I was offered an opportunity to show my sketch books at the Spring Swing Ball held in Maitland at the Bahia Shrine Ball room. I took the eighteen sketch books from the last two years and packed them in an egg crate. I also brought along my scanner, printer in case anyone wanted to order a print. When I got to the ballroom, I found that Tracy Burke who is an amazing local artist, already had some of her huge portraits set up and she had an amazing number of large abstracts lying on the table. My tables were a few yards away and I got busy setting up my make shift display. Once everything was arranged, I sat on the table and started sketching. The dancing started slowly at first with a few couples testing out their moves. Tracy told me that the dance floor had talk powder sprinkled on it which gave just the right amount of slip for the dancers shoes.
Within an hour the dance floor was packed. George Gee and his Swing Orchestra from NYC started to play and the place blew up with dancing. Terry was with me but she knew I couldn't leave the table. I had to watch my work like a hawk because I didn't want any work dancing away. A woman walked up to me and asked me about my work but then she got to the point, saying, "So you aren't a dancer?" when I said, "No" she turned on her heal and within minutes was spinning wildly on the dance floor. In the sketch I focused on a blond woman with a large white flower in her hair. I sketched her a second time as she danced with a very talented dancer. Later in the evening after the sketch was done, I left the sketch book open. I was delighted when she lifted the sketch book to look at the work closely. I heard her say, "Hey that is me!" She ordered a print on the spot and I fired up the printer. Tracy Burk's mom bought a second print of the same sketch. George Gee was awarded a painting by Tracy Burke.
I was told that this dance was just one of many being held this weekend as part of ORLX4 Lindy Exchange. These people had already been dancing all day and now they were dancing into the night. One male dancer had one of those shot sized high energy drinks. He explained to the girl he was with that she should only take a small sit. He sipped his drink all night. A large group of dancers gathered in front of the stage. Using a microphone so everyone could hear, a man asked his girlfriend for her hand in marriage. As he continued talking about how he knew she was the one from the first day they met, she shouted "yes, yes, yes!" Then everyone inside the circle started to dance. There must be a Swing dance tradition of keeping the newly engaged couple apart because different men kept stepping into dance with her and women jumped in to dance with him. It was quite the celebration! I never did get out on the dance floor, but Terry and I did do some slow dancing in front of my display.