Dances at Westercon
Science Fiction and Fantasy fuel the imagination. For those who are creative, in 1948 Walter J. Daugherty started Westercon, the west coast science fantasy convention, which was in Denver in 2018. Adventures in Dance was privileged to be invited to present dances at Westercon. Presentations included the dances of Americana, and the dances of middle earth.
Dances of Americana at Westercon
On Wednesday July 4th costumed dancers ascended to the 12th floor of the Hyatt Denver Tech Center. Dancers engaged guests at the cocktail reception with dances from the first and second world war. These were dances that represented freedom for their era, from the 20’s Charleston (link) and Samba (link) were taught. And, from the 50’s, the iconic swing dance (link) was taught. Between lessons dancers demonstrated period dances including the Jive (link), Samba, Foxtrot (link), and Quickstep (link). Guests were thrilled with the presentation. (link)
Dances of Middle Earth at Westercon
Saturday was saved for the Dances of Middle Earth, based off the Lord of the Rings books written by JRR Tolkien (link). Dancers performed reproductions of likely dances of middle earth in the atrium of the Hyatt. They danced “la Dame” Basse Dance, a Viking dance, Turkish Branle, Washerwoman Branle, Branle de original (link), Bilbo’s birthday dance (link), Gay Gordons, and Strip the Willow (link). The show was a hit.
Dance lesson at Westercon
The performance was followed by dance lessons on the 12th floor next to the Airship opal Steampunk display. Fair goers had fun learning a Viking dance, various branles, and Ceili dances. Everyone was tired and in good spirits at the end of the lesson. They then set a spell with a cup of tea at the Denver Victorian and Steampunk Society tea garden.
It was a delight to participate in this once in a lifetime event. Nikki and her staff did an excellent job running the Westercon 71. Westercon moves their location annually, and it is unknown when Westercon will be back in Denver. This year’s Con goers will return home with the happy memory of the dances at Westercon 71.
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