The 2014 IAGSDC square dance convention, "Squeeze the Hive" in Salt Lake City, has come and gone. This year I went early to go to caller school, and Charlene generously heavily supported me (and our friend Charley) through the process.
We arrived at the Grand America Hotel at around midnight on the evening of June 29th. The place is spectacular, marble, wood paneling, and unlike places like the Las Vegas Bellagio, isn't just masonite with marbling once you get off of eye level. Walked around to burn off some energy, ran into (although we didn't know their names yet), Karla and Cynthia, who looked familiar (it turns out from last year's intro to calling session).
Caller school was... intense. I've got a lot of feelings, and it'll take me weeks to assimilate what I've learned. I can feel my brain being stretched in various ways, really love the new friends I made, and am grateful to Tom Miller and Michael Levy for their tremendous expertise.
On Thursday we had the caller school dance, my singing call was "I Don't Feel Like Sunshine". There was a rumor that there might be an opportunity to call an interstitial/pee-break sort of tip later in the week. I'd been meaning to get a CALLERLAB membership and get my BMI/ASCAP license situation sorted, so I instantly got on the phone to them and got signed up.
Thursday evening had the Gay Caller's Association meeting, which I am now a member of because of going to caller school, and several of us students ended up with 10 minute interstitial gigs. Mine was 10:30 on Saturday morning.
Friday had the Fun Badge tour, with stops at:
Charlene helped me get up the nerve to plan on calling "I Don't Feel Like Dancing", but we knew that the calls would be difficult, so in the evening in the Plus hall I asked a few folks if they'd stick around, and Dane Bragg, a caller from Philadelphia was hanging around. He helped me rework the call a bit to be simpler, and I owe him and the rest of the folks who stayed to work with me lunch, at the very least.
Broke one square on the call, kinda bummed about that, but, hey, my first time out.
Missed the Moonshine Tip, kinda bummed about that, sounded like fun, but Charlene and I were both tired.
Special call out to Roula and her son Nectarios at Roula's Cafe, the joint I got coffee at during the week.
And last night I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, completely disoriented, because the house is configured nothing like the hotel room.
Totally jazzed about next year, calling at Redwood Rainbows tonight.
Status Updates From Convention
Checked in to the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Squeeze The Hive is going to be a very comfortable week of square dancing.
Square dance caller school is stretching my brain in heretofore undiscovered dimensions.
Coffee at Roula's Cafe, where that is indeed Roula chopping chicken behind the counter, and son running the register. Love places like this.
When we arrived Sunday night,I felt kinda out of place in this hotel, but now our tribe is starting to arrive!
If anyone coming to the caller school dance wanted to wear distinctive gendered outfits and dance as #1 & #4 couples in a front square, none of us would complain...
The caller school square dance this morning had convention energy. Totally remember why we trekked here. Next three days will be amazing!
And I am now an official Callerlab member, with BMI and ASCAP licenses and everything! Woohoo! I'm legal!
Looking Dow the canyon from the Utah state capital building
And, appropriate to hanging out in Salt Lake City with a bunch of... uhhh... http://slightlywarped.com/crapfactory/curiosities/2010/mormon_porn.htm
Standing on the hotel balcony watching fireworks around the city
Special shout-out to Dane from Philadelphia for his help reworking my choreography last night, and the square of volunteers who let me practice!
Public transit is great in theory, but this is the second time UTA TRAX real time arrival data has been bizarrely wrong.
Gotta say, per minute of walking, I have been directly panhandled more often in Salt Lake City than San Francisco
Request: Android calendar app that gets time zones right and syncs to Google or (preferred) self-hosted shared calendars.