At dancing on Wednesday Bounce announced that Peter Strom and Naomi Uyama have committed to be the featured instructors at the Dayton Swing Smackdown in February. This would be exciting news no matter what, because Peter & Naomi are amazing dancers and instructors, some of the superstars of swing dancing. However, that’s not what made my eyes get so big they almost popped out of my head. I even forgot for a moment or two that I was holding the sweet little scrap of humanity we call Diva’s firstborn. (Oh Lord. So cute.) You see, I have had a major, raging dancers crush on Peter Strom for…. a long time. Well, actually, I looked it up (because I blogged about it, natch) and it’s been over two years.
It all started when I danced with him at the Boston Tea Party in 2008. It was quite a dance. Well, from my perspective it was. From his perspective it probably was unmemorable, but from my perspective… let’s just say that the very next dance I had was with John Lindo, one of the gods of West Coast Swing. “Dance With John Lindo” had been on my list of Things To Do Before I Die. Dancing with John Lindo was one of the big reasons I even went to the Boston Tea Party. And don’t get me wrong, the dance with John was great, but the dance with Peter? Something completely different. I don’t know how to describe it without sounding really nuts, really creepy, or just crazy, but after dancing with Peter I understood some things about what it meant to follow a lead in a completely different way. It was one of those watershed moments, one of those dances that you wander around for a while afterwards going, “Whoa…” I came home from Boston with a massive dance crush on Peter, and a deep desire to do that again. Unfortunately, BTP ’08 was the last major workshop weekend I’ve been able to afford, so I figured that was that. I resigned myself to watching the occasional video on youtube, being nominal friends with him on facebook, and daydreaming about heading down to Atlanta to attend Swing’n’Soul (sigh).
And then on Wednesday Bounce said that Peter was coming to Dayton.
I’m still not sure how to respond to this. On one level it’s still so far out of my realm of established possibility that I’m having a little difficulty believing that it’s true. Although Bounce did swear to me several times that, no, he was not kidding me, and yes, this was really happening. On another level, it’s a bit mind blowing in the same way that it would be if, say, they announced that the Pope were coming to Dayton and visiting the place where I work. Not quite the same (obviously Peter Strom ≠ the Vicar of Christ, and not only because he doesn’t require a security detail), but still. On the small end of that scale. And on another level (yes, that’s three so far), it’s one thing to have a raging crush on someone completely inaccessible and remote, whom you will likely never have to encounter in the flesh. It’s quite another thing when you might have to actually interact with that person in front of all your friends, who know that you have had this crush for, you know, years. The potential for embarrassment/rejection/general disappointment is quite high. But then, the potential for something awesome to happen, or even just for getting to have another really, really good dance is quite high as well. So for the record, I am stunned, excited, apprehensive, and did I mention excited? Whatever this ends up being, my bet is that it’s going to be fun.
In other news, this weekend my lovely cousin AJ is getting married in DC, so I’m heading down there with most (but not all) of my family to attend. I’m looking forward to this, not only because AJ is awesome, but because I’m going to get to stay with some old friends I haven’t seen in far, far too long. Plus, road trips with my family tend to be really, really fun. I’ll let you know how it goes!