The first picture is our group of female callers: Deanna, me (Martine), Natalie, and Beata (We had another caller present, but he snuck out early). We had to get a few pictures before Natalie moves to Germany and Deanna gets so pregnant she can't dance... She commented that baby was slowing her down today. Additional dancers are Nalini and Bridget (who were so lovely they had to be in a few shots).
My co-conspirator is leaving me this summer. June is her last dance. It's been 2.5 years since she invited dancers to her house and handed me calling instructions in German... I have mentioned the bit where I neither speak nor read any German, right? It's been about two years since we put together a slightly more organized house party at my house (which was filled to capacity, btw).
I will miss her. You will miss her because she and I do all the dance organizing together (I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do without her). While I'm the one who said "I wonder if we could start up a dance in KC", she's the one who said "That sounds like so much FUN! Yes, let's do it!" Her enthusiasm and contributions have made our dance a regular event.
Aside from egging me on, she's also the one who says "Really? Don't you think that dance is a bit too advanced for our dancers?" I have to admit, I'm not good with restraint, and the more challenging programs are my fault. Then there's the bit where my work goes bonkers in January and February, and she's determined to not skip a dance just because I'm struggling to keep my sanity. She's the primary contact for phone calls (which is a good thing because she is far more tactful than I am) and reminds the church we're coming and will gently break the news that "Martine, don't panic... We've been double-booked." I do rescue mode pretty well, but panic mode comes first, and that's the part I have trouble with. And on the rare occasion that we call any dances that we have not organized ourselves, Natalie is the one who has talked me into it.
I am intensely grateful that she splits all the teaching with me... the first three dances we put on had me doing all the calling, and I definitely do not enjoy calling the way I enjoy dancing. I would not have continued our efforts if I had not been able to talk her into joining me (she was terrified the first dance she called, but I remind her that she was the reason my first calling experience involved instructions in German), and I think we've done pretty well in the end.
And then there's the best part: "Let's get together to talk about and/or practice the dances... and THEN we need to watch an Austen movie and stay up 'till after 1AM!" She makes it so much FUN!
Dear Co-conspirator, have no doubt that I will miss you dreadfully.