Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Folkdance Camp

International folkdance is a recreational activity found in cities and villages literally all over the world. Many countries have cultural dances and performing groups in traditional costumes who travel the world. In Sweden, for example, the national dance is called Hambo. Greece has Hasapikos. Our recreational groups knows and does dances from: Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Sweden, Armenia, Russia, Servia, Turkey, Africa, to name a few.

The 26th annual New Mexico Folkdance camp took place in Socorro, New Mexico, on the campus of New Mexico Tech University. We brought Shmulik Govari to teach us Israeli dances, and Sonja Dion and Cristian Floresceau teaching dances from Romania. It is the first camp I have attended (and I've been going since 1995) where I loved each and every dance from both countries.

Camp began Wednesday night with a welcome dinner for the camp committee and teachers. There is a brew pub in Socorro with excellent food and beer. Great way to start camp. That evening, we stuffed registration packets. Campers began arriving Thursday morning at 10 am. After lunch, the first workshop began, followed by an ice cream social hosted by our children's program. Then a second workshop. After a short break, it was time to decorate for the first night's party. Parties have themes and this year, it was Around the World in 80 Days, The Four Seasons, and Santa Fe Style. Most campers wear costumes for the parties, which adds to the festivities. Parties go from 8 to 11 pm. So day one, 5 hours of dancing; days two and three, 10 hours of dancing, and Sunday morning, two hours of review.

As if dancing weren't enough, both teachers do a cultural presentation. There is a swimming pool, and Friday and Saturday night, a group of us gathered in the lounge from 11 pm to 1 am, to sing.

Eight years ago, one of the parents began a tradition of putting on a kids' play. It happened again this year, and it is so amazing to see how the plays grow in sophistication and enjoyment for the audience as the children grow older and their talents blossom.

It is difficult to convey what camp feels like. Try to imagine being away from everything, with people who feel like family (good family--the kind where everyone loves and gets along with everyone else), sharing meals, stories, laughter, tears, helping with other people's kids. It is an intense four days and there is always such a letdown when camp is over.

Last night was my first full night of sleep in four days. I am still tired, but feel human again. The great personal news for me is that I was able to participate at a much higher level than ever before because of my weight loss and the fact that I have been walking regularly.

However wonderful camp was, though,it is always nice to come home.



Marvin D Wilson said...

Sounds like a wonderful experience. Welcome home and I know you must've enjoyed that full night's sleep, too!

The Old Silly

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

5 hours of dancing - 10 hours of dancing! Whew - that wears me out just thinking about all that movement! Glad you had a good time.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

This story gives a whole new meaning to happy dance! Sounds like you really enjoyed your time there. Did DH go along, or stay home to guard the hacienda?

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Karen Walker said...

Hubby definitely came along. He's an even more avid dancer than I am, Galen.

Helen Ginger said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time with friends and doing what you love. It makes me smile.

Straight From Hel

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Karen,

Sounds like a wonderful time at your camp! Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and leave a comment! I'm glad to meet you and hope to get to know you better!

Patricia Stoltey said...

This sounds like so much fun. And a husband who participates in and enjoys folk dance? Wow.

Anonymous said...

"Camp" always reminds me of being a kid. And what can go wrong with that??

Tabitha Bird said...

Hi Karen, I found your blog through Jody Hedlund's blog and I thought I'd come and say hi. I am a memoir writer too. Although mine is as yet unpublished. But I am always interested in connecting with other life writers.
Glad you had a good time at camp. Dance on!