Event Review: Steven and Virginie in Rochester (Rochacha)
This past weekend Rochacha had for their 13th year their event Steven and Virginie in Rochester. As someone who attended the past year, I may be slightly biased when I say it was awesome and I am still wondering why I left (or didn’t hitch a ride to Montreal instead of Pennsylvania).
The cool thing about the Steven and Virginie in Rochester workshop is the class labeled as “Musicality with Gordon Webster and his Band“. It is an unique opportunity to learn material, then actually practice it to a live band. Especially since this band is fricken Gordon Webster, with Jesse Selengut in the lineup.
While that particular class made the weekend amazing, the other classes taught by Steven and Virginie were nothing to scoff at either. What I liked is each class seemed to offer something to individuals of every level of dancing from the experienced veteran to the green newbie. In particular Virginie was consistently offering styling options to follows, so it didn’t become all about the leads.
The soul dancing class on Friday was also a nice change of pace. I arrived late so I didn’t want to jump in the class, but I watched from the side and picked stuff up. I’m still uncomfortable dancing to Soul music, but it always seems like a big party when its played and everyone has fun.
The Swing and Soul Party on Friday was a blast. To be honest it felt more like a dance party then a typical swing dance, complete with a soul train. Like I said before the music pushed me out of my comfort zone, but in a positive way. It was a great atmosphere to get acquainted with people at the event.
The Saturday dance with Gordon Webster and Friends was a splendid affair. They played a variety of tempos that kept the nimble-footed Balboa dancer to the sensual Blues dancer happy. Unfortunately Steven Mitchell was sick this year, so he didn’t step in for a few songs. But Brianna Thomas, the featured vocalist of the night did a superb job. Her and Gordon closed the house with an encore performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
Probably one of, if not the most infamous late night venues in the United States is the Lindy Compound. The walls are all decorated with references from the jazz era or in one case a framed photo from a recent Lone Star Championship moment.
After most Rochester event’s dance, everyone stops by the nearby Wegmans (similar to Whole Foods if you are unfamiliar with it) and picks up some kind of food or drink for the event before showing up to the late night venue. To the right of the doorway there is a kitchen/dinning room where there is a large variety of food ranging from various types of humus, fruits, cheeses to marshmallows. In the center of the house is a room with danceable floor. On the left side of the house is a lounging area with this custom video game setup that has I think 2000+ games on it ranging from pac-man to street fighter.
Sorry if the description was long but I wanted to try to accurately portray how awesome this late night venue is. To reinforce it, here is an informative list:
Things I Have Witnessed at the Lindy Compound:
- Two women jousting, outside in the snow, riding piggy-back on two very tall men.
- Mad Libs, dancer version in which nouns like Wayne Gretsky were used.
- Canadian women making me feel ashamed of my abilities to consume alcohol.
- A rap performance.
Here is a video if you still aren’t convinced.
I could go keep going on about this place, but what is special and I think adds immensely to Rochester events is this venue allows people to genuinely socialize and get to know each other well. I would care to bet more so, then most events I attend. It is probably due to this place that half the time I can’t understand my facebook feed due to my poor French abilities.
Rochacha, once again I had a blast. Even though I will be based out in California next year (instead of a four hour drive away), I am going to fight to make it to my third Steven and Virginie in Rochester.