We danced the weekend away at the 17th Annual Hot August Nights! Thanks to a fantastic staff who kept our feet moving: Mike & Lisa Seastrom, caller and Mitchell & Chelsea Thompson, cuer.
Friday, August 18, 2023
We started dancing Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM with an hour “Welcome Dance.” People have just arrived from travels far and near and five squares jumped onto the floor to get their feet wet!
Our annual Friday Night Beach Party had beach balls sailing around the dance hall. Instead of traditional square dance attire, dancers wore anything appropriate for the beach. The relaxed but fun-loving atmosphere set the tone for the weekend. Mike’s high energy calling and songs kept the dancers hopping and Mitchell’s cuing had the round dancers enjoying every song. We ended the night with the traditional root beer floats and lots of casual conversation, a time to get acquainted with dancers you met on the dance floor.
Saturday, August 19, 2023
On Saturday morning, the round dancers came out for the round dance workshop to learn a level four cha-cha that kept us moving.
Then Mitchell and Chelsea offered an introduction to rounds, and the dancers learned how to waltz.
For lunch, a group of dancers went to Millie’s Restaurant close by to visit and enjoy their delicious food. We had the pleasure of talking about square and rounding in Colorado with Mitchell & Chelsea—always a treat to hear what’s happening in other areas.
Then Saturday afternoon we featured square dancing: singing calls, a Plus workshop and then high energy. Whew! My feet ached afterwards, but my heart sang!
Saturday night dancers donned traditional square dance outfits. Our committee wore our gorgeous Hot August Nights outfits.
The fun continued with great square and round dancing. We added a new feature to our evening: Mitchell and Chelsea danced a beautiful demonstration for the enjoyment of the crowd! What a beautiful job they did!
Sunday, August 20, 2023
On Sunday morning, we ended the event with a Trail Out dance and had five squares again of hardy dancers. Traditional on Sunday, we scatter promenade and lots of shenanigans happen. The tradition continued, and we danced to the end!
When the event ended, I received lots of hugs and farewells and thanks for a great weekend. That always makes it worth all the hard work. The committee quickly cleaned up and then had a feedback meeting with Mike and Lisa Seastrom joining us. We considered what went well, what we need to improve on and how to improve. We so appreciate everyone’s input, especially Mike and Lisa.
To end the festive weekend, part of committee and Mike and Lisa headed to Fuddruckers for lunch. During lunch, we enjoyed a heady conversation about square dancing and promoting squares. Again, I appreciated the opportunity to talk about our activity with a national caller.
As always, one highlight of the weekend is the people who attend. We had dancers/friends from Mississippi and Virginia.
We had the short and the tall.
And especially we had Freddie Franks, one of the three original couples who started Hot August Nights in 2007. She lost her husband, Bill, less than a year ago, and it was so good to give her a hug.
Tonight, I’m tired but satisfied. After the pandemic, our attendance has gone down. In 2019, we had twenty-two squares on the floor for Saturday night. In 2022, we had about the same as this year. This year we had ten squares that filled the Albuquerque Square Dance Center with energy and laughter.
And what a committee we have! We worked together smooth like silk, according to Mike Seastrom. It is sheer pleasure to work with this group!
What a success we had! We danced the weekend away! It isn’t always about the head count, but about the laughter and joy on the dancers’ faces. We look forward to next year—we will grow and get it back to where it was!
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