Yeah, well, that's THIS week. Starting Friday. Friday the drive there plus casual dance, Saturday the all-day competition (and I do mean all-day; it traditionally begins at six AM and ends at MIDNIGHT. Yeah. 18 hours), and Sunday the drive home.
Plus maybe an afterparty; you never know.
Obviously, during that time, I won't be able to blog--I might technically have the capacity to do so if I bring my laptop and there's a working internet connection, but even if so, it would be inadvisable for me to actually follow through, since the only times I'd be writing would be late-at-night. (Saturday after competition is possible, I suppose, but I'll be so worn out I don't think I'd bother.)
Not to worry, though. I'll do what I can to record things in writing as I can, because this being an annual competition meant for fun and the promotion of square dancing (which, mind you, is one of the reasons everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, in the Stateside clubs is ROYALLY ticked off at the people in charge for not granting an exception they have previously granted in prior years, because it goes against all three, sabotaging competition, destroying fun, and leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of a preteen novice dancer forced up to senior because of these blasted POLITICS), there is a ton of whacky shenanigans to report on.
The festival is always a blast. I've always been frustrated by it, because year after year after YEAR my square has always been the losing square (no, seriously; this is my fifteenth year competing, minus one where I was screwed over TWICE by being available and yet being told there were no openings...when there were, and yet in spite of going at it for that long, I have MAYBE one or two first place wins where I had competition, and the rest are a string of losses), which is particularly disappointing because all of my siblings were in winning squares (save my older sister the one or two years she was in MY square) the majority of their career or in my younger sister's case the entirety of it. (She's danced one or so years less. So her, 14 years a champion, me, 14 years the loser. And we've not directly competed against each other more than 5 times at most, so it wasn't her square winning over mine until recently.)
Yet in spite of that absolute frustration, that we never get enough practice done, that we DON'T practice recovery (no, seriously, I chose my current competing club specifically because they had a reputation for being masters at it...and yet, not ONCE have we actually practiced recovery, instead focusing on what I've been stuck with my entire dancing career of trying not to mess up in the first place, which never, NEVER goes well because it's literally impossible in mystery calls to dance them perfectly without hindsight as the entire POINT is to break the squares down), that our displays are usually woefully underpracticed, that our styling's never as refined as it should be, that we constantly have arguments (seriously, this is something that I know for a fact most squares don't have, but which I've had the misfortune of time after time again), in spite of all that...
I still have fun.
And if either of our club's squares so much as places--and I do mean that, third out of sixth would be an extreme achievement--then the feeling will be of pure bliss. We sacrificed so much to get this far. We are royally ticked off at being screwed over, but we're determined to not let that stop us. This is my last year to compete...and while ending on a high note is impossible, human beings being made of spite, I'd be happy to have us pull the Canadians out of the leaderboard with luck and passion on our side.
Plus, there's a ton of good stuff going on, too. In spite of the fighting, unlike a lot of clubs, right now our club has in its favor a feeling of being a family, one which I'm okay with being in, now. Our family came in two, not very compatible, generations, senior and junior, and the seniors got along beautifully and the juniors did too, and they were forced to intermingle, thus the debates, thus the arguments, thus the lack of cohesion, but we've recovered, we're coming back into our strides, the blending process has caused the generational gap to be closed, and the club could end up stronger as a result, with plenty of partying to go about.