Texas Camp 2017

by John Clement

2017 marked the 70th Texas Camp. The first one was in Feb. 1949, and the second at Thanksgiving 1949. The second camp established the tradition of having camp over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Some very popular teachers, Sonia Dion and Christian Florescu for Romanian dances, and Richard Powers with partner Melissa Enge for vintage dances, made the camp a fun time.

Yellow Submarine backdrop, part of the party decorations for Texas Camp 2017

Jan Bloom’s fabulous Yellow Submarine provided a great photo op during parties.

The first party was themed “Under the Sea.” It brought out many sea creatures and a few sea gods as well as sea trash. The highlight of the decorations was the Yellow Submarine created by Jan Bloom. Houston dancers came in matching blue seasonal costumes and there was a parade of sea creatures. We were also treated to a gorgeous sunset.

The Romanian Friday night party featured an assortment of traditional costumes and rainbows of color. The teachers also came in Romanian shirts. The evening parties started with kids’ dances, but they were joined by a number of young-at-heart adult dancers.

Some brave men dancing Arkan around a safety (plastic) fire

Franklin Houston (far L) leads a line of brave men during Arkan. A special campfire provided additional atmosphere. :)

The Saturday Vintage Casino party had costumes ranging from Richard Powers’ tuxedo to summer casual. After all, casinos don’t care what you wear as long as you bring money!  Many people appropriately wore cards or money. The highlight of the party, besides the ice cream, was Arkan. Franklin Houston has been leading this dance for 50 years, but this year featured a “campfire” and some extra spectacle: Two dancers flipped upside down, and there was also horizontal dancing. The kids dance had some special music provided by Richard Powers, including a medley of Disney songs. The mature dancers sang along to the Mickey Mouse Club song.

The ever popular Bruceville Roadhouse and the contra session were well attended. The Balkan Bazaar was back again with a good selection of ethnic goodies. Some people might even have purchased warm shirts for the chilly evenings. The weather during the days was good and sometimes warm.