I went to my first contra dance weekend recently! The Gypsy Moon Ball is held every year in Indianapolis, and I was asked to drive one of the two callers for the weekend down with me Friday night. This was my first time taking my car on a road trip with a passenger, so I carefully lined up a playlist of music devoid of sea shanties or Child ballads. Maggie Jo and I had a great time driving down, getting in an hour or two before the dance ended for the evening. The playlist seemed to go over well too.
The music at the dance was excellent, and the callers did a great job too. It was so much fun to get to dance with the most engaged dancers from the area (people who would bother paying for a dance weekend and traveling to one) and I was finally able to get a handle the buzz step needed for a proper swing. As a result, I got lots of compliments on my ability to follow well and my (I still don’t believe in this) grace.
Reluctant as I am to waltz, I gave in a couple of times. It’s uncomfortable and takes a lot of concentration, and people often count for me or make a fuss about stopping and getting our steps lined up. This time though, someone pointed out that if I count to six instead of three, that makes it easier to know what foot I should be on.
Saturday night involved a costume contest.
It was a good weekend, and nice to get out of the house and meet some new people. I came away with some new friends, and my first dance button (though I’m pretty disappointed that it doesn’t have my name printed on it; the sharpie is rubbing off). It was a little rough being an introvert and not really knowing anyone from the Chicago group yet, but I had a lot of fun all the same. I can tell my stamina is getting a lot better since the start of the year too – though I was skipping probably half the dances, it was more because I felt socially overwhelmed than because I was physically tired.
Along that line of thinking, was a good conversation in the car with someone I gave a ride to, who suggested that some of my eating troubles may actually stem from a sensory eating disorder and/or what she was calling “jagging,” where you have a small set of specific foods that you rely on, meal after meal. I definitely do the latter, and perhaps part of why living at home for a few months helped get me on a better eating schedule was because I was eating with my parents, instead of my staples of freezer food. And since talking to her, I’ve noticed that there does seem to be some sort of sensory thing going on, probably also linked with surges of anxiety.