Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dancing in Paonia, CO

Paonia, CO.

A tiny mountain town on the Western slope in Colorado. I thought I had found real-life Everwood. Turns out, this town is even smaller! But what it does have that Everwood did not appear to: Kombucha in the grocery store, several farm-to-table restaurants, townsfolk with dreads, tango classes, a locally volunteer-run public radio station, an independent newspaper, and arts center, an artists retreat and countless other hippy-hipster-appreciating-art kind of things. I was pretty surprised!

You know what else it has? 4H club signs, four old dudes bullshitting in the gas station lobby (that's right, I said 'the'), several churches and several bars and an American Legion. The local-artsy-enviroconscious meets super tight-knit local small town vibe is really incredible. I definitely think that later in life, if I had done the other things, I could easily enjoy the laid back vibe of a town like this, teaching and promoting dance. For now, I am just appreciating my chance to interact and enjoy for a week! Some visuals;

Stuck in Georgetown on the way out Sunday. Not so bad!

Adorable downtown Georgetown . . .

Where we found an amazing candy shop that made everything themselves from scratch. They even had sugar free! We also found a Christmas shop. Apparently, this town has a legendary Christmas market the first two weekends of December each year.

The sweet house in Paonia that we have rented for the week. Farmhouse inside with every detail attended to (the owner must spend all her days on Pintrest).

Yep, 4H Club sponsored recycling.

The kombucha in the grocery store :)

A mountain view that cannot be done justice with an iPhone . . .

A collaborative work space. Yes, in this tiny town.

The lovely and active Main Street.

And another.

Mosaic at the artists retreat . . . damn hippies :)

Saddle shop.

Liquor store . . . complete with drive-thru.

The artists retreat. It's called 'Elsewhere.'

Community announcements in every window. We added posters for our Thursday show at the Blue Sage Arts Center, which is also on Main Street.

We've also been bopping out to the nearby town of Hotchkiss to teach in the afternoons, which is also pretty great. There are farms and fruit orchards and wineries everywhere. I can see that this is a special place to live! I have enjoyed my little conversations with locals, from the young fella who had just done his first day as the manager of the radio station, to the 90 year old WWII vet who had better posture than me pushing his cart around the (singular) grocery store. 

These little encounters sort of make me wish I could live in a place like this. Maybe some day. Maybe not. Again: for now, I'll settle for a lovely little week sharing the gift of dance. 

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