Friday, November 30, 2012

I have a fashion soul mate. And a Showcase tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'm dancing a Tango/Rhumba fusion dance in Marcel's dinner/dance showcase.  Twice a year a cooperative of independent ballroom instructors host a dinner dance/showcase.  Although I'm a competition girl to the core, I enjoy dancing in showcases because they allow me to draw on my creative/dramatic/artistic side.
One of my many LBD's, crochet lace  cardigan from  T.J. Maxx.  Adrienne Vittadini silk scarf; Lia Sophia 'celestial' necklace. This was yesterday's outfit.
Unlike competition dance, showcases aren't about dancing perfectly, or dancing "syllabus" steps; they are about Performing.  I enjoy being part of the creative process of finding music that really moves me and giving my input into the choreography.  I'm an amateur and I don't actually create the choreography, but I do have ideas (lots of ideas) about how I want a dance to look and feel.  Marcel helps transform my ideas into  dance.  I'm enjoying this dance more than dances I've done in the past because I have had a great deal of input into the choreography....more than I ever have in the past.  I know I drive Marcel a little crazy sometimes with my showcase vision....he tells me I'm like the hungry kid who's eyes are too big for her stomach.  I'm always hearing music/songs and telling Marcel that I want to dance a showcase to  this song or that song.  Many times I have an image in my head that, to me, fits the way the particular song moves me.  My conversations with Marcel often sound something like this: Me: "I want to dance to this song" Marcel: "What would you like to do?"  Me:  "I don't know, something dramatic and fun"  Marcel: "What is dramatic and fun to you?" Me:  I don't know, that's your job.....just make it fun...let's do some flashy thing here".  Marcel rolls his eyes a lot when I attempt to articulate my vision of a particular dance.  I usually don't have a problem articulating  my thoughts or ideas, but when it comes to dance, I don't have the fully developed dance vocabulary when I need to apply it to a specific dance context.  See, I'm a competition girl...but I like to "get my showcase on".
I'm thankful that my instructor indulges me.  We torment one another quite a bit while working on showcase numbers, but the final product is a dance that really reflects me.
The song I've chosen is Joe Cocker's arrangement of "Unchain my Heart".

The venue for the showcase in really lovely; its housed in a beautiful parks department wedding/banquet hall nestled in a wooded park.  
A delicious meal is always part of the event, and there is a glorious dessert table.  About 125 people attend and pay $65.00 a ticket.  You better believe when people are paying that much for a single ticket that I'm going to work really hard to give then a dance number that is entertaining.  My dance is a little sexy, a little sassy, a little dramatic.  

 Oh, lord give me strength and the discipline not to over indulge at the dessert table.

Several months ago I posted that I had to make a decision to stop performing in showcases, because usually there is a major competition hard on the heels of them.  It takes considerable time to choreograph a show dance and that takes time away from competition practice.  After the Christmas showcase, I have six weeks to prepare for the Indiana Challenge Ballroom Competition.  This is my favorite comp and last year I placed 1st in my division (against 22 other couples and after many preliminary elimination rounds) in the American Smooth Scholarship dance.   This is the comp that has my heart!

I was going to skip the showcase, but in the end, I couldn't do it.  Last May, I did not participate (for the first time ever) in the showcase.  It was so hard be part of the audience and not do a number.  
So, here I am....still slightly yucky (but much better) with bronchitis, dancing in the showcase.
Did I mention that we just started working on our dance three weeks ago.  Yesterday, we were still figuring out the choreography.
Today's practice went well.  Let's hope tomorrow will be divine.

Now, on to the outfits.....this is another Lia Sophia necklace that I wore with Friday's outfit.

I love the delicate lacy design of this cardigan

Black suede knee boots, J.C. Penney; black dotted tights, Kohls
Isn't the braided scarf fun? The tutorial can be found here.

Lia Sophia ' Jodi's Baubles" necklace
This is a thrifted sweater (Elaris, purchased at The Closet Exchange) that I wore today.  I wore it with yet another LBD.  I don't have a good picture of today's outfit because I was wiped out after my two hour showcase practice session.  My hair was a wreck and I just didn't look picture-worthy!

Pretty pocket detail.

I had another store credit at The Closet Exchange.  I love this shop because they have the most incredible clothing.  One of their frequent contributors is  my fashion soul mate (FSM), because she is the same size as me and brings in her high end clothing in bulk.  I don't know who she is, but I can usually tell which pieces were hers.  I wish I could just go to her home and dig through her closet!  The shop ladies now tell me when my FSM makes a big drop off.....Here's what I took off of her hands today.....

The cognac boots are Donald Pliner Italian leather.  Pricey and buttery soft.  There are in like new condition and not pricey for me; I paid $27.00 in store credit for them.  The green Fornarian boots are not quite as 'split pea soup' color in person.  They're a softer, more subtle green, yet they are still bold.  The appear to have never been worn, but I can't wait to wear the heck out of them. 

I don't know who made this satiny little retro looking dress and I don't even care.  I just love it so and had to have it.  5 bucks.  How can such "pretty" be had for so little.

Well; dear readers, I must get to bed and get some rest...tomorrow is a big day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Under the Weather

I'm under the weather today.  In fact, I'm experiencing a double whammy.  I had a slight cold last week that turned into bronchitis.  Last week my son and husband had the flu, which they have graciously shared with me this week.

I just have to get through teaching tomorrow and then I can rest for the rest of the week........
I don't have a good outfit photo today...but my outfit was very similar to this one....
The scarf is a bit different and I tied it in a "round braid" was so cute.  I'll post the link and scarf picture in a few days when I'm back to my normal self.

Until then; enjoy yourselves!

Lavender and black

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Short and Sweet

This post is going to be short and sweet;

I've had a very busy weekend; dancing and hanging out with friends on Friday, dancing on Saturday and working on a grant proposal project for the program design class that I'm taking.  
I did take a break from the homework to run out with my lifelong friend Suzi to look for a new Christmas trees for her.  She was a very reluctant photographer so I only have two outfit pictures today, even though I loved my outfit.  I just couldn't get her to take any more!

Here's the breakdown;
Vest: Capri, thrifted at my favorite consignment shop, The Closet Exchange
Pants: Ponte knit boot cut, New York and Company
Scarf: thrifted
Cream Turtleneck: thrifted
Boots: Naturalizer Glassie

*note: if you click on picture a larger image will appear.

I didn't mention it in my precious posts, but my son Jayme helped cook the Thanksgiving dinner.  He says he helped, I say he just bossed me around in the kitchen.
Nonetheless, I was grateful to have the help. 
Our turkey day dinner was low key; just us, my boys and my grandson and daughter-in-law.
It was so nice to have this smaller gathering; low key, simple and sweet.

I made these wonderful spicy potato stacks that I found here on The Gardner's Cottage beautiful blog.  The looked so pretty that I had to try them.  I followed her link to the recipe on the Epicurious website.  They were every bit as delicious as they look and were very easy to make.  They made a big impression on my sons!

Here is my little grandson, Brady.

Yep, those are my dinner napkins that I had folded converted into bandanas.  This is a better use for them ;)  
Brady's dad is my oldest son, Dan.

This is my middle son Jayme.  Love his socks???  And this is the kid who made fun of MY furry vest.  

I'm off to bed.   I need some good sleep tonight to be prepared for tomorrow's long day ahead.
Good night everyone. 
Sweet dreams.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday Night=Fun Night

I'm very tired.  I had lessons with Marcel today to prepare for the upcoming showcase, then I went to the dance party at night.  I danced non-stop all day.

I'm just beat.  this is what I wore to my lesson; my outfit is all thrifted.  

This is the velvet jacket I mentioned in an earlier post.  I love it.  Goodwill; $5.00!   I'm going to wear this all the time!!!

I adore this Lia Sophia necklace.  The top is by Fashion Bug.  I really don't wear their clothing at all...but the rosettes at the top were were calling my name.

Thrifted velvet scart; ummmm, it cost more than the jacket!

I adore black and cream.  This is a very simple outfit and its not spectacular or special but I felt comfortable and confident.

Pretty Rosettes.

To dance tonight; I wore another black dress; this one was thrifted for $5.00 at the Goodwill store.  I has an asymmetrical hemline which is just fun to dance in.

Another Lia Sophia Gotham necklace...sigh.

My pal Karen and I hanging out after the party.

David, one of the guys from the GD studio.  David is a student at Ball State University and the ballroom coach for the BSU competition team.  David is a a great sport as we (Karen and I) made sure we demanded all of his dance floor time..  Thanks to David for being such a good sport.  David's going to go pro someday and I'm proud to say that I know this young man.  He's an excellent dance and just a nice young man.  He's also getting his Master's degree in Chemistry.   This kid is on the ball.

A good time was had by all, and now my cozy bed awaits me................