Asian Adventure: Hội An, Vietnam – VLX (Lindy Exchange)

Xin chao! [sinjao] – Hello!

Ban hay khong? [bahn nay khom?] – Would you like to dance?

Hoi An, Vietnam!

Of all the places on my travel agenda for this trip – this destination was for the shortest stay.  We flew out just for the weekend from KL, Malaysia to Danang, Vietnam ….a 30min drive from Hoi An, specifically for VLX – Vietnam’s Lindyhop Exchange weekend!

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What is a lindy hop exchange you ask?

A lindy exchange is a gathering of lindy hop dancers in one city for several days to do the same dance at other venues, showcase ones own talent to the local community, and to dance with visitors and locals alike.

This was my first time swing dancing outside of Canada!

If you remember from my previous post, there was a pie chart highlighting the various nationalities that would be at this dance exchange – I’m proud to say that me and Dee (my travel mate) added to the 7% Canadian slice who were in attendance 🙂

Where We Stayed

We signed ourselves up for the full weekend – which meant we did’t have to do a thing when it came to booking hotels and transportation to/from airport – VLX took care of us as soon as we landed!

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The glorious Hotel Royal Hoi An, MGallery Collection – we had breakfast around this lovely pool every morning!
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THIS was our fantabulous suite —- These Beds! These Pillows! These amazing fluffy robes!!! This place was divine!!!

The Dances

We were on a tight dance-filled agenda which began with a Welcome dance our first night at the Hoi An Historic Hotel ….

The theme that night was “East Meets West” … here’s what I wore:

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Dee and I found these lovely batik printed skirts from The Central Market in KL, and went twinsy for the evening complete with flower in hair and vintage bangs.

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Batik skirts with fanny prints + tanks + vintage hair flowers + bumper bangs = East Meets West
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Caught in the lindyhop act.  (Thanks Jason & Sheila)

AND we were caught on camera and made the News in Nam!!!  See if you can spot ME in the news clip friends 😉

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While other VLXers woke up super early for a bike ride to explore Hoi An (after dancing ’til 3:30am the night before) …

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me and a few other deep-sleepers chose to enjoy the day in the pool instead – until the next afternoon dance of course 🙂

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Isn’t this a great picture? I borrowed this hat from a VLX Cowboy …and he snapped this photo complete with cartoon Asian sworded companion. 🙂
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Beach Afternoon – An Bang Beach, Hoi An
On Sunday afternoon we were shuttled to An Bang Beach’s Soul Kitchen and took over a lovely little section of sun and shade …in between DANCING, of course!!!
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Day drinking + relax-o in between barefoot lindy hopping = Paradise!
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Me among the beauties representing Malaysia at the VLX 🙂

And then the barefoot Lindy Hopping began!

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The VLXers of 2015…. such a great group of people!!!

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MORE Dancing Nights …

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve likely already seen a few of these pic and can watch a few vid clips too.

Every evening there was a dinner and a dance planned for us.  Here are a few shots of all the fun:

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Dancing at the Bamboo Buddha

This evening’s dress code was “Extreme Opposites”.  I had no idea what that meant … and so I went as Batman!

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I’M BATMAN! 😉

Our last night in Hoi An, we had a farewell dinner at Green Mango ….with a dress code of “Modern Vintage”

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Dinner our last night there…le sigh.

After dinner our last night of dancing in Hoi An….we took the Lindy Hopping to the streets…

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My dress is from the Canadian designer Cherry Velvet Plus, click here for outfit deets.

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Dancing in the Streets! Loved it!!!

Of all the places I visited this trip, THIS is the city I wish I had spent more time in….sigh.  Guess this just means I’ve gotta make another visit sometime soon ❤

Although much of the trip was spent dancing …. I was able to check out a few sites, ate some amazing meals and even got to visit a tailor to get some custom threads made!!!  7 new pieces came home with me!

Stay tuned for the next blogpost highlighting these things specifically!!! Thanks for reading! xo

In case you’ve missed any… PPMeow’s Asian Adventure includes:

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Lindyworks 2014!

Lindyworks is  Toronto Lindy Hop’s annual weekend of workshop wonderfulness! It’s all about Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz dancing.  Having only begun my own Swing Dancing love affair (began this past spring, click here for that)…. this was my first workshop ever!  I was uber nervous about being surrounded by actual dancers for an entire weekend (three days) of solid dance instruction to challenge and inspire dancers during the day and to practice your newly acquired skills at evening parties that feature the best LIVE swing bands.

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Here’s the only snap I took during the entire 3-day workshop.  Clearly, I was too busy dancing my feet off… 🙂

THE WORKSHOPS:

 Photo credit: KHPhotography
The organizers of Lindyworks 2014, along with our fantastic guest instructors:  Evita Arce & Michael Jagger AND Sylwia Bielec & Alain Fragman  Photo credit: KHPhotography
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From NYC, Evita Arce & Michael Jagger
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Evita Arce & Michael Jagger
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From Montreal, Sylwia Bielec & Alain Fragman

Moi… in sweaty-workshop-mode … learning new moves and improving on technique

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Photo credit: KHPhotography

Not quite sure what I’m doing looking at the ceiling … perhaps that’s my own ‘personal styling’ of a dance move…

Photo credit: KHPhotography
“Please, Lindy gods, make this room a little cooler…” 😉 Photo credit: KHPhotography
Photo credit: KHPhotography
Photo credit: KHPhotography

Love this one…. “I saw you…with her… Wag our finger in unison”...  STOMP OFF! 🙂

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Photo credit: KHPhotography

Thank goodness for KHPhotograpy for capturing these moments – all I had to show at the end of workshop day 1, was the following Facebook post:

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Sweaty Workshop Selfie vs. Douvercout House Ready Selfie
Lucky for me and for PPMeow! readers that Kahlil Heslop (of KHPhotography), friend and fellow Lindy Hopper, captured the evening and events perfectly!!!
Here are a few perfect snaps that just make my heart oh-so happy with memories of a fantastic 3-days of Workshops, Competitions, Performances and Social Dancing.
THE COMPETITIONS:
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Photo credit: KHPhotography
Check out my gf Erin and her partner Luis (our instructor at Lindy Hop Revolution).  She began in Beginner Lessons with me…and now here she is competing in her FIRST competition!!!  I’m soooo proud of her!!
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Photo credit: KHPhotography
They TIED for 3rd place I’m told!  Woot! Woot!  I may have been an extremely vocal cheering section – She is my hero! 🙂
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Check out the hip action on my instructor Luis…He’s Spanish – his hips don’t lie 😉  Photo credit: KHPhotography

ROUND #1

ROUND #2

PERFORMANCES BY ALAIN & SYLWIA: 
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Photo credit: KHPhotography
Photo credit: KHPhotography
Photo credit: KHPhotography
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Photo credit: KHPhotography

 FOLLOWED BY PERFORMANCES BY MICHAEL & EVITA:

Photo credit: KHPhotography
Photo credit: KHPhotography
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Photo credit: KHPhotography

I just love the look on everyones faces!  Still can’t believe I got to social dance with Michael (Mic) Jagger – ha!  He’s oh-so-very-fantastically!  **swoon**

Lindy Hop – the most fun you can have with your clothes on.   😉

For Kahlil’s full photo album of Lindyworks 2014 shots click here.

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Click here for JT Photography’s photo album for Toronto Lindy Hop

Now that you’ve seen “What I Did”….let’s talk about “What I Wore” to the Saturday Night Lindyworks Dance at The Douvercourt House – hosted by Toronto Lindy Hop.

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This lovely dress was on sale at the time I was looking for my the perfect dress for Tiki Lani Lanai with TVS.

Profs II-21If you look really closely at the pattern of this dress, you’ll notice they are little chat bubbles/text bubbles.  Profs II-24

Plus giant buttons and a lil’ collar…..Too cute, right? Profs II-23

 How I Got The Look: Dress from Cherry Velvet Plus; Belt & Shoes from Winners -these were not wore whilst dancing 😉 – and the 50s vintage sweater was thrifted from Goodwill.

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Outfit photo credit: Lawrence Kerr of LawrenceKerrPhotography.com

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Tiki Lani Lanai with TVS and Ginger

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Bands.  Vinal.  Videos.  Burlesque.  Hula Dancers.  Signature Cocktails.  Door Prizes.  The Limbo. Swimsuit Contest.  What more could you ask for at Toronto Vintage Society‘s 2nd annual sensational-end-of-summer tiki party.

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I got there early to help my TVS Sistas set up the Cadillac Lounge into a Heavenly Tiki Patio…then I ran home to change before the could fun begin…

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Me along side a few of the lovelies of the TVS Events Team

Me in my tiki-taskti dress, my wicker aqua clutch (Aldo), simple brown ankle-strap sandals (Payless), aqua drop earrings (Reitmans) and my  too-tiny-to-notice hair flower (Forever21)…..

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Y’all know I’m not a big make-up wearer …. but I tried my hand at bright eyes and loud lips with Almay’s intense-i-colour trio for greens and Rimmel’s In Vouge lipstick

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Clearly a dress like this needed a much more substantial hair flower!  Lucky for me the lovely and talented Shermy of Shermette was on hand selling her Fruits of Bali.

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You can follow Shermy and her lovely hair flowers on Instagram: @miss_shermette

She’s got an etsy shop:   Frutis of Bali by Shermette   … just sayin’ 😉

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Want more pictures of the TVS Tiki Party … click here

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Now….let’s talk about MY DRESS!!!!  🙂

I was introduced to world of Cherry Velvet last year via Damzels store on Roncy in Toronto…and since have picked up two lovely dresses that fit my measurements (size 0X) like a glove flattering my curves with different, unique necklines.  And best of all: your bra straps will always be covered and your hands, phone and lipgloss will always have a home in the convenient pockets in ALL of their dresses!

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Click here and here for details on the above Cherry Velvet Dresses.

I’ve been coveting this tropical number for months….drooling over their Instagram post this amazing Tropical Taupe number that would be PERFECT Tiki Party attire for Toronto Vintage Society’s TIKI LANI LANANI.

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Sadly I never found this in store…so it seemed this frock was only going to become a apart of my life and wardrobe if I bought it online. Now, I’m not 100% comfortable buying something I’ve not tried on before, especially when it comes to spending at these particular price points ($100+ per dress).  Sigh…

But, since I own two already I felt fairly confident that my measurements and their sizing chart would make any online purchases a ‘success story’ 🙂

Truth be told that, outside of a German Beer Girl halloween costume (stay tuned for a reappearance of this getup as I just bought tickets to Toronto’s Oktoberfest – woot! woot!)   I have never purchased clothing online before.  My biggest concern or deterrent from online shopping:  Returns and Exchanges if something doesn’t fit right —- aka “The Shipping-Back Hassle”.

I tried to push Ginger (the name of the dress) outta my mind and continue living my life…to find an alternative Tiki outfit for this event.  But I just couldn’t.  I was in love!  Upon revisiting their site last week, turns out Ginger was on sale, a clear signs from the shopping-gods…and the ADD TO CART button was clicked and she was on her way to me 🙂

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I ordered via http://www.cherryvelvet.com on August 1st and by August 8th a Canada Post deliver arrived with my name on it!!!!!  Clearly I was excited as you can see from my Facebook post below…

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Seemingly in my zeal to bring Ginger home to me, I ordered a size 1X, instead of  the needed 0X…and instantly my “Shipping-Back-Hassle” fears were realized.  Lesson Learned folks:  double check, and triple check sizes you selcted and return/exchange policies before clicking ‘checkout’ … le sigh.

Lucky for me, minor alterations were needed to make this dress wearable for the big event were made,  without having to send this beauty back to Vancouver (that’s where Cherry Velvet is based), allowing Ginger & I to have a fabulous time at TVS’s TIKI LANI LANANI Party!

Are you thinking to yourself…. “But Irene, there are TWO lovely new dresses that hang in your closet… tell me more about the other cutie-pie frock?”

Stay tuned for that friends, in an upcoming blogpost 😉  xoxo

 

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