Jack & Jill O'Rama: A West Coast Swing Competition Weekend
What is West Coast Swing? Watch this to find out.
My next stop on my journey took me all the way to...wait for it...Orange, CA. About a 30-minute drive away from my first stop. Dance, and especially west coast swing (WCS), has become a big part of my life. If you look at the six basic human needs*, it fulfills just about all of them. So it's no wonder it's become something of a happy addiction for me in the past three-and-a-half years.
Seeing as I'd put it on the back burner since the New Year to save money and focus more on work, it seemed only right to kick off my journey with a weekend filled with dancing now that I had the ability to do so. I'll write more about what makes this dance unique, so much fun, and meaningful to me later. But suffice it to say, that it was a perfect way to start this journey.
Since one of my main criteria for this trip is to "play full out," dance plays in nicely with that goal--as I can't help but be my full happy self when I'm on the floor. It's a safe-haven of sorts, as it's almost impossible to have a bad attitude when you get to spend all day/night being active, interacting with good friends, dancing with a sampling of quality gentlemen, and getting to express myself through the art of dance (aka: busting a move to Call Me Maybe).
The one challenge with weekends like these is that it makes it very difficult to eat healthy when there are workshops all day, competitions in the evenings, and dancing until 2am, 3am, or even 5am in the morning for three straight days. I typically bring a cooler filled with the following (sorry I forgot to take a picture of my standard dance weekend cooler, but I'll do that next time): almond milk for my protein shakes and chia drinks, carrots/tomatoes/peppers and hummus for dipping, roasted veggies for munching, apples, peaches, almonds, and paleo cookies. If I'm not prepared for the weekend with my own food, it can be quite the struggle to find something decent, with the standard offerings of Starbucks and chain fast food restaurants at arm's length.
That said, it was a great weekend of competing, social dancing, and visiting with my favorite CA dancers before I leaving on my trip. Next stop: south to Encinitas, CA.
*The six human needs are explained at this link. But briefly they are the need for certainty, for uncertainty/variety, significance, love/connection, growth, and contribution.