You know the summer has arrived when you head off to your first festival. Last week we went to Also Festival to teach the Charleston. Never heard of Also? Its’ a small festival with big ideas in Warwickshire, created to get ideas in front of people and to stimulate new thinking. If that sounds like a festival for the middle class I would say it’s more for why-the-hell-not types.
The setting was beautiful, as was the weather in fact the weather was almost too good for dancing around so I didn’t expect a great turn out. However before teaching the Charleston I was asked if I could go into the main bar and teach the Hand Jive and the Bunny Hop. I’d never actually heard of the Bunny Hop and so my research took me to Youtube where I found hilarious archive footage of men in suits, dancing around TV studio’s to this slightly ridiculous choreography, well worth a watch!
When I entered the bar it was incredible hot and people were sat listening to a really interesting talk about the music industry. I’m not often intimidated but I really didn’t know how easily I could switch the mood and get everyone up and dancing. Luckily the Hand Jive can be done sat down so I eased people in and then got them up and dancing as I added the dance intro featured in Greece. Once I people standing I introduced the Bunny Hop and before I knew it we had a conga line of little rabbits hopping round the bar, it was brilliant!
The Charleston workshop went down a treat, with a good thirty people joining in the workshop. The final a routine was so good we actually drew an audience!
Work done (best job ever) we joined in the festival and were entertained by illusionists, choirs, a Pina Bausch Belkin line, and more. For me this Festival was the perfect size with just under a thousand people, however we managed to loose our friends as we got swept up in all the fun.
The next day we had a very civilized breakfast, after using the incredible clean facilities, no Portaloos at this festival wohoo! We just had time to take in a talk before hitting the road. We had been browsing the book shop (yes they had a book shop) and were intrigued by a book called A New Map of Wonders by Caspar Henderson. The talk was just starting and it was really helped me connect with the premise of Also Festival by taking this opportunity to really think about wonder as an experience. I really warmed to the author Caspar Henderson he was endearingly humble and his ideas made me feel more hopeful about the world in which we live. The discussion was inspiring as not only did it make think more about this wonderful emotion, wonder! It also stimulated me to think about how I might nurture it in my life. Also definitely worked its magic on me and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Blog by: Fiona Ring