance at social dances. And I wanted to pour inspiration into our community - all the inspiration us local teachers could bring.

And you know what? I'm pretty sure I succeeded. I'm pretty sure it was a success.

We named it WALT - Weekend with Awesome Local Teachers. It was a working title at first, just so we could call it something, but the name stuck. And why not. :)

It was a lot of work to pull this thing together, but I am really glad I did it. Our local blues teachers are truly amazing and have so much to give! Our dancers are interested, inspiring, kind, warm people! I feel like the dance floors were coverered in pink happy bubbles the whole weekend.

And on Saturday night, a few of the other organisers did a brilliant job with the social (I organised the classes and the framework for the weekend, but I said early on that I couldn't take care of the social dances on top of that). I didn't take any photos at all - too busy dancing - but the Storm and the Fire delivered as always. (I took some photos of them four years ago and I think they still use them for promotion - I love to show those photos, because they are still some of my most favorite portraits - you can see some of them here.)

Shoutout to friends from Stockholm, "all the köpings" as Kyle say, and Umeå! I loved that you came this far just to dance with us.

In case you weren't there, this is what you missed ...
Funky hips with Sandra
Intro to the other dance role with me & Mattias
Modern slow drag dips & lifts with Mio & Kyle
Fearless follower with Niclas & Sandra
Fast blues with Mio & Kyle
DJ workshop with Mattias
Music theory for beginners with me
African dancing with Mio
Building a loving blues community - talk with Kyle
Owning it in breakaway with Niclas & Sandra
Switch dancing with Elin & Kristian
Look at those arms! with Sandra
Flowing switch, ballroomin' style with Elin & Kristian
Modern blues dancing isolations and slides with me & Kyle
Body awareness with Niclas
Choreo work with me
Put rhythms in your dance with Mattias & Maëlle

... and if you wondered why I put all of the classes in this blog post, it's partly so I know where to find them later ... but mostly because I just want to BRAG about our fabulous teacher group and the diversity and skill we've accumulated these past four years, by investing ridiculous amonts of time, energy and money into our dance.

We're starting to have blues socials every Tuesday instead of every other Tuesday. I already have plans for what classes I want to teach this spring. The Blues Gardeners have something truly fabulous in the works for next fall. Recently a friend, whose opinion I care about and trust, wrote to me: "Have you thought about the fact that you're now both one of Europe's best blues dance followers and one the most sought after singers for blues dancing?" NO! I hadn't, and you're making me blush. :) I've already decided on Double Shot of Blues & Fusion in Valencia in February, Stockholm Blues Fest in May, and the Spoonful in July.

Oh and also: I was accepted to the Blues Experiment, so I'll be flying over the pond to go to what they call "the world's most personal and personally challenging blues dance workshop" for a week in April. So yes. Blues dancing is happening. :)

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