las vegas

My Vegas Experience

 (taken with my iphone, that's me on the far right during practice)

This was my first ever salsa congress.  Never did I imagine that I would be PERFORMING at the first congress I ever attended!  With only a month's notice, our instructor confirmed that we were on for a Saturday afternoon performance.

We practiced intensely the weeks that followed, but nothing like the week right before Vegas where we met almost every day of the week.  We even met at 8:30 in the morning on the 4th of July (after having ended an 11:30 p.m. rehearsal the night before) to practice.  Mind you, there are dancers that do this ALL the time and way more vigorously than us.  But it's challenging when you're not doing this professionally -- more so for fun.  Still, we wanted to attain a level advanced enough to feel like we belonged in that spot.

Soon enough, Friday came and we hit the road, four chatty girls.  Let me tell you, EVERY female needs to take at least one road trip in her life with a group of women.  This leads to some of the most hilarious, gross, insightful, challenging, and TMI moments you will experience.  I loved every bit of it :)

I'm thrilled to finally... FINALLY share with you a video of our performance!  So thankful that my roomie Magda recorded us on her iphone! You'll have to forgive the poor quality, but hey, at least I got something to show you! :)

I come in on the left side (in yellow) and end up in the front row on the left.  Three in front (L to R: me, Dani, and Marietta) and three in back (L to R: Yen, Yanais, and Cyndi)

Aaaand, that was exhilirating!! One of my favorite parts was backstage.  The waiting room was FREEZING and I don't know about you, but when I get nervous I get cold.  The last thing we wanted was for our muscles to be cold and stiff.  So the girls and I started dancing for fun.  Then the minute right before we went on stage, we let loose and were doing a dance off!  Too much :)  It helped so much with our energy and keeping our muscles warm!

And the social dancing? OH MY LORD.  I told Jose about this when I got home, re-telling the dancing with my arms and legs.  There have been 2 moments in my life where I have danced with someone that I felt like we had been dancing for 10 years together.  Salsa is about partner work.  There have been many great dancers I've been able to share a dance with.  HOWEVER.  There have only been 2 moments in my life when the connection between my partner and I (a complete stranger) has been SO riveting, that I felt like I was PERFORMING for the entire audience.  The music completely took over and we danced to every beat of the song.  I was flying in the air, I spun, our movements synchronized beautifully and it MADE me a better dancer.

It happened once in Atlanta, and it happened again in Vegas.  I will NEVER forget those 2 dances in my life! And soon I realized that I had been dancing the entire night with a bad shoe.  My heel cap decided to jump ship and left me with a screw sticking out of one heel.

But after that dance, there was no way I was going to stop :)  I took 2 workshops the next morning before heading back to Vegas where I learned about Tango and Salsa fusion.  Oh, I'm in love.  How desperately I want to dance tango.  Back in the car we went on Sunday, the craziest conversations took place yet again, and we made it home safely.  I wrapped myself around Jose, and the story telling began...

And that?  Well, that was my Vegas experience.

Motion Shoot: Vegas Roadtrip

Aside from Vegas, you know what else was trippin? BLOGGER! I couldn't access it at all last night or this morning so I ended up just posting today's video on Facebook.

I just got home after an awesome lunch at Windsor's with Courtney. Friends. Phoenix Friends. YOU MUST GO. They had fried okra as a side to my heavenly sandwich!! And this is in PHOENIX aka not-the-South. These babies are no joke.

Anyway, blogger is now working so in case you missed it on Facebook... check out the video I made from the one day Vegas road trip we took.

Don't you just love the song?! It was definitely a good, good time.

Happy Friday!

p.s. So maybe I'm like a grandma in terms of technology sometimes, but it's a proud moment for me and hopefully you will entertain it. I JUST added the Facebook "Like" option to my posts. I know you want to click it! I would, but that would look tacky. Thought you might enjoy it for those lazy moments when you just don't have much to say ;) A problem I don't seem to have.

Vegas, Tejano Music, And Sexy Lights

Rooooad trip!! You see that?! $3.85? In case you ever see Jose on the show Shark Tank hustling Mark Cuban or Barbara for some money... THAT would be why. Or because he patented the phrase "punch you in the kidneys."

So Jasmine had gifted us with some Cirque du Soleil tickets which made Vegas our first stop for her visit here in the West Coast.

Hey look! Jose's butt. How is that thing always in the way?! I digress. The road trip was incredibly bearable and full of skittles, mountains, bad music -- oh wait a minute, I almost forgot. Guess who suddenly developed an affinity for TEJANO music? MY HUSBAND.

You guys, have you ever heard tejano music?! It's not exactly a melody you want to hear for more than 5 minutes, let alone a couple of hours!! In case you aren't blessed with the knowledge, take a listen and consider it a bit of culture I've added to your life. Thank me later.

First stop: Hoover Dam!

And yes, we are so mature that we yelled "dam" louder than the hoover part. Multiple times. Our road trip is sounding cooler and cooler, huh? You can just sit with us cool kids later.

That's what was referred to as my air mullet. Thanks Jasmine.

When we finally made it to Vegas, our first stop was FOOD. If I need to explain myself, then you clearly know nothing about me :)

But what usually comes before food at the expense of my hunger? Photography. I got caught up in the amazing lights INSIDE the Cosmopolitan. I mean, this place was dripping with glamorous decor.

Chandelier chains. Looove.

Ok, back to food!

While burgers weren't exactly what we initially had in mind, Holstein's popped up on our Yelp 4+ star radar.

Let me just state for the record that Yelp has never failed us!

We had the "campfire smores" milkshake (wish my face could fit inside the glass) and the "cereal" shake with fruity pebbles and captain crunch.

Mmmm.. the food... laced with magic Asian spices. I had no idea what kimchee or kalbi glaze was, but I knew I needed more!

Then we went back to the sexy lights after dinner...

And eventually made our way outside.

We went into Caesar's Palace and other famous Vegas buildings.

Then ended it watching INCREDIBLE, breath taking, invigorating performances at Cirque du Soleil Mystere and one last walk around to see the Vegas lights.

The next (and last) day we ate some more and played 10 bucks at the casinos with Jasmine winning $15 on just a dollar!

I took over for most of the drive back thanks to Cracker Barrel's audio book rental options. It was such a great memory to have with Jasmine and Jose... a piece of Vegas' good life. Tejano music and all :)