Tuesday Travel Day

Note: sarcasm ahead.

Just so you all know, being a lindy hopper is super glamorous and is the easiest job in the world ever!

We travel the world, play dress up, listen to great music, hang out with our friends, and get to give back to the community. We rub elbows with the other micro-celebrities, exchange hot new video clips from the 1930s, and spend time being fabulous. Oh the glamour!

On the other hand, we spend a lot of our life in or on our way to airports, or flying from city to city (or doing any version of transportation to get the job done), live out of a suitcase, dance to the same music that we’ve been listening to for years (darn you Barbara Morrison & Diana Krall and your music that is soooooo often played!), and have a limited sense of personal privacy.

Ok, sarcasm and reality aside, I LOVE being a lindy hop instructor and wouldn’t trade my job for another. I am exceptionally grateful that my teenage hobby has provided me with a living and that there are so many lindy hop scenes around the world that are thriving. In all honestly, I have a great life and I know it. That being said, it’s nice to gripe every now and again, so here’s a little glimpse into what it means to being an international lindy hop instructor:

My travel schedule in May/June:

Tuesday, May 24 – Pittsburgh to Seattle (Camp Jitterbug)
Tuesday, May 31 – Seattle – Frankfurt – Thessoloniki (Swing n’ Swim)
Tuesday, June 7 – Thessoloniki – Rome – Kuala Lumpur – Melbourne (Melbourne Swing Festival)
Monday, June 13 – Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur – Rome – Barcelona (ESDC)
Tuesday, June 21 – Barcelona – JFK – Pittsburgh (Home)

Glamorous right?! Not really.

Fun? Yes.

Exhausting? Absolutely.

So that was the overview of my month. Let’s take a quick look at one of my biggest travel days in 2011, shall we?

TUESDAY
4:45 wake up
5:10 leave apartment in Thessoloniki, Greece
5:30 arrive at airport
6:55 flight to Rome, Italy
– 2 hour flight, 1 hour time change –
7:55 arrive in Rome
– 6 hour layover –
13:50 flight to Kuala Lumpur
– 12 hours later –

WEDNESDAY
8:30 arrive in Kuala Lumpur
– 4 hour layover –
flight to Melbourne, Australia
22:05 arrive in Melbourne
+ 1.5 hours through Customs and to get bags
+ 45 minute drive to host’s house

Just another travel day!

 

Lindy Crush

I have SUCH a Lindy Crush on Kieran Yee from Melbourne, Australia!

So there is this thing called Lindy Goggles, which are very similar to Beer Goggles. Rather than being measure by the number of beers you have, one’s attraction is measured by one’s quality of dancing. That’s not to say they aren’t gorgeous or handsome, but that their movement just makes you weak at the knees.

So I officially have a Lindy Crush on Kieran Yee. Girls, you are welcome to fight me for him; he’ll be all yours by the end of the week!

Travel Days

What an impressive set of Travel Days I have had in the last two and a half weeks!

Here’s the run down on what it takes to be me (*tooting my horn):

May 17, Monday: 9:25am flight from Berlin to JFK. Arrive into Pittsburgh at 6:30pm.
Finally coming home from Europe! Can’t freaking wait! I’m basically coming home so I can rehearse for Camp Jitterbug and do some laundry.

May 20, Thursday: 7:00pm flight from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis. Arrive into Seattle at 11:30pm.
The idea was that I’d have time to spend with my family. Instead, I run errands for the next few days all over town.

May 24, Monday: 2:30pm flight to Orange County. Arrive 5:30pm.
Man, I love direct flights! They rarely seem to happen. It’s also fun to run into people I know, like Ben Morris. I want to rehearse with The Atomic Cherry Bombs before our performance on Friday night. Nikki was kind enough to let me work with the girls for about 2.5 hrs. We do a full dress rehearsal. I try to scare and motivate the girls ๐Ÿ˜€

May 25, Tuesday: 12:00pm flight to Seattle. Arrive 2:45pm.
Direct flights are fabulous! I rehearsed again before I left for Seattle. I continue to run errands until the day of the show.

May 28, Friday: JUMP SESSION SHOW 7:30pm
ROCKED IT. I was so very, very pleased with my ladies and myself. Sharon’s Bell Boy Routine went well and so did Stratosphere.

June 1, Tuesday: 5:00pm flight to Los Angeles. 10:30pm flight to Sydney, Australia.

June 3, Thursday: 6:30am arrival into Sydney. 9:15am flight to Perth. Arrive at 11:25am.
It’s glorious in Perth at the moment. Oh how I’ve missed the sun shining. I have class to teach from 8-10pm that night.

And there you have it. A rather crazy 2 weeks, wouldn’t you say?

What have I gleaned from my last two weeks?

  • It’s important to get your frequent flyer miles.
  • With those miles you don’t have to worry as much about over-weight luggage.
  • It’s important to pack layers.
  • Just because it’s “Spring” on the calendar doesn’t mean Mother Nature is going to play along.
  • Having gloves on you is never a bad thing.
  • “Days Off” are really just days to do all the chores I wasn’t able to do previously (translations: not really days off)
  • I must remember to schedule “Lazy Days” where I am just sitting around doing nothing. My scheduled “Days Off” aren’t working out the way I had hoped.
  • If you’re planning on performing something with a group of people, it’s worth the money, time, and effort for YOU to travel and go see them. It would have been a terrible idea to have not seen the Cherry Bombs before the show.
  • Never underestimate the power of a cupcake, especially when your best friend brings you one “just because.”
  • It’s important to run things full out. This means costume and body movement. Doing that the hour before the show does not mean you are well prepared. Remember, your building muscle memory when you’re rehearsing, so make it count AND you’d want to know if your who-ha was going to be showing before you got on stage.
  • (Ladies) Every performer should own false eyelashes and glue, bobby pins that match their hair color, hand mirror and fabulously bright lipstick.
  • Be gracious and understanding. It goes a long way.
  • Keep pushing. You’ll get to rest eventually.
  • Claire Pedroza might be a Vintage Hair Genius. She did my hair for CJ and it was in great shape until I left for Oz. Tons of compliments. She rocks.
  • Empty flights are a godsend.
  • Getting to sleep horizontally is awesome.
  • Too many bobby pins set off security alarms.
  • Nick Williams travels more than I do.

And there you have it! Two more things I think it’s important for you to know: how to pack for 10 Days in a Carry-On and What Happens to you crap after you’ve left if on a plane. Great reads, so check them out ๐Ÿ˜€

`

Canberra

So yesterday I got to sleep in until noon, then I did some email, and got ready for Lia to come over. Lia is one of the Sugar Blue Burlesque girls and she is a professional costumer, and I got her to make a skirt for me. It’s lovely. I’ll see if I can get a picture of it and post it. She came over to drop off the skirt and took all my measurements in case I needed anything else made. Kev and I then headed for the airport in the rented Yaris he and Sharon got. Cute car….rather zippy.

We get to the airport, checking in, and then have to wait in a long line to drop our bags off. We walked through security and no one asked me to take my liquids out and no one checked my boarding pass. I asked about this, and the security lady said that “[the Australians] still have faith in their people.” I was amused by that. The US doesn’t have faith in people flying AND the system we have isn’t all that efficient. Kev got some food, I got some water and a magazine (I know, I know….I think this is the first magazine in 2 years that I’ve bought at an airport) and then we headed to our gate. We were at gate 6 but they had an area designated to gate 4-8. Two flights boarded at once and then we waited outside in the heat until we could be escorted to our plane. All 150 of us.

The flight was packed; every seat was taken. I read my magazine until I dinner came, and was rather impressed. They were handing out wine at a furious pace and I think everyone other than me had one, and quite a few people had their second and third bottle. I didn’t eat my cheese and crackers so I gave them to the guy sitting next to me and he was very grateful.

Once we landed, we walked across the tarmac and immediately met our host Russel. He’s a tall man with a great beard and a really nice guy. We grabbed our luggage (yup, we both checked) and went back to his town home and there we met his wife Miranda who is just lovely. She had made us a plate of food – pears and apple slices, grapes, cheese, mini sandwiches, and marshmallows. Not only that, but she had 2 meat pies in the oven for us. We gossiped a little bit and geeked out on lindy history. Very fun.

What a killer set up this is. Kev and I both have our own rooms upstairs and there is a very large hardwood floor area that is perfect for dancing. It’d be even better if there was no furniture here, but they actually live here, so the couches and dinner table are rather appropriate. ๐Ÿ˜€

We all headed up to bed and I didn’t fall asleep until about 6am. I was in bed starting at 1am, but I couldn’t fall asleep. It didn’t help that there was a 2 hour time change AND that I napped on the plane….. oh well.

I got up this morning at around 2pm. I woke up a few times before but was too tired to move. I got up, had some water and then went for a walk. It was a lovely day out and my walk was just what I needed to get my body to wake up as well. After I got home, I stretched, showered, and made myself some eggs. Kev watched some “Captain Horatio Hornblower” which is a tv series set in the 1700’s and there is sailing involved. Very Kevin. ๐Ÿ˜€ After I finished eating, I went through the epic movie dance collection Russel and Miranda have. This is by far the best dance collection. Ever. Any movie that has dancing of any sort in it is here, as well as every dance instructional video on lindy hop since the beginning of lindy hop instructional tapes! I have found lots of things to watch!!

And that takes me up to now. Miranda and Russel are home and they are getting ready to cook dinner.