July 2nd:

Woke up today and got ready to leave Rydges in plenty of time to checkout and leave by 10am, which was when registration was supposed to open for KWDS. Had no problems checking out, but as usual, didn't bother to get actual directions to Sancta Sophia College beyond the "It's across the street, right?" nod from the desk clerk. The whole area looks nothing like I thought it would, and I certainly didn't expect the place to be "above" the hotel (Rydges is at 9-15 Missenden Rd, while Sancta Sophia is at 8 Missenden Rd). So I ended up wandering around for much more than I had to with my stupid heavy suitcase from so long ago that it doesn't have a reliable set of wheels. I finally found the entrance (far closer to the hotel than I thought, but not directly across the street) and proceeded to check in.

I attended the La Volta class before lunch and almost learned how to do that reconstruction. Lunch was in the college's dining hall and was basically cafeteria style. It would have been nicer if we hadn't been sharing it with the other conference that is going on (I think they've got twice or three times as many people eating the college's lunch than us, so the line was long, mostly because though we lined up outside the dining hall first, we didn't know the drill (go through this door in the dining hall for the hot food) until too late. Better luck tomorrow).

My first class was the first one after lunch, and it went well. No one corrected me on my reconstruction, which was nice. I did have a little trouble with Night Peece due to not quite remembering what the words I'd written were supposed to mean. The class was only an hour long, so I only got to teach 4 of the 5 dances I had "prepared", but that was fine.

I then attended three more sessions. First, I (re)learned La Castelana, and watched as Chiara Stella was taught. Then I learned an odd 15th century basse dance called La Spagna, which is just plain weird, followed by a very different version of Ly Bens Distonis (chiefly different because they don't repeat the "middle" music twice, like the version I know does). And lastly I went to the "open teaching" session at which I managed to help Countess Mara out of her music disaster by providing my portable speakers for someone else's iPod. That was an overrun of her class on 15th century Italian dances from Dr Ingrid Brainard's reconstructions rather than Mistress Rosina's (Dr Brainard, while an amazing researcher and scholar, did her work 30 years ago. Rosina did hers 10 years ago. The differences are evident.) Following that, I managed to provide pick-up music for a couple of requests before setting out for dinner.

I didn't really request any directions to food, so I ended up wandering around (in the dark, this time, but without a too-heavy suitcase) for a bit before ending up at a pizzaria. The small mushroom pizza was just about the size of a normal dinner place, and perfect for one person (I managed to eat it all, despite my lately-finickey stomach). I got some cans of soda for later there, and then returned to the college.

I changed into my new garb, the purple doublet, purple crushed-velved tights, white undershirt, black floppy hat, and new shoes from Waikiki. The doublet had been taken in just a little too much (the problem with having alterations done long distance - Rosamund didn't have time to fine-tune), so it gapped a bit, but all in all the entire thing looked pretty good. I waited around for the ball to start, and then mostly sat in the corner trying to keep my back from hurting (and my front from gapping). I did do a couple of dances, though - mostly ECD, but a couple Old Measures, and even Ly Bens Distonis, which was one of the competition dances at the Ball d'Argent and at which I got a ribbon for technical excellence (even though it was the version I had just learned that afternoon). The competition involved three "individual" dances, two of which I didn't do. Each dance had three judges, and each judge had two ribbons, one red, one blue (red for style, blue for technique). They handed these out to the competitors as they saw fit and at the end, the person (or in this case, people - two tied) with the most ribbons won the prize. Still, one ribbon isn't bad for a dance version I'd never done before.

The evening continued with more dancing. Master Del, the organizer, had put two of my 3-couple ECDs on the dance list, which I hadn't realized he was doing. He asked me to call the first, but I wasn't prepared to do so, and I told him that the second on on the list was the dance we hadn't gotten to. That was alright, though, because the dances were taking longer than we had the hall for, so the last two sets got abbreviated heavily. Fortunately, I've not got warning for tomorrow night's ball, and he hasn't made up the set list for that yet, so we can get some coordination between musicians, etc. on that.

The King and Queen of Lochac held court between the third and last sets. It was far shorter than the court at KWDS 4 in Ansteorra (Texas), which was nice. Some kingdom differences - they don't clap for anything; their scrolls are called promise letters (which it may have been, but it looked like a full scroll from a distance); their AoAs are called Armigers; they say Huzzah instead of Vivat (or Horray); and at the end of court they do a little call-and-response of Long Live The King (populace repeat), Long Live The Queen (populace repeat), Long Live the (officials of the hosting group), followed by the three cheers thing. They did a similar thing in Ansteorra, and I found it strange then too.

The last set was only 3 dances long, and then we had to move everything back into the dining room - I even helped (somewhat unusual). After that, it was pretty much over and I'm back in the room typing away. Maybe I can set my watch's alarm for 8:30 instead of 8 ... I may have a 10am class to teach, but I only have to walk across the quad to get to it!

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