I was at Dogtown in Floyd, VA which turned out to be far more than I'd expected by any stretch of the imagination. Actually, on my birthday I was at Glen Echo but it's really the Saturday night I want to write about, the small regional dance picked out almost by pointing at a spot on a map and because it's what was happening that particular Saturday night within a 100 mile radius of something or other. Where I REALLY wanted to go was Staunton because I'd been communicating with them and I was meant to be there the November before but the trip was cancelled because Elizabeth was so sick but once I've got my mind made up about meeting people - and my dance gypsy tendencies are toward small regional dances NOT these big old things full of some of the most irritating dance snobs I've ever met (every sort of thing you can do has them and by the way, I don't know for SURE they're full of dance snobs I just THINK they're full of dance snobs because of the dance snobbery I read which is specifically written by some rather terrifying dance snobs. I'm guessing some rather lovely dancers go to other places and are rather lovely and don't write rather unlovely things in public places ok I'll stop that now) although the music sure is something else and I don't boycott them with the exception of gender balanced events and you all don't need me going into that just now.
Back on Floyd. I really wanted to go to Staunton. April 13 wasn't their Saturday night. OK, so be it. April 13 was Floyd's Saturday night. As it turns out, for a very small, almost backwater (except for a few small distinctions) dance, Floyd manages to attract some VERY good music. Last year there was Big Celtic Fun and that's going to be meaningless to everyone except SM and Cielo. Big Celtic Fun I'm pretty sure went on to play at Glen Echo and Celador, which has made it's way up and down and across the country for some inexplicable reason made a stop at Floyd. I don't know how Floyd pays it's rent. It's that sorta smallish I think, like a Connecticut dance where it's a month to month struggle to pay the community hall and the band and the caller and hope enough warm, paying bodies walk through those doors each month, coughing up $12 a head to keep the community in the black. It's not an easy thing.
Back on Floyd. Floyd turned out to be a pretty good deal because it happens to be on The Crooked Road. I stood in the Country Store and listened to an old bluegrass band play I'll Fly Away which is about enough to bring me to my knees. I nearly took out a rack of t-shirts. Here is a great post about the Floyd Country Store.
This is a recording that looks like it happened on the front porch. I'm terribly grateful to William Ellis for posting this on youtube because mine wasn't nearly this well done and I don't think I could pull it back up if I had to. Looks and sounds like my guys though.
Back on Floyd. Well Cielo was at Floyd. That was special. Dancing with Cielo was special. Driving out to Christianburg so Cielo could have a word with her daddy and leave him some glass was special and so was that coconut cream pie when we got back. But... my first regional dance away from home. See that guy giving me one hell of a spin up there? I don't know who he is. I know I talked to him a bit and I know he sure was vested in keeping that dance going and I know he was the best dancer by a light year or two in that room and he was without a shadow of a doubt, solely focused on making damn sure every partner he had danced well. It was never about him. Cielo and I sat and watched him Waltz with a girl who really could dance and my guess is he was making her look maybe 25% better than she might have otherwise. That spin he gave me was something I sure would have had trouble with at that point, keeping my feet under me and he just whirled me around like a top. I had a bad case of the happies.
I was missing NM something fierce now and then. It was only a few months in and too early to have not planned that trip and not something to even think about rearranging. Doesn't mean I wasn't missing him. I don't know that we spoke the same language well enough that I could make him understand about Floyd. I'm pretty sure I couldn't even begin to make him understand about I'll Fly Away. None of this is particularly important, we just didn't know each other well enough for me to be able to communicate the importance or for him to be able to hear it. I still have trouble sharing music but it's getting better. Actually, I think it's getting a lot better.
Anyway. There's this. I don't remember the caller's name. I should. I can find out. I'm friends with her husband on Facebook. One of those people you friend because they ask you to when you meet them and then you don't do much more connecting but I sure do know who he is. So I'm looking up at her on the stage and she said later something about the look on my face when I realized what she was going to call when we were holding hands four across and it was *not* a wavy line of four and I love this for no real good reason and that man had just said we were going to be out at the top quick and we were going to dance it anyway and that just makes me unbelievably happy because I can't tell you how much I hate standing there when I'm out at the top. Or the bottom. Or whatever. If you need to rest that's ok then, I get it, but otherwise, I want to dance with you, whoever you are and if there are four of us then I want to dance with my partner and I want you to dance with yours and if we can all dance together then that's the way I want it to be.
So Floyd, it's been a year and I haven't come anywhere near forgetting you. I've been to a few other places since and I've been to the NYC dances, two of the three of them and they're my second home but I don't get there too much. I've been to the Amherst dance which is NM's dance that he started I guess about 3 and a half years ago and I've only been there three times I think because it's on a school night and that takes some planning and a bit of support but I sure haven't been to another regional dance outside of my own territory and you made quite an impression.
Tomorrow I'll be North at Greenfield with NM and maybe on Sunday night I'll make it all the way to Brattleboro if I don't decide I need to fall down and that will be just a little bit further North to another smallish dance, maybe this year's April 13 Floyd.