Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dance Festival 2012 -- Arise and Shine Forth!

The Saturday before Memorial Day was a six-stake youth dance festival.  That ended up being over 1,100 youth, ages 12-18, from six stakes in the Seattle area.  It was held at the Showare Center (the arena where the Seattle Thunderbirds play).

They began having practices in January and by May dance practices were held in place of all weekly youth activities.  Plus there were Saturday practices.  Youth ages 14 and up were able to participate in couple dances as well.  So, they had even more practices than my daughter. 

There's my little beehive--the cute blond on the left!  (Girls ages 12-13 are in a class called beehives).

Dance Festival began with the dark arena.  Then a light as the north doors/curtains were opened and youth came running in waving flags.  It was an amazing sight to see all these bright, noble young people pouring in and filling up the dance floor.  There were so many of them--the Spirit hit me hard as I beheld them all.  I thought of this scripture:

"21   How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;" (Mosiah 12:21)

I felt like all those feet were there to bringeth good tidings.  You could tell those youth were happy to be there and excited to share their testimonies of the love the have and feel from Heavenly Father.  I just can't find words to describe being there!

There were several dances, but I only have pictures of the Chinese Fan Dance.  The other dances were (let's see if my brain can remember): cha-cha, hula, country western, russian, tininkling (sp?), JaiHo/indian, polka, swing, hip-hop, some New Zealand warrior one, and I'm probably forgetting the rest :). 

Can you tell she's 1/8 Chinese?

Here's the dance:

Lots of fans!

They seemed to travel the most of all the other dances. 
We are still figuring out our new camera and so this is the best we got :).

The last dance with all the youth waving their lights.  This type of shot WAS intentional :).

Those youth worked so hard and it payed off!  You can actually view several of the dances here:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Always be prepared...with a song?!?!

A few weeks ago I was able to go as a chaperone on my daughter's 4th grade field trip to the capitol, Olympia. 

I never had an opportunity to tour the state capitols of any of the states I lived in as a child.  It was a neat trip and our state capitol is beautiful!  The tour guide was fabulous and my daughter and all her classmates were so entranced with the beauty and all the history and all the politics.  I'm so glad I got to go!

I loved all the marble everywhere.  My daughter took at least a hundred pictures of all the many fineries--drapery, chandeliers, carvings, bronzework, etc.

They gathered the entire 4th grade and their teachers and chaperones in the ballroom and showed us some neat pieces of history in there: the first Washington state flag, a 42-star American flag, chandeliers made by world-famous, Louis Comfort Tiffany, himself, and, my favorite, a 119 year-old grand piano.

Our class's tour guide asked the crowd who took piano lessons and several hands went up.  She asked a child how long they'd been playing.  After he answered her she asked, "Would you like to play something for us?"

She asked a few more students the same things.  And none of the students wanted to.  She then said, "Does anyone want to play?"

I waited a few seconds and all hands shot down faster than they'd gone up.  So, I put mine up!  Play a 119 year-old grand piano in pristine condition in a room with marble walls and perfect reverberation?  YES, pick me!  Oh--pick me!!

And she did!

I haven't memorized a song in years, but I managed the first 12 measures or so of the last song I ever memorized.  I played a few measures of a couple of other songs.  But, really--I haven't memorized a song in years (though I play the piano just about every day) so I grinned at the audience and finished with a loud, 8 finger chorded, "Shave and a Haircut."

So, from now on, I'm either gonna carry around sheet music in my bag or commit some more songs to memory--because you never know when the opportunity to play piano, for others, will arise!!!