Another fine trip to Crystal Ball this year. I didn’t pull the all-nighter this time, crashing after the fourth set instead (around 2-3 am) so I’d have some consciousness with which to drive home.
It’s actually getting hard to go to a dance event and find classes on a lot of dances that I don’t already know. Crystal Ball also tends to offer classes on a lot of dances and dance styles that aren’t really in the SCA period at all (such as Scottish country dances). Consequently, a lot of the classes I attended ended up being more review than actual learning.
Lady Azenari taught an English Country Dance class that included Nonesuch, Heralds in Love, and Picking of Sticks. I went to this one mostly for a review of Nonesuch. Alas, the Nonesuch and Heralds require sets of eight, and I was the ninth person in the class, so I spent quite a bit of time observing.
Lady Thea (Mistress? I don’t know her proper title) taught a Bassa Dance class that included Joyos, Basso Lauro, and Franchoise Novelle. This was a class from which I was really hoping to learn something, but I didn’t make much headway. I’ve taken bassa dance classes before, and I’ve always found them hard to follow, and I was frustrated again. Seignur Yves is planning to teach bassa dance again at Saltare; I’ve taken his class before, too, and he somehow manages to get it to make sense.
Over lunch there was a game of “Dance Jeopardy”, that Mistress Tsire cooked up. Something ain’t quite right in her head. Anyway, I managed to be on the winning team, thanks in some small part to my ability to completely dominate the Caroso category in Double Jeopardy. I'm glad they weren't picky about the whole "What is...?" convention, though.
Lady Azenari taught another ECD class in the afternoon, including Scotch Cap, Hyde Park, and My Lady Cullen. This one was mostly review, but a good review, as I’ve had few opportunities to dance these. My Lady Cullen is a progression dance that is quite fun and isn’t as wildly out-of-period as Hole in the Wall, even if it is a good bit more complex.
Mistress Tsire and Arina teamed up to teach a 15th-century Italian class including Amoroso, Leoncello Vecchio, and Gratioso. Amoroso is not at all new to me, but I’d never danced Leoncello before, and I hadn’t danced Gratioso since last Crystal Ball, so this was a good class for me to actually learn something, and Tsire always makes her classes fun.
And finally, Master Sion taught a 16th-century Italian class including Gracca Amoroso, Contapasso in Due, and Villanella. Okay, I was lazy. I’ve researched every one of those myself, so I was just a ringer in that class. It never hurts to practice, though, a sentiment that was apparently shared by almost everyone in the class. Even those who didn’t know those particular dances were thoroughly familiar with 16th-C Italian steps.
I don’t suppose a detailed listing of dances I did at the ball is really warranted here. Suffice to say, I danced a lot and came back with achy legs.