Saturday was filled with the same joy, but a slightly more exhausted body. I'm not sure how many people I know outside of contra can say that they listened to live music with a didgeridoo over the weekend. All 280 of us contra dancers were lucky enough to hear such rhythmic tunes. The weather was perfect. I curled up beneath a tree, read and wrote for a couple hours in between sets. The night set proceeded and my knee was bumping and grinding. I sat out many dances, but was able to watch everyone come together in happiness and laughter. If you haven't spent time watching contra, I encourage it. I was enthralled by so many dancers and their individual styles within each contra. Following that, I scooped over 3 gallons of ice cream for our ice cream social. Afterwards, I had a child-like fascination with the level of stickiness that coated my hands. The chocolate layers stayed until two hours later because of a beautiful and unexpected conversation. Finally, I washed up and headed back for the last three dances. Saturday was another late night crossing the Carolina boarder.
Sunday was by far the most euphoric. The rain and cold only led to barefoot dances, less shirt changes, and the refreshing feeling of cool air hitting overheated bodies. The final set was filled start to finish with strangers that were amazing partners. Everyone seemed to work as one dance weekend, one dance community, that represented many dance communities. I have never felt so at home while surrounded by so many people.
Monday was Charlotte. Monday was our community and inviting people to our community. Monday was tired bodies remembering how much space we have at home.
(side note: every single dip had consent! woohoo! I wasn't dropped on my head or in the ER!)
This is the abridged version, but I write this to say this past weekend was filled with so much joy. I have become a part of such an incredible inter-generational community. I have met so many people that are filled with such love and care. It would take forever to thank every person for welcoming me into their lives and community. I am grateful and overwhelmed by the graciousness of you beautiful dancers. Thank you for close swings, late night chats, kindness, openness, warmth, love, and affection. Thank you for putting your arm around me when we talk. Thank you for inspiring me to do what brings me happiness and teaching me to balance it with responsibility. Thank you for the care you have given freely to both my body and my soul.
I love you all.