It wasn't hard to identify the house being warmed as I drove through the dark streets of a central Seattle neighborhood. It was a small house on the corner, illuminated brightly from within, with the whirling figures of dancers filling every window. I gingerly pressed open the front door until it encountered resistance in the form of a body inside, and slipped through the narrow opening. Inside the house was devoid of all furnishings. A group of musicians was standing pinned in a corner, playing a furiously fast version of "Benton's Dream." I could hear the sound of a square dance caller, but couldn't see one. Then I found him: Tony was calling from inside the dance, swinging and weaving along with the other dancers while he called out figures.
The place was buzzing. It had been purchased only this month, and the new homeowner sent out an urgent call to her community: Flash Mob Square Dance at Nicole's FRIDAY DECEMBER 12!!! And the village responded, with musicians, dancers, callers, and well-wishers of all sorts filling the house late into the night and early into the morning.
After several hours of music and dance the party spilled out into the back yard, where a fire was lit and people cooled down or warmed up, according to their need. Nicole clearly has her own real things list in effect -- social dance, village time, music, fire -- her housewarming was rich in real things! And what a great way to introduce her new home to her community of friends, to strengthen social connections, and to advertise her style to her new neighbors.
Clearing out the furniture and hosting a house party social dance used to be a reasonably commonplace form of entertainment, now rarely practiced. The Seattle Subversive Square Dance Society has worked to bring house dances back to Seattle neighborhoods, with some success. Check out their schedule of upcoming events, including a dance tomorrow, Sunday December 14.
Nicole, thanks for a great event, and best wishes to you and your thoroughly warmed new home!