Tag Archive | Blenheim Palace

There’s No Rest in Dancing!

Sometimes it genuinely feels like you need a vacation from vacationing. After bouncing between not only countries but also hotels, B&Bs, and apartments for nearly three weeks, it has been nice to know each night that I am sleeping in the same bed as I did the night before and will be again tomorrow night. And sleep I certainly did…a lot these past few days. Apparently I desperately needed the physical recovery, though it also may be that I counteracted any improvement by this time consuming but wonderful thing known as dance. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Most of my time the first day or so that I was back in Oxford was spent doing all of those wonderful blog updates that I’m sure everyone has now caught up on (don’t worry if you haven’t, just get reading!) and sleeping; oh, and hanging out with Dan. Lunch with Dan. A walk through the park with Dan. Facebook chatting with Dan. Dinner with Janosz, and then more talking to Dan. It’s a good thing we get along so well or else our social lives would be very uncomfortable, spending so much time together! And what a waste it would be if we didn’t spend at least a bit of our time together dancing, right?

Try over 6 1/2 hours of dancing.

And that is only over three days; we have more tomorrow as well. Why would we put ourselves through these intense rehearsals and the miles of walking they necessitate? Perhaps this minor event known as the Varsity Match. The Varsity Match is the final competition of the year between the dance teams of Oxford and Cambridge, and after narrowly losing to Cambridge at every single competition this year, the Oxford team is revving to go out with a bang. Unfortunately only current Oxford students can compete at this bloodbath, meaning we lose some of our top dancers (for the university circuit in general about 25% of your team can be from sources other than your university), potentially opening up a few spots on the B team for some lucky and hardworking Beginner couples. Now Dan and I are not particularly lucky outside of our being partnered together at the start of the year, but we are hardworking to a fault and have used this week to learn a new cha cha routine and a new quickstep routine and tomorrow we are probably learning a new waltz routine! As hard as all these new routines are–in quickstep we have bypassed Novice level and gone straight to an Intermediate level routine–they are so much fun. But they also force us to put our noses to the grindstone and practice, practice, practice! Which may become problematic while I am in Paris for two weeks, but we are going to do our best.

Blenheim Palace

But what would a spring break be if all we did was dance? (Um, maybe just like every other spring break of my life?) We have done well to punctuate our skipping around the room, blistering our feet up in rehearsals with some good, old-fashioned young person fun. Our mutual friend and fellow dancer hosted a BBQ at his new house on Friday night, giving rise to a new joke: How many British Oxford students does it take to build a grill? Answer: More than they had so they called in the American and the New Zealander to do it for them! Not even kidding on that one. They can claim it was because Dan is an engineer and Emma volunteered, but we know the truth. We are just the ones who typically have the weather for BBQs and so know how to follow written instructions. Nonetheless the BBQ was fantastic fun, with me freaking out about thinking things were catching on fire, some spontaneous singing that included some drunken rapping and an a cappella version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, a quick run off to yet another rehearsal, before returning to more alcoholic shenanigans. So much fun hanging out with my friends!

It's Dan Quixote!

But a BBQ alone does not make for enough dance breaks, so Dan and I decided to go up to the beautiful Blenheim Palace for a lovely visit and stroll through the parks on Saturday, intending on taking full advantage of the sunlight we’ve been having.

Dan's stiltz success

Alas, the sun had performance anxiety and decided to remain hidden all afternoon and sticking us with quite the chill and grey skies. Not exactly good strolling weather, but we did try, and gave up after hopping from foot to foot attempting to avoid the everlasting piles of sheep droppings. Sheep are some dirty animals, let me tell you. Still, it was a nice way to cool off from dancing almost three hours that morning, even if it meant putting our poor legs through another 2.6 miles of walking.

Jenna's stilts failure (surprise!)

And because not seeing each other for every day of my short time back here just didn’t seem to make any sense, we met up again today to go see The Hunger Games. I tried beforehand to run a bunch of errands to get read for Paris, but everything I needed seemed to be closed on Sundays. Drat this seventh day of the week! Now tomorrow’s to-do list is longer than I planned for! At least the movie more than made up for any inconveniencing; both of us loved it and I just wish Dan had read the books so we could have gotten in a truly epic topic about them and the quality of adaptation, instead we had to settle for a discussion on the merits of various forms of modern art.

Dance Partners make the Best Friends 🙂

On a completely unrelated but even more exciting note for me, I FINALLY GOT HARRY POTTER ON KINDLE!! You can now download them on Pottermore and have it sent to your amazon.com account. I finally have my ultimate comfort books at the tips of my fingers and don’t need to feel deprived 😀