Over a year ago I wrote a post about the wonderful event at the ESI, Prova på and Återträffen. This year I returned for the same event and participated in the Återträffen portion. It was a month later than last year’s, in late February rather than late January. I had a wonderful time. 12 of us from the 2014-2015 class of 20 attended the weekend, and it was so great to see these wonderful people again. We lived and studied together for 9 months, but then we haven’t seen each other for the past 8 months. I love being part of this special community of musicians and dancers.
I went early to acclimate, and am so happy I did. I was able to stay in my old room with Ginny Lee, who is there this year. I arrived early enough (9:20 landing in Stockholm) to take the trains and be there for lunch, my favorite soup and pancakes. Mia Marin was one of my favorite guest teachers and was teaching all day, so I was able to join the class after lunch. We learned a wonderful new tune, Polska från Barsebäck. On Friday we had Sonia Sahlström and it was delightful to have class with her again. We learned tunes that had been bonus tunes for us last year, and it was great to really dig into them. We then played through multiple tunes I had learned last year. What a pleasure!
We had a fun dance evening Friday, and I danced and joined a group playing for dancers.
Saturday I practiced in the morning, and we had 19 musicians in a session in the afternoon with Mia Marin and Niklas Roswall, each of whom taught two tunes. Then we played a series of tunes from prior years together. It was a blast.
After a walk in the snow and a rest, we had a dinner, the traditional taco buffet, while singing songs we all knew with the help of words printed in a booklet. After ice cream we cleared the room for dancing, and had a succession of musicians play for dance. I did a bit of dancing, but spent most of the time in the two different ongoing musical jams. Last year I was not brave enough to join the fast jam of former students in the Eric Sahlström Rummet, but this year I joined and fully participated and it was wonderful.
I went to Norrköping the next day after Āterträffen and had a lovely afternoon dancing with the group I danced with last year, then spent the night with Stig and Helen. It was heaven to dance with and see those lovely people again! Helen and I played some tunes together in the morning. She taught me Tre Strömingar, then Ginny and Mikkel are working on it too, which was a fun coincidence.
I spent the next night back in Stockholm with Ginny and Mikkel; we played tunes and went Scottish Country Dancing in Gamla Stan! After that I checked into the SkyCity hotel, then zoomed back to Stockholm on the Arlanda Express to walk around.
I have continued to work on Swedish language and it really is getting better. Interestingly, when in the USA I don’t dream in Swedish, but in Sweden I do!