Saturday, 21 May 2016

Swingsation: Day One!

So, I got up at the usual time of 0750 of a night of very poor sleep. However, after cuddles with the Chinny-cat (who I dearly wish was here, I worry about my only living fur-child) I left home at 0830 and had a pretty good run to the Gold Coast, where I immediately headed to the beach to get my feet wet in the ocean and get sand all over my feet.  Feeling a bit more confident, I then headed to the Mantra on View to start my Swingsation Day.

The first workshop was a styling workshop for ladies with Virginie (who is gorgeous!) - I got the first few moves, but a free-spin? Me? Not going to happen in this lifetime (without someone getting seriously injured anyway - namely me). The next workshop was a really fun lesson on passes with both Maxence and Virginie. I'm not really sure if I got it or not, but a few of the guys used the moves in social dancing with me later that night and I didn't step on any toes so I think I did good.

Lunch was...UGH, I HATE eating out in public! I hate ordering food, I hate having other people around that I might accidentally look at, I hate trying to not get food all over myself, I hate people looking at me when I eat UGH UGH UGH! I went to Hungry Jacks and while the food was nice and well presented...I'm sorry, it's one of my hang-ups.

The next workshop was an intermediate class with Ben and Victoria, who were just awesome. I was debating whether or not to actually do this workshop, not having a very high opinion of my skills so far. I'm glad I did it though.

I skipped the next workshop, which was more advanced, and took a bit of a breather to watch the more advanced dancers do their thing. It gave me a chance to settle a bit, which was good as I was going to need all the composure I could get for the evening.

Afterwards (after finding somewhere to park that wasn't going to get me a parking ticket) I headed to the apartment where I'm staying with a friend. The building itself looks fairly old, but the apartment itself is mondo neato. After having a short break, I decided a small serve of chips was in order for dinner, however upon heading out I bumped into some good friends who were having Italian. So I decided to order some spag bol to go while actually enjoying some social interaction for once. I then headed back to the apartment, had a shower and chilled out for a bit.

Now the big challenge - the evenings festivities. I learned pretty quickly that if I sat down for too long without dancing I started thinking. Given it was in a very loud, crowded place (a very high-stress situation for even the most neurotypical of us) thinking usually means thinking bad thoughts like "Obviously no one likes me." "I'm shit at dancing." "I should just give up." (I think I'm in for a couple of smacks from a couple of my dance teachers and fellow dancers for that last one)

So I was determined to spend as much time on the dance floor as possible - and the guys at Swingsation are AWESOME. Every dance had me grinning from ear to ear, even if I didn't get to dance with everyone I wanted to. Even towards the end of my evening when I was getting pretty tired and starting to slip into an attack I was still able to happily dance and maintain a panic scale of between 2-3.

I think that might have been because I've found a niftly little device that keeps my core warm while leaving my arms free - an exercise vest. A lot of people commented that I must be baking, but I reckon that warmth bought me a couple of extra hours.

Anyway, there were times that I had to leave the dance floor, and that was for the Strictly Swing competition and the Classic competition. Sitting there trying to keep the bad thoughts away was stressful, and multiple times I wondered if I was even going to be able to dance again that night. Thankfully my sanity prevailed and I managed to last until a little after midnight. Yay me!

The best bit of all was the line dance we did - super simple and super fun to play with! I probably looked like the biggest dork in the world, but I really don't care. I had a blast!

All in all I had a great day - but it was a long one, and it's only Friday. There's still Saturday and Sunday to go. Do I have the energy and the mindset to last the full weekend without an attack, or worse, a full autistic meltdown? I'm worried that I don't, as I am thoroughly exhausted right now, and I haven't been sleeping well at all recently. My panic scale also peaked at 6 by the end of the night after being able to maintain a 4 last night. Is it just going to keep rising? Or am I just being paranoid?

Here's to a fun weekend for all, and hopefully all goes well!

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