Cowtown Jamborama

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Last weekend, the Omaha Jitterbugs held their fifth annual swing dance weekend of social dancing, contests, and workshops called Cowtown Jamborama. It was my first time attending this event, and I was sure to get my full weekend pass early and took Friday off so I could take advantage of the three days of classes and dancing the event offered. The cow was looking just a little taller than usual on Friday afternoon as he did some tandem charleston with Merinda, and Eric participated in the Jack and Jill competition along with a number of other local favorites.

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The weekend of classes were pretty intense as well, and I was able to attend nearly every class I wanted throughout the weekend. I was able to take classes in Charleston, a sweet over-the-shoulder arial, Tandem Charleston, a few dips, Balboa, 50s Style Swing, Bop, some of Frankie Manning’s Lindy Hop moves, and a number of others. My feet were killing me at the end, of course, but it was all worth it. I and a number of other Jitterbugs were taking notes in-between classes to try and remember some of what we’d learned over the weekend, and I was also able to capture some video of the lessons for future reference. They apparently won’t be offering an instructional DVD this year, but I will be putting all my video up on YouTube if any of you would like to see what we went over.

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Every night we had a social dance that often went late into the “after hours” portion back at the hotel. We danced to some crazy tunes around 4 AM, and it was a thrill to do Tandem Charleston with Merinda during the chorus of Superfreak. They even played Love Shack, a favorite song of mine that I had to dance with Vivian, of course.

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On Sunday night came the annual Corn-Eating contest, where contestants can try to win the honor and respect of their swing-dancing peers by devouring as many golden ears as they can in eight minutes without throwing up. The ears had to be 90% clean to count, and you can have ears taken off if you let the kernels fall to the floor rather than eating them. This was Vivian’s third year participating and it was my first, so I was a little nervous about the prospect of entering such a contest.

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And guess who won? I was somehow able to take first place by devouring 22 ears of corn, and Viv took third! I owe my success it all to my capacious stomach and Vivian’s coaching before the contest. We both walked away with adorable plush cows as our trophies. It was quite flattering (and somewhat embarrassing) to receive congratulations on all sides for winning this thing. Our friend Micah knew I could do it all along, and even bet a guy from Minnesota a quarter that I could take first place.

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Afterwards, it was time for the birthday jam! Several of us had birthdays this week, including Ben, so we all jumped onto the floor and got to dance with a number of lovely ladies.

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Afterwards, we had some quick lessons in fun, goofy dances from the 1960s, and then we had a twist contest for anybody who wanted to cut a rug on the floor. Afterwards, Eric got to do a little Balboa with my big plush cow. I think I’m going to need to wash that thing when I get home.

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