bjarvis: (Default)
A few weeks ago, I was in San Francisco for a couple of weeks of work, along with attending the IAGSDC convention. Work was kinda wierd: it was the first time I visited our new company location in downtown SF, which was very cramped as there were renovations still in progress.

The square dance convention itself was an adventure. As vice-president for the Gay Callers Association, it was my responsibility to coordinate the annual caller school, this year with coaches Barry Clasper & [personal profile] billeyler. It was a lot of fun and I consider it to be a complete success. Beyond all of the preparation work in advance, I had to emcee the graduation dance, prepare flyers for next year's caller school, arrange official GCA name badges and back-orders of school materials, make file reports & make presentations with both the GCA board and the IAGSDC delegates and a stack of other minor tasks. [profile] billeyeler was kind enough (and not yet sick of me) to invite me to join him as a paenlist for the "Intro to Calling" discussion. I think we were all delighted with the excellent turn-out for that session.

In all, I danced only about 90 minutes out of 90 minutes out of four days. Still, that was enough to satisfy me, especially since I Have so many dance opportunitites at home: I like to the convention for the opportunity to mix & mingle, to catch up with people between sets and generally keep my ear to the ground to see what's going on in the broader community.

I can't say enough good things about the San Francisco convention. I know from back-room discussion with various coordinators that not everything was smooth as silk, but they managed through it, found solutions and kept ugly reality hidden from everyone --and that's what good organizing professionals do. Great location, great facility, great staff and great volunteers: what's not to love?

Since the convention, I've hardly called much. John Marshall is teaching the Mainstream class for DC Lambda Squares on Wednesdays, while Kent & I are assisting periodically and are given test teaching assignments. Last week, I was assigned teaching "grand square". Good news: that call is astonishingly easy to teach and gives the students a huge sense of accomplishment because it is a large call. My regular patter otherwise wasn't the greatest, largely because we had only a dozen or so calls to use and I was exhausted from overtime at work over the last few days. Still, no one died so I'm calling it a success.

There's talk of having us teach a Mainstream class for Chesapeake Squares beginning in mid-September too.

I haven't danced a great deal lately either, largely because my schedule has been very full. Again, I'm OK with this: I'm dancing enough for enjoyment and using the remaining time productively.

Tonight, DC Lambda Squares is hosting caller Bill Harrison for a DBD Plus workshop in the afternoon, a potluck dinner and then a Mainstream thru Challenge-1 dance in the evening. I predict a good time will be had by all.
bjarvis: (Default)
We're in the home stretch for the 2013 GCA caller school and the San Francisco IAGSDC square dance convention.

As vice-president of the GCA, I have direct responsibility for the caller school. Most of the advance preparations have been completed but there were some minor outstanding issues which needed to be addressed in the last week or so.
1. I have reservations made for a business dinner with my caller coaches for Sunday, June 30.
2. I have made a tonne of photocopies for the documents to be distributed to our course registrants.
3. I've made some required confirmations with the local convention staff --who have been a dream to work with, BTW.
4. I have a caller coach booked for the 2014 caller school and a funding proposal submited to All Join Hands for their consideration at their meeting next week during the convention.
5. I have flyers ready for next year's convention.

I'll be checking in bodies for the caller school as they arrive, staffing a help desk for them Monday-Wednesday, offering small advice & suggestions to the newbies, and emcee'ing the GCA dance Thursday morning 10am-1pm. I'd be happy to co-call with the newbies too if they'd be more comfortable with a second, or to allow them to concentrate on their patter or singer.

I still need to collect various packages which were shipped to San Francisco rather than to me in Maryland but I'm feeling otherwise very prepared for this caller school.

There are some other items which I need to finalize unrelated to the caller school, however...
1. I have a report on the recent CALLERLAB convention to report at the IAGSDC delegatse meeting.
2. I may also be reporting to the same delegates meeting on the GCA's recent activities, especially the caller school. The primary delegate is heavily loaded with 2015 convention planning & reporting activities so the alternate delegate, [profile] kent4str and I can duke it out for this reporting function.
3. I still need some detailed preparation for my singular convention calling gig, the leather tip.

Barry Clasper has invited me to share the stage with him for the leather tip, an hour-long square dance in full (or minimal) leather Friday evening. It's Mainstream which I sight-call 99% of the time, but short of the opening & closing ceremonies, this is the single most attended square dance hour with potentially over 1,000 dancers. In short, I don't want to screw this up, and ideally, I don't even want to stumble. Thus, I'm composing and printing all of my square dance cards in advance to guard against any potential issue. I'm 100% confident I can do this easily, but this is such a good opportunity for visibility which may not come again for a while that I want to take every step to make it flawless.

I still need to print these cards but I'm sure I can do that at the hotel or just run up the street to my conveniently-located office.

I had also planned to lose 10lbs of fat around the waistline before going up on stage in leather but that didn't happen. Stupid sugar addiction.

And after Friday evening, it's all rest & relaxation for me until the closing ceremonies.
bjarvis: (Default)
God, the past two weeks...

My team at the office is still effectively down to 50% of its normal headcount thanks to departures and a family emergency of my manager. He's doing what he can remotely, but he's had bigger things to worry about than office stuff so we're all doing double-time and I've been stepping into the management role.

While we've had no major crises, I've been busy every hour of every business day with (a) my own project list as the sole engineer for the production data center, (b) various team projects we have in already in progress, (c) company projects such as our annual payment card audit and (d) misc issues as they come up in our production & non-production environments. Being nibbled by ducks is a good comparison: not life-threatening, but annoying/frustrating in a thousand little ways.

At least my part of the performance evaluations are completed and submitted. I still need to do my list of goals for 2013, but I need some information about the enterprise and operations goals first so I can align my wishlist with the official program.

In the interim, I still have my regular square dance calling gigs and personal appointments. We were supposed to de-winterize the trailer last weekend but we decided all of us had too many work commitments to spare time away from the office; we'll try again March 29-31. I've also cancelled some discretionary appointments and projects to make room for work hours.

This weekend & early next week, we're going to North Carolina for the annual CALLERLAB convention, a conference of square dance callers. The timing isn't great work-wise, but I'm ready for the escape. I'm not getting away scott-free, however: I'm a panelist moderator for an hour session on marketing dancing using social media with Kris Jensen, and I'm representing the GCA at the inter-organizational roundtable meeting and the business meeting. And I'll be reporting back to the GCA in July with the stuff we cover at this conference.

As I type this, I've packed my suitcase. I still need to pack my personal items into my backpack (camera, tripod, laptop, tablet, etc.), but that takes only 30 minutes in the morning. I also want to make copies of the GCA's "The Call Sheet" journal and registration forms for the GCA's caller school to offer on the promo table. I also need to ship two hard drives back to our New Jersey office tomorrow morning before I depart.

I really need a lot of sleep right now, but I'm doing better than I feared.
bjarvis: (Default)
Last night, I taught the last class for Chesapeake Squares' latest Mainstream square dance course. It's been a long slog --we had a somewhat stumbling start as we had new people joining 2-3 weeks after the course formally began-- but we ended only two weeks later than originally planned.

As with many prior classes, I've been a bit surprised which calls cause heartburn and which ones are snapped up instantly. Yes, 'cast off 3/4' traditionally causes problems as new dancers frequently can't/won't trust their own ability count walls. 'Scoot back' is an issue because it causes dancers to repeat the use of hands, something which runs counter-intuitive to everything they've learned up to that point.

That said, this is the first class I've ever seen where 'partner trade' caused heartburn for a few dancers for weeks. Indeed, there's at least two dancers for whom I suspect they still don't quite get it. We workshop it, I give them extra help during breaks and yet it all vanishes from their synapses within seconds. But those same dancers can do 'spin the top' without a hitch.

This class had a wide variety of skills. At least three are solid dancers and with a little more floor time will likely be eager to absorb more. Three more seem to be a bit slower to pick things up (or at least their memory maxes out sooner) but they have determination which serves them well. A few others, well, it's too early to say. They seem to be strongly oriented to dance-by-feel rather than definition so perhaps their epiphany will happen after more floor time.

The official graduation is set for club night, Tuesday, January 22, 8-10pm.

In other news, I've been contacted by the San Francisco IAGSDC convention committee to see if I'd be interested in co-calling the leather tip with Barry Clasper. OMG, yes! To be asked to call any specialty tip is an honor; to be asked by a convention committee on another coast is a bigger honor; to be asked to call at either the bear or leather tip is an incredible honor and opportunity! Now to think about music...

The 2013 caller school continues to chug along in slow motion. I'd love to be able to market it a bit more extensively but I've been having a lot of difficulty getting the GCA web site updated. Emails and phone calls since August haven't been returned but we had a useful telephone call this week so I'm we can get the online stuff ready within the next week or so. Once we have that, I can finally market the hell out of this thing.

Looking ahead to the 2014 IAGSDC convention, I may have a problem. My parents 50th wedding anniversary lands on July 4, 2014, overlapping with the convention. I thought we had a plan to have the parents' anniversary celebrations on the weekend prior so it would be tight, but I'd be able to get from Ontario to Utah in time to fulfill my obligations to the caller school. It appears that the parental plans have changed however so I may not be able to get to Utah at all.

If that is indeed the case, I can at least set up the majority of the caller school for 2014 --booking the coaches, negotiating a curriculum, doing the marketing, etc.-- but we'd need someone else to sit & coordinate events on the ground for June 30-July 2, 2014. I hope for clarity on this before we get to the 2013 GCA membership & board meetings so we can plan appropriately.

Back to composing more C2 choreo for next Wednesday's workshop...
bjarvis: (Default)
Tonight was the last class for DC Lambda Squares' newest mainstream square dance class. [profile] kent4str and I began teaching it July 9, Mondays 7:30-9pm. We've missed a few Mondays because of holidays and hurricanes, but we have indeed finished prior to our club's Harvest Festival Hoedown this coming weekend. Yay, new dancers!

This Thursday, I'm teaching Chesapeake Squares' Mainstream class, 7:30-9pm. We're still in the early weeks of this course; I currently anticipate it wrapping up some time in January.

On Friday, we head to York, PA, for the aforementioned Harvest Festival Hoedown. I have guest caller hosting duties on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as an hour of Mainstream calling Saturday afternoon ([profile] kent4str is calling Mainstream and Advanced hours). We're also responsible for assembling & setting up the audio systems for three halls, among other things.

Next week, I'm calling:
  • Challenge-1 for the Ettseteras on Monday;
  • Challenge-2 for our workshop group on Wednesday;
  • class-level Mainstream for the Chesapeake Squares on Thursday; and,
  • Advanced for the Zig Zaggers on Friday.


The past couple of months have been the busiest calling schedule I've had for some time. It's a Good ThingTM!
bjarvis: (Default)
I had only two square dance calling gigs this week: Monday's mainstream class with the DC Lambda Squares (only three more to go!) and tonight's mainstream class with the Chesapeake Squares (fourth week out of about 20).

Both are going incredibly well. The Monday class is ramping up for a big finish as we have only another nine calls or so left on the list. Everything they've been shown thus far has been snapped up and internalized very quickly: it's been a long time since I've seen a class 'get it' so fast.

The Thursday class is slower getting off the ground, largely because we keep getting new people joining each Thursday. I and the Chesapeake Squares' board agree that we aren't so swamped with people clambering to square dance that we can afford to turn away anyone. Here we are in week #4 however and we're barely past my usual open house material.

That said, I'm getting really good with open house/party nights. Such events used to frighten the bewjesus out of me: a good party night is hard, and there's the omnipresent pressure that you're the dancers' first entrée into square dancing. If you blow it after the club has done all that marketing, you'll probably not get them back, ever. An open house has to rock from the first moment to the last, and you want everyone to leave excited about the next one.

I had an English teacher in high school who told me, "Any idiot can write a novel. Writing a short story, now that's hard." Open houses are the square dance equivalent of short stories: you have to hook the novice participants with a very small working vocabulary and keep them entertained from the first word to the last with no room for asides, trivia or false leads.

Having done such weekly for nearly a month now, however, I've found my mojo for this. Tonight, I pushed further and more creatively than I have previously with very simple calls, using circles, stars and simple formations to easily build more complicated ones and still resolve them cleanly & with good body flow. Repetition helps newbies, but too much gets boring: I think I've handled the past few dances with a good balance.

I like teaching a great deal. I think I demonstrate good energy & enthusiasm, I like the challenge of describing a move multiple different ways on the fly to suit the needs of the moment, I try to be as clear as possible and, thanks to experience, I have a much better feel for times when I can simply talk people through a new call and when I should use other means such as a demo of the move with an assistant or a prop. Workshops are especially fun since the floor already knows the basic calls & vocabulary: it gives us all the space to explore nuances of the definitions or explore non-standard applications. It all takes more prep work than just a regular club night, but I love that part too: evil plots don't just hatch themselves, ya know.

The Chesapeake Squares class was initially to wrap up around xmas, but we may extend it into January if there is a need. I'm delighted the club's board is being so flexible: I'm sure it will pay dividends in an increased membership. The club's good health is definitely in my best interest as one of their staff callers.

The next two weeks are gonna be a doozy: I'm calling four nights next week and three the following, everything from class-level Mainstream (which itself varies depending on the class in question) up to C2. I hope to get a jump on some choreo writing projects this weekend.

DCLS' Harvest Festival Hoedown comes up in three weeks. I have flyers going up to New York for their 'Peel the Pumpkin' event this weekend, as well as flyers for our ACDC and GCA caller school events. I'm still trying to get the GCA webmaster to update the online registration form to cover the master class; I'll telephone him again before this week is out. I also need to write a more detailed article about the caller school and master class for the next GCA newsletter.

In other news, I'm working on a minor project for CALLERLAB: digitizing cassette tapes of recordings from previous conventions. Currently, I have the 31 cassettes of the 1998 CALLERLAB convention. An old walkman is playing them into the 'audio in' port of the workstation beside me, Audacity digitizing the lot onto the hard drive.

This weekend, I'll do some editing to splice files of the A side and B side of the cassettes into a single MP3 and try to normalize the recording levels. With a little luck, I should be able to ship the lot back to the home office early next week --at which time they'll likely send me a new batch. :-)

And that, more or less, is the state of my square dancing life. Not much dancing, plenty of administrivia and enormous amounts of calling. After the DCLS class wraps up in three weeks, I'll get back to more dancing again.
bjarvis: (Default)
The All Join Hands Foundation has approved funding for the GCA's caller school, July 1-3, 2013, in conjunction with the San Francisco IAGSDC convention! Yay!

My draft caller coach contracts are being checked by the board for any typos or omission; if they look good, I'll send those asap to the caller coaches, all of whom have verbally assured me they're interested & available. I've finished creating a first draft of the promotion flyer and am circulating it now to the GCA board for a quick check before full publication. When I have signatures on paper, these flyers can be distributed.

I'm about to contact the GCA's webmaster to make the updates to our site concerning the caller school. I hope to have the content prepared but not yet released pending the signing of the coach contracts.

I still need to get the teaching assistants lined up. I have names to contact, but wanted to get these other items out of the way before proceeding.

As more details of master class get worked out, the flyer & promotional material will be revised. I hope to have that entirely ironed out within the next 1-2 months.

I hope that within 60 days, the school operations for 2013 will be in autopilot mode until next June when the active details kick in. In the interim, I want to start planning as much as is feasible for the 2014 Salt Lake City caller school; in particular I need to think about what to do with the third class at that school.

I'm thinking of surveying the GCA membership for their input. Is there enough interest to re-run another master class? By 2014, it will have been several years since we've had an Advanced class so perhaps there will be sufficient demand for that option. Maybe we should consider an alternative track, like party night/one night stand training. Maybe something else I haven't thought of yet. The sooner we begin debating & discussing, the more time I'll have to perform the prerequisite miracles to make it happen.

So far, so good...!
bjarvis: (standing)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tdjohnsn, my square dance business card has been updated. I used a different photo --I'm much greyer than I was for the first one-- and I've now added C2 to my square dance offerings. I also decided to lose the cowboy hat: to non-square dancers, there's already too many country overtones of dancing in barns with bales of hay and I don't want to make that misconception any worse.

Before:


After:
bjarvis: (Default)
So far, I've managed push through:
  • a proposal for revamping the format of the caller school;
  • a budget;
  • a list of proposed callers & TAs.


Now to contact the proposed callers & TAs to see if they're interested & available, and putting together a formal propose to All Join Hands for the funding.

And once that's done, I need to get working my ass off on marketing the offerings, including getting updates on the web site, creating a brochure to send to IAGSDC clubs and making announcements online wherever I can and as frequently as I can get away with.

And also submit space, audio requirements and such to the San Francisco convention folks so they have it on their agenda for next summer.

This morning in the shower, I was mulling over putting together a survey of the membership to see what else we should do with the 2014 caller school in Salt Lake City. Is there enough demand to run the master class again --indeed, is there enough for this year? Is there interest in a dance party track in lieu of an Advanced class? Just a regular Advanced class? Something else entirely I haven't considered yet?

Really, though, it feels like the hard work is already done.
bjarvis: (Default)
Sunday was most notable for me because I was scheduled to call some top-of-the-hour guest calling spots. I was granted four slots, three today (Advanced, C1 and c2) and one tomorrow (C2).

My Advanced set went OK. I did some relatively easy choreo but it apparently wasn't easy enough for some. I'm guessing the problem squares in the front of the hall were new Advanced dancers. Had I thought it through more carefully, I would have just called A1 rather than full A2: the regular dancers wouldn't have known the difference but the newbies would have had more floor time & faster responses to those calls.

My C1 went well enough, again sticking to relatively easy material.

The banquet in the evening was nice but it ran late and that's when things got a little tricky. The 8pm dance hour was largely chopped in half because of the banquet overrun. Worse, the crowd departing the banquet hall largely jammed the five hotel elevators and/or delayed the callers departing from the front of the banquet hall.

I was early for my C2 gig and saw only three dancers in the hall. OK, no problem. The C1 hall however had three squares of dancers standing on the floor, waiting for a caller to arrive. To keep them from wandering away while the scheduled caller was in transit, I plugged in my laptop & mic and called an extra tip. I then dashed to the C2 hall for my scheduled gig.

My C2 set was well received, I think. When I wrapped up, the scheduled caller still hadn't arrived but [profile] kent4str quickly made a phone call and found she was still caught up in the elevator crush so I called an additional C2 set to entertain the dancers until the regular caller arrived. Success!

After a little more dancing, we went to the 34th floor to watch the Canada Day fireworks before joining friends at the bar for fun & gossip.
bjarvis: (Default)
So far, we've survived Day 1 in Vancouver. Kinda, sorta.

The locals are walking in the streets with jackets and scarves. Frankly, I was overheating in a light shirt. A little cooler would be nice... I hope Environment Canada gets right on that.

We've scoped out the local businesses, food courts and facilities, all of which are very nice. Our current big worry is where we're going to eat when the local businesses are closed Sunday and holiday Monday.

The IAGSDC delegates meeting was pretty much as expected.
  • The IAGSDC has applied for 501(c)(4) status.
  • There are now 55 member clubs, two associations & eight affiliates.
  • The IAGSDC will probably re-instate bimonthly mailouts of festival weekend flyers.
  • The proposed by-law changes were all approved.
  • We're still going to San Francisco in 2013 and Salt Lake City in 2014. We voted to go to St Louis in 2015 and have received expressions of interest for Toronto in 2016, Philadelphia in 2017 and Seattle in 2018.
  • Three IAGSDC board positions were up for election; the three incumbents were re-elected by acclamation.


The GCA meeting was pretty much as expected too. There were a series of reports from various board positions and some board elections. And that's when things went to hell.

I was acclaimed as the GCA's new vice-president. Oops.

I got even with [profile] kent4str for masterminding that little prank: I nominated him for alternate IAGSDC rep. Take that!

The primary role of the GCA vice-president is to run two consecutive annual caller schools.
Since there's no time like the present, I'm already collecting information & ideas for next year's caller school. I'll write more about what I'm thinking on this later.

Tonight, we're off to the opening trail-in dance and schmooze with our fellow dancers, as well as hunt down some food for dinner.
bjarvis: (Default)
I have hardly danced a single step this past week but it's been a very productive & interesting week nonetheless.

I called a C2 workshop last Wednesday for our small regular group. In all, it went pretty well: I have three sequences I want to retool to varying degrees, but the other 50+ used that night were fine, including some with cute gimmicks or tricks.

[profile] kent4str and I have received our GCA guest calling assignments for the Vancouver IAGSDC convention at the end of this month. I have an Advanced set, a C1 set and two C2 sets; Kent has a C1 and two C2 sets. Woo hoo!

Last weekend's DC Pride square dance demo & parade went better than last year but could be better. The DC Lambda Squares board agrees and it appears we're finally going to start working seriously on creating an official square dance demo team for public appearances & performances.

We're sketchy on the details at the moment --I've been derailed by a death in the extended family and both [profile] kent4str and I had commitments to this weekend's Baltimore Pride and the Chesapeake Squares-- but we do have some ideas.
  1. It's an invitation-only team. I know this will hurt some feelings but we need to know that those participating can dance effectively, are flexible enough to dance the boy or girl part if needed and are committed to the rehearsals and performance schedule.
  2. We've created a tentative list of approximately 20 dancers, past & present DCLS members, we plan to approach. Ideally, we want enough dancers for two full squares, plus a few extras for those who need to beg off a particular gig because of illness, work or whatever.
  3. We'll be dancing to a script so anyone with Plus experience will have enough dance knowledge; we'll do more than just the MS & Plus list of course, but we're just teaching the calls instead of teaching how to dance.
  4. We're covering a lot more than dancing. We're going to emphasize a complete performance: how to get on stage, how to exit the stage, how to hold one's inactive hands, how we're going to dress, etc., and enforce consistent flourishes & styling. I frequently joke while calling at club nights that it's square dancing, not ballet, so mistakes & imperfections are a cause for laughter rather than embarrassment. Not for the performance team: this is ballet now.


Beyond that, we haven't planned much. Above all else, we need to set a rehearsal time and location and that's no small matter with so many dance events around the greater DC area on any given night. At the moment, I don't even have a clue where to begin on that topic. We also need to do a boatload of research to learn as quickly as possible what will & will not work. Time to dig into the CALLERLAB archives...

In other news, DC Lambda Squares has a great new badge design. The order for new club badges will be submitted Monday and I hope we can show them off at the IAGSDC convention in Vancouver. I really like the design.

And in still other news, DCLS has moved from our dingy, carpeted Scott Hall at National City Christian Church to the music room a few doors over. The room has vastly better lighting, is enormously cleaner --Scott Hall is a charter school during the daytimes and kids are by definition somewhat messy-- and has a tile floor. The acoustics are a little echoey so we'll need to experiment with speaker placement for optimal results but it's better than the audio black hole in Scott Hall. Bill Harrison was the first of our regular callers to use the new hall for Advanced & Challenge night last Thursday with good results; I'm calling for DCLS next Thursday so I'll have more to report after that.

DCLS scooped up 90 names at last weekend's pride festival. The wrist bands and temporary tatoos with the DCLS logo seemed to be a draw, but I think the big win was our raffle of a Kindle. We have a pizza night & open house on Monday so we'll see how many folks come for that. [profile] kent4str and I are co-teaching the new Mainstream class (16 weeks starting on Monday, July 9) so we'll hopefully convert some of these names into new dancers soon.

Today's Baltimore Pride parade with the Chesapeake Squares went vastly better than last year's. Last year, we attempted a quick demo in front of the reviewing stand but the audio guys screwed up our pre-recorded music & calling, starting the sequence four calls in and thus losing all of our dancers. It was a mess.

This year, we gave them the music but were relying on our own audio system for the calls. It worked better, but for some reason, someone insisted the dancers dance in front of our float rather than behind so we had to quickly swivel our speakers around so face the dancers. Then the MC from the stage insisted on talking over top the calling & dancing so our dancers could hardly hear [profile] kent4str. Fortunately, I could pick out his voice and interpret his calls and re-shout them to our square so we had a pretty successful 30 second demo despite the circumstances. Oh, and the audio guy never stated our music at all. Not a single note. *sigh*

Chesapeake Squares has an open house on Tuesday, June 26, 8-10pm. As I type this, I just discovered to my horror that I'm scheduled to call for them that night. Doh! :-) They're also sponsoring a Kindle raffle for tomorrow's Baltimore Pride Festival... let's hope they get as many names as DCLS did, and that we can translate those names into new dancers!

Moving On

Jun. 24th, 2011 03:44 pm
bjarvis: (GCA logo)
It's been a bit of a mystery to me exactly why I'm still on the board of the GCA. More precisely, no one could remember when I was first elected and therefore no one could figure out when exactly my term would end. In effect, I've been drifting on in this board role for years with no clear end in sight.

Apathy on the exact term length --by both the membership and me-- apparently seems to let things to pretty far. I'm also taking it as a respectable sign that I haven't done anything especially egregious that people are seeking to vote me out of office or displace me by running another candidate.

Anyway...

Michael Maltenfort was digging into the GCA by-laws on an unrelated matter and he happened to point out in email to the overall board the elections clause: The president, treasurer and IAGSDC delegate are elected in odd years while vice-president, secretary and alternate IAGSDC delegate are elected in even years. Oops.

I first joined the board in August of 2004, replacing the late Eric Calimag of Chicago. I finished his term as IAGSDC delegate, then was re-elected in 2005. [livejournal.com profile] rlegters became the IAGSDC delegate in 2007 and I became the alternate delegate --and have been ever since although I can't remember any subsequent re-election for my own office.

Until an hour ago, I thought my term would expire this month and I'd be free. According to the by-laws, my position isn't up for a vote until next year. Checking further into the by-laws though, there is a clause on term limits: no officer can be in the same office for more than two consecutive terms.

I've sent my notice to the board informing them that I'm outta here next week. I recommended they seek a volunteer to take the position until 2012 when they can be elected for a regular term, synchronizing once again with the by-laws. After nearly seven years on the board, I think I've done my part.

Since [livejournal.com profile] rlegters can't attend next week's IAGSDC delegates meeting, I'll be making the GCA reports in his stead. Since no one from the Chesapeake Squares was willing, [livejournal.com profile] kent4str will be their voting delegate. Fun.

Moving On

Jun. 24th, 2011 03:44 pm
bjarvis: (GCA logo)
It's been a bit of a mystery to me exactly why I'm still on the board of the GCA. More precisely, no one could remember when I was first elected and therefore no one could figure out when exactly my term would end. In effect, I've been drifting on in this board role for years with no clear end in sight.

Apathy on the exact term length --by both the membership and me-- apparently seems to let things to pretty far. I'm also taking it as a respectable sign that I haven't done anything especially egregious that people are seeking to vote me out of office or displace me by running another candidate.

Anyway...

Michael Maltenfort was digging into the GCA by-laws on an unrelated matter and he happened to point out in email to the overall board the elections clause: The president, treasurer and IAGSDC delegate are elected in odd years while vice-president, secretary and alternate IAGSDC delegate are elected in even years. Oops.

I first joined the board in August of 2004, replacing the late Eric Calimag of Chicago. I finished his term as IAGSDC delegate, then was re-elected in 2005. [livejournal.com profile] rlegters became the IAGSDC delegate in 2007 and I became the alternate delegate --and have been ever since although I can't remember any subsequent re-election for my own office.

Until an hour ago, I thought my term would expire this month and I'd be free. According to the by-laws, my position isn't up for a vote until next year. Checking further into the by-laws though, there is a clause on term limits: no officer can be in the same office for more than two consecutive terms.

I've sent my notice to the board informing them that I'm outta here next week. I recommended they seek a volunteer to take the position until 2012 when they can be elected for a regular term, synchronizing once again with the by-laws. After nearly seven years on the board, I think I've done my part.

Since [livejournal.com profile] rlegters can't attend next week's IAGSDC delegates meeting, I'll be making the GCA reports in his stead. Since no one from the Chesapeake Squares was willing, [livejournal.com profile] kent4str will be their voting delegate. Fun.
bjarvis: (DC Lambda Squares)
DC Lambda Squares' Harvest Festival Hoedown weekend has come & gone yet again, this the 16th annual fall fly-in weekend. It was enormous fun and a great success, IMHO! For those who missed it, we had Deborah Carroll-Jones, Barry Clasper, [livejournal.com profile] caller_dayle) and myself as staff callers. This was our first year at the Yorktowne Hotel in York, PA, a dance space known well to those who dance regularly at John Marshall's dance weekends & workshops and the Harvest Moon Festival.



I'm personally delighted with how many of our newest Mainstream class graduates attended, and even happier with how well they danced at their square dance debut. I taught two out of the four classes which covered the Mainstream list so I had some personal & professional interest in ensuring they were ready for this dance and that they had a good time doing so. Sure, they were a little hesitant on the floor at first but all were dancing with vastly faster reaction times, greater confidence and even extra flourishes by Saturday afternoon. There is an additional workshop this coming Saturday so I hope they're bringing a list of things they'd like to revisit.

I don't have the official statistics but I know we had over 100 dancers attending the weekend. Looking at the hourly room statistics, our dancers were definitely weighted heavily to the Plus & Advanced level: the C1 and C2 blocks never had more than two squares, the Mainstream hall had to sometimes struggle for a single square if there was a Plus hall running opposite, and the Advanced hall could have as many as four squares if there was no C1 dancing to siphon off the upper level dancers.

The "intro to" sessions weren't as popular as I thought they'd be. We had only one square each for "intro to C1" and "intro to Plus," two for "intro to Advanced" and --surprisingly-- "intro to C2". Go figure. By contrast, I called to four squares for the Advanced workshop; Deborah had six for her Plus workshop while Dayle & Barry each had two squares for their Mainstream and C1 workshops respectively and a single square for the C2 workshop (which I couldn't attend 'cause it was opposite my Advanced workshop hour... bummer!).

And now I get a little introspective... )
bjarvis: (DC Lambda Squares)
DC Lambda Squares' Harvest Festival Hoedown weekend has come & gone yet again, this the 16th annual fall fly-in weekend. It was enormous fun and a great success, IMHO! For those who missed it, we had Deborah Carroll-Jones, Barry Clasper, [livejournal.com profile] caller_dayle) and myself as staff callers. This was our first year at the Yorktowne Hotel in York, PA, a dance space known well to those who dance regularly at John Marshall's dance weekends & workshops and the Harvest Moon Festival.



I'm personally delighted with how many of our newest Mainstream class graduates attended, and even happier with how well they danced at their square dance debut. I taught two out of the four classes which covered the Mainstream list so I had some personal & professional interest in ensuring they were ready for this dance and that they had a good time doing so. Sure, they were a little hesitant on the floor at first but all were dancing with vastly faster reaction times, greater confidence and even extra flourishes by Saturday afternoon. There is an additional workshop this coming Saturday so I hope they're bringing a list of things they'd like to revisit.

I don't have the official statistics but I know we had over 100 dancers attending the weekend. Looking at the hourly room statistics, our dancers were definitely weighted heavily to the Plus & Advanced level: the C1 and C2 blocks never had more than two squares, the Mainstream hall had to sometimes struggle for a single square if there was a Plus hall running opposite, and the Advanced hall could have as many as four squares if there was no C1 dancing to siphon off the upper level dancers.

The "intro to" sessions weren't as popular as I thought they'd be. We had only one square each for "intro to C1" and "intro to Plus," two for "intro to Advanced" and --surprisingly-- "intro to C2". Go figure. By contrast, I called to four squares for the Advanced workshop; Deborah had six for her Plus workshop while Dayle & Barry each had two squares for their Mainstream and C1 workshops respectively and a single square for the C2 workshop (which I couldn't attend 'cause it was opposite my Advanced workshop hour... bummer!).

And now I get a little introspective... )
bjarvis: (IASGDC)
We're back in DC again after a fun weekend at the annual IAGSDC convention, this year in Chicago.

Our flight from Baltimore to Midway was pretty easy; the GO Express airport shuttle was a delight as well. And the hotel --wow! It's a beautiful bit of architecture with great staff.

The Chicago convention team had clearly worked hard to make this a great convention and it showed: all aspects were incredibly smooth, including check-in, dance spaces and the brunch & banquet. We didn't go on the fun badge tour but friends gave an enthusiastic report.

This convention was actually more about business than dancing for me again this year (although admittedly not as much as last year when I was the convention registrar). I attended the IAGSDC delegates meeting on behalf of the Gay Callers Association (non-voting), making a report to the delegates and collecting data for the GCA membership meeting immediately following. The big news largely was the confirmation that the 2014 convention will be in Salt Lake City, UT, and Times Squares of New York City expressed an interest in hosting the 2015 convention.

A handful of delegates expressed their bitter dissatisfaction that the delegates meeting was taking place on the Thursday before the convention, prior to Friday's opening ceremonies. I like having it earlier as it means the delegates don't have to sacrifice dancing time during the convention. Those objecting seemed to latch specifically onto an interpretation of the IAGSDC by-laws which declares the meeting must happen during the convention and the convention itself isn't considered to have started until the opening ceremonies, but that's grasping at straws, IMHO: I say the convention begins with the first scheduled event. I'll look more deeply into the IAGSDC by-laws later.

The GCA meeting was surprisingly uneventful as well. I know there's widespread dissatisfaction with this year's methodology for selecting & assigning non-staff callers to the guest spots but John Oldfield made a great speech which I think acknowledged the annoyance of many but reminded them firmly that the non-staff callers work at the pleasure of the host committee and as professionals, we should accept gratefully the opportunities we have. Ken Ritucci has completed his term as vice-president and is replaced by Arlene Kaspick; Arlene's role as secretary will now be filled by Jane Clewe. Interestingly, no one (including myself included) could remember precisely when [livejournal.com profile] rlegters was elected the primary IAGSDC delegates or when I became the alternate delegate so we weren't sure if our terms expired or not. I guess I'm the alternate delegate for life until I look up in my notes when our positions should be up for election.

A subsequent meeting of the new GCA board was very useful. I hope we repeat this in future as we can cover a lot more ground in one hour face-to-face than we can via email.

The convention planners' meeting was of great personal interest. Danny Lee has updated the IAGSDC web site to now allow convention planning documents to be uploaded directly, relieving Seth Levine & Ett McAtee of a huge amount of archiving work. I was able to upload some 20 documents during the meeting itself; there are many more but I didn't want to use up all of my wireless bandwidth too soon. I like that the Chicago convention has done away with the display of club banners. While they're very nice, it costs thousands of dollars to hang them, not to mention countless volunteer hours to request, receive, sort, store and return.

I was in five group photos this year, not including the all-dancers group photo, each with costume changes. They included: DC Lambda Squares, Chesapeake Squares, Ettseteras, GCA members, GCA board. I bought all but the GCA board photo. Some day, I'll have to frame or at least properly insert into photo albums all of the convention club photos I've collected over the years.

I had five calling gigs this year, two Mainstream and one each of Plus, Advanced and C1. In all, they went pretty well. I had planned to work from cards for the C1 and sight-resolve the rest but I ultimately used cards for the Advanced as well, largely as a safety precaution against nervousness. The Plus set stumbled once when my pilot and my alternate pilot square both broke down but that was easily handled. The second Mainstream seat crashed badly at least twice but I think the crowd laughed it off since that floor was composed heavily of newbie dancers and it was the last hour of the convention so all were more than a little brain-dead.

The big lesson for me was about focus. I readily admit I get nervous when there are other big-name callers in the hall watching and evaluating. Of course, I know they are there to be supportive and to see if there are tips they can offer which would make me a better caller but it raises the bar (and my blood pressure) a little. It's silly to be additionally nervous as I know they mean well and it's ridiculous that I should give extra effort in my calling when they're present: after all, shouldn't I be giving 110% to the *dancers* every time I'm on mic? Anyway, the big emotional wallop didn't happen this time.

My first gig was an Advanced set, with both Mike DeSisto (just finished) and Sandie Bryant (up next) in the hall. I just called as though they were just another pair of dancers and had no attack of nerves at all.

During my C1 tip, I had a single square on the floor. There were barely enough bodies available for a second square but only if both John Marshall and Mary Hutchison danced as well. And I wasn't nervous.

Mike Kellog caught the end of my first Mainstream set and complimented me on the singing call portion he had heard. I even had Mike DeSisto in one Mainstream set as a dancer and he said he liked it as well. I still think a little nervousness is good to force mental clarity and a best effort but I think I'm past the point of being near-paralysis.

Between the gigs and their prep time, the club photos, the misc costume changes and the meetings, I think I only danced 4-5 tips the entire weekend. Oddly enough, that's just fine with me. These conventions are as much about business and responsibilities for me as they are about dance time --which probably says a lot about my personality. This weekend was a good balance for me personally so I feel emotionally and mentally fulfilled. And I didn't embarrass my ancestors with my C2 dancing.

Outside of the convention itself, I had a great time Monday catching up with Rob Russo, a Chicago native we know from chorus connections. Eric Mulder (Boston) was able to join us on some of our morning & early afternoon tourist adventures and we had much fun with Steve Heyl and John Griffin (San Diego). There was much schmoozing during the convention itself after dancing at the hotel lounge with so many friends, as well as parties hosted by Brian Keating & Mark McLoney one night and Joe "Missy" Brown in his room another.

This was my first trip to Chicago and I'm looking forward to returning again some day. We're toying with gathering a bunch of friends from Grand Rapids and Cleveland for a Chicago weekend trip some day but have yet to compare & coordinate calendars to see when it might be viable.

I still have some work to do when we get home, beyond the laundry and deferred domestic duties. I need to write up my report to the GCA membership to give to our GCA secretary for inclusion in the minutes. The rest of our 2009 convention docs have to be annotated and uploaded to the IAGSDC web site. I have hundreds of photos to be labeled, sorted and posted. And somewhere in this mess, I have a full time job waiting for me for the balance of the week.
bjarvis: (IASGDC)
We're back in DC again after a fun weekend at the annual IAGSDC convention, this year in Chicago.

Our flight from Baltimore to Midway was pretty easy; the GO Express airport shuttle was a delight as well. And the hotel --wow! It's a beautiful bit of architecture with great staff.

The Chicago convention team had clearly worked hard to make this a great convention and it showed: all aspects were incredibly smooth, including check-in, dance spaces and the brunch & banquet. We didn't go on the fun badge tour but friends gave an enthusiastic report.

This convention was actually more about business than dancing for me again this year (although admittedly not as much as last year when I was the convention registrar). I attended the IAGSDC delegates meeting on behalf of the Gay Callers Association (non-voting), making a report to the delegates and collecting data for the GCA membership meeting immediately following. The big news largely was the confirmation that the 2014 convention will be in Salt Lake City, UT, and Times Squares of New York City expressed an interest in hosting the 2015 convention.

A handful of delegates expressed their bitter dissatisfaction that the delegates meeting was taking place on the Thursday before the convention, prior to Friday's opening ceremonies. I like having it earlier as it means the delegates don't have to sacrifice dancing time during the convention. Those objecting seemed to latch specifically onto an interpretation of the IAGSDC by-laws which declares the meeting must happen during the convention and the convention itself isn't considered to have started until the opening ceremonies, but that's grasping at straws, IMHO: I say the convention begins with the first scheduled event. I'll look more deeply into the IAGSDC by-laws later.

The GCA meeting was surprisingly uneventful as well. I know there's widespread dissatisfaction with this year's methodology for selecting & assigning non-staff callers to the guest spots but John Oldfield made a great speech which I think acknowledged the annoyance of many but reminded them firmly that the non-staff callers work at the pleasure of the host committee and as professionals, we should accept gratefully the opportunities we have. Ken Ritucci has completed his term as vice-president and is replaced by Arlene Kaspick; Arlene's role as secretary will now be filled by Jane Clewe. Interestingly, no one (including myself included) could remember precisely when [livejournal.com profile] rlegters was elected the primary IAGSDC delegates or when I became the alternate delegate so we weren't sure if our terms expired or not. I guess I'm the alternate delegate for life until I look up in my notes when our positions should be up for election.

A subsequent meeting of the new GCA board was very useful. I hope we repeat this in future as we can cover a lot more ground in one hour face-to-face than we can via email.

The convention planners' meeting was of great personal interest. Danny Lee has updated the IAGSDC web site to now allow convention planning documents to be uploaded directly, relieving Seth Levine & Ett McAtee of a huge amount of archiving work. I was able to upload some 20 documents during the meeting itself; there are many more but I didn't want to use up all of my wireless bandwidth too soon. I like that the Chicago convention has done away with the display of club banners. While they're very nice, it costs thousands of dollars to hang them, not to mention countless volunteer hours to request, receive, sort, store and return.

I was in five group photos this year, not including the all-dancers group photo, each with costume changes. They included: DC Lambda Squares, Chesapeake Squares, Ettseteras, GCA members, GCA board. I bought all but the GCA board photo. Some day, I'll have to frame or at least properly insert into photo albums all of the convention club photos I've collected over the years.

I had five calling gigs this year, two Mainstream and one each of Plus, Advanced and C1. In all, they went pretty well. I had planned to work from cards for the C1 and sight-resolve the rest but I ultimately used cards for the Advanced as well, largely as a safety precaution against nervousness. The Plus set stumbled once when my pilot and my alternate pilot square both broke down but that was easily handled. The second Mainstream seat crashed badly at least twice but I think the crowd laughed it off since that floor was composed heavily of newbie dancers and it was the last hour of the convention so all were more than a little brain-dead.

The big lesson for me was about focus. I readily admit I get nervous when there are other big-name callers in the hall watching and evaluating. Of course, I know they are there to be supportive and to see if there are tips they can offer which would make me a better caller but it raises the bar (and my blood pressure) a little. It's silly to be additionally nervous as I know they mean well and it's ridiculous that I should give extra effort in my calling when they're present: after all, shouldn't I be giving 110% to the *dancers* every time I'm on mic? Anyway, the big emotional wallop didn't happen this time.

My first gig was an Advanced set, with both Mike DeSisto (just finished) and Sandie Bryant (up next) in the hall. I just called as though they were just another pair of dancers and had no attack of nerves at all.

During my C1 tip, I had a single square on the floor. There were barely enough bodies available for a second square but only if both John Marshall and Mary Hutchison danced as well. And I wasn't nervous.

Mike Kellog caught the end of my first Mainstream set and complimented me on the singing call portion he had heard. I even had Mike DeSisto in one Mainstream set as a dancer and he said he liked it as well. I still think a little nervousness is good to force mental clarity and a best effort but I think I'm past the point of being near-paralysis.

Between the gigs and their prep time, the club photos, the misc costume changes and the meetings, I think I only danced 4-5 tips the entire weekend. Oddly enough, that's just fine with me. These conventions are as much about business and responsibilities for me as they are about dance time --which probably says a lot about my personality. This weekend was a good balance for me personally so I feel emotionally and mentally fulfilled. And I didn't embarrass my ancestors with my C2 dancing.

Outside of the convention itself, I had a great time Monday catching up with Rob Russo, a Chicago native we know from chorus connections. Eric Mulder (Boston) was able to join us on some of our morning & early afternoon tourist adventures and we had much fun with Steve Heyl and John Griffin (San Diego). There was much schmoozing during the convention itself after dancing at the hotel lounge with so many friends, as well as parties hosted by Brian Keating & Mark McLoney one night and Joe "Missy" Brown in his room another.

This was my first trip to Chicago and I'm looking forward to returning again some day. We're toying with gathering a bunch of friends from Grand Rapids and Cleveland for a Chicago weekend trip some day but have yet to compare & coordinate calendars to see when it might be viable.

I still have some work to do when we get home, beyond the laundry and deferred domestic duties. I need to write up my report to the GCA membership to give to our GCA secretary for inclusion in the minutes. The rest of our 2009 convention docs have to be annotated and uploaded to the IAGSDC web site. I have hundreds of photos to be labeled, sorted and posted. And somewhere in this mess, I have a full time job waiting for me for the balance of the week.
bjarvis: (Chesapeake Squares)
I was late getting out of bed Friday morning: I slept very poorly so I was in no hurry to pull myself together to face the day. Despite my sluggishness, we collectively packed our bags and sound systems into the minivan and were on the road to Rehoboth Beach, DE, by noon, right on schedule.

Traffic was relatively light, all things considered. The weather was warm and clear so a lot of people went to the beach this weekend but we were in front of that particular human wave. We arrived by 3:30pm, dropped our bags in our room at The Breakers Hotel and installed the audio equipment in two of the three dance halls.

[livejournal.com profile] kent4str and I were scheduled to host the open house in one of the smaller dance halls 7-8pm Friday night. We were at our post but not a single dancer showed up. We weren't surprised in the slightest: at 7pm on a Friday night, most normal people are still commuting from work or having dinner. Only the die-hard square dancers were in any of the dance halls: by definition, those not yet initiated into the wonders of square dancing aren't typically among that die-hard crowd. We were confident there would be vastly more at the Saturday evening open house.

[livejournal.com profile] kent4str, [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr and I danced a number of tips, shifting between the A2, C1 and C2 spaces easily as the schedule (and desperate calls of "we need one more dancer to fill a square!") dictated. We didn't stay up too late: as soon as the raffle drawings were done, we returned to our room to get some rest.

Saturday morning's fun began with a C2 workshop where we worked on the disconnected and once-removed concepts. Good stuff! [livejournal.com profile] kent4str hosted the Mainstream GCA guest caller hour while I hosted the Plus GCA guest caller hour in the early afternoon. We had a full roster of callers (Zip Warmerdam, Dan Faust, Abe Feldman, Alan Hirsch, Kent and myself) and at least one square dancing each hour.

We had a nice dinner at Los Locos across the street from the convention center. [livejournal.com profile] kent4str ordered a marguerita:

Twenty-eight ounces of booze! Oy!

[livejournal.com profile] kent4str and I flogged 50/50 tickets through the evening at the IAGSDC banner dance. In all, I think there was about $650 raised in total; Dave from Times Squares won half as the jackpot.

Sunday began even earlier than Saturday: 9am. I danced some C2 early on, then took a break to pack our stuff in our hotel room before hosting the second GCA guest caller Mainstream hall. I didn't call any during this block as we had a full slate but I added myself to the caller list for [livejournal.com profile] kent4str's GCA A2 hour after lunch.

My Advanced set was very successful, I think, with two personal firsts: this was my first time on the big stage at the convention hall. I've called in lots of little rooms but the atmosphere is very different in the main hall: one is elevated enough to see all of the squares instead of just the one or two immediately in front. The sense of acoustics is far different too. My other personal victory was that I sight-called nearly my entire set smoothly and a good variety of calls and formations; by plan, I read scripted figures for only my intro and my closer. I've been working on that a great deal lately, trying to sight-resolve my Advanced sets as comfortably as I do my Mainstream and Plus. Yay!

Checking out was a smooth process. We have reservations already for next year's fly-in weekend. The drive home was uneventful although I still have some unpacking to do.

Our next major square dance event: the IAGSDC convention in Chicago!
bjarvis: (Chesapeake Squares)
I was late getting out of bed Friday morning: I slept very poorly so I was in no hurry to pull myself together to face the day. Despite my sluggishness, we collectively packed our bags and sound systems into the minivan and were on the road to Rehoboth Beach, DE, by noon, right on schedule.

Traffic was relatively light, all things considered. The weather was warm and clear so a lot of people went to the beach this weekend but we were in front of that particular human wave. We arrived by 3:30pm, dropped our bags in our room at The Breakers Hotel and installed the audio equipment in two of the three dance halls.

[livejournal.com profile] kent4str and I were scheduled to host the open house in one of the smaller dance halls 7-8pm Friday night. We were at our post but not a single dancer showed up. We weren't surprised in the slightest: at 7pm on a Friday night, most normal people are still commuting from work or having dinner. Only the die-hard square dancers were in any of the dance halls: by definition, those not yet initiated into the wonders of square dancing aren't typically among that die-hard crowd. We were confident there would be vastly more at the Saturday evening open house.

[livejournal.com profile] kent4str, [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr and I danced a number of tips, shifting between the A2, C1 and C2 spaces easily as the schedule (and desperate calls of "we need one more dancer to fill a square!") dictated. We didn't stay up too late: as soon as the raffle drawings were done, we returned to our room to get some rest.

Saturday morning's fun began with a C2 workshop where we worked on the disconnected and once-removed concepts. Good stuff! [livejournal.com profile] kent4str hosted the Mainstream GCA guest caller hour while I hosted the Plus GCA guest caller hour in the early afternoon. We had a full roster of callers (Zip Warmerdam, Dan Faust, Abe Feldman, Alan Hirsch, Kent and myself) and at least one square dancing each hour.

We had a nice dinner at Los Locos across the street from the convention center. [livejournal.com profile] kent4str ordered a marguerita:

Twenty-eight ounces of booze! Oy!

[livejournal.com profile] kent4str and I flogged 50/50 tickets through the evening at the IAGSDC banner dance. In all, I think there was about $650 raised in total; Dave from Times Squares won half as the jackpot.

Sunday began even earlier than Saturday: 9am. I danced some C2 early on, then took a break to pack our stuff in our hotel room before hosting the second GCA guest caller Mainstream hall. I didn't call any during this block as we had a full slate but I added myself to the caller list for [livejournal.com profile] kent4str's GCA A2 hour after lunch.

My Advanced set was very successful, I think, with two personal firsts: this was my first time on the big stage at the convention hall. I've called in lots of little rooms but the atmosphere is very different in the main hall: one is elevated enough to see all of the squares instead of just the one or two immediately in front. The sense of acoustics is far different too. My other personal victory was that I sight-called nearly my entire set smoothly and a good variety of calls and formations; by plan, I read scripted figures for only my intro and my closer. I've been working on that a great deal lately, trying to sight-resolve my Advanced sets as comfortably as I do my Mainstream and Plus. Yay!

Checking out was a smooth process. We have reservations already for next year's fly-in weekend. The drive home was uneventful although I still have some unpacking to do.

Our next major square dance event: the IAGSDC convention in Chicago!

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