So I’ve been a little lazy on updating this site but things have been really busy lately, what with Shag weekenders and developing a new format of lesson using new technology. More on the new format lessons in a future post but suffice to say, it’s an exciting time!
At the end of May we attended the Shag It! Shag Rattle and Roll weekender in Munich. 9 hours of intermediate/advanced shag lessons combined with over 11 hours of social dancing. My feet and legs really felt the pressure as we combined the workshops and dancing with a walking shopping/sightseeing tour of Munich which was probably a mistake in retrospect but it all had to be done.
The weekend kicked off at 8pm Friday night with a dance in the atmospheric, underground room of Cats Corner complete with its historic “Swing tanzen verboten” sign at the door. Music was provided by shellac DJ Florian Freund spinning the authentic scratch and hiss, 78rpm, original sound of the 30’s. That was a really nice touch and something I hadn’t experienced before. I think it fair to say that everyone did their utmost to make us feel welcome. Language was never an issue as it seemed everyone we met was fluent in English whereas my German stretched to, “zwei bier bitte”, which obviously has its uses.
Incorporated into the Shag weekend was Munichs “Die Lange Nacht der Musik” (The Long Night Of Music). This was at over 400 venues across the city offering live music for a single 15 Euro ticket; excellent value for money. The venue for the weekender “Cats Corner” hosted 2 superb swing bands for the Saturday evening with dancers and non-dancers mingling for the band and dance performances, enjoying the music, and Bavarian beer. Apparently this went on untill 06:00am Sunday but our legs gave in at around 03:00am and we headed back to our hotel. The following day, as we met up with other revellers from the night before, we learnt that an impromptu Charleston lesson had started around 04:00am which didn’t surprise me, as people were still arriving as we were leaving. It was a superb night with a great party atmosphere and really was the highlight of the weekend.
Following the four and a half hours of Shag workshops on Sunday we had an outdoor dance at the Diana Temple in the Hoftgarten; a beautiful venue and the Sunshine didn’t fail us. By then I was pretty much danced out; but I pushed on for the final 2 hours of Shag and Lindy tunes. It was a great opportunity to say goodbye to all our new German friends and also to Paul Crook and Natasha Hall who had led most of the Advanced lessons througout the weekend.
At 20:00, as people started to disperse we were invited to a farewell drink by Christine the weekend organiser. This was the perfect way to wind up the weekend relaxing with a cold beer in the warmth of the evening sun. I must admit I was tempted to pour it over my poor shagged out feet rather than drink it but it was too good to waste, and I also got some peculiar looks when I suggested buying ice cream to massage between my toes. I guess my sense of humour doesn’t easily translate. I was only half serious.
September sees the Munich Lindy Exchange in conjunction with the Oktoberfest (Beer Festival) A perfect combination of two of my favourite things; Beer and Swing, combined with the welcoming Munich swing dancers. What more could you possibly want?