This event you will already have
heard about if you read the Life section of the San Jose Mercury News.
The article came out the day before the event and in consequence, it was
packed. I saw a lot of newcomers and a lot of people from other costuming
circles (SCA, Ren Faire, etc.) that I don't normally see at PEERS.
It was a great crowd. Everyone really got into the spirit of things and
I saw some amazing costumes. Gina's Nazgul
was incredible. There were hobbits, wizards, and tons of elves. Crystal
and I were with the spirit, but didn't try for any specific characters.
Our heavily embroidered tunics were much admired (thanks to Crystal's new
sewing machine!). The music was Celtic fusion - very diverse, but very
danceable too. Unfortunately, my red suede boots were more decorative than
functional and almost cost me a sprained ankle (or a major collision) on
the floor. After that, I danced a whole lot less.
Although the February Gaskell's
is usually sparsely attended, I often enjoy it more because just the regulars
are there. The dance floor is a little less crowded, but you still see
all of the people you want to dance with. This Gaskell's was even better,
because our friend Alex was visiting from Oregon and several other friends
who I haven't seen in months (or even years) were there as well. Brassworks
played beautifully with only one tricky waltz that kept changing tempo
(don't do that!). We even had a special treat during one of the breaks.
The Stanford Ballroom Dance group (I apologize if this is not your official
name - I missed the announcement) gave a waltz exhibition that was lovely.
The grace and lyric beauty of the waltz was shown to perfection by 20 or
so couples who danced in sync. It was a wonderful night and, as always,
the Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland provided the perfect environment.