Greenwood Swingout – The Tulsa Takeover

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Oh exchanges…they are quite the experience for practice, socializing and overall gorge-fest of fun. Greenwood Swingout & Vintage Swing Movement in Tulsa, Oklahoma was no exception to this rule. An amazing follow-up to my affair in DC, Greenwood took the cake for closer dancer relationships and fantastic events to attend. As this event remains a bit fresher in my memory, let’s take this day-by-day, shall we?

Day 1: Pre-registration & Arrival

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After a night of hype bonding and watching Astair & Rogers’ Swing Time in HD, I felt the adrenaline pumping in my veins. Aly, Drew and I spent the time on the road getting to know each other and generating inside jokes that would blossom the rest of our time in Oklahoma. After 7 hours from our homes to Tulsa, we found ourselves in the presence of a friendly, chill host. We searched the extend of downtown Mayfest but couldn’t find our fellow swing dancers. Luckily, we did find a band playing blues music and decided to blues bomb the rather stagnant crowd there. Pictured above, Aly and Drew were quite the sizzling pair. Hehe. A little girl encouraged Drew to dance with us with a lyrical, “You better get it!” Bwahahaha…

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We eventually found our Tulsa counterparts around the corner and indulged ourselves with some swing dancing. The company was lovely though the weather thoroughly humid. After a shim sham and a short jam circle, we retired to the Rusty Crane for some refreshments. I got a gargantuan Yumlada (enchilada on growth hormone, it was HUGE) and a rather strong Mai Thai. Delicious for after dancing exhaustion. Replenishing ourselves, we socialized in the company of Southern gentlemen and ladies.

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Day 2: Coffee, coffee & more coffee.

We started off our day with a heavy dose of French roast and a heady round of espresso buttercream, chocolate muffins at Antoinette’s Bakery. Wowza, was it the right way to start off our Tulsa adventure. We met more beautiful people at the table while enjoying our mini-feast.

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While searching for something to do before going off to munch and eat amongst more swing dance friends, Drew’s Crew headed off to explore the Tulsa Rose Garden on a whim. Might I say, this was an amazing, spontaneous decision on our part? Seriously…the roses were the perfect background to staged swing poses to feed our vanity. Aly and Drew did the Big Apple while I forced Drew to put me into some dips for the camera. The results were stunning photographs captured in the light of a seemingly Tuscan sun. Magnificent and enchanting all rolled into one glorious ball.

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After our brief interlude in the rose garden, we met up with our friends at Andolini’s, a local pizzeria. I got the daily slice (garlic) and watched my friends enjoy their respective meals. Later, we watched Star Trek in a huge theater with comfy seats.

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The dance that night was at a coffee shop called Foolish Things. I had many a fun dance, including several with a {secret} dance crush I developed over the course of the night. My, my, those fellows can DANCE. Several jam circles, blues interludes and swing dances afterwards, I crashed on a couch for about 40 minutes after consuming two over-priced breakfast burritos (which were still tasty). After a few final lovely dances, we dragged ourselves home to bed.

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Day 3: Vintage Love

Having skipped breakfast due to our excessively late night dancing, we started off the day with a brief dance session under the guidance of the dynamic duo – Jamin & Grace. Though a beginner lesson, it was still amazing to see people getting drawn into swing dancing.DSC_9157

We immediately rushed to a crawfish festival nearby to hear some live bands play. We impressed the locals with several hours of swing dancing, including a Charleston Soul Train? Something like that. The several performances were also inspiring to a lindy hopper searching for new moves.

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To really cap off the night with a bang, everyone got decked out in their favorite vintage clothes to head for American Legion. I chose a Chinese dress I got in HK and a crazy Victory Roll hairdo. Everyone looked ’20s fabulous, my dear. The dancing was top notch as well. ^  ^

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Again, we danced until 3 am and Jamin kicked us out…hehe.

Day 4: Bluedome Goodbyes

Again, we skipped breakfast in exchange for a few extra hours of sleep. That morning, we explored the Bluedome Festival instead of attending lessons. Rebels, I know. We lindy bombed, blues bombed and posed in front of colorful graffiti. It was a glorious afternoon, indeed. I haven’t had that much fun in quite a while.

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Dinner was a delicious Mediterranean fusion place called Laffa’s in downtown. Having arrived nearly an hour after everyone else, we had a nice intimate dinner with friends…and a reunion with an Arkansas buddy from junior high! Crazy, but reconnection wasn’t hard at all. In fact, we laughed right through dinner before we left to go dance.

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Sunday night dance hosts a venue for the locals and the diehard traveling swing crowd. A decent amount of people showed up to dance the night away with their new moves. With a break for midnight munchies, we stayed until the last minute. In between dances, Drew and I had some pretty awesome cutting sessions. Too soon, the night ended and tearful goodbyes were made as we shuffled away into the cool night with some rather hilarious jokes between us all.

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Our last day of traveling left us with substantial reflection, coffee at DoubleShot and a final afternoon lunch at Sonic. The coffee place was a hipster paradise with vintage couches and no menu in sight. Afternoon of casual munching? Much friendlier. Rollerskating waitresses, cherry limeade and chili cheese dogs? Heck yes. Before I knew it, I had boarded the train home by my lonesome self.

Greenwood Swingout reminded me of everything I adore about swing culture – people, food and inside jokes galore. Not to mention, killer dancing everywhere you look or go. Whether I just met someone or I knew them for months, I always found a connection.  Here’s to the joy that is Greenwood and the Vintage Swing Movement. Cheers. ^  ^

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Love & Lindy

Sherry

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